Between the commotion of busy Oregon Expressway and Embarcadero Road, the residents of the Duveneck-St. Francis neighborhood live on relatively quiet streets with an abundance of trees and people of all backgrounds.
"I personally treasure the community because of all the nice people that are in it," resident Jeff Levinsky said. "People are just so friendly and supportive."
Levinsky, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1994, appreciates his neighbors, who help one another and foster progress within the community.
And there certainly is no lack of opportunity to connect with neighbors. He said that whenever school is not in session, the fields and playground of Duveneck Elementary School (named after Frank and Josephine Duveneck of Hidden Villa fame) turn into a gathering place for families.
"We have a great elementary school right in the middle, we have the library ... the Lucie Stern complex and the zoo, those aren't technically in our neighborhood but they're very close. The arts center has classes for all ages. So there's lots of nice things," Levinsky said.
Duveneck-St. Francis is a rhombus-shaped neighborhood bounded by San Francisquito Creek on the northeast, Oregon Expressway, Greer Road, Embarcadero Road and Newell Road.
The neighborhood's comfortable setting drew in longtime resident Lisa Dreessen, who moved to the area to start a family and has remained there since 1964.
"I moved in when I was pregnant with my first child, so I raised my children here, and I think it's a wonderful neighborhood," she said.
Dreessen also pointed out the importance of the community spirit in Duveneck-St. Francis. With an elementary school in the center of the community, it's no surprise that many people find it to be a place that is very welcoming to children and adults alike.
"It's a very friendly neighborhood ... and child-friendly," she said.
The changing demographics of the neighborhood hasn't dampened the community spirit, but rather sparked action. When the Albertson's grocery store shut down in Edgewood Plaza in 2006, the shopping center became a ghost town. After watching the buildings crumble for more than 10 years, the community fueled efforts to redevelop the plaza, which now boasts The Market at Edgewood and a wide variety of businesses that are well-loved by residents.
"I and some others worked to get the grocery store restored and we had countless neighbors who were supportive and very energized and we all together made it happen," Levinsky said. "(There was) fantastic participation."
Levinsky emphasizes that all of the residents get along well, and manage to sidestep controversies. The neighbors instead work together to solve problems and better their community for all of the residents.
The people of Duveneck-St. Francis certainly agree that the neighbors are what makes the area truly unique.
"It's a good place to raise a family," Levinsky said. "It's a good place for people who are retired, it's just a nice environment."
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Duveneck Kids' Club, 705 Alester Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 3, 799 Embarcadero Road
LIBRARY: Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Road
LOCATION: bounded by San Francisquito Creek, Oregon Expressway, Greer Road, Embarcadero Road and Newell Road
PARKS (nearby): Eleanor Pardee Park, 851 Center Drive; Rinconada Park, 777 Embarcadero Road; Duveneck Elementary School 705 Alester Ave.
POST OFFICE: Main, 2085 E. Bayshore Road
PRIVATE SCHOOLS (nearby): International School of the Peninsula, 151 Laura Lane; St. Elizabeth Seton, 1095 Channing Ave.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Duveneck Elementary School, Greene Middle School, Palo Alto High School
SHOPPING: Edgewood Shopping Center; University Avenue