Drawing Our Attention to Healthy Eating


Photo of Mural: Seeds for a Healthy Tomorrow by Marlon Yanes, is courtesy of Cary Kelly

I remember driving down Jefferson Ave. and noticing a cheery bright shade of blue paint going up on the corner of Whole Foods Market.  I remember thinking how nice it looked, and wondering if it had anything to do with the recent Amazon purchase of the grocery chain.  In the coming days I watched with excitement and glee as the cheery blue color was joined with red and green, and it became evident that the corner was getting more than just a coat of paint.  It was going to be a work of art, a mural!

But more than a mural.  And it had nothing to do with Amazon.  The project, I learned after sitting down with lead artist Marlon Yanes, Regional Chalk Artist at Whole Foods Market Northern California & Reno Region, is a collaboration between four groups: CATA (Community Advocacy Through Arts (http://www.projectcata.com), Whole Foods Market Redwood City (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/redwoodcity), (this store covered most of the expenses), Redwood City Parks and Arts (http://www.rwcpaf.org/), and local non-profit, Incredible Edible (https://www.facebook.com/groups/incredibleedibleredwoodcity/).  It is intended to draw our attention to a healthy lifestyle that includes organic foods, gardening, and community food initiatives.  In fact, there is a community garden at the foot of the mural.  Look for it.  They blend in the with painting and are already planted.  What a wonderful idea!

Another interesting thing I learned is that Incredible Edible was awarded a check for $6,749.70 from Nickels for Nonprofits at the unveiling of the mural.  For those who donate a nickel for every shopping bag they bring into Whole Foods Market, it’s nice to know your donation went to such a worthy cause.

The idea started a couple of years ago at CATA.  Working with the Marketing & Community Relations Lead – Peninsula at Whole Foods Market, Marlon Yanes was brought on to design and create the mural.  He also managed the project, procuring supplies and bringing other artists onboard to help.  Initially it was going to be a much smaller project, just a small mural at the entrance to the store near the cafe.  But as they reviewed sketches the idea of going larger came up and was agreed upon.  Yanes was approved to use the entire back corner of the store.  The larger project required more time to complete than Yanes had originally planned.

It took 3 weeks instead of 2.  Yanes gives much credit to his team of artists who helped him complete the mural.  He worked for 3 weeks, each day having at least one helper, and working 12-14 hours a day to complete the mural.  Marlon recalled working through the heatwave, when temperatures reached up into the 100 degree range.  He said one day, while working at the top of the mural where there was no shade, it was so hot that the rubber from the bottom of his sneaker came loose.  He recalled having to remove and chuck the sole of his shoe rather than risk falling from the scaffolding!

I asked Marlon about the design.  He said it was primarily CATA’s idea.  They wanted to promote healthy eating, lifestyle, organic food, and playing outside.  To bring their vision to life Yanes incorporated techniques of forced perspective art to make the mural blend into the natural setting and adapt it to the architectural nuances of the building it’s painted on.  Perspective he said, requires skewing the elements of the drawing (such as facial features etc. ) to produce a realistic effect from the artist’s vantage point.  Notice how the mural blends into the existing trees around it.  The girl’s swing seems to hang from the nearby tree.  Notice how the seat of the swing is drawn to give the illusion of a straight line when the wall beneath it is not a level plane.  The clouds are painted to appear as if they are on a level plane, yet if you look closely they are slanted downward, and appear to recede even though the corner of the building is actually coming toward you! The boy flying the kite looks stretched because he is painted on multiple levels of the building.  However if you view him from just the right spot, his torso, hips, and legs all line up perfectly. The “forced perspective” forces you to look at the mural from an optimal spot, which, according to Yanes is from the island between Jefferson and Adams Streets.  Watch out for cars!

Yanes also took the position of the sun and shadows cast into account when viewing the mural.  He said the best times for viewing during the summer months are 1:00pm, early in the morning, and 7:30 before sunset, when there are no shadows and the sun is not hitting it directly.   The idea was to make the architectural details of the building, arches, mouldings, etc. disappear into the painting.  Looks like they nailed it!

It was great to sit down with Marlon Yanes to discuss this mural.  He is such a talented artist, and I was truly amazed at the wealth and depth of his portfolio.  He has done a mural at a Whole Foods Market in Oakland, and is currently working on one for an artificial intelligence company called Scale, in San Francisco.  Maybe you saw him at the 4th of July festival in Redwood City, where he did a live performance art piece on the square.  Or you’ve seen one of the utility boxes he’s painted around town.  You can see much of Marlon Yanes’ work on Instagram at TonitoArt.  Marlon Yanes was born in Guatemala, grew up in Redwood City, and still resides here today.







Top 10 in Redwood City

Redwood City 002

The secret is out.  Redwood City is a vibrant and wonderful place to visit and live.  Long time residents have long known, and newbies have embraced the unique charm that is Redwood City.  Diverse, energetic, historic, and yet laid back, Redwood City offers something for everyone.  Formerly nicknamed “deadwood city” with its biggest claim to fame being best weather “by government test,” Redwood City is now respected for the great amenities available to residents and visitors alike.  Here is a look at My Favorite Top 10 Things to Do and See in Redwood City.

10. Nazareth Ice Oasis – Ice skating is a fun activity for children and adults.  This rink offers instruction in ice skating and is one of the only places in Redwood City where you get the whole family out for an indoor physical activity.  The ice is well groomed and they pipe in music to make the experience more enjoyable.  I have seen some really good young skaters here practicing their waltz jumps and camel spins, as well as adults who still have a passion for ice skating show off their impressive skills.  Fun to visit during the winter months.  Nazareth Ice Oasis

9. Port of Redwood City – The Port of Redwood City is a deepwater port used for cargo ships, but there are some exciting events for the public held at different times throughout the year.  Some of my favorites are the Port Fest, a festival celebrating the port’s existence, and featuring tours, live music, food, beer and wine garden, and activities for children.  I first became aware of it when my son participating in the Woodside High School Marching band performed here.  There’s also an event called Tall Ships, with allows you to view impressive replicas of the historic tall ships Lady Washington & Hawaiian Chieftan.  Dock tours and mock battle and adventure tours are available to the public.  Check out their wonderful offerings here: Port of Redwood City

8. Main Street Dog Park – Okay, so this one is specific to dog owners, but if you have a dog (and I do, Lucy- an adorable miniature schnauzer) this is one of Redwood City’s Top 10.  What sets the this Main Street Dog Park apart from other dog parks is that is has agility training features for the dogs that pets use for training and exercise.  So if there are no other dogs at the time your visit, you can still play with your dog using these structures.  The park sits right next to the CalTrain tracks so you will see (and hear) some trains pass while there. Main Street Dog Park

7. Magic Lantern Show – This show is just cool.  It’s a 3D mapping light show, similar to what I’ve seen at Disney World.  The show is projected on the front of the building of the San Mateo County Museum.  There is music to accompany the show which is full of colorful lights.  Fun for all ages.  Magic Lantern Light Show

6. Century Theaters – The convenience of this movie theater is perfect.  In addition to the 20 theaters they have, there is ample parking available, and the location is on a street that is closed to traffic. On the same closed off street you can have a nice lunch or dinner before or after the show at one of the many nice restaurants nearby.  Great place for date night, girls’ night, or to drop off the teens during the long days of summer. Century Theaters

5. Downtown Library – What can I say I like books and quiet places!  Being from San Francisco, I rather enjoy the larger and rather regal feel of this downtown library compared to some of the smaller suburban contemporaries.  There’s a great collection of books for all ages, and activities, DVD rentals, and workshops.  Check them out! Redwood City Library’s Facebook Page

4. Stulsaft Park – This is the largest park in Redwood City, with over 40 acres of space.  At first glance it just looks like a small neighborhood park, with the typical play structure and san box.  But there’s much more to it.  The park has several hiking trails, some of which are very steep!  There are also picnic tables, a creek, and a water play area open during certain months of the year.  Great place to reserve a table and have a holiday BBQ, or to explore the “woods” with the family.  Definitely a neighborhood and city treasure. Stulsaft Park

3. Fox Theater – Built in 1929 and rehabbed in the 50’s, the Fox Theater is one of Redwood City historical sites, and offers live shows and concerts to the public.  I have enjoyed attending the annual production of the Nutcracker Ballet here with the family. Great venue to dress up and have an elegant night on the town.  Fox Theater

2. San Mateo County History Museum – This big beautiful building is one of the most recognizable structures in Redwood City.   Located on Broadway St. at the square, you can climb the stairs to enter and explore the informative exhibits and interesting architecture found at this Redwood City gem.  The exhibits tell the history of the peninsula and many are hands on.  It has been a field trip destination for all three of my children during their elementary years, and we’ve even enjoyed going as a family during school breaks.  A favorite and great memory is the courtroom, where we put on moot court, family style.  Fun and educational, it’s a great way to spend a couple of hours alone or with family. San Mateo County History Museum

1. Music on the Square – This gets the number one spot for me because I love the way it brings the community together.  Besides, what could be better than listening to free live music, in a beautiful outdoor setting, during the summer, with a bunch of your friends or family?  Bring along chairs and a picnic dinner and you’ve nailed it.  If you haven’t been check it out! Music On The Square

Honorable mention: Goes to Toys R Us, because it’s my 10 year old daughter’s favorite. And, it is pretty nice having a large toy store in town.  We’ve spent hours there searching for gifts and being Santa’s Little Helpers.


Our life in Farm Hills


When we moved from San Carlos to Redwood City in 2004 the draw was a larger house with more outdoor space and for less money.  We found a cute little starter home on McGarvey and were happy to call it home.  McGarvey Ave. is a small street, just a few blocks long and it gets a lot of car traffic as a main artery to transport drivers between Farm Hill Blvd., Alameda de las Pulgas, and the surrounding side streets.  The street however is beautiful, tree-lined with soft rolling hills that tickle the tummies of any little ones that might be riding in the backseat of a car.

We lived there in our 3 bedroom 2 bath home for 8 years.  In the lower foothills of Farm Hills estates neighborhood, we enjoyed the great location.  Like ours, many of the homes in the lower foothills are walking distance to the Schaberg Library, Rite Aid, Prima Deli, and Baskin Robbins.  It was a great location for peaceful walks down the street or up to Stulsaft Park for a hike, or fun on the playground with the kids.

Once we outgrew our house on McGarvey we decided we wanted to stay in our great neighborhood, but just a bit closer to the kids’ school, Roy Cloud Elementary.  At that time there were very few houses on the market and even fewer of them had 4 bedrooms!  Our search took 6 months and when a home popped up on MLS as a new listing, on our daughter’s 5th birthday, while we were in Disneyland, we took it as a sign.  A good omen that signaled that the 4 bedroom house we needed to accommodate our growing 3rd child, that would ensure her admittance into Roy Cloud school with her siblings (who had gotten in through the Schools of Choice program) and had popped up on her birthday was destined for our family!

Our house on Stony turned out to be everything we hoped for and more.  Not only did we have an extra bedroom and more space, we also got a quiet street and friendly neighbors.  The walk out basement bedroom provided a place for our son to practice his drums.  The quiet street was perfect for letting the kids play out front for a change.  And it was fun to walk the kids to school each day, encountering their neighborhood friends and classmates along the way.  At Halloween the streets are filled with school aged children and their parents out collecting candy from the many neighbors who participate in the festivities.  Particularly, we have had a blast trick-or-treating on Pleasant Hill, Stony Hill, and Country Club Dr.  We also love passing out lots and lots of candy!

After we’ve indulged in way too much Halloween candy, we can walk it all off while soaking in the beautiful vista of the neighborhood.  I start on Bret Heart and head straight up toward the Shinnyo-en Buddhist temple.  I make a loop around one of the neighboring streets and back down.  Or I head down the hill to Farm Hill Blvd. where I cut through Stulsaft Park and down to Fernside.  Then back up the hill toward home. The hills provide a great cardio workout without the need to run, and help tone your muscles.  No gym required!

Farm Hills Estates is a fantastic Redwood City neighborhood.  One of my favorites and among the City’s most sought after.  It is due to the quietness, friendly neighbors, and walkable streets with sidewalks.  It’s also very close to Hwy. 280 and just a 10 minute drive to downtown and all it has to offer.  Property values are good here, especially if they fall into the Roy Cloud Elementary school boundary.  From oldest to youngest, we have been very happy here. It is a great place to live!

The Redwood City Week in Real Estate


Home closings were up last week in Redwood City.  20 home-buyers closed escrow last week, and the trend of above list price offers predominated the sales.  While 5 homes closed at asking price, and 4 closed below, 11 homes received offers well above their listing price.  The average number of Days on Market (DOM) was 24, pushed up by a couple of homes that had been on the market for over 100 days.  The average price per square foot was $803.00, which is slightly lower than last week. There were 18 new active listing to come on last week, 1 of which was is in Redwood Shores, and 7 in the Dumbarton neighborhood of Redwood City.  This neighborhood has become popular with buyers due to its relative affordability and proximity to high tech employers and transportation.

While still an active market, the month of June presented an increased opportunity for home buyers to pick up a property while there was less demand due to the increased travel the month on June brings.

The Numbers – data for the week ending June 28, 2015


Where they sold


New Active


What went Pending


If you are ready to begin your home search, or have any questions about our local real estate market, give me a call or email: (650) 283-5464 or email makeda@kw.com

The Redwood City Week in Real Estate


The real estate market in Redwood City was a buzz last week with 15 homes closing escrow, and all but three above the listing price. In our current sellers’ market it’s still unusual for homes to sell under asking price, but of those that did one was sold off market, and the others had Days On Market that were higher than the average.  The average Days On Market last week was 13 and 1 home in Farm Hills Estates sold immediately with a preemptive offer that was well above asking price. Price per square foot was $866.00 and tied to location or size of lot.  The better the location and or the larger the lot, the more buyers were willing to pay per foot.

Data for the week ending June 20, 2015


Last Week’s Sold Homes


Here is where the homes sold.


There were 20 new listings last week.  Many lovely homes which buyers could really be excited about.  My favorite from tour last week was the home at 527 Myrtle.

New Listings from last week.  There was one new listing that also went pending in only 2 days, and two that sold in 0 days on market.


Last week’s Pending homes


To find out the value of your home or to start your home search visit http://www.makedanueckel.com, or email when you’re ready makeda@kw.com

The Redwood City Week in Real Estate


The number of new active listings dipped this week from last.  There were 14 homes (including town homes and condos) that came on the market in the last seven days, compared to 21 new listings the week before.  Activity was brisk in terms of accepted offers, as 20 listings went pending, yet only one home closed escrow last week, signifying transfer of ownership.

While out on brokers’ tour last Tuesday to preview the new listings I saw a wide range of homes for sale here in Redwood City.  From a fixer upper on a very large lot, to a beautifully updated and move in ready home in Farm Hills Estates, to a secluded yet well located cabin in Emerald Hills.  There was something to suite every buyer’s wish list.  And while new listings were down last week, it is expected to pick up before summer is over, as home inspectors are reporting that they are booked and very busy.

If you’d like to tour homes with me, or learn more about the local real estate market in Redwood City, just give me a call or shoot me an email.  I would love to be of service.




Pending Sales for the week ending 6/14/15


List of Last Week’s Pending Sales


Last Week’s New Listings


The Redwood City Real Estate Blog


The local housing market like the weather last week, began to heat up.  There were 21 new listings of single family homes and townhouses/condos to come onto the market, compared to a mere 8 new listings last week. Activity remained brisk while inventory was low. 11 homes went under contract last week, selling with an average of 11 days on the market.

While the average price per square foot was $771, a cozy home in Woodside Plaza located at 1808 Anamor, sold for a remarkable $1,204 per square foot.  Listed at $889,000, with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, and 920 square feet, it sold for $219,000 above asking price.  Proof that a great location plus a large flat lot is valuable in the eyes of the buyer, who looks for location and potential not just size.

Last Week’s Sales


Last Week’s New Listings


Last Week’s Pending Sales


Where they sold


To start your home search visit http://www.makedanueckel.com or email me when you’re ready: makeda@kw.com

The Redwood City Week in Real Estate


It was another busy week for Redwood City real estate, as the few available homes for sell sold quickly and for top dollar.  Last week, the number of new listings declined again for the third week in a row.  Only 13 new homes came on the market, while 14 homes went pending sale.  The number of homes to close escrow was 14, and they mostly sold quickly, with an average of 10 days on the market. This was good news for sellers who continue to capitalize on the booming local economy and demand for housing. All of the homes that sold last week received offers above list price. The average percentage above list price was 14%, and the average price per square foot was $806.

The Numbers


Last Week’s New Listings


Last Week’s Pending


Where they Sold


To begin your home search visit http://www.makedanueckel.com

Music on the Square Concert Series Kick-off

musiconthesquarelogoThe Redwood City Music on the Square concert series will kick off on Friday, May 29.  The free music series runs Fridays May 29 through September 4, 2015, from 6-8 PM, and they are one of the special events that make Redwood City such an exciting place to live.  The series features a variety of bands from an array of musical genres.  Many residents and those from surrounding communities enjoy bringing a picnic dinner and drinks to enjoy and share with family and friends.  Some seating is available, but it is a good idea to pack a folding chair, and to arrive early.  Another way to get in on the fun is to dine at one of the many nearby restaurants before heading to the square to enjoy the concert.  But plan ahead by scoping out your spot ahead of time or dining early enough to allow you the opportunity to have a seat if desired.

Get the full list of bands here: http://www.redwoodcity.org/events/musiconthesquare.html#.VWEw4E9Viko.

The Redwood City Week in Real Estate

Sales activity in the Redwood City real estate market continues to be constrained due to tight housing supplies.  In fact, last week there were only 16 new single family homes to come on to the market. Compare that to the week before which had 19 new listings. 13 homes closed escrow in the last 7 days, and 11 homes went under contract.  With demand so high and supply low, it is no surprise that homes are selling like hot cakes.  The highest days on market recorded for the week was 24 DOM, while the average was just 11 days.

The average price per square foot was $863.00, yet some buyers were willing to pay more.  This was evidenced in the sale of a 2 bedroom 1 bath home with 830 square feet, which sold for $1,050,000 or $1,265 per square foot. The final sales price represents an offer of $251,000 above the list price.  This cozy home was located in the Central Park neighborhood of Redwood City.