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Saturday, May 8, 2010


Another great day on Planet Earth. I had a small adventure jumping on Caltrain from San Francisco to Palo Alto. Seniors can qualify for an all day pass costing $6. The ride was comfortable. I've found a new way to get to Stanford University.

Half a century ago St. Michael's Alley was a favorite restaurant. Egg salad sandwich with a lettuce salad that featured a dressing I've been imagining all these years. Never liked that taste then, but I thought I would today. While that restaurant still exists a short walk from the Caltrain Palo Alto station, the owners have changed a few times and the menu is totally different. No memorable salad dressing.

Saturday brunch is very popular, with a swarm of people waiting outside the door. However, I managed to sneak into a bar seat and ordered a Salmon Benedict and Caesar Salad with a Kir Royale and Page Mill (name of the street a block away) Chardonnay.

The SM was unfortunately lukewarm to cool, but the whole experience was still memorable. Interestingly enough, three-fourths the clientele was Oriental. I guess this is Palo Alto today. I left at 1:45, serving was supposedly ending at 2PM, but there was still a waiting line outside.

I saw a wall of violet flowers on my way to Maples Pavilion to pick up my will call ticket for the Stanford-Penn State NCAA Men's Volleyball Championship. There is something about a campus like Stanford the day of a big game. The atmosphere was electric and students were everywhere.

During my eating club days, I lived in Toyon Hall, a block away. A block further was my freshman dormitory Wilbur. I went to say hi to both. Never before noticed this, but there is now a wing called Okada, an Asian-American theme house named after John Okada, author of No-No Boy. His bio shows no connection to Stanford. I'll need to look into this later. The University has become super ethnically sensitive since my days there. I also noticed a Chicano/Latino theme house in Stern Hall, and there is a prominent Black Community Services Center.

The reserved seats were sold out, but, it turned out that if you enter the auditorium when the door opens, your general admission seat can be at mid-court with a perfect view. The game was sold out.

The person who took my photo was sitting next to me. I still had an hour before the game started, so I decided to stroll over to the bookstore and purchased a couple of t-shirts. I've only done this a dozen times, but learned that all you need to tell the cashier is that you are a Stanford graduate, and qualify for a 10% discount. They didn't even ask for any affiliative identification. The obligatory HooTow (also known as Hoover Tower) shot returning to Maples:

Stanford, led by mostly Hawaii players, swept Penn State. Ironically, Stanford had to beat Hawaii last week to get to this championship game. The final point:

What a day!


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