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downtown san mateo

Attendees at Taste and Talk Forum raise hands to ask questions
Community Development, Downtown

The Update to the Downtown Specific Plan is Underway

Participate in an online survey to share your ideas and get involved in the planning process

Downtown Plan LogoSustainable streets, access to transit, bike and pedestrian amenities, housing and jobs, diversity of retail opportunities, and inviting public spaces. What does Downtown San Mateo mean to you? The update of the Downtown Specific Plan will engage the community in a lively dialogue to address many of these topics and identify a framework that will shape the future vision of our downtown.

The community kick-off meeting took place on Monday, January 23rd and the first Taste and Talk Forum, focusing on the ingredients that make a great downtown, was held on Wednesday, February 8th. Both meetings were well attended (approx. 90-100 attendees) and show that the community has a strong interest in the future of Downtown San Mateo.

The kick-off meeting introduced the planning process and provided opportunities for community members to comment and share ideas on their vision for downtown. Attendees rotated through four stations where they were asked to: 1) Prioritize opportunities /enhancements for downtown, 2) Make suggestions about the elements currently missing from downtown, 3) Identify their mode of getting to, from and around downtown, and 4) Recorded interviews, at the final station, provided an opportunity for attendees to share their stories, ideas and most enthusiastic wishes for downtown. Watch the video on the city’s YouTube channel to hear what people are saying.

The Taste and Talk Forum featured a panel of planning and economic development professionals who shared ideas on the

components for creating a vibrant downtown. Their collective experience provided a wealth of ideas to consider for San Mateo’s downtown including an active public realm, access to transit, balancing housing and office near transit, focusing on ground floor activity, and encouraging opportunities for events and entertainment. These and other factors are ingredients that help to create a downtown destination for all.

Join the Discussion

The San Mateo community is encouraged to join the discussion and share your ideas about the future of our downtown! Think and envision what you would like to see in Downtown 20 or 30 years from now!
There are multiple ways to participate:

  1. Come to a community event! The next one is on Monday, March 29th at 6 pm San Mateo Main Library (Oak Room).
  2. Visit the project website www.engagedowntownsanmateo.org to learn more, find out about upcoming events, check out summaries & videos of past events, and other resources related to this community planning effort.
  3. Take the survey on the city’s online engagement platform, Speak Up San Mateo, available on the city’s website. The survey will guide you through exercises similar to the station exercises at the January 23rd community kick-off event. The survey is available through March 22nd.
  4. If you have questions, reach out to project staff by emailing downtownplan@cityofsanmateo.org.
Community

San Mateo holiday ideas keep everyone entertained

Keep spirits shining bright with these local, San Mateo holiday ideas.

Have you ever looked at San Mateo through the lens of a visitor or young child? Think about our community from their perspective. You may see that San Mateo offers many incredible amenities that provide the right amount of entertainment for family and friends visiting this holiday season. If you are home for the holidays, here are some unique San Mateo holiday ideas that will keep antsy kids and visiting relatives entertained.

Outdoor Fun

San Mateo Bike Share

Get some fresh air and go for a bike ride. San Mateo’s bike share program is easy to use and a great way to get around town.

Go outside and play! San Mateo has more than 30 parks, an 18-hole golf course, and an accessible bike share program. Explore the Bay Trail at Shoreline Park, climb to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain, or enjoy San Mateo on Ice located at Central Park. Fresh air and exercise will keep your holiday spirit shining bright!

Downtown Walking Tours

While there is no official walking tour of Downtown San Mateo, there is an abundance of architecture dating back from the city’s incorporation in 1894 to the 1930’s. For the best representation of historic architecture, walk through the northern portion of Downtown between B Street and Tilton Avenue and along Third, Second, and Ellsworth Avenues. Peppered throughout the architectural landscape of the downtown are murals and other forms of street art. The most recent, “Good Life,” featuring significant symbols of San Mateo, was completed earlier this month. You’ll find it at the Downtown Caltrain Station. Watch this video to learn more about muralist, Brian Barneclo and the creation of “Good Life.”

San Mateo Best Food

Who doesn’t like to eat? San Mateo’s vibrant food and dining scene is the perfect way to entertain out of town guests. With 350 restaurants and food specialty stores, there are plenty of options that will satisfy the pickiest eater to the most adventurous and everyone in between. Download the Downtown San Mateo restaurant guide, and explore San Mateo’s diverse dining options at www.sanmateobestfood.com.

Shop ’til you drop

Friends Shopping

Everything is on sale after the holidays. Grab your friends and discover the best local deals.

Resisting holiday sales is hard! Grab your friends and enjoy a day exploring San Mateo’s local shopping districts and regional centers. Each one offers a different experience. Enjoy smaller boutiques in Downtown San Mateo and national retailers and department stores at Hillsdale Shopping Center. Early birds will likely find great deals at the discount and big-box retailers located at Bridgepoint, while 25th Avenue features a handful of mom and pop stores that are unique to San Mateo.

Over the holidays, take the time to share your favorite things about living in or around San Mateo. Your guests will enjoy your local perspective, and the variety of activities offered throughout our community.

Halloween Hunt Downtown San Mateo

Halloween Hunt Downtown San Mateo

This FREE, fun family event invites you to discover unique shops and restaurants while trick-or-treating through the downtown. Children will receive a Halloween hunt game card and a goodie bag for treats. Find the Halloween image in the windows of participating shops, then just go in and say hello to the merchant to get your treat!  Game cards will be available at Scandinavian Designs at 317 S. B Street beginning at 1:00 PM. Participating kids and families can enjoy the hunt at their own pace.  Costumes are encouraged! Don’t miss the fun – NO RSVP needed. For more information, please visit the Downtown San Mateo Association.

San Mateo Chili Cook-Off
Community Events

CORRECTION: Weekly August Event Round Up

Apologies, dear readers! The wrong date was provided for the  San Mateo Chili Cook-off sponsored by the San Mateo’s Firefighters Association. It is taking place on Saturday, August 27th. The corrected information is below. Thank you!

We’re reaching the end of August; school is starting back up and different routines need to be established. But that doesn’t mean you have to skip all the great events happening around San Mateo! Read on for the weekly August event round up.

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San Mateo Chili Cook-Off!

On Saturday, August 27th from 11:00am – 5:00pm in Central Park, the San Mateo Firefighter’s Association is hosting a chili cook off! It’s $10 to enter at the gate and that gets you a tasting of all the chili, a bowl of your favorite chili and one beer or wine. All proceeds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Go and enjoy a day of live music, beer, wine, and more chili than you could ever imagine!

Don’t forget to register forJuly in San Mateo the Citywide Yard Sale!

Back by popular demand, the Citywide Yard Sale will be happening again on August 27th. Registration is now open if you want to host your own yard sale or maybe partner up with neighbors or local organizations. This is a great community event you won’t want to miss — register today! Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to YardSale@cityofsanmateo.org.

Central Park Music Series: Club 90 — Party

LAST ONE! Come get your dose of FREE live music at the weekly Central Park Music Series. This week,  Club 90, a high-energy, choreographed dance party show, will feature the pop hits from the 1960’s to today’s Top 40 and July in San MateoDance Music.  From Nirvana to Whitney Houston, from the Temptations to the Black Eyed Peas, from Daft Punk to Robin Thicke. Club 90 is a top choice for audiences of all ages.  Dressed in hip, urban street wear, Club 90 consists of seven accomplished performers, including three vocalists, keyboardist, electric bassist, guitarist, and drummer. Come listen and enjoy with friends and family while munching on food from the vendors there. Come check out the last free concert in Central Park for the season!! More information here: http://www.sanmateoinsider.org/event/central-park-music-series-club-90-party/

25th Avenue Farmers’ Market

July in San MateoRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, August 23: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403; https://www.facebook.com/25thAveFarmersMarket/

New Mural on Tilton Avenue
Community Development

New Mural on Tilton Avenue in Downtown San Mateo

Local artist Todd Lanam recently completed a stunning new mural on Tilton Avenue at North B Street. The new artwork, entitled “The Beach Back Home” reflects the Pacific island roots of many San Mateo residents. The neighborhood welcomed the mural as another positive addition to the busy North B Street block. This area of downtown is home to numerous authentic Hispanic restaurants, shops, and markets.

New Mural on Tilton Avenue

Beach Back Home

The Prasad family, who own the building and operate Neelam Islanders Market there, wanted to help beautify the neighborhood. They made contact with the Downtown San Mateo Association, which had sponsored several downtown art installations in 2013-14. The DSMA coordinated the new mural, managing the project logistics and arranging funding from Downtown San Mateo Arts.

Todd Lanam is a San Mateo native and a fine artist with a growing reputation.  Todd attended Aragon High School, then went on to study at the College of the Arts in San Francisco, and San Francisco State University.  His work has been shown at Mark Wolfe Gallery in San Francisco, and at major art fairs in New York and Miami.

New Mural on Tilton Avenue

Beach Back Home credits

Todd was very excited to complete this mural painting here in his hometown of San Mateo. The project enabled Todd to share his art in a unique setting, and create an opportunity for discovery and delight for Downtown residents and visitors.

All photos by Patrick Beaudouin.

Story by Ann Fienman, Executive Director of the DSMA.

 

Wine Walk 2015
Community Events

Welcome August with San Mateo Events

Summer is flying by and now that August is here, thoughts of back-to-school shopping seem to be trickling back to the forefront of everyone’s mind. But summer isn’t over yet! Check out these upcoming San Mateo events to keep the energy of summertime going.

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Downtown San Mateo Wine Walk

Enjoy an afternoon in Downtown San Mateo at this long-running event. On Saturday September 10 from 2:00pm-6:00pm, downtown Wine Walk_47merchants open their shops as Tasting Rooms so you can discover and experience Downtown San Mateo! Participating businesses partner with local restaurants or provide light bites to nibble while you taste the wine.  Music, prizes and a lively atmosphere are all part of the experience at Wine Walk. The Wine Walk ends just in time for dinner, so you can enjoy San Mateo’s well-known restaurant scene and make the most of your time downtown. (Check out the San Mateo Best Food blog for suggestions!)

Tickets are available at the advance purchase rate of $36 through September 9. Day-of-event ticket price is $40. Don’t miss out on this popular event – get your tickets now and save a few bucks! The Wine Walk goes on rain or shine. Get your tickets here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-san-mateo-wine-walk-tickets-25548225430

Summer Health Fair

sanmateo chamber of cThis Saturday, August 6th from 11:00am-2:00pm, the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their first health fair! Head on over to the Miller Ream Room at the San Mateo Chamber (1700 South El Camino Real) to experience a fair that will change your views about health and wellness. At the fair you’ll be able to exercise with yoga, strength training and movement experts, ask health professionals your burning questions, and there will be raffles every 30 minutes!July in San Mateo

Don’t forget to register for the Citywide Yard Sale!

Back by popular demand, the Citywide Yard Sale will be happening again on August 27th. Registration is now open if you want to host your own yard sale or maybe partner up with neighbors or local organizations. This is a great community event you won’t want to miss — register today! Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to YardSale@cityofsanmateo.org.

Central Park Music Series: Mersey Beach — 60’s Tribute

July in San MateoCome get your dose of FREE live music at the weekly Central Park Music Series. This week, Mersey Beach plays the music of the 1960s British Invasion: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, The Who, The Animals, and many more. Hailing from such musical stalwarts as The Rubinoos, The Buzztones, and Big Bang Beat, these five music veterans have thrilled audiences throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for over 25 years. Come listen and enjoy with friends and family while munching on food from the vendors there. This is a weekly event, every Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm through August 18th. Come check it out! More information here: http://www.sanmateoinsider.org/event/central-park-music-series-mersey-beach-60s-tribute/

25th Avenue Farmers’ Market

July in San MateoRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, August 9: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403; https://www.facebook.com/25thAveFarmersMarket/

Community

“Little Free Libraries” Garner Community Support

Whether it’s to express a love of literature, create a platform for a book exchange, or make a more eclectic range of books accessible to the community, Little Free Libraries are popping up all over San Mateo County. From an Eagle Scout Service Project in Burlingame to a Mother’s Day gift in San Carlos, there are many different inspirations behind the quaint literary structures. Hayward Park’s Megan Gosch recently welcomed a Little Free Library to her front lawn on Palm Avenue, hoping to promote a greater sense of community, and to honor her late mother — who was a great proponent of literacy.

Gosch had been exploring ways to commemorate her mother Carolyn Eriksson-Ey since her passing in 2015, when she noticed a post on Nextdoor requesting a space to host a Little Free Library. “I had been thinking about hosting a library for quite a while, but hadn’t looked into it,” she said. And in May 2016, Gosch saw the post by Michelle Pizzo, who also lives in the Hayward Park neighborhood. “The timing was serendipitous,” she said.” It made me super excited and I immediately sent a response.”

1libraryGosch recalls her mother’s love for literature and the impact she had on the community through volunteering as a literacy tutor at Park Elementary School in San Mateo. “She instilled such a deep love of reading in me, as well as in her grandchildren,” Gosch said. “We hope to grow that in other children too. It just warms my heart to see the library every day, along with kids and adults alike taking or leaving books.”

Pizzo was inspired to order the Little Free Library when she first saw one at the Peninsula Family YMCA. “I thought it was such a cute idea to help our community and an easy way to promote literacy and education,” she said. “I felt like the Little Free Library was a small way I could make a positive difference in our area.” All she needed was the perfect place to plant it.

Pizzo and Gosch joined forces, and brought their families, on Memorial Day weekend to set up the library at 1108 Palm Avenue and dedicated it to Eriksson-Ey. The library has since received some thoughtful contributions, from self-help books like, He’s Just Not That into You to classics like Forrest Gump — some containing notes from the previous owners. It has also received a lot of enthusiasm from the neighborhood. “On my way to drop off some books, I started chatting to an elderly lady who was perusing the options,” Pizzo said. “She mentioned how convenient it is to walk the few blocks to the Little Free Library, especially since the downtown one is too far for her now.”

“We’ve received outstanding support,” Gosch said. “Everyone stops and looks and smiles at the library. If we’re outside, they say thank you for hosting it.”

The Little Free Library movement began in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009, when Todd Bol built a prototype in the style of a schoolhouse and placed it in his front yard, as a tribute to his mother. It has since gained international momentum and 40,000 unique, tailor-built libraries can now be found across the world. To find out more about hosting a Little Free Library, or locate one near you, visit https://littlefreelibrary.org/. To follow Hayward Park’s Little Free Library on Facebook, visit https://www.facebook.com/littlefreelibrarySM/

Story by Carla Wells.

Citywide Yard Sale
Community Events

The Citywide Yard Sale is Back!

Back by popular demand! On Saturday, August 27th, the Citywide Yard Sale is returning to San Mateo. This is a wonderful way to build community relationships while also doing some end-of-summer cleaning and downsizing. Make your neighborhood safer by getting to know who lives around you, and practice sustainability by reducing, reusing, recycling, and reselling. Anyone who lives in the City of San Mateo can register for free by Friday, August 26th.

“The Citywide Yard Sale brings neighbors together to reuse and recycle the items they no longer need while providing an opportunity to form friendships and create a well-connected community,” said Donna Divodi, San Mateo Volunteer Coordinator. One of Divodi’s favorite things about this event is the neighborhood ties and connections that it makes. You get to know people living in your neighborhood and start watching out for one another, making your neighborhood safer. “When these connections form, residents look out for one another and pay attention to what’s happening next door, on their block and throughout their neighborhood,” Divodi said.

The website for the Yard Sale is incredibly easy and very helpful for everyone who may need it. You can register there and find all the information, tips, and ideas you may need to have a great sale. There is also an interactive map where you can see all of the sales in the city; this map will route you to the sales from wherever you are. The map also includes pictures of the items themselves. If you’re looking for a certain item, this map makes it easy to search for specific items in different sales. The search can also separate by single-sales and multifamily-sales.

citywide yardsaleWhen you register, you’re able to upload up to three pictures; pictures usually feature unique items in your sale. These are the photos that will show up on the map under your listing. This map function is the most helpful resource if you’re a shopper or bargain hunter.

If you want to participate in the Yard Sale but don’t have enough to fill up your yard, team up with neighbors and register as a multifamily-sale. This type of sale is a favorite of bargain-hunters, and you’re bound to get patrons to peruse your items. Live in an apartment, condo, or another type of home where you don’t have a yard? Ask your HOA or landlord if you’re able to sell in front of your building. If your HOA or landlord does not allow this, call a friend in the City and team up to have a multifamily-sale. This Yard Sale is as much a neighborhood fun-raiser as it is a fundraiser for you or possibly a local organization of your choice.

This is the second year the Citywide Yard Sale will happen with the helpful interactive map. Before last year, the Citywide Yard Sale had not been held for about a decade due to logistical issues. The technology available today makes this Citywide Yard Sale easier to organize and more fun for residents!

“The Yard Sale will provide a fun, interactive way to build community and establish the neighborly relationships that make San Mateo a safe, vibrant place to live and raise a family,” said Divodi. This is a great event for both sellers and buyers alike; get rid of some items that have been piling up in your home, or go out and find that gem you’ve been looking for at a great price.

On the day of the Citywide Yard Sale, join us by sharing “Photos of the Day” and unique treasures you’ve found along the way on social media by using the hashtag #SanMateoCitywideYardSale! We will share and retweet your posts to get everyone involved. For any questions, comments, or concerns, please email yardsale@cityofsanmateo.org.

 

Community Events

Event Round Up: End of July in San Mateo

July is quickly wrapping up and summer seems to be speeding up. San Mateo still has plenty going on through the end of July to keep you and your family busy through these warm months with free concerts, farmers markets, and so much more.

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National Night Out

National Night Out is an annual nationwide event designed to raise crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and unity, and develop partnerships between the City and the community on the “block level.” Strengthen your community by knowing your neighbors, watching out for each other, and working together for a safe community.  This SMPDevent is open to all residents and blocks in the City of San Mateo.

The deadline to register for this Tuesday, August 2nd event, held from 6:00pm-9:00pm, is this Friday, July 29th; click here for more information.

July in San Mateo

Don’t forget to register for the Citywide Yard Sale!

Back by popular demand, the citywide yard sale will be happening again on August 27th. Registration is now open if you want to host your own yard sale or maybe partner up with neighbors or local organizations. This is a great community event you won’t want to miss — register today! Any questions, comments, or concerns can be directed to YardSale@cityofsanmateo.org.

 

Central Park Music Series: Pop Fiction – Party

July in San MateoCome get your dose of FREE live music at the weekly Central Park Music Series. This week, Pop Fiction an 8-piece party band featuring unsurpassed talent, versatility, energy, and style- both musically and visually, will play flawless renditions of the greatest 70’s disco hits from Donna Summer, The Bee Gees, and KC and the Sunshine Band, 80’s classics from Depeche Mode, The B52s, and Madonna, fist-shaking rock sing-alongs from AC/DC, Journey, Bon Jovi, and Def Leppard, and the most current pop and hip hop hits from artists like Beyonce, The Black-Eyed Peas, Usher, and Rihanna. Come listen and enjoy with friends and family while munching on food from the vendors there. This is a weekly event, every Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm through August 18th. Come check it out! More information here: http://www.sanmateoinsider.org/event/central-park-music-series-pop-fiction-party/

25th Avenue Farmers’ Market

July in San MateoRuns May through September, rain or shine, every Tuesday from 4:00pm-7:30pm. Offering fresh Californian grown fruits, vegetables, and fresh-cut flowers from several area farms, as well as baked goods, hot foods, and other high quality local products, accompanied by live music and other events throughout the season, this is something you don’t want to miss! Tuesday, August 2: 4:00pm-7:30pm; Hacienda St. at W 25th Ave, San Mateo, CA 94403; https://www.facebook.com/25thAveFarmersMarket/

Art in Public Places
Community Development

San Mateo’s “Art in Public Places” Program

If you frequent San Mateo you’ve probably seen some of the beautiful and creative art pieces that are on display throughout the town. From Synthesis in front of 2000 Delaware to the El Camino Mural in front of Peninsula Station, these displays of art are becoming more prevalent throughout the community thanks to the Art in Public Places program.

Art in Public Places

Synthesis in front of 2000 Delaware

This program was established in 2005 by an ordinance passed by City Council  in order to “promote the general welfare through balancing the community’s physical growth and revitalization and its cultural and artistic resources.” The Civic Arts Committee maintains this program and calls for a 0.5% building permit fee to be used directly by the developers to commission and install their own art in publicly accessible places within projects that are valued at or greater than $3 million, or to provide the City the required in-lieu fee that then is reserved for City acquisition, installation and maintenance of public art. The program and ordinance applies to all new developments, whether it be residential, commercial, or retail.

As of April 2016, the total obligation to public art exceeds $2.8 million through this program.  That includes both $1.8 million directly through the ordinance and the $1 million of public art support from the Bay Meadows development agreement.

Developers must select the artists and submit a proposal to the committee. The Committee then decides on the proposal based on established guidelines. Heather Stewart, Senior Management Analyst for Community Development, said that the “committee works hard to make sure the art is accessible” to the community. One requirement for the public art is that it is accessible and interactive for the community. For example, the San Mateo Bridge sculpture in Landing Green Park is a series of steel structures so that when you walk around it you can appreciate the sculpture from a wide variety of different angles.

Art in Public Places

San Mateo Bridge sculpture in Landing Green Park

The purpose of the program is to involve the community in the development process so they can enjoy it more. Although not all artists are local — plenty are from all over the world — there are several who go back to Bay Area, or even San Mateo, roots, like the aforementioned San Mateo Bridge sculpture by Chuck Ginnever. Stewart said that this program isn’t unique to San Mateo and that it’s a “movement through municipalities.” Throughout the Bay Area cities and towns are enacting public art programs as “one way to bring art and culture to the community,” Stewart said.

The newest public art display that is a part of this program will be unveiled later this year. The “Mirror Labyrinth NY – for California” will be front and center in the Town Square of Bay Meadows. This sculpture is a large scale steel and aluminum sculpture that will reflect all of the lighting from surrounding businesses and homes making it a delight to see a night. During the day, kids will love wandering through the small paths created by the structure.

Art in Public Places

El Camino Real mural in front of Peninsula Station

Stewart thinks this piece of art will be a big hit, as most of the other art pieces around town have been well-received by San Mateo residents. Stewart said that “…there has been an appreciation for what has been installed so far,” and with new developments always in the works, the program is bound to be incredibly successful.