I didn’t even realize it was 9/11 until about halfway through the day today. I was feeling kind of crummy anyway, so I decided I needed to go for a walk and maybe take myself to lunch to cheer up a little.
Even my sunflowers seemed to be bowing their heads to mark the day.
First stop, Nana’s Soup House, a popular neighborhood soup/sandwich joint that draws folks of all ages, has decent food, and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We used to go there more often when our kid was smaller, she loved the grilled cheese and always had a smile on her face when we left. We hadn’t been there in a while, and I was shocked to see that the place is closed and is moving across town to Fremont. That brings our walkability score down a notch, unless something else useful goes into that space.
Bummed and hungry, I decided to walk on, hoping to visit and photograph a favorite parking strip garden I hadn’t passed by in a while, since my daughter outgrew her stroller and we stopped heading that way on our walks. The owners had sold it a few years ago, and I was hoping to find that the new folks had decided to care well for the established and wonderful garden, which had been designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat. To my great sadness, here is what I found:
The perfectly charming 40’s house had been ripped down, along with most of the street garden, in order to build this totally-out-of-character-for-the-neighborhood monster:
What even IS that? A huge house? A condo development? A hospital annex?? It’s hard to see in the photo just how immense it is. I have nothing against modern architecture; it just seems like a huge waste of resources to rip down something functional to build something else that doesn’t even fit into the landscape. Not to mention all the plants they killed with the trucks, gravel, etc.
There used to be a huge stand of bamboo that ran halfway up the block. My daughter and I would stand next to it, listening to the lovely sound the wind made while rustling through, and thinking about pandas. Here’s all that’s left now, someone probably had a field day with their chainsaw:
One of the last things standing is this New Zealand Flax. It will probably be run over by a bulldozer next week.
The trumpet vine is still there too, I guess that one’s pretty hard to get rid of once you have it:
I felt physically sick when I saw the devastation. It was a big reminder, on this day of all days, that gardens are ephemeral, as is all of life, and we should enjoy what we can while we have the chance.