15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by jaygem

Touring the Parks of Foster City

Columnist Damian Morris spends his Sunday enjoying our urban beauty.

Touring the Parks of Foster City Touring the Parks of Foster City Touring the Parks of Foster City Touring the Parks of Foster City

In Foster City, we are blessed with an abundance of public parks, from the large soccer and baseball venues of Sea Cloud to the hidden neighborhood gems. I decided to take a tour of them, starting at those within walking distance from my home.

A two-minute amble on Sunday morning found me at Turnstone, which my daughter used to refer to as the "secret park" when she was younger. My wife and I have brought the kids there dozens of time over the years so they could run around and wear themselves out. Even now, though they are young adults, I encourage them to go run around there so I can have some peace and quiet at home. When I arrived during this visit, the basketball court and play structure were abandoned so I headed over to Gull Park.

Gull Park is one of the more popular places in Neighborhood Number Two. "Neighborhood Number Two" has a homey ring to it, doesn't it? Although there were only a couple dog walkers there on this day, you can often find a soccer practice, BBQ or an impromptu get together happening there. Gull Park is also a great place to catch the July 4th fireworks without having to face the crowds at Leo J. Ryan Park.

On the weekends, you'll often be able to spot a bounce house set up at Gull for a kid's birthday. This brought to mind the difference in birthday parties today and in my youth. Back in my day - does that make me sound ancient? - mini amusement parks created for a kid's birthday were unheard of. The luckiest of my friends might get a clown to show up for a half hour. I usually got a Twinkie with a candle stuck in it. I think these childhood experiences have contributed greatly to my snarky nature. But I digress.

There was not much action to write about on this day. An overcast Sunday morning is not an optimal time for activity. Perhaps I should have planned my visits better. Clearly my judgment is suspect. I think that is how I ended up with three kids and a mortgage. As I rose to move on, a new couple holding hands and lone dog walker entered the park. This is not exactly a news flash, so I went home for a brief pit stop.

My last destination for this day was Shad Park. Although this month marks my 17th year in Foster City, I had never set foot in Shad previously and actually never knew the name of it it until I asked my friend CB when I ran into her on my way home.

As I entered Shad, the couple I saw at Gull were on their way out. I found myself alone with my thoughts, which you can probably imagine is not a particularly comforting place to be. Shad reminded me a bit of Turnstone. It had a hoops court and jungle gym and definitely fit the definition, at least on my inaugural visit, of a "secret park." I took a few notes and then gave some thought to my next destination, which will be featured in an upcoming column.

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