Gates to nowhere in a sinking city
I am talking of Alviso, the little town that can be approached at from Hwy 237, at the southernmost edge of the San Francisco Bay. It had a glorious past and was all set to become an town of utmost importance. But that didn’t happen – train tracks were built to bypass the town. The building of Bayside Cannery – one of the top 5 canneries in US in its heyday - is still standing with murals depicting Alviso’s past and present.
With views as glorious and a neighborhood as quiet, you would think that the real estate prices would be skyrocketing. But Alviso is sinking, little by little. So, it has become a forgotten neighborhood where Bay Area locals come to get a glimpse of the past and enjoy the marshes. Don Edwards Wildlife Refuge leads tours of the Alviso marshes to explain this area’s ecology. They also have events like “Beginning Birdwatching” or “Beginning Bird Photography”.
This is indeed a great place to explore – the marshes, the train line, and the old forgotten town. Kayaking through the sloughs and lagoons is known to be very euphoric. Some years ago there used to be brown water kayaking tours in Guadalupe Slough but I haven’t seen this in recent years. Biking would be great too although not challenging. I used to have a colleague who biked 10 miles everyday on this flat landscape and followed it up with a Hershey’s chocolate bar. He kept gaining weight.
I wish I could say that this is a great place to picnic. It is not. It is a bit too cold most of the time. There is a local favorite – a Mexican restaurant that promises to be warmer at not much added cost. Be careful if feeding sea gulls. I once saw hundreds of them being fed by a solitary bird lover and that looked too similar for comfort to Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”.