Sunday, July 27, 2014

San Jose Public Library

I have been to San Jose Public Library's Alviso Branch Library many times. The library is located at a quiet place at the north end of North 1st Street. You can simply walk in and read any book you like. And if you want to borrow books home, you can get a library card immediately with a photo ID. It is a small library and most of its books are for children and teenagers, but it turns out that the teen books are just the right level for me - neither too difficult nor too easy.

Alviso Branch is just one of the more than 20 branches of San Jose Public Library. It is great to have many branches since parents can easily find a close one for their children. Today (Jul. 26), for the first time, I visited the main library - King Library.
The library has eight floors

and lots of books and computers.

Besides books and computers, there are group study rooms available which you can reserve for free.
Beethoven Center is at the 5th floor.
Lots of his manuscripts and advertisement for his show.
These panios are from beethoven's era. They have different keyboard from today's piano.
Everyday, lots of events are on-going in the library. Many of them are offered by volunteers, and you can get the list of them from their website. As an interesting example, there is a mini-concert on Tuesday demonstrating the differences between classic pianos and mordern pianos.
I wish someday in China, even in medium and small cities, there will be public libraries avaliable, with lots of people learning from the library, and contributing to the library.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Biking in Bay Area

One of the cool things to do in Bay Area is biking. The nice weather and bicycle-friendly road system make it a wonderful sport here.

Many roads here have designated bike lanes. Beyond that, there are lots of bike trails, which only bicycles and pedestrians are allowed to enter.

The first time I rode on a bike trail, I was surprised by how professional it is. Not only has it yellow lines to mark opposing sides of the trail, but it also has solid and dotted yellow lines, lots of signs, just as roads for vehicles!
In fact, just as driving a vehicle, there are detailed rules for biking too, including hand signals, special rules for biking at night, etc.

Even with nice weather and bicycle-friendly road system, biking could be boring if the trails are around tall buildings, or crowded communities. Fortunately, that is not true here. Lots of trails are along rivers, coasts, around and inside parks. So there are lots of scenic views you can see.

Just as an example, the Bay Trail is one of my favourite trails. I took these photos last weekend with my old iPhone 4 when biking.

My plan right now is to ride every weekend, and to visit as many trails as I can!