A charter member of the MLS, the San Jose Earthquakes played their first four seasons as the Clash before claiming the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Though the team moved to Houston in '05, the franchise was reinstated in '08, bringing professional soccer back to the Bay Area. Buck Shaw Stadium serves as the team's current home, though a new stadium will shoot skyward in 2014, complete with luxury suites for fans and exhausted referees alike.
The Stanford cardinal-and-white have a drenched palette of historic excellence, and this year's football team maintains that level of general awesomeness. Led by coaching mastermind Jim Harbaugh and Heisman trophy candidate Andrew Luck at quarterback, Stanford is currently ranked in the top 20 by the AP Poll, standing in prime position to challenge opponents for Pac-10 supremacy and beyond for a bowl bid. Strap on your helmet and second-favorite chinstrap to cheer on the fourth most electrifying offense in America as you bask in the sunny goal line section at beautiful Stanford Stadium. Join the Cardinal for their homecoming game against Washington State, a special time when former residents, alumni, and secret societies secretly return for a nostalgic weekend of gridiron goodness and campus-wide celebration.
Originally founded in 1970 to give high-school and college students a chance to hone their onstage skills, TheatreWorks dedicated itself early on to promoting new work that grappled with America's changing social landscape. Exploring the experiences of ethnic and cultural minorities, the group built a following throughout the subsequent decades, growing to its present size of 41 permanent staffers, an annual budget of $7 million, and 8,000 subscribers. Its New Works Initiative continues to seek out up-and-coming voices from around the country, helping new playwrights find their footing and prompting embittered older writers to test new pseudonyms.
Though the Lumière brothers and Thomas Edison are often credited with groundbreaking discoveries that paved the way for modern cinema, history sometimes leaves out a key player: photographer Eadweard Muybridge. Commissioned to find out whether horses lifted all four legs off the ground while galloping, Muybridge invented a device called the zoopraxiscope to display his photographed findings. His first zoopraxiscope screening was held in Palo Alto in 1879, making the city the birthplace of film.
To honor Muybridge’s work, as well as the technological innovations bubbling throughout Silicon Valley, the Palo Alto International Film Festival was born in 2011. It focuses not only on new technology, but on breakthroughs in artistic expression, screening a collection of films from around the world. They range from major Hollywood releases, such as 2012’s Looper, to independent works, such as George Lucas’s home videos of himself practicing light-saber moves in his garage. Outside the theater, visitors can mingle at an array of talks, film workshops, and parties.
In Focus: CineArts at Palo Alto Square
Number of screens: 2
Movies that are shown: a selection of indie and unusual films
Refreshments: There’s an in-lobby café with snacks that you can take to your seat or the nest you’ve built in the theater’s ceiling.
Other perks: reserved seating
Help available for hearing-impaired guests: closed captioning, neck loops, and listening devices
Help available for vision-impaired guests: descriptive narration devices
Inside tip: Early-bird pricing is available for the first matinees on certain days.
By the Numbers: Aquarius Theatre
1969—the year it was built
1985—the year it was purchased by Landmark Theatres
2 specialties: independent and foreign language cinema
2 Hollywood heavyweights who showed their first pictures here: Director Francis Ford Coppola and Cinematographer Haskell Wexler
2 screens equipped with DLP Digital Projection and Sound
2 separate houses united by an underwater theme
1 primary color covering most of the street-facing facade: blue
430 Emerson Street
1 block from Stanford University