Walnut Creek


Grocery Shopping during the Coronavirus Pandemic

When it comes to grocery shopping it’s basically impossible to maintain six feet social distancing orders. I’m glad Trader Joe’s in downtown Walnut Creek limited access to maintain space but even so I felt really uncomfortable as I browsed aisle after aisle so close to people trying to stock up on groceries. I wondered if they had the virus, and they no doubt furtively glanced at me thinking the same.

At Safeway the following day I decided to wear an N-95 mask that I had for last year’s Bay Area fires, and although it was rather uncomfortable and awkward, especially at first, the peace of mind after the trip made it worthwhile. I did notice people giving me more space which worked out well. Am I being a bit neurotic? It seemed like the majority of people were not wearing masks but were concerned, and a few people had little concern at all.

How do you find grocery shopping these days?


Swan’s Fine Books Relocating within Downtown Walnut Creek

850 S. Broadway, Walnut Creek

Despite the morbid news emanating throughout our region and the world, life goes on as Swan’s Fine Books, which opened about seven years ago in downtown Walnut Creek, is planning to relocate to the newly remodeled historic Walnut Creek train station where Vic Stewart’s used to be. Before it was demolished I was able to snap a photo of the exposed Southern Pacific Rail Car which was super cool to encounter. Check out Swan’s online shop which remains open here.

From their website:

Our specialities are Fine Press, Illustrated, and Artist books, and it is these that you will most likely find on our web site and at book fairs. We particularly love the early British fine presses, such as the Kelmscott Press, the Ashendene Press, the Cresset Press, and the Golden Cockerel Press. Illustrators of which we are particularly fond include Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac, and Eric Gill – but there are so many it’s impossible to name them all.


Daily Life

Broadway Plaza Almost Empty as Residents Adjust to Shelter in Place Order

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

It was rather eerie strolling through Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek over the weekend during prime shopping hours as stores were closed with the exception of Boudin Bakery for pick-up and almost nobody around except for the occasional dog walker. Oddly, the same pop music was piping through speakers as if nothing had changed.


Lesher Center Closed through April 30 in Walnut Creek

1601 Civic Dr, Walnut Creek

The Lesher Center is closed through April 30th in downtown Walnut Creek

From their website:

In response to the Contra Costa Health Services order to cease non-essential operations and gatherings in order to limit community exposure to COVID-19, all City buildings are closed until further notice.

Therefore, the Lesher Center for the Arts will be closed to the general public, and ALL EVENTS through April 30 are postponed/canceled. Lesher Center staff is communicating with all clients and ticketholders.

All impacted ticketholders will have the option of:
1. Ticket credit
2. Exchanges
3. Donation to producing company
4. Refund

We appreciate your patience as we work our way to you. There is NO NEED FOR YOU TO COME IN to exercise your option.


TravisMathew Opened at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek

Broadway Plaza, Walnut Creek

Not the greatest timing for a new store but SoCal-based men’s clothing store TravisMathew opened over the weekend at Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek. Interestingly there is a tabletop video game (Pac-Man I think), which you can see in the photo below at left. Too bad nobody can go out to see it. Since parts of SoCal are shutting down as well it’ll be a while before online orders are delivered but you can check out their online selection here.

From their website:

Due to the Orange County Ordinance issued on March 17th regarding COVID-19 requiring businesses to temporarily shut down, the TravisMathew office and warehouse will be closed until end of day March 31st at the earliest. Unfortunately, orders will see a delay in shipment until at least this date. Thank you and be safe!

Daily Life

Say Goodbye to the Stick-Work Sculptures at Civic Park in Downtown Walnut Creek

When the stick-work sculptures made from woven willow saplings went up in front of the Walnut Creek Library at Civic Park a couple of years ago I knew they would be gone within two years, but driving by recently and seeing them missing, replaced by a forlorn dirt patch, made me somehow sad. You can still see the Hand of Peace sculpture and the recently completed colorful mural in the background towards the top left in the above photo.


Ginger’s Gelato Under New Ownership with New Coffee Bar at Citrus Marketplace in Walnut Creek

Citrus Marketplace, Walnut Creek

Ginger’s Gelato, which opened over a year ago at Citrus Marketplace in Walnut Creek, is under new ownership and features a coffee bar, Contra Costa Coffee, where they offer espresso, lattes, coffee, tea and more. The gelato, with additional flavors, is from the same recipe as the original owners and they still have hand packed pints for sale as well. Check out their website here.

More photos, including latte art, after the jump… Continue Reading