A walk up Emerson St.

… in Palo Alto, this morning, for breakfast with Elizabeth Daingerfield Zwicky. Which took me past a fitness club that closed down a while back, but is now in the process of being replaced by an even trendier sort of fitness club, Rumble Boxing; to the Palo Alto Creamery for breakfast, where I picked up the weekend edition of the Peninsula Daily Post; which had a front-page story on the fate of the artwork Digital DNA, originally installed just a bit further up Emerson St.

Rumble Boxing. This will lead us to extraordinarily muscled shirtless young men, as objectified by young women on the on-line publication PopSugar.

Rumble Boxing, which advertises itself as providing “boxing-inspired group fitness classes”, started in NYC a few years ago, and has now spread to (at least) Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles — and, coming soon, Palo Alto. The SF location (180 Sansome St Suite 100):


Then, from PopSugar site, the 3/16/17 piece “These Sweat-Covered Boxing Trainers Will Motivate You to Work Out Today” by Victoria Messina:

(#2) Noah Douglas Neiman, a cofounder of Rumble Boxing, with a Rumble punching bag and I Can’t Believe They’re Real abs,  in NYC

We’ve decided to present you with the Sexy Men of Rumble Boxing — a handful of sweat-covered trainers, along with the gym’s co-owner — to prove just how lovely an establishment it truly is. If these ripped hunks don’t motivate you to get your butt to the gym (or to book a flight to NYC just to visit Rumble), then you may want to consider visiting an eye doctor.

The PA location — with big picture windows on the street, as in #2 — is more or less across the street from what is now the Nobu Hotel Epiphany Palo Alto (formerly just the Epiphany), with rooms at $750 a night and up, and with the stratospherically expensive Restaurant Nobu in it.

Now, about PopSugar, from Wikipedia:

PopSugar Inc. is an American media and technology company that is the parent to the media property PopSugar (stylized POPSUGAR), the shopping platform ShopStyle, and a monthly subscription business PopSugar Must Have. The company was founded in 2006 by married couple Brian and Lisa Sugar as a pop culture blog. …  PopSugar features lifestyle content targeted towards women 18-34, across topics such as beauty, entertainment, fashion, fitness, food, and parenting, on mobile, video, and social media.

Digital DNA. Across Hamilton Ave. from the Nobuverse on Emerson St. is the Palo Alto Creamery, a bit of unreconstructed Old Palo Alto I’ve written about a number of times here. A smoked salmon Benedict for Elizabeth, a 3-egg scramble with ham, spinach, and cheddar cheese for me. With the Peninsula Daily Post (“serving Palo Alto and the mid-Peninsula”) for 2/23-24/19 to study.

With this story:


The statue (7ft x 5ft, 300 lbs of digital delight) in happier days, at University Ave. and Emerson St., in Lytton Plaza:


Artist Adriana Varella’s 2000 description (slightly edited, but largely preserving its eccentric charm) of the work, from her site:

Digital DNA … mixes languages (Arabic, Russian, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, etc). It goes deeper into branching, but above all into the origins of what comes to be the adventure of computers. Therefore, through phrases like: “Circuits of power”, “ideological circuits”, “warfare circuits”, “borderless circuits”, “sexual circuits”, “colonizing circuits”, “genetic circuits, etc, trying to simplistically verify, even if it is a glimpse of consciousness, one of the main tools-objects of our contemporary world.

Digital DNA’s sole intention is a momentary reflection about what we have been building, researching and planning for our software and hardware thinkers…. They are the ones who determine what users will be extracting form their computers (except for the hackers maybe). We hope the art piece could bring some reflection.

And close-ups of some of the egg’s contents:


Further up Emerson St. is the Aquarius Theatre, which often appears on these pages.

Down Emerson St., in the other direction, we come to (among other things) Dan Gordon’s restaurant (“beer bbq whiskey”), the Whole Foods Market, and the Taverna restaurant (recent replacement for the Mexican family restaurant La Morenita), all of which have been featured on this blog before. Plus lots of plants I’ve written about. (Oh yes, and the office of my representative in the US Congress, Anna Eshoo).

I can’t walk far, but there’s a lot to look at along the way. And it’s always changing: there are dozens of little tech offices, which mostly get replaced every 6 to 18 months. Churning, always churning.

One Response to “A walk up Emerson St.”

  1. [BLOG] Some Thursday links | A Bit More Detail Says:

    […] Zwicky writes about some of his encounters, past and present, on Emerson Street in Palo […]

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