Why endure vacation travel when you can get cuisine from five different countries at your nearest food truck corral? My family did just that a few weeks ago at Edgewood Eats, a rendezvous of food trucks each Monday evening in the semi-abandoned Edgewood strip mall in Palo Alto, California.
Aside from the fantastic food, this food truck meetup struck me as a particularly potent symbol of the birth of a new era within the old. The temporary, multi-ethnic, and movable feast contrasted sharply with the backdrop of the sadly-faded, stationary 1960s strip mall set in what once was a mostly white suburb. Only a wig shop and liquor store remained adding to the sense that time has moved on.
The gestalt of Edgewood Eats simultaneously saddened and excited me. The mall reminded me of the loss of a naive certainty in the American dream that pervaded the early sixties. That dream is dead, but I'm more excited than ever about the future that's unfolding before us.
Go here for five mobile apps for finding food trucks in your area. And below is my smartphone photo essay of our staycation dinner at the food truck corral:
The inauspicious North entrance to Edgewood Eats, an every Monday food truck happening.
The throng at the food truck corral. Lines were upwards of 30 minutes.
One of many empty stores at the faded 1960s strip mall that hosts Edgewood Eats every Monday.
Here's a nearly 360 degree view of the food truck corral made possible by my smartphone camera's panorama feature. I discovered the feature just that evening. Not a great shot, but I'm amazed that my phone can do this.
The food trucks filled up the main parking area of the strip mall. The remaining space served as picnic grounds. Folks made a night of it bringing chairs and blankets. Music and fragrant smells from the food trucks filled the air.
Late day sun cast odd shadows amid the conversation and the once futuristic 60s architecture.
I'm sure the owners were proud when Edgewood Shopping Center opened. Imagine the opening day sales! The old sign is once again a rallying point for the future, though a very different one this time around.
Another panoramic view.
Our son Jake having a blast with his balloon.
Jake loves people. Here he attempts to charm his way into a few sips of lemon basil water from our neighbors on the picnic grounds.
My wife Andrea feeds hungry Jake. He devoured the Vietnamese fare we picked out. Like father like son.