This Saturday morning was crisp and sunny, beautiful weather for our weekly pilgrimage to the local downtown Sunnyvale farmer’s market. My wife and I begin most Saturdays on historic Murphy Avenue where growers and vendors set up shop and the morning coffee is excellent at The Bean Scene, located right in the middle of all the action.
Murphy Avenue is named after Martin Murphy Junior, a pioneer settler in this locale which today is known as Sunnyvale, California – centered in the heart of renowned Silicon Valley. Murphy Avenue dates back to the early nineteen-hundreds and, today, serves as the downtown focal-point of the community.
Martin Murphy Junior was part of the first wagon train west ever to cross the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Most people know nothing about the history of the Stephens/Townsend/Murphy party, and that is a shame. Their Sierra crossing in 1844 was eminently successful, unlike the famous Donner Party attempt two years later which turned into a disaster when trapped in the Sierra by the deep snows of an early and unusually heavy winter. A significant number of the Donner Party perished during the ordeal, lending special credence to the success of the Stephens/Townsend/Murphy party.
Being an integral part of tech-savvy Silicon Valley, the community has already compiled a durable history of technical achievement and a reputation for being a thoroughly modern, forward-looking community. Within the last two decades, a new interest in the past has elbowed its way into the community’s consciousness; the recent renovation and resurrection of old Murphy Avenue into a thriving gathering place at lunch-time, evenings, and Saturday mornings along with the recent dedication of the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum are evidence of Sunnyvale’s new vision.
Coffee Time at the Bean Scene Café on Murphy Avenue
After getting our large coffees and bear-claw pastry at the Bean Scene, Linda and I like to settle on a sidewalk bench a half-block down Murphy near Leigh’s Books, our favorite bookstore in town. The food and produce vendors on the street offer great fare, and the people-watching is superb, especially on a crisp winter’s day when the Avenue (and our sidewalk bench) are bathed in a warm sun.
We had a wonderful morning on Murphy Avenue today, relaxing with our coffee in the warm sun. All good things must come to an end, however, so we shopped a bit before heading off to prepare for the finale to this year of 2013 which is just around the corner.
Have a wonderful, safe holiday!