My hometown of Palo Alto, California is a melting pot of cultures, and as international community as you are likely to find anywhere in the world. Home to Stanford University, Palo Alto is an upscale mecca for students, entrepreneurs, and regular folks alike. When the World Cup takes center stage every four years, Palo Altans and our neighbors from around the world gather to celebrate our national allegiances, and commiserate our losses to soccer powerhouses like Germany, Brazil and...Ghana?
This time around, I was determined to find a way to celebrate the event with other people, so I investigated where there were gatherings to watch the games being held in South Africa. Although the HD TV in my house is just fine for viewing, it's more fun to watch with a group.
Here are some of the places I've watched these past few weeks, in case you're looking to watch the elimination games in Palo Alto or Stanford:
Pasta? Palo Alto: Pasta? as the name suggests is an Italian Restaurant in downtown Palo Alto on University Avenue. The food is good, but the mood was somewhat subdued on the day I dragged my co-workers out for lunch to see the game. It was not nearly as exciting as some of the other venues, because I think the crowd was a mixture of soccer fans and people who just wandered in for lunch. Pasta? is located at 326 University Avenue, Palo Alto, and is normally open from 10 am - 10 pm.
Tresidder Student Union & Coffee House (CoHo): The Stanford Coffee House or CoHo as it's known on campus has two large HD TVs set up for game-viewing. The day I was there, a group of Dutch students were lined up in front of one of the TVs like big orange birds on a wire wearing soccer ball hats, cheering on their team. CoHo has not only coffee drinks, but also a great selection of salads and sandwiches. It gets crowded at lunch time, so plan those 11:30 am games ahead of time. I was also told that there are TVs set up in the lounges in Tresidder for viewing, but I didn't see where these were located. CoHo is located at 459 Lagunita in the Tresidder Student Union, and is open 7 am - midnight weekdays and 9 am - midnight on weekends.