Metro's Best of Silicon Valley 2002

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[whitespace] Maury Kendall
Photograph by Paul Myers

Maury Kendall

Making a Place

By Allie Gottlieb

THE DOWNWARD spiraling of the local and national economy over the last couple of years has seen many contemplating the simple lifestyle. For nine-year San Jose local Maury Kendall, 41, who is always two steps ahead, that's so nine years ago. For eight years, Kendall was the spokesbloke for Silicon Valley's largest provider of homeless shelters, the Emergency Housing Consortium. He left EHC this year, on March 13. In keeping with his residents-we-must-immediately-clone work history, he's now a patient escort at a local women's clinic and a public speaker for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). For dollars, he's a PR communicator for San Jose's Wysocki & Associates, a consulting firm with nonprofit, corporate and government-agency clients. In this Metro exclusive, here's what everyone would know about this good Samaritan (and his fish), if they had bothered to ask.

Metro: What's your idea of the perfect date in the valley? Please be specific.

Kendall: I'm a simple boy. The dog park is a great place to start a date (Hellyer in San Jose or Sunnyvale's Las Palmas Park). Then, I'll have dinner in Il Fornaio. Let's say that Gypsy Cinema is happening that night--we'd go watch one of the classic movies under the stars at the circle of palms. Then we'd [censored] our way right up to the top of the Fairmont and head to the presidential suite.

How would you convince someone from New York to move to Silicon Valley?

I'd take them to downtown San Jose, just around. Then to the Rose Garden neighborhood. And then up and over Highway 9 through the San Lorenzo Valley to Santa Cruz, where we would eat dinner on the wharf. Locals I'd take somewhere else--probably Pearl Alley Bistro. Or maybe the Shadowbrook, if the occasion were fancy.

How would you convince someone from Orange County to move here?

That's easier. There's more "here" here than there is in Orange County. More soul, more homegrown activities--Triple-7, Music in the Park. There's Populous Presents, the new art and music collective [made up of] all local folks, that the San Jose Redevelopment Agency puts on.

Where do you like to hang out?

For drinks and good food with friends, Il Fornaio at the Hyatt St. Claire is my favorite spot. They treat me like I wish my family would. I buy books at Recycled Books and enjoy wandering on Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen and in Los Gatos, sometimes. I bail for Santa Cruz pretty often, too, for beaches, hiking, shopping and friends. Tonight, it's over to Il Fornaio for free food at happy hour, then to the SoFA street fair.

What's the weirdest thing about our valley?

This is the smallest town of a big city--or the biggest small town--that I've ever lived in. People are approachable and friendly--and willing to accept others on face value to a degree that always astounds and pleases me. If there's an Olympian social stratum here, a self-proclaimed power elite, then there are a lot of the rest of us who've bypassed it and work together to make the valley a better place to call home.

What are your hobbies?

I garden, in very limited space; I spoil my fish, Vivian (and what's worse than spoiled fish?); I read; I hike; and ... is sitting around talking with your friends a hobby?


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From the October 10-16, 2002 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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