Arrillaga’s Xanadu is our new gym?

Did he already build this gym, the “well-ness center” two-levels — maybe figurative and literal levels.

Is the gym actually his famous residence, his fortress in the hills, next to Foothill Park?

His Xanadu, him Kubla Khan, his “pleasure dome decree” — its a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, that is also quoted in “Citizen Kane” — by the way, has anyone checked for a clue somewhere on Palo Alto’s Coleridge: “YES”. 

Maybe this is John Arrillaga’s visionary way of announcing that he is gifting us little people his house!

There is precedent in the whole Grand Jury Report, 7.7 acres of hidden parkland revealed to us. It wasn’t his and then he gave it to us; it was ours, we didn’t know about it, and he was being very sneaky about finally, six years and two renewal terms after normal people would have cleared this up, he tried to secretly buy it from us at a discount — in a exchange for “giving us” — if us, We the People, and Stanford, a $35b endowment with another $18b in groundleases is us — an office tower. An office tower with a theatre. Literally, “a” theatre. For Theatreworks. (Although few people know this but the day it hit the papers I left John Arrillaga a voice mail suggesting that if that didn’t work out he could from Chop Keenen buy The Varsity for Theatreworks and other uses – -like live music. Little did I know that he was way ahead of me, because Amy French of City staff, a former backup singer for Fee Waybill, had suggested Arrillaga add the theatre to the office tower because of my advocacy for enforcing the reversion clause in Borders’ controversial lease, according to a paper by a budding developer at GSB. 

So maybe John Arrillaga is not a hardass, he’s a trickster with literary allusion and sense of panache. And really bad PR people. 

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree:

Where Alph, the sacred river, ran

Through caverns measureless to man

   Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground

With walls and towers were girdled round;

And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,

Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;

And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

On other hand, some reports say Arrillaga does not live in Palo Alto, he lives in Portola Valley. Also, to Ed Shikada: Cubberley has three gyms. Not “two small gyms and a pavillion”. I had suggested earlier in this saga that rather than spending $20m of our money we just change the name of the Cubberley main gym – -where Peterson with Chuckie Wright Mel Cosby and Ben Bennett nipped Cubberley with Lockhart, Violante, Rosenberg, Ruff and Snyder 66-65 in triple OT in the last game ever played there*—Presley Pavillion in honor of basketball coaching legend Bud Presley and Elvis Presley — there’s a whole lot of shaking going on. (They have dances there, sometimes to Elvis oldies. I think…close enough for Plastic Alto…I’d support the gym if it was to be named for William Fenwick).

Of the 42 men in Stanford’s basketball hall of fame, I’ve seen 14 of them play * coach Delannoy who supports the gym offer verbatim corrected my poetic version of those final prep classics: We lost by 6 at Cubberley and we lost by 2 in Double OT in the playoffs.

edit to ad: SVBJ reports this evening that John Arrillaga died today at 84. His daughter reports that he spearheaded 200 donations of facilities and infrastructure and visited Stanford campus every day of his adult life. (I changed one word of the above from its first published version: hardass. 

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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