Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Half to Have It" Quits Half (Moon Bay)

Robin being photographed as she photographs a mirror at "Half to Have It."

I told my friend we couldn't visit Half Moon Bay without visiting the truly nutty landmark called "Half to Have It," a fixture full of quirky collectibles on HMB's Main Street for at least twenty years. But when we got there, it was gone!

Using the trusty iPhone we found its new digs near the harbor at Princeton-by-the-Sea, just a few miles north on California's Highway 1.

The owners have purchased a 112-year-old farmhouse which they plan to refurbish for their store. Meanwhile, everything from the old place is strewn about the landscape in a hodgepodge that sports a speck of a (real) dog and an imposing entry.

P.S. That is a real dog.

Though I'll always think of this place as "Half to Have It"--a play on words so odd, it took me several years to implant it on the tip of my tongue--the owners have renamed their new place "The Nest Gallery." (Maybe that's where that large crow comes in?) Lots of cool junk here, though, just as there was in the old place.

This leaded glass window is at least as big as my front door.

This guy is so cool he would have been a hit on the Palo Alto Garden Club's recent tour.

I almost took this bruin home since he's such a California icon. Carved in 1919--the year my father was born--he nevertheless seemed a little pricey.

You have to salute anyone with a business vision as unique as this one. The store lost its lease on Half Moon Bay's Main Street and the foot traffic in this new out-of-the-way-spot can't possibly compare. But I'm rooting for them. I don't know where the owner finds all this stuff. But I doubt very seriously you'll find it anywhere else.

In case you wondered, this is a house for a Garden Gnome.

Potential shard art material and lots of etcetera at the new "Nest Gallery."

We zoomed away to make our final stop at the Half Moon Bay Nursery, one of many greenhouses and growers along Route 92 between the Santa Clara Valley and the California coast. San Mateo County is known for its mild, sunny, great-for-flower-growing weather. The nursery we chose had everything from anthurium to zinnias. Just walking in and looking around is a mood elevator.

Hydrangeas anyone?

Or are you impatient for impatiens?

I didn't need to buy a thing to lift my spirits, which were already rising with the misty coastal fog. There is beauty to be found everywhere in the Half Moon Bay environs--from the hills to the Pacific. 

Still, I couldn't help taking a dash of it with me--just to bring a little of that beauty back to my home over the hills.

The Swedish Car hauls some African daisies wrapping up a truly multicultural road trip.

The Nest Gallery
131 California Avenue
Half Moon Bay, California 94019

Half Moon Bay Nursery
11691 San Mateo Rd.,
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019-7107

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