Listen to Episodes Below!

San Mateo Focus Podvcast

Whether you’re new to San Mateo, California, or a long time resident, the San Mateo Focus Podcast is the place to learn about local history, good eats, and things to do. If you listen to episodes on this website, be sure to SUBSCRIBE!

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About San Mateo Focus

Podcasts are great, and just about every topic is covered on a national scale. But what about right next door? How many people go about their daily lives not really knowing about their local community, what it has to offer, and the history that made it what it is today? San Mateo Focus is a weekly hyperlocal podcast that presents interesting local information in bite-sized chunks. Come take a listen. I bet you’ll say, “Wow, I never knew that!” and “Why don’t we visit that place this weekend?” Take a listen and let us know what you think. We’d love ideas for new episodes as well. 

Latest Episode:

Samaritan House Redux

This week we decided to rerun our last episode of 2019 that profiled Samaritan House who has now become a key force in helping people who are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please give it a listen and see if there is somehow you can help.

Episode 23 – 4/2/2020

All Episodes

Introducing the San Mateo Focus Podcast

Episode 1 – Trailer

Judy Gordon kicks off her new podcast with hyperlocal stories that will be appreciated by anyone who lives or visits San Mateo on the San Francisco Peninsula.

Caltrain History & Construction Update

Episode 2 – 11/7/2019

Judy gives a primer on Caltrain’s rich history and provides an update on the construction going on in San Mateo.

Hillsdale Mall: Past, Present, & Future

Episode 3 – 11/14/2019

Judy takes nostalgic trip to when San Mateo’s Hillsdale Mall was new and contrasts that with the renovation that opens later this month.

Japanese and other cuisines in San Mateo

Episode 4 – 11/21/2019

Judy explains why San Mateo has such a vibrant and extensive scene for Japanese and other ethnic cuisines.

Coyote Point

Episode 5 – 11/28/2019

Judy discovers some interesting history about Coyote Point, this gem of a recreation area that every San Mateo family should get to know.

San Mateo Parents Club

Episode 6 – 12/5/2019

Today Judy profiles a tremendous asset for new and young parents, the San Mateo Parents Club.

San Mateo Farmers Markets

Episode 7 – 12/12/2019

One of life’s little pleasures in San Mateo is having multiple Farmer’s Markets to choose from, making ‘farm to table’ something everyone can do quite easily. Judy digs into the details of our local pop-up grocers in this week’s episode. 

San Mateo Police Department

Episode 8 – 12/19/2019

Judy contacted the San Mateo Police Department to ask about how safe San Mateo is, what to do about car break-ins, how the homeless are doing, and more.

Episode Sponsor: Christensen & Rafferty Fine Jewelry

Samaritan House

Episode 9 – 12/26/2019

It is especially during this time of year that we think about giving of ourselves to others less fortunate. Judy profiles Samaritan House, one of San Mateo’s leading non-profits and the largest food distribution agency in the county. Their free service offerings include shelter and housing assistance, medical and dental clinics, clothes for children, personalized case management, and much more. Please listen to this special episode and see if Samaritan House can help you help others.

San Mateo City Resources

Episode 10 – 1/2/2020

Judy takes us on a tour of where to get information that every San Mateo resident will find useful and important.

St. John’s Cemetery

Episode 11 – 1/9/2020

Judy recounts the history of a hidden San Mateo gem: St. John’s Cemetery. 

San Mateo Public Library

Episode 12 – 1/16/2020

Judy researches and recounts an underused resource: the San Mateo Public Library. 

SMF Host Introductions

Episode 13 – 1/23/2020

And now for something completely different: podcast host Judy Gordon, and producer Peter Radsliff, introduce themselves and talk about why and how they created San Mateo Focus. 

CSM Planetarium

Episode 14 – 1/30/2020

Judy does it again, unearthing another San Mateo jewel known by some, but surprisingly not by all: the planetarium at the College of San Mateo.

Focus On: Date Night

Episode 15 – 2/6/2020

Our listeners help Judy with this episode by contributing their favorite San Mateo Date Night activities.

What’s Up With All The Crows?!

Episode 16 – 2/13/2020

Have you noticed that now more than ever, crows seem to be everywhere in San Mateo? Judy finds out why.

The Vendome

Episode 17 – 2/20/2020

Ever notice the well-kept building named “The Vendome” on 2nd Ave. and South Claremont across the tracks from the Main Street Garage? This historic building is a key part of San Mateo’s solution to the homelessness problem. Judy explores its history and how it became a model for the Bay Area.


Episode 18 – 2/27/2020

Is there anything better than eating an authentic warm croissant with butter? How about seeing it be made right in front of you? If you don’t already know about Backhaus at 32 – E 3rd Ave. in downtown San Mateo, get there before all the croissants are gone!

The Past Precicts Current San Mateo

Episode 19 – 3/5/2020

Everything old is new again? Judy digs up delicious info in San Mateo’s archives. 

Eichler Homes

Episode 20 – 3/12/2020

California Modern architecture permeates San Mateo with the largest contiguous development of Eichler homes—including the experimental X-100 steel house.

Surviving Social Distancing

Episode 21 – 3/19/2020

To combat the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), six Bay Area counties have instituted self-quarantine and social distancing procedures for over six million people. Judy digs up some ideas for how to survive social distancing while sheltering-in-place.

San Mateo Buddhist Temple

Episode 22 – 3/26/2020

Judy takes a virtual peek inside the San Mateo Buddhist Temple and gains some insight into our new normal of sheltering-in-place against COVID-19.

Samaritan House Redux

Episode 23 – 4/2/2020

This week we decided to rerun our last episode of 2019 that profiled Samaritan House who has now become a key force in helping people who are struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Please give it a listen and see if there is somehow you can help.  

Behind the Scenes

Judy Gordon

Judy Gordon

Founder & Host

Peter Radsliff

Peter Radsliff

Producer & Co-Host

San Mateo Focus is the brainchild of Judy Gordon, longtime San Mateo resident who has worked locally in startup companies and with non-profit organizations. Judy hosts the show and uncovers all of the stories presented in each episode. Peter Radsliff produces the show and occasionally fills in as co-host.

Jack Radsliff

Jack Radsliff


Portland, Oregon guitarist Jack Radsliff provides the music for the San Mateo Focus podcast from his album Migration Patterns. [photo by Reed Ricker]