Listen to Episodes Below!
Good Things. Better Living.
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 culture, history, good eats, and things to do. You can find all SMF episodes right here, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts (be sure to subscribe on your podcast smartphone app). If you listen to episodes on this website, please SIGN UP below for periodic info from San Mateo Focus hosts (don’t worry, we will never give away your contact info).
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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, or the history that made it what it is today? San Mateo Focus is a weekly ‘hyperlocal’ podcast presented in bite-sized chunks. We shine a light on the good things in San Mateo in order to enrich the lives of those living here and the businesses that serve them. 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.
Behind the Mic
Founder & Host
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.
Latest Episode (New):
Ryen Motzek and Atlas
Judy showcases a business leader and fascinating retail store that brings vision, art and style to downtown San Mateo.
Episode 48 – 9/24/2020
Introducing the San Mateo Focus Podcast
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
Hillsdale Mall: Past, Present, & Future
Japanese and other cuisines in San Mateo
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
San Mateo Farmers Markets
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
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
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
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
Judy recounts the history of a hidden San Mateo gem: St. John’s Cemetery.
San Mateo Public Library
Judy researches and recounts an underused resource: the San Mateo Public Library.
SMF Host Introductions
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.
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
Our listeners help Judy with this episode by contributing their favorite San Mateo Date Night activities.
What’s Up With All The Crows?!
Have you noticed that now more than ever, crows seem to be everywhere in San Mateo? Judy finds out why.
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.
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 Predicts Current San Mateo
Everything old is new again? Judy digs up delicious info in San Mateo’s archives.
California Modern architecture permeates San Mateo with the largest contiguous development of Eichler homes—including the experimental X-100 steel house.
Surviving Social Distancing
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
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
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.
Crystal Springs Dam
Peter uncovers the history of San Mateo’s great drinking water and the impressive Crystal Springs Dam that makes it possible.
San Mateo’s Own: A.P. Giannini
Judy explores the history behind one of San Mateo’s most famous and influential residents, Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini.
San Mateo’s Own: Claire Giannini Hoffman
Judy continues her exploration of one of San Mateo’s most famous and influential natives, Claire Giannini Hoffman, BofA board member, philanthropist, and daughter of the bank’s founder A.P. Giannini.
Judy discovers an amazing San Mateo company who transformed their software platform almost overnight to enable local restaurants to accept online takeout orders in reaction to COVID-19 restrictions—at no cost to restaurants, or consumers who also get 20% cash back.
Taqueria Los Primos
Judy digs beneath the surface of two local taquerias and finds a family-rich story beneath the delicious food.
Becky Gordon’s San Mateo
Hometown girl and guest host Becky Gordon waxes poetic on her memories of growing up in San Mateo.
San Mateo Enters Phase 2
Judy reports on the many changes going on in San Mateo as we transition to an environment with a bit more freedom to move around and interact with businesses.
Judy profiles San Mateo’s own food incubator who provides infrastructure and expert guidance to food entrepreneurs and innovators in order to create new sustainable food systems.
High School Graduations
San Mateo Parks
A Stroll Down Memory Lane
Judy discovers a husband and wife team who have chronicled the changes to San Mateo’s downtown over 30 years. Do you know the oldest downtown business still in operation?
Hillsdale Mall Update
Judy checks in with the Hillsdale Mall now that it is reopening to let San Mateans know what to expect now and into the future.
The Secret Lives of Cats
Judy finds out all about the colonies of feral cats that live on the peninsula and the dedicated volunteers and organizations that care for them.
The ‘Tell Us What You Think’ Episode
Judy reflects on why and how we got San Mateo Focus started and asks for you to take our first listener survey.
Mini Pantries of San Mateo
Judy showcases neighborhood Mini Pantries and uncovers the true heart of San Mateo.
Downtown San Mateo Association
Judy highlights the Downtown San Mateo Association—what it is, what it does, and what that means to the citizens, visitors, and businesses of San Mateo.
Research Librarian Eric Groth – San Mateo Public Library
Judy profiles one of San Mateo’s most helpful—and free—resources: our local research librarian.