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Photographer Gabriel Ibarra Mourns “Santa Clara’s Lost Historical Resources” in New Exhibit

“The El Real Nursery was a family owned nursery,” said photographer Gabriel Ibarra of the now-gone Santa Clara business. “When The Home Depot started selling plants for a lot cheaper, the El Real Nursery couldn’t compete with them.”

According to Ibarra’s sign posted at the Santa Clara Senior Center (1303 Fremont Ave.) to accompany his new photography exhibit “Santa Clara’s Lost Historical Resources,” the El Real Nursery was in Santa Clara since 1954 and it closed in 2007. Running through Jan. 12, 2018, Ibarra’s sixth annual Santa Clara Historical Photography exhibit remembers places that were once a part of Santa Clara.

“Last year, I did a show about El Camino Real,” said Ibarra, born and raised in Santa Clara. “This year I talked about places we’ve lost in the City, including places on El Camino.”

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One place that Ibarra especially missed was Moonlite Bowl which, according to his exhibit poster, had opened in 1960 and closed earlier this year for future development.

“The closing of Moonlite Bowl made me feel really bad,” Ibarra said. “My dad had been bowling there every Wednesday for the last 10 years. Then in February I saw a sign that said it was closed. There was no word of warning about that. The boards that they’d used to cover the bowling lanes were ripped out and used to barricade the front door. As a kid, I used to go to Moonlite Bowl a lot. It felt interesting to experience the game. You grow up with a game that’s pleasant and you have family playing along with you. You think it’s going to be there forever. Then without warning it gets closed down. Now I have to go to Cupertino to bowl.”

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