Saturday, February 8, 2014

San Jose

My roommate comes from San Jose, California. He likes to visit home a lot, and for some reason I've tagged along on a few occasions.

This is one of those occasions. All told, I've spent maybe two weeks total in this town. That's not much, certainly not enough to claim I've lived there, but it's more time than most people spend anywhere on a vacation. So, I've compiled my thoughts on my experience with Silicon Valley.
San Jose really does seem like a nice town, but that might be because I've spent most of my time in the downtown area during conventions. The downtown area isn't nearly as grandiose as many of the other cities I've visited for conventions, though, like Seattle and Boston. Downtown San Jose is a college area, filled with easy transportation, parking garages, and cheap burritos.

This is my first time spending time here without Fanime going on, so it's a little weird walking around downtown without seeing a bunch of cosplayers all over the place. Still, it's mostly college kids walking around. San Jose seems to be a young town.

There's a bit of a homeless problem, particularly evident in the park. It's easy to see why they would want to stay here, though: the weather is nice, the grass is green, the city is well-kept, and nobody seems terribly inclined to bother them. In fact, today while walking down the street I watched as a  security cart came driving down the sidewalk and stopped at where a young homeless guy had set up shop in the nook of a building. The security officers and the homeless guy were cordial to each other. The security guys simply asked the homeless guy to move his stuff further off the sidewalk so as to not obstruct traffic, and the homeless guy obliged. Then the security cart drove away.

The most interesting thing about downtown San Jose is the way the city seems to want to preserve its older buildings. Not all of the buildings in downtown are old (hotels, the university, the convention center, certain commercial buildings are al very new-looking), but there's a distinct architecture in the surrounding suburbs I've walked through, and there are a few businesses in the downtown area that are clearly just renovated houses of that style.

As for the people, I haven't had any bad experiences with them yet. They seem to be largely a friendly bunch of people. Clearly I haven't met with everyone in the town, given that I know at least one person who had his car stolen there recently, but every town has a bad element, and here is seems to be a minority.

It's really too bad San Jose is such an expensive place to live. It seems like a nice place to settle down, if you can afford it.

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