The (not-so) new kid in town
For most of my life (minus the first six months of it in San Mateo, and three random years in Orlando), I’ve lived in what is referred to as The Silicon Valley. Sure, that’s far more geeky-rockstar than referring to The Santa Clara Valley and her collection of fantastic cities. Some folks will still hear San Jose and might wonder if they can still put a hundred down and buy a car (Thanks, Dionne, nothin’ for that price on Capitol). Naturally, it’s not 1968, it’s nearly 2008, and we’ve come quite a long way.
There’s a fine line between of hyperactive visibility and importance, and casual, comfortable obscurity–San Jose seems to sit right on that line: above average and oh-so very Californian. Functional. Smart. Comfortable. Diverse. An epicenter of technology, past, present and future. Casual living without too many big-city pressures. And yet, somewhat obscure enough that the little things get us excited.
If you’re like me, then you might have applauded a little bit when that big-rig car carrier was launching cars all over Highway 87 under the 280 overpass, while our new Light Rail system whizzed by in the background in the 1990 flick The Rookie, starring Clint Eastwood and Charlie Sheen. Maybe not the best movie, sure, but hey! That’s our city! And just the other day, I discovered a track from Bay Area hip-hop artist E-Money, who mentions San Jose by name in the track Skrillacon Valley. Our city!
I grew up in Blossom Valley, which is close enough to the South Valley to catch a slight morning whiff of garlic, yet far enough away to avoid the evening aromas of the mushroom farms– and let me tell you, living in Morgan Hill, the Mushroom Hour causes most nostrils in the immediate area to scream out in abject horror. Nothing is worse than a screaming nostril., trust me.
Every morning I could walk outside and see Lick Observatory on top of Mount Hamilton to the east, and the square box perched atop of Mount Umunhum to the west. These are just a couple memories that fill my head when I remember my hometown.
Over the next few weeks, as I get settled into my new digs here at Metroblogging San Jose, I think I’m going to dig through my garage to find that report on San Jose that I did in fifth grade. The one about the place I loved then and the place I love now. The one about San Jose. El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. The capital of Silicon Valley.
The place we call home.