I just took a walk downtown and saw open, vacant storefronts. Zao, a mainstay on University Ave. is now shuttered. As I walked through downtown, down Hamilton, University and Litton - and many side streets - I could feel the old energy missing. The party is over.
Posted by Over the hill!!, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm
A recent article in a London newspaper (c/o Rupert Murdoch) praised Sunnyvale for being the center of Silicon Valley. The article claimed Sunnyvale goes all out to attract high tech companies and is now the most popular City on the peninsula for high tech innovation.
Palo Alto has the reputation for being "over-the-hill" and full of old people. Further south is more vibrant with a younger crowd. It's also cheaper to live there.
Posted by too expensive, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 16, 2011 at 5:56 pm
In this economy, businesses that cater to a wider range of customers are doing well. I don't see any vacancies on Castro Street in Mountain View. I think the problem is that Palo Alto landlords are holding out for high-end high-rent tenants and are willing to let their properties go vacant instead of renting to a lower-priced, more family-oriented retailer or restaurant.
And of course, NIMBYs encouraging big employers to leave town is not helping the local retail scene. Does the Facebook landlord have another tenant lined up for that space or will it go vacant when their hundreds of rich employees leave town in a few months.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 18, 2011 at 10:50 am
> A recent article in a London newspaper (c/o Rupert Murdoch)
> praised Sunnyvale for being the center of Silicon Valley.
You know, talk about central planning and group thing, Sunnyvale is an OK city, but it is not very conducive to community ... but maybe that is what Murdock wants, everyone sitting and home isolated and watching Fox news being programmed for the better corporate good.
These days Palo Alto seems to be good at that. I thought Palo Alto was a pretty good city until about the time Prop. 13 hit. Then Palo Alto started to seem like it was the experimental fish tank for Stanford and Silicon Valley's economic and corporate ideas.
I don't see anything wrong with older people, I am becoming one myself at the normal rate, but I do see something wrong with older people are just a consumer demographic instead of a more knowledgeable, wise and positive sector of the community. Young people are obnoxious for the most part, not that I blame them given our society they don't know any better.
This city does not have any vision, and its actions seem to be done behind closed doors and to know great focused attempt to imrove anything, except its ability to rationalize city government actions. For example closing the dump and making it into a park. I go out there a lot, and there is no parking there as it is. On weekends the parking lot is backed up way over to the duck pond and beyond. The noise level thanks to the airport will never be conducive to having a nice park out there. The noise makes a big difference ... just walk or ride your bike to Mountain View and spend some time at Shoreline Park and you see a huge difference in the usability of the area. Palo Alto is not serious about the baylands, it is the preserve of the airport and golfers. I would rather have a yacht harbor there to tell the truth, that was at least nice and something quieter and more fun to look at. The duck pond is just kind of creepy and decrepit. There is a new building where the Seabees building used to be, but it has yet to open and what is it actually going to do?
All the recreational faciities in Palo Alto are practically falling apart. The Baylands Interpretive center. The boardwalks out to the marshes are rickety and ugly. Pretty much the same in Foothill Park. Meanwhile people are spending huge money to build giant mansions in the hills up and down Page Mill road.
There is barely any recreational development out in the Palo Alto Baylands, or what there is is wasted because of the airport and lack of a well planned development strategy with a point. There is a park just to the left on Embarcadero I am not sure if anyone ever uses. There is the golf course. There are paths to hike around the airport, but its loud and I doubt there is any monitoring by rangers or safety people. This could be a really nice area.