Cynthia Serrano first moved into the Castro City neighborhood from Gilroy in 2002 to take care of her grandfather. She moved into one of the properties her parents own on Fair Oaks Street and sees no reason to live somewhere else. Serrano said she is motivated to stay in the neighborhood because her life and work are firmly rooted there.
"It's a tight community," Serrano said. "A lot of residents there have been there for years. My parents and cousins have grown up here."
Staying put seems to be a trend for people in the neighborhood nestled between Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway. Sylvia Torres is among those who has opted to stay put. She's lived in Castro City for 50 years, along with her brother, who lives with his family a few houses down. Her family's roots in the neighborhood go all the way back to the 1950s, when her mother moved into the neighborhood and met her father.
Since her childhood, a lot about the neighborhood has changed. For one, the empty lots Torres used to play baseball in are all gone -- a loss for the new generation of neighborhood kids like her nephew.
Secondly, the neighborhood has changed from families of predominantly Mexican-American heritage to a diverse group of residents. Families, especially ones with young babies or toddlers, have started moving in as well.
She said the neighborhood is pretty quiet, besides the Caltrain that runs by throughout the day.
"It's not as loud as other neighborhoods," Serrano said. "Everyone pretty much keeps to themselves."
Castro City lies close to La Plaza Market, Rengstorff Park and the Mountain View Community Center -- which is undergoing a $23.5-million overhaul -- but there is some sense of seclusion. The quiet also could be considered a drawback since there is no formal neighborhood association and no traditions to bring people together. In Serrano's experience, the only informal tradition the neighborhood has is an annual religious party hosted by a neighbor from across the street.
Still, Serrano and Torres have no plans to move and wish to continue to live in the neighborhood for years to come. They say they are excited for any changes that will come to Castro City and to Mountain View as a whole as the city grows.
"It's definitely home," Torres said. "It's changed over the years, and it is a small neighborhood, but I like where I live. I stayed here for my family, friends and because I want to be close to all the things I've become used to. Everything is right here."
Perla Luna, 2016
CHILDCARE AND PRESCHOOLS: Oak Tree Nursery School, 2100 University Ave.
FIRE STATION: No. 3, 301 N. Rengstorff Ave.
LOCATION: bounded by South Rengstorff Avenue, University Avenue, College Street and Leland Avenue
PARKS: Castro Park, Toft Avenue at Latham Street; Rengstorff Park and pool, Rengstorff Avenue at Crisanto Avenue
POST OFFICE: Mountain View, 211 Hope St.
PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Mountain View Whisman School District -- Monta Loma Elementary School, Graham Middle School; Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District -- Los Altos High School
SHOPPING: La Plaza Market, 40 S. Rengstorff Ave. at Leland Avenue