News


Palo Alto couple seeks a place for mobile micro-housing

Couple finds an affordable home in 40-foot bus

Like many Bay Area millennials, Alison Rush and husband Jordan Cowman face a difficult dilemma: housing.

But true to their generation's environmentalist sensibilities, they have come up with a potential solution that would be both affordable and allow them to live out their values of reducing waste and eschewing over consumption.

Enter the "Skallywagon," their as-yet-unchristened 40-foot converted bus/house. The vehicle could soon be their home if they are able to find a patch of land in Palo Alto or the surrounding area to park it on.

The couple's mobile dreams are not a throwback to the 1960s but a pragmatic approach to the problems affecting their generation, they said.

Millennials since their infancy have lived amid the constant refrain of impending ecological Armageddon, Rush said. Among many young adults, living in 200- to 300-square-foot housing — also known as "tiny cottages" — rules.

Tiny cottages range from stationary homes to converted trucks and buses. Some can be as elaborate as real-life mini castles that can be folded down during travel.

"Skoolies," people who live in old school buses, are a branch of the movement, and there are active online forums for skoolie and tiny-house communities.

Rush and Cowman had been researching tiny houses for some time when they came upon an ad for the already converted 1988 bus. The bus was priced for a quick sale. Previously housed in Clackamas, Oregon, the vehicle has all the accoutrements of a recreational vehicle. It has bathroom facilities, black-water and clean-water-holding systems, space for a California king bed, a kitchen, double bunk beds and loads of storage space.

"It seemed to be a great way to live the way we always wanted to," Cowman recently told the Weekly.

Prior to moving to the Bay Area, the couple lived in a four-bedroom house in Merced with housemates. But "the law of stuff" took over, Cowman said — that's where the number of objects expands to fill the size of a container. Art supplies, clothing and other possessions filled every inch of space.

"We were surprised at how much of our lives were consumed by paying for things we don't need and worrying about things," Rush said.

When they moved to Palo Alto so Rush could pursue her doctorate degree at the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, they pared down their belongings by four-fifths. Most items went to a friend's thrift store, and they had a small yard sale.

Rush brought just two suitcases and a ukulele.

"The paring-down process was very revealing. It was a refreshing way of thinking," she said.

Cowman and Rush, who married last summer, found a "fabulous" 650-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Palo Alto that is, by Palo Alto standards, of reasonable cost.

But the knowledge that an unexplained medical emergency could plunge them into a real financial crisis created a sense of instability that lingers, Rush said.

In Merced, they paid $280 a month for their share of the big house; in Palo Alto, they pay $2,345, which is on the cheap side for the city, Cowman said.

"We're making more money than in the valley, but that's completely negated by the fact that it all goes into the housing," he said.

Buying the bus takes a huge pressure off, however. Their house is paid for, he noted.

Rush agreed and said others of their generation feel the same way. Given the state of the economy, they don't expect to live at the consumption level of previous generations, she said.

Living in a bus is not a rejection of the American Dream, it's an adjustment to a new reality, she said.

"It's practical. It makes it easier to meet our dreams," Cowman added.

For Rush, it's more about a shift in assumptions. With her idea of music shaken by her studies at Stanford, Rush said a parallel evolved in her life regarding assumptions about how to live and what is reasonable, she said.

"Living consciously and deliberately and not losing time by not treading water felt absolutely right," she added.

Shaped by the crises of their times, millennials are leery of institutions that are supposed to guarantee financial stability, Cowman said.

Rush agreed.

"There's a general suspicion of corporate brainwashing. And we've grown up with the specter of environmental doom: 'Yes, we are killing the planet, and as consumers this is what you can buy to fix it.' It's unnerving — it's been thought-provoking for us," she said.

Having secured their home, Rush and Cowman now face another hurdle: finding land where they can park and live in the bus.

Mobile-home and RV park spaces are generally not available, and city and county laws make finding a suitable location challenging, they said.

Cowman and Rush are considering a number of options, from purchasing land to living mobile around the Bay Area. They have reached out through some neighborhood networks in search of a willing property owner that might also host them, they said.

"At this point, we want to find someone who has space and who is willing to host us for what they think the bus is worth," they said.

Cowman and Rush face some regulatory roadblocks to fulfilling their dream. In many cities and counties, skoolie living isn't legal, they said. They'd like to stay local.

Palo Alto does not allow living in vehicles on private property, even if the vehicle is in the rear yard, according to Brian Reynolds, city code enforcement officer.

"Typically, we are alerted to these matters by neighbors who see either activity or electrical hookups. Concerns of waste removal, etc., are often concerns as well," he said.

The city's chief building official can allow for living in a mobile home for a restricted time period, usually for up to 30 days, but that is usually in conjunction with a building permit, he said.

But that is very rare.

"Honestly, I do not recall this ever occurring," Reynolds said.

The larger the plot of land, the less likely the city would get complaints or be able to observe a violation, but it would still not be in compliance with the zoning code, he said.

Rush predicts the tiny house and micro-mobile home movement will have growing appeal.

"It allows people to have the cake of living in the Bay Area and eat it too without going bankrupt," she said.

Comments

33 people like this
Posted by Adorable Freeloaders
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:34 am

It's gross to see this idea celebrated when just recently our idiot City Council passed a law that would prohibit genuine poor people from being poor and living in campers and this newspaper blackened its own reputation by endorsing that ridiculous ordinance.

It took an aggressive litigation effort by a coalition of concerned local attorneys to protect the poor from being criminalized for being forced to live in their cars. That wasted the time of a lot of people who could have been doing something else. The City Council finally repealed the ordinance under pressure. This publication has never admitted that it was wrong to endorse the ordinance criminalizing living in a car. Now it wants to promote this adorable white upper class couple and their cute fantasy of choosing to live in a school bus.

[Portion removed.]


40 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 8:43 am

This sort of thing is called freeloading at the expense of the residents of the city and neighborhood.

I hope you follow this and make sure that these freeloaders do not live in Palo Alto without paying their fair share of taxes, rents, parcel taxes, utilities, and putting their kids in our schools and voting in our elections.

This is pretty disgraceful in my mind. I have nothing against living small, but this is not the way to do it.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2015 at 11:24 am

^ What is the way to do it?


44 people like this
Posted by Adorable Freeloaders
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:28 pm

[Portion removed.]

Go find some land somewhere cheap and live off it. What if everyone just decided to go live in a camper on the street. Who pays for the trash collection? Who pays for the fire and police protection? These people are adorable parasites slumming for fun. They can afford to pay rent, but they want you to pay their way instead. They would like the benefits of living in a place with high paying jobs, safety, medical services, cleanliness, fun things to do and places to go, street lights, stop signs, etc. but not the overhead.

[Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:39 pm

@Adorable Freeloaders

So your issue is them parking on the street? So long as they find someone with land to let them park on they'll be "in the system" so to speak, and hopefully you're blood pressure can return to normal.


27 people like this
Posted by Jordan Cowman
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I bet you'd like us if you got to know us!

Really though, we CAN'T afford it. The percentage of income that we pay to rent is insane. We are almost certainly going to live in a trailer home park (which is great!), but we do have the desire to live close enough to work and school that we do not have to waste gas. Our intention was never to be "adorable" or live some twisted '60s fantasy. We just want to be able to save up money to start a family one day.



29 people like this
Posted by How embarrassing for them
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Wow, this is freeloading at best. They should buy an electric car and live where they can afford it. Sure, go to a trailer park - that's acceptable. But don't try to cheat the system by being car dwellers because you don't want to spend the money on a real residence.


21 people like this
Posted by Reality Bites
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm

What this couple issuing is just shy of squatting. It is still car camping, which is illegal most places.

They should find a cheap mobile home park somewhere, or
Buy a cheap lot in the mountains.


10 people like this
Posted by Adorable Freeloaders
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Apr 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm

It is not legal in Palo Alto and in many areas to "find land to live on." As the story makes clear, it is not lawful to live in a vehicle on private land, even if it is in the backyard out of the way. Either you can live in a mobile home park, where you pay rent (fine) or you live on the street which is legal but is also freeloading if you can afford to pay rent. You are using the city services provided by taxpayers to avoid paying them yourself. [Portion removed.]


28 people like this
Posted by Jordan Cowman
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:18 pm

We never actually suggested we might live on the street- I'm not sure how that came through in the article. If I remember correctly, I was asking sue why she hadn't interviewed any of the people who are living in RVs on el Camino. We looked into mobile home parks within about 30 miles and none of them had availability, or on most cases, a waiting list. Our post on nextdoor looking for suggestions is what sparked Sue to reach out and write this article.

I would be eager to have a conversation about the social contract, or housing as an industry, or anything that isn't just spewing insults at my wife and I. I'm sorry we upset you so much.


25 people like this
Posted by Jordan Cowman
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:25 pm

Looking back at it now, I see that no where in the article does it mention that we had any intention of living on the street. Our housing search has largely been reaching out to real estate agents in the La Honda/half moon bay area to find a small piece of land, and looking into mobile home parks that are a short commute away.


34 people like this
Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:33 pm

Jordan, there are two things I've found that Palo Altans on these forums have an irrational hatred for: one is young people, be they "techies" or "millennials" who want to live here even though they haven't "put the effort" into it (aka sat on 20-40 years of housing appreciation). The other is anyone who approaches problems such as housing or traffic proactively, finding a solution that works for themselves rather than loudly complaining... unfortunately you fit the bill on both these counts.


21 people like this
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 4:41 pm

Let me ask an open question to Resident, Freeloaders, etc. - what is your solution for the high cost of living on the Peninsula? Palo Alto has always been comparatively expensive, but housing is much more expensive compared to incomes than it ever has been.

A 650 sq ft apartment for $2345 requires $93k income to make it affordable. The median income for the Bay Area is about $80k. So a 650 sq ft apartment in Palo Alto is well out of reach for the median Bay Area household, which includes lots of people who are much more established in their careers than this couple in their 20s.

What kind of community do you want to live in?


35 people like this
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm

Could not believe the remarks of the city's staff. At Boulware Park 410 Fernando Ave. in Palo Alto, just a short distance south of Page Mill Rd. there are several broken down school buses and motor homes that never move. They have been there for a long time and no matter how many times we've called various depts. in the City (about issues- drugs, men using the bushes as a toilet, throwing liquids in the creek, trash, small fires -no one is able to do anything about the situation. These vehicles should not be parked next to a park that children (want to) frequent. And that's the problem because we will not allow our children to play at our neighborhood park. It's so unfair. It seems like in the 'nicer neighborhoods' of Palo Alto they do not experience people living in broken down vehicles right next to their park. I wish someone would help us. We'd like to be able to feel safe in our park. Thank you for listening.


4 people like this
Posted by How embarrassing for them
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm

[Post removed.]


13 people like this
Posted by Downtown Worker
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm

Sorry, @embarrassing - who is asking for freebies? It doesn't sound like Jordan is. He seems to be looking to rent some land to put his RV.

The most I've heard is people asking the city to permit denser buildings or taller ones for housing. If this causes impacts, is there a way they could simply pay for those impacts? I'm sure the actual value of the impact is less costly than the value of living in one of the most innovative cities in the world.


17 people like this
Posted by True
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm

True is a registered user.

They should live in the Stanford dorms or commute. And they should have three jobs while they are young and healthy. Are they too above being blue collar workers? [Portion removed.]


37 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2015 at 10:38 am

Nayeli is a registered user.

@ Jordan Cowman: I apologize for the treatment of my fellow Palo Alto residents. I suspect that many of us might not be as sympathetic due to the ongoing craziness attached to the Bueno Vista trailer park debacle. Others may be concerned (without having actually read the article and interviews) of an impending eyesore in this little Silicon Valley utopia filled with many hard-working people (and a few who were lucky).

I think that I understand what you're saying. Rent is astronomical in Palo Alto and some of the other communities along the peninsula. There is little to change that. I don't think that the residents of Soho (NYC), Paris, London, Amsterdam or Beverly Hills 90210 would enjoy seeing a trailer park next door either. After all, Palo Alto is one of the very "exclusive" towns in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bay Area -- and that high dollar exclusivity is likely one of the reasons why crime is so low and schools are so great.

I think that what you and your wife is doing is commendable. While you won't likely find a place for your converted bus in Palo Alto, Stanford or neighboring towns, you might look into some of the other mobile home parks in the area. Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose have several. My husband had a co-worker (a man with a Ph.D. who had a wife in tech and one child) who lived in one of those parks in Sunnyvale. We went to their home for a barbeque and found it to be a pleasant, quiet and friendly community-within-a-community.

Please keep us updated about your progress -- particularly if you decide to live outside of a mobile home park. I will add this article's URL to my favorite's list and return periodically in the hope of hearing of your progress. Good luck to you and your wife!


14 people like this
Posted by Anonymous22
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2015 at 1:05 pm

Anonymous22 is a registered user.

@Jordan Cowman,
I am with Nayeli, I apologize for the rudeness of others. I am impressed by your and your wife's creativity in trying to find a solution that works for your family. I will say that every generation thinks they are the first, but this area was just as unaffordable 40 years ago, if anything, there was even less in the way of apartment/condo living. The question above was a reasonable one -- if you can get Stanford housing, get Stanford housing, it's a really cush deal in this area, and right where you want to be.

We have friends who lived out of their boat in RWC for much of their early careers, then moved away when they had kids. I don't think the overnighting on the boat was allowed, either, but many people did it. The tradeoff is a lot of energy that not everyone has.

Here's what I have learned about living in the Bay Area: it is hard to put down roots. It is difficult, but you can do it. But at some point, in order to, you have to in some way buy a patch of land. This is a desirable place, and that is just never going to get easy. But if you are willing to make sacrifices in the way of comfort, as you clearly are, it is even now still possible even if you aren't a millionaire, but you have to be creative and willing to put a lot of energy into it, and clearly you have that, too. You will probably have to buy somewhere much less desirable - EPA, Milpitas, etc., and you will have to commute, but there are places on transit corridors where you can take transit. You could also get even more creative - convert your bus to electric or LNG, become an Uber commuter service where you bring others in with you to help justify living further out, etc.

I have really wished the in-law unit rules here could be relaxed just a little. If the city further made low-cost loans available to homeowners to put in units in exchange for low rents for a set period of time, it could work for everyone. (The great thing about such plans is the housing gets built but doesn't result in a large empty building when the economy drops. The down side for many people is the difficulty of being in such close quarters with renters. It can be real hit or miss, I know good people who have been terrorized in those circumstances, one who experienced elder abuse.) But ultimately, if you want to stay here, it's in your own best interest to build equity, like everyone else who isn't a millionaire and is living here did. It's hard. It takes a long time. But it is possible.

Good luck to you! I agree, please keep us all posted.


32 people like this
Posted by Carla
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Carla is a registered user.

I too was in your same position. I had a good job that paid for all my basic needs after graduating from Stanford, but I could not save or dream of buying a home just like you. Well the way I got 'creative' is that I went to business school and opened up more options for a better career. Meanwhile, my longterm boyfriend got 'creative' by starting three companies, two of which went nowhere. We've spent 15 years living lean, in small spaces; not buying a home; and investing as much as we could. Had we wanted what people in Palo Alto already had at our young age, we would have had to move far and away. But it was more important to stay where we like everyone around us, so we worked hard for it for a very long time.

There are no short cuts. Your solution of living in someone's backyard in your bus, is not one.

Residents of Palo Alto have a lot of reason to be frustrated over this article and subject matter.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:06 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

The carbon footprint of this monstrosity should get it banned from Palo Alto streets altogether. And let's consider the CO and NOx emissions of a vehicle this size and age. These people are living a massive poison thy neighbor lifestyle.


13 people like this
Posted by m2grs
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:30 pm

m2grs is a registered user.

It's an interesting idea. But it's unlikely to succeed in Palo Alto.

They may find a large construction project and park the bus on site. In return they serve as nightly watch to deter thieves and respond to fire alarms. Some super rich constructing a 15,000 sqft mansion may be interested in such arrangement.


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 20, 2015 at 7:48 am

mauricio is a registered user.

They seem like a really nice couple and I wish them the best. Unfortunately for them, they will not find space in Palo Alto to park their bus. Going beyond their particular situation, the reality is that the Bay area is far too crowded and far too expensive for most new comers to be able to live here. Since greed will always triumph in our so called free market system, which is really crony capitalism, but this is for another debate, the obvious solution is that since not everybody can live in the Bay area, let alone insanely expensive Palo Alto, those new comers who can't afford it need to live in areas they can afford. Existing local companies and future start ups need to do the patriotic and righteous thing, and relocate to economically depressed areas around the state and around the country. In this age of lines of code and digitation, the physical location of a high tech business is virtually meaningless. These companies could revive areas that desperately need them, and their employees would be able to afford housing, which they can't afford in the Bay area.


4 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:15 am

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

Brian Reynolds and Palo Alto Code Enforcement: please enforce the zoning code also against those who live in vehicles parked permanently on the street. The "[c]oncerns of waste removal, etc.," that you mention are heightened when the dwelling is parked on a public street ten feet from the children's play area at Boulware Park!


4 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:17 am

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

Frustrated, I share your frustration 1000%. Except for the Police Department who is consistently responsive, the City is letting us down big time here. If the street parking vehicle dwellers moved to private land and complied with zoning and other laws, we would not have the issues we have now.


7 people like this
Posted by Jonathan Brown
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:21 am

Jonathan Brown is a registered user.

Downtown worker asks: "What kind of community do you want to live in?" I'd rather live in one that had rules allowing good people like the Jordan Cowman and Alison Rush to live small on private land than one that allows vehicle dwellers to escape any regulation at all and instead befoul parks, streets, and creeks..


6 people like this
Posted by almunday60
a resident of another community
on Apr 20, 2015 at 10:37 am

almunday60 is a registered user.

so just because they are educated, it will be okay for them to squat on some land and destroy the area with their human waste then roll on to the next
area. this article would be better served if the couple were to state
1) how they would properly get rid of their human and other waste
2) where will they get their water from
3) where will they get power from

last thing I want to hear is them parking infront of a friends house and sponging off of them for the above,

just from what was stated in the article what is the difference between them
and homeless folks living in their vehicles


17 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 11:13 am

Crescent Park Dad is a registered user.

Did you read the article?

"Previously housed in Clackamas, Oregon, the vehicle has all the accoutrements of a recreational vehicle. It has bathroom facilities, black-water and clean-water-holding systems, space for a California king bed, a kitchen, double bunk beds and loads of storage space."

It's an RV. They can get water and dump their black water at any RV station (for a fee). They can get electrical via a shore power hook up (from someone or they pay for it) and I would imagine that they also have a generator. Plus it's an easy upgrade to add solar charging for their "house" batteries.

So cut the kids a break. They are looking for a legitimate place to park/live. They clearly don't want to camp on the streets or in front of anyone's home. You won't find them on ECR, Park Ave or at Cubberly.

I recall Stanford used to have RVs parked out on the back side of the medical center --- perhaps they can join the fleet over there.


17 people like this
Posted by Kathyk
a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Apr 20, 2015 at 11:50 am

Kathyk is a registered user.

What I do not understand is why they are not living in student housing. I spent 6 years in student family housing when I was a grad student at Stanford. It is affordable and you can walk everywhere.


Like this comment
Posted by KP
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm

KP is a registered user.

I have seen RV's at the RWC KMart parking lot for the past year or so. They recently put fencing up for them. I don't know about full time living, but there are always some RV's there whenever we go to Applebees!

I know we wouldn't be here if we had to move here now. Luckily my grandparents have been here since the early 1940's and we have property for all of us.


8 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Apr 20, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

I also don't understand why they're not living at Stanford in student housing. Please explain.

Also, where's Jordan working? Doesn't he need to be close to his job?


9 people like this
Posted by Michelledb
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 12:43 pm

Michelledb is a registered user.

Hi Jordan and Alison - welcome to Palo Alto! I read this article and was wondering if you had considered east Palo Alto. Perhaps not for the bus as I would imagine it is not allowed but to rent or buy. There are a lot of young professionals and families in EPA. Anyway, just a thought.

Best of luck,

Michelle


2 people like this
Posted by BarronParker
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm

BarronParker is a registered user.

Jordan, there are some very large mobile home parks about 8 miles away from Palo Alto, in Sunnyvale near 237. One of them, Casa de Amigos, has about 900 units, many of them nice 2000 square foot homes (cost, approx. $300K new). The rent is about $1000/month; you own the house. Houses come up for sale fairly often. The other parks are of similar size.

It appears to be the least expensive and roomy arrangement where you have your own house in the valley.

Good luck on your search.


14 people like this
Posted by Terrace Antelope
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Terrace Antelope is a registered user.

Unbleivable, these guys think they can come live in our town, drink our water and leach off OUR Starbuck's wifi without paying any property taxes! Shame on them.

Just kidding, let the kids explore life by living in a bus. Jordan and Alison, just remember that it's the whiny minority who have time to sit around and complain in forums like this. Most of Palo Alto doesnt care. Do your thing. Live and let live. Plant a tree. Random acts of kindness. It'll work out.


Like this comment
Posted by gwalker85
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 21, 2015 at 8:58 am

gwalker85 is a registered user.

Maybe you could talk to your friends at the GSB and ask them to study the POST model which was developed to compete with developers in the free market for land parcels tow save our redwoods and protect our open space. The model was developed for a single purchase, but POST has continued to bid in the free market for land parcels ever since and has received funding from Measures approved by voters.

If people are as important as redwood trees, maybe a new bidder in the free market with a social contract that follows the POST model could do for people what POST has done for redwood trees. Land parcels could become available for Tiny House parks and/or low income housing developments.

Good work and Good Luck!!!


1 person likes this
Posted by BostonFern
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 22, 2015 at 2:31 am

BostonFern is a registered user.

The real cause of the high Bay Area housing cost is public policies: all these policies that limit the construction of new property like zoning or regulation of building height. To improve the housing situation, one needs to make changes to the public policy.

Any American who live outside of Bay Area would feel sympathetic to the situation of this young couple. I'm wondering why some readers are so hostile toward them. Is it because they are new property owners and fear for the loss of their property value? Is it because the community value has deteriorated to the point that people really don't care much about other people?


Like this comment
Posted by True
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Apr 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm

True is a registered user.

BostonFern: Your statement, "Any American who live outside of Bay Area would feel sympathetic" is questionable. Communities like Palo Alto with higher end incomes would likely feel the same. There is hostility here because we have sacrificed and worked hard to be able to afford to live in Palo Alto and we expect the same of others who want to live in our city. We don't want squatters. And to those on the far left who are okay with homeless and car dwellers, I question why you don't move to live amongst them and help them or invite them into your homes. Sympathy but NIMBY?


1 person likes this
Posted by diazmommy
a resident of Monroe Park
on Oct 21, 2015 at 2:28 pm

diazmommy is a registered user.

[Portion removed.]

There is nothing wrong with what they were wanting to do. Good golly people, wake up and look at the world around you, not just yourself. One day you may find youurself in a different situation financially and you'll rememeber this article. Or maybe you wont. Money and status doesnt buy you everything, especially a heart.
I hope everything worked out for you both, Allison and Jordan.


Like this comment
Posted by cricket
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 12, 2016 at 4:11 pm

cricket is a registered user.

Okay, I couldn't help myself. I had heard about this article and decided to do a little Google search to find it again.

How about an update? These lovely people are my neighbors. They overcame the negativity here, found some land in the peninsula on which to live ON the grid (electric, water, septic to boot), paying rent, paying taxes, and voting. They are outstanding, high-achieving, brilliant and witty people, and I'm so glad to know them and their (now painted a beautiful blue) bus. And I feel sorry for y'all. Automatically assuming the worst, jumping to completely outlandish conclusions about their intentions, and generally being unbelievably hateful for no reason. That's cool. While you all had to "work for years" to be able to afford to live in the area, Jordan and Allison used their innovation and creativity to make it happen in their 20s. And I think you curmudgeons are just jealous.

Haters gonna hate. :)


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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