News

Former Palo Altans trade Silicon Valley lifestyle for better 'quality of life' elsewhere

Reasons that attract people to city could be same reasons why they flee

Helen Jones, a former Palo Alto resident, talks to Bob Spisak, a friend she met in a physical therapy exercise class, at Lighthouse Point in Santa Cruz on July 3, 2018. Photo by Adam Pardee.

When Rebecca Robinson, a Palo Alto mother of three, told her friends in 2014 that she was moving to Wisconsin after more than a decade in the Bay Area, she received two different types of responses: The first was jealousy, the second bewilderment.

"It was either 'You're so lucky! I want to move. I want to get out of here' or 'How could you move anywhere else? This is paradise. I would never, ever leave,'" she said.

The reactions reflect the spectrum of attitudes Palo Altans have toward their city and Silicon Valley, which has burgeoned into a technological, innovation and intellectual hub rivaled by few regions in the country. Filled with technology companies that have become household names across the globe, the area is home to highly educated, ambitious people who have created a world that's the envy of many: Public schools rank among the top in the states, the consumer economy attracts high-end restaurants and retailers, and a politically active populace involves itself in public service. At the same time, growing problems with commute traffic and housing costs have become a burden for many.

Numbers show that this high-powered lifestyle is not for everyone.

According to a report on Silicon Valley's competitiveness produced by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, fewer people moved into Silicon Valley than left the area in 2016. An average of 42 people more moved out of the region each month in 2016 compared to 2015, the report stated. Some 2,458 people moved to other U.S. destinations per month in 2016. Last month, a poll of 1,000 registered voters by the Bay Area Council found that 46 percent said they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years, an increase of six percentage points from 2017 and 10 percentage points from 2016.

Additionally, more people are leaving Silicon Valley for other domestic destinations than are coming in. They might be headed for other innovation hubs such as Austin, which had the largest number of new residents relocating from other parts of the country (2,783 per month) in 2016, or Seattle, which gained 2,564 domestic residents per month that year. Silicon Valley, by comparison, lost 2,548 residents in 2016 to other regions of the U.S.

In interviews with several former residents, the Weekly discovered that many of the reasons that attract so many to Palo Alto — the fast pace, the school system — may be the same reasons why others flee from the region. Instead, they seek something else. They are parents who don't want their children going through the stress of attending Palo Alto or Gunn high schools. They are working professionals who are willing to commute from farther away for more affordable housing. They are retirees wanting a slower pace of life.

"My own view," said Brian Brennan, the senior vice president of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, "is it's remarkable that we have not lost more folks from this region."

Housing costs, quality of life

Linda van Gelder moved with her family to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2017, after selling the Palo Alto home that she and her husband bought in 1993, to gain a better "quality of life."

"The Bay Area is just getting intense, crowded and expensive," she said. "Everybody has to work hard to be able to live there. There isn't much time to just relax and communicate with people."

In Palo Alto, her family had a bungalow-style home in the Duveneck-St. Francis neighborhood: three bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,600 square feet. In Ann Arbor, they have 5,900 square feet, 0.7 acres of land and 50 trees on their property. Several large trees and a large lawn area comprise the front yard.

"It's really nice to have the extra space," she said.

Van Gelder actually grew up in Michigan before moving to the Bay Area. She used to tell people should she would never move back. But after taking her daughter on a campus tour at the University of Michigan a few years ago, she started considering it. She has close friends in the area and just felt like it was the right time.

"It took a couple years from not thinking about moving back to 'Let's move back,'" she said.

Just as Palo Alto is adjacent to the Stanford University campus, van Gelder's new neighborhood is near the University of Michigan — which is in the middle of Ann Arbor. Their house is on a very quiet street about a block from a farmers market.

Van Gelder said someone in Ann Arbor remarked that they must have paid an arm and a leg for their new home.

"Well," she responded, "it's not as much as what we sold our house for, and it's a bigger house."

The median home value in Palo Alto is more than $3 million, according to Zillow. Silicon Valley's median home value rose 10 percent in 2017, topping $1 million for the first time. It is more than double that of the Seattle, Boston and New York City regions, as the Bay Area has become more gentrified.

Though Ann Arbor is also facing increased gentrification, there is an effort to combat it, van Gelder said. The median cost of a home in Ann Arbor is $364,100, according to Zillow.

"There's enough housing," van Gelder said, "so houses don't become so expensive that Ann Arbor becomes more like Palo Alto — like you can't live there if you're a teacher."

Robinson and her husband grew up in Arizona. She, too, didn't expect they would ever leave Palo Alto.

"We thought we'd be there forever," she said. "We never even thought about Wisconsin."

But a few years ago, the family of five set their sights on moving; Robinson cited a culture of stress in the Palo Alto school system as chief among their reasons. They considered places such as Seattle and Portland but settled on Wisconsin after her husband found a way to continue his venture capital work with the University of Wisconsin. They were transfixed by the different pace in Wisconsin. They started commuting, and soon enough, they committed.

Robinson went from a 1,100-square foot home in Palo Alto to a 10-acre property on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin. There is a 100-year old barn, a farm and lots of green grass, but it is only 12 minutes from downtown Madison.

"It's the best of both worlds because it feels super rural, but within a couple minutes, we're in the city," Robinson said.

The high cost of housing has deterred others looking to start a family, like Steve Smith, who was a clinical psychology professor at Palo Alto University but moved back to Santa Barbara in 2016 — where he is a tenured professor at UC Santa Barbara — with his wife and daughter (they later had a son in Santa Barbara).

"The cost of living was so prohibitive, especially for a small family just starting to get rolling," Smith said. "The difference is here in Santa Barbara is you also have range to have some inexpensive housing. The floor financially in the Palo Alto area was way too high."

The Silicon Valley report pointed to one of the causes of escalating housing costs: While employment grew by 29 percent and population expanded 8 percent from 2010 to 2016, housing units only increased by 4 percent. The gap between job and housing growth is becoming wider, heightening the demand for housing.

This has led some to move just outside the area — people like Arnab Basu, who lived in Palo Alto for five years but moved north to Santa Rosa with his partner in 2015.

"I think it's a necessity," Basu said. "We had to move to make sure we could operate and be the working professionals that we are."

While Basu does not have to commute back to the Valley, others do, opting to move to the outskirts of the Bay Area but make the long drive back. This, Brennan said, is one way to beat the cost of housing, but it's not a long-term fix. Instead of being burdened with sky-high rent, people are saddled with sitting in a car for hours on end.

The difference between traffic congestion in Silicon Valley versus other parts of the country is stark. Kathy Schroeder spent more than two decades in Palo Alto, working in the public school system and as the executive director of a nonprofit before relocating in 2015 to Bend, Oregon, a town of 91,000 people, where her husband's company opened a second location.

"Every time I've been back (in Palo Alto)," she said, "the traffic has been a little bit more challenging."

In Bend, she said, there is virtually no commute. To get to work, her husband doesn't have to pass a single stoplight.

Ann Arbor's traffic situation is bad for Michigan, van Gelder said, but it's all relative. There are only a couple of spots to avoid during rush hour.

"Getting on the freeway, it's slow for not even a mile during rush hour," van Gelder said. "People here think the traffic is bad."

Bay Area commuters would probably beg to differ. Commute times in Silicon Valley increased by nearly 19 percent between 2010 and 2016, more than Seattle, Boston, New York City and Southern California, and the average commuter spends 72 minutes per day on the road, the report found.

"To put it mildly, it's an imperfect way," Brennan said. "It's not sustainable. It's not environmentally sustainable. And in terms of quality of life, it's not sustainable."

Brennan added that he sees the trend continuing in the short term. Only an economic downturn, he said, would change the dynamics. Such a downturn would lead to slower job creation — or job loss — leading to fewer workers, less demand for housing and lower home prices. Even if policymakers introduced legislation to alleviate the housing crisis or traffic issues, the effect would not be apparent for a while.

"It will take us a long time to dig out of this problem that we've created for ourselves," he said.

'I just want my kids to be kids'

According to parents who have left, Palo Alto harbors a culture of stress and pressure that does not exist in their new hometowns. At get-togethers in Palo Alto, the discussion would inevitably turn to where their kids are going to college and how they are going to get in. They would hear their kids and their friends talk about staying up until 3 a.m. studying, taking every Advanced Placement class they could. Perfect ACT scores were the norm.

Robinson — who was on the PTA board at Duveneck Elementary School for 10 years and volunteered in school classrooms in Palo Alto — said she saw the difference when she enrolled her son in a private high school near Madison.

"It feels breathable," she said. "You're at school events and people (with kids) in sixth grade aren't talking about getting their kids in ACT-prep programs and hiring professional baseball players to coach their kids. It just feels more old-fashioned, like what it should be."

Van Gelder, who worked as a therapist and served as president of the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) at Palo Alto High School from 2014 to 2016 and was a trainer for QPR, a suicide prevention program, said she joked to the principal at one point that she was just going to put a couch in the parking lot.

"I'd be walking out and parents would be telling me what their kids are going through," van Gelder said.

Even well-meaning parents are dragged into this lifestyle, according to Smith, who also had a private practice as a psychologist in Palo Alto. He met kids who struggled with depression and anxiety disorders, kids who were scheduled "up to their eyeballs" with tutors, music lessons and sports.

"You get pulled into it," Smith said, "because when everybody else around you is doing the same thing, it's hard to do differently."

Smith is on the board of directors of Challenge Success, an initiative started by Stanford in 2007 that aims to create a more balanced and academically fulfilling life for kids. That balance, he said, is difficult to achieve in Silicon Valley, where youth grapple with the pressure to be the very best at so many different things. It's why he's glad his kids aren't growing up in this environment.

"I just want my kids to be kids," he said, "and run around the park."

What they miss

Smith still visits Palo Alto about once a month. When he comes, he always goes running in Huddard Park in Woodside. He misses the redwood trees, the environment, the natural beauty, the vibrance.

"There is an excitement to being there that is fun," Smith said.

Van Gelder's daughter misses Philz Coffee, and van Gelder wonders how there isn't a Jamba Juice in Ann Arbor. Basu still stops by Fraiche, a locally owned frozen yogurt store in downtown Palo Alto, whenever he's in town.

"We were big fans of it," he said. "Every couple of weeks, I'll go and get a cup there."

In addition to missing their favorite spots and experiences, former residents who moved to more remote areas feel an intellectual difference.

Schroeder traded the fast-paced lifestyle for a small town that gets lots of snow in the winter and is filled with two-lane roads, hiking trails and camping spots. Traffic jams in Bend have more to do with deer or geese wandering onto the streets than too many cars on the road.

"There is a nice small town feel to Bend that I don't have the same perception of in Palo Alto," she said. "People are always stopping and waving people across the street to walk, or letting people in if there are lines of traffic. If somebody has problem on the side of the road, five people stop to try to help."

But Schroeder said she took Palo Alto's intellectual level of discourse for granted. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, 80 percent of Palo Alto residents are college graduates, compared to 42 percent of residents in Bend. Schroeder, who called herself "flamingly liberal," was disappointed to learn her new county, Deschutes, went for Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election (73 percent of Santa Clara County voted for Hillary Clinton). She has seen signs of overt racism that she didn't see in Palo Alto, like a white supremacist symbol on the back of a pickup truck.

There are many good people in Bend, Schroeder said, but the discussions she has around town are not the same as the ones she had in Palo Alto.

"We don't talk about politics or current events in the same way because they might be warm, wonderful people that I really like, but they may have a different political philosophy than I do," she said. "We tend to avoid those topics more."

When Robinson enrolled her youngest daughter, who had attended Palo Alto High School through her junior year, in a public high school in Madison, she was taken aback — so much so that her daughter finished her last semester of high school online.

"That was a bad mistake," Robinson said. "Being out in the country — how do we say this nicely — they just weren't quite as 'woke' regarding race and feminism."

Smith, who lamented the lifestyle that Palo Alto cultivates for youth, nonetheless misses the racial diversity of the city and the area's overall cultural diversity. In 2016, Silicon Valley gained an average of 2,506 residents a month from international regions.

The data, Brennan said, underscores how immigrants may be transfixed by the values they see in the Valley: the innovation, the diversity, the fast pace.

Smith, likewise, said he found these factors energizing.

"It's neat to be in a place where the things that are driving the tech industry are really just going on everywhere," Smith said. "It's such an educated population that it's just easy to get caught up in stimulating conversations with everybody."

These are assets that former Palo Altans appreciate and part of what they enjoy about encountering fellow expats in their new hometowns. Bend, Oregon has become one locus for people who used to live in the Palo Alto area. Schroeder said she ran into a friend at a concert a few weeks ago who had just moved to Bend a few days earlier.

"Folks who have moved here from Palo Alto have a common background and perspective which is great fun to share with each other up here," Schroeder said. "I totally understand what attracts Palo Alto people to this area, especially those who want to raise their children in a simpler environment or those who want to retire in an outdoor playland."

Former Palo Alto Eichler homeowner Carroll Harrington likewise enjoys the company of old friends in her new hometown of Capitola, a different kind of outdoor playland than Bend. She is enjoying retirement there after spending more than five decades in Palo Alto, where she worked for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, was a consultant for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and had a graphic design business.

Now, Harrington loves looking at the ocean and the more casual vibe. She enjoys going to the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz and people-watching.

"It's a different kind of energy," she said. "It just seems more relaxed down here."

The same goes for her friend, Helen Jones, who moved from New York to Palo Alto in 1969. Jones worked as a counselor at De Anza College and her husband worked for the Palo Alto Veteran Affairs. She enjoyed the climate and raised two daughters.

But when retirement came in 1997, she decided to move permanently to Santa Cruz, where she had a second home. She's never regretted it. Like Harrington, Jones enjoys the ocean, which her beachfront house overlooks. Through her large picture windows, she sees the crisp, blue water, with people strolling by on the beach.

"It was an easy move," Jones said. "It's only an hour's drive. But it's a whole different world."

How Palo Alto compares

Palo Alto's residents tend to be highly educated:

80 percent are college grads. The % of college grads in Bend, Santa Barbara, Madison and Ann Arbor range from 41.6 percent to 72.8 percent.

Palo Alto's students excel at SATs:

The average SAT score is 1,360. The national average is 1,020.

Palo Alto's population is less white than Ann Arbor's, Bend's and Madison's:

56.3 percent are white, 1 percent are black, 30.9 percent are Asian, 7.1 percent are Hispanic.

More Palo Alto residents are foreign born:

35.7 percent were not born in the U.S. In Bend, 5 percent are foreign-born, while in Santa Barbara 25.4 percent are.

Palo Alto's single-family homes are pricey:

The median list price is $2.88 million. Santa Barbara homes are selling for $1.35 million, while on the low end, a median-priced Madison home goes for $275,000.

Sources: 2016 American Community Survey estimates; Palo Alto Unified School District; Zillow.com

Freelance writer and former Palo Alto Weekly intern Eric He can be emailed at heeric@usc.edu.

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Comments

63 people like this
Posted by Brandon
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:41 am

I moved my family out of PA after 35 years and it was the greatest decision! My kids actually ride bikes around their neighborhood, and play outside with their friends after school. I do miss some of the natural beauties of PA, but that’s about it. The new crop of people have absolutely ruined PA.


67 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:53 am

QUOTE: The new crop of people have absolutely ruined PA.

When PA went upscale, things began to go downhill.

QUOTE (from the article): More Palo Alto residents are foreign born:
35.7 percent were not born in the U.S.

Another factor or simply a statistic?


35 people like this
Posted by Midwest
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:02 am

After a decade in Palo Alto, I moved with my family to medium-sized city in the Midwest. We just passed the decade mark here. My observations:

The factors that have provided the most stress relief are lower housing prices (more flexibility with employment options and schedules); less traffic so more time out of the car; and a less competitive environment for children, both in and out of school.

The biggest surprises: my children's public school experience has been considerably more diverse than it would have been in Palo Alto. We are in a district where over 100 native languages are spoken in the homes of students, and it is more diverse socioecomically.

Another surprise has been that less progressive policies and practices, from rudimentary recycling programs to state laws, are certainly frustrating to live with but also satisfying to help improve. As a family, we are much more involved here with making positive change, and in a smaller community it is easier for an individual to make an observable difference.

The biggest frustrations in addition to those mentioned above: a smaller-market airport means more connecting flights and travel time/delays; farmers markets/CSA's have more limited growing season and variety; smaller variety of local employers.

A note on average SAT scores: we moved into a district that has mediocre average test scores. My children are academically-minded and happen to do well on standardized tests. Would their individual test scores be higher if they were in a district with a higher average? This question doesn't even weigh on my mind, because they have been identified for remarkable academic and extracurricular opportunities, with high expectations and reasonable levels of competition and stress. College is around the corner and I believe my children will have strong applications anywhere they choose to go, with the added advantage of bringing geographic diversity to colleges out of the region.


54 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:20 am

mauricio is a registered user.

I moved out of Palo Alto two years ago to a countryside home in Monterey County, and not only was it the best decision I've ever made, I've never been happier. some of my neighbors are what we call here "Silicon Valley refugees", and although they have had successful careers in SV, just about every single one of them regrets not making the move earlier. Very few of them ever visit the Bay Area anymore. The traffic, frantic pace, pollution, density, rudeness, overdevelopment and overpopulation are a huge turnoff.

People down here are so much happier, friendlier, enjoy life and appreciate the lack of stress and the much slower pace. The air is clean and fresh. People socialize much more, invite each other to their homes, even if just for some wonderful local wine while watching the sun slowly set over the ocean.

Because I've kept my Palo Alto home, I spend a few days per month in Palo Alto, and am absolutely appalled at the destruction and ruination of this once wonderful town.


64 people like this
Posted by People generally like where they live
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

I've lived in PA, as well as rural Northern CA, "Outside Boulder" Colorado, Bozeman MT, Lawrence KS and now back to Mtn View. I've generally enjoyed all of these places and the uniquely wonderful things each place can offer in its own way, but settled back in MV for now. We like it for a myriad of reasons and will probably stay here through my last kids graduation. The world is a palette of wonderful places. It's no wonder people also find joy outside of any one place. The best part though, is if you start from the bay area, everywhere will be cheaper.


60 people like this
Posted by We Prefer Palo Alto
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

We moved to a trailer park off 237 after getting evicted from a house we rented in Midtown. The elder landlord passed away & his opportunistic son decided it was time to tap into some quick & easy cash.

The trailer park is unpleasant & tightly packed. Getting the children to school in San Jose is a nightmare (or rather a day-mare) & grocery shopping requires a 4-5 mile drive to the nearest Safeway.

If the rents weren't so expensive, we would prefer moving back to Palo Alto.

The people who have left Palo Alto for greener pastures are generally the wealthier ones who could afford to do so. Not so in all instances.

We are considering the purchase of a used RV so we can move back to Palo Alto in a transient sort of way. I realize that this measure will be frowned upon by some
community residents, but life is tough when you are bound by limited financial resources.

My husband says that the more affluent Palo Altans don't care about the poorer residents anyway so the RV in addition to providing housing, will also be his way of thumbing his nose at certain arrogant mentalities.


56 people like this
Posted by Member
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:33 am

Hypocrites. Rant and rave all you want about the high cost of housing, but when you sell your Eichler for $2.5 mm, cash out, and leave the community, you ARE part of the problem, having just contributed to the spiral of housing costs. Greed, greed, greed - home sellers, and especially the entire vampire-like real estate industry, which feeds on increasing prices. And not to forget industry, Stanford, and city councils region-wide - allowing more and more commercial development, which worsens traffic and housing woes. How much is enough, how much is too much?


77 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:43 am

Annette is a registered user.

There are some note-worthy quotes about traffic in this article that I hope hit home with our mayor who recently informed us that she thinks complaints about traffic are exaggerated. If only.


33 people like this
Posted by MyOpinion
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:43 am

MyOpinion is a registered user.

It's not just Palo Alto, I know of several families close who chose to sell-up and move to a better quality of life in places like Oregon, central coast, Idaho and Nevada. All of these folks are homeowners who have made a nice profit on either the sale or rental of their Silicon Valley Home. Several young families (renters) we know have left Silicon Valley for tech jobs in the Northwest. What I don't understand is why people like 'We Prefer Palo Alto' would rather live in an old RV in Palo Alto rather than move to a more affordable area of the country. I would prefer Carmel or Nob Hill, but I cannot afford to live there so I don't. There IS life out side of Silicon Valley.

@R David... what exactly is meant by 'a new crop of people'? Oh do you mean the highly educated talented people from Inda, China etc? The people who are the ones who driving up your property values because they an afford to buy an expensive home increasing your net worth?? Those people? Don't worry, if our current administration has anything to do with it, they won't get into the USA and there will be a talent drought, and what will follow is a crash in tech and in real estate.


37 people like this
Posted by Tried country living and moved back
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

Exactly. It sounds very elitist and snobby, but yes, the bay area is full of very bright, educated, well traveled people with vast life experiences to draw on from all over the world.
The more rural areas have a lot of guys like Ned and Jim who don't need no fancy book learnin' to know what's best or to craft a rational argument.
The problem is that they very much do need it. You have to ignore more idiots more when you're out in the sticks.


20 people like this
Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:05 am

Novelera is a registered user.

I'm intrigued that several commenters here still apparently get the digital version of the Weekly and, thus, could see this article about folks moving away. And they still read about Palo Alto from other communities. Thanks, Eric, for a very interesting and well-written article.


Like this comment
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:09 am

oh my gosh, that's ENVE carbon wheels. they are ridiculously expensive.


38 people like this
Posted by Concerned Observer
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:10 am

Concerned Observer is a registered user.

I'm sure that many have moved to get away from progressive politics being crammed down their throats 24/7.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:17 am

We have a business acquaintance who moved with his family to the Truckee area. He purchased a camper van, something like the old VW Hippiemobiles but very modern, for bringing to the Bay Area for work about 4 days each week and he telecommutes from home the rest of the time. He uses the van for transport around the Bay Area and sleeps in the van at various parking lots he knows that accommodate him. He doesn't need any type of hook ups while here and charges batteries and dumps at his home in Truckee. He has to fly for business quite often and the night before his flights he sleeps at the airport in RVs the airlines use for the early morning flight crews who also sleep overnight there.

His life sounds different, but his wife is a stay at home mom and the family has a more laid back lifestyle than the Bay Area. He says there are others who do the same.

Who would have known?


28 people like this
Posted by Actually
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:26 am

"I'm sure that many have moved to get away from progressive politics being crammed down their throats 24/7. "

You thought that even though not a single person in the article even whiffed at that topic. Good for you.

Oh, that reminds me, you'll meet a lot of "Identity politics guys" outside the bay area (generally older, single and angry inside) who'll need to place a political spin on everything.


51 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:29 am

?" . . .there will be a talent drought, and what will follow is a crash in tech and in real estate."

There is now & always has been plenty of local talent. There may be a talent drought in Turlock or San Bernardino. but not in this area. I've lived here for 55 years and there was talent before anyone ever coined "Silicon Valley."

I'd be very happy if housing prices dropped. The community was a lot more interesting when teachers, retailers, musicians, artists, doctors & nurses, small business owners, etc. could afford to live here. Something is very "off" when a husband & wife I know, both practicing physicians in PA, can't afford to buy a house here.

When new home purchasers make at least 350K yearly & park their expensive cars diagonally across 2 spaces in supermarket lots, pay $20+ per hour for babysitting, and do little to none of their own gardening or housekeeping, the community character becomes polarized according to income extremes. I'd like to see a return to a more economically balanced community & those who've owned their homes for more than about 4 years could take a 15-20% drop in value without being upside down.

Meanwhile the City busybodies seriously consider legislating health care costs? Renaming schools based on whethert some long-dead person had a non-PC view? I'm waiting for Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and other street names to be changed as these guys also held views which are no longer acceptable. At what point do we accept history as either a positive or a negative lesson?


16 people like this
Posted by Arnold
a resident of Green Acres
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:30 am

Curiously, no one mentioned the odious school names Jordan and Terman as reasons to move. I'd like to know if anyone is moving because of Bay Area PC culture warriors.


5 people like this
Posted by Barbie
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:32 am

You can't have YOUR cake and eat it too...so snobbish Palo Altoans ( I was a part of it too) stop complaining about traffic,congestion , rich people , people from "other countries" , rather know that YOUR housing is what made you super rich and that you have cashed out without any guilt...give back to the poor and the underserved and do some good in return. Be thankful that you have PALO ALTO.


47 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:34 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Contemporary Palo Alto is probably the most overrated and overpriced place in the entire world.

@"Member", at least I can say with complete honesty that I didn't contribute to the spiral of housing costs in Palo alto because I didn't sell my P.A. home upon leaving town.

BTW, everybody I know in my area of rural Monterey County is politically progressive, worldly, well travelled, well informed and extremely well read. The notion that countryside outside of Palo Alto and the Bay Area is full of ignorant yobbos is ridiculous and ill informed. Residents in my area are politically to the left of present day Palo Alto, and conservation, respect for the environment and natural reasources is almost a religion.


7 people like this
Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:54 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Palo Alto has a dark secret in it's past: REDLINING Only rich white people were allowed to stay. Others were sent to East Palo Alto. I know because that happened to our family after the Korean War. The recent history is interesting: I played on the dike were that airplane full of Tesla Engineers crashed. I played under the power lines that they hit and the remains of the aircraft ended up in our back yard.
Now we own a house in Mountain view. We also own a house in the Denver Metro area and 400+ acres in Wisconsin. By Palo Alto standards we are poor. Outside the SFBA and Silicon Valley, our family is rich. The trade offs: living a more peaceful lifestyle without constant stress levels. The same money that cannot buy a house can buy up a house on 40 acres of land, TWICE.
Taxes are low, the cost of living is low. Plenty of local places to go to and things to do. Al Capone built a summer cabin.

The bad: Highly Paid jobs do not exist. Mostly physical labor jobs. The area is best for retired people. You want to be a vegan, that is OK, just don't brag about it.

Clannish: It will take some time to become a friendly part of the community. Mennonites and a history of the Swedes, Norwegians and Germans migrated there there to do the thing they knew best: farming.
Very conservative people. Respect the land and the farmers.
Your nearest neighbor is 40 acres away. Services are usually a 45 minute drive at the County Seat.













16 people like this
Posted by Zayda
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:58 am

Zayda is a registered user.

Eric,
This is a very well written article and very well documented. I hope it will open some people's eyes to what is happening to our great town. We simply don't have the resources and the infrastructure to support the cancerous growth that is destroying the valley.


7 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:02 pm

"@"Member", at least I can say with complete honesty that I didn't contribute to the spiral of housing costs in Palo alto because I didn't sell my P.A. home upon leaving town."

Actually you and people who have done the same thing have contributed. By not adding to the supply of available housing and locking it down, you are certainly culpable in rising housing prices. This is what Prop 13 hath wrought. He can afford to buy a retirement home in a bubble somewhere else from the money he saved from property taxes.

I suppose this is what the proponents of Prop 13 meant when they said it would allow senior citizens to save their house.


25 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Chip wrote, "I'd be very happy if housing prices dropped. The community was a lot more interesting when teachers, retailers, musicians, artists, doctors & nurses, small business owners, etc. could afford to live here. Something is very "off" when a husband & wife I know, both practicing physicians in PA, can't afford to buy a house here."

Totally agree. And we'll be losing 75 more if something isn't done for the President Hotel tenants.

More broadly, it's disheartening seeing so many friends and former colleagues leave or planning to leave. If they're renters and become unemployed/ aged out of the increasingly young workforce, they can't long sustain the $3K+ rents. Whether homeowners or renters, they've moved to Napa, Carmel, Aptos, Paris, London, Austin, Bozeman, Portland, Seattle, Auburn, Tahoe, etc. etc., where they more easily find second careers and/or return for consulting gigs, living in $300+ motels during the week.

Some keep and rent their homes here for a while; some don't. All are horrified by what's happened here when they come for a return visit.

A more random sample from when I was collecting signatures for the office curb petition. A surprisingly high number of strangers -- more than half -- said, "Sure I'll sign but it should be a total ban. Traffic's absurd and we're out of here as soon as the kids graduate."


37 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:26 pm

"QUOTE (from the article): More Palo Alto residents are foreign born ... Another factor or simply a statistic?"

Why not ask the Ohlones?


5 people like this
Posted by Dweller
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:56 pm

Re punisher’s comment above about redlining - this is really interesting and sad. I often wondered why there was such a stark divide between East Palo Alto and Palo Alto. They even are in different school districts. Some kids come up via bus all the way to San Carlos from EPA for school because they are in the same district, even though Palo Alto is like, right there! Gerrymandering indeed.


27 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Member wrote above, "Hypocrites. Rant and rave all you want about the high cost of housing, but when you sell your Eichler for $2.5 mm, cash out, and leave the community, you ARE part of the problem, having just contributed to the spiral of housing costs.Greed, greed, greed - home sellers, and especially the entire vampire-like real estate industry, which feeds on increasing prices."

How are home sellers at fault when they leave? Aren't they freeing up housing? Are they supposed to give you their homes? Like the Vancouver, Canada, homeowners quoted in a New York Times piece about a proposed "congierge" tax on foreign real estate investment/speculation that pushed housing costs into the stratosphere, many of them and many of us would willing sacrifice some profits to regain quality of life, reduce congestion, etc.

Continuing Member's post. "And not to forget industry, Stanford, and city councils region-wide - allowing more and more commercial development, which worsens traffic and housing woes. How much is enough, how much is too much?"

Total agreement there. Put the blame where it belongs, not on the individual homeowner/resident who's been powerless in the face of well-financed campaigns pushing for more development.


20 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:03 pm

Punnisher said "Palo Alto has a dark secret in it's past: REDLINING Only rich white people were allowed to stay."

Not true. Think of another excuse.

You've heard of Joseph Eichler? Every subdivision/tract he built was widely known & advertised to be fully integrated. There was no "redlining" and his new homes in Sunnyvale, Palo Alto, and San Mateo were purchased by people of every color. He built 11,000 houses in CA between 1949-1966. Joe was adamant that his homes be sold to anyone who wanted one & could could pay for it.
Many were purchased with VA loans by vets of both WWII and the Korean conflict. Korean conflict ended in 1953.


14 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:08 pm

"Some keep and rent their homes here for a while; some don't. All are horrified by what's happened here when they come for a return visit."

Oh give me a break. The people who keep their houses after leaving have no qualms about charging the rent they charge and watching their housing valuations go up into the stratosphere. And paying piddling amounts for property tax on top of that.

Crocodile tears....


Like this comment
Posted by The Reality of PA
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:12 pm

[Post removed.]


23 people like this
Posted by Just the facts please
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:20 pm

When my parents bought their home in Monterey in 1969, one of the covenants in the title documents stated “no yellow people. “

And according to the highly regarded historian Richard Rothstein, there was de facto redlining in Palo Alto as of 1954, after a white resident sold his house to a black family. The California Real Estate Association began warning of a “Negro invasion” and even staged burglaries to get white homeowners to sell, a process that became known as “block busting.” Within 6 years, EPA became 82 percent black, he writes.

So please do not deny redlining happened. You are misinformed.


76 people like this
Posted by Look something shiney
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:32 pm

Redlining in the 50s!

Meanwhile, the entirely different situation of now and the actual topic of the story... for those not so easily distracted.
I love it here. Moved back in 1990 after a 15 year separation. I've got things pretty dialed in so most of the negatives other have faced are not an issue, so yes, I LOVE this area and all it has to offer 365 days a year.


8 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:35 pm

"there was de facto redlining in Palo Alto as of 1954"

Seriously? Who here owned a house in 1954? Or is this some sort of "sins of the father" - the people who live here are responsible for things that happened 80 years ago?

Well, I guess that we just did that with Terman Middle School. Turnabout is fair play.


4 people like this
Posted by Melany
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:39 pm

I love it here, too! Redlining, pfft, that was so long ago. Who cares, right?!


33 people like this
Posted by MidTown Guy
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:40 pm

MidTown Guy is a registered user.

My Reasons for wanting to leave Palo Alto:

-Another airplane - about the 40th today, screaming overhead in the superhighway in the sky that is an environmental hazard being completely ignored by the Eshoos and Knisses of our world

- Drivers on Alma regularly passing me in excess of 50 miles and hour— on the right no less

-Downtown Uber drivers parkibg in crosswalks with flashers on, as if they operate outside the law

-Techies with money to burn psrtying late downtown with no need for alcoholic restraint because an Uber will take them homr regardless of their sobriety -

-Never a police presence on foot downtown until an incident happens

- Virtually no police traffic enforcement, as rich hotshots in Tesla’s and new BMW ‘ s zip at twice the speed limit

Stress everywhere. No concern for others, just self-assertion and entitlement.


1 person likes this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Thank you, @Look something shiney, finally a comment I can follow.
No better location on the planet.


23 people like this
Posted by We Worked for the White Folks
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:46 pm

>>>Palo Alto has a dark secret in it's past: REDLINING Only rich white people were allowed to stay.

True. Depending on the neighborhood. Certain minorities (Asians/Blacks) were only allowed to buy homes in the South Palo Alto & Ventura neighborhoods.

This clear-cut practice of PA white racism & bigotry was easily indicated by referencing the ethnic breakdown at each school 'back in the day'....going from elementary all the way up through high school

Walter Hays & Addison elementary = lily white.

Mayfield elementary = working class Whites + Blacks, Asians & Hispanics.

Terman JHS= mixed

Wilbur/Jordan JHS= lily white

Paly = lily white

Gunn = mixed

Cubberley = mostly white

Conclusion: Palo Alto preferred to be predominantly white (given the choice). Minorities were only accepted as residents to do various working class 'chores' for upper middle class Palo Altans.









12 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:52 pm

"Walter Hays & Addison elementary = lily white. "

You haven't been to Walter Hays recently, have you?


18 people like this
Posted by Former Palo Alto girl
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

I too moved out of the bay area after residing 53 years in Palo Alto.
I was a 3rd generation Palo Alto girl.

Best decision I ever made!

No more of the pretentious silicon valley b.s.
I live a peaceful solitude in Arizona. The people in my small western town are friendly, happy and carefree.

People actually smile, say hello and live a very nice lifestyle here.

Fond farewell to you Palo Alto, you just arent the same lovely college town anymore that I knew and loved.

I love my new life here in Arizona!


132 people like this
Posted by And now the original topic is dead
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

[Post removed.]


19 people like this
Posted by The Old Palo Alto Was Better
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 1:57 pm

> Conclusion: Palo Alto preferred to be predominantly white (given the choice). Minorities were only accepted as residents to do various working class 'chores' for upper middle class Palo Altans.

Minorities in PA were accepted and respected for knowing their place. Unlike today.

We had a black housekeeper/cook & and a Japanese gardener. Both were very nice people who did excellent work and never rocked the boat with demands.

It wasn't about racism in Palo Alto neighborhoods but rather affordability.


30 people like this
Posted by We Worked for the White Folks
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:02 pm

>>>>"Walter Hays & Addison elementary = lily white. "

>>>>You haven't been to Walter Hays recently, have you?

That was then & now is now. Times have changed.

Wealthy home buyers from overseas have changed the overall landscape.

They did not come to PA to work as domestics or gardeners.


13 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Oh give me a break. The people who keep their houses after leaving have no qualms about charging the rent they charge and watching their housing valuations go up into the stratosphere. And paying piddling amounts for property tax on top of that."

Some have no qualms; others do.

Re piddling amounts of property tax, I doubt you'll find even the oldest residents paying less that $12,000 in property taxes which translates into $1,000 a month rent JUST to cover taxes. That assumes they've they've never made any property improvements on which they'd also be taxed. Throw in the cost of insurance, basic maintenance, major repairs, maybe gardeners and utilities and you're pretty close to the average PA apartment rent.

Why aren't you also complaining about commercial beneficiaries of Prop 13 since they live longer than individual people and don't seem to have reduced their rents?


15 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:46 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

@Me2: Are you serious? If I put up my Palo Alto home for sale, do you think the asking price would be similar to the original buying price tag? It would be at least ten times the original buying price, probably higher due to multiple offers, which would just worsen the spiral.

You live in delusion thinking that if long time home owners were only forced to sell due to the elimination of Prop 13(never going to happen), aspiring new residents would be able to buy those homes for pennies on the dollars. Actually, the sellers would sell to the highest bidders (and who do you think they would be), and prices would just shoot up even further.

By leaving Palo Alto but not selling my home, I am doing my share to slow down the acceleration of home prices.


29 people like this
Posted by We Were Lucky
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:47 pm

Yes. We moved from Palo Alto to greener pastures. My wife and I are from 'only child' families and when both our parents passed away, we inherited two PA homes...one in Crescent Park and the other near the Palo Alto Country Club. Up until that time, we rented a small 2BR house in the Evergreen neighborhood near California Avenue.

Due to market demand, inflation and the over-valuing of Palo Alto homes, we netted about $14M after RE commissions and capital gains tax.

After some serious thought, we decided to move to a small beach house near Zuma Beach (Malibu). Nothing fancy but to date, we have met George Clooney, Bruce Willis and a few other lesser-known actors/actresses.

It's great. I also bought a 1958 Corvette to tool around in and we say goodnight each evening to a Pacific sunset.

Though we were both born and raised in Palo Alto, we are now oblivious to ever having lived on the mid-peninsula and have little intention of ever returning, even to visit. If someone local we know dies, there's always Hallmark and FTD to cover the bases.

So long Palo Alto. Judging by some of the articles appearing in the Weekly, it's a heartfelt sayonara to gridlock, rudeness, overcrowding and petty city council proceedings.

No one should have to live under those stifling conditions.


21 people like this
Posted by KP
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:53 pm

@Chip...I completely agree!!
I was born in Palo Alto (PA), spent all my life between PA and Portland (PO) until I married, and then moved my family back here "permanantly". 27 years later, we just left for Mtn View, where it's walkable and people really seem friendlier and there are still small local shops and restaurants.
Two of our kids just moved to the suburbs of Dallas because they want to be able to buy a home of their own. The other two are already in PO. We are now planning our move back to Portland for good. One problem is, so many other Californians have moved up there, that now PO is bogged down with traffic worse than here!
I will definitely miss my Bay Area! I love being able to go to the City, SJ, Santa Cruz, Oakland, etc. (you know the rest!!) for various events, get-a-ways, and activities. And Reno is just a hop, skip and jump away! Of course, the weather here can't be beat.
Palo Alto just isn't the same old home town I grew up in. It's really sad to me. My grandparent built two of the first homes on Charlston Rd at El Camino, I took swim lessons at Chuck Thompsons, and I used to go down into the creek and catch tadpoles...
To all the newcomers, you can enjoy this "new ShallowAlto". It will never be the same.


12 people like this
Posted by Welcome to the New PA
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:54 pm

>>>> QUOTE (from the article): More Palo Alto residents are foreign born:
35.7 percent were not born in the U.S.

Wow. Though I was born in PA and still live here, no wonder I'm beginning to feel like a foreigner.


53 people like this
Posted by Nah, we're still very blessed
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Don't buy into all the negativity. Warts and all there is NO PLACE I would rather be.
I think as people age their taste also change so who knows what tomorrow brings, but I still love it here. I see folks on the trail every morning and, shocker, I'm always greeted with hellos. I have my usual haunts where people know me by name and ask about my family. Every Saturday we slip onto seemingly endless redwood forest trails and cherish the "alone-ness" you can find there. Sometimes the trails have you popping out at some beautiful spot on the coast, or you make the drive. The San Mateo coast is spectacular in it's undeveloped beauty. We can be active nearly 365 days of the year and we've yet to run out of places to discover. I won't start on the food options, esp burritos ;)
Just love where you live or leave to where you love. It's that simple.


9 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

@many of the above posters, including Online Name, Chip, and all those posters who moved away, out of PA, for all the various reasons they cited.

We moved here in 1961, so I've lived through all the changes that have happened to what was once a quiet, affordable, suburban, college, neighborhood friendly town. I've written stories about that for my Life Stories writing class at Avenidas. If any of you are interested in my stories just let me know. I can email them to you as attachments.

I used to be proud of and brag about PA. It was nirvana, the perfect town for us when we moved here. I had solid arguments to offer to my relatives and naysayer friends living in other parts of the country, many in Montana, Minnesota, and South Carolina. They suggested/urged us to sell out...that was 40 years ago...because of the traffic, congestion, quality of life, the fact we were sitting on a gold mine, a home valued at $500K, etc. I didn't listen to them then because their doom and gloom predictions didn't apply then. It was 'we' then, but my wife died 4 years ago, so it's just 'I/me' now.

Times have changed and so many of their old arguments are starting to apply now.

Our CC is struggling to find solutions. That has drawn them to a very progressive pro-growth majority on CC. The task is overwhelming and their politically motivated answers, resulting in new ordinances (financially funded campaigns by developer/real estate brokers), are making matters worse. If you challenge them on how your quality of life has improved while they served on CC, they will either have no answers, or answers that will be very questionable. The true fact is that it hasn't, and we shouldn't expect it to. Their focus is not on us long time residents and our quality of life...their supporters like to throw around the term NIMBY's, but more on the younger generation, the 20-30, stretch it to 40 year olds, the ones working at our overcrowded downtown tech companies.

I respect anyone who is willing to campaign and get elected to CC. They work hard. They are bold enough to say how our vote for them will help our community and our current citizens living in our community. Bold indeed when their main focus is on creating housing for the highly paid workers in town. That means new residents who will vote for current CC members in the future. It's a wannabe lifetime career politician's dream come true.


30 people like this
Posted by Consider the sources
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 3:57 pm

Are you going to get a fair assessment of a person by asking they're ex?
Not to start a fight, as it's all opinion anyway, but of course the people who moved away have not the greatest thing to say. Furthermore., when you breakup with someone (or a city) you don't always wish them happiness and success. Deep down, you're a little hopeful that they fall apart and go down some unhappy life path...just a little ;
)
Again, its all opinion, nothing is as it was in the 1960s and consider who's got the negative things to say; the ex, or the current love. You'll usually get 2 completely different answers. I mean, they OBVIOUSLY left for some reason. It doesn't mean it's a reason for anyone else. Just ask those who are tickled to be here.


13 people like this
Posted by Jenn From Woodside
a resident of Woodside
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:11 pm

@Consider the sources

Not sure about some of the other places people are gloating about but Zuma Beach sounds pretty good to me.

Malibu is also a 'sanctuary city' (enacted to protect the various domestics & gardeners).

I would love to reside in a town comprised of beautiful people...looks-wise, one can't say the same of Palo Alto. j/k


17 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:14 pm

1) @Just the facts please - & 2) Dweller

1) The Unruh Fair Housing Act of 1959 (in CA, named for Jesse Unruh) voided all the old race-based deed restrictions written into old, (early 1900's) original subdivision covenants. The language still shows up show up if you care to dig deep but has had no impact for nearly 70 years.

2) EPA is in San Mateo County, not Palo Alto or Santa Clara Co. School districts are determined by county. EPA's local high school, Ravenswood, closed 40 years ago. Web Link)
Without a local h.s, the teens were absorbed into Sequoia Union HS District which did spread attendance between its 4 high schools so about 25% of the EPA kids were assigned to Carlmont HS. Others went to Woodside, M-A, & Sequoia. Regs changed again a few years ago & now any EPA kids can go to M-A if they choose to. (They can also choose to attend any of the other 3 but M-A is closest to home.)

To stay on topic, yes, I'm going to leave soon. PA is no longer appealing to me due to unmanageable traffic, excess housing density, the downtown shift away from a nice retail-restaurant mix to under-parked office bldgs (& Ellison's Epiphany Hotel), a City Council whose decisions are rarely conducive to bettering life for residents, AND lack of a good, big supermarket! WF, TJ are specialty stores with limited selections. Midtown Safeway is old & inadequate. None of the groceries in town are of adequate size to rally be full-service. Remember Purity? Nivens? On Lytton, where Coldwell Banker is now. Andronico? Only one left is Piazza but MP Safeway is closer.

Traffic is horrible. Drive times have more than doubled in the last 5 years. It's a 2+ hour drive to SF for opera, symphony, etc. Used to be <1 hour.

My friends who've left are now in OR, WA, CO, GA, Sonoma, Grass Valley, Tahoe, Carmel Valley. My departure will have no housing supply impact as I sold my house 5 years ago & moved into another as a tenant.


31 people like this
Posted by Vasche LaMou
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Is it mere irony that a former mayor runs the pro-development Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce--from the safety of her expat residence in Woodside.


20 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Are you going to get a fair assessment of a person by asking they're ex?
Not to start a fight, as it's all opinion anyway, but of course the people who moved away have not the greatest thing to say."

For the last several years, the polls of current residents -- not the dearly departed or disgruntled ex -- have shown a 20% decline annually in RESIDENT satisfaction while RESIDENT dissatisfaction with traffic, congestion, parking etc. continues to soar leading many current residents to think about leaving and/or to state their clear intention to leave.


12 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Gale wrote, "@many of the above posters, including Online Name, Chip, and all those posters who moved away, out of PA, for all the various reasons they cited."

I haven't moved away. Yet. But obviously I'm I am thinking about it and miss all the friends who've already left. Where to move seems to be one of the most common topics of discussion these days.


21 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 10, 2018 at 5:19 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Speaking for myself, there were numerous reasons to leave P.A -horrible traffic, over population,a downtown not worth visiting anymore, pollution, too much density, etc. But one off the main reasons was that the CC majority is in the firm grasp of the real estate development and sales industry, and as far as that majority is concerned, working to improve and preserve the quality of life of residents is absolutely NOT their job and concern, while representing the wishes of non-residents who badly want to move in seems to be one of their top priorities.


2 people like this
Posted by swamy
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 5:24 pm

Just wanted to know what kind of people moved out of PA? Only European Americans or other ethnicities too?


7 people like this
Posted by Chip
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 10, 2018 at 5:49 pm

Swamy,

Many of my ex-PA friends are Euro-am, but Latino friends moved to WA & 2 Asian couples moved to AZ & CO. An Asian friend will retire soon & go to OR for the food/wine scene. Another couple, euro-am & Asian, moved to TX where they bought 2 new houses on adjoining 5 acre parcels for themselves & their daughter. All are glad they left PA.


15 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 10, 2018 at 6:02 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@Look Something Shiney - I hope redlining is indeed a thing of the past as it is a reprehensible practice.

I am replying to your post to say that I felt a little sad when I read it b/c it made me realize that my feelings about this place are changing. I could write a long list about what is great about Palo Alto. I have lived here, gladly, for decades. I raised my children here and I know they both feel fortunate to have lived in Palo Alto. It is all that's good and wonderful that prompts my concerns about some of the changes and policy shifts that are upon us. I've no expectation or desire for things to be static, but I also have no desire for unsustainable growth that erodes the very things that make Palo Alto great. We need to be careful about that and I am concerned that we are, instead, being careless.


15 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 6:46 pm

For better or for worse, we cannot go back in time & that applies to any notions of an idyllic PA residency/living experience as well.

Twenty years ago I was in Carmel & happened to strike up a conversation with an elderly resident who was trimming her front roses. I mentioned to her how visiting Carmel in the late 1950s to early 60s as a child was so much more enjoyable than in the 1990s...less touristy, less traffic congestion, less commercial etc.

She replied that Carmel 'went all to hell' during the early 1950s & that the town was at its best during the mid 1920s through late 1930s when it was primarily known as an obscure artist's colony. Conclusion: Every generation has its own perception of a golden era.

So with that in mind.... if you miss or yearn for your reflections of the old Palo Alto, it's probably time to get out of Dodge and move to somewhere else.







5 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:07 pm

Mauricio - look up supply and demand. Lower supply at the same demand level increases prices. Fundamental Econ 101. People not selling have increased prices across the board. Yes, it's true.


2 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:12 pm

This might help mauricio: Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Peninsula Commuter
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:13 pm

We moved out of Silicon Valley about 1 year ago. We now own a home in Nevada County (Sierra foothills). We love it here. People are much less stressed out and actually have time to go out to dinner, go to classic car shows etc. Service at stores and restaurants is friendlier, they act like they actually appreciate your business.

I still have friends and family in the Bay Area. I also have business interests there. When I come back to the Bay Area for business or to visit friends, I still enjoy the great Bay Area weather, scenery and variety of things to do. I also hate the traffic and the aggressive rudeness of drivers in Silicon Valley. It has become just as bad as LA for clueless, aggressive drivers. Using a turn signal is a lost art.

We were able to cash out our South Bay home and pay cash for a nice home in Nevada County. Do I enjoy trips to the Bay Area? Mostly yes. Would I move back? No Way!


20 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm

I am sick of people who think we need to bring in other people to do tech work. We have children graduating from college who have been playing with computers forever. And they need jobs to pay off their student loans. The only reason that tech companies bring in foreign labor is to by pass the FICA taxes that they have to pay in up to a determined level. Hiring US citizens is a lot more work to pay for withholding of state and federal taxes required. They can by pass that since the majority of immigrants tech workers do not work directly for the company - they are a subcontractor. So it is a profit motive here - not a technical advantage motive. I am sick of the press and everyone else giving lip service to the preference for H1B workers. And since we are in the area where this is taking place I am sick of the blather associated with the whole topic. I am a 4th generation CA resident but CA is going off the tracks of good governance and wasting taxpayer money. I am looking at other place to live but unfortunately they have all burned up.


Like this comment
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:34 pm

"I am sick of people who think we need to bring in other people to do tech work."

Who's arguing for that here?


10 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 7:46 pm

>>>Hiring US citizens is a lot more work to pay for withholding of state and federal taxes required. They can by pass that since the majority of immigrants tech workers do not work directly for the company - they are a subcontractor. So it is a profit motive here - not a technical advantage motive. I am sick of the press and everyone else giving lip service to the preference for H1B workers.

And we are grateful for the opportunity to work in your fine technical companies.
Most Americans are lazy and not worth the corporate investment in what you say, FICA? We work long hours and save our money to bring our families over. And when our children are born here, they are American citizens just like you. But unlike your children, ours study hard and become doctors and scientists not liberal arts majors who end up working at a coffee shop.

In many ways, we represent the new America. The one that you left behind.


41 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:04 pm

Back in the late 80s or early 90s Palo Alto was rated the best place in the United States to live, but after 20+ years of unbridled development, the developers have largely succeeded in liquidating that community asset and converting it to personal wealth.

We never should have let the real-estate industry establish so much power and influence within the local Democratic Party. With developers in control of local government, there is no one left to stop the mad orgy of development.


6 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:15 pm

"I am sick of people who think we need to bring in other people to do tech work. We have children graduating from college who have been playing with computers forever."

Yes. You hit the screw on the head. Some play with computers and the ones who are technically proficient often create wonderful video games and convenient cell phone apps that show people where to buy things. That is their niche.

American consumers pay a premium to be entertained. Also for convenience.





6 people like this
Posted by Downtown is great
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:39 pm

Maurucio- you claim you left because of the CC. Yet when you left the slow growth group had a 5-4 majority and even now it is 5-4 in the other direction. Too much density? Have got actually looked at all the single family homes in town? Not too dense I think. Horrible traffic? Traffic moves slower at times, but that is too be expected. Representing the wishes of non residents? By your own admission uou are one of those , so why are toy complaining?
In general this is a typical weekly " let's write a shocking story" intended to generate lots of views and comments.
What is funny is how many further residents who are posting on this forum still follow events in town.


5 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:47 pm

"You hit the screw on the head." Lol. We don't need no stinking liberal arts.


18 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 10, 2018 at 8:59 pm

Dear Moshan,

If we are so lazy and stupid, why do you come here to work? It must be better in your country, without the lazy and stupid people, right? HAHAHAHAHAH


3 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:09 pm

interesting. as part of the 35.7%, now I have a better idea how the 64.3% viewed us. thanks.


19 people like this
Posted by Changes Coming to PA
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:18 pm

QUOTE (from the article): More Palo Alto residents are foreign born: 35.7 percent were not born in the U.S.

This seems about right. I often play a game in my head while walking through Palo Alto. Like counting car makes/models on the roadways, I'll sometimes count how many individuals out of 10 are from China. It usually runs about 4-6 which is a significant demographic.

It is often a mixture of elderly couples walking together, some pushing strollers, and others of various ages shopping at the malls and/or supermarkets.

These newcomers to Palo Alto and its surrounding cities (especially in Mountain View and Sunnyvale) cannot be overlooked and though many are probably not naturalized citizens at this point in time, the grandchildren who are born here will be automatic American citizens and many of their parents will have naturalized over the ensuing decade(s).

Like the noteworthy East Indian population in Fremont, these Chinese immigrants will eventually represent a significant voting block and that factor combined with their inherent wealth, will have a major impact on the future direction of Palo Alto and other communities within close proximity.

Someday it may be us (the remaining PA residents) who will have to assimilate to the changes brought about by the passage of time and the growing impact of certain cultures and perspectives from abroad.

Humming those Clash lyrics..."should I stay or should I go?"



1 person likes this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 9:41 pm

>Dear Moshan,

>If we are so lazy and stupid, why do you come here to work? It must be better in >your country, without the lazy and stupid people, right? HAHAHAHAHAH

Please do not put words in my voice. I made no reference to Americans being stupid. Many are in fact quite bright. Some not so.

It is about priorities. We come here for certain job opportunities that are lacking in our country.

Only the intelligent East Indians come to America.








6 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:00 pm

Some people can't deal with change and try to justify that it was better before the change.
Some people don't like different people and try to justify why they are worse than they are.
Human nature. No use arguing the details when no one is listening.


38 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:08 pm

The Silicon Valley business model explained in 15 seconds:

1. Eliminate as many jobs as possible by developing & marketing automation.
2. Export any jobs that can't be easily automated to low-wage nations.
3. Import workers from low-wage nations (or states) to suppress wages for all of the jobs that can't be easily exported.

Pretend it is all about inclusion and diversity. If anyone challenges the model, call them a "raciss" or a NIMBY.


8 people like this
Posted by bemused
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:11 pm

"Please do not put words in my voice." Sorry, folks, the original idiom was lazy and is now working at a coffee shop. This new hard-working idiom represents the new America, the one we left behind.


2 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:18 pm

Walk like a duck, talk like a duck. Don't like being called a duck, then don't walk like a duck, talk like a duck.


11 people like this
Posted by If you want Palo Alto to Return
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:25 pm

If you want Palo Alto to return, get rid of Mark Zuckerberg for one. Stop using Facebook, Instagram and related products. Then fight to bring back retail for American citizens. Use Amazon only when you need to, and stop relying on foreign employees. When foreigners come they enter with ever-growing troves. In South San Francisco, it's getting to be entirely Korean and Chinese; the same can be said of other Bay Area cities, too. Stop criticizing and watching TV, as you will also be distracted from your home, and you will always be caught up in your mind. Get California to be family-focused and not extremely money focused. Stop advertising yourselves with constant picture-taking.


11 people like this
Posted by Carlene
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:38 pm

Palo Alto was super expensive even back in the mid-90s. I came for graduate school and even back then rent was crazy in Palo Alto. The town had a somewhat snobby air even back then at least to an outsider. Yes there is way more traffic and for sure more entitled people but it’s always been a wealthy place.


2 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:39 pm

class Duck:
def fly(self):
print("Duck flying")
def lift_off(entity):
entity.fly()
duck = Duck()
lift_off(duck)


Like this comment
Posted by Rare White Man
a resident of Los Altos
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:46 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]




3 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 10:52 pm

When I was born in the Stanford Children's hospital, next to Bloomingdale's/Big E, our house in Midtown cost $20K and I had a paper route (hated Sundays) on my Stingray and mowed neighbor's lawns in Midtown. I attended Ross Road Elementary school and got beat up. Gosh I miss those days. [Portion removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by Danville Expatriate
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:01 pm

>>>>In downtown Los Altos for some reason... 18+/20 white folks.

Kind of like Danville (87% white) except that Danville is also 95% conservative. That town and its mentality belongs somewhere in Orange County.

Los Altos seems a bit more moderate or conservative 'light'.


Like this comment
Posted by B Chopra
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:15 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]



2 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 10, 2018 at 11:29 pm

So the 1st settler says to the 2nd settler, "get out!".


5 people like this
Posted by thinking about retiring
a resident of Mayfield
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:01 am

My wife and I are starting to think about retirement and are hard-pressed to find a better location than our current one: great weather, world-class healthcare, and walking distance to stores, restaurants, and Caltrain. The only downside is the cost of housing: we purchased our condo in our 50s and won't be able to pay off our mortgage until we're in our 80s. Any suggestions for more affordable locales with similar amenities?


6 people like this
Posted by Czolish
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:31 am

Oh, you poor, poor Palo Altoans. Housing is to expensive for you? There are too many people in your neighborhood? Try growing up in San Jose in an ACTUALLY POOR neighborhood, going to college with money you don't have (and that your parents didn't pay for), graduating, getting a job, then realizing you STILL can't afford to live in the place where you were actually born. [Portion removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2018 at 7:15 am

I do not have to go any further than the SF Chronicle Section A on world news which is Associated Press vs their Opinion Section to see that the rest of the world is not doing so great. All of the people coming here that appear to hate us have their own countries that are sinking under poor governance and internal squabbling over religious cults of every extreme. Africa is the second biggest continent on the planet with every advantage relative to terrain yet each individual country is awash in problems of governance. Mexico City is the oldest and biggest city on the North American continent with all of the amenities of any major European city yet people send their children out over the desert alone to get to a "better life".
[Portion removed.]
And to the big D folks who think we are suppose to be a socialist country guess where your Social Security and Medicare comes from? It comes from the deductions from people's paychecks at both state and federal level - it is called FICA and SDI. And companies are expected to make those deductions up to a specified level. People who get Social Security have paid into it their entire working life if they work for a company. And that is the US citizens - not the subcontractors (H1B) whose companies are foreign based.
This is about our children who are going to school here and learning all that is required to work in the industries that are in our area. HP donates computers to CSU-Chico. Boeing works with the engineering groups at CSU-Long Beach for the next generation of aviation elements.
This has less to do with all of the pejoratives people throw around it - is about each individual country on the planet working internally to keep current with the rest of the world relative to health, education, basic human needs. It is about the governance of each country and each country moderating the internal religious squabbling that has all of those groups attacking each other. Everything that we are accused here of is why other people leave their own countries in which all of the pejoratives exist to an extreme degree.


17 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 7:26 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Supply&demand works only in the abstract, with all things being equal. It doesn't work in real life [portion removed.] When supply can never satisfy demand, and when some on the demand side have much greater purchasing power than others, the theory completely breaks down. When the unsustainable/unlimited growth faction such as PAF and their followers, like Me2 for example, bring up the theory, it actually represents their real world view. As far as they are concerned, Palo Alto can, and should, absorb every person who wants to live there. Marc Berman certainly believes it. Adrian Fine absolutely believes it. If 10 million people demanded to live in Palo Alto, they have no problem turning it into a version of Hong Kong and squeeze everybody in, like a giant sardine can.


3 people like this
Posted by Seelam Prabhakar Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 11, 2018 at 8:32 am

Seelam Prabhakar Reddy is a registered user.

I am traveling. Miss Palo Alto. But love London and Zurich.

I am in Kensington area of London A lot like Palo Alto with trees. Beautiful, clean, a great park or two, 6 story buildings, train station, buses, lower rents.

I was in Zurich. Lot like Palo Alto.

Life is good. Make your home a home wherever you are


8 people like this
Posted by Chaos
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 11, 2018 at 8:32 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


6 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:05 am

"Supply&demand works only in the abstract,"

Hahahahahahaha. Your statements actually prove that S&D applies, even at the edges. Keep deluding yourself that you aren't part of the problem by not selling your house mauricio.


7 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:21 am

To paraphrase the old immigrants: "I'd be happy if it wasn't for the new immigrants!".


32 people like this
Posted by Leaving Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:38 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


10 people like this
Posted by Capitalist here until retirement
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:57 am

Then the highest bidder can have my postage stamp size piece of paradise.
Heading to Jackson Hole after that.


2 people like this
Posted by Leaving Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:06 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


7 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:06 am

Dear Moshan

"It is about priorities. We come here for certain job opportunities that are lacking in our country.

Only the intelligent East Indians come to America. "

Why are the job opportunities lacking in your country, with so man intelligent hard working people?
Your argument does not add up. The job market is better here, and there is a reason. Guess.



2 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:16 am

>>>> Dear Moshan

"It is about priorities. We come here for certain job opportunities that are lacking in our country.

Only the intelligent East Indians come to America. "

>>>>Why are the job opportunities lacking in your country, with so man intelligent hard working people? Your argument does not add up. The job market is better here, and there is a reason. Guess.


Is it because of India's high population of highly intelligent people & lack of highly intelligent jobs?





4 people like this
Posted by Leaving Palo Alto
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:21 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


7 people like this
Posted by Entertainment
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:38 am

I like the poster who says those selling their house is part of the problem. And those not selling their house is part of the problem. It takes two to tango, so presumably those buying the house are also part of the problem. And those not buying a house are part of the problem.

The only way out is ... wait a minute....


20 people like this
Posted by margaret
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:39 am

The tragedy is that we are doing it to ourselves.

So much the city does is to support the pensions and the monstrously high salaries of the City Manager's office, which by now only does projects that are destructive to everything we ever wanted here.


26 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:06 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Liberal Progressive policies of open borders, globalist economics, high taxes and permissive drug use are destroying the quality of life and affordability of the city.

The 3rd leg of the socialist triangle from Berkeley to San Francisco to Palo Alto is closing and the future here will be similar.

Poor schools, bad infrastructure, tent/RV cities, piles of needles and poop on the streets and an increasingly disconnected, unaccountable and unresponsive city government that cares more about politics than solving local problems.

Gentrification sucks when it happens to you. It is "progress" when it happens to EPA or EMP by social media giants. However, if it is rich foreign investors buying up your white fence dreams then let the hypocritical winds howl.

The truly sad news is that you can leave Palo Alto but if you take the Liberal Progressive ideology with you then the same consequences will follow.


25 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:08 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Monstrously high salaries indeed since PA has 2 out of the 3 highest paid city employees in the state. Look at the severance package the new city manager's negotiated for himself at a a time when we have huge unfunded pension liabilities and when the city's seeking to impose new taxes.

Web Link


23 people like this
Posted by joejerryronnie
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:13 am

It's funny because I was on a separate forum just last night arguing that Spike Lee's new movie is somewhat sensationalist and that institutional racism is trending down. But the undertones (and in a few cases, blatant declarations) of racism and xenophobia which wind their way through this comment thread are shocking. Mostly because no other commenters seems to come around and denounce them. So thank you Palo Alto residents, for opening my eyes. I will now go back to that forum from last night, apologize, and tell them that yes, racism is alive and well in America.


1 person likes this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:37 am

>Monstrously high salaries indeed since PA has 2 out of the 3
>highest paid city employees in the state.

Not true.

For 2017—

The Council Appointed Officers’ salaries and benefits:

Position--------Total Salary---Total+Benefits
City Clerk--------147000-------202000
City Manager—--327691-------486600
City Attorney—-294300--------420270
City Auditor-----197267--------263260


11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:48 am

Online Name is a registered user.

Wayne, for this year, update the $327,691 to $$356,000 and take a stab at total benefits.


"City Manager—--327691-------486600 " .


"Ed Shikada, who is set to take over for Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene later this year, would get a full year’s salary and benefits if he were fired or asked to resign, according to a proposed $356,000-a-year employment contract to be approved by City Council on Aug. 20.....

At least once a year, council will evaluate Shikada’s performance and decide whether to give him a raise.

The city will deposit $18,500 a year into Shikada’s 401(a) retirement plan account, which is in addition to his CalPERS pension. Shikada will also be given a $4,000 monthly housing stipend to cover temporary housing for his move to Palo Alto from San Jose."


19 people like this
Posted by Absolutely Not
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:53 am

>>Someday it may be us (the remaining PA residents) who will have to assimilate to the changes brought about by the passage of time and the growing impact of certain cultures and perspectives from abroad.

Not on your life. Would rather leave Palo Alto than submit to that.


27 people like this
Posted by Former Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:25 pm

The "War on Cars" was the main reason I left.
In the Bay Area there is unquestioned dogma that "single-occupant" vehicles are the reason for traffic congestion. All the politicians uninamously agree on this and they come up with the most inane and impractical "solutions" to favor cylists and mass transit.
The solutions never work, but instead of fixing their mistakes, the ideological Progressive politicians double down and say: "well cars should be punished anyways because YOU are the traffic". The result is more pollution from idling cars, dangerous situations, and unprecedented, brutal traffic congestion.
The lawmakers in CA have forgotten that its their job to serve the people, not to coerce them into changing their behavior and surrender their efficiency and privacy for Socialist causes.

I moved to a small town in the South. There's literally no sidewalks or crosswalks. Cars are prioritized, as they should be, and traffic flows beautifully. It is SO refreshing.
It's also nice to have those ultra-convenient plastic bags freely provided to me everywhere I shop.


42 people like this
Posted by You Got It Wrong
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:30 pm

"But the undertones (and in a few cases, blatant declarations) of racism and xenophobia which wind their way through this comment thread are shocking."

It's called being a preservationist. The new arrivals can adapt to the traditional Palo Alto town culture & its values. Not the other way around.

This thread is about long-time residents leaving Palo Alto because of the changing demographics, social changes & local governing directives currently taking place.

We don't migrate to other cities & countries trying to change their way of life. The newbies in PA (whether from other parts of the country or abroad) should do the same...just settle-in and assimilate.

Many cultural practices are best reserved internally at family, social, & church gatherings. It doesn't have to be broadcast.

Using the PA/MV Obon festivals as examples...they are enjoyable cultural events for all to attend but you don't see people of Japanese descent walking around PA wearing kimonos or hapi coats or pushing their native language & other cultural agendas in public schools. They learned a long time ago the overall value & advantages of assimilation into mainstream society.

There is a correlation of sorts here....if your people are not into baseball, they will probably have a harder time assimilating into mainstream American culture. No one cares about cricket in the US & ping-pong is primarily a backyard game for most.




The others can do the same.









19 people like this
Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Professorville
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:37 pm

>"Ed Shikada, who is set to take over for Palo Alto City Manager Jim Keene
>later this year, would get a full year’s salary and benefits if he were
>ired or asked to resign, according to a proposed $356,000-a-year
>employment contract to be approved by City Council on Aug. 20....

This is typical, but certainly so unnecessary as to be obscene. It’s hard to believe that the City Council has a clue as to the value of money.

Starting new City Managers off at a higher salary than the departing Manager really
needs to be made an issue in the upcoming Council elections. It won't be long before we are paying the CM over $400K/year. Really hard to justify those sorts of salaries for people working in the public sector.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm

I have no objection to cricket. It is a sport played in so many other countries and brings people together. Soccer is the most played participation sport in the world and almost in the world. The recent World Cup showed people from all over the world supporting and cheering on teams they had no real connection to. In some places, businesses closed and the streets were empty while the games were being played. Cricket in some countries comes a very close second.

Baseball does not have that type of following.


21 people like this
Posted by An Explanation of Sorts
a resident of Stanford
on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:55 pm

"There is a correlation of sorts here...."

Yes. A cultural one as well.

Back in the 1980s when Japan, Inc. was at it strongest both economically and globally, Japanese executives and tech workers often came to Silicon Valley to manage and work at the various subsidiaries owned by Japanese conglomerates.

The difference was that for 99% of them, being in America was a tour of duty. After a specified amount of time at their respective companies in Silicon Valley, they returned home to Japan...both as a company directive and as a personal preference.

It's different now as the newer wave of immigrants from abroad are intent on staying here in the US often with minimal effort/intent of adapting to American culture.

Maybe it's because of where they initially came from as rampant poverty & urban overpopulation have a way of making other pastures look greener.


Like this comment
Posted by Cricket-Blah
a resident of University South
on Aug 11, 2018 at 1:02 pm

I've watch cricket being played. It can be very monotonous if the batter is really good.

It's more fun to watch the pitcher hit those three wickets & make the batter look like a total doofus.

Kind of like baseball.


46 people like this
Posted by Esther Granderson
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm

I don't have the energy to get upset over the new wave of Palo Alto residents.

I'm getting older (90) and the only way I'm going to escape the changes is when they toss my tin can full of ashes into a hole at Alta Mesa cemetery.

Up until then, I will endure things the best I can as living in my own home and neighborhood sure beats existing like a zombie in some god-forsaken assisted-care facility.

As long as my marbles remain intact & I've still got my three evening martinis, I' should be OK.




21 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Dear Moshan

"Is it because of India's high population of highly intelligent people & lack of highly intelligent jobs?"

Why are there not highly intelligent jobs in this land of highly intelligent people you speak of?


5 people like this
Posted by JR McDugan
a resident of Palo Verde
on Aug 11, 2018 at 2:06 pm

JR McDugan is a registered user.

There is more to 'quality of life' than how big your house is, or how many cars fit in your garage. The community, growth opportunity and civic-mindedness in Palo Alto is unmatched by almost anywhere in the world.


Like this comment
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2018 at 2:07 pm

>>>Why are there not highly intelligent jobs in this land of highly intelligent people you speak of?

There are some but not enough to go around due to the high population of highly intelligent people.

That is why we appreciate American job opportunities where our sublime technical skills are highly valued and sought after.

It beats working at a call-center for AT&T.




17 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 2:16 pm

joejerryronnie wrote:

"But the undertones (and in a few cases, blatant declarations) of racism and xenophobia which wind their way through this comment thread are shocking. Mostly because no other commenters seems to come around and denounce them."

----------

While I am horrified by the racist and xenophobic comments, I am not the least bit shocked. Almost any topic seems to bring out the bigots these days.

Please note that you can click the link titled "Report Objectionable Content" to flag the offensive posts for review and (hopefully) removal.


24 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Wayne Martin wrote "This is typical, but certainly so unnecessary as to be obscene. It’s hard to believe that the City Council has a clue as to the value of money.

Starting new City Managers off at a higher salary than the departing Manager really needs to be made an issue in the upcoming Council elections. It won't be long before we are paying the CM over $400K/year. Really hard to justify those sorts of salaries for people working in the public sector."

Indeed. Especially consider the rush to hire him AND since he's also collecting a San Jose pension after his "forced resignation" from there. Web Link


9 people like this
Posted by Michael
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Imagine this place in 50 years and how future long-term residents will pine for the 'good old days' of today.


Like this comment
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Remember the "Good Ole Days" in PA(USA) when people used to say "its a free country!"?
Remember when young parents would say to their young children, "remember to share!"?
What did we forget? Yeah, but what...?


25 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 3:36 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

If supply&demand actually worked in real life, London wouldn't have any housing issues. In London, they can't build, urbanize and gentrify fast enough, yet the more they build, the more they turn riverside warehouses into dense high-rise apartment buildings, the more expensive London housing becomes, and the vast majority of people aspiring to live in London don't get their wish to live in London. A great deal of the new housing is gobbled up by deep pockets foreign buyers and investors, just like in Palo Alto. Yes, supply&demand is an abstract that rarely works in reality. Me2's wishful thinking is as far from reality as it gets.


5 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 11, 2018 at 4:00 pm

The 122 comments so far have showed the true color of the "old" Palo Alto residents. Good news: the "problems" will be gone in the next 10 years, as the tech heartland moves elsewhere. In Beijing, the software engineers are willing to work for 12 hours a day (at least), 7 days a week. And it is not just some low-level labor -- several new business models were invented there. As rich tech workers inevitably move out, you guys can have your lovely small city back. And it won't take too long.


32 people like this
Posted by Hybrid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2018 at 4:54 pm

What an interesting conversation here that deals a lot in stereotypes. As a "hybrid" case myself, I can tell you that many things are much more nuanced than what some of the apparently Asian commenters, as well as what some of the apparently long time white Palo Alto residents on this board, each claim here.

Take my "hybrid" case.

I am an immigrant, but not from Asia. I am a Caucasian immigrant from Europe. My spouse is Caucasian, from the Midwestern US. So, we are a couple that is not Asian, and not "old" Palo Alto, and half immigrant. We have lived here close to three decades.

Interestingly, my US born white children are NOT lazy as some Asians here claim (WTH?), although they did not put in 20 hours a day studying in PA high schools. Interestingly, they, my white US citizen born children, went on to STEM studies and got jobs at prestigious tech companies anyway. No H1B1 visa, and yet they got the jobs, contrary to what some "old" timers claim. So you can be a white US citizen and get a tech job here. I agree that H1B1 visas are intended to depress remunerations however. It is all complex.

So please, tread lightly with your stereotypes.

Now, I have lived here for close the 30 years and yes, I have seen things change. Palo Alto was a quieter, whiter place when I moved here. Yet, it was already somewhat snobby, and it was definitely already expensive, although we were able to sneak in and buy a house here then, which stopped being the case many years ago.

Yes, traffic has becoming much worse as has incivility. I am afraid it comes with density (more people as the overall Bay Area population has boomed, more congestion, less civility). Palo Alto now reminds me more and more of the crowded European city that I left, where congestion and incivility were already prevalent four decades ago.

Where I would agree with a lot of commenters, is that things are "tribal" here. Each group is a little tribe that tends to stick with members of its ethnic/racial/national group unfortunately, and looks down on members of other "tribes" unfortunately. Unfortunately furthermore, as a non native English speaker whose English is excellent but has a tinge of accent, I have never felt accepted by the local US born crowd either. On this, I am with the Asians commenting here. Sad but true. This means that I will not be moving to Bend any time soon, since the article indicates that former Palo Altans abound there and like running into each other. Yikes.




7 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:11 pm

"Last month, a poll of 1,000 registered voters by the Bay Area Council found that 46 percent said they are likely to move out of the Bay Area in the next few years... ."

There goes our housing crisis. Wait and it will solve itself.


3 people like this
Posted by The Human Compass
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:18 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


2 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:41 pm

They will move to the new money. The most skilled workers in the world tend to move frequently. Trust me, I just had a farewell lunch for a Facebook guy moving back to the Asia. And he was not the first one. Palo Alto is losing it.


11 people like this
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:45 pm

QUOTE: The difference was that for 99% of them, being in America was a tour of duty. After a specified amount of time at their respective companies in Silicon Valley, they returned home to Japan...both as a company directive and as a personal preference.

It's different now as the newer wave of immigrants from abroad are intent on staying here in the US often with minimal effort/intent of adapting to American culture.


I've worked with the Japanese (from Japan) at Fujitsu-Amdahl & I fully understand your observation. The Japanese nationals in their own way, have always felt that their culture is superior to those of other Asian countries and living in Japan provides a 'comfort zone' of sorts. Thus the Japanese feel they have a place to return to & they often yearn for it.

India & China are different in that their urban population densities, extreme poverty levels (amongst the lower castes/working classes), communicable diseases, street filth & what not encourage their more fortunate, well-to-do & well-educated citizens to vacate those premises to seek permanent residence/refuge in the USA. Like who in their right mind would ever want to go back these countries?

That's the difference. Until India & China provide a more hospitable living environment for all of their citizens, the migration to America from these countries will continue en masse.



4 people like this
Posted by rsmithjr
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 5:53 pm

rsmithjr is a registered user.

It has always been common for people to earn wealth in a high-income area and then move to a low cost area to live. Many Americans have moved away and the bought huge mansion with many servants. I don't admire that myself.

One of the families profiled in this article had a 1600 square foot house here and how has a 5900 square foot house. Exactly why they need such a huge property eludes me but I don't think it is a defect of this area that we don't have a lot of such huge properties here.

Every place has its advantages. I have been here 51 years. It has changed. But I still love it.


15 people like this
Posted by Doug C.
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:01 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


Like this comment
Posted by R. Davis
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:15 pm

QUOTE: Many Americans have moved away and the bought huge mansion with many servants.

Having a personal man-servant/butler, cook, housekeeper, chauffeur & a groundskeeper/gardener would get really expensive considering their salaries + employee benefits.


7 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:21 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

All the problems "Sanctimonious city" is alluding to in his frequent posts have been caused by his camp's right wing ideology, hubris and viciousness. His camp is also the main, or rather only obstuctionist to the progressive camp's attempts to corrects the ills his camp has caused.


11 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

"Unfortunately furthermore, as a non native English speaker whose English is excellent but has a tinge of accent, I have never felt accepted by the local US born crowd either."

As a native American English speaker with decades of experience with European immigrants, I can confidently tell you that nobody here above the age of ten whose name is not Higgins gives a tinker's dam about your tinge of accent. You are unconsciously projecting the attitudes you acquired in highly tribalized Europe onto the Americans you encounter. So lighten up.

My experience with immigrants indicates you will never lose that deeply imprinted unfortunate habit, but take hope: your American children will be unlikely to acquire it.


7 people like this
Posted by Gale Johnson
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 11, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Gale Johnson is a registered user.

@ Esther Granderson
You cracked me up with your post. We needed that bit of humor. I gave up hard liquor years ago but I would love to have one martini, just one, with you....or a glass of wine. And yes, my path to the exit, my limited time on this planet, will probably be very much like the one you described for yourself.


28 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2018 at 7:33 pm

@moshan,
"And when our children are born here, they are American citizens just like you. But unlike your children, ours study hard and become doctors and scientists not liberal arts majors who end up working at a coffee shop."

I am an East Indian immigrant like you and the above statement shows how narrow minded and limited in thinking we are as a community; we have failed to create anything significant in our country in the last century. Many liberal arts majors have gone to create great software companies or have contributed to many. Steve Jobs took calligraphy classes in Reed college that contributed to the first Mac. I know for sure not all our children want to become doctors or scientists--I must also think that you are trying to brainwash your children that it is would be the end of the world if they don't study only science and Math. Open your eyes and mind and see how Americans have changed our lives here and the lives of people in our home country with technology.


26 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm

@moshan

You should thank another liberal arts graduate named Jonathan Ivy for designing wonderful device called iphone. I haven't seen any of us Indians (here in US) create anything so impactful even focusing so much on STEM all our lives. Remember not to bite the hand that feeds by saying that Americans are lazy and stupid..


4 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 11, 2018 at 9:02 pm

I am not sure about the case of India, but China is growing in lightspeed. The image of widespread extreme poverty in China is simply out of date. Again, tech workers who hit the glass ceiling are returning to their homeland, with all the education, training and experiences. Just don't assume them would stay forever.


5 people like this
Posted by DP
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 11, 2018 at 10:56 pm

@Bike Commuter, couldn’t agree with you more.
Both those countries are growing rapidly. Many of our friends have moved back to India. And almost all of them are naturalized American citizens. Most of them own homes in the Bay Area( quite a few in PA as well). Their kids who were born here are studying in some of the top schools in India. These schools follow the IB ( International Baccalaureate) program which the American Universities absolutely love.
While we all gloat over our schools here in PA, they pale in comparison to these schools in India which are a fairly new phenomenon. Maybe about a decade or so old. So we now have wealthy, highly educated set of parents who can afford to send their kids to these schools. And since these kids are US citizens, they have no absolutely no issues getting into IVY league schools because as per these universities, they are more “ well rounded”. The world as we knew it a couple of decades back no longer exists. It is becoming a level playing field. Give it another decade or two. The Bay Area will be way different than it is today. So yeah...... might as well go to Idaho, Bend or where ever if you don’t like it. As for me, I love it here. This is home.



12 people like this
Posted by realitycheck
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:03 pm

[Portion removed.]

"We don't talk about politics or current events in the same way because they might be warm, wonderful people that I really like, but they may have a different political philosophy than I do," she said. "We tend to avoid those topics more." Well, now you know how it feels to be a conservative in Silicon Valley. Enjoy the hellos and friendliness of your neighbors instead, because you definitely DON'T get that in Palo Alto.

I could go on, but the point will continue to be missed.


10 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2018 at 11:23 pm

@moshan,

"Only the intelligent East Indians come to America."
Gosh! you amaze me with your ignorance! Have you been around the country? Majority who immigrate from India come via family immigration, the rest are temporary workers/waiting to immigrate through work. I have worked and interacted with all our kinds in the few decades I am here. Many who come from India may be technically good but lack soft skills or are not well rounded. Of course, there are exceptionally intelligent ones but majority are not. Again, stop making generic statements--it reflects badly on the intelligent PA residents. Do some self reflection and get off your high horse.


28 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:46 am

Sanctimonious City is a registered user.

Perhaps Indian workers have opportunities in the U.S. because "most Americans are lazy" and the Indian tech worker's skills are "sublime".

Certainly, there have been a brilliant 1% who have made tremendous contributions and deserve to become wealthy and to be greatly celebrated. Welcome, congratulations and thank you for your efforts.

On the other hand, maybe most of the job takers have disproportionately benefited from a set of unfair trade practices and globalist economic policies over the last 30 years. Surely, it is easier to get hired when the H1-B salary is capped way below market rates for tech workers at $60K or when intentional currency devaluation by India incentivizes US corporations to fire local workers and hire 2 or even 3 for every one of them in their place.

Further, as some have noted the successful H1-B applicant quickly brings his spouse who also snaps up a lower skilled tech job from one of their previously hired friends in program management or operations. They soon have children (born US citizens) and put them into school but never paid into the school district for the critical 8-10 years BEFORE having kids to make the tax model solvent. Next, the in-laws come over to baby sit and draw Social Security and Medicare having not paid into that program for their adult working life. Despite any overall minor contribution to the economy they never make up that deficit as a family unit.

Of course, I haven't even mentioned the large scale abuses committed by the IT service companies who bundle the H1-B visas and enable the outsourcing and off-shoring of entire functions and departments at scale. Since the host country like India doesn't reciprocate the opportunities for US workers, the original H1-B engineer (Now manager) gets to go back to India and hire 200 friends, family and neighbors in his hometown village.

Obviously, there aren't 200 qualified engineers available right away so they set up field expedient 6 week long Oracle and Java Script bootcamps and exaggerate the experience on the resumes a little bit. IIT is an impressive university system. The Indian version of DeVry University look-alikes not so much. No worries about quality, once the graduates get a year or two of experience they will all jump ship as the other US companies madly compete for anyone with a pulse and the credibility of a previous job.

The net result is the smart kid in Kansas who graduated top in his computer science class at the state university and the over 50 middle manager in Silicon Valley never have a chance. Google and Facebook don't recruit from there and neither do InfoSys, Tata and Wipro. Thus, their career prospects disappear, the flyover state economies suffer and the opiod epidemic grows.

Not surprisingly, the globalist elites make out like bandits, the national debt explodes, the tech immigrants play the exploitation lottery and the US middle class gets lectured on how inferior they are as they get stiffed with the bill and cast aside by their elected leaders.

It is possible Moshan is one of those 1% who should be applauded. More likely, he is just an average worker with an over inflated sense of his capabilities who unfairly took a job that any number of citizens could do equally well.


4 people like this
Posted by I love this area!!!
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 5:42 am

So much to love about this area! It's no wonder the rest of the world discovered it. 40 years ago we put out roots down and have enjoyed it ever since. I'm ok if others move out. We have friends who would love to join us here but cannot due to prices. Maybe if prices fell a bit they could, but I'm not holding my breath about prices falling much.


6 people like this
Posted by Noted
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2018 at 8:11 am

I find it interesting that without naming names some of the people interviewed did not state that the house they "gave up" was a rental and they were long-term renters who could not afford to buy here. That is all part of keeping up appearances, even after you've left, sad.


4 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

We have "globalist" companies who are leaders in Silicon Valley now - FB, Google, etc. If you look at the SFC Portals of the Past you will read about the families that left France and Germany in the 1850's and came to CA because anti-Semitism was rising in Europe. This is the large families that built SF. France and Germany were constantly at war with each other. My relatives came in 1870 with the Franco-Prussian War over Alsace Lorraine - a very rich area in Prussia (Germany) main city Strasbourg. They came to CA which was less consumed by anti-Semitism than New York. All have been very successful, including the building of the Washington Post bought out of bankruptcy. Eugene Meyer was a Republican under Hoover and headed the Federal Reserve. Under FDR he left the government to buy the paper. Daughter Katharine was very involved with the paper and spent time in SF at the papers of that time as a young reporter. Her time in college was her group who thought they were Communists under what was the pre-WW2 version in the US. The families that came had a big impact on this area and SU contributing a library recently taken down. My Mother's father died in the great Flu Epidemic of 1918 on SU campus where he support the student population through student services. If you look at Trump's bio in Wikipedia you will see the same story line of location and timing through transition from Europe to the USA. Any family that came through via that route fully understand the dynamic of Western Europe as it was then and is now. They continue to wage battles concerning world dominance. So our globalist local companies continue to provide support and money and desire to be a part of that "great globalist economy". To all of the relatives that escaped what quagmire to build a new nation a toast. And to the globalist who want to tear down our country and make it subservient to globalist demands like it is the newest idea - you have no reference points in history that show that to be a good idea. Every thing now in CA is pointing in the wrong direction. And your current press opinion sections are cheering it on. There is a bottom line - each country now has to step up to the requirements of living in the tech age and provide all of the normally expected services to their citizens. To continually bleed people out of those countries debilitates their resources of young people they need to build those countries. Everyone has to make their country the best it can be. CA is not making that a goal - it is just bleeding young people and contributing to lack of governance in the other countries.


11 people like this
Posted by Hybrid
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 8:50 am

@ Curmudgeon

Your response to my post completely illustrates the point I made in it. I must have touched a nerve.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 9:01 am

I find it interesting to see what people value or call "quality of life" issues.

For me, my quality of life is by being close to family and friends (saying that we have no extended family in the area), being able to find a community of like values (we find that in our church), being able to find plenty to do in our spare time within easy distance, being able to acquire (for want of a better word) the things we want to buy, to eat, etc., the abundance of intelligent conversation and ideas, and the ability to live our lives the way we want to do so. We like to be neighborly and get to know those who live close by. We like to be involved in schools and other children's activities. The weather helps too.

Some of these things have always been here but are not as easy as they used to be to find. Other things are getting better.

The things that we don't necessarily value include a huge house (all that space to clean and the need to fill with unnecessary junk and store everything we ever owned - no thank you).

We arrived here due to a job change and even though we were selling a home elsewhere, we couldn't buy at the time. Instead we rented until such time as we could afford to buy. During that time we lived frugally, having just one car for quite a long time, spent vacations camping or visiting family, meals out were a luxury reserved for celebrations or a quick fast food meal, and we seldom spent money that was not necessary. Even when we did at last buy a home, we didn't remodel for several years and still kept the old habits of living frugally.

Our idea of quality of life is probably not the same as others and that is fine. What suits one family may not suit another. We are all different and our values may not be exactly the same. It is one of the things that makes this area interesting.

When people move away, we miss them, but we look forward to getting to know those who come to live near us. Unfortunately several of the newcomers near us do not want to be best buddies with us, but that is their prerogative. If they do not want to know us well, then they are missing out getting to know some great people (this bit is meant to make you smile not to be judgmental!)


17 people like this
Posted by Changes in MV Too
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 9:45 am

@Explanation of Sorts
"It's different now as the newer wave of immigrants from abroad are intent on staying here in the US often with minimal effort/intent of adapting to American culture."

This is more noticeable among the older immigrants who arrive here as senior citizens and/or grandparents. They are still locked into the 'old country' ways & that's understandable to a certain extent. They are too set in their ways to adapt to a new and different (American) culture.

The younger immigrants and their children have to adapt to an American culture or they will be ostracized at work or school as outsiders. Thus it becomes a necessity to 'fit in'.

[Portion removed.]














2 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 12, 2018 at 9:58 am

"No big deal. But why stick out like a sore thumb?"

You've got to get out of the county once in a while.

Go to another part of the country wearing what you wear here, much less when you go on vacation abroad. You may think it is fine but what does your local counterpart think of what you are wearing?


14 people like this
Posted by Changes in MV Too
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 10:00 am

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]







2 people like this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 12, 2018 at 10:08 am

"Fit in!" -is that what you are taught growing up in the USA?


17 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 10:21 am

resident3 is a registered user.


I’m still happy to be back in Palo Alto after I spend time in other places in and outside the US.

It’s beautiful and the people care about it.

But sleezy politicians who promise or pretend to care about residents and quality of life to then do the opposite sucks

If that is a signal that our electorate is getting stupid that is a bad sign. So, anyone who is staying, stop buying party lines and let’s make sure that real quality of life candidates win this time. No more fakes.


4 people like this
Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2018 at 10:32 am

"If supply&demand actually worked in real life, London wouldn't have any housing issues. In London, they can't build, urbanize and gentrify fast enough, yet the more they build, the more they turn riverside warehouses into dense high-rise apartment buildings, the more expensive London housing becomes, and the vast majority of people aspiring to live in London don't get their wish to live in London.

Yes. Right, demand exceeds supply, therefore prices are up. QED

"A great deal of the new housing is gobbled up by deep pockets foreign buyers and investors,"

Do you have data or is all this anecdotal from your perch in Monterey County? Or is this some sort of anti-immigrant Trumpian viewpoint you secretly have?

" just like in Palo Alto. Yes, supply&demand is an abstract that rarely works in reality. Me2's wishful thinking is as far from reality as it gets."

It's not an abstract. It's the foundation of our market economy. If supply and demand doesn't work, then our markets don't work. Mauricio, you can delude yourself among the rich lefties in Monterey County in your bubble, but please, your lack of basic economics education is showing.


5 people like this
Posted by take transit instead!
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

Almost ever person in this article and in comments mentioned Palo Alto's bad traffic, yet they also seem to drive everywhere, even after moving. Palo Altans can only blame themselves, as you are the ones(as a group) who have stopped progress on transit improvements such as transit lanes and limited-stop buses on El Camino, all while adding businesses but not housing! And you continually fight the building multi-family housing. I can only hope that the people leaving are the ones who have created/reinforced these problems... time will tell.


15 people like this
Posted by First World Problems
a resident of Gunn High School
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:17 am

Let's see...

You have a community with incredible intellectual capital, creating many of the most amazing technological inventions in history, with great schools, great food, cultural opportunities everywhere, open-minded people, and the weather of paradise...

No place is perfect, but I'm beyond delighted to live here!


10 people like this
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:30 am

it is inevitable. Anytime Palo Altans talk about improving their community there is always the guy that thinks you are not allowed to do anything until you have third world problems.


8 people like this
Posted by neighbor
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:57 am

This has certainly been one of the most interesting conversation streams I've seen in awhile. I'd like to respond to two aspects of the conversation, the reason people leave the area and the move toward "tribalism".

In terms of why people leave, I'm surprised that the increase in air traffic/noise/pollution wasn't cited more often, as it's made such a difference in quality of life for those living under these new flight paths. The planes overhead, traffic and housing density, and cultural changes are the key reasons I will probably move after retirement.

The cultural changes have been the most troubling of all; Palo Alto isn't as open as warm as when I first moved to the area 25+ years ago. It's probably true that friendliness goes down whenever a town chooses high-density "urbanization" and office development over maintaining a small town feel. But it also happens when new or long-term residents limit their efforts to associate with those who don't look like, talk, or think like them. Quite frankly, I see this as a great loss.

It's hard to understand why families immigrate to a new country but then want to, and want their children to, only associate with those from similar backgrounds. It's equally baffling when long-term residents don't seek opportunities to know new residents with rich life experiences different their own. And yet this happens in Palo Alto more than many are willing to talk about. I see children hanging out only with children of the same ethnicity, new neighbors who send clear messages that they are willing to be superficially friendly but aren't open to socializing with those who live in the same neighborhood. This shift in Palo Alto culture is disappointing.

Please don't misunderstand. I still see Palo Alto as friendlier than many places but, as it become less so over the years, I find myself missing the strong sense of "neighborliness" I took for granted.


6 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm

@moshan,

"Only the intelligent East Indians come to America."
Gosh! you amaze me with your ignorance! Have you been around the country? Majority who immigrate from India come via family immigration, the rest are temporary workers/waiting to immigrate through work.

Yes. My family arrived to operate a number of successful motels in the SF Bay Area.
They are very good business people & very intelligent.

I have never met a stupid East Indian in America. In India, yes.

That is why they don't come to America.


Like this comment
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:15 pm

"On the other hand and regardless of generation, it's always easy to tell an immigrant from mainland China as they always seem to be wearing those 'floppy' hats. Never a baseball cap or a fedora designed for hiking and other outdoor activities."

You can always tell a male Sikh from India. They often wear turbans as it is their native custom.

But as a general rule, people of East Indian/Hindu descent do not wear floppy hats in America. That is a Chinese custom and strictly their own.

We try to be more Americanized.




14 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Me2, I studies economics at UCLA as an undergraduate, and I have a graduate degree in economics from LSE(The London School of Economics). You lecturing me on basic economics is hilarious beyond belief.


13 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm

[Post removed.]



2 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

"@ Curmudgeon[:] Your response to my post completely illustrates the point I made in it. I must have touched a nerve."

Thank you. I've had to correct many misperceptions in this forum, and it is rare to receive gratitude in return. Recognizing one has a problem is the essential first step to addressing it. I wish you good luck.


21 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:07 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

When I moved here 25+ years ago from Princeton, NJ., I experienced "density shock" and was amazed when the realtor bragged about the "large private 1/3rd of acre lot" he showed where 1 acre lots back east were standard. I also snarked about needing to add a zero to housing prices and wouldn't tell my parents what we'd paid because they'd think we were nuts and worry.

Re density and traffic, the realtor's day ended at 3PM because that's when rush hour started. Traffic was horrible then but is SO much worse now it's perilous to get in and out of our drives with all the road furniture, bollards, etc.

Still, PA was charming with lots of charm, music, accessible nearby attractions but now we'[re rushing to destroy everything charming like the President, the Post Office etc. and it takes too long to zip up 280 for, say, a Fri. night party in Sausalito.

Once you start paying attention, the city's long-standing refusal to deal sensibly /quickly with known traffic problems and the mayor's blithe denial we even have traffic problems, you have to wonder what's happening and why. PA Utilities spends a fortune lecturing US about conservation while letting water gush for a month and keep raising our rates WHILE running a $20M surplus.

Where's the accountability?

PA once declared itself a nuclear-free zone. Maybe it's time for a bollard-free zone.


19 people like this
Posted by Khosrow
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:22 pm

This talk about sticking out like a sore thumb wearing a floppy hat borders on the trivial.

My mother-in-law is very fundamentalist & after immigrating here from Iran, she insisted on wearing a burka in public.

I tried explaining to her that in America, it was not necessary...but to no avail.

I am very uncomfortable being seen in public with her as it raises unnecessary attention and even some perceived contempt by various onlookers.

On a more humorous note, one time a little girl at a strip mall in Mountain View exclaimed, "Look! It's Lady PacMan."

So in chiming in here...yes, I believe it is very important to assimilate the best one can. When you leave your old country behind for a new one, the norms of your adopted country takes precedence.


8 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:41 pm

@moshan
"I have never met a stupid East Indian in America. In India, yes."
"We do not import grandparents to take care of our children. Wives/mothers do the essential child rearing until the children are old enough to attend school. Then some mothers will return to work in their respective fields."

You continue spewing nonsense-- there are plenty of h1bs that have arrived in the last decade that are very mediocre. They have tunnel vision and can't think beyond their code or don't have any other skill (in addition to having poor grooming skills). Again, they can't survive without a computer job. I have many American friends who can architect and code , write excellent fiction, can paint (that sell) and are very artistic. They never pride saying they are intelligent--the intelligent Indians here should learn some of their humility.

If your family ran motels, why do you think working at a barista is below par? Maybe it is because of the feudal mindset we come from?

I am an Indian American woman who has always worked and raised a child here--always worked outside leaving my child in the YMCA. All my friends who are now well established in their careers managed to raise children while working full-time; not when their child started school. Yes, they did get their parents and in-laws to babysit. But what many don't know is, the Grandparents who come here temporarily cannot avail of anything benefits like free medicare or social security. They can get benefits if you become a resident, and later, a citizen (a process that takes 5 - 6 years)
I have a friend whose mother came here to visit, fell down, and broke her hip. Her visitor insurance couldn't pay the hospital bill of 75,000$ for a few days of hospitalization--all her siblings had to pitch in to pay the bill after negotiating with the hospital. They also stopped her treatment after a week and sent her back to India for treatment buying a first class ticket.


7 people like this
Posted by Bolinas
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Maurucio- what is hilarious beyond belief is everytimee someone dares to question you, you come back with a response that is a fantasy-' in a different thread someone mentioned Barcelona and you replied that you liked in barcelona. Now you have an economics degree and studied at LSE. Funny they're is no records of that.


5 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

To expand further on my earlier posts.

The quality of life here is enriched by the diversity and the cosmopolitan atmosphere. I am learning so much about the rest of the world by meeting people from everywhere. Before I moved here I knew little about Jewish Life, or Chinese New Year, or Cinqo di Mayo, Diwali, or even cricket! Do I understand fully, no, but I am learning. I probably make mistakes, cause some offense, but that is what learning is about - the freedom to learn and grow in spite of some of the mistakes we make. Do I automatically have to become a Giants fan or understand the rivalry between Stanford and Cal? No, but it adds to the spice of life. Do people moving here from Europe or Australia have to understand football? No, but they probably already understand their own version called soccer here.

Americans are not so good about learning about the rest of the world but are extremely good about assuming that everyone else understands the American way of life. As American as apple pie is what is said, but there were no apples here until Europeans brought them and putting them in a pie was also a European idea. Even the National Anthem was lyrics put to the tune of a London drinking song. American culture always was, is and probably will continue to be a culture made up from other cultures since none of us are now living in teepees and catching wild buffalo!

How about we all learn about each culture. Those moving here are bound to learn something of American culture particularly if they have children growing up in it. There are strange things that they encounter every time they venture out of their home, enter their workplace, or walk around the local grocery store. For them to keep a little of their own culture in their own homes probably brings a little sanity into their lives. They have to live every day in a culture they find foreign. This is their choice to live here for whatever reason and assimilation is probably happening to them a lot more than we know. We could do to learn from them also. It might make us a bit more learned. Perhaps all we need to do is ask.


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Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm

@punyak
If your family ran motels, why do you think working at a barista is below par? Maybe it is because of the feudal mindset we come from?

Because my family OWNS them. Anyone can pour coffee.

@punyak
-- there are plenty of h1bs that have arrived in the last decade that are very mediocre. They have tunnel vision and can't think beyond their code or don't have any other skill (in addition to having poor grooming skills)

I agree. But I do not associate with the boring ones (or those with poor grooming habits). Only those with intelligence and vision. Why spin wheels?

@punyak
Yes, they did get their parents and in-laws to babysit. But what many don't know is, the Grandparents who come here temporarily cannot avail of anything benefits like free medicare or social security.

There are always going to be some exceptions. Perhaps these East Indian grandparents should take a lesson from their elder Chinese counterparts?



4 people like this
Posted by Former Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 12, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Regarding the above post, I think we have gone too far with fetishizing "diversity". It's like they go out of their way to prove that they're not racist but it's really a form of moral licensing/virtue signaling. It smells slightly inauthentic. The same people love to use "white" and "American" as a pejorative so we have this double standard going on.
I recoil at any kind of identity politics -- where someone is referred to by their race and so much emphasis is put on their supposed culture.
I prefer to look at individuals rather than demographics.


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Posted by Oh Well
a resident of Community Center
on Aug 12, 2018 at 2:46 pm

^^^^I think we have gone too far with fetishizing "diversity". It's like they go out of their way to prove that they're not racist but it's really a form of moral licensing/virtue signaling.

Just goes to show that even immigrants chastise other immigrants.

Entertaining to a certain extent but it does little to resolve any issues.


16 people like this
Posted by A Banker's View
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]


6 people like this
Posted by Former New Yorker
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:06 pm

All of this disgruntlement regarding ethnic diversity in Palo Alto is petty to say the least.

If you really want to experience (or suffer) the consequences, I suggest a visit to Queens, NY.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:10 pm

I grew up in Los Angeles which by any standard is very diversified. We had locations all over where the different groups lived and had businesses - China Town, Olivera Street, West Hollywood, etc. We had professional sports stars of every color. We had major Universities with sports of all types with athletes of all colors. Tom Bradley, previously Chief of Police was mayor from 1973 to 1993. The LAX international terminal is named after him. Likewise in SF is Willie Brown who was in the state assembly as speaker then mayor of SF. Both of those gentlemen had master's degrees and law degrees. Mr. Brown is now a columnist for the SF Chronicle.
If you went through the LA Unified School System the road to success was on a 3x5 card: Do well in school, participate in an extra-curricular activity, go on to trade school or college, and go forth and succeed. Things fell apart when they started closing bases and shutting down manufacturing - they were ripping out the businesses in which the middle class could work and support a family. And the next generation seemed to be unaware of all of the gains made by all groups and the turmoil began. I know what we used to look like and now it is like the youth are going back to the beginning of time and they need to invent the social scene. We already did that - it is just about going forward and doing well.


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Posted by OK But...
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:17 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]




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Posted by Me 2
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:30 pm

LSE for economics? That tells me a lot.


8 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:39 pm

My mother grew up in PA on SU campus. My father went to SU. Together they went on to live in SF. Most of my relatives have been integral to SU and PA. What a wonderful life they had back then. When my family had a job offer to come up from LA and live in PA I was so happy - we actually had trees that changed color and it was not 85 degrees at Thanksgiving. We had a history here. And going to the city - SF was such a joy. All of the great things to do. All of the great sports to attend. Now all I see is unbelievable traffic, a dirty SF, a dirty BART. It is like the act of governance has been lost and all is now political back biting. Sorry - not a cool place anymore. It seems like nothing in the paper can happen without some snarky comment - a requirement to have an opinion printed. It is like the intelligence level has deteriorated.


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Posted by Get With the Program
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 12, 2018 at 3:44 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]



8 people like this
Posted by Xiang
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]






30 people like this
Posted by Cashing Out
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 12, 2018 at 5:31 pm

Cashing Out is a registered user.

This article is partly about cashing out. Folks selling their highly appreciated homes in Palo Alto to live somewhere cheaper where they can get a bigger house for less money. Especially if you have family elsewhere or prefer a slower lifestyle. Makes sense once your kids have graduated from the Palo Alto school system and can help your retirement funds.

However, quality of life is more important for those of us who plan to stay. If you want our traffic, parking and residential community to stop getting worse then be sure to vote for city council members this fall who will prioritize residents concerns. Pro growth candidates like Corey Wolbach perpetuate the slide in quality of life.


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Posted by Cultures
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm

@Xiang, interesting that you make that observation. We lived in Asia for several years, had a Filipino "ya-ya" work for us. She was always buying whitening creams and I kept telling her no, you have such beautiful skin! But she felt exactly as you said, felt it a negative to have darker skin. In the West it's the opposite, having darker skin can mean that you have the leisure time to spend in the sun (sports, beach etc). So fascinating to see how one can look at it from polar opposite sides and have it mean completely different things!


1 person likes this
Posted by Born in PA
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:10 pm

Citizens in other countries are based on nationality and therefore are naturally a bit more closed minded.
USA is based on citizenship and open to naturally closed minded people.

Just sell your Palo Alto houses for your high prices and don't blame new Palo Alto buyers that can afford it.


2 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:31 pm

@moshan

"Because my family OWNS them. Anyone can pour coffee."

So you need to be a Stanford business degree holder to own and run a motel? What makes you think the person may not own the Barista?

"I agree. But I do not associate with the boring ones (or those with poor grooming habits). Only those with intelligence and vision. Why spin wheels?
"
So you are agreeing that stupid Indians do come to the US then? If you owned motels, and think Americans are lazy, methinks that you can't find hard working Americans because you want to pay them Indian wages?

A while ago, my father-in-law from India visited us for a few months--he would walk every morning near the neighborhood where new homes were being built. He used to chat (in his broken English) with the contractor and was fascinated by their work habits. He told us 'Look at those hard working Americans, they show up promptly at 7:30 at the construction site and build everything so fast, what work ethic! In India, the construction workers, painters, carpenters are lazy and a nightmare to work with, they don't show up on time or are too drunk on some days, and building anything takes years; why can't we be like those hard working Americans".

Perhaps you should associate yourself with more everyday Americans to see how hard they work instead of naming them 'lazy'?


2 people like this
Posted by A Voice From Fremont
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:32 pm

[Post removed due to same poster using multiple names]





5 people like this
Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:42 pm

American Football? The sport with known link to CTE, concussion and steroid uses? I think this is a great news. Kids can explore some other sport that is good to their health.


2 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:45 pm

[Post removed.]


4 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 6:51 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Moshan
a resident of Mountain View
on Aug 12, 2018 at 7:18 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Wanda K.
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 12, 2018 at 9:03 pm

[Post removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by punyak
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2018 at 11:29 pm

[Post removed.]


6 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 13, 2018 at 12:21 am

[Post removed.]


34 people like this
Posted by Chinese American
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2018 at 12:22 am

I have lived in the midwest and northwest. As a third generation Chinese, I told my children to apply to West Coast and East Coast colleges, nothing in between. You Caucasians can live anywhere without being concerned about racism. So go buy your huge house elsewhere (wish I could). I grew up in Palo Alto amongst Caucasians, never felt racism. I visited Penn State with my child and it was clearly not a welcoming place for us, nor was Oregon or the midwest (where we were chased in our car). Not that I feel comfortable living in a little China (because we are a different subculture than Chinese nationalists) but this is the best place for my family, despite the tiny house with a packed garage and no extra closets. I disdain the increased traffic and building of the second Manhattan in our downtown, the loud planes overhead, and the argumentative, book smart Palo Altans (who have no street smarts, thus, stupid ideas such as changing the middle school names or other unproductive ideas). But I do appreciate the intellectual residents, perfect weather, and convenient location of Palo Alto. There is pushback (and some racism) with the influx of Asian nationals and it affects how I am incorrectly perceived (assumed Tiger Mom). But this is still the best place for me and my family.


12 people like this
Posted by Area native
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 13, 2018 at 2:10 am

My two cents.

As a kid, it seemed that people here wanted to do stuff and people came here to do stuff. I was only a kid so I had a limited view, but I liked listening to adult conversations and that’s what it seemed like. Whether music or engineering, orientation was doing interesting or useful things. And even showing off was showing these things.

Sometime in the 70s, I saw my first limo in the area. It seemed out of place. I felt sorry for the passengers, thinking that their need for showing whatever it was was like the need of a drug addict. It wasn’t well grounded or oriented toward helping. It was a focus on the superficial. It meant they had an out of control need so urgent that sense didn’t have a chance to dominate.

From then on, the chase for money gained momentum and power. People came to make money, easy or hard.
Money became its own goal, rather than a means.

Now I honestly believe most real estate transactions in the city are investment oriented, instead of for some real purpose.

While I always knew the risk of living in a growing town or city in California, because these problems are legendary in California, it is heart wrenching to see this play out in my hometown.


2 people like this
Posted by Former Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 13, 2018 at 5:29 am

[Post removed.]


43 people like this
Posted by Happy Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 13, 2018 at 11:41 am

Happy Resident is a registered user.

We've been in Palo Alto for over a decade and this has been a great place for our kids to grow up.
School communities have been wonderful and people are interesting.
Our kids bike all around town to see their friends and do stuff with them.

In my opinion, compared with many wealthy areas, Palo Alto has one the lowest arrogance / wealth ratios.
The average car here is a minivan, Toyota or Honda.
Rarely do you ever see flashy cars like Lambos, Porsches, Ferraris, or Bentleys.
Most residents are casually dressed and don't wear a lot of ostentatious clothes.
The biggest extravagance is probably taking nice vacations, but people are cool if you decided to just hang out over a vacation period. No big deal.

After traveling the world, I think Palo Alto is one of the most urban suburbs.
So, if you don't like urban environments, then I understand why you'd want to leave this city.


2 people like this
Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 15, 2018 at 11:08 am

Sea Reddy is a registered user.

Indian Americans need to be humble. We are here because we are contributing members.

We need to be modest and work hard. We need to make a Difference.

Reapectfully


3 people like this
Posted by Another
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Aug 15, 2018 at 11:20 am

Another is a registered user.

Thanks, Happy Resident, I agree completely. Compared to many other affluent towns, including many in the Bay Area, the culture of Palo Alto is much more down-to-earth and not showy. I've seen plenty of examples of deca-millionaires in Palo Alto driving Toyotas and Hondas, walking around in t-shirts and jeans, and never bragging about their wealth. Meanwhile, in other places, people with just a fraction of their wealth feel the need for lots of conspicuous consumption and attitude.


15 people like this
Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

There is nothing wrong with people who enjoy urban lifestyle and are comfortable with density, traffic and noise and with the energy and pace of urban life. Actually, I know people who claim they couldn't tolerate any other lifestyle. My problem is with urbanites who insist on living in, or push very hard to be afforded to live in what is essentially a small college town.

Palo Alto was foolishly forced to become an office park for tech companies by bad, some corrupt ,local politicians over the last 45 years or so, but local residents are being forced to transition into a lifestyle they definitely didn't want and didn't choose to live in. If they wanted to be urbanites, they would choose locally San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose, or established a life in NYC, LA, Boston, Chicago, etc.

The new urbanism which claims that small towns and suburbs are immoral and obsolete and should be eliminated is extremely and totalitarian. There should be room for suburbs and small towns even in the Bay area.


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Posted by Sea Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 15, 2018 at 10:57 pm

Sea Reddy is a registered user.

We have Stanford. It has become a national treasure for innovation in the last 25 years.

Rather than having stanford mall with shops; we need to consider replacing it with research centers for cancer research, nuclear arms elimination floods management global warming etc where another 10000 scientists work on things to make world safer.

Let’s relocate the shopping centers ti the east side and use that space for stanford expansion with federal and international institutions funding.

Respectfully


2 people like this
Posted by M.T
a resident of Crescent Park
10 hours ago

Palo Alto is still great!

We moved to Bay Area 10 years ago when my husband got relocated. We were both from a busy city and we preferred places with city vibes. It came down to San Francisco or Palo Alto. And we chose Palo Alto because of the beautiful downtown. Nice little gift shops like Shady Lane, great cafes like Cafe Epi (now we have Blue Bottle and Philz Coffee), romantic restaurants like Evvia and Tamarine... It was very special to have a great dinner at Tamarine, then took a walk with light-decorated-trees to Stanford Theater and watched Casablanca. Oh, don't forget about fraiche yogurt as late night snack. That was Palo Alto! Got to admit that these years the Downtown are less charming than before..

When our family starts to grow, our kids went to First Congo which is a great and loving preschool. Now my son is at Addison and it is a supportive and loving community. We met great doctors at Menlo Clinic or Stanford Express Care, and got support from great speech therapist professional at Mid Peninsula Speech and Language Clinic. So many great things are around the area! Gelataio (best chocolate gelato), Milk Pail, Sigona's, Philz Coffee, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Trader Joe's, Taipan, Yayaoi, Fuji Sushi and Bird Dog.. Aside from food, Foothills Park, Elenor Pardee Park and Gamble Garden, though not all of them are in Palo Alto they are all around us!

Traffic was getting worse, yes. My family might take a bit advantage of it as my husband works in South Bay. It's opposite traffic. I could imagine that if people live in San Jose or Fremont and work in Palo Alto, they got stuck in traffic even worse.

It was heart breaking to see some of the comments above. I thus realized that I am the new crop who have ruined Palo Alto. Since we have moved here for 10 years, I have been smiling and saying good morning to our neighbors when they walked by. I have always been very cautious about stop sign as I don't want to mistakenly go first. I didn't grow up watching football or Star Wars but I knew something about them now. As a recently immigrated Asian, I love Palo Alto, and respect everyone just like I have used to.

These heart breaking comments make me ask myself though, "Am I not welcomed to live here?"


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Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
5 hours ago

Online Name is a registered user.

Not sure if this is the right topic but since we're facing a housing affordability crisis, I figured it wouldn't to post this interesting article from The Washington Post on how New Zealand is dealing with its affordability crisis, esp. since so many Silicon Valley types are thinking of moving there.

Web Link

"If you’re a billionaire looking to ride out the coming apocalypse, New Zealand has an obvious appeal. Its geographical isolation, political stability and abundant supply of fresh water — as well as its natural beauty — makes it the perfect place to prepare for societal collapse. As a result, the Guardian reported earlier this year, the country “has come to be seen as a bolt-hole of choice for Silicon Valley’s tech elite.”

For the average New Zealand resident, though, a doomsday bunker is out of the question. So is a regular house. In Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, home prices have nearly doubled since 2007, according to Bloomberg. With more people priced out of buying homes, rents have gone up and homelessness rates have soared. Across the country, homeownership rates recently hit their lowest levels since 1951.

On Wednesday, New Zealand passed a law that will prevent most foreigners from buying homes in the country, in the hope of addressing the ongoing affordability crisis...."


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