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Positive comments about Palo Alto here please

Original post made by Resident, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2012

We are constantly criticized here for being a town of whiners, which I don't think is true, but we definitely have opinions and like to share them - justified or not.

Let's try at the turn of the New Year to comment on some of the things we really like about our town, the people, the town itself, and the culture.

I will start and say that I love Foothills Park, The Baylands, the tree lined streets and some of the wonderful people I have met and call friends from the activities I have been involved with over the years I have lived here.

Comments (19)

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Posted by Love it or leave it
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I like the fact that palo alto is located in an area near to excellent shopping areas in mountain view and menlo park. I also like the idea that once zero waste is completely implemented, flush toilets will be banned in the city. I also love that we drove sun, HP and Facebook from the city.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 31, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Of course there has to be at least one who doesn't want to find anything positive about town, but I will ignore the previous poster.

I also love Midtown. I love the way it has evolved from an almost ghost town over the past decade and turned into a vibrant business district with eateries and unusual as well as useful stores. There are times when it is almost as difficult to park as in downtown or Cal Ave which shows its popularity. I doubt very much it is used by many who do not work or live within a 3 or 4 mile radius, but the fact that people use it shows that people do like to stay closer to home or work if possible.

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Posted by Love it or leave it
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Resident--- being close to good shopping is not a positive (you within a short driving distance, but do not have all the traffic on your doorstep)??
Being THE environmental leader and showing everyone how to do it the right way is not a positive?
Not having big companies in our town that generate traffic is not a positive?

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Posted by Ron
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Dec 31, 2012 at 11:31 pm

The positive Things..We are the heart of Silicone Valley with the leaders of Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Facebook living here These folks brought many inovative features to the electronic industry. We had Loreal Space Systems , Philco-Ford(gone), AOL here. The first intregated circuit was developed here. Many of the folks that work in these companys live here.
We have the best schools K-12 here that consistently have the top academic scores in the country. Many young parents want to live here for the schools.
We have the best hospital care here in the Stanford Hospital along with the Lucile Packard's Children's Hospital that have kids from around the world come here for treatment. We also the World renown Palo Alto Medical Clinic for sports medicine.
We have one of the best fire departments in the State (I have talked to some of the evaluaters from other juristrictions)and the best EMTs and Paramedics. We also have some of the best police officers that have more that BAs in their field and are consistantly training.
We do have the charm of a very old city in downtown and also California ave. There have been changes and there will always be changes. No statis quo here. We also have some of the best eating establishments here and compitition is high.
And we have our own airport and golf course. Oh, did I mention that we have Stanford University here and the Rodeo Drive of the North in the Stanford Shopping Center?
Be proud that you live in Palo Alto and brag about it.

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Posted by suky
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Jan 1, 2013 at 8:28 am

I dont think this person understands that to just wax lyrical about how nice it is will do nothing to keep it nice!
We need a place to organize for change, or if you prefer, for maintenance of this nice city of ours.
How absurd to say that we can only say positive things. That is the way to an oppressive group - think.

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Posted by Love it or leave it
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 1, 2013 at 9:29 am

Palo Alto doesn't "have" Stanford University.

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

Things to love about Palo Alto

Community spirit
Beautiful trees and parks
Wonderful schools with committed parents
The May Fete Parade
Stanford University events
Stanford and Packard Hospitals
A diverse population
The landscaping at the Stanford Shopping Mall
Foothill Park
The Dish

Happy New Year!

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Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 1, 2013 at 9:56 am

And being the center of the high tech universe!

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Posted by Rhonda
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 1, 2013 at 10:08 am

Ron....We do NOT have the best schools anymore. Lowly Fremont has some that score in the 990s!

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Another Palo Alto landmark which I think we should value is the Little League Ballpark. I know other towns have them, but ours is really quite a haven. My boys are no longer Little League age, but I have fond memories of sitting in the bleachers either trying to find shade or keep warm, chatting with other parents, and eating one of the great burgers cooked at the shack. The atmosphere has always been safe, family friendly and quite iconic.

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Posted by Outside Observer
a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm

The thing I like most about Palo Alto is that I no longer live or work there ;)

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Posted by Elizabeth Moragne
a resident of Professorville
on Jan 2, 2013 at 9:46 pm

Palo Alto may have a very high cost of living and run at a faster pace than i find ideal, but the positives are so numerous. I have made many friends who are genuinely down to earth, carve out precious time to volunteer in many different capacities beyond their kids' schools, and bring balance to their childrens lives. Many Palo Altans I know are very positive, giving, and supportive. in addition, this community is much more open minded than some picture perfect places i have lived in the midwest and northwest. There is no one perfect place, but as residents we do a real service to ourselves and others to apprciate all that we have and bring about change in a positve constructive manner.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 2, 2013 at 11:55 pm

I can say lots of good stuff about Palo Alto ... mostly the Palo Alto of the past. Over the years I have been here the same thing has happened to Palo Alto that has happened to Washington ... not the city, the government ... it has been taken over by the elite with what they think is a real entitlement idea. Look at the incompetent decisions made in Washington and compare it with the way Palo Alto has been managed ... similar stuff.

Stupid ideas like developing without demanding enough infrastructure or parking places for cars and then ignoring complaints about traffic is just making snail's pace the norm.

But ... what this reminds me of most are how a lot of websites these days only have a LIKE button. This should be illegal, it should be a violation of public trust, and it is certainly nothing useful, except to brainwash people as they grow up into this vapid go-along, always positive, smiling yes habit. Barbara Ehrenreich's books talk about this and how she found people were sorted into jobs by whether or not they had a smiling fake personality - not whether they were competent or even team players ... just whether they could play the part of a robot or not.

If some enterprising politician actually wanted to write some useful legislation that might actually extend democracy or representation of citizens a little bit in this country ... they should write a law that any chat board that tracks such things should have a yes and a no, a like and a dislike button, and the viewers should also be told out of how many people who viewed whatever.

If you are told that 100 people liked a certain thing ... what is that supposed to mean if are told only that?

NO, every website that wants to track likes, should also track dislikes and views as much and as fairly as possible in my opinion. To do anything else is unjust and pointless.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

As the person who started this thread, I think we have plenty of threads to put our dislike comments. This thread was to find some things we like. We don't all have to agree with everything, but there has to be a positive to counteract all the negative that is written here.

I am not suggesting for a minute that the whole of this Town Square forum be positive only, I enjoy a good rant like everybody else. I have also learned a lot from some of the thoughtful, helpful posts. But, I do think it is much easier to complain than it is to give credit. I just felt that one thread with positive vibes should balance the tone of the discussion board.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 1:08 am

Resident ... I am one to really give credit strongly when I see a good thing. I jumped out there to mention the cool new LED streetlights a while back, better light, cheaper cost - someone is doing a good job.

But the positive improvements are few. There is a lot to like about Palo Alto ... still ... but I guess my feeling is that things are trending downward, so to force oneself to say positive things give us a false sense of happiness.

It's not that it is easier to complain, it is that there may be an actual upside to complaining if people agree and do something, whereas just saying doesn't Palo Alto have nice parks is not really the point.

When I was a kid I used to go up to Foothills Park a lot. What a great place. I go there now and much of the stuff is falling apart.

The Interpretive Center that cool building on stilts is closed down now, and has bird poop all over it. The fun to hike on boardwalks are also all closed down or falling apart. Boards are loose and it is a real hazard.

Most of our nice city parks, like Rinconada are not as well maintained as they used to be.

I am sure that when the new Library opens it will be something to crow about ... I hope, but I see not enough good stuff or good trends, and I don't mean to be negative, I just have to call it like I see it.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2013 at 8:55 am


I agree with you about the interpretive center at Foothill and also the one in the Baylands.

Why, I wonder, at the Baylands have they just redone the old Scout building and opened it as something new and special and let the old building with the boardwalk close and deteriorate? It makes me think that in another 25 years or so someone will decide that it should be renovated and they will have charity collections as well as calling it historical to keep it as part of Palo Alto heritage. I expect then that it will cause more dissent from future residents, some of whom will want to keep it for nostalgic reasons and others who will want to get rid of it because of progress. It is a shame that something can't be done with it now.

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Posted by neighbor
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

There is a large enough budget in this city that the Baylands interpretive center should be maintained. The PA Baylands are an attractive asset with visitors from PA and also far away, and I wish that building and the boardwalk out to the bay were in decent shape.

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Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 4, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I think if people started really using the Bay Lands they would very quickly realize how much noise the airport contributes making it unpleaseant so as to demand it be closed it down - and fast.

So logically what the airport really does is to prevent the city from using what should be one of our prime resources ... SF bay waterfront property.

The negatives of the airport when you take this into account are large, and the potential of the Bay Lands in terms of development and parkland are great ... why can't we get the city, and county, if necessary to look at this objectively? I think it's clear that it is because the bigshots with a lot of money want to push everyone else around so they can fly their planes over everyone's head ... which is bad enough, but they do it irresponsibly too, which is unacceptable.

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