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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Palo Alto, California

One of my cousins was celebrating his 80th birthday out in Hayward, California, this month and that seemed like a good reason to spend several days in the area.  I had several items on my to-do list that I could take care of.  I decided to stay in Palo Alto to have easy access to both sides of the bay.

Palo Alto still looks very "California" to me.  It is hard to describe that look, but here is the main library in Palo Alto.  See what I mean?

I stayed at the Comfort Inn on El Camino Real, a road with a long history.  While Stanford University can be thought of as the heart of Palo Alto, the 64,000 residents aren't limited to the typical college town's students and faculty.

For example, here is Steve Jobs' house and his neighborhood as portrayed on Zillow.

I'm told that Jobs had the only slate roof in Palo Alto.

Many of the homes in Jobs neighborhood look like a modest three-bedroom place owned by an engineer or teacher.  Market value, $150k-$250k in the midwest.  Those are the ones for sale or valued at $1.3 million.  You can see from the Jobs block that two, three or more of these small lots are being assembled into larger parcels and the homes replaced with big homes.  Median Income?  Well, here's a fellow that "surveyed the literature" and came up with multiple answers.  I would vote for median household income somewhere north of $150k, however.

College towns usually have good food and Palo Alto is no exception.  I had a very good Indian dinner, a great Afghan lunch and a couple of other good meals in the town.  There were so many choices, I never did get to sample the Salvadorean choices here.

The downside/upside to dining alone in a college town can be the conversation at the next table.  I spent one evening listening to a 45-minute conversation about comma placement in a wide variety of sentence structures.  What's your guess?  Journalism students?  English majors?  I am so glad that I'm not still in school! 
And while there are quite a few small strip malls and a huge Frye's Electronics in the vicinity of the motel, there is still plenty of that local California character too.  Especially along El Camino Real.  This grocer and tailor shop are a couple of samples.
California-37 California-35

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