I’m in downtown San Jose this week. My wife is attending BorCon (How’s that for a poorly named conference … bore-me-con?) while I spend my days working from the hotel room and attending evening BorCon events on a guest pass.
Cost a bit for the priviledge of having the choice between a few different finger foods and bud or bud light…. But what the hell, I need to get out of the room after 8 hours sequestered away.
It’s great that I just need a notebook and internet connection to do my job as technical support and administrator for a virtual classroom system.
One thing I have noticed - and maybe I’ve just got too narrow of a view of the city from the perspective of just the downtown area around the convention centre - is that this city seems to be… lacking a real downtown core. That’s the BEST picture I could find.
Is it due to being in earthquake territory? I’m not sure.
The official city of San Jose website says it is the 3rd largest city in California with just under a million residents. Streets are very clean as compared to say, San Francisco. Almost reminds me of home, except for the extreme lack of business towers or any building higher than about 6-7 floors, and a very very very dead downtown business zone.
Tonnes of empty streetfront space in both new, older, and really-run-down buildings all over the first street area. Was the economy really hit that bad, or are all the normal street frontage businesses located elsewhere - in malls etc?
Office workers … I don’t see any around here. Maybe they’re all in various semi-industrial business parks elsewhere.
Anyways, most amusing to me. I’ve lived most of my adult life in Calgary (also of just under one million residents, but it has a real skyline) and can definitely say it sure feels strange to be downtown in what is supposedly the heart of busy silicon valley with nothing but a few squat hotels scattered near the 2-storey convention centre and mostly-empty storefronts.