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Why I LOVE the San Francisco Bay Area

December 29, 2007

Just like a long term relationship, when you’ve lived somewhere for a long time, it’s easy to forget all that you love about it. At least it is for me.

I’ve been working on investments in Dallas for a few years now and, although I love Dallas, I have a new appreciation for San Jose.

1) The hills are gorgeous. I was out in Almaden Valley this week. I lived there from 72 to 76 and it’s been built up a lot since then but, the hills are still gorgeous.

2) The light here is bright and beautiful without washing everything out.

3) I went running at Rancho San Antonio. This is my favorite running trail. It starts out along a huge meadow with a large basil tree and tennis courts at the end. Then up along the base of the hills until you get to a small farm. There are patches of basil and corn and lettuce. There are pens of goats and sheep. There is a covered area with picnic tables underneath that’s framed to look like a barn. It’s very charming and brings a lot of families. It’s about a mile to the farm. Once I pass throught the fence and head up the hill, the families disappear. The forest gets quiet and I can hear my breath and an occasional bird. The deer sometimes peak out from the underbrush. As do wild turkey, quail, bobcats and snakes. It’s about two more miles to the top of the hill. When I hit the top I can see Moffatt field and Shoreline straight out. It’s a beautiful clear day so I can see all the way up to the low rolling hills of South San Francisco. I run along the ridge here, along the back side, until I get to another ridge where I can see the wide lanes of 280 heading into San Jose and the skyscrapers of downtown and the rolling hills of east San Jose in the distance. I take the long way back, winding down the side of the hill and along a long rolling path along the valley floor. I hit the farm and settle into the last mile of my run. It’s about a six mile run all together. It takes me about and hour and 20 minutes but, it feels like a mini-vacation, a little rest, my time with god.

4) I have shopping within 5 minutes of my house. I have strip malls of restaurants and groceries and drugstores and Starbucks. Then I have Westgate Mall – which is at the interesection of Prospect and Saratoga and each corner has something. From the big boxes of Target and Office Max and Barnes and Noble to the medium sized REI, Nordstrom Rack and Ross to Amarin Thai Restaurant, Pier One, Red Robin, Mimi’s, Pete’s coffee, Trader Joe’s, etc.

Five minutes in the other direction takes me to Valley Fair & Santana Row – Macy’s, Nordies, Gap, Pottery Barn, Cheesecake Factory at Valley Fair. Santana Row houses some great restaurants like Left Bank, Blowfish Sushi, Sino, Yankee Pier, Consuelo’s, Maggiano’s even Pasta Pomodoro.

So there you go – it’s about balance. Lots of eating and lots of running 🙂
Welcome to the Bay Area.

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