Monday, June 11, 2007

Is Palo Alto really America?

Palo Alto and Menlo Park where I live and work are the sweetest little towns. Trees filled with small lamps on the main avenue, sofisticated restaurants, professor bungalows, cool art shops, several yoga studios, nice coffee shops and - of course - TWO Apple stores (Steve Jobs lives kind of close) . They make Wisteria Lane seem barbaric. It´s a very nice and balanced quality of life.
But in a way, it doesn´t feel like America. Where´s the melting pot and the energy that comes from mixing different people from different levels with lots of willpower? Its all very established. Even the begging man (one of two I´ve seen in the whole city) outside Wholefoods is rather well dressed, polite and talks about the weather.
Maybe this is what you get when you mix brains (many of them coming out of Stanford university) with money and entrepreneurship (this is the heart of Silicon Valley) with liberalism (its still California), sunshine and extremly beautiful nature. It´s great in many ways, but I kind of miss the type of passion you notice on the streets of NY or even Washington. Maybe I just haven´t looked enough...
This weekend however, we went to Big Sur with Leo and Nicola, who was visiting. Talk about passion. High, powerfull Redwood-trees and dramatic cliffs steeping down to the sea and rather genuine lodges. I hope to be able to sneek away for a weekend there soon!