This post and the next one are going to be built around a street level documentary set of photographs I recently took in Silicon Valley (specifically downtown San Jose).
My goal here was to capture a few things. I wanted to get some sense of the area’s history – and yes, it does have one, it wasn’t always a tech hub! But I also wanted to speak to the dramatic changes of the last few years & decades, and the cultural changes that accompanied them, as well as to the ubiquity of technology now present.
Today I’m going to start off in the past.
Originally, the whole area was agricultural. Even when I was young, it was not uncommon to see large areas of town, particularly in the southern area, still devoted to orchards. Cherries in particular were a big crop. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your position, the economic impact per acre of tech is way higher than ag.
There are some remnants of the older days still to be seen downtown. This particular institution is attached to a restaurant next door that’s been around since time out of mind (and they still make great veal parm). It hearkens to a time in the mid 1900s where there were a ton of Italian and Portuguese families in the area.
Another great old institution, and though it’s recently become a Westin they’ve kept the character intact.
And here’s a bit of old-school charm in the holiday decorations.
Finally, here is a piece on the passing of time … because what is old never stays put, no matter how much we want it. And often far less so in this neck of the woods, as things seem to change so fast as to bewilder most folks.
Next time I’ll delve into some of the more modern aspects of the region. There are some good ones, some neutral, and some downright lousy. Such is the march of progress.