Why Do People Hate on Modesto? (San Francisco, Fresno: best city, neighborhood, schools)
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Yep. Actually it was based more in the 60s because remember some were going off to Vietnam.
Thanks for the correction. I just knew it took place in an earlier, simpler time.
Originally Posted by T. Damon
There are actually some beautiful neighborhoods in "Old" Modesto, around the junior college, and from the medical center to Enslen Park, Classic homes from the '20s-'60s, big beautiful lots and canopies of trees.
and this Frank Lloyd Wrightesque Prairie Style around the corner from my childhood home helped inspire me in the 2nd grade to become an architect. Modesto, CA - Google Maps
Modesto today does have a well-deserved reputation for crime and other problems but the Modesto of my youth in this area, riding bikes through all the alleys and tree-lined streets in these beautiful neighborhoods- daring each other to swim in the "dangerous" canals- will always bring back fond memories for me.
I love the distinctive character in the older homes in the pictures. Thanks for sharing.
Oh really, where are those wealthy black and Latino communities? And so you know, I'm pretty well traveled. I've spent my entire life here in the valley and know 9 out of 10 people will tell you Modesto isn't "nice."
You don't have to like my opinions... but that doesn't make the truth any less real.
I was born in Modesto in the fifties. Lived in the area until about thirty years old. I have moved away, not too far, and have continued to have interaction with Modesto with my parents living there. There is an astounding difference between Modesto when I was young and now. I would not say I "hate" Modesto. If anything I feel kind of sad about how it has changed. I don't think it is Modesto in particular but our society in general that has changed. People have little values anymore. The problems associated with that are magnified when people crowd up as they are doing in the central valley and much of California.
I've never lived in Modesto but, having spent time there for work and driven through many times, I don't see a single, redeeming quality. It's not redneck, like Majin wrote, it's far more Hispanic and African American. Call me a racist, but I've yet to see a community stay nice when those two groups compromise the majority of residents. Sorry, IMO, Modesto is a hole... and it's not getting better. Maybe there are nice pockets there but you have to engage all the crap unless you stay inside your doors.
I'll call you a racist, it is obvious you have never lived near poor white racist Christian hypocrite trash in the South, I have, give me a diversity any day. I just wish when you need customer service retail personnel would speak English, that is all I ask, and I never find that in the South Bay but I do find that in Tracy. It is frustrating when you ask a question, where is something, (typical of South Bay shopping) and all you get is a blank stare and "huh" because so many employees do not speak English. We don't have that problem in Tracy, I've found good customer sevice here, and that is all I ask. People are people, doesn't matter what color they are, it is how they show respect for each other and neighbors that matter, watch over their children, maintain their yards, stay out of my business, and that DOES NOT come with skin color.
I grew up near Modesto with both sides of my large family living there since the 1930's. I moved away years ago but visit often (just returned a few days ago from visiting). I am so sad to see how the entire area is in a state of decay.
1) Since the (ponzi-scheme) housing bubble burst public monies have dried up for everything. Funding to maintain landscaping was cut so now there's even more graffitti and dead trees/bushes everywhere. Many new strip malls that were built during the boom stand empty and in disrepair. Local stores that were once the pride of the city have closed (Gottschalks, some Raleys). I drove through my grandparents' old area which used to be nice (near McHenry/Standiford) and it now has a grungy, beat-up feel.
2) The illegal/legal immigrant population has changed everything. Everywhere I went this past week in Modesto I heard "we need an interpreter", this was at the bank, post office, drugstore, etc. My aunts and cousins are nurses in various hospitals and the medical system is absolute crap. Go to an emergency room and it's like being in Mexico City. If my parents need to see a doctor for a sinus infection the next appointment is two weeks out. Most people go to urgent care or the emergency room but the poorest welfare people call 911 for an ambulence for everything and of course taxpayers must pick up the tab.
3) Schools have declined. Many are 100% free or reduced lunch kids. I taught for 10 years in California (including SoCal) and what people don't realize is that the Latino culture does not value education so wherever that culture is predominant the schools will be bad. I had students whose parents would tell me they had no money for pencils but somehow they had thousands to spend for their 15 year-old daughter's Quincinera party. My uncle who recently retired from teaching in Modesto saw the same thing over and over.
4) The job base is mostly low-paying, service sector jobs. Unless you inherited an agricultural business the best jobs are in healthcare and education. Getting a job at Costco is like winning the lottery.
5) City planning is horrible and the sprawl only adds to the sense of lack of community. Modesto years ago needed an east/west corridor developed into a highway but instead you have Mitchell Road which is a traffic nightmare. There is no way to quickly travel in the town.
6) Cultural ameneties are few. You do have the Gallo Center but that's about it. If you want to shop anywhere upscale you must drive 90 minutes to San Francisco or Sacramento.
7) Pollution is terrible. So many people suffer chronic ailments because of it.
8) Government bureaucracy is a millstone on businesses. My family has a farm and the state levies new envirnmental fees and rules every year. So even if you are lucky enough to have an agriculturally-based business you will still be squeezed financially with the crazy fees.
The overall vibe now is one of despair. Years ago my aunt predicted Modesto's ongoing demise and she was right. I shudder to think what Modesto will be like in another 10 years.
Last edited by FormerValleyGirl; 01-16-2012 at 07:01 PM..
You said: Crime. We all see the news. Crime is just terrible. Robbery here, car jacking here. When my car insurance got cut in half from relocating out of the area, that says enough. A pregnant woman got shot in the middle of intersection last week and recently died. Gang related, yes. Modesto just has a gang problem from the influx of immigrants who perpetrate the cycle of a failed education system, lack of parental guidance and motivation from their parents to do something better with the lives.]
We moved from the Oregon Coast to Saint Louis, MO (my husband is a truck driver, so St. Louis seemed to be a good choice) and everybody says that Modesto has lots of crime, but when I compare Modesto, CA with St. Louis on city-data.com (last data is from 2010) that you have 144 murder, or 40.5 per 100.000 in St. Louis and 10 murder, or 4.9 per 100.000 in Modesto, CA!!!! So statitic speaks a total different story. 870.1 crime-index for St. Louis against 446.9 for Modesto. Average crime-index for USA is 319.1, so both above average, but Modesto, CA doesn't look that bad when you look at statistic. So what's the deal really?
I place a lot of credence in an article by Forbes Magazine, especially when they show a scene from Laci Peterson's disappearance/murder as indicative of life in Modesto. Very bad taste.
Modesto is fine in general. North side of town looks like suburban anywhere in California (you could drop a block of it down in San Jose or Orange County and no one would notice).
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