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Old 01-26-2012, 03:35 PM
 
Location: Northern California
93 posts, read 163,920 times
Reputation: 77
Default What you DON'T like about San Jose

Could anyone give me some of the negatives, in your opinion, about San Jose and the Silicon Valley? I know everyone has a different idea of their perfect place. What do you not like about the area?
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,326 posts, read 2,011,155 times
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I'll start.

-Too many people are in SJ "for the job". Many people never really come to SJ to make it a better place to live. They just come to see what they can get out of it. There's not a ton of community spirit among a large portion of the population. The main areas where you'll find a sense of community are places like Willow Glen or other older parts of town where there tends to be more people who've lived in the area a long time.

-I'm sure somebody will cry racist, but there are too many "FOB's" (fresh off the boat). San Jose has many people who've come from foreign countries (mainly China, Vietnam and India) who speak little or no English and don't really try either and who also drive terrible. Their concepts of what would be considered rude or inappropriate behavior in this country are different than ours. The upside is that there are many different cultural food choices in the SJ area. The downside is that I've been in numerous situations where the actions of foreign people who are unaware of how to act in a typical American environment cause my quality of life to be lowered. Sometimes something as simple as ordering food can be a huge challenge. After awhile it gets very frustrating dealing with people who can't speak English and it gets especially annoying dealing with people who have no business driving in this country due to their complete lack of driving skills. You'll especially experience this on the east side of town. Since I'm sure somebody will call me racist after my comments (somebody always does), I should add that this is from numerous personal experiences and is not based on ignorance. I know many people who feel exactly the same way...and not just white people. A lot of long time residents just suck it up and bite their tongues, but inside they are pretty irritated. It does get old after awhile.

-The cost of living is horrible. I can't afford to buy a home in any of the neighborhoods I'd be happy living in. I've lived in the area my entire life and unfortunately plan to leave the Bay Area when I'm ready to buy my next home.

-San Jose is somewhat boring for a city of its size. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it's home to such a large population of nerdy tech types. There's a large population of "boring" people here...again, this is from experience. San Jose is not nearly as dead as some people on this forum make it out to be, but it could be a lot more exciting, especially considering its size.

These are pretty much the main negative aspects of the city in my opinion. Overall, it is a nice city though. There are plenty of good things about it to off-set the negative.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:07 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area, CA
5,068 posts, read 4,194,269 times
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Cost of living is high and San Jose has little "community spirit".
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:08 PM
 
14,088 posts, read 11,723,568 times
Reputation: 9950
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
I'll start.

-Too many people are in SJ "for the job". Many people never really come to SJ to make it a better place to live. They just come to see what they can get out of it. There's not a ton of community spirit among a large portion of the population. The main areas where you'll find a sense of community are places like Willow Glen or other older parts of town where there tends to be more people who've lived in the area a long time.

-I'm sure somebody will cry racist, but there are too many "FOB's" (fresh off the boat). San Jose has many people who've come from foreign countries (mainly China, Vietnam and India) who speak little or no English and don't really try either and who also drive terrible. Their concepts of what would be considered rude or inappropriate behavior in this country are different than ours. The upside is that there are many different cultural food choices in the SJ area. The downside is that I've been in numerous situations where the actions of foreign people who are unaware of how to act in a typical American environment cause my quality of life to be lowered. Sometimes something as simple as ordering food can be a huge challenge. After awhile it gets very frustrating dealing with people who can't speak English and it gets especially annoying dealing with people who have no business driving in this country due to their complete lack of driving skills. You'll especially experience this on the east side of town. Since I'm sure somebody will call me racist after my comments (somebody always does), I should add that this is from numerous personal experiences and is not based on ignorance. I know many people who feel exactly the same way...and not just white people. A lot of long time residents just suck it up and bite their tongues, but inside they are pretty irritated. It does get old after awhile.

-The cost of living is horrible. I can't afford to buy a home in any of the neighborhoods I'd be happy living in. I've lived in the area my entire life and unfortunately plan to leave the Bay Area when I'm ready to buy my next home.

-San Jose is somewhat boring for a city of its size. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it's home to such a large population of nerdy tech types. There's a large population of "boring" people here...again, this is from experience. San Jose is not nearly as dead as some people on this forum make it out to be, but it could be a lot more exciting, especially considering its size.

These are pretty much the main negative aspects of the city in my opinion. Overall, it is a nice city though. There are plenty of good things about it to off-set the negative.

I think mstnghu2 blew a lot of things out of proportion in his 2nd paragraph. Much of what he says about FOB people is true, but it just doesn't bother me nearly as much. However, I will concde these quality of life issues are definitely worse on the east side of SJ than other parts of town. As far as rude driving goes, people complain about that in just about every single CD forum. I don't think it's any worse in SJ than anywhere else. (I just got back from a trip to Florida and they drive like bats outta hell on I-95).

Everything else outside paragraph 2 is 100% accurate and well said, IMO.

One other thing I'd add: characterless, cookie cutter homes and apartments, and not many neigborhoods with much charm. The areas that are charming are very costly in an already expensive area. I know that many newer metro areas have this problem. I suspect San Jose and Silicon Valley are worse than average in this regard.

Last edited by mysticaltyger; 01-26-2012 at 11:32 PM..
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:58 AM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,769 posts, read 16,467,080 times
Reputation: 2526
OK, here we go. Bear in mind I've lived my entire life in either Santa Clara or San Mateo counties.

- Traffic. It's not quite Los Angeles bad, but it is bad and getting worse. In the morning, northbound anything is tedious, in the afternoon, southbound anything is tedious.. except 880 which is always crammed in both directions. Then you have the major arterial streets like Tully, Story, Stevens Creek, Blossom Hill which are always backed up. We do, however, have the benefit of traffic sensors at 99% of lights which make it very easy to get around in the off-hours.

- Cost of real estate. Highest rents in the country, though the cost of buying is relatively reasonable framed against the other nearby areas and relative to rent rates.

- The hip hop culture. It's not as strong or pervasive as it is in Oakland, but that doesn't make it less annoying.

- Lack of support for the arts. If you go to a concert at the Petit Trianon or one of the local symphonies, nothing but gray-hairs who would clap at any damn thing. San Francisco has us beat soundly in this area.

Those being the worst things I can level at the city, it's well ahead of most places.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:19 AM
 
113 posts, read 86,234 times
Reputation: 128
sorry, forgot my PC-ness

Last edited by catharsis; 01-27-2012 at 10:46 AM..
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:29 AM
 
1,255 posts, read 1,586,535 times
Reputation: 1004
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
-I'm sure somebody will cry racist, but there are too many "FOB's" (fresh off the boat). San Jose has many people who've come from foreign countries (mainly China, Vietnam and India) who speak little or no English and don't really try either and who also drive terrible. Their concepts of what would be considered rude or inappropriate behavior in this country are different than ours. The upside is that there are many different cultural food choices in the SJ area. The downside is that I've been in numerous situations where the actions of foreign people who are unaware of how to act in a typical American environment cause my quality of life to be lowered. Sometimes something as simple as ordering food can be a huge challenge. After awhile it gets very frustrating dealing with people who can't speak English and it gets especially annoying dealing with people who have no business driving in this country due to their complete lack of driving skills. You'll especially experience this on the east side of town. Since I'm sure somebody will call me racist after my comments (somebody always does), I should add that this is from numerous personal experiences and is not based on ignorance. I know many people who feel exactly the same way...and not just white people. A lot of long time residents just suck it up and bite their tongues, but inside they are pretty irritated. It does get old after awhile.
A few things:
  • Although complaints like this seem to be common in just about every other place, this is the first time I've heard someone in SJ complain about "FOB"'s.
  • There are many Americans who don't know how to act in a typical American environment, too.
  • Is there anywhere where drivers don't suck?
  • If ordering food is so challenging, no one is requiring you to go to the "many different cultural food choices." This one sounds like wanting to have your cake and eat it too.
I generally agree with the other paragraphs though, especially the cost of living. SJ isn't SF or NYC, it shouldn't act like SF or NYC.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,326 posts, read 2,011,155 times
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I'd say the "hip-hop/ghetto" culture is much less pervasive in SJ than it is in places like the inner East Bay (Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, etc.). It's not like it's in your face on a daily basis and it's usually relatively easy to avoid thuggish people in the city. If you really want to experience it firsthand, just cruise up and down Santa Clara street on Friday/Saturday nights, especially in the summer, and you'll see how it is. Honestly though, a lot of the thuggish looking people in San Jose are pretty harmless. They just look tough. I've known lots of people in San Jose in my day that looked "hard" and were actually nice hard working people.

I should also probably clarify my issue with "FOB's". I'd compare it to a city where lots of tourists visit. A lot of people living in touristy places who are trying to go about their daily lives will get irritated when tourists are constantly getting in their way or are lost and driving irratically and can just be a general nuisance. Venice and Paris come to mind- residents are generally friendly enough but can find the influx of tourists they have to deal with daily to becoming annoying and invasive to their lives.

In San Jose, the "tourists" don't go home. I'll just give an example of typical Chinese and Indian "FOB" behavior. I live in the Fremont area which is even more "FOB-ified" than San Jose. At the Costco here in Fremont, the Chinese and Indian people will constantly stop and leave their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle and walk off to go looking at something...never mind that there are ten people behind them trying to get through the aisle. Another FOB thing is driving with high beams on in the middle of town, blinding other drivers. I've never ever seen it as much as I've seen it in Fremont and it's always an Asian driver. Older Asian people also love to take shopping carts and leave them strewn about neighborhoods, often in front of somebody else's house other than their own. Indian people are horrible at queing up and waiting their turn in line. Example: the Fremont BART station. Never mind that there are numerous people who've been waiting for a train patiently and have been there longer, Indian people will typically throw elbows to get in front of everybody to get on the train first. I've been to India and it's a behavior that comes straight from the homeland.

And yes, I understand that people of any race can exhibit these types of behavior. It is however FAR more prevalent in highly FOB populated areas.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,326 posts, read 2,011,155 times
Reputation: 1773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radical347 View Post
A few things:
  • Although complaints like this seem to be common in just about every other place, this is the first time I've heard someone in SJ complain about "FOB"'s.
  • There are many Americans who don't know how to act in a typical American environment, too.
  • Is there anywhere where drivers don't suck?
  • If ordering food is so challenging, no one is requiring you to go to the "many different cultural food choices." This one sounds like wanting to have your cake and eat it too.
I generally agree with the other paragraphs though, especially the cost of living. SJ isn't SF or NYC, it shouldn't act like SF or NYC.

I currently live in an even far more FOB-errifically populated place than San Jose. Fremont is worse than San Jose in this regard. I've yet to meet any longtime resident here who finds that the overwhelming foreigner population is a positive thing. Most longtime residents find it to have negatively impacted their lives. If the immigration had occurred at a moderate, reasonable pace it would be different. Almost overnight though the population demographics completely changed and most longtime residents have pretty much become outsiders.

As far as my comment about ordering food, I wasn't referring to ordering food at ethnic restaurants. I'd expect it there. I'm talking about mainstream American establishments where employees would be expected to speak English and most of the clientele is English-speaking.

And yes, many drivers do suck everywhere. However, many Asian drivers have certain characteristic driving styles that exhibit a complete lack of driving skill. You may have not experienced this firsthand, but where I live, I see it every day. I work in the car business in Fremont. 80% of our customer base is Asian/Indian. I see daily firsthand their complete lack of knowledge of even basic driving principles. Many of them don't even know how to operate basic controls on their cars. It's seriously like running a daycare sometimes with some of the customers. Many of them never owned a car before coming to the U.S.
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Old 01-27-2012, 12:15 PM
 
141 posts, read 145,306 times
Reputation: 87
(Yes, a chance to blow off steam!)
In order of significance:

1. The cost of housing. My house cost 400k, the mortgage bill slays me once a month, and somehow this is considered cheap? Sweet Jesus.
2. Nursing jobs. I don't know how people got the idea that they're everywhere. They aren't, especially around SJ. Girlfriend needs a job badly (PM me if you have a lead please).
3. Food costs.
4. Shenanigans in my neighborhood. Won't go on too much but here's a quick list: cars parked on lawn, discarded couches/large things, abandoned shopping carts, lawn clippings put in front of my house, parking on the street for no good reason, graffiti, reckless driving.
5. The way people drive. Your blinker goes on, and they instinctively close the gap to pull alongside you. I swear this doesn't happen outside of California.
6. The lack of Coney Island restaurants. If you don't know what that is, it's a restaurant that sells chili dogs. I haven't had one in years. Lol.
7. Lastly would be a lack of entertainment quality. "Boring" as some people have said.

About the cultural clash issue... The only time that really gets to me is when people sneeze/cough without putting their arm up to cover it, or when I fail to get a "thank you, have a good evening" when finishing up a purchase somewhere (or even a hello and a smile maybe at the beginning would suffice). When people fail to do basic courtesies, it gets to me. I can wade through a language barrier situation any day. But especially with the uncovered coughs right in the produce section - come on, you're killing me. Maybe literally killing me.
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