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Old 02-08-2013, 12:32 AM
 
41 posts, read 35,333 times
Reputation: 25
I lived downtown for 3 months, about every 5 mins a bum walks by and attacks the garbage cans outside, and there are random couches and pieces of furniture left out on the sidewalks. The area I lived in was close to SJSU and was clearly dirty and not kept up well at all. The apartment complex I lived in was mostly students and or family's with 5+ to make ends meet. I didn't last long there, I didn't feel safe. There are decent areas in Downtown San Jose but they are a dime a dozen, and If you don't know the neighborhood or have neighbors that protect you it can be kinda scary. The only thing I enjoyed was the ability to walk to the store, or bar, or restaurant. Parking was also a nightmare.. The only reason I go downtown anymore is for Hockey games..
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:07 AM
Status: "Moving to Downtown San Jose" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: San Jose, CA
938 posts, read 1,527,357 times
Reputation: 512
Quote:
Originally Posted by silverkris View Post
Good point. A classic example of a local city razing its traditional downtown and building a mall in its place was Sunnyvale. They put up Town Center Mall in the 1970s and it didn't do very well at all.
Aren't they still trying to clean up that mess? I was actually surprised looking at the aerial photography on Google Earth from 1948, and Sunnyvale being a real city, for some reason I thought Sunnyvale wasn't one of the original railroad towns on the Caltrain line, because it doesn't have a downtown, except for the 1 block of Murphy Street. I have a book on downtown San Jose, aerial photography of the 40s and 50s shows it was a lot more full, and with less parking lots, but by the 70s there were actually a lot more parking lots than now. In the book they blamed malls, and even mentioned that the EastRidge mall was brand new and was the biggest mall in the West back then. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastridge. Parking lots were popular then even downtown SF had a lot of parking lots then if you look at aerial photography. Downtown now is probably a lot better than 20 years ago.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:23 AM
 
1,015 posts, read 668,300 times
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Well to the extent that white residents of San Jose are unwilling to go downtown because Latino residents go there, as many posts on this thread suggest, then it's bad news for downtown. Downtowns are, if nothing else, places where different groups of people mix together. Fortunately, I don't think the situation is as dire as it's been painted here.

Downtown San Jose has a remarkable set of cultural resources. It's got the Tech Museum, the art museum, San Jose Rep, the opera, other live theatres, the Performing Arts center, the joint main library with SJSU, which itself sits right at the edge of Downtown. There are tons of events and festivals held there. These won't necessarily draw people downtown every day--though they might if you were a student or a public employee--but bring people in for positive experiences.

Downtown San Jose has the city's biggest concentration of hotels, where a lot of events for locals are held. There's a good grouping of restaurants, certainly the city's leading grouping of upscale restaurants. As people have pointed out, downtowns with strong retailing are the exception in the US these days, not the rule.

San Jose is a big city geographically, spreading out in all directions from downtown. From western San Jose, it's easy enough to go to events/activities in Cupertino, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale; from the east side (at least the northern part of it) Milpitas. There isn't a strong rapid transit network converging on Downtown SJ, unlike San Francisco or even Oakland. Urban renewal in the 60's and 70's left a lot of holes in the downtown cityscape, together with freeway construction downtown's connections to the south and west in particular were weakened. Downtown San Jose has been improving, but it definitely faces some challenges.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Newark, Ca
1,281 posts, read 1,941,488 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
Well to the extent that white residents of San Jose are unwilling to go downtown because Latino residents go there, as many posts on this thread suggest, then it's bad news for downtown. Downtowns are, if nothing else, places where different groups of people mix together. Fortunately, I don't think the situation is as dire as it's been painted here.
It's funny how race always gets brought up in threads like this. I didn't see it brought up in any of the posts as a reason to not go downtown. It would seem then that based on your post YOU are actually the one equating "ghetto" with "Latino". Latino peope live all over SJ, so I'm not sure how white people are trying to avoid them by not going downtown. The issue is with the predominantly "Ghetto/East Side" vibe that permeates downtown on the weekends. If you're from SJ, then you should know exactly what I'm talking about.

I tend to not like downtown on the weekends, especially later at night, because there are tons of thug-ish types of people. Race is not the issue here. The ghetto culture is. Weekends are one thing, but don't even get me started on how the downtown crowd is on Fat Tuesday or on Cinco De Mayo.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:20 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,700 posts, read 16,216,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mstnghu2 View Post
My opinion is this. For many years downtown SJ was in disrepair and had become a dumpy, run down area with high crime. The rest of SJ was developed at a rapid rate and continued spreading outward away from downtown. People who moved into the area (mostly for tech-related jobs) to these outward suburbs never had any reason to spend time downtown and had never known it as any sort of destination spot.

In the 80's many old buildings were razed. Nothing great was ever built up in place of them. Numerous clubs sprouted up catering to a somewhat unsavory crowd. Even the "newly built" downtown still had a bit of a "ghetto" reputation based on the types of establishments that opened up and tended to attract a somewhat "ghetto" crowd. The fact is the daytime downtown SJ crowd is much different than the nighttime crowd to this day and hence the reputation continues. The only time it's different is during concerts at HP Pavilion and when there are Sharks games.

I'd love for downtown SJ to be a "destination" and I really do think it's a lot better than many people make it out to be. It does have a long way to go though.

Downtown SJ is much safer than it used to be, but honestly, other than events at HP Pavilion, I don't have any real reason to spend time down there. I usually tell people that on weekends the population of East SJ loses a bunch of people and downtown gains a bunch of people. Downtown has always attracted the people of SJ that tend to make SJ look ghetto, unfortunately. Most of SJ does not represent the people you'll typically see hanging out at the clubs downtown on the weekends.

That's my take...

Signed, somebody who grew up going to school in the East Side ghetto and is waiting for some lame person here to try to say I'm ignorant and ghetto.
To add to this: in the past, SJSU was seen as a commuter school. Since it was cheap and had good transit options but few good on-campus housing options, folks who lived nearby would send their kids to college, and they would go home at the end of the day. It was like a 4-year JC. I treated it that way as well; I commuted from Morgan Hill and usually wasn't on campus nights or weekends. Now, tuition costs a lot more, there's a new high-rise at the edge of the campus on 10th St, and so you have a lot more out-of-staters that are making downtown their home and doing things in the area, for better and for worse.
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:53 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,341 posts, read 6,159,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariarox76 View Post
I lived downtown for 3 months, about every 5 mins a bum walks by and attacks the garbage cans outside, and there are random couches and pieces of furniture left out on the sidewalks. The area I lived in was close to SJSU and was clearly dirty and not kept up well at all.
^^^That's why. Except for the west side of campus, you're in the middle of both an urban student ghetto, and in the heart of the halfway house district (10th St.). You have weird characters lurking about over there due to the concentration of group homes, transition houses, and community service centers there. But that's also sandwiched in between the campus and the very nice historic Naglee Park neighborhood only a block to the east of 10th.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:35 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 668,300 times
Reputation: 698
I'm sorry, I do not believe that, in a multi-racial city "ghetto" is a non-racial term.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:44 PM
 
13,820 posts, read 11,368,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
I'm sorry, I do not believe that, in a multi-racial city "ghetto" is a non-racial term.
I do. Californians use it that way all the time. If you're from the East Coast "ghetto" usually refers to poor black neighborhoods. On the West Coast, it seems to refer to anyone who's thuggish or any neighborhood that's dumpy or unsafe. I concede it's probably used against racial/ethnic minorities the most, but it's definitely not exclusive to them.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:12 PM
 
1,015 posts, read 668,300 times
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Well I live on the West Coast and when I've heard the term it's been in reference to something associated with poor blacks, but I'll take your word for it for now and see how it's used in the future.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:45 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
6,700 posts, read 16,216,553 times
Reputation: 2456
Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticaltyger View Post
I do. Californians use it that way all the time. If you're from the East Coast "ghetto" usually refers to poor black neighborhoods. On the West Coast, it seems to refer to anyone who's thuggish or any neighborhood that's dumpy or unsafe. I concede it's probably used against racial/ethnic minorities the most, but it's definitely not exclusive to them.
It is racial, because the people living in what folks call a "ghetto" will always be Latino or Black. I don't know too many Asian-heavy areas that people would characterize as a ghetto, though some might point to parts of Evergreen.
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