Stock Trip to San Jose - The Suburbs are More interesting than You Think
I grew up in San Jose. I still have family and warm feelings for the place. It's not the place I left. There have been a lot of changes for good and for bad. But it's a great place to explore if you're interested in technology, culture and food.
My first undocumented stop (sorry, no pictures) was to a restaurant that I recently stumbled upon. The restaurant is Singaporean called Kopitiam Cafe. It's in a shopping center anchored by Seafood City.
After lunch I scurried off to an area I was sure to find some autonomous vehicles. There's an area around North First street in San Jose where there's an "Intel Garage" and the Silicon Valley presence of a Chinese outfit called Nio.
Regrettably after parking and walking around for an hour or so I saw no Lidar or hints of autonomy. Even when accounting for the MobilEye (and similar technology that's owned by Intel and not very easy to see.)
So with no autonomous vehicle testing in sight, I headed over to Santana Row. Santana Row is sort of an upscale shopping mall with housing and other misc stuff mixed in.
As far as malls go, Santana row is a bit more picturesque. Being in the heart of Silicon Valley there are some other quirks.
One quirk was that though I saw no autonomous vehicle testing near two important players in that industry's offices, there was a shuttle program by Daimler (we say Mercedes in the US) & Bosch right out front.
I'm still enamored by my new (Samyang/Rokinon) 85mm 1.4 lens. The bokeh is soooo dreamy!
The next day I thought I'd take advantage of the blossoming trees coinciding with Chinese New Year. There's a Buddhist temple just a mile or so where I grew up. I got up early enough the gates were closed when I arrived. But I could see the Buddha peeking through a crack in the door.
If somebody showed me these photos out of context and told me they were taken in Taiwan or China I'd believe them.
Happy New Year! Given our political situation, the "Year of the Rat" seems apt.
Copyright Michael Halberstadt
Keywords: #thesuburbsaremoreinterestingthanyouthink, 2020, autonomous vehicles, chinese new year, daimler, mercedes, nio, san jose, self-driving, silicon valley, stock photography
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