silicon valley!26 mars 2005
oh man i don’t know where to start. well i can start by saying thanks noemi ivanova for giving me the book microserfs back in the days. it made me so fucking obsessed with the silicon valley for such a long time and i am still soo fucking nerdy about it!
oh my, ok. even though i had to wait 40 minutes (yeah it’s fucking 1 hour between the trains here, compared to 15 mins in little sthlm…), when i stepped on the caltrain from 22nd street heading south i was so excited! i was constantly giggling and couldn’t sit still in my seat! you know when you are so excited about something and you’re walking but you really can’t walk, you have to run, or jump and just release all your energry, that’s how it felt! i loved it!
oh, i forgot to mention that i brought my bike along. first i passed the southern parts of san francisco and just seeing the houses and the highway and all that i got so fucking excited you can’t believe it! i couldn’t either. i mean it just looked like any other suburban landscape but for me this was a magic place. holy shit!
on my way down saw so many swedish flags! it was all those volvo/saab dealers or repair places everywhere, and i understood why there were so many of those places later. fucking every fourth car was either a volvo or saab down in the valley.
ok, i brought a map over silicon valley and the first stop on my list over places i recognized from microserfs and other stuff were palo alto, so i got off there. noticed on the map that stanford university was just around the corner so i cycled over to the campus. but it was something strange about it. it was so deserted?? then when i tried to get up in the tower and the lady behind the desk told me no visits there because it’s springbreak, i understood why this empty campus. i cycled around and just sucked in the atmosphere and the nicely mowed lawns and man, it felt good. next stop was the stanford shopping center nearby where usually it’s filled with students and geeks but now it was like the campus – dead. and to be honest it wasn’t so interesting. just a mall.
so i went down to palo alto downtown which was very weird. a recently built downtown area where i almost couldn’t see one single shop/restaurant that wasn’t a chain store… 100% chains. no mexican places just ”white” stuff. well, silicon valley style! i cycled south through some housing areas and it was so american dream style! all houses were facing the streets and not like the irvine style where the houses are placed away from the streets. well i was in my dream high state so i just loved anything i saw!
then i found another caltrain station where i thought about taking the train even further south but i had just missed it and didn’t want to wait another hour so i continued down south east on el camino real towards mountain view. along the road there were so many motels everywhere. must have been such a good thing to do during the nineties – having a motel in the valley. but now they all felt a bit deserted… remember i am still in suburuban landscape.
turned left on san antonio road where i found something fantastic! the birth place of silicon valley! yes! just infront of me was a small sign on the street saying something like ”this is the birth place of silicon valley. in 1959 the first company here started to working with silicon”… oh man it was so cool! and even cooler was that the house that used to be this place was now some weird cyber/supernatural/religious shit that had taken over the place recenly. when i develop my film i will return to what they actually stood for.
after taking a lot of photos of the sign and the house i continued east towards the station and took the train further down in the silicon valley.
got off in sunnyvale. saw on the map that there was big area on the map called ”silicon valley wave” so i had to cycle there! it turned out that it was just a macy’s and a target but that was ok with me because ever since i saw those white boxers at target in orange county i always wanted to go back and buy them so now i did! 6 dollars three.
ok, next up was APPLE. before i went down here i looked up the address to the apple campus on a map. i knew it was somewhere between the 280 and the 80 highway and yes after cycling straight south for 20 minutes i found it! oh man it was so amazing. looked like any fucking suburban tech company like any of them in Kista, Stockholm. so boring actually, but i didn’t care because it was apple! before i did the grand tour between the blocks i needed some food, the first thing i saw was a big chinese center just west of apple. a huge supermarket, a video store and a restaurant. the restaurant was a bit to expensive for me so i decided to eat in the food court in the market instead. the food was ok but well you know what happened later. my stomach got all twisted… but i didn’t know it by then. i was all up in the skies.
ok during the whole trip i was constantly laughing and giggling and man i was so excited. it was like i was flying.
after the food i went back towards apple. cycled around their head quarters for a while. did the infinite loop and then when the patrol cars started following me i left the area and cycled back north towards the station. of course i missed the train so i went up to sunnyvale downtown to grab a beer or something. ended up in a irish pub and had a pint of english ale! the lady behind the bar was british and her accent too, which was nice to hear.
downed the beer and went back to the station. took the train to SF again and felt like a new person.
since then i have constantly been reading daniel’s back issues of wired and today i bought microserfs again for the fifth time in my life, just so i could look up in the book places i now have been to in the valley.
darn i could never think a book could influence me so much.
and also, i was in the same neighborhoods same day as the lady who ate chili and suddenly found her self chewing on a finger! i didn’t get chili though, i had chinese food, but it made me almost puke too. stomach syntax error.