Edit: Bah. If we're going to out one coffee shop, then why not the others. There's Dana St, also in Mtn View. Peet's at across El Camino works as a spillover. Verde Tea has nice drinks but the wifi seems to block you after an hour and you can't get Google Wifi inside. The other bubble tea place across from Red Rock is open later than anything else on Castro but it's a bit dingy inside and you likewise can't pick up Google Wifi inside.
If you work late, there's the Starbucks at El Camino and Lawrence which is open till 1. Any proprietors here? We need more shops open till 1.
In Palo Alto, there's Philz, which has the best coffee I've ever had in my life. The Peets up the street is also supposed to be a decent place to hang out. There's also Mitchell Park which is nearby to both.
In 'tino, there's the Coffee Society. The Peets down the street is also a surprisingly good place to work, and the Whole Foods has free wifi. There's also some Donut shop next to the Apple HQ which never seems to close but the stuff they have there is so-so. But if you just need to get out of the apt to work, it will do.
In general, the Peets are nicer places to work but the wifi will only last an hour.
That's all the ones I know. Anyone got any others?
We also have 24/7 access!
It's ~$50/month -- but I would definitely give up lattes and buy black coffee for it.
Bottom line (sad to say, since I own two): the Mifi doesn't work in wifi mode reliably. It drops offline every few minutes, breaking your ssh connections and any downloads in progress. It does reconnect within 5-10 seconds, so it sorta looks like it's working to your average undemanding browser user.
Maybe they've improved since then, and maybe it's worthwhile if you just want a mobile solution and can pay for a home internet connection on top of it, but I remain skeptical.
That being said, their new layout is a step down. Their slogan is "serious coffee, happy people" but now with the new assembly-line-style counter setup the people seem less happy.
If you mean Tea Era, that's no reason not to go - it's one of the best places in the area. Who wants coffee anyway?
It's certainly not a great place to work, if only because someone will be annoyed that you're using up one of the 4 or so seats.
Now, Tea Era, that's the good stuff, especially the cheese milk tea. Seriously.
It feels like the new Silicon Valley is in San Francisco, and that its heart is in Soma (or the Mission).
Here is the stack geographically, that works quite well with stack of software.
San Fran: Web based apps
Palo Alto/Mountain View/Cupertino: Web based + Desktop based software
Santa Clara: Enterprise + Desktop based software + EDA software + Hardware
San Jose: Hardware
I grew up in the Bay Area, back during the late 90's early 2000s you had multimedia gulch in the SOMA but there was definitely a gap between SF and about the Oracle campus in Belmont. I, personally, always considered Oracle the southernmost end of Silicon Valley (I still do). But even then you had a bunch of startups in the Foster City area. EA was over there for some time.
SF is definitely happening right now. Its interesting I worked for TechTV back when it and SEGA were the two main companies in the building that Zynga just rented (TechTV and Sega had portions of floors its insane that Zynga needs the whole damn thing) but for my money its not part of Silicon Valley.
Also my personal addition to the list is Bucks of Woodside
Don't become someone who lives in SF with no viable transportation who pretends anything south of SFO doesn't exist or is meaningless because of the unfamiliarity.
The article is exactly as advertised (alternative title: "The Top 9 Things You Can't Afford To Miss In Silicon Valley!")
I also would not think of anything north of Menlo Park as "Silicon Valley".
I must say, though, that I'm always a bit amused at the people who get bent out of shape at the mismatch between literal geographic terms in the Bay Area and the actual physical geography, as if it's only Californians that do that. San Francisco isn't part of The Peninsula in the same way that Brooklyn isn't part of Long Island.
I would think that people would be more bothered by all the north/south freeways that intersect each other at right angles.
No, I'm more concerned about the part of I-80 West up near Vallejo which is also labelled I-580 East, and vice versa.
So when used in that context yes, it's not just an abbreviation, but no, it's not a silly affectation. It's interesting that PG's usage matches (closely enough) the baggage-laden jargon version.
Stanford University - You can't drive around Stanford without being cut off by bikes, so why not ride one? And if you want a good ride while you're in the area, do "the loop," which is Alpine Rd to Portola Rd to Woodside Dr.
University Ave - I'd avoid this on a bike because it's always ridiculously busy. However, Palo Alto has lots of casual suburbia rides, and note that Bryant St is a "bicycle boulevard" -- lots of it is usually car-free except for the locals, and it'll take you to Charleston, which runs into the Google campus.
Sand Hill Road - A good ride with some reasonable hills. Take this road south to Portola and then try the gold standard of climbs -- Old La Honda Rd. If you can make it from Portola to the stop sign in less than 30 minutes, you're in good shape. Less than 18 and you're Lance Armstrong. Don't go down Old La Honda, though -- go north on Skyline a bit and take 84 down since the visibility and view are better.
Castro Street - This place really wants to be a hip, urban center, but believing whether it is is up to you. Bike here and, like PG said, stop at Red Rock. Or grab a gyro and some baklava from the Gyro House, which is terribly underrated.
Google - The Google campus is so bike accessible that they provide clown-like bikes for employees to ride around. Hit up the main campus and see the dinosaur and, currently, granite head sculpture exhibit. Of course, you should probably show up with someone who works there and can throw in a free lunch.
North of Google - If you're biking from Palo Alto to Google or vice-versa, cut north through the Shoreline Lake reserve and the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve. Keep your mouth closed during the spring months so you don't inhale a cloud of gnats.
Skyline Drive - A mixed bag. In the morning this is beautiful, and when the fog clears you can see the entire valley. It's epic. Unfortunately, the road is used as a testing ground for Porsche and motorcycle lovers -- people have died, and I have more than one friend who was almost hit.
To that end, if anybody is interested in taking a tour of the Silicon Valley before or after Startup School, let me know and I'll make it happen. (I've organized something like this once already. It was a blast: http://hackspedition.org/sv)
I like pg's new humor.
(talking about the 280 section of the essay)
well, he hasn't visited it.... ever, right? heh
i mean, i guess you can't blame him
it's a really long way from yc to the dojo
Myself and my roommate (another startup guy) were pretty hungover. I think it was some launch party the night before or just playing Halo with drinking rules. We were sitting at Gelayo Gusto in Mountain View. We had no furniture at the time and our TV was this crappy trinitron we got from Good Will. (Keep in mind, we somehow negotiated a ridiculous deal on a townhouse 3 bootstrapped entrepreneurs could never afford otherwise). We decided it was time for furniture or electronics. My roommate suggested we go to Fry's if it were electronics. I said: What's Fry's? Fast food? His response? Screw furniture, we're going to get a TV, and you NEED to experience Fry's. $1000 later we walked out with a 50 inch TV and saved $100 of it to get some lawn chairs + a tent for the living room. Some of you may have even stayed in this tent before. It was kind of the guest house we set up, inside the house.
Tent picture: http://cl.ly/fbb39c0b2477b483de73
I have a ton of stories like this. My year in silicon valley was without a doubt the happiest time of my life.
Profiled in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/technology/personaltech/05...
Palo Alto Networks
I, personally, only recognize Netapp and Yahoo!.
Here's my favorite places though:
University Ave, Frys, Stevens Creek Mall, The Great Mall, Great America Theme Park
I do miss living in California ;-)
When we decide to fuck off for the day and go surfing it's a 10 minute drive. Counting the beach traffic. It's 40 minutes over the hill into Silicon Valley, counting the people from the valley who don't know how to drive CA-17.
I think that's as in-between as you can get.
For comparison, over the hill my office is on a university campus that is mostly concrete, ringed by areas you may not want to travel alone at night, and in the fall shrouded under a thick pocket of San Jose's brown smog.
I am constantly thankful the UC Regents generally chose such beautiful locations for their campuses. UCSB and UCSD were excellent choices as well. We'll give them a pass on a few of their other choices. ;)
The point though, is that middle ground does exist in California. As another example, I grew up in Sonoma County, which is both beautiful and not a wilderness.
It does seem like it's declined in its role in startup culture lately, but it's spawned a good share of startups--- Seagate, SCO (pre-patent-troll era), RF Micro, Plantronics, etc., are from the coast. Would be interesting if anyone had a guess as to why there's less of that now than there was some years ago. There are still a bunch of profitable (!) indie-game studios, at least (the folks behind Bridge Builder, Gish, Super Meat Boy, Aether, Bit.Trip, etc.).
Judging by the commute traffic on 92 & 17, it seems quite a few people who work in the valley still live on the coast, too, but it's quite possible they're mostly 9-5 rather than startup types.
Imagine our shock when we visited some beaches and they were full of fog so you couldn't see, and the water was yellow and frothy. I guess we were still too far north, but it seems like to get a half decent beach you have to go down to Santa Cruz or further.
You probably don't want to go further south, at least for warmth--- Monterey and Big Sur are beautiful, but about as cold and foggy as Half Moon Bay.
A tangent: biggest CA culture shock for me was visiting Hollywood and finding out much of it is closer to a ghetto than to its glamorous mid-20th-c. image.
If you want to see Silicon Valley, sure, go to Palo Alto and drive 280... but if you want to experience what Silicon Valley is about, you should go to a SuperHappyDevHouse or visit Hacker Dojo.
I think PG's emphasis on places like Skyline and 280 was trying to help compensate for the fact that a lot of people come here and stick close to highway 101, which leads them to think this is an ugly place. But in focusing so much on the landscape stuff, he left out some of the best people stuff.
Yes, you may have preferred that pg talk about something else, but it is sufficient and OK to talk about the things to see if he wishes to. (It's not just landscape, either, believe me. The "tour of Silicon Valley corporate campuses" was almost as interesting for me, if not moreso. I've done the tourist thing quite a bit all over the place, but that's not something you can do anywhere else.)
I can't be missing the point if I'm disagreeing with it, now can I? (And no, I don't think that defense applies to your post.)
2) Computer History Museum
3) Weird Stuff and the other used hardware vendors
4) Drive by the "HP Garage" in Palo Alto
5) Facebook's new offices
7) The Old Pro in Palo Alto
8) Drive by Moffett Field (and go inside if you can; there are events there a couple times per year)
If the dojo is corporate, though, I'm a CEO.
I like both noisebridge and hacker dojo.
but it's very oriented towards small companies; while there are a lot of people with funding there, we also see a fair amount of bootstrapping.
In its decrepitude, a laser printer startup I helped found (Imagen) lived among the ruins (we traded space from Stanford for laser printers ;-), and it was glorious. It was up in the trees not too far from the dish, and we'd work out on the deck (watch out for holes) under the eucalypti on every fresh Palo Alto morning. Heaven.
Now I think it's a riding stable.
Amusingly, their faces are blurred out even though they clearly wanted to be in the shot.
The link you gave is to an inner parking lot. It's interesting that it's "fogged out." I've never seen that elsewhere in Street View.
I went up El Camino Real, and saw fabled places like Palo Alto, but I couldn't help thinking "This is just like Scarborough" (ugly Toronto suburb). It's just strip-malls. KFC, Taco Hell, KFC, Taco Hell. What a disappointment!
I guess I expected there to be code and money dripping from the trees, while pot-smoking surfers built rockets, or something.
Once a day daily email that highlights great places in an area. These are well known spots, but there are tons others that I'm sure long time residents haven't even heard of. Thrillist and all the others seem to focus on bars/restaurants, but there's just so much more to an area to see. I lived in the Valley for a year and still never got to see enough. I wish I had one email a day telling me of places to check out/unique things to see. I'd never get around to all of them, but it would have made my time there even more enjoyable.
Instead I ended up just wandering around the campus looking at the amazing art and soaking it in. There's a cast of a Rodin piece called The Gates of Hell that is unreal. I got to it just after sunset when the lights were starting to come on.
It was after dark when I left campus, and I took a wrong turn. Suddenly all the signs were in Spanish, and I was lost in California. I made it out alive though.
They offered me a job but I ended up in Colorado instead.
The northern coast is more like a milder version of Oregon. Redwood tree habitat continues all the way down to around Monterey along the coast. Foothills separate the coast from the Central Valley, which is ideal agricultural land but tends toward extremes of weather. Go farther east and you hit the Sierra foothills - the center of the Gold Rush. It becomes forested again and you'll see a fair number of one-street towns and two-lane highways. And then going over the mountains gets you to Nevada.
The ultimate Hacker Villa and the location of many SuperHappyDevHouses
I found the info for the Airbnb party on their blog (http://blog.airbnb.com/), that should be cool.
I think Fry's started in Sunnyvale... And Cyberdyne Systems is in Sunnyvale. ;)
While living in Palo Alto I was surprised that there seemed to be more startup events in the city. SOMA definitely feels like part of the scene too.
Wow! I was there last month and I walked Castro street several times, but I thought all the "action" was around Stanford University (I didn't go there, only went to Stanford Shopping Center and the landscape was amazing).
Endless Loop Drive -> Infinite Loop Drive
Sunnyvale -> Cupertino