Cupertino: The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

Apple Computer in Cupertino, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Apple Computer in Cupertino, California (Michael Halberstadt)

The world knows the city of Cupertino for one thing only. Being the headquarters of Apple Computer. Jobs and Wozniak may have gotten their start in a modest garage in nearby Los Altos. Apple’s infamous HQ is at One Infinite Loop, and their campus buildings dot the periphery.

The funniest thing I found was walking down the street … in front of another Apple building there were a bunch of apple trees. They were bearing fruit, that was just rotting on the ground below the Apple Computer signs.

Pao Hua buddhist temple in San Jose

Buddhist Temple in East Side San Jose, California (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)
Buddhist Temple in East Side San Jose, California (Photographer: Michael Halberstadt)

The suburbs can be more interesting than we give them credit. One of my favorite photo locations in San Jose is near where I spent much of my youth in the eastern suburbs of San Jose.

Surrounded by beige stucco houses and strip malls full of familiar chain stores is the Pao Hua buddhist temple.  Typically there are a monks around in orange robes sweeping. And unlike much of Silicon Valley, this is a photo friendly spot, they encourage photography!

Above Silicon Valley

San Jose, CA (Michael Halberstadt)
San Jose, CA (Michael Halberstadt)

Perhaps the best views of Silicon Valley are from the Historic Lick Observatory. The observatory is high above the valley in the East foothills. Technically it’s still part of San Jose, but the observatory is actually run by the University of California Santa Cruz.

Luckily, I had some clear weather. Silicon Valley’s air quality is usually pretty poor, which makes for a thick layer of smog. The other technical challenge getting a few good stock photos up there is that the wind gusts are amazingly powerful. Fortunately I had a very sturdy tripod.

Google’s Self Driving Two-Seater

Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California, USA - 15 October 2014: Google Self Driving Car Prototype being Driven in Silicon Valley Parking Lot. (Michael Halberstadt)
Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California, USA – 15 October 2014: Google Self Driving Car Prototype being Driven in Silicon Valley Parking Lot. (Michael Halberstadt)

Google has been busy on their self driving cars. I was lucky enough to get a few stock photos in a Silicon Valley parking lot where this steeringwheel-less two seater was being tested. This is without-a-doubt the cutest of Google’s self driving cars. It allegedly has a maximum speed of 25mph, and I thought it wasn’t street legal in California- but that wouldn’t be this car appeared to violate. Of course if you’re a multi-billion dollar company, you don’t expect to abide by the same rules the rest of us do. 😉

Google’s Self Driving Prius

Google Self Driving Car (Modified Toyota Prius), Silicon Valley, California (Michael Halberstadt)
Google Self Driving Car (Modified Toyota Prius), Silicon Valley, California (Michael Halberstadt)

Feeling pius in a Prius….

Google’s Prius version of its self driving car lineup is shown above. This is part of my stock photo collection of Silicon Valley that also includes the Lexus and their made from scratch two seater (sans steering wheel).

Google’s Self Driving Lexus

An Autonomous Drive Google Modified Lexus SUV on the road in front of Google in Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)
An Autonomous Drive Google Modified Lexus SUV on the road in front of Google in Mountain View, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)

I’ve spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the Googleplex in Mountain View here in Silicon Valley. Now and then you’ll see one of Google’s self driving cars driving by. Here’s a gallery of the Lexus version. There’s also a Prius version and a built from scratch two seater that I’ll add as a separate entry.