Get off My LAWN!

Get Off My Lawn

 (Michael Halberstadt)
“Get off My Lawn”, The Apple Garage, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)

I’ve been following up on usual shtick but from a bit higher on subjects that seem would make a difference. Two places that came to mind that would benefit from the elevated view my new pole setup has afforded me.

Both of the places on my list were at the top of Silicon Valley history. Two garages in fact. Though technically while chatting with a reporter after the death of Steve Jobs, that she was corrected and Apple started in the house and not in the garage. But legends don’t necessarily bother adhering to the truth. Unlike the last times I’ve visited these sites, they both retained a Silicon Valley tradition of putting up NO TRESPASSING signs.

Historic Garage Where Silicon Valley Was Born (Michael Halberstadt)
Historic Garage Where Silicon Valley Was Born (Michael Halberstadt)

In any case I started at the Birthplace of Silicon Valley. Already ahead of its time Silicon Valley was born to two fathers. The two proud dads were Bill H and Dave P- better known as HP.  They started out in a lovely Craftsman in Palo Alto. I got a few elevated shots and moved on.

"Get off My Lawn", The Apple Garage, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)
“Get off My Lawn”, The Apple Garage, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)

Next I headed to that other familiar haunt, the “Apple Garage”, where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started making the Apple I. Things there had changed a bit. I drove up to see a couple of signs stating PRIVATE PROPERTY – photograph only from the sidewalk. Of course I did, I had no interest in getting any closer than the sidewalk for what I was working on. But low-and-behold an old lady (figuratively) came out wagging her cane yelling (still figuratively) get off my lawn! I tried explaining the obvious, you are in a house that is where the largest corporation in the world started. It’s of historical value. And I’m not on the property anyhow. But she would have none of it. I felt sorry for her- she must have a constant flow of tech tourists invading her space.

Virgin Mary Statue, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)
Virgin Mary Statue, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)

Somehow I have to merge this story with another piece I’ve been working on. Santa Clara has been on my radar recently. Listening to KQED a while back there was a little story about Santa Clara. They updated their motto from “The Mission City” to “The Center of What’s Possible”. Sounds a bit more modern, yet smacks a bit of corporate jingleism to me. Basically I think they’re trying to convey that Santa Clara isn’t stuck in the past but is home to numerous tech companies, a fancy new stadium, Great America, etc. Looking at their webpage it’s kind of obvious Santa Clara needs some marketing help. They have a little box labeled “Santa Clara Events Calendar – Find things to do in Santa Clara!” That sounds great but the picture in the box is actually of OAKLAND!

No matter how you look at it Santa Clara is a small, kinda sleepy city in the South Bay. It has a few interesting landmarks and I tried to cover what I could the other day. The primary draws have been the Mission on the University Campus. There are a few small (& free!) art museums in town including de Saisset also on campus as well as the Triton across from City Hall.

Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)
Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Michael Halberstadt)

In researching stock photo subjects I found that the nice little free museums are balanced out by some pretty expensive other attractions. I don’t care much for sports, but thought a trip to the 49’ers Museum would be a reasonable subject. But the cost to visit is $15, that may be not too bad for a rabid fan, but for a guy like me that actively looks for bars that don’t have sports on TV, no thanks!

Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)
Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)

I finally managed to head over to the stadium and poke around. The good news was that when there isn’t an event at the new stadium the parking garage is free. I parked got a few shots from the top of the garage. Then headed down to walk around the stadium. There are some nice pedestrian bridges, bike paths and the like nearby.

Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)
Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)

Got a few good stock shots there. But to quote our former governor “I’ll be back.”

Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)
Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Silicon Valley (Editorial Use Only) (Michael Halberstadt)

 

More Silicon Valley Shtick

Autonomous car being tested in Silicon Valley parking lot (Michael Halberstadt)
Autonomous car being tested in Silicon Valley parking lot (Michael Halberstadt)

After a gig in the South Bay I made a few stops to the regular hotspots today. First stop was Intel in Santa Clara. They’re basically the visitor friendliest tech company in Silicon Valley. Just happened I was driving past and thought for lighting reasons and to test out one of my lenses it might make a good stop.

My day started out a bit earlier than usual, and due to the angle of the sun and slight overcast, I thought it would be a good day to revisit the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley”, the HP Garage in Palo Alto. And once again I looped by the Googleplex, and found the cute little autonomous car nearby. And as usual they didn’t like me photographing/filming. I find that whole bit kinda funny- one of the world’s richest companies, testing their new product in a public parking lot. And not just any product, but a self driving car, news about which would interest a substantial portion of the world’s readership. Ironically given all the controversy of the Google Buses, there was a sign (I wish I photographed) prohibiting them. And Imagine if you or I were to drive a car with no plates in a public lot to test out ____?! Guess if you have billions of dollars you can close off a disused public parking lot and do pretty much anything 😉

In any case (and pardon my rant), it seemed today they were testing the new Google X car for bike and pedestrian safety. A couple of young women were apparently pretending to text and ride a Gbike in the path of the car. Another young lady appeared to pretend to be texting as she crossed an imaginary intersection. I’d be very curious to hear how all that works, not that they’ll discuss any of it with me. Like how can the car can figure out how fast a bike’s trajectory could enter the path of the self driving car.

Next stop was Facebook. I wanted to get a few shots of the sign from a few different angles. Not too exiting, but that’s my life.

Cheers from Silicon Valley….