I’ve been doing some local explorations the last week or so. I say “local”. In the US everything is so much further away! And bigger. Silicon Valley is such a ubiquitously new place too, compared with the kinds of architecture and history you see round every corner in the UK. But each area has its particularities.

My brother tells me that most areas in the valley seem to have evolved concentrations of particular ethnicities/cultures. (While all of them are full of techy geeks of course!) I gather that Mountain View is known locally to have quite a few Germans living there. You’d probably only get an inkling of whatever these people groups are in each place by knowing people who live there. Though there might be some other clues in the restaurants and eateries in some places.

Oh, also, the expression “Downtown [place name]” really is a thing. I thought it was just a song from “Little Shop of Horrors”!

Anyway, here are some pictures from Downtown Mountain View. To get here, I walked 1.5km to the light railway, then travelled about 45mins on the train.

First stop, second breakfast! Thanks for the recommendation Carolyn.

Hmmm 👌🏼😋 The music in here was ideal for writing to. So I made my exquisite second breakfast last a looong time while I wrote.

I walked around quite a bit. Then, in the heat of the day, I popped into the huge, immaculately clean public library (near the Performing Arts place below), and really enjoyed sitting in a squishy chair, reading a couple of short stories by Agatha Christie.

I wish performing arts and public libraries were more invested in in the UK.

There are quite a few… weird shops in Mountain View. This music shop looked so weird with its toy stuffed tigers and porcelain figures in the window, I wasn’t sure about it. But when I went in it was like a tardis in there! And I found two pieces of piano music I’ve been looking for for years!! That came to a grand total of under £7. Possibly the only thing I’ve found that has been cheaper here than in the UK. (Apart from gasoline/petrol and fast food.)

What sort of music do you think they were piping through the sound system in this grocery store?

Yep, you guessed it; Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. The whole thing. Not just the famous bits! 😁🎵I pretended to be looking for Japanese rice crackers a lot longer than was strictly necessary so I could enjoy it!

That was Mountain View.

This is Campbell (about 45 minutes in the opposite direction on the same train route)…

I didn’t have long here (for reasons that will become obvious later), but long enough to pick up the leafy pleasant vibe of the place. We’d come here for dinner in an Austrian restaurant a couple of evenings before. Carolyn had told me on Sundays they close off the downtown to traffic so it’s all pedestrianised. Nice!

I visited this fabulous secondhand bookstore, including purchasing a very thin book (thinking of travelling light still) which I then went and read some of in a local coffee shop. It was the relaxing late afternoon I needed.

Then it was off back home before my 8 hour day ticket expired.

2 thoughts on “Downtown

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