Friday, October 22, 2010

"Tell Me About Sunnyvale"

I think that our upcoming living situation is of greater interest than our past few because we're going to be there longer, and because we actually got to choose our set-up this time. So, it makes sense that people ask us to talk about Sunnyvale, which is the city that we're in the process of moving to. I thought I'd take a post and talk about the city, which we're both really looking forward to living in.

When we describe where we are in California, we always talk about Silicon Valley in terms of San Francisco. However, Sunnyvale is actually a suburb of San Jose, the 10th-largest city in the country. Sunnyvale has a population of 131,000 as of 2000 (but less than half are registered to vote!), so it's not exactly small in that respect. However, it's only 22 square miles (Port St. Lucie is 77 square miles for comparison). It has a Mediterranean climate, and natural disasters are few. Tornadoes are incredibly rare, there's no blizzards or hurricanes, and while there are earthquakes, many are not measurable (tho we did feel one when we lived out there last time). Sadly, there has only been measurable snowfall twice on record, and most recently was in 1976.

the green part is what's considered Bay Area, to give you a state contextthis is a blow-up of that green area, showing the different counties of the Bay Area. Santa Clara County is considered "South Bay Area"This is a blow-up of just Santa Clara County. You can see Sunnyvale in the northwestern area, southeast of Mountain View.

The history of the city is all over the place, and it wasn't actually a city until 1912. Native Americans were first, then the Spanish. Fruit farms and canneries were a big deal for a long time. World War II changed that, and that's when the high-tech stuff began. That's how we got Mexicans... everyone else left the farms to work toward the war effort, and we needed labor. The very first Pong arcade game prototype was in Sunnyvale, in a bar called Andy Capps, which is now Rooster T. Feathers (we've driven by it many times, but have not been inside). Most of the orchards are gone now, but there are still some city-owned ones.

Lockheed is the largest employer in the city, and there's a bunch of other big-name corporations in the top 10 as well, including Yahoo, Northrop Grumman, and Palm. More than a quarter of the population has a degree higher than a Bachelor's, and 67% went to college. Something really cool is their Public Safety system. Sunnyvale is one of the few cities in the United States that cross-trains policemen, firemen, and EMT workers so that everyone can perform all three jobs. Isn't that neat? I mean, I bet it's a heck of a lot more work, but I like the concept. Another unique thing is that the library isn't through Santa Clara county. Instead, the City of Sunnyvale has its own library (Mountain View had this too, but we just never realized it).

Crime is actually rare in Sunnyvale. It consistently ranks on the Top 10 Safest Cities for its size, on the list put out by the FBI. For its population class, it was in the Top 5 from 1966-2004! Burglary and robbery are at one-third of the national risk.

Okay, I think that covers the basics, LoL.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! There's a new iPad app that points out a lot of the historic locations in Sunnyvale and other parts of the Silicon Valley. I found it because Rooster T Feathers (where I work) was mentioned in it! Here's the link for more info