To borrow a phrase from comedian Rodney Dangerfield, the South Bay just “doesn’t get no respect.” As a native San Josean, I’ve heard every possible complaint about my city, from "It’s a place with no soul" to "The only good thing about downtown are the freeways exits to help you get out."
It’s easy to give into the 408 hate and feel like San Jose has nothing to offer aside from somewhat “cheaper” rent (still ridiculous compared to much of the rest of the nation). Maybe the area once known as the Valley of Heart’s Delight will never be one of the world’s great destinations, but there’s certainly enough here to disprove the “vast, cultural wasteland” trash-talk.
Here are just a few things I love about my city:
Just because San Jose is the “capital of Silicon Valley” doesn’t mean that we aren’t still part of the great counter-cultural traditions of the Bay Area. SJSU, for instance, recently hosted a Grateful Dead Symposium and the university has long celebrated activists trying to change the world. Beyond SJSU, people are often surprised to discover the quirky aspects of San Jose, such as our spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s largest permanent board game. From First Friday Art Walks and the SubZERO Festival to fabulous art parties and Big WOW Comicfest, there’s plenty of inspiration for artists in the South Bay.