first off wrote:palo alto is pretty segregated, one side of the highway it's the upper class white folk and Stanford students, on the other is one of the roughest areas in the bay (I'm pretty sure East PA is a separate town). EPA regularly competes with Oakland and Richmond for most homicides a year (relative to their respective sizes). Menlo Park, the smaller town adjacent to Palo Alto, is the same but the extremes are not as great. I used to live on the border in MP, now I live in the area in the richest area in MP near rich PA (actually don't have much cash, my family owned this house 40 years before it turned in to a rich area).
As the only half-black guy in my neighborhood, it does suck to know the cops are basically looking for me. Last week I saw a black guy pulled over by the cops a block away from my house. It's the first time I've ever seen a cop actually pull someone over in 8 years. I been hearing about crime rising in our area and more break-ins and car thefts in our area (I guess that is due to the crappy economy) so I suppose this is why we are hearing about this now. get this, someone has been stealing catalytic converters, part of the car exhaust, out of high riding cars. they steal the cat conv, and then melt the platinum out of it and sell it. people are getting desperate.
Whether the mayor chooses to acknowledge it or not, everyone knows whats up - cops do racial profiling. It's just a fact of life I've come to accept. They way I get around the whole racial profiling thing is this: I don't steal shiit, I don't loiter around in weird places, and I dress like I'm not going to mug anyone. Maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I believe me bitchin' about racist cops and calling for the heads of mayors is not going to solve the problem.
Thats typical PA firstoff, its like the unknown side of what Palo Alto is like.
Off topic to what you is saying and this thread, but again its very similar. Palo Alto is a incredibly unique city with a Diverse population (not racial diversity, a wealth and ideological one). I'm not comparing East Palo Alto into this discussion (like what first off included, just Palo Alto).
SO HERE IS A STORY OF MY LIFE LIVING IN PALO ALTO.
My young almost 22 years in this life has brought me to a wide array of experiences and adventures in Palo Alto and on. I lived in Palo Alto for 14 years (first 14). Both my parents, immigrants to this country, wanted me to go to the very best school district in the united states, Palo Alto Unified, so they set shop there. And although progressive Palo Alto, with its weathy, liberal culture, and endless activities, beautiful scenery, looks like gold onpaper . Sometimes life was great. sometimes, I never felt more like an outsider in my life.
I lived in these condominiums in palo alto (something very rare in PA, cuz its either houses or apartments mostly). So my parents werent consider poor by any standard, cuz they owned property in palo alto, jobs, and felt proud 2 immigrants were able to achieve the american by working hard and assimilating to American culture (both learned to speak perfect english immediately). So from a social standpoint, kids would know i didn't live in apartments, but i didnt live in a house either. But a wide array of my social level played a part on just where i lived. I lived off the Oregon Expressway exit, which serves as a border for the school district lines.
Each elementary school and area are in essence segregated by wealth. I went to Palo Verde, one of the most diverse (when it comes to race) schools. Walter Hays, Addison, Duvinick (a couple more,; cant remember all the names) were the ultra wealthy kid schools. Parents were tech billionares, and growing up in the 90's, there were daddy's angels. El Carmelo, Palo Verde (mine), Olohne and another one, were for the not so wealthy and minorities. And Escondido and the other schools by the stanford campus were ones where many kids parents worked as professors at Stanford. So, as my parents were both immigrants, and working class, they werent rich. so, I went to Palo Verde. Great school, majority of people were of white and asian descent (but they weren't as wealthy or PhD educated for the most part, typical middle/working class people) there was a good amount of blacks and latinos, which got me growing up with diversity throughout elementary school, which i thought was great and normal at the time. Everyone was cool with everyone (at least to me).
Middle school comes for me, and from all those elementary schools, brought the divisions to just 2 schools. Jordan and JLS. Now, JLS saw the almost all of the minorities go there (about all living in PA, and 50% of the "gifted" EPA students qualified to go in the PAUSD). Many of the not so wealthy would go there too. the Stanford campus area schools were spilt 50/50 on the school make up. SO theres this School JLS, which i see all my classmates (almost all the elementary school buildup, cuz i lived on the border of this street). I was sent to Jordan, the other school, the ones where all the super rich kids in PA go.
Now Jordan is nationally known. Great academia. many famous people went there. But the buildup of Whites and Asians(mostly technology families) are over 90%. I'm not blaming a race, giving a mental picture of the build up. What I saw in Jordan was uniquely different than Palo Verde. Now there were very few blacks and latinos. The only ones there were the blacks and latinos who were labeled as "gifted" from East Palo Alto, which incredibly high test scores allowed them to go to Palo Alto Schools. Unlike me, these people have been schoolmates since kindergarden with these ultra wealthy. They weren't friends with them, but they got to know them as long as they remember. SO a kid like me, with 2 immigrant parents, had to make new friends. No big deal, i love talking to people right. But these rich kids didn't care. It was like a buy in of having to have millionaire parents to join this club. Now i was friends with several white and asian people. In fact, that was my entire friend base. But all of them weren't millionare families. Most of them had parents who were either professors at stanford, or teachers in the district or things like that. The millionare bulidup of Jordan (which is huge) completely segregated the rest of the campus. These escondido kids, which probably were taught their morals by the parents that spent time with them more then the nannies of the other kids, were accepting to all people (anyone that wanted to hang was allowed).
But the attitudes of these snobby kids will change, if someone becomes a millionare (or famous) overnight. My best friend at the time, his name is Gyume (GT) is a perfect example. Now GT, working family like my family (lived in the condos with me), and "low" class for palo alto standards, shunned by these people. He was dark skinned (tibetan) so he saw water balloons thrown at him, and other cruel stuff happen to him for no apperent reason (we're talking about the most pieceful man i know get jumped over and over). THIS ALL CHANGES. Martin Scorse (the director) gave him a lead role(not the, but one of them) in a movie. My friend was to play the young Dalai Lama in the movie Kundun, a small budget film, but critical acclaimed and won an Oscar. What happens to GT? He now gets respect from these people. He is now the one everyone wants to hang out with. People go crazy. He's no movie star (it was his only film), but people know him. Teachers make big deals, students go gaga. It was insane on the quick change. Did GT forget about the cruelty these people gave him the couple years prior. No! GT knows these "phonies" are pathetic, rich kids, that treat people not like them like dirt. They stopped treating him bad, but why, cuz he was famous?
I moved out of Palo Alto when high school rolled around in 2001.
My family sold our little shack of a home and bought some large amount property in a Sacramento suburb, in a community created by Phil Angeledis in which he called a Social Experiment. A town within a town he called it. Anyways, the way of life in this suburb were incredible. No one in my high school was very rich, or poor. over 50% of my high school was made up of Bay Area flockers (former bay area people). 3 people from my elementary school were in my high school (sacramento is over 100 miles away from palo alto, so this is pretty big IMO) people from menlo park, mountain view, other neighboring cities, had there "outcast" families from the Peninsula flock to sactown. High school was diverse. No one bragged about money (well some did, but from palo alto to here was dramatically different), people were like more of a new playing field. No one bragged about what there dad did, or isolated people because of income, race, what one wears. People here were more into embracing people, as they probably felt similar experiences then me.
I truly feel like my experiences are not unique in Palo Alto, as many i think know what its like and it was topsy turvy for the most part, and have shaped me for the way i am. I think the great and awful child hood experiences put things into perspective how high and how low people can be. Money does not make one a better or worse person. I feel fortunate my family has never been poor and had to be unemployed from their jobs, and were always able to have steady lifestyles (something u cant say to many people), and not have to cope with the burden of surviving what can be a difficult life. But living in palo alto (my neighbor hood vs my school) was living it 2 worlds.
Thats my Palo Alto Experience!