Just As I Thought

The Offbeat Tourists

While my mom was here this weekend, we wandered here and there around San Jose looking for off beat and interesting things to see. Here’s a report.

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The Japanese Friendship Garden (in Kelley Park at 1300 Senter Road) is still beautiful, a little oasis in the gray, industrial section of east San Jose. The koi are massive, a small child could ride on the back of one.

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Just next to the Japanese Garden is the San Jose History Park, which — while sparse — is fascinating. Most cities just tear down their historic buildings, San Jose tries to save them by moving them. They end up here in the History Park, which over time is recreating a long gone San Jose downtown. There are old houses here, the old print shop and gas station, along with reconstructions of the Pacific Hotel, the fire station, and the massive light tower that once straddled downtown streets. The whole feel is that of a town that is making the transition from old west to new west.

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Next, a quick stop at eBay headquarters to take a picture for my eBay-addicted stepfather. And this sign also works in reverse.

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Now I know how they make chips! Believe it or not, Intel has a museum at their headquarters (2200 Mission College Blvd, Santa Clara) just a few minutes from my house. Who knew? Turns out my Mom did, surprisingly.

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Now, I should have written down the address for this, but I forgot. I found it on Google Earth, just north of the Google headquarters. Two pieces of the Berlin Wall, tucked away in the back corner of a nondescript office building parking lot. This alone would be fascinating, but whoever placed it here ruined it by infuriating jingoistic pro-American signs and plaques. The plaque on the ground in front of these concrete slabs says that it is a “tribute to American resolve.” The “interpretive” sign in front claims that the “world must not forget” that it was “American resolve and its political and economic” might that “made this historic event possible.”
Nowhere does it even mention the resolve of the German people on either side of the wall.

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Lastly, we took a field trip to downtown Hayward, here — if you know what to look for — you can see the Hayward fault. Through a 4 or 5 block area (A to D streets, about 30 feet north of Mission Blvd) you can see the slow but steady creep of the fault by the right lateral offset of curbs, sidewalks, and buildings. The picture above shows what this looks like: when you look at the creep, it seems like it is moving to the right on top.

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That last picture clearly illustrates what is happening — that crack running horizontally across the sidewalk is the fault, the vertical line is the seam in the sidewalk which was once continuous, but has been pulled apart by the constant creeping of the fault.

And there you have it! Some interesting things to see when your relatives visit San Jose!

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