Here & Back Again: The New York/San Jose Shuffle

Day 2 in San Jose. Get the keys to the new house tomorrow morning. Already have the list of what to shop for so I can camp out before the movers come with all the stuff. And I brought a pillow, sheets, towels, phone, answering machine…
It’s great to be back in the Valley–the tone and texture of the place is so different from New York. For one thing, people are opening to starting conversations, not afraid to be friendly. I’m writing this from the new San Jose library, which offers free plug in your laptop network access to the web (and fast, too!), and people keep stopping to chat when they see me with my own machine. “Is that a wireless connection?” a fellow just asked. “Nope, you can plug in your laptop for free.”
In addition to the friendliness, there is the markedly different ethnic mix. San Jose is full of Mexican-American, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, and Southeast Asian families. Plus a large number of Tongans, Somoans, and Hawaiians. Plus people who have settled here from all over the US and lots of long-time native Californians. So you see women on the streets in the hot sun wearing Vietnamese straw-brimmed hats, and moms in rebozos cuddling their kids, and so on. After the more limited diversity in New York, the variety is fascinating(as the are opportunities to eat great cheap ethnic food.)
But having said all this, there is a part of me that is delighted I will be back in NY in two weeks for a few days. So many of my clients are in the city, and the projects we’re working on are fascinating.
And many of my strong ties to education and social service are there–have to build them here.
Somehow, I’ve created myself as this bicoastal person without ever having intended to do so.
Back in San Jose again! Wow.