Saturday, February 13, 2016

That made me feel surprisingly bad.

Silicon Valley is still feeling relatively normal right now. There is a lot of building going on in the Valley and throughout the East Bay, so it gives you the impression things are getting better.

This weekend however Mr S and I decided to go inland to Sacramento to the Autorama there. Normally we'd find a place for breakfast, but we were running late. And it ~is~ Valentines weekend and all - so that ads a lot of time to restaurants.

We decided to just stop at a McDonald's on the way. The one we chose was right off the freeway in Stockton. Immediately I noticed this area was a bit rough. But it didn't bother me that much. We pull into McDonald's and I realise immediately it's infested with homeless. One guy is sleeping on the grass. Another is begging in the order line. I'm not sure Stockton has ever recovered from the recession, but even I was shocked by the San Fransisco level of homeless there. I can't imagine what Stockton proper was like. This McDonald's was really on the fringes. The homeless tend to be worse in the downtown areas.

The whole thing just put a weird cast on the whole day. I was trying to get out of the house to escape being able to see our impending doom. And I think it made me feel worse. That is the kind of thing that could be spreading to the Valley. You can't just ignore it. Things are about to get really bad.

I never used to be a car chick. That was an invention of the recession.  When tech was dead I found that guys did enough interesting things with cars to keep me entertained and distracted. Right now I think even the car guys are tapped out. The whole thing is freaking me out.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can't extrapolate Stockton to the rest of the world, their problems are unique to the city. We pick off a lot of cheap games there because of how different the economies are. Right now you can get warehouse space for .25 a square foot, but 45 mins West and even slum lords are asking for $1 rents. It is depressing, but Stockton has always been like this. DF

she said: said...

It's a fair point. But I don't remember it being as much like that before the recession. All cities have homeless. But that is intense homelessness right now. A lot of cities have at least gotten some bleed over from the improved economy, but I think Stockton is still getting worse. Even Oakland is doing better! At least in San Francisco you can beg from tourists. Stockton is just a farm town. That's a rougher existence.

Stress showed up in the burbs first last time. There is just a constant amount of urban sprawl in the better times. People move further out because rents get so high.

Homeless are the canaries. Sure Stockton already has a problem, but even a few articles seem to indicate something happened this year to swell the amount of them. Of course you can't be sure. They aren't that easy to count, and they don't do it every year. I mean, I only get out there a couple of times a year so differences make a bigger impact to me. At any rate - that is a crazy level of homeless.