There’s a saying in the news biz that freedom of the press is reserved for those who own one.

Renting a place in the country has a similar vibe. No matter how good the view is, or how clean the air is, or how sweet the sound of crickets after sunset is, it’ll always feel like it belongs to somebody else. Well, these are the thoughts that spring to mind after a couple years if you’ve been born with ants in your pants.

Bottom line being, the Green Acres experiment is over. We’ve moved to a nice little one-bedroom flat in a well-designed complex right on the trolley line that goes into San Jose, out to Mountain View and other potentially interesting places. Fuel efficient, close to work, small carbon footprint, as Citizen Gore would call it.

The time in the country served its its purpose: reminded me how much I liked to get out into the outdoors. And now that I’m back in town I’ll be able to appreciate a good tromp through the woods just that much more.

The new place is a fairly standard apartment in a fairly standard complex, in a flat-as-a-pancake sector of Silicon Valley.

A bit of open space

Those are the friendly East Bay hills that I’ve spent so much time in. One of the last citrus orchards in the area is off in the distance.

While the buildings look pretty much like all the other apartment buildings in these parts, the landscaping is another matter.

More blooms

Lots of flowers, for one thing.

Flowered trellises

These trellises run under our place … when the wind’s just right the aroma of the flowers wafts up to our balcony.

Nice fountain

There’s no practical purpose for a fountain, it’s just cool to have around. We’ve got bunches of them.


And check this out: Bamboo!

Tree lined sidewalk

Trees line one of the sidewalks.

Village green

This big village green is actually a San Jose city park. Good place to go practice pitching my tent!

For the heck of it, I took the trolley downtown to see what was shaking. Not much, truth be told, because it’s San Jose, which shakes during earthquakes and not much else. Got a chance to practice some architectural photography.

A light rail stop

Can’t complain about the trolley stop: at least it’s got trees!

San Jose's Basilica

Here’s one of the spires of the old Catholic church in downtown San Jose.

Knight Ridder Building

All that remains of the once-great Knight Ridder newspaper chain is the sign on this tower in downtown San Jose. And the hundreds of millions of dollars lining the pockets of the folks who sold it down the river. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

City Hall rotunda

Here’s the rotunda of the new San Jose City Hall. I think it was built purely for the glorification of the previous mayor, who had big ideas but managed to piss off just about everybody in town getting them implemented, with the final result being he barely avoided leaving office in handcuffs.

Flags are always cool

You know me, I’m a sucker for a good flag picture.

City Hall plaza

An overall look at the City Hall plaza. Apparently somebody decided that a completely paved-over look would complement the rugged outdoor scenery of the distant hills. Or something.

So anyway: The hiking pictures should continue, though now that I live within trolley range of downtown I might find my way back to some of the cool stuff that happens down there, like Jazz Fest and the Grand Prix. The old place had its charms, but it got old. The new place has its charms, too, but it’ll get old one day as well. I’ve moved every two to three years for all my adult life … there’s just too many other places I could be to remain satisfied staying in one place.