MegaMan (megaman) wrote,
MegaMan
megaman

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This Is where I was Born

I'm back in Palo Alto. I had to come for my grandma's 100th birthday party today. It was pretty fun! I got to play "old timsey" style music with some of my cousins and someone who I think is my aunt's ex-husband. I don't know, I don't know who most of my relatives are in relation to me. That's what happens when my aunts and uncles are in their 70s, and my cousins are in their 60s and have grand children in elementary school. I don't think anyone in my family knows all the other people, so it's not expected. It's usually kind of, "hey, it's you! I talked to you last time!"
So apparently there were about 100 people at my grandma's house today. That's a lot of people, but you have to remember that there were 500 people at my grandfather's 100th birthday 5 years ago. All my family lives in northern California, so they all get together and do stuff. It's awesome.
My parents both grew up in the lower west bay. My mom in Mountain View, and my dad in Palo Alto. Both of them were born at Stanford Hospital. Why wasn't I born at Stanford hospital?!?! Both my older half sister and my younger sister were born at Stanford. Technically I was born in Redwood City, but I try to pretend that I was born at Stanford. That way, I can pretend that I lived in Palo Alto my entire life.
I really like Palo Alto. It's nice and suburbiany, and full of all my friends.
I had the fortune to spend my whole life in the same place. This means that many of my friends in High School were the people I had been playing with since I was six.
There's something that I can't quite explain about my fondness for growing up in the same place my parents did. I think it's because so many people write off America as having no history and no permanence other than their activities at any given moment. Maybe it is because I am just proud of my home. Like, I'm proud of my country and of all the diversity and fun stuff that goes together to create it. Or maybe because by staying in my parent's hometown I can give myself the feeling of belonging to something larger, some legacy spanning generations. It validates me to know that I have a purpose that is at least to continue the things that my parents and grandparents (who also lived in the bay area) started.
What can I say about Palo Alto? I like Palo Alto. It's nice and peaceful and colorful. There are lots of trees and bushes and nice houses. There's a lot of stores, and my friends. I lived close enough to some of my friends that I could just walk to their houses if I wanted to. I could bike around, and that was fun. There was an Airport and a duck-pond a few minutes drive, and when my parents still owned their own plane, we could go flying. That was fun.
The thing about Palo Alto is it was right next to East Palo Alto. East Palo Alto, or EPA as it was affectionately known as, was a scary ghetto. In '89 it was rated murder capital (per square) foot of the nation. There were a lot of "ethnic minorities" who lived in East Palo Alto. Of course, I lived in East Palo Alto for the first three weeks of my life. I remember almost none of it, but my mom claims that our area was quite problem free, due to the fact that we lived across the street from a very nice, but very infamous weapons and drugs dealer, who didn't want any trouble anywhere near his house. We had chickens in EPA
Yeah, I'm from Palo Alto. My parents are certainly well off, if not rich, I went to really good schools, and I've never not been able to have or do anything because of money. If you don't like it, then too bad! I figure that I've been given my circumstances, so I'm gonna utilize them. What, Are you jealous? Well, don't complain to me, I didn't pick where I was born, but I sure enjoy it.

Because I don't have pre-established traditions, This is an attempt to create one.
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