10 San Jose Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Mega diversity. Tech art. Sharks. Welcome to San Jose.

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1. San Jose Takes Cultural Diversity To The Extreme, And Then One Step Further

Fact — San Jose’s vietnamese population is the largest in the States.

Fact — San Jose’s hispanic population is 76th largest in the states on a percentage basis. Given that it’s the 10th biggest city overall, that probably means that San Jose is towards the top of that list, too.

All this adds up to San Jose being the most diverse city in the country. In our opinion, the city should use this fact as a bragging point more often.

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2. Everyone In San Jose Has Their Personal Favorite Pho Place And Favorite Burrito Place

The South has biscuits. The northeast has Dunkin donuts. Texas has BBQ.

San Jose has the best damn Pho you’ve ever had. We’re talking 901 different options on Yelp. So we won’t pretend to pick the best, considering you probably wouldn’t agree any way.

Oh yeah, and the numerous varieties of Latino food are nothing to sneeze at either.

3. The Waters Are Dangerous In San Jose. It’s Crazy Shark Territory.

From October through May of every year, San Jose becomes home to millions of ravenous shark… fans.

In all our travels around the U.S., we’ve never seen a whole city so committed to an ice hockey team.

So even though the 10 year playoff streak ended this year, Shark fans still go to sleep with the image of Patrick Marleau in their eyes.

Oh, and the Kings still suck.

4. There Are Tech Nerds. Then There’s Everyone In San Jose.

Being in the heart of Silicon Valley has it perks:

  • You have the latest gizmo years before anyone else
  • You have the latest delivery service before anyone else
  • You know a guy who knows a VC
  • You know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy that was an early employee at some major start up

You get part of the Silicon Valley ethos through osmosis.

5. San Jose Became The Silicon Behemoth Because It Fosters Creativity

San Jose Stereotypes

Source: Flickr user Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

San Jose’s art community mixes art with the tech influence that surrounds the area into a glorious mashup.

Take the SubZERO Festival as a prime example. We think it does a good job of summing the scene up in the words from its site — “SubZERO is a DIY, artistically bent, hi/lo-techno mashup where street meets geek.”

And you can only get that kind of experience in San Jose.

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6. The Weather Doesn’t Get Better Than San Jose, And People There Seem Oblivious To It

San Jose Stereotypes

Source: Flickr user donjd2

San Jose’s weather reflects the ethos of the city: perfect in every way and completely unaware of it.

After living in San Francisco for four years, we can tell you that the weather there is decent, but San Jose blows it away.

With the water giving the area constantly awesome weather, you’d think people would brag about it more. But they don’t.

7. Everyone In San Jose Can Hike, Bike, And Stroll To Some Amazing Nature

San Jose Stereotypes

Source: Flickr user donjd2

Let’s take a quick look at the options immediately around San Jose:

  • Alum Rock with over 100 years of history
  • Bike up Mt. Hamilton
  • Hike up Coyote Peak
  • The view from Almaden Quicksilver County Park

And that’s just a limited sample of all the awesome around San Jose.

Not bad, not bad at all.

8. Everyone In San Jose Has Mastered The Art Of California Driving

San Jose Stereotypes

Only wimps in the Northeast ride easy to use, useful public transportation.

In San Jose, it’s all about the car; the ultimate expression of freedom. There’s a particular way to drive in San Jose.

We think it’s part of the startup ethos; you need to be smart with your time. It’s not an efficient use of time to put on your turn signal; just switch lanes. And don’t you dare stop at a stop sign; check ahead and roll through that thing like you’ve done it your entire life.

9. Don’t You Dare Call San Jose A Suburb, Odds Are It’s Bigger Than Your City

San Jose Stereotypes

Source: Flickr user AdamRobertSchultz

San Jose is the 10th biggest city in the United States.

Sometimes you lose perspective of that fact because of San Francisco’s larger than life persona, but San Jose is bigger than San Francisco.

That’s why everyone gets irked when you downplay the role San Jose has in the valley. It actually has a bigger footprint; it’s just not as easily codified as other cities. Probably because…

10. San Joseans Already Know It’s Awesome, But They Need To Start Preaching The Gospel Of San Jose

People call San Jose the suburb of San Francisco because they don’t know what the city has to to offer.

From the incredible cultural diversity, to the sprawling tech scene, to the crazy Sharks fans, San Jose has something for everyone.

It’s more than worthy of the title — The Capitol of Silicon Valley.

Why not make a bigger deal about how great the city is? Maybe they don’t want the secret to get out.

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16 thoughts on “10 San Jose Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

  1. San Jose will always be home.. BUT, it’s getting very overpopulated 🙁 Traffic jams getting worse and worse by the day.

  2. I find that San Joseans who dis San Jose are either just not happy with their lives, don’t know any better because they are poorly traveled or lived in San Jose when it was mostly Caucasian and do not like what a urbanized San Jose looks like ( Very diversified). Sorry but its true.
    Most US metropolitan areas would kill to be in San Jose’s place, San Jose has issues but the future is very bright.

    1. I’be lived in SJ since the late 90’s and find the cost of living and the housing market is ridiculously expensive , traffic is still congested and people over the age of 55 lookong for work are labeled as retirees.

      I go out of the hetic craziness of the tech industry and became a teacher. I am 63, still working and when it comes time to retire, I am getting out of Dodge.

      1. That’s what I did when I took an early retirement from the post office on Lundy. Now I wish I had stayed because the weather is nice in San Jose.

    1. Sac has close to the same population density, it’s just that San Jose is so suburban that they drew the city limits almost twice as large. Imagine if Sacramento redrew it’s borders to include all of the neighboring suburbs, and you have San Jose except with a much better historic downtown, and affordable housing.

  3. San Jose is the most boring and depressing “city” I have ever lived in. Just because there’s genetic diversity doesn’t mean there’s cultural diversity. There are barely any cultural events or communal celebrations. Everyone is holed up in their crappy house or apartment because there’s nothing to do here. The tech “geeks” aren’t here because they love San Jose, they’re here because this is (rather unfortunately) where their job is. I’m sure they all have grand plans to get the hell out when a great opportunity arises elsewhere. I pity the person who wrote this who apparently has never lived anywhere but San Jose.

    1. Christine,

      Finally someone who speaks the truth! I have lived in San Jose for 30 years and let me tell you it is the biggest joke city ever. Sure, yes, there is beautiful weather and amazing destinations 30/45 minutes away. The catch is that you will never own a decent house close to where you work and will be working 70 hours a week to afford your apartment. Everyone is stressed, everyone complains, everyone is super unfriendly, and everyone is out for themselves. There is no community, no culture, and no opportunity for a balanced life. You can argue that these things were here 20 years ago and you would be correct. High cost of living, high wage gap, and a massive migration of people have eroded all of these things. Look at what the cost of a decent one bedroom apartment in close proximity of a mildly enjoyable town (Campbell, LG, Willow Glen, DT SJ) and you will shit yourself. For the record, the weather is truly amazing and the crime is pretty minimal but the divorce rate is massive and sustainable career opportunities outside of tech are non existent. I will be moving in January so if you want my spot please help yourself. If you are a boring, narcissistic socially inept, workaholic with no passions other than creating a needless social media app or overprice smart phone distraction, this place is for you.

  4. I agree with Christine and nowayjose. I live here only because of my tech job. I absolutely hate it here. I miss Portland – where there is actually quality of life. While there are certainly exceptions, in general, people here are boring, one-dimensional, and have no emotional intelligence. It is utterly depressing. I have started to plan my exit such that I have another job (in the Pac NW or CO) by the time I finish my major project and train my replacement. I plan on being in Oakland or Berkeley as often as I can in the 1-2 years until then.

    1. Hi Carrie. We were living in Portland for 13 years and came here for my husbands job. I hear what you are going through. This place seems all about work and no play. Time feels like it goes by super fast and every day feels the same. Even trying to do other things doesnt give you that feeling of “out” or release like going to the gorge or something. I resisted coming here and am still pissed. Its so same shit different day here, God.

  5. Couldn’t agree with previous comments more: San Jose is an absolutely miserable city. Just because it is the 10th largest city in the US doesn’t mean it isn’t also a giant suburb. It is basically strip mall after strip mall, and was obviously designed for cars, not people.

    Where are the safe, clean public spaces? Where are the cultural and community events? Where is there viable public transportation, as traffic is some of the worst in the country?

    The author of this post has obviously not traveled much. Anyone whose been to Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, D.C., Seoul, Minniapolis, Stockholm, and any number of other major cities around the world will tell you San Jose is laughably terrible by pretty much any measure.

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