San Jose, California

The Sunniest, Least Stressed Tech Hub In The United States

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What's it like to live in San Jose

What is it like to live in San Jose, CA?

It’s an okay place. I was there again recently (I live in Santa Cruz) and near downtown and San Jose State. It has really fallen lately. Most of the stores in downtown in the center area near SJSU are closed. Last time I was there the Safeway (!) was closing. It’s got to be pretty bad to have the local grocery store closing.

I also saw a LOT of homeless near the university and Safeway. They were sleeping on the sidewalks and had built tents out of blankets.

In terms of safety, sadly, too many women are attacked around SJSU. Most of San Jose is spread out and you have to drive every place. But the area around the university is dangerous, especially for young women walking alone. They don’t go around publicizing the attacks (but they should, so people are aware of how dangerous it is for women).

As an east coaster who moved west, San Jose seems very sleepy to me. And there is no good transportation. Buildings aren’t being kept up. It’s a very bland town.

Just keep in mind that currently (2020) the homeless are taking over downtown SJ.

And lots of shops are closing up (except those that can’t move…)

It was sad to see so many businesses and restaurants that had shut down. I used to go to the Tech Shop, and that also closed. I think that poorly designed cities that are more suburban-like are more apt to fail (just my observation). Plus, so little public transportation, shop closures, and so spread out, it is kind of a bedroom community to San Francisco.

What is it like to live in San Jose, CA?

As everyone has noted, San Jose is a rather large city. Not just in population but also in area. Many of the questions being asked may have different answers based on where you live in San Jose.

And how is the public transport? (Specially putting in terms for people that want to live in SJ and work at Palo Alto, Cupertino, Menlo Park)

Caltrain is decent for Palo Alto or Menlo Park, and I would recommend living near Caltrain if that is your preference. If you are looking at working in Cuptertino you will probably end up driving. With that said, Cupertino is right next to San Jose so depending on which part of San Jose you live it, it could be short commute.

I live in “West” San Jose (the western portion of San Jose bordered by Cupertino to the West, Santa Clara to the North, and Campbell to the South). Pretty much all of Cupertino is closer to me than the other side of San Jose.

Is SJ a secure city? Are the neighborhoods peaceful?

For its size, definitely. Are there some crappy neighborhoods, yes. Overall though the city is pretty safe. Just research crime rates based on zip code and you will get an idea of where to avoid.

Would you move to San Jose these days?

When you move to San Jose, you are moving to a big city and everything it comes with: sky high cost of living, insane traffic, and rampant homelessness. Compared to other big cities, however, San Jose has great weather (when there’s no smoke :) ), diverse food (from Ethiopian to German, and everything in between), decent bike infrastructure, and good nearby parks.

Also consider the suburbs like Los Gatos and Campbell that have a more small city feel while being close to San Jose proper.

Just be aware that San Jose (and CA in general) has the potential for fires, earthquakes, and drought, and public transportation is severely lacking.

Would you move to San Jose these days?

Just moved here last year from Toronto (originally from Vermont)

Like every place San Jose has its pros and cons.

Pros: I personally feel there are more opportunities in California. I have the best job I’ve ever had in my life and I haven’t had a problem securing a job since moving here (had to leave original company I transferred with). Obviously the weather is a huge pro and it’s close to many outdoor activities.

Cons: The driving is crazy. I thought Toronto was bad but MAN they don’t mess around here haha. Also, I actually don’t find it to be that friendly of a place. It’s not really a city like I thought where you take public transportation everywhere; you pretty much have to drive. I also don’t feel as safe as I have felt in other places BUT I felt worse in SF. I also wish I realized where SJ was in relation to the ocean but that’s my fault.

Ultimately, we are looking to move back to Toronto because we like that type of city feel more but I have enjoyed my time in California for the most part.

Living in San Jose, CA | Pros and Cons