What is it like to live in Sunnyvale, CA?
Gosh, all these people writing about Sunnyvale only to damn it with faint praise. To counteract that, let me write a raving review about it and tell you why I chose Sunnyvale over all the other places nearby:
Lowest crime of any city its population in the US. Sunnyvale doesn't advertise it, but its police force is incredible. I was once over-taken aggressively by a car while riding home from work. Sunnyvale police saw it, and pulled the guy over and gave him a talking to. Few cities with a population the size of Sunnyvale (100-200,000 people) have a police force that aware of cycling.
Fantastic year-round cycling. Yes, better than San Francisco, which because of its location actually doesn't have great cycling by comparison. The only big city around that has better cycling than Sunnyvale is Berkeley (which has a much bigger crime problem than Sunnyvale). Palo Alto has better cycling but is much more expensive.
Great food. We have better Japanese food than San Francisco (Gochi and Tanto). We have some of the best Indian food in the area (Kabab & Curry --- technically in Santa Clara, but close enough) Better yet, nobody knows about those places so the prices are still reasonable.
Decent public transit. Huh? Well, if you live near El Camino, bus 22/522 run every 15 minutes every day including weekends. Going to SJC takes 40 minutes and costs $2. Going to SFO is more challenging, but with access to the train (you can't say that about Cupertino or Saratoga) you can still use public transit. Better yet, the buses all take bikes, and the bike racks are in front of the bus so your bike can't get stolen off the rack. Public transit in San Francisco is not bike-friendly by comparison.
Jobs. Of course, San Francisco has finally solved its job problems, but there are still plenty of jobs in Sunnyvale.
Decent schools. This is just a function of the demographic, but it matters if you have kids.
Young people who aren't outdoorsy don't like Sunnyvale because it doesn't have enough bars and night clubs to be interesting to them. But if you're outdoorsy, Sunnyvale's far more affordable than the surrounding cities with equivalent access to outdoor space.