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The Silicon Valley Scene


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The Silicon Valley Scene

Palo Alto

*Note: Includes Palo Alto, San Jose, Stanford, and surrounding areas.
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BASICS
Dominant Occupations: In addition to the Stanford students (there is literally someone getting a PhD in rocket science), most people fall into the following groups:

1) Guys: Tech. That includes programming/IT/web design, as well as finance/accounting/marketing/legal at places Facebook, Google, Ebay or some startup. Not to mention the unemployed “waiting for my next startup” crew.

2) Girls: A lot in PR/advertising/marketing, as well as quite a few in law/medicine.

3) A contingent of fashion and photography.

Age Range: 25-33

Silicon Valley State of Mind: Balanced early adopters. This ain’t no concrete jungle —so while people are looking to work hard on what they are passionate about and meet like-minded (tech savvy) individuals, their work-life balance is essential, and they love escaping to the great outdoors.

Girl/Guy Ratio: San Jose? More like Man Jose. Dudes abound in the Tech Bubble — we’re talking probably 2 guys for every girl.

Hobbies: App development, dreaming up the next million dollar idea, and anything and everything you can do outdoors — running, hiking, exploring nearby trails, and cycling is super trendy.

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THE LIFESTYLE
Local Hangouts and Hotpots: Google, Facebook, and Yahoo’s Campuses (free food), The Stanford Dish (a 4-mile loop of in the Palo Alto Foothills), University Ave (It’s impossible to walk down this street without running into another Mormon you know — plenty of awkward run-ins with exes or friends who are trying to secretly date), Pluto’s, the Patio, the Aquarius, Stanford Theater, Big Sur, either Yogurtland or Fraiche, Big Sur, Half Moon Bay, Chick-fil-A.

Typical Night on the Weekends: 1) Dinner, if not out then at someone’s house, 2) an outdoor activity like hiking, trail exploring, outdoor music, beach or bonfire, or a sporting event, 3) Froyo or ice cream for dessert.

Sports Scene: If it’s convenient and someone has a connection—let’s do it! We’ve got the Giants, A’s, 49ers (and a new 2014 stadium — what up) , Raiders, Warriors, Sharks, Earthquakes, not to mention local Stanford teams.

Cultural Scene: Second-rate musicians that sometimes come through San Jose. For culture you’ll have to head over to SF.

Diet: Fresh, local, and organic. It’s gluten free, vegan, and free-range but still manages to taste great. Farm-to-table. California grown. Quinoa. Kale. Chia seeds. Juice diets. Can I get a salad? Wait, my yoga teacher said I can’t eat that. (but when you’re not eating out, most of us either Trader Joe’s or Safeway).

Myth Bust: Palo Alto might be a “suburb” of SF, but it’s not some sleepy town — there’s a lot going on in the heart of Silicon Valley. Also, 90% of startups fail, people. Bragging that you’re working on your own startup idea here is the equivalent of someone in LA saying they’re an aspiring actor. We’re not impressed.

What it’s Missing:  Warm water. If you wear a swimsuit to the beach and plan on going in the water, you will be mocked. The only way you’re getting in that ocean is with a 5/4 mm wetsuit as a buffer. This includes girls. Seriously, this is not a joke. Palo Alto also lacks the culture, diversity and restaurants that San Francisco offers—which is why many head up there on weekends.

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THE CHURCH SCENE
Ward Breakdown:
Until  recently, the Palo Alto wards were very strict on their ward boundaries, leading to a the perceived microcosm-attitude that broadcast down south to the rest of the area. But with more options available, there are a number of wards for both PA residents, and those who don’t want to deal with a commute or live outside its borders:

1) Stanford 1st: 18-30 ward. Good scene and always crowded. Higher ratio of guys to girls. Ranges from “I’m a freshman” to “will I ever get married I’ve been here forever?”

2) Stanford 2nd: 31+. Midsingles. Surprisingly a larger ward and has more girls than guys. Both Stanford ward meet at the Institute Building on Stanford Ave

3) Monta Vista Ward: Covers everything between Palo Alto and San Jose. Good mix of transplant professionals and locals who have stayed in the area. The ages probably skew towards the older end (24-30), average age is about 25/26. The ward takes advantage of closer proximity to Santa Cruz and hangs there often. Historically has not been at all strict with membership — all are generally welcome to attend no matter their location.

4) Santa Teresa Ward: Covers most of San Jose and further south. Not as many transplants here because it is farther away from most of the tech companies. Still, a decently sized ward that skews younger than others in the area. During the summers this ward gets a huge influx of returning BYU students. The Monta Vista and Santa Teresa wards tend to do a lot of activities together, so you really get to know people from both wards no matter which one you attend

5) Washington Square Branch: A small branch for students who attend San Jose State University. They meet in an institute building in downtown San Jose (near the university). Much younger age range since most are undergrads.

6) Other Smaller Wards: Berkeley Ward (their Halloween party is the must go to event of the year for the entire area), and Highland Ward ( south of Oakland to San Jose on the east side).

Temple Proximity: Oakland Temple. Around an hour commute. On a clear day, you’ve got killer views of the whole Bay.

Dating Silicon Valley Guys: They’re hardworking, but they’re not trying too hard to impress you, even if they do wear Ernst & Young T-shirts on the regular. A lot of their disposable income goes to toys: road bike, mountain bike, nicer car, tech gadgets, etc. And since there are so many more guys than girls, they tend to hang out together — a lot. If you want to date one, be prepared to break up a few bromances.

Dating Silicon Valley Girls: Ambitious and career-driven, and want t a good experience along the way. They’re here for the active lifestyle, nice weather, and fun culture — hoping to top it all of by finding someone who shares their values and interests.

Classic Ward FHE/Activities: Local off-the-grid outings, ultimate frisbee, campouts, hikes, etc.

Resident Mormon Celeb: Steve Young. Manti Te’o’s girlfriend #catfished

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ODDS AND ENDS
Palo Alto -> SF: Many of us commute into the city via Caltrain for work each day. SF offers a better food and culture scene, but at the cost of higher rent, terrible parking, and more crowds. Palo Alto is suburban, more outdoorsy, and you don’t have to pay for parking to visit your friends.

Intern Season: Regular Stanford ward members hide out and bide their time until the eager young Zoobs head back to BYU after their magical, nothing-like-the-soul-crushing-reality-of-busy-season summers at Ernst & Young.

A Change of Seasons: So it’s obviously warm here almost all year round, however, there are a fair amount of rainy and cold days, as well as the occasional hot spells. It’s a good time to appreciate air conditioning and look forward to the beach or pool on the weekend.

Silicon Valley Might Be For You If: You stay up to date on the latest startup acquisitions, want to work in or around tech, and want a more laid-back suburban life than SF can provide.

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