The Place I Live

October 5, 2014 at 11:49 am 10 comments

my home town

Location: Castro Valley, California
I live in an unincorporated town in Northern California known as the birthplace of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton.

Over the years, it has been converted into a bedroom community by transplants like me attracted by Bay Area’s booming tech job market. In other words, it’s a place where you go home to sleep.

If there’s a major complaint about the transplants, it’s their seeming lack of community engagement. But who can blame them? With mortgage so high, they sometimes need 3 jobs to keep up with the monthly payments, leaving them less time to socialize or participate in local events.

On weekends, the neighborhood comes to life with the sounds and sights of human activity. Just like the locals, transplants do find time to get out of their beds.

local jogger

They walk, jog, or bike around the place. It’s easy to tell them apart. They are the ones who keep to themselves and appear lost in the world of their own making.

farmer's market

Those who aren’t into sports can go to the farmers’ market to stock up on organic fruits and veggies.

castro valley public library

They can visit our modern public library that uses solar power for 100% of its electricity needs. It has a great collection of books, periodicals and DVDs that can be borrowed at no cost. It offers free wifi and computers and laptops that have access to the Internet. In addition, it provides facilities for community gathering and educational opportunies for all ages. I consider it one of the best in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lake Chabot

They can go to the nearby park that features a 315-acre lake. It’s an ideal place for many outdoor activities such as nature watching, fishing, camping, boating, cycling, and hiking. When I have nothing much else to do, I spend most of my free time there.

garage sales

Or they can look for garage sales run by folks who believe that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Just a word of advice on the latter. Proceed with caution. Otherwise, you may end up getting something that you don’t really need.

Like a manual lawn mower.

“It’s a collector item,” the friendly seller told me with a wink. “and for $5, you can have it,” he added.

Greedy me, I ended up buying it even though I don’t have a lawn to mow.

As more and more transplants overtake the town from the locals, I wonder what it would look like 10 years from now. Would it be for the better or worse? Would I still be around to care?

The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

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Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt, weekly photo challenge. Tags: , , , , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Leigh W. Smith  |  October 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    A fascinating insight into your town, Plaridel. It felt like you were taking the pulse of the place, and you always seem to blend the humor seamlessly in these nonfiction pieces. Oh, about bad thrift shop and yard sale buys I’ve made over the years! I’m not very good at haggling in those situations either.

    • 2. plaridel  |  October 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm


      this town has definitely character. it has a nudist colony and a klu klux klan chapter. 🙂

  • 3. Strangers: The Prompt | The Daily Prompt Alternative  |  March 22, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    […] do you Blog? smellslikestrawberriesA “Zaffeh” in Beirut Lemon Lime FolliesWelcome Center Musings of a Random Mindthe place i live Flowers and BreezesWelcome Stranger Shooting Star“Hi”derabad! An Upturned SoulA local village […]

  • 4. Local: Holt | What's (in) the picture?  |  October 14, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    […] Musings of a Random Mind The Place I Live […]

  • 5. rightpouitree  |  February 9, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I really like the perspective of your first photo!

    • 6. plaridel  |  February 9, 2018 at 10:39 pm


      i’m glad you liked it. much appreciated.

  • […] Musings of a Random Mind The Place I Live […]

    • 8. plaridel  |  February 10, 2018 at 9:29 am


      thanks for the pingback! much appreciated.

  • 9. Tour Guide – Canal – What's (in) the picture?  |  February 11, 2018 at 1:20 am

    […] Musings of a Random Mind The Place I Live […]

    • 10. plaridel  |  February 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm


      thanks for the pingback! much appreciated.


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