Why I like California

I’ve been pretty harsh on California in the past, and I’ve been criticized for it. Even though I opened one of my most controversial posts with “I like California,” I still get the feeling that I’m somehow sending the message that I dislike or even hate California. The truth is, I like it, and I’ll try to explain a few reasons why.

The climate

Having no significant weather is incredibly convenient. When an outdoor event is scheduled during the summer, the chance that it will be affected by rain is nearly 0%. Back east, I think my family is batting about .500* for graduations. As I’ve more recently discovered, the absence of winter means that I’m able to comfortably ride my bike all year. Which brings me to…

Bicycle access

As both a driver and an “avid cyclist,”** I’m a big believer that bikes and cars don’t mix well. But even though there seem to be more bikers here, the situation is better than most other places thanks to extensive coverage of bike lanes and some pretty good bike trails. I can ride from my apartment to work on a route that’s mostly a paved trail, with only a short portion on the roads which have 100% bike lane coverage.

The people

The people here are pretty chill. In fact, they’re chill enough to use “chill” as an adjective. If you use your turn signal, for example, there’s a pretty good chance that someone will allow you to move into their lane. (I’m of course talking about Northern California.) In general, there is a distinct lack of urgency in everyday activities, and I think it helps people to avoid stress. Of course like some other items in this list, this trait isn’t always a positive.

The work thing

Purely based on my work situation, I’m in the perfect location. My commute to work is less than 10 minutes. Even though we have offices all over the country and around the world, I’m pretty sure that Mountain View is the only place where I’d be able to get away with having such an easy commute and not having to live in a city. And once I get to work, I’m at the famed Googleplex. Even after over three years of going there nearly every weekday, I still often sit back and think to myself how cool it is to be where I am.

In-N-Out Burger

It’s usually the last meal I have before I leave the state and the first one I have when I return.

* I know very little about sports, but I’m pretty sure I used that correctly.
** I’ve joked at work that this is a requirement for being in a product demo video.

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