Thursday, May 04, 2006

Foster City

My friend from college who lives out in Silicon Valley recently moved from San Mateo to Foster City. I really liked his neighborhood in San Mateo. The weather and upscale setting provided a nice quality of life. The town was nice too. There's a main street with a Jamba Juice, good restaurants, and even an Equinox. San Mateo even has it's own "Central Park", which I find a bit dubious. New York has the rights to the name "Central Park" and no other city. My friend lived in a rental apartment right across the street from a very spacious Whole Foods and other retail and dining places. And on that topic I have to say that Whole Foods in California are a lot nicer than ones here in NY, not that the Whole Foods in NY are shitty. No, far from it. But the ones in California are even nicer if that's possible.

Then one day, my friend was told by his building management company that he'd have to move because they were converting all the units into condos. The management company helped my friend find a new apartment in one of the other buildings they managed, and eventually my friend found one. He took over a lease for an apartment in Foster City.

Before my friend moved there, I had never heard of Foster City, but I had some initial impressions of what it would be like. For some reason, whenever I hear a town's name with the word "city", I always think of Detroit because of it's nickname as the "Motor City" and then equate that town with what I imagine Detroit would be like. Then of course, there's Dodge City, Rapid City, etc, and none of those places sound all that appealing either. Now, two things. First, I have never been to Detroit, but everything I've heard about it hasn't been good. All I've heard is poor, ghetto, crime-ridden neighborhoods and a population rife with unemployment since General Motors is a shit-hole company, with Ford and Chrysler only marginally better. Then of course I think about Motown too, but their glory days have long been over ever since Boyz II Men started doing the tours of Indian reservation casinos.

The second thing is I realize that I live in "New York CITY". But no one ever says, "I'm from New York City" unless you're a total douchebag trying to impress someone. And New York is New York. No one would ever confuse Detroit for New York.

So as my friend began to tell me more about his new apartment and his new neighborhood, I wasn't getting a good vibe. He told me that he was moving to "Foster City" (I hear "ghetto city") and instead of Whole Foods, he now lives near an "Asian Market" (I hear "ghetto NY style Korean deli.") Combined with the fact that my friend didn't have much time to find an apartment and move and probably had to find a place at the last minute, I was convinced that he lived in some hell-hole.

You can imagine my surprise when I finally visited his new place to see a nice-looking town that was apparently built as a planned community with lots of parks. When we drove up to his new apartment complex, I was really surprised to see a nice strip mall with a UPS store, the mother of all Chipotle franchises (seriously, this was the most spectacular and biggest Chipotle I have ever seen) and some other retail. And that Asian grocery store? It was actually a Ranch 99 and looked like a totally normal (and big) supermarket. I kind of wish we had a Ranch 99 in NY, so it'd be easier for me to get Korean food ingredients.

Being "City-ist" can be really dangerous.

6 comments:

Jon said...

You can easily get Korean food ingredients at Han Ah Reum 32nd St, and of course Flushing!

I sort of hate Whole Foods- not their product, but the people who shop there. It turns into this self righteous 'I'm healthy and you're not, I'm going to live forever' bullshit and I wish they would just die (present company excluded, of course) ^_^

EM said...

I would kill to be able to afford to be an elitist holier-than-thou food shopper at Whole Foods. We don't even have a Whole Foods down here, though we did just get a Wild Oats that opened at the beginning of the month. Can't afford to shop there, either, damnit. So many cheeses to choose from...gave me goosebumps and good dreams.

Anonymous said...

From Jayne: In C'ville people are holding rallies and demonstrations hoping to convince Trader Joe's to come here. They say no, and that they will not be swayed by any rallies or demos ... Sigh. Good stuff at Trader Joe's.

GrooveTheory said...

I always say, I'm a city person, but I don't think I can survive NYC. Maybe I would love Foster City ;)

teahouse said...

I know some people in Foster City. They love it. I also know a guy in Daly City. It's slightly more ghetto, but he loves it, too.

marshmallow said...

eating out is just sometimes easier than cooking korean food...