As Scott McKenzie’s lyrics go in his song about the iconic San Francisco, “People in motion - There's a whole generation - With a new explanation”, may be truer now than it was in 1967. Specifically, in the Bay Area Peninsula, Northern California’s most populated area, neighborhoods and services and families have been growing here for years. The tech boom, the healthcare industry, aerospace, restaurants, arts and a wide range of cultural experiences have certainly contributed to the lure of the area, but there
is more, much, much more.
The Bay Area Peninsula is home to a diverse group of residential areas. From farmland and beach cities on the coast, to the horse ranches in Woodside, to the fantastic view homes of San Bruno, the luxury estates of Hillsborough, and to the biggest city in the area of San Mateo with its top schools and abundance of outdoor activities, the Peninsula pretty much suits every residential need.
Many years ago, perhaps too many to remember, my family made the move from New York to the Peninsula. This was no small decision mind you. My family’s American story began on Ellis Island where all four of my grandparents immigrated from Sicily. They set up their homes and grew their businesses and families in Brooklyn and for a time it seemed like Brooklyn would remain our home. So, moving here was both a deliberate and emotional choice. We all know life has a way of offering unforeseen opportunities and the growing business community of Northern California called my father out here with my mother and two sisters in tow. I was too young to object, but my mother had some concerns. To her New York offered some of the best food in the world. Sicilians insist on the best food. I can tell you that her concern was short lived. Once anyone experiences the vast and diverse food scene here it leaves very little else to be desired. From Farmers Markets, fresh seafood, and bakeries to restaurant rows throughout, The Bay Area Peninsula has always been and remains a foodie’s dream.
For me as a young boy growing up here, the most striking feature of the area is the incredibly comfortable climate and the vast options for outdoor activities. I was an active young man and enjoyed exploring everything from nearby Eagle Rock trail in Boulder Creek with its four mile hike to amazing views of the redwoods of Little Basin to hikes along La Honda creek to discovering sea creatures in the tide pools of Half Moon Bay, the Peninsula is an outdoor enthusiasts dream. For the more athletic among us there is no shortage of mountain biking, scuba diving or nearby ski resorts. The coast always offers new discoveries from hiking the sand dunes to view winter sea lions at Ano Nuevo State Beach or catching a hella rad wave, bro, at one of Santa Cruz’s many surfing spots. Speaking of Ano Nuevo and sea lions, did I mention that I once surprised a very large bull during a race to the water with some friends? Leaping through the dunes I was focused on coming in first in our playful race with my buddies. I wasn’t really paying attention to what was in front of me and before I knew it, I had hit the water’s edge and was leaping over the last dune where a mature bull and all his young cows were relaxing. I had to quickly adjust my jump to clear the angry bull and not disturb his slumber. It was a close call and believe me you don’t want to come too close to an angry male sea lion.
Attending elementary, middle and high school here is really a privilege. The school systems in our area consistently rank among the top in the country. Our community colleges offer a wide range of programs and classes and our colleges and universities offer some of the best educations available in America.
I think the one word I hear most often spoken is opportunity. The Bay Area Peninsula offers more opportunity for education, start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs probably than anywhere else in our country. Names like Apple, Google, and Oracle are synonymous with the Peninsula and so are hundreds of smaller companies who come here for the talent and opportunity our area has to offer. But it’s not just business opportunities here. The Bay Area is host to Stanford University and its sprawling and groundbreaking medical facilities. The Bay Area also has a thriving theater, dance and music community and hosts some of the world’s greatest stars. The thriving art community boasts many different art forms from painting to photography to ceramic studios in Pacifica. Opportunity seems to be the one thing there is no shortage of in the Bay Area Peninsula.
This area, our Bay Area Peninsula, really is a well-rounded version of the best of living in California. From raising a family, to education, to exciting activities, to nature, to growing a business it has always just felt right. I could never cover everything there is to write about in a blog post but I will say this one final thing about living in the Bay Area Peninsula, life here never ceases to surprise and enlighten me and the friendly spirit of the people who live here has always inspired me to want to explore more. I hope you’ll choose to explore more as well.