(E) The biggest threat to Silicon Valley probably lies in its inability to control its economic expansion. The continuous demand for office space and housing are driving the price for real estate to astronomical levels, and as a result, there are no more locations for affordable restaurants, movie theaters, arts performances, and community centers.
In 2005, Kepler bookstore in Menlo Park went out of business but was finally saved.
In 2015, Cheryl Burke Dance, a dancing studio in Mountain View that was well frequented by seniors, was shuttered forever.
In 2016, CinéArts in Palo Alto announced its closing but has remained open.
And on February 21st this year, the Oasis Beer Garden in Menlo Park announced on its Facebook page that:
“After several months of effort, we were unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner.”
The Oasis has been in Menlo Park since 1932. It was the extension of the famous Homebrew Computer Club at the birth of Silicon Valley!
Steven Levy in his book Hackers described the atmosphere of the Homebrew Computer Club gatherings at the Oasis:
“Piling into wooden booths with tables deeply etched with the initials of generations of Stanford students, Garland and Melen and Marsh and Felsenstein and Dompier and French and whoever else felt like showing up would get emboldened by the meeting’s energy and pitchers of beer.”
We need to keep alive our affordable restaurants, movie theaters, arts performances, community centers, and where history was made!
Note 1: It is obvious that since 2005, there are many other places that have closed and are not on my list.
Note 2: The picture above is from the Oasis.
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