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Rewrite: Oh City, My City

Frindle's picture

When I think of a city, the first thing that comes to mind is skyscrapers and well-dressed businessmen, subways and taxis, Starbucks and a distinct lack of greenery. Cupertino is certainly not a traditional city. But it is a city, an important one. What it lacks in tradition it makes up for in innovation.

Cupertino has none of the elements of a traditional city. We don’t have skyscrapers (in my opinion, an excellent decision given our proclivity for earthquakes). Most of our employers are tech companies, and many employees tend to dress towards the causal end of the business-casual spectrum. Our only public transport is the bus, but most people have their own cars and embrace the California Roll whole-heartedly (in which people don’t stop for stop signs but rather roll slowly through them). And while people do love their Starbucks, they love their Pearl Milk Tea (PMT) even more.

I come from the home of Apple, yes. But I come from much more than that. When I think of Cupertino, I think of sidewalks appearing and disappearing as you walk to school, because half the homes are still small homes from the 60s and the other half are McMansions built within the last 10 years. You can’t walk through Cupertino without hearing at least three languages that are different from your own. Cupertino is the library with fountains outside that kids run through in the summer. Cupertino is Panera filled with students. Cupertino is Mystery Spot bumper stickers. Cupertino is Asian markets and 4.0s and a really terrible football team. We’re a city full of people who were born to be San Francisco Giants fans, and no one can tell us otherwise.

Cupertino is where my friends will naturally switch accents depending on whether they’re talking to their mother or their friends. It is where you have many “aunties,” as we call our friends’ moms. It is where the most popular club on campus is the Bhangra team and where the high school includes a Bollywood number in their spring play set in Cupertino. It is where it is impossible to only have friends of one race. Cupertino is warm. It is sunny. It is closer to the beach than to the mountains, but you could still get to either easily. It is safe. It is a bubble. But it is cracking.

Cupertino is where there has been a bomb threat and a shooting in one year. Cupertino is where people have started to really pay attention to the outside world. Cupertino is where students have started taking charge of their education. Cupertino is changing. It has to. The Cupertino I know was born out of change and must continue to change if it hopes to stay alive.

Because Cupertino is so centered around technology, it works its way into every facet of our lives. People move quickly. The focus in school is on math and science. The majority of the population always has the newest Apple product. The wifi is exceptionally fast. We live close enough to San Francisco that we can visit whenever we want to. And far enough away that we never want to (except for Giants games, as stated above).

Cupertino is different. We have to be, it’s what keeps us ahead of the competition. We’re a city of intellectuals –– but if we want something to happen, we can do it ourselves. And at the end of the day, that’s what we’re proud of: being able to make something out of nothing, and being able to share that with the world. Well, that and the beaches.