Rising rents and wrecking balls are transforming the valley at a pace we haven’t seen. As owner-operated institutions exit to make way for the latest and greatestramen from Tokyo, shirtings from across the Atlanticand modest mid-century buildings give up their seats to accommodate another cluster of rectangles with big numbers on them, we can take comfort in knowing that some traditions persist.
Since starting the valley’s first and longest-running reader-chosen “best of” list more than a third of a century ago, Metro has provided a yearly snapshot of a dynamic region’s perpetual evolution.
Here in the South Bay we have home-grown mixologists, shaking up innovative cocktails and mad-genius hop-heads, brewing all shades and flavors of craft beer. There are entrepreneurial hair stylists and internationally recognized tattoo artists, who look to the local population as their walking canvases.
Some of the most prestigious chefs in the world work just down the road from scrappy, up-and-coming restaurateurs with true culinary vision. And even in Silicon Valley, where disruption of traditional business models is considered a virtue, we still have brick and mortar record shops, book stores and tinkerers with dirt under their nailsmen and women who will gladly teach you how to tune up your bicycle, wield a welding torch or plant an edible (or perhaps smokeable) garden.
We colluded with the smartest readers any publication could be blessed with, and the results exonerate themselves. Silicon Valley is more than a place where Oprah shows up to endorse technology products. It’s where we go to work every morning, enjoy dinner every night and where we live out our colorful lives. So let’s make the best of it.