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Day 29: Stanford Memorial Church – Stanford, CA

The Stanford Memorial Church at Stanford University, California

The Stanford Memorial Church at Stanford University, California

I feel like this complete photo series has been tainted! Okay, not completely, but I actually had full intentions of selecting Palo Alto as my #2 photo city all along. However, I visited Palo Alto and Stanford a few weeks ago and suspected that they are actually two separate jurisdictions. Tonight, my search confirmed this. In fact, Stanford is not even a city, it’s a census designated place and is part of unincorporated Santa Clara County.

Well, that doesn’t change the fact that this is one of my favorite photos. At full size, it looks much better than this reduced version. What is impressive about this photo to me is the circumstance in which I shot it. I was riding a bike at the time with a group of planners. We paused for a moment at this location and I quickly turned around and snapped the photo. I don’t even think I really aimed. I think it turned out quite nice all considering. Pictured is the absolutely stunning Memorial Church on the campus of Stanford University.

The entire Stanford campus is amazingly beautiful and extremely bike/ped friendly. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Stanford and the adjacent City of Palo Alto several times and they are two of my favorite places in the world.

Palo Alto is definitely a place I’d consider living. Unless you’re Steve Jobs, however, it’s very unlikely you’ll be able to buy a house there. In addition, the diversity of Palo Alto is not the greatest and many of the commercial establishments cater to the wealthy and students with high-income families. That aside, it’s such a gorgeous city (sans El Camino Real!).

I really feel that Palo Alto got slighted, but was I planning to include another photo of Downtown Palo Alto anyway, and I’ve included it below.

palo alto hm

Downtown Palo Alto along University Avenue

This article is a part of the Exploring the Walkability of America in 30 Days photo series.

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{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Joshua Duggan August 30, 2007, 8:46 am

    While the composition is good, the exposure in this photo is pretty poor. It’s quite a bit overexposed and there’s not enough contrast and it washes out the colors. You could probably improve it quite a bit with a little photoshop work.

    Anyhow, the reason I commented is because when Amy and I went to Stanford, we just spent a short amount of time on campus sitting in an open area talking to our parents on the phone. The thing I remember most was how many students rode by on bicycles with underinflated tires. I’d point them all out to Amy. It must have been at least 60%.

    I think there must be an extreme shortage of bicycle pumps on campus. Someone should look into this.

  • hh December 3, 2007, 4:29 pm

    Campus is not walkable – as a visitor to campus, the first thing that my host did was to find a bike for me. There are no restaurants, groceries on campus. It’s way too far to walk from Stanford to Palo Alto downtown.

    And you don’t want to live in Palo Alto. Palo Alto, as a town, is so fake and unreal. The people you meet, the nightlife, the retail, the restaurants are way out my income range – and stand in stark contrast to the homeless people who congregate in the park in downtown.

  • Eric Fredericks August 14, 2009, 4:22 pm

    I should note that when I shot this photo, I was riding my bike. I just quickly turned around and shot the photo. That’s part of why I like it so much. I am no professional photographer.

    hh – yeah, there definitely needs to be more services for students on campus. Palo Alto is nice, can’t speak for it being fake, but I’d probably imagine I would get that impression if I lived there. It’s certainly fairly high-end.

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