Downtown San Jose

Lobby, 60 South Market - San Jose, California

Lobby, 60 South Market – San Jose, California

There’s something satisfying for me, just shooing these graphic, architectural, glowing lobbies. The rest of the building tends to be efficient glass boxes, with not much to distinguish themselves, but the lobbies are the few places where the architects are allowed to play. I shot this a few weeks ago when I was in California and had dinner and a photowalk with my friend. For each visit, Dan finds a new place to eat and a new place within the Bay Area which might be ripe for photography. This time it was downtown San Jose.

I’ve often thought, which is bigger San Jose or Austin? And mainly, I was trying to compare the feel of the downtowns, rather than including the orbit of suburban housing developments. I remember fifteen years ago, I stayed nearly a week in downtown San Jose and mentally compared it to Austin. I found it difficult to decide which seemed larger. Now, with the rapid expansion, I can definitely say Austin’s central core seems to be a lot larger and more lively. I’ve noticed a few new buildings in San Jose, but it shows none of the explosive growth that Austin is experiencing.

Comparing the cities as a whole, I was surprised by their relative similarity in population. San Jose is still larger at an estimated 1,015,785 in 2016 (#10 in the U.S.). Austin has grown to 947,890 (#11 in the U.S.). However, Austin has grown about 157,000 people since the last official census in 2010, while San Jose has added only about 70,000. Of course, if trends continue, it won’t be long until Austin grows larger than San Jose. That said, Austin’s density is a lot lower, meaning the city is sprawled a lot more than San Jose. But apparently, not in the downtown area. At least that what it seems to me, when eyeballing to two downtowns.


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