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July 08, 2021


Jennifer Pfaff

Yesterday I had to go down the R.C. for an errand at about 2pm. It's probably been close to a year since the last time I've gone, but it was a real shocker. It is deader than dead.

Two of my favorite shops: Pomegranate, as well as a small clothing shop across from the big theater complex, are gone. One is a huge unleased space, the other has a new tenant, but I'm not sure how long they will last, as nobody was there, as in nobody.

It's not that downtown R.C. ever had a lot of daytime trekkers-- but now, there are virtually none.

On the way back, I took El Camino Real and cut up through San Carlos, Laurel Avenue. Also dead. Part of it has been blocked off with parklets and is devoid of life, the rest of it is nearly as empty.

I left our far southern neighbors feeling really sorry for them and their situation. Honestly, Burlingame seems to be in really good shape--Burlingame Avenue, in particular, is in excellent shape; there are people everywhere enjoying being in our downtown and presumably spending money here, too.


I recently attended a retirement party at a restaurant in downtown Palo Alto. I parked way far away because parking is always a pain downtown. Except it wasn't. Downtown Palo Alto was DEAD -- without the tech workers and with only few Stanford people around, it was like a ghost town! I could easily have parked around the corner (street was blocked to traffic for outdoor tables, so I couldn't park right in front). Pretty much the only people on the streets were homeless and security guards. I have never seen University Ave and nearby streets so deserted. We were in downtown RWC a few weeks ago and it was fairly quiet but a whole lot busier than Palo Alto.

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