Here are a few first observations of my new California home. I'm living in San Jose about an hour south of San Francisco. I'll be here temporarily as I look for a good place in San Francisco and hope to move before school begins in September. Every day I go for a walk in the morning before it gets too hot. There isn't a lot of shade here so the sun can be intense and I prefer the morning quiet regardless. I'm enjoying observing the highly textured bark of native trees, the unusual and often strange desert plants, fantastic graffiti and street art, colorful buildings, and intriguing abandoned spaces. I'm also beginning to understand the layout of the city and where I live in relation to all sorts of places--walking is so good for this! My favorite places so far include the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens and the San Jose
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