Inspired by a Quora question, naturally (embedded below):
What was it like to live in Palo Alto before 1990?
Despite its cozy, symbiotic relationship with Stanford University‘s computer science and engineering pioneers that stretched back decades, Palo Alto was much less monolithically tech-focused before the commercial Internet explosion of the 1990s. It formed the northern terminus of Silicon Valley back then (no, really; San Francisco was almost an afterthought to the tech community).Tonier than its South Bay neighbors such as Mountain View and Sunnyvale, it was pleasantly upper-middle-class, yet not “wealthy” on the whole (that would be Atherton or Los Altos Hills), housing a disproportionate number of educated professionals of all kinds — including many Stanford faculty, of course. (Professors and their families really lived in those beautiful homes of Professorville.)