101N: Losing It

My high school friend has an anecdote: “Anna got lost once, on the way to my house…” that is, we both lived about a mile from each other and yes, I got lost in suburban jungle of cul-de-sacs and streets all named after trees. My defense: the monotony is confusing! So I got lost again this morning…

Driving up from Monterey to Emeryville this morning, though, I did it again. I’m trying to translate Chinese on a radio station (that is so cool, btw, that there is an all-Mandarin station down there), a bit sleep-deprived, and I miss the 1-80 East sign in San Jose and keep on 101-N, until I start seeing signs for Mountain View, and realize… like a nightmare… I’m on the wrong side of the bay!

The silver lining is that I got to cross the Dumbarton Bridge, which I haven’t crossed in ages. You can bike on it! Though how rarely am I going from Fremont to East Palo Alto? For me, the names of streets and exits bring up strange memories. In heading up 101N and seeing the amazing work on the Shoreline interchange, I thought about how much has changed since I lived down there, and how little. Random story:

In my one and only legit dot-com, my boss and I (an import from Australia) were driving down from SF to a sales call in Santa Clara, and in the car on the way there, he pointed out every building, and read the name on the building, in this authoritative way. “That’s Oracle.” “That’s Liberate,” “That’s Excite.” Like he was imparting this great knowledge onto me. Now, being a Bay Area native, not only have I driven 101N a zillion times, but I’ve temped at most of these companies- and pretty much every exit off of 101 (and 280, if we’re counting). Ugh.

3 Comments so far

  1. sw (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 1:57 pm

    Just curious.. what 80E sign are you referring to? Is there actually a sign in SJ that tells you to take 880N to get to 80E? I’ve never seen that before.

    And a quick nitpick.. its the “Dumbarton” Bridge

  2. anna (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

    a- thanks for the spelling correction. Re the sign I missed, Mapquest says it says “I-880 N toward OAKLAND.”

  3. Lauren (unregistered) on October 23rd, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

    I am starting to get quite familiar with the exits off of 101 myself: San Antonio, Shoreline, etc. It’s bound to happen after living here for five years, I guess!

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