Silicon Valley by Beth Yarnelle Edwards in San Carlos, California, USA

One day a week, Don gets up before dawn, drives forty-five minutes to Santa Cruz, and at first light, surfs until noon.  It’s in his work contract that he can arrive late on this day.

For most of my adult life, I lived in the suburbs of Silicon Valley.  This region is for many a physical embodiment of the American Dream as it has often been represented—a place where natural beauty intersects with opportunities in high tech industry, an increasingly diverse yet predominately affluent population, and access to nearby cultural centers.  My book Suburban Dreams provides an intimate look at residents in their home as well as some domestic scenes from Europe which look as if they could have been found here.

Name:Beth Yarnelle Edwards

Place you live: San Francisco, California

Place your photo was taken: San Carlos, California

Occupation: Photographer and Adjunct Professor

Preoccupation: Photography

What is a perfect day in San Carlos? Clear and 75 degrees.  In San Carlos, I recommend hiking with a picnic at Edgewood Park when the wildflowers are in bloom.

If someone was visiting, what must they do? Go north to San Francisco. The city is denser and more energetic than the suburbs, so there’s a lot more to see and do.

A perfect meal? Any one of a number of small, healthy, inexpensive ethnic restaurants.

What is the best thing about your spot? In the suburbs, the best things are less crime, more quiet, and easy parking.

What is the worst? Too quiet and sleepy, and you must drive everywhere.

A little known fact about where you live? When people hear the word “suburbs,”  they often imagine vast uniform neighborhoods that were quickly built at the same time.   However, this region is made up of many small and large contiguous towns, and some of the buildings are more than one hundred years old.

Where is your favorite place in the world? Right now it’s a toss-up between Paris and Berlin.

Who are your three favorite photographers? I have many favorites, so this is difficult to answer:  August SanderJeff WallPhilip-Lorca diCorcia come quickly to mind.

Suburban Dreams Book