National Geographic : 2002 Apr
Your Silicon Valley story barely scratched the surface of the place my family has called home for four generations. This valley is more than an "extended suburb of flat monotony." There are thriving downtowns and historic districts, scenic parks, open-space preserves, vibrant ethnic neigh borhoods, and great cultural institutions. We have a proud heritage that reaches far beyond the founding of Hewlett-Packard. NICK PERRY Mountain View, California I grew up on the border of Atherton, then an affluent, white-collar town but really just filled with spacious ranch homes and a lot of regular folks. Fast forward to the 1990s, and it has been turned into a town of opulent homes. People have to have enough space to house thousands of bottles of wine, six cars, and seasonal closets to survive in our monoclimate. The ranches have been demol ished at a feverish rate. People can buy their way out of civic and public engagement here. We are victims of our own success. CHARMAINE PICONE MCCRYSTAL Redwood City, California Geographica As I look at the toys made by the children in Indonesia, Africa, and South America, I am sad because my three grandchildren will probably never revel in the experience of creating "some thing from nothing." They have everything provided for them. The children from those developing countries probably think they are deprived, but they are the fortunate ones. They are given the opportunity to use their rich imaginations. LANE SMITH CORBIN Traverse City, Michigan The Future Is Calling Your map on pages 80-81 gives a good representation of world Internet use. However, I think it misses the geographically impor tant fact that Scandinavia, Iceland, and Canada have a significantly higher percentage of Internet users than the United States. JOHN TERPSTRA Garson, Ontario WEOCCASIONALY MAKE OURCUSTOMER USTAVAILABLETO CAREFULLY SCREENED COMPANIES WHOSE PRODUCES ORSERVICES MAYBEOFINTERESTTO YOUFYO PREFER NOTTO RECENT SUCHMAIUNGS, U.SANDCANADIAN CUSTOMERS PLEASE CALL1-800 -NGS -UNE (1-800 -647-5463). INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS PLEASE CALL1-813-979-6845ORWRITE NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY POBOX 63005TAMPA FL33663-3005 .PLEASE INCLUDETHE ADDRESS AREA FROM YOUR MAGAZINE WRAPPER WHEN WRITING.