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Thread: So, what is so bad about Stockton, CA?

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    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    So, what is so bad about Stockton, CA?

    There are so many forums I visit that equate Stockton to hell on earth. What is so bad about this place? I really know nothing about it except that it's a medium-sized city somewhere in California. Please explain.....
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  2. #2
    Delete reply. My geography was off, northern cali, not central valley. Still, from what I remember it's ugly.
    Last edited by bflo_la; 11 Jan 2006 at 10:50 PM.

  3. #3

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    It is a fairly large, grimy port city, not a small town (200,000 plus). Downtown Stockton has to be the most dismal, scary, dark, gloomy, largely empty urban downtown in the State. It makes downtown LA look like a garden spot Truly a post-apocalyptic landscape.

    This is changing a little bit, as they've built a new multiplex downtown, in a unique tentlike building. There is a minor league baseball park and a couple of restaurants. They were also fixing up their old Mission-style hotel, which had been vacant and rotting for twenty years. Still, a pretty grim place.

    There is a small university there with a pocket of pleasant 1920s suburbia nearby. Plus, they did use for awhile the loop street system, rather than cul-de-sacs. They have sloughs and artifical lakes that add something to the otherwise pancake-flat landscape. So, it's not all bad.

    A fellow planner here pointed out that Stockton was twice an "All American City." Another responded: "Guns, crime, and unemployment-how can you get more all-American."

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    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Gee, it looked so nice in "The Big Valley," aside from promiscious gunfighting and brawling by those Barkleys.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian jread's avatar
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    Is it worse than Bakersfield? I've heard all kinds of scary, redneck, trailer-park type things about Bakersfield. I think those two little girls who sing "white power" songs are from Bakersfield actually.... scary.

    Edit: yes, they are: http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1231684&page=1
    "I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every single minute of it!"

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I have been to Stockton twice in the last year, as my fiance grew up there and still has family there. I have found it to be a dismal place that I am always happy to leave. It is sprawling, it is suburban without even good suburban planning, it is (largely) poor, it is run-down, it has high rates of crime, it has congestion.... I could go on and on. I really have not found anything I like about the place.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally posted by jread
    Is it worse than Bakersfield? I've heard all kinds of scary, redneck, trailer-park type things about Bakersfield. I think those two little girls who sing "white power" songs are from Bakersfield actually.... scary.

    Edit: yes, they are: http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1231684&page=1
    At least Bakersfield has good country music, as well as pure Prussian music

    I would say that Bakersfield's landscape/setting may be worse. it's much drier and more desolate and surrounded by deadly oil rig towns like Taft and Oildale. The smaller towns that surround Stockton are quite attractive. Despite the song ("Stuck in Lodi, Again), for instance, Lodi is a very nice farm town with a downtown that is one of the more pleasant in the area (they actually integrated their multiplex theatre nicely into the downtown streetscape) Lots of grapevines and orchards in the area.

    So, overall, Bakersfield may indeed be "worse" than Stockton.

  8. #8
         
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    It is a fairly large, grimy port city, not a small town (200,000 plus). Downtown Stockton has to be the most dismal, scary, dark, gloomy, largely empty urban downtown in the State. It makes downtown LA look like a garden spot Truly a post-apocalyptic landscape.

    This is changing a little bit, as they've built a new multiplex downtown, in a unique tentlike building. There is a minor league baseball park and a couple of restaurants. They were also fixing up their old Mission-style hotel, which had been vacant and rotting for twenty years. Still, a pretty grim place.

    There is a small university there with a pocket of pleasant 1920s suburbia nearby. Plus, they did use for awhile the loop street system, rather than cul-de-sacs. They have sloughs and artifical lakes that add something to the otherwise pancake-flat landscape. So, it's not all bad.

    A fellow planner here pointed out that Stockton was twice an "All American City." Another responded: "Guns, crime, and unemployment-how can you get more all-American."
    The tentlike structure is actually a modern-esque bandshell; the multiplex is across the street.

    The downtown is on a roll of late.
    The Stockton Hotel, a beautiful mission-style sprawling hotel downtown has been refurbished and open for business.

    The Fox Theater is as well restored, and now called the Bob Hope....unnecessary change of name, but a jewel of an entertainment venue.

    The Stockton Arena on the waterfront; home to three professional sports teams, hockey, soccer and football; plus playing host to big-name concerts like Neil Diamond last night.

    The Stockton Baseball park next door, home to the farm team of the Oakland A's.

    A new 7 seven story Sheraton Convention Center/Resort is currently being constructed next door...

    Stockton is going through a renaiassance....

    For a nice atmospheric look at Stockton try watching the movie "Fat City" with Stacey Keach, Jeff Bridges and 'Coach' from "Cheers". Great movie about the decline of the small town boxing culture.

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    Quote Originally posted by stirlingwarrior
    The tentlike structure is actually a modern-esque bandshell; the multiplex is across the street.

    The downtown is on a roll of late.
    The Stockton Hotel, a beautiful mission-style sprawling hotel downtown has been refurbished and open for business.

    The Fox Theater is as well restored, and now called the Bob Hope....unnecessary change of name, but a jewel of an entertainment venue.

    The Stockton Arena on the waterfront; home to three professional sports teams, hockey, soccer and football; plus playing host to big-name concerts like Neil Diamond last night.

    The Stockton Baseball park next door, home to the farm team of the Oakland A's.

    A new 7 seven story Sheraton Convention Center/Resort is currently being constructed next door...

    Stockton is going through a renaiassance....

    For a nice atmospheric look at Stockton try watching the movie "Fat City" with Stacey Keach, Jeff Bridges and 'Coach' from "Cheers". Great movie about the decline of the small town boxing culture.
    Thanks for the update and correction. It's been about a year since I was (briefly) in Stockton, so it's good to hear about the hotel project (it was a gem of a building).

    No place is without merit. Stockton has no place to go but up

  10. #10
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    stockton

    Given stocktons location to the booming and hugely expensive east bay region, and the similar phenomenon occurring in Sacramento, Stockton is the natural next stop for the wave of redevelopment and increasing land values in this area of California.

    And it is in the Central Valley, not Northern California. No one in Northern California would recognize Stockton as being included.

  11. #11

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    On the other hand, on the local news last night, Stockton just canned their City Manager, who sounds like a bit of a loose cannon, granted, but who also spearheaded many of the major projects now completed downtown.

    Sure, Stockton may be well-located to take advantage of the population overflow. I'm not sure 50 extra square miles on the fringe of town of beige stucco surrounded by soundwalls will help pull Stockton out of its (still deserved) reputation. Of course, the Grupe project's awful McMansion enclave may be held up by the city's defenders as an example of how "good" things are gonna get. I remain unconvinced.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planning4Wilderness
    Given stocktons location to the booming and hugely expensive east bay region, and the similar phenomenon occurring in Sacramento, Stockton is the natural next stop for the wave of redevelopment and increasing land values in this area of California.

    And it is in the Central Valley, not Northern California. No one in Northern California would recognize Stockton as being included.
    How long before the CA 4 freeway is extended westward to Antioch? IMHO, that is the only thing keeping Stockton from becoming the next bedroom for the Bay area.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    How long before the CA 4 freeway is extended westward to Antioch? IMHO, that is the only thing keeping Stockton from becoming the next bedroom for the Bay area.

    Mike
    Well...technically...the 4 already does connect from Antioch to Stockton. Though it is on Delta levee roads that are narrow and fairly dangerous. Unlikely that that will change anytime soon given the state of levee repairs needed throughout the Delta.

    And I don't think you could describe Stockton as a bedroom community for the Bay Area. Some people do try and commute, but unlike Tracy or Fairfield, Stockton has it's own stuff going on. It's the main deep water inland port, they are a major distribution center with Hwys 99 and 5 going through. There's talk of expanding the airport, etc. It will grow on it's own. And with the growth in Sacramento, thats where most commuters from Stockton are commuting to.

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    Quote Originally posted by Planning4Wilderness

    And I don't think you could describe Stockton as a bedroom community for the Bay Area. Some people do try and commute, but unlike Tracy or Fairfield, Stockton has it's own stuff going on.
    Fairfield actually does have quite a bit of its "own stuff" going on, including 14,000 employees at Travis AFB, a medical center, and quite a bit of light industrial/distribution. Our "Jobs-Housing Balance" is better than you might expect for a bedroom community.

    One issue is the new housing being built now is targeted squarely at equity rich Bay Area residents who "need" a brand new 3,000 square foot house for their family of three. In an "exclusive" subdivision. And, these folks are the commuters.

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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Fairfield actually does have quite a bit of its "own stuff" going on, including 14,000 employees at Travis AFB, a medical center, and quite a bit of light industrial/distribution. Our "Jobs-Housing Balance" is better than you might expect for a bedroom community.

    One issue is the new housing being built now is targeted squarely at equity rich Bay Area residents who "need" a brand new 3,000 square foot house for their family of three. In an "exclusive" subdivision. And, these folks are the commuters.
    Yea I would agree. Fairfield is actually quite a nice town. I just grabbed a name in that area. I think its unfortuante that whole 80 corridor seems to be going up into these ridculous subdivisions to fuel the Bay Area or Sacramento housing demands. I especially like the one in the wind tunnel off of the 680 around Cordelia.

    A lot of people here in the Bay Area cry about the lack of land available for housing, when in fact the real problem is an inability to compromise their lifestyles and ideals of the american dream. It's an urban area, yet folks still want a single family home, 2,500+ sq.ft. and a 2 car garage. So they get it, but then complain about the length of their commute, loss of ag land, air pollution, etc.

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    I've heard Stockton has a high crime rate (especially violent), high unemployment, it gets scorching during summer, and has high poverty. Theres also not much to do there as for recreation. I've traveled a couple of times through the area and it seemed OK but I was only there for a short amount of time.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by allencali04
    I've heard Stockton has a high crime rate (especially violent), high unemployment, it gets scorching during summer, and has high poverty. Theres also not much to do there as for recreation. I've traveled a couple of times through the area and it seemed OK but I was only there for a short amount of time.
    I saw an item in todays news that the NFL ref whom made that bad call in last weekend's Steelers @ Colts game, he is normally a HS Principal living in Stockton, CA, had a rock thrown through the front window of his house. Stockton police are unsure if it is in retaliation for that call or if it is from some other school-related nothingness.



    Mike

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    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by allencali04
    I've heard Stockton has a high crime rate (especially violent), high unemployment, it gets scorching during summer, and has high poverty. Theres also not much to do there as for recreation. I've traveled a couple of times through the area and it seemed OK but I was only there for a short amount of time.
    You've got most of that right. I don't think it gets *that* scorching in the summer comparatively to other cities in the central valley. The delta really cools it down... especially in the evenings when the breeze kicks in. I do agree that Stockton is pretty bleak. I think it has potential though.

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    Quote Originally posted by allencali04
    I've heard Stockton has a high crime rate (especially violent), high unemployment, it gets scorching during summer, and has high poverty. Theres also not much to do there as for recreation. I've traveled a couple of times through the area and it seemed OK but I was only there for a short amount of time.
    Yep...Yep...Yep...Yep...Well....the mountains a re a short drive away, so not really true.

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    Stockton is full of potential. It gets trashed on a lot, but has a lot of potential pluses. They just need to take advantage and capatilize on them.

    I've worked on a number of projects in Stockton, and unfortunately, the developers are just perpetuating the status quo.

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