Stockton and Modesto are the fourth and fifth largest cities in California's Central Valley. I've only ever seen one other photo thread on here before. Modesto, in particular, I am quite familiar with as my mother was born and raised in the surrounding small towns and her side of the family still lives in the city. Both Stockton and Modesto are somewhat similar in that that are primarily regional urban centers for a historically agricultural community and are seats of government for their respective counties. Nowadays, however, their proximity to the Bay Area has resulted in them becoming the eastern edge of Bay Area sprawl.
The city of Modesto, itself, has a population of about 206,000 and is the "urban" center surrounded by a collection of other smaller towns (Ripon, Salida, Ceres, Turlock, etc). But, despite my cousin's frequent protests when I was younger that it is a "big city" (as opposed to the small foothill town I grew up in), Modesto feels more like a large suburb than a "big" city. It does have a functional, if unassuming, downtown as well as its own junior college, but, Modesto is mostly made up of tree lined residential neighborhoods crisscrossed with long avenues of strip mall commercial development. I just focused my photos on downtown.
Let's get the dreariest shot over with first
On to better things...
The streets are pretty quiet but it was early on a Sunday morning
County and city administration building
Modesto's only skyscraper that isn't a grain mill or a water tower
And that's all the time
we have for Modesto...yes, I know that was bad!
The city of Stockton is much bigger than Modesto in both population (289,789) and functionality (even if a lot of the recent growth is due to its proximity to the Bay Area). Stockton has its own port along the San Joaquin river, is a regional hub of agricultural production, has a private university (University of the Pacific), and has a proper downtown with lots of great possibilities. The city also has a reputation of having a lot of crime and, if this
is any indication, clearly needs a new redevelopment director if it ever expects to capitalize on its potential. These were taken last spring.
It's biggest asset, the waterfront.
Every good city plants lots of trees
I was surprised at the amount of historical character Stockton has.
San Joaquin "transit hub"
Things start to fall apart once you leave the immediate downtown area
So, let's go back...
And now for a Stockton 360...
Tour of California
Part One - Los Angeles
Part Two - Beverly Hills, Glendale, Pasadena, Hollywood
Part Three - Riverside, Santa Ana, Long Beach
Part Four - San Jose
Part Five - San Diego
Part Six - Fresno