Things I just noticed

Euclid famously said “There is no Royal Road to Geometry.” But if you want to get to the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, guess what you drive along?


13 thoughts on “Things I just noticed

  1. You get to AIM off the main-drag through Palo Alto, El Camino Real (= The Royal Road). Oddly, people seem to differ as to whether they refer to this as an EW or NS road (really it’s NW-SE).

  2. I would usually say “toward San Francisco” or “toward San Jose” or name some more local town, assuming at least a little familiarity with the area. Or better yet, “turn right onto El Camino” or “turn left onto El Camino”. (And yes, I knew which road David meant.)

  3. El Camino and 101 always go North/South, even when they’re going East/West.

    Mmm, local-to-global problems. Once I had someone ‘correct’ me for saying that Menlo Park is west of Palo Alto. Similarly, I’ve learned that, despite being west of Santa Barbara, Goleta is ‘north’ of Santa Barbara. When getting directions from someone in that area, I sometimes found myself asking “north north or west north?”, which only confused matters more.

  4. Of course, the SBSeminar folks will be familiar with an even stranger set of road name conventions – the northbound stretch of highway along the waterfront in Berkeley is known as 80 East, but it is also known as 580 West.

  5. “Camino Real” literally means “royal road” but it’s more like “main street” which is why every town seems to have one.

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