Apple Living Photography Stanford

Living Well – Best Places to Live

I’m often tempted to pick up one of those “Best Places to Live” books/magazine articles/etc. just to see their methodology for selecting the ideal spot. Of course, the most important factors – friends, family – don’t make the strictly objective assessments – but they’re still fun to read.

Today, I had one of those experiences that makes me glad we live where we do – and, in thinking about it a bit more, a couple of specific non-friend or family-related criteria came to mind for my own start at a personal set of best places criteria.

One of our MacBooks had its optical drive fail late last week. We went through the usual denial – how could this be happening to us? – before opting to back it up and take it in to the geniuses at our local Apple store. That’s the first of my new best places criteria – living within 5 miles of a local Apple retail store!

The folks at the Stanford Apple store Genius Bar were superb at diagnosing the problem, confirming it as a hardware failure, taking the MacBook in for repair and then calling us less than six hours later to pick it up. Mission Accomplished!

So, here’s the new, abbreviated “best places to live” list I’ve developed – having already shared number 1:

The Apple retail store proximity isn’t because we need to buy lots of stuff there (although we seem to do that too!) – but, rather, for the Genius Bar service and support. (Actually, we buy most of our new stuff online – primarily via or, if we’re looking for a custom configuration, from the online Apple Store.)

Southwest is just the best way to fly these days – even though they’re inside the TSA firewalls. We’re lucky to live within 30 miles of two Southwest airports and within 40 miles of three!

Being close to a professional photography store and lab means easy access to great advice, rentals, and training – important to a newbie photographer like me.

And the proximity to a major university adds a whole extra set of culture, opportunities, and enlightenment that’s just fun. Plus being a great place to walk, explore and eat!

There – that’s it. My brief “best places” list – for now. Note that none of this has to do with whether we’re in a “red state” or a “blue state”. And these objective criteria ignore the most important subjective ones: having family and good friends close by!

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