On sex and sleaze in Silicon Valley

Posted by Starr Keshet

Ah, Silicon Valley. Those two words conjure up images of gently rolling hills, shiny buildings and startup companies in hipster lofts filled with innumerable empty cans of Pabst and discarded pizza boxes.

As the birthplace and incubator of multi-billion dollar companies like Google, one might expect that local governments would have the decency to keep a semblance of law and order.

On sex and sleaze in Silicon ValleyBut not in the city of San Jose, where prostitution has made a rapid comeback on street corners and in dark alleys.

Obviously, the tech industry is no stranger to sex, sleaze and silicone - at least when it comes to trade shows and industry conferences such as CES or Computex.

True, a high-end escort paired with a $600 bottle of imported Russian vodka is probably somewhat overpriced, but I digress.

Back to San Jose, or as the locals are now calling it, hella San Ho.

After police budgets were messily slashed on July 1, San Jose PD's Vice Unit was disbanded. 

Responsibility for cracking down on skanky prozzies, illicit massage parlors and wild brothels was subsequently reassigned to the police department's Covert Response Unit (CRU).

The problem?

CRU was originally created for narcotic busts and only has 14 officers on staff. And no, we don’t know if any of them are even slightly sober.

Hence the literal surge in prostitution, with street walkers apparently driving in from such iconic tourist destinations as Oakland and Fresno to take advantage of their new found freedom.

Indeed, NBC reports South Second Street has become a virtual "hotspot" for prostitutes - who haunt the dusty streets with their bad makeup and even worse one-liners from dusk till dawn.

One local store owner even went so far to describe Second Street as a "zoo," especially on Thursday nights after San Jose's "Music in the Park" concerts. 



Of course, the corner of Second and William Streets is only two blocks from the city's Federal Courthouse and just one block from Notre Dame High School.

But hey, thanks for the American dream, which as the immortal William S. Burroughs once famously wrote, is "to vulgarize and falsify until the bare lies shine through."