Growing up in San Jose there were a few palm trees in the neighborhood. I don't know the species, but there was a towering palm on the block behind our house that we could see from our street, and another a couple blocks away. I'm sure some neighbors had minor fan palms in their yards, but they weren't as common as the various deciduos trees and conifers in our city. And I thought they were ugly, with their dead fronds hanging shaggily, waiting for a storm to blow them all over the street.
As the orchards were bulldozed and turned into strip malls, it became fashionable to line new shopping centers with palm trees. I thought it looked stupid, like San Jose was trying to be something that it definitely wasn't--namely, Southern California.
Fastforward to 2012, and I am a full-time Southern California resident. At first I was sort of oblivious to the palms. I tolerated/ignored them. But I recently discovered that I'm a palm tree convert. At least in this context. When I look out across the city and see the spiky silhouettes against the sky, I feel a little stab of joy. When a friend posts a picture of palms and power lines it feels like we're all part of a tribe.
It's no secret that I love my neighborhood. And the power lines, sunshine, hills, and feathery palm trees are part of the landscape. So there you go. Urban palm trees in San Diego are on my metaphorical "awesome stuff" list.