Friday, Oct. 5, marked the one year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, and public fascination with the computer pioneer and Apple co-founder remains strong. The Walter Isaacson biography “Steve Jobs” is a stalwart on bestseller lists; a movie (starring Ashton Kutcher) completed filming this summer; and Aaron Sorkin (“Moneyball,” “The Social Network”) is working on his own script (based on the Isaacson book) for Sony. In Silicon Valley, tourists are becoming a frequent presence at the homes and public spots that were backdrops to Jobs’s epic life. Here are six of the biggest tourist draws, all in Palo Alto, Calif., unless noted:
CHILDHOOD HOME When Jobs was in seventh grade his parents moved to 2066 Crist Drive in Los Altos, a middle-class community with strong schools. Today the modest white-with-blue-trim ranch house, where Jobs’s stepmother still resides, looks much as it did in 1976, when Jobs and Steve Wozniak launched Apple Computer in the attached two-car garage. Gene Tankersley, who has lived across the street since the 1950s, recalls the procession of venture capitalists in fancy cars pulling up to check out the nascent enterprise. “Steve would come out to the curb to meet them — barefoot,” he recalls. (According to some reports, scenes from the Kutcher film were shot here.)
STANFORD UNIVERSITY Jobs never considered applying to Stanford, where he might have earned a scholarship. “The kids who went to Stanford, they already knew what they wanted to do,” he told Isaacson. Nevertheless, the sprawling mission-style campus became an important place in the life of Reed College’s most famous dropout. Stanford was a source of key early Apple employees — and, during a Thursday evening business school lecture in 1989, the place where Jobs met Laurene Powell, whom he married in 1991. If you want to tour the campus in memoriam, download the Stanford tour app on your iPhone.
MARITAL HOME From 1992 until his death, Jobs lived in a 1930s English Cotswold-style residence that Isaacson describes as a “charming and unpretentious home on a corner in a family-friendly neighborhood of old Palo Alto.” Walking by the house, located at 2101 Waverly, it’s shocking how un-mogul-appropriate it is: While it’s a large, stately home, with an old slate roof (which workers were replacing this summer) and a double lot to accommodate Laurene’s garden, there’s no visible security (in fact, $60,000 in computers and personal items were taken from the house in a burglary this summer), and one wall of the home is set just a few feet from a sidewalk. Go a block in any direction and you’ll find far grander residences. But for techies, this is prime real estate. Just over a mile away is the garage where Hewlett and Packard launched the company that helped create Silicon Valley, and today Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Larry Page (Google) both live nearby.
JIN SHO Jobs’s favorite sushi restaurant, at 454 South California Ave., defies his simple-is-better philosophy: The lunch menu contains nearly 75 choices. But Jin Sho, opened in 2007 by two veterans of New York’s Nobu, is fresh and inventive. Its seaweed salad contains a mix of three species (including a red variety), and its best-selling “volcano roll” smears spicy sauce atop salmon and then runs it under a broiler, creating a crunchy, spicy novelty. For the best experience, sit at the far left of the sushi bar, next to the small table that serves as the kitchen’s landing pad. There you’ll glimpse every dish coming out of the kitchen.
FRAÎCHE YOGURT CAFE
During Jobs’s long battle with pancreatic cancer, as journalists clamored for news of his health, some bloggers considered the staff of this organic yogurt shop at 644 Emerson St. be key sources. When asked about Jobs’s health, they would usually report that he had been in a few days earlier, looking great. Not only was Jobs a frequent visitor — choosing among fresh and frozen European-style yogurts and toppings such as kiwis, organic crushed Oreos, dried figs, and toasted coconut — but he was apparently such a fan that colleagues periodically ordered yogurt for delivery to Apple’s headquarters. (The shop has moved to Hamilton Avenue.)
APPLE HEADQUARTERS Fourteen miles south of Jobs’s home is Apple’s corporate campus, at One Infinite Loop in Cupertino. There’s no tour and visitors generally are not welcome, but just off the parking lot is the original Apple Company Store. Unlike Apple’s other retail outposts, this location has no Genius Bar or fancy frills, but unlike them, it does sell fanboy gear: T-shirts, fleeces, coffee mugs, and the like, emblazoned with Apple-focused sayings such as: “Siri, is it warm enough to wear a T-shirt today?”
Daniel McGinn can be reached at email@example.com.