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Follow The Money: Driver’s view from Rio Vista, Texas

With a mere 60mph train to San Francisco it’s almost impossible to live in the Bay Area. But what if you could afford to live in one of the cheapest areas of California. And what if it was only by car?

We’ve just discovered that this car park in Rio Vista, Texas is open for use. However, just around the corner, there’s a new Mac plant opening – in Mexico.

We found a guy called Blake who moved over from San Diego to Rio Vista 12 years ago. He’s an official ‘Steady Hand’ for the Milacron, but is currently working on projects for other companies in Austin, Texas.

“I love it here”, he says. “I worked in Rancho Cucamonga, was a Farmers Market Manager, in Scottsdale, was a content manager for just about every McDonald’s and Taco Bell in San Diego, in Stanton for a big camping company and back in San Diego again for a few months at the California Pizza Kitchen location.

“I was able to live wherever, and I love it here. People are friendly, family oriented and the prices are pretty awesome. Then people talk to you about new restaurants and other things you wouldn’t normally hear about. And you’ve gotta be somewhere to work, so it’s kinda like being in Utah with the transient population.

“It’s a young, vibrant area with a great feel to it. That Mac Factory is just across the street from a skateboard park.”

In a blog for FOX 13 News, Blake discussed the feeling of community in the area.

“We walk past stalls that sell locally sourced goods all day in that area and there’s a ton of opportunities for art and culture, as well as music and food. And it’s a community that still embraces technology as much as other areas. I really love that there are all kinds of roads in our area and you never have to look around.

“And you can be in the University Heights District at 6am and see blue flashing lights that are cops speeding up about 6:45am for a drug bust, taking drugs off the street. There’s good and bad and it’s really cool to see.

“There’s a car wash, a bus stop stop, a parking lot, an old school building that people buy houses in, and then have exercise classes in. We’ve even got the northern tip of a Lazy River.

“There are a few things on Facebook and Instagram, but in general people don’t think of us as a city. It’s normal for someone to see me outside in the neighborhood at 7:30am at a bus stop waiting for a bus to go to work, which they’d never normally see.

“This community was founded by homesteaders back in 1868, and there are two cattle operations here too, so there’s been beef coming through since before the whole nation was even founded. And that Mac factory is about a mile down the road. I just think people have this image that there’s something there. So yeah, it’s pretty cool here.

“My rule is that if someone stops me and says ‘hey, where can we park?’ That’s all I’ve got to say, take a guess, it’s not Santa Monica!”

For more on the vacant 700-space lot in Rio Vista, CLICK HERE

In the meantime, below is a gallery of photos taken by FOX 13’s Jack Nicas as he drove through Rio Vista.

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