Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

Hope you all have a wonderful time and lots of good eats today. Warm wishes to you and your family from your friends at The San Jose Blog!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Harvest Festival 2017 - Nov. 24-26 at the SJ Convention Center

The West Coast's largest indoor arts and crafts show is coming to Downtown San Jose this weekend. The festival features thousands of American-made arts and crafts including original art, jewelry, clothing, toys, and home decor. Many of the gifts can be custom ordered or personalized.

To compliment the shopping, there will be an assortment of food, music, and live entertainment. Several bands will be performing throughout the show including Le Jazz Hot. Holiday-themed entertainers will also wander the halls throughout the three day show.

While parents shop, kids can play at an interactive KidZone. Here they can build their own art projects such as gingerbread cookie decorating.

The Harvest Festival will run from (Black) Friday, November 24 to Sunday, November 26th at the San Jose Convention Center. Hours are 10am-5pm on Friday, 10am-6pm on Saturday, and 10am-5pm on Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and military, $4 for teenagers, and those 12 & under are free. You can print a $2 off coupon on this page (lower right). Admission includes the whole weekend, not just a specific day.

For more information or to buy tickets, head over to the Harvest Festival website over here.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Winterfest at California's Great America opens Nov 24

Ice Skating, Rides, Snow Falling, Millions Of Lights & Santa To Deliver Merriment

SANTA CLARA, CA – The Bay Area’s newest and most immersive holiday tradition, WinterFest, opens at California’s Great America on Friday, November 24 and will entertain guests on select dates through December 30. During WinterFest, Great America will be magically transformed into a winter wonderland where guests can experience unique new features, as well as fan favorites such as skating in front of the iconic Carousel Columbia, admiring magnificent displays of lights and décor, viewing spectacular live holiday shows, experiencing 25 rides and attractions, seeing Santa’s workshop and Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, and enjoying scrumptious holiday fare at numerous dining locations.

This unmatched event will feature more than 7 million LED lights, creating such a vibrant experience that it will be visible from the International Space Station, more than 270 miles away. The winter scene will be dominated by one of the Bay Area’s tallest Christmas trees adorned with thousands of twinkling lights accompanied by giant toy soldiers greeting guests. The six-week WinterFest celebration will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with daily operations December 19-23 and 26-30 from 5pm-10pm(November 26 and December 17 from 6:30pm-10:30pm).

New for 2017 will be an enlarged crafters area where more than 20 Bay Area artisans will showcase their talents, an expansion of Candy Cane Lane, one of the most photographed scenes in 2016, and a fire pit setting to keep guests warm near the Patriot roller coaster.  Also in 2017, every Planet Snoopy ride, including GR8 SK8, PEANUTS 500, Woodstock Express, Sally’s Love Buggies and more, will be open and providing fun for kids and parents alike.

There will also be a soothing hospitality room under the magical light show inside Orleans Place that will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of America. The tranquil area will provide a warm and relaxing destination for WinterFest guests, where they can enjoy the indoor ambience and make a donation to the club that will bring cheer to thousands of Bay Area youth.

“WinterFest is one of Northern California’s most spectacular winter events, delivering a unique experience where friends and families can create memories and traditions during the holiday season,” Great America’s Vice President and General Manager Raul Rehnborg said. “New additions for 2017 will create a dynamic experience for returning and first-time guests.”

Eight unique and decorative themed areas will guide attendees through WinterFest. Guests can gaze at 20 ft. tall candy canes in Candy Cane Lane, experience the wonder of snow falling in Hometown Square, admire Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree in Planet Snoopy, and stare up at the lighted palm trees inside the Grand Entrance.

Live shows include a nightly tree lighting, carolers throughout the park, “It’s Christmas, Snoopy!” ice show and more. Holiday crafters will design unique creations and guests will interact with original holiday characters, including Jack Frost, Candy Cane and the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Children will delight in decorating cookies with Mrs. Claus, taking a picture with Santa and writing holiday letters to family members. Food specialties will include eggnog funnel cakes, peppermint churros, a turkey dinner sandwich, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate and many more traditional holiday favorites. (Some activities require additional fee.)

Among the 25 rides and attractions entertaining guests will be Gold Striker and Patriot roller coasters for thrill seekers, the iconic Carousel Columbia and Flying Eagles family rides and all of Planet Snoopy for younger guests.

Throughout WinterFest from 5pm-7pm (excluding November 26 and December 1 and 17) patrons can enjoy the WinterFEAST buffet for $16.49 (plus tax) that includes roast turkey with festive dressing, baked ham, mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, vegetarian baked pasta, tossed salad, dessert squares, Christmas cookies and fountain drinks.

Single day tickets are available online for as low as $25, and admission to WinterFest is included with a 2017 or 2018 Gold or Platinum Pass. 2018 Gold Season Passes are currently available online and include unlimited visits to California’s Great America and Gilroy Gardens, admission to Halloween Haunt and WinterFest, free season-long Great America parking, early entry into Boomerang Bay water park, discounts on select meals and merchandise and bring-a-friend discount offers.

California’s Great America is currently hiring for WinterFest with opportunities available in all areas of park operation. Apply online at

California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and water park located in Santa Clara, Calif. that contains thrill rides, family attractions and live shows. The park opens for weekends in March, operates daily Memorial Day weekend through mid-August, continues weekends through fall with Halloween Haunt, and the season concludes in December with WinterFest.

California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. For more information, see

Monday, November 20, 2017

Swenson reveals spectacular proposal for the Guadalupe River Area

Swenson Builders just blew my mind with their proposal to turn the Downtown stretch of the Guadalupe River into a 6.81 million SQFT mixed-use development. Apparently, Swensen has been contemplating this for decades.

The 30-acre project would incorporate and expand existing parks on both sides of the Guadalupe River and even create a second river (!)... more on that in just a moment. Perhaps take a quick break to scroll down and look at the photos and then head back up here.

The square footage breakdown would be 3.8 million SQFT for office space, 2 million SQFT of residential space (~2,400 units), 420,000 SQFT of retail in a 5-story terraced shopping center, and 590,000 SQFT of hotel space (~1,100 rooms). Bridges would zig-zag over the river(s) to easily get from one side to the other. If there was ever a proposal to rival the San Jose Google HQ, this would be it.

One of the most interesting aspects of the proposal is to create a man-made river parallel to the original Guadalupe River. The purpose of this would be to allow for recreational water activities in Downtown San Jose such as kayaking, surfing, and stand-up boarding. Above the river would also be zip-lines, allowing for a fun adventure combining both a natural and urban backdrop.

Right now this is more vision than a formal proposal, but can you imagine is this is what the Downtown Guadalupe River area looked like 20 years from now? This would be a tremendous amenity and entertainment draw while highlighting one of Downtown's best kept secrets--the river.

Source: SVBJ (Subscription Required)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Downtown Ice opens tonight!

San Jose's iconic circular ice rink opens its doors to skaters tonight with special pricing of only $5. There will also be a grand opening celebration at 6pm in front of the rink. All of the details including operating hours are in the press release below.

Toyota / Kristi Yamaguchi Downtown Ice
Iconic outdoor ice rink open daily Nov. 17, 2017 - Jan. 15, 2018

Featured community attraction during U.S. Figure Skating Nationals Dec. 29-Jan. 7

SAN JOSE – Downtown Ice will host thousands of families from all over the Bay Area for a traditional and unforgettable skating experience Nov. 17-Jan. 15 at the Circle of Palms, 120 S. Market St.

The rink will also be an attraction for the thousands of families and fans coming to downtown San Jose Dec. 29-Jan. 7 for the U.S. Figuring Skating National Championships, where selections for the U.S. Olympic team will be made.

Toyota has joined Kristi Yamaguchi as title sponsors. Swenson and Linda L. Lester are presenting sponsors of the 8,100-square foot skating rink. Yamaguchi and the sponsors will usher in the new season at a ceremony on Opening Night (Nov. 17)  at 6 p.m.

The iconic circular rink is designed so that skaters can easily and safely negotiate around the circle of 32 palms each adorned by LED lights, creating a magical experience day and night.

Downtown Ice hours, pricing and specials are posted at In general, during November, early December and after the holidays in January, Downtown Ice is open 5-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 5 p.m.-midnight on Friday; noon-midnight on Saturday; and noon-9 p.m. on Sunday.  During the winter break, the rink is open 11 a.m.-midnight daily.  Special hours apply to the holidays.

Admission is $15 for children 10-under and $17 for skaters 11-older. Those who bring their own skates will be admitted for $10.  Senior and military are admitted for $15.
The rink phone number is (408) 291-0525.  Parking information is at

Downtown San Jose experiences a magical holiday season, attracting more than a half million visitors.  Downtown Ice is located within steps of Christmas in the Park displays, which occupies Plaza de Cesar Chavez starting Nov. 24 and will extend its season until Jan. 7.  Hotels are booked with parties, museums and galleries have special exhibitions and the performing arts venues and arena have packed schedules.

Downtown Ice and Christmas in the Park are partially supported by participants in the 5-kilometer Google Santa Run Silicon Valley to be held on Dec. 17.  Dress up in costume and run a 5-kilometer race as lights descend on downtown.  A children’s division will also be participating along with a costume contest with great prizes, some fun mileage markers and surprises along the course.  Sign up at

San Jose Downtown Association has produced Downtown Ice for 22 years.  This will be the 14th year in the Circle of Palms (starting in 2004).

When:  Open daily Nov. 17, 2017 – Jan. 15, 2018

Nov. 17 – 18
Friday: 5 p.m. - midnight
Saturday: Noon - midnight

Nov. 19 – 25 (Thanksgiving Week)
Sunday: Noon - 9 p.m.
Monday - Tuesday: 5 – 9 p.m.
Wednesday: 2 p.m. – midnight
Thursday/Thanksgiving: 2 p.m. – midnight
Friday - Saturday: 11 a.m. - midnight

Nov. 26 – Dec. 2
Sunday: Noon - 9 p.m.
Monday - Thursday: 5 - 9 p.m.
Friday: 5 p.m. - midnight
Saturday: Noon - midnight

Dec. 3 – Dec. 17
Sunday: Noon - 10 p.m.
Monday - Thursday: 5 - 10 p.m.
Friday: 5 p.m. – midnight
Saturday: Noon - midnight

Dec. 18  – Jan. 6 (Winter Break – note special holiday hours*)
Daily: 11 a.m. - midnight
*Christmas: 2 p.m. - midnight
*New Year’s Eve: 11 a.m. – 10:30 p.m.
*New Year’s Day: Noon - midnight

Jan. 7 – 13
Sunday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Monday - Thursday: 5 - 9 p.m.
Friday: 5 p.m. - midnight
Saturday: Noon – midnight

Jan. 14 –15
Sunday: 11 a.m. - midnight
MLK, Jr. Day: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Children 10 & younger, Seniors and Military: $15
11 years & older: $17
Bring your own skates: $10

Cash, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and Discover Card accepted.

Admission includes ice time and rental skates (skate sizes range from toddler 8 to men's 15).
Skate all you want (no in-and-out privileges)/ First-come, first-serve.

Address (starting November 17):  120 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 279-1775 (SJDA); (408) 610-4055 (rink starting Nov. 18)


The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), established 1986, is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose. SJDA advocates on issues that affect downtown business and property owners; enhances the image of downtown and attract new visitors through year-round marketing, public relations, and special events; and collaborates with its Property-Based Improvement District (PBID) for ongoing improvements to downtown’s cleanliness, security, aesthetics and delivery of services.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

San Jose is the #1 Best Place for Tech Jobs

In what should come as no surprise, San Jose took the top spot again in Nerd Wallet's annual study of best cities for tech jobs. They looked at the largest 381 US metros and evaluated the percentage of jobs in tech, annual median wage for tech jobs, and gross rent. Despite having astronomical housing costs, we still came in way ahead of the competition. We have about double the number of tech jobs per capita as any other city in the top 10 and our median annual tech salary blew away every other city at the top of the list. Even SF was a distant 9th place.

Source: Nerd Wallet

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

René Marie and Experiment in Truth, presented by San Jose Jazz

San Jose Jazz presents an intimate concert with Grammy-nominated vocalist René Marie along with her regular collaborators pianist John Chin, bassist Elias Bailey, and drummer Quentin Baxter. 

Blessed with a crystal clear voice, fierce originality, and a commanding stage presence, René Marie is a musical force of nature. Rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and others, she borrows various elements of folk, R&B and even country to create a captivating hybrid style. San Jose Jazz fans will remember René’s triumphant set at SJZ Summer Fest 2012.

Cafe Stritch

Tuesday, November 14th

$30 advance; $35 door

Ticket and Info Link:

Video Links:

Monday, November 13, 2017

Volar may set a new bar for rooftop amenities

Volar is a fancy 18-story (200 ft. tall) tower proposed for the Santana Row area. The mixed-use project will have 307 residential units, 52,000 SQFT of commercial, 16,275 SQFT of public open space, and 490 parking spaces. There are several interesting things about this project besides it being far taller than anything else in the area. However, the item that really stands out to me is a rooftop that that will give the Capital Club a run for its money.

The top floor is a mix of 29,814 SQFT of private open space for the residential units and that 16,275 SQFT of public open space that anyone can access. If the render below is accurate, this will be the most impressive rooftop on any high-rise in Silicon Valley. It looks like thee will be lounge areas, outdoor fire-pits, and plenty of trees spread across a posh Santana-Row-like area. The 18th floor will also have a 8,500 SQFT restaurant and cafe with a two-story atrium. The views should be quite spectacular from any part of the rooftop or restaurant. This could be the start of a new era where high-rise housing comes to more parts of San Jose.

For more details on this project that will hopefully break ground by 2019, head over here.

Source: San Jose Development Forum, aphelion2100