Friday, December 19, 2014

Women's Olympic Gymnastic Trials Coming Back to San Jose!

San Jose will once again host the Olympic Trials for Women's Gymnastics. This event will determine who will represent the US in the 2016 Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro). The trials will bring tens of thousands of visitors to Downtown San Jose and have a significant impact on the local economy that weekend.

Tickets range from $115 to $875 and you can be placed on the priority list with a 25% deposit over here.

As a side-note, check out the awesome banner they created below with several iconic San Jose buildings.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Downtown San Pedro Square Market #3?

The San Pedro Square Market set off a chain reaction in the Downtown San Jose food scene unlike any other I can remember. Not only is the original SPSM looking to capitalize on its success and substantially expand over the next few years, but it seems like everyone is now jumping on the market concept to try to be the next SPSM. A few months ago, the second Downtown market officially opened its doors with two great vendors. By the end of next year, the SoFA Market should be completely leased out and act as a key anchor in the neighborhood.

Now, get this... there are plans for a THIRD market near San Jose State University called Metro Public Eatery and Bar. This will be next to the Grocery Outlet on the corner of Sixth and Santa Clara. The size of the space is 10,000 SQFT and it can support up to 10 eateries! There will also be a full-service speakeasy-style cocktail bar and a special events area for private parties.

Like the other Downtown markets, there will be no chains. Some of the planned eateries are a kabob-style restaurant with exotic meats like bison and alligator, a fish taco stand, a Japanese burger bar, tapas, and a pastry shop. You can also expect live music and entertainment on the weekends.

The new market will also try to differentiate itself with a modern industrial design targeted to students and office workers Downtown. Currently the Metro Public Eatery is in permitting and scheduled to open by the end of 2015. I can't wait!

Source: Spartan Daily

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Interactive Pedestrian Games

Some innovative Germans have come up with a pretty creative way to entertain pedestrians that are waiting at a crosswalk. Instead of just hitting a button and waiting for the walk sign, you can play a game of Pong with someone across the street. It's a slick idea that is being used in at least two different intersections in Germany and I think it would fit well in Silicon Valley's culture.

I think the urbanists that read this blog would agree that ideally there would be no crosswalk buttons and all the streetlights would be optimized for pedestrians. However, there are several intersections where that just won't work such as Market and San Carlos... which also happens to be in front of the Marriott, St. Claire, Plaza de Cesar Chavez, and a stones-throw away from the Convention Center. With so many visitors coming to this intersection, what better place to show a little digital creativity in our public infrastructure?

Source: Autoblog

STREETPONG from HAWK Hildesheim on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winchester Mystery House - Spirit Of Christmas Tours

This year the Winchester Mystery House is getting into the holiday spirit with special Victorian-style "Spirit of Christmas" tours. The epic mansion will feature 100,000 Christmas lights, carolers, dozens of trees, and over a thousand feet of garland.

In addition to the regular 65-minute daytime tours of the mansion, they are adding new 50-minute evening tours that focus on the history of Christmas at the mansion and Mr.s Winchester's philanthropy. These tours start at 5:20pm and will only be available December 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28.

Scroll down for more information and click here to book tickets.


Special Holiday Evening Tours are on sale now!

Come celebrate the Victorian “Spirit of Christmas” at Sarah Winchester’s glorious mansion, beautifully decorated for the holidays. Enjoy dozens of trees & wreaths and over a thousand feet of garland gracing the fireplaces and stairways. The festive glow of 100,000 sparkling lights and the sounds of Christmas Music and Carolers warmly welcome you and filling the air and your heart.

Our traditional year-round 65-minute daytime tours of Mrs. Winchester’s 160-room mansion are offered daily from 9am-5pm and will have a touch of Christmas Spirit throughout!

Don’t miss our special holiday evening tours! Join our guided 50-minute “Spirit of Christmas Tours” through the festive Mansion and learn about the history of a Victorian Christmas at the mysterious Mansion along with the more philanthropic side of Mrs. Winchester, while the festive sights and sounds set you in the mood for the season. This is the perfect place to start a wonderful holiday tradition for the whole family. Our special holiday tours start at 5:20pm and are offered on the following evenings in December: 12th-13th, 18th-21st, 26th-28th.

More Fun Activities:

  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas Carolers
  • Victorian Characters
  • Family Christmas Photos
  • Hot Cider to warm you up

Don’t forget to stop in our Gift Shop for ornaments and gifts you won’t find anywhere else, such as vintage toys, Western items, jewelry and decorative glassware.

It’s the season to give!
Spread the joy and save! Bring at least 2 canned food items for Second Harvest Food Bank and save $3 off the day or evening admission! The Winchester Mystery House will also match whatever is brought in! Second Harvest Food Bank Drive: donate & save from 11/24 – 12/15/14.
(Limit one discount per person/ per item brought. Not good with any other offers. Valid for in-person purchases only.)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Federal Realty's Sequel to Santana Row Begins to Take Shape

Federal Realty has begun revealing conceptual plans for the site parallel to Santana Row where the domed Century Theaters currently sit. The biggest surprise for me is a 14-story office tower, since Federal Realty has seemed hesitant to utilize high-rises in any of their Silicon Valley projects. The tower (in purple below) would be right across the street from a Santana Row retail corner previously housing Eli Thomas and a kitty corner away from another 232,000 SQFT speculative office building that Federal Realty has just begun work on. The new tower would be 189 feet tall and have 126,000 SQFT of available office space.

Also part of the plan is nearly 1,000 apartments spread across multiple 6-7 story buildings. The project will only have 45,000 SQFT of retail, and that will likely be for a grocery story. So don't expect a true extension to Santana Row here, this will mostly be a residential and office development. To service all these new buildings will be 2,000 parking spaces, but none of it will be at-grade, All the parking will be in hidden structures above or below ground to really make it feel like a walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood.

You also might notice one dome in the drawing below. The Century 21 dome will be saved, though what it will be used for is unclear. After the realignment of Olsen Drive it will become a dominant architectural feature in this new project. Also note the new public park next to the Winchester Mystery House.

The timeline is not clear, but this will be one project we should keep a close eye on!

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, December 14, 2014

San Jose Pop-Up Project Map

Shop local this Holiday Season! There are 23 great shops in Downtown San Jose this holiday season, nine of which are pop-ups. Visit them all using the handy map below!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SantaRun Silicon Valley

Tomorrow there will be a 5k Run/Walk in Downtown San Jose that will benefit Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Dressing up as your favorite holiday character is highly encouraged. The festivities begin at 1pm and the race itself starts at 3pm. For more info head to

Join us on Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM for the TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley”, a new tradition in San Jose benefiting our favorite holiday traditions; Christmas in the Park and Downtown Ice. Festivities kick off at 1:00 PM on race day with the race starting at 3:00 pm. The TiVo “Santa Run Silicon Valley” is a 5K Run/Walk that is fun for the whole family. We encourage you to dress up as your favorite holiday character or tradition; Santa, Mrs. Claus, the Grinch, reindeer, elves, dreidel, menorah, ornaments, tree, candlestick. The ideas are limitless. You can do it as a group too! Bring the whole family for a day of fun; looking at festive displays, community trees and watching live entertainment at Christmas in the Park. Or, warm up those legs before the run and skate at Downtown Ice under the lighted palm trees or warm up with some hot chocolate. Either way, grandparents, parents and kids alike will all enjoy the timeless memories these great activities have to offer.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Content Pick-Up Party + 3rd Anniversary Celebration!

My favorite local magazine is celebrating 3 years in print today! Subscribers can come to the former Rep at 101 Paseo de San Antonio between 7-10pm tonight to pick up the latest issues called "Dine." Of course, Content isn't your ordinary magazine, so they are also throwing in a free drink from local breweries (Hermitage, Laguintas, or Gordon Biersch) and music by Cado and Tim Atlas whom are featured in the issue.

While you are there, check out the pop up shops spread across the ground floor of the Rep lobby. These include The Usuals, The Die Hard Co, Curate Good, Empire Seven Studios, Jen's Cakes, and Liquid Bread!