Monday, May 2, 2016

New Downtown San Jose office tower proposed for 333 W. San Fernando Street

We're getting spoiled. Whenever a few weeks go by without major Downtown San Jose development news I start to get antsy. It is easy to forget that there was a time not long ago where years would go by without substantial news.

Nathan Donato-Weinstein has broken a story about the latest high-rise proposal by none other than Lew Wolf and Phil DiNapoli, both veterans in the Downtown San Jose development scene. Last week they submitted plans for a massive 725,000 SQFT office tower next to the Adobe campus on 333 W. San Fernando Street. The project would be built on 2.5 acres that are currently being used as a parking lot.

The single 19-story building would nearly have as much square footage as all three of the Adobe towers combined. This means it would feature the sprawling floor plates and tall ceilings that Silicon Valley tech companies love these days. Other amenities include cutout decks and platforms that would create outdoor gathering spaces and a ground floor partially wrapped with retail.

Parking would be split across 10 floors (???), five levels below ground and five levels above ground. I don't think we have a parking structure in San Jose today that utilizes so many floors. Given the location's proximity to every transit option imaginable, hopefully they are able to reduce the number of spaces and instead increase the square footage of the office space.

If this gets built, it would but a another win in what is becoming a large collection of victories for Downtown San Jose. The fact that we are even discussing this in addition to the dozen other major projects already in the pipeline is already some level of success.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Anthony Bourdain visiting San Jose on THE HUNGER Tour

As a hardcore foodie, I'm a big fan of Anthony Bourdain's adventures. There are many times I have hoped that he would feature San Jose on one of his shows (more than just a pit-stop). I'm still optimistic that will happen at some point, especially the way our food scene is quickly growing.

Bourdain is going to be in town for another reason this November. He's doing an 11-city live show reflecting on his experiences with travel, unique cultures all around the world, and of course street food. The tour also coincides with the launch of his first cookbook in 10 years, APPETITES.

Ticket presales begin on May 2nd and ticket sales for the general public begin on May 20th. For more info and tickets, head over here.

New Anthony Bourdain Tour THE HUNGER Visits San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts on November 17

Tour Coincides with Release of APPETITES, His First Cookbook in 10 Years

Presale Starts May 2 – General Public On-Sale May 20

(San Jose, Calif.) – Internationally renowned best-selling author, television host and multiple Emmy-award-winner Anthony Bourdain today announced The Hunger, an 11-city North American tour launching October 25 in New York. Bourdain’s first cookbook in 10 years, APPETITES (published by Ecco), also hits shelves October 25. The Hunger visits San Jose, California at the Center for the Performing Arts for one show only on November 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm.

Tickets are on sale May 20, 2016 and can be purchased at

The Hunger serves audiences an all new live show featuring an unyielding, brutally honest monologue reflecting on diverse culture, street cuisine and his travels to lesser-known locations
around the world, followed by an open Q&A session. Currently filming the hit CNN original
series Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown (season seven premiered Sunday, April 24; 9pm ET/PT), Bourdain will bring audiences a menu loaded with lots of laughs, serious discussions and unapologetic irreverence. Presale tickets begin May 2 and tickets for the general public are on-sale May 20. Today through May 1, fans can register to receive a presale code to purchase tickets before the May 20 general public on sale.

For more information including tour dates and tickets, visit

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Space Battle San Jose 2016 happening today

I never cease to be impressed by the long list of creative events that keep on popping up in San Jose. Today there is basically a giant lightsaber battle going on in Downtown San Jose. Due to a Lucasfilm lawsuit, they can't actually call it a lightsaber fight--but we all know that is exactly what this is.

The "space battle" goes down tonight at 8pm in St. James Park and part of the proceeds will benefit the Bay Area chapter of Make-A-Wish. For more info (including a video clip), keep reading.

Massive “Space Battles” Set to Explode from Coast to Coast this May

The charitable mock battles will see glowing sword-fighting to benefit 6 local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in 4 states

Tour forced to change its “Lightsaber Battle” name by legal settlement with Lucasfilm  

THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016 -  Following on the success of their December event tour, which saw 10,000 people come together to have massive battles with glowing weapons, Toronto-based arts organization Newmindspace plans to go even bigger with “space battles” from San Jose to Boston this May. The events are all free, but participants can register online at for $10 to receive a glowing sword, and each tour stop benefits the local Make-A-Wish Foundation chapter by donating a portion of the proceeds.

“We are excited to get back on the road, put on some huge, family-friendly events, and raise money for the amazing work that Make-A-Wish does,” said Kevin Bracken, tour co-founder. Along with co-founder Lori Kufner, the pair have been organizing free, all-ages events such as giant pillow fights, bubble blowing parties and subway celebrations around North America since 2005.

The tour was recently forced to change its name from “The Light Battle Tour” by a legal settlement with Lucasfilm, which is now owned by Disney. Lucasfilm believed people would too ​​easily confuse the name and the glowing swords offered by the tour with “lightsabers.” The new name of the tour is Cats in Space Tour, and instead of each event being called a “Light Battle,” they will be called Space Battles. Participants are encouraged to dress in costume, whether that is a character from their favorite sci-fi universe, or with cat ears and whiskers.

The May tour will see events in San Jose, Sacramento, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, and Boston between April 30th and May 28th.

April 30 - San Jose to benefit Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area
St. James Park, 8 PM - 11 PM
Register: ​
Facebook: ​

Cats in Space Tour 2016 Teaser from Newmindspace on Vimeo.

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Roughhouse sketch comedy show returns to San Jose

The Roughhouse is a sketch comedy group based in the Bay Area. Formed by Jimmy Snell, Marisa Hankins and Brandon Arnold in 2012. The Roughhouse has brought its carefully cultivated madness and mayhem to numerous venues and festivals, including SF Sketchfest and ShortLived.

Originating as a late night offering at the ComedySportz Theater in San Jose, The Roughhouse quickly outgrew their late night time slot and has performed sold-out shows at venues throughout the Bay Area. You can watch The Roughhouse on the first Saturday of every month at PianoFight Mainstage in San Francisco.

The Roughhouse is having three nights of homecoming shows celebrating their return to San Jose starting today. All Shows take place at the Black Cat Licorice Theater on 260 McEvoy Street near Downtown.

Ticket info:

Dirty, Dirty Comedy from Roughhouse Comedy on Vimeo.

Rock-N-Cook 2016

How does listening to live music while feasting on a gourmet 6+ course meal sound? Rock-N-Cook is a new event that brings together great music and fine-dining caliber food in an intimate location. The menu will be revealed soon and the bands will be announced this Sunday. Tickets cost $100, which is not cheap but is reasonable based on the food that was served last year.

For photos from the 2015 inaugural event, click here. For more details and tickets, head here.

Updated (4/29):


A little over half a year ago, Lucas Gordon got in a car and drove from the East Coast to the West in pursuit of his passion. He began performing his music live around the San Francisco Bay Area and quickly gained notoriety for his down-to-earth disposition, dexterity on guitar, and his catchy and insightful songs. With roots in blues and influences like Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, James Taylor, etc., he ultimately wants his lyrics to connect with those that, like himself, are constantly wondering if they’re doing this whole thing right.


Chef Matt’s “Appe-teasers”

Gravlax with dill mustard dressing on rye
Goat cheese and sun-dried tomato galette
Gigandes bean salad with frissé and citrus

Chef Baudi’s Menu

Potage cultivateur
Tasty vegetable soup

Pan fried cod fillet with vinaigrette sauce
Nice fish dish for warm summer days!

Beef Bourguignon with Mousseline
French style beef stew with creamy potato mash


Profiterole à l’orange
French pastry with a delicate orange cream filling

Crème brûlée
Scorched vanilla cream

VIP Additional Apéritif Riche

Smashed pea and asparagus toast
Celeriac and tart apple salad
Hummus cucumber cups
Bacon wrapped shrimp skewers with Asian bbq sauce

Baked Camembert with rhubarb compote

Talented Swiss Chef Baudi and San Jose Promoter Barb Rocks are hosting our second unforgettable music and pop-up dining experience!

Rock-N-Cook features a unique and delicious gourmet meal served between two sets of spectacular music by two popular Bay Area bands, that will not only entice your taste buds, but satisfy your musical desires, and leave you hungry for more!

Join us for this exclusive event on Saturday May 21 from 3-8pm for only $100 per person, with VIP option available for an additional $50 which includes best stage viewing, priority serving, a dedicated server, valet parking, and a drink on us!

Bands performing will be announced by May 1st. This event will be filmed and made into videos for YouTube.

This event is all-ages, though bar service is limited to those 21+. Drinks are an additional cost and no outside food or drinks are allowed.

Our menu will be up in early May, but we can guarantee some delicious, mouth-watering dishes you'll definitely enjoy!  Current plan is to serve 6 courses plus some delicious appetizers to start off this tasty experience.

If you have specific food allergies or a special diet, then please let us know, though we might not be able to accommodate specific requests.

Individual Bios

Marco Baudenbacher (aka Chef Baudi) started his culinary education at Hotel Splügenschloss ('82-'85) in Zürich, Switzerland, from which he went on to be a culinary professor at the prestigious Belvoirpark Hotel Management School ('85-90). He worked as the Executive Chef at Roxy Restaurant, Bar & Club ('91-92), then started his own restaurant, bar/club, and catering business called Goodies ('92-present). He's also been the CEO of a 5 Star Grill-Restaurant in Zürich, Restaurant Easy in Ascona, La Gazza Trading Inc. in Zürich, and Hotel Du Lac (a 3 Star hotel/restaurant/pub) in Zürich. His varied experience and talents with food preparation has garnered a great reputation in the Swiss culinary world, and even led to the creation of a special "Goodies sauce" with distribution from famous spice maker Knorr.

Barbara "Barb Rocks" Wahli manages some of San Francisco and San Jose's most well known rock bands and is the Vice President of Artist & Repertoire at Nemesis Media Inc. Barbara is also recognized for putting on highly-organized and well-attended shows at reputable venues in the Bay Area, plus she books the Ugly Whale music showcase featuring original Bay Area bands in Austin. Barbara also heads the South Bay chapter of Balanced Breakfast, a group of music industry professionals that meet regularly for breakfast and talk about actions they can employ that will help grow the community.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 from 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)

Private Residence - address announced with ticket purchase, Campbell, CA 95008

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Health Trust Hike & Bike Silicon Valley taking place this weekend

Join the Health Trust Hike & Bike Silicon Valley to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS and help fund the Health Trust's AIDS services. This is a unique event that combines a 5K walk and a 30 mile bike ride. The event begins at 9am this Sunday, May 1st at Hellyer Park in South San Jose.

For more information and registration, just heard over here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Weimers Emerging Artists Award - Call for Artist Submissions - $5,000

Artists in a variety of fields throughout Santa Clara County are encouraged to apply for the fourth annual Leigh Weimers Emerging Artists Awards, which will present three grants of $5000 to selected artists. The award honors the legacy of late San Jose Mercury News columnist Leigh Weimers, a lifelong champion of the arts. For more information:

Weimers Emerging Artists Award - Call for Artist Submissions - $5,000 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

San Jose winners of the Knight Cities Challenge

The Knight Cities Challenge has announced a list of 37 winners that will share $5 million in grants to make their cities better places. The contest looks for ideas that will help cities keep talented people, expand economic opportunity, and create a culture of civic engagement. San Jose had two winners this year, each taking home $100,000:

Post Street Night Market by Justin Triano | $100,000
Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
The MayFeria by Mexican Heritage Plaza | $100,000 | submitted by Tamara Alvarado
Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folk life events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets

Congrats to both of the winners! I'm especially excited about the new night market on Post Street. For the press release, read on.

Knight Cities Challenge awards $5 million for ideas to make cities more successful
MIAMI — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation today announced that 37 innovative projects will share $5 million as winners of the Knight Cities Challenge. Each of the ideas centers on helping cities attract and keep talented people, expand economic opportunities and create a culture of civic engagement.
The challenge attracted more than 4,500 ideas to make the 26 communities where Knight invests more vibrant places to live and work. It asked innovators of all kinds to answer the question: What’s your best idea to make cities more successful?
The 37 winners proposed a host of ideas, from exploring Detroit’s untold history through monthly bike tours that blend storytelling with neighborhood discovery to using hip-hop to provide hands-on business training to members of low-income groups in Philadelphia, from developing a toolkit to create temporary pop-up social spaces at voting polls in Long Beach to creating a new cultural hub in West Palm Beach’s Northwest Historic District.
“At its core, the Knight Cities Challenge is about discovering and connecting civic innovators, creative interventionists who inspire positive change,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “The winners reflect this goal. Their ideas have the potential to create stronger communities and spaces that spur learning, engagement and growth.”
Open to any individual, business, government or nonprofit, the Knight Cities Challenge has just two rules: (1) A submission may come from anywhere, but the project must take place in or benefit one or more of the 26 communities where Knight invests and (2) the idea should focus on one or more of three drivers of city success: Talent: Ideas that help cities attract and keep talented people; Opportunity: Ideas that create economic prospects by breaking down divides and making new connections; Engagement: Ideas that spur connection and civic involvement.

Winning projects are based in 19 of the 26 communities where Knight invests including: Akron, Ohio; Boulder, Colo.; Columbus, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit; Gary, Ind.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Grand Forks, N.D.; Lexington, Ky.; Macon, Ga.; Miami; Long Beach, Calif.; Milledgeville, Ga.; Palm Beach County, Fla.; Philadelphia; St. Paul, Minn.; San Jose, Calif; State College, Pa; and Tallahassee, Fla.

The list of winners is below and at:
The challenge launched in October 2015. Finalists were announced in January.
This is the second year of the Knight Cities Challenge. In March 2015 Knight announced 32 winners of the inaugural Knight Cities Challenge. The 2015 challenge winners have created innovative solutions aimed at connecting people of all backgrounds and incomes, inviting people into active civic engagement and helping keep and attract talented people in their communities. They include: the Pop-Up Pool Project, which reimagines Philadelphia’s city pools as neighborhood assets that attract a broad range of people of all incomes and backgrounds; Re:Brand Detroit, which aims to spark reinvestment in Detroit’s neighborhoods through entrepreneurship; and Minimum Grid Maximum Impact, which improves neighborhood life by creating a network of bike and pedestrian connections between Midtown and Uptown Columbus, Ga.
The challenge will reopen for submissions in fall 2016.
For more on the Knight Cities Challenge, visit and For information and updates follow @knightfdn and #knightcities on Twitter.
2016 Knight Cities Challenge Winners
San Jose, Calif.
Post Street Night Market by Justin Triano | $100,000
Expanding economic opportunity with a recurring night market that features local crafts, food and entertainment.
The MayFeria by Mexican Heritage Plaza | $100,000 | submitted by Tamara Alvarado
Increasing civic engagement and expanding economic opportunity in San Jose’s Mayfair neighborhood with The MayFeria, which will consist of folk life events, a community task force, and a coordinator to help identify and make better use of cultural and civic assets

[Josh: to see the list of winners from other cities go to]
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when  people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit