Monday, January 31, 2011

Downtown San Jose's First Dishcrawl!

A whopping 90 people came to Downtown's very first Discrawl! What a blast we all had. The night started out with empanada tasting over at The Mmoon featuring both savory and sweet empanadas. Then the group walked down Santa Clara Street to the WOW Silog Truck and enjoyed the premier of their latest creation... Filipino Silog Tacos (garlic rice, salsa, an egg, and your choice of protein including sweet sausages). The third stop was a gourmet pizza tasting over at Ruffled Feathers (with a side of their famous pita chips and hummus). Lastly, we capped off the night with a Psycho Donut buffet!

I really had no idea what to expect coming into this event. Despite my constant optimism, I was expecting maybe 12-15 people to show up. Instead we got a massive crowd including people of all ages from all over the Bay Area (even some from SF) and everyone was having a great time! I really got the feeling that the Downtown restaurant scene is starting to come of age and we're going to see much more of this in the future. 

Thankfully, you won't have to wait too long for the next Dishcrawl. The next one is on Feb 24th and is going to feature the exotic cuisines of Downtown San Jose. You can already sign up for it here!  Highly, highly recommended. In the meantime, you can check out some of the photos from the inaugural event down below:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates!

I've made even more upgrades to the Downtown San Jose Restaurant List. I'm fairly confident this is the best resource anywhere on the web to look at before heading out to eat Downtown! Here are the latest updates:

  • Added Yelp Ratings and Price Categories for EVERY restaurant in the spreadsheet! These are also color coded so you can quickly identify the top rated places.
  • Added Taqueria San Jose on Santa Clara and 6th.
  • Added Red Brick Pizza to the Closed DTSJ Retaurants tab.
  • Removed Post 152 since it hasn't opened yet and it looks like they forfeited their liquor license application.
  • Remember to change the view to "List View" if you want to sort and filter based on location, genre, Yelp rating, or price.

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

One More Plug for the Hyperlocal Vendor Faire Today

For Bay Area Die Hards

Mayberry Workshop is a full-Service design workshop--ranging from graphic design and branding, to apparel, and building and urban design. Over the past few months, the brothers, Adam and Ben, have been selling their sports apparel out of their pop-up shop at the vacant restaurant on the corner of Santa Clara St. and San Pedro in downtown San Jose. They are opening their doors to SJMade in their last weekend at this pop-up location. Thanks, Mayberry Workshop!

Friday, January 28, 2011

SJMADE One-Day Hyperlocal Retail Event!

San Jose Made
Saturday, January 29, 2011
1:00p - 7:00p

San Jose Made (SJMADE) is a one-day event comprised of local store-owners, makers, artists, and purveyors of Bay Area goods. From garage silk screeners, to twilight jewelry artists, to local brick-and-mortars, San Jose's homegrown scene is growing and flourishing. Meet creative minds from San Jose as well as other parts of the Bay Area.
The Usuals will be there! We've got a prime location on the second floor mezzanine.
SJMADE will be at the vacant restaurant (formerly Spiedo) on the corner of W. Santa Clara St. and San Pedro St. in San Jose. For a full line-up and descriptions of participating vendors, check-out the SJMADE
Questions? Send us an email at: See you there!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Wishlist: For a New High-rise to Break Ground

Any of them... I'm not picky at this point. San Jose is expected to have the largest increase in real estate values for 2011 (more on that another day), now's the time to put the shovels in the ground!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Enhancements Coming to St. James Park!!

Construction Happening In St. James Park

St. James Park, one of the many famous parks in Downtown San Jose, is marked by historic buildings that surround it in every direction.  In the past few weeks, there has been some changes to the park.  The old buildings that sat in the Eastern portion of it are no longer there.  Phase I of the Park’s newMaster Plan has commenced.
The buildings were once home for Senior Citizen activities.  Those activities have since been relocated to the Roosevelt Community Center which allowed for San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Services to step in and begin construction of the Master Plan.
st james park san jose
The St. James Park Master Plan was originally adopted in 2002 but couldn’t start due to funding limitations.  The entire park is intended to be remodeled but now, it will be remodeled in phases.
The first Phase is to demolish the existing buildings and replace them with turf.  The project was originally budgeted at $700,000 but since was scaled back to approximately $300,000.
What changed?

Well, as we’re all heard, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency is scraping for money (once a financial contributor to the project) and the City of San Jose is in the midst of a financial crisis (another contributor to the project).  St. James Park is affected as a result.  But really, there’s not much to complain.  The construction project will absolutely improve the park.

  st james park san jose 
st james park

In an interview with Matt Cano from the San Jose Park Service he said, “I’m looking forward to more open space and better views.”  By eliminating the old buildings, the park will achieve this and more.  By the end of March the project will be completed.

When construction of future phases of the park’s Master Plan is still undetermined.  It all boils down to funding and where these funds come from is an unknown.

Cano commented about the possibility of getting grant funding but it’s stuff competition from not only other parks in the region but locally as well.  Another funding possibility is from park fees generated from new Downtown San Jose housing developments.  There are many planned or entitled residential units, all of which will be subject to parks fees, but again, this is uncertain for reasons we can all image.

For the time bring though, the San Jose construction in St. James Park is a nice change and one that can be appreciated by all.  Check it out next time you’re driving by on North 3rd street. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates

Here are the latest batch of updates to our Downtown San Jose Restaurant List:
  • Added every website, phone number, and operating hours that I could find online
  • La Pinata in San Pedro Square expanded their hours to Sun-Wed 9am-11pm, Thu-Sat 9am-12am... and plan to be open until 2am when the late night permit is approved (FYI, this place is excellent)
  • Added Pho Lan on Santa Clara and 6th
  • Unfortunately added Bayonne to the Closed DTSJ Retaurants tab
  • Added a Chains Originating in Downtown San Jose tab

If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Furries Invade Downtown

Last weekend was a little more interesting than most thanks to the Furry Convention happening at the Fairmont. Downtown was overrun by giant fuzzy animals, and we got a few snaps to prove it =)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Urban Land Institute South Bay Night FREE EVENT 2011

from The Bay Area Real Estate Blog 

myuli night 2011 resized 600
This is going to be a great event - we hope to see you there!
Please join us for the 2nd Annual South Bay MyULI Nite, a special evening designed to connect you with the District Council leadership of the South Bay for the Urban Land Institute. (
  • WHENThursday, January 27, 2011; 5:30pm - 7:30pm
  • WHEREMoffett Towers Club, 1080 Enterprise Way, Sunnyvale, CA
  • COSTFREE to all members and prospective members
  • ** Cocktails & Appetizers Provided
  • Register @ or call 800.321.5011
  • Matt Lituchy, Managing Director, Jay Paul Company
  • Drew Hudacek, Senior Vice President, Sares-Regis Group
  • Nevena Vidic, UBS Realty Investors
As a member-led organization, we encourage all members to take part in a way that best suits their specific interests and unique goals. Come hear first hand from a distinguished group of South Bay ULI leaders, sharing how ULI has made a difference in their professional lives. Following the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about our committees and how you can plug in to one of the fastest growing District Councils in the country.
Hosted & sponsored by Jay Paul Company and Barry Swenson Builder

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dishcrawl Comes To Downtown San Jose!!!

I love this concept! A Dishcrawl let's you experience cuisines from multiple restaurants in a single night and make some new friends in the process. They have been doing it in New York, LA, Montreal, and now Downtown San Jose. The 4 venues participating are some of my favorites... The Mmoon, Ruffled Feathers Eatery, The WOW Silog Truck, and Psycho Donuts. All are family owned, have launched in the past year, and feature killer eats. For more info and to get your tickets, just keep on reading!

Reserve your Exclusive Seats

With our launch of Dishcrawl San Jose, Dishcrawl brings you a brand new way to discover San Jose!

Have you heard? New downtown San Jose restaurants have been popping up left and right!

Discover a new downtown San Jose with us and mingle with other food lovers like yourself! It's a great way to rediscover the community and re-blossom into the new year.

We'll be visiting the likes of The Mmoon for argentinian empanadas, Ruffled Feathers for housemade flatbread pizza and specialty desserts, Psycho Donuts for crazy whacky donuts, and The Wow Truck, a new food truck in San Jose will be stopping by to serve us up! You can't miss it!

4+ dishes will be sampled around the city with us (Dishcrawl) as your guides on an unforgettable journey.

Reserve your tickets quickly- we sell out fast!

dishcrawl is the first matchmaker for your mouth. Create a taste profile and easily discover dishes in local restaurants that match your mouth. Dishcrawl currently serves San Francisco, Silicon Valley/San Jose, Los Angeles, Montreal, and New York! Simply visit

Click here for other upcoming dishcrawls, and check out past dishcrawls here.

 Find us on Facebook.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Two Buck Tuesdays Tomorrow ($2 Art!)

Two Buck Tuesday Jan 18th at KALEID!

KALEID Gallery presents
Two Buck Tuesday January 18th 7-9pm
Happy 2011!

Our monthly $2 art sale and quirky people coming-together event is back for the new year and we have tons of goodies for you!

J. Marie Valdivia & Mike Dvorkin of Surgery.Art (along with several of their participating artists) will host a Q&A about their current show “Dark Matter” at KALEID Gallery.

The Samurai, sculpture by Matthew Pugh

Joe Decker will demonstrate how to photograph paintings and other artwork, talking about lighting and filtering issues, avoiding reflections, getting the color right, and coping with digital issues. There may also be a rant about metallic paint.

photo by Joe Decker

Reiji Hirayama will teach us how shoes are made, how to identify quality shoes and will give a demo on how to properly clean leather shoes to make them last. Bring a pair of shoes (non-lacquered or patent calf, bull or horse leather shoes in Black, Brown, Tan, Grey, Burgundy, Red, Navy, Purple, Heather) to participate!
Richard James will talk about his love of collage and the endless possibilities presented by the art form.

Michael Denning will teach a workshop on how to make art trading cards. Make your own art cards for $2!

Shannon Amidon will give a live demonstration of encaustic painting and mixed media techniques. Encaustic is a paint composed of beeswax, damar resin and pigments. Encaustic painting was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B.C.!


Lisa Mejia will create beautiful henna designs for a small fee.

Sonoma Walden Pond will host a vegan tea complete with cucumber sandwiches!

J Swizza will spin some sweet indie records.

David Mejia will be drawing portraits while you wait.

Marilyn Rowe will be recruiting yarnbombers.

Insane Craft Posse will hold a surprise crafting workshop!

Live Painting By:
Kimy Martinez
Erikka Hugger
Jehoiakim Santos
Steven Reece
Jimmy Oliver Halverson
Jean Davis
Jo Anne Yada
Laura Callin Bennett

This event if FREE & all ages welcome!

KALEID Gallery
88 South 4th Street
Downtown San Jose
(408) 947 1785

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Mosaic Portraiture Workshop at Higher Fire Ceramics

from Phantom Galleries 

Higher Fire is hosting a Mosaic Portraiture Workshop with Delaine Hackney. What a fabulous way to honor a loved one, be they pet or person. Typical finished size for each student's project is 12" x 14". This fun-filled workshop is designed for beginners and continuing students.

Two Saturdays, 10am - 4pm, Jan. 22 & 29, 2011

Instructor Delaine Hackney helps students create a realistic, texture rich, colorful and whimsical mosaic portrait made with ceramic and glass. Each student's portrait project (based on photo submitted before class) will strongly resemble their subject! Class includes lecture and demonstration on how to translate a photo into a mosaic template, use of basic mosaic tools and techniques. (visit for more info.)

Registration fee of $180 includes all materials and tools.
Photograph of subject must be submitted at least 10 days prior to class.
Register online at (click on Workshops --> Schedules & Pricing).

Call or email for more details:
Dan Dermer
Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery
499 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The 88 Interactive Art Codes

One of my favorite art projects downtown is the LED light installation at The 88. It happens to be completely dynamic and interactive. Have you ever wanted to change the way a high-rise looks with a push of a button? All you need to do is dial (408) 287-0128, wait for the tone, then enter any 3 digits (including # or *), then press 0 and hang up.

Here are the codes I was able to find online so far:

*25 - Xmas Dance
*14 - Valentine's Day Beat
*88 - The 88
*** - Ship's Wheel
168 - Green with Red Bolt
182 - Happy
193 - Rainbow Chase
194 - RGB Down
197 - Rainbow Sweep
228 - Yellow Sweep
268 - Brackets Out
311 - Cyan Sweep
323 - Red Pulse
341 - Slow Easter Sweep
486 - Arrows Going Down
555 - Green Warp
666 - Bright Red
526 - Red with Blue Sweep
541 - Easter Sweeps
565 - Green Pulse
766 - Snow Falling
919 - Blue Flutter
927 - Mom's B-Day
931 - Rainbow Left to Right

My favorite is one I discovered on my own: *#*  I won't spoil what this one does!

If anyone knows of any others, I would be happy to add them to the list =)