Monday, April 30, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Horror Movie Officially in the Works!

We're starting off the week with some really good news! The Winchester Mystery House will officially be staring in a horror movie. Hammer, Imagination Design Works, and Nine/8 Entertainment are coming together to shoot the flick in the actual mansion itself. I can't wait to see this, and who knows... perhaps one of our future contests will feature a visit to the set. Full press release below:




Los Angeles, CA (April 27, 2012) – In the first deal of its kind, the San Jose, California based Winchester Mystery House considered the “world’s most haunted house” is authorizing Hammer, an Exclusive Media company, the use of its unique property for a feature film based on its legendary story. Hammer has optioned all rights to develop and produce the feature film with Imagination Design Works (IDW) and Nine/8 Entertainment, it was announced today by Simon Oakes, Vice-Chairman of Exclusive Media and President & CEO of Hammer, and Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, Co-Chairmen of Exclusive Media.

Production on the supernatural horror film currently in development will be overseen by Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust, President of Worldwide Production and Acquisitions, and Shira Rockowitz, Director of Development and Production. Brett Tomberlin and Antonia Lianos will produce for Imagination Design Works, Inc along with Andrew Trapani and Brian Gilbert for Nine/8 Entertainment. Christine Forde-Tomberlin of Imagination Design Works and Brent Emery of Coup d’Etat Films will serve as co-producers.

“The Winchester House has a rich and compelling history. The story behind how it was built has attracted a great deal of attention over the years and we are excited to bring that mythology to film,” said Tobin Armbrust. “We are also thrilled, and terrified, that the House has allowed us to film on the premises”.

"We are extremely excited to be partnering with Exclusive Media to bring the story of the Winchester Mystery House to a global audience. For many years, the mystique and history of this unique venue, and its owner Sarah Winchester, could be experienced only by those visiting the site. Now, with a film shot in and around the House, Sarah's spirit will be brought back to life, and the audience will see first- hand this stunning and bizarre house," said Brett Tomberlin, President, Imagination Design Works.

The Winchester Mystery House has a startling history and attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by “the gun that won the west.” Following a Medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings and to this day, visitors share their terrifying stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the intricate and enigmatic house.

Exclusive Media is a major force in the production and international distribution arena. Recent production titles include the box office hit THE WOMAN IN BLACK starring Daniel Radcliffe, and George Clooney’s THE IDES OF MARCH produced by Smokehouse Pictures and co-produced by Exclusive Media with Cross Creek Pictures.

Other Hammer productions in the works include THE QUIET ONES to be directed by John Pogue starring Jared Harris, BONESHAKER to be produced with Cross Creek Pictures, GASLIGHT written by newcomer Ian Fried and the newly announced THE WOMAN IN BLACK: ANGELS OF DEATH, to be produced with Talisman, Cross Creek Pictures and Alliance Films.

Exclusive Media’s current production slate includes Ron Howard’s epic RUSH starring Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl and produced with production partners Cross Creek Pictures, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Brian Grazer, and Revolution Films; END OF WATCH starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick and America Ferrera set for release through Open Road Films on September 28; SO UNDERCOVER starring Miley Cyrus and SNITCH starring Dwayne Johnson and Susan Sarandon in post- production.

Other recent titles from Exclusive Media’s documentary film division, Spitfire Pictures, include the Academy Award winning UNDEFEATED currently in release through The Weinstein Company, the Grammy Award winning FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH produced in association with Allentown Productions and Martin Scorsese’s award winning GEORGE HARRISON: LIVING IN THE MATERIAL WORLD produced by Martin Scorsese, Nigel Sinclair and Olivia Harrison.

IDW is represented by Alexa Pagonas at Michael Black Management.


Originally founded in 1934, legendary British film studio Hammer has delivered a hugely successful run of films over the years including Dracula, Frankenstein Created Woman, One Million Years B.C. and The Vampire Lovers. Since 2008, the company has been part of Exclusive Media, which is reinvigorating this beloved global brand through investment across both traditional and new media.

Not in production since the 1980s, Hammer marked their return to features in 2010 with the release of the critically acclaimed Let Me In, an adaptation of the highly praised Swedish film Låt den rätte komma in. The film was written and directed by Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) and stars Chloe Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road).

In 2011, Hammer released Antti Jokinen’s The Resident starring two-time Academy Award® winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don't Cry, Million Dollar Baby), Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Hammer legend Sir Christopher Lee, as well as the critically lauded Wake Wood directed by David Keating and starring Aidan Gillen, Eva Birthistle and Timothy Spall.

February 2012 saw the theatrical release of Hammer’s first ever feature ghost story The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins, adapted by Jane Goldman from the book by Susan Hill, and starring Daniel Radcliffe. The film has taken over $ 100mm worldwide making it one of the biggest indie horror films.

Hammer recently launched a new publishing imprint through Random House which has already published eight books. In February 2012 the imprint published its first original title with the much- praised “The Greatcoat” by Helen Dunmore, which will be followed by an original novel about the Pendle witches, by Jeanette Winterson, and “Coldbrook” by Tim Lebbon. Also publishing in 2012 are further new novelisations of classic Hammer films.

Hammer is also broadening its reach, with plans for a Hammer Theatre of Horror and a Hammer visitor attraction, as well as continuing to honour the company’s legacy with re-releases of classic films, official histories, merchandise, screenings and social media engagement.

For further information about Hammer and its parent company Exclusive Media, please and


Exclusive Media is a vertically integrated global film entertainment company, founded in May 2008 with the backing of the strategic investment group Cyrte Investments. Exclusive Media develops, finances, produces, markets and distributes prestige and talent driven commercial and documentary feature films on a global basis.

Exclusive Media is run by a five member Executive Board with Nigel Sinclair as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Guy East as Co-Chairman, Simon Oakes as Vice Chairman and President of Hammer, Marc Schipper as Chief Operating Officer, and Randy Hermann as Chief Financial Officer. Supporting the Executive Board in both the operational management and strategic expansion of the business is a strong team of highly skilled professionals who have a broad range of complementary experience.

Exclusive Media’s development and production activities operate through three specialist labels: UK based Hammer for genre titles, Spitfire Pictures for documentary features and the flagship label Exclusive Media for all other feature film production.

Exclusive Media’s international sales & distribution division maintains a strong marketing presence and represents the group’s in-house productions plus its growing library of over 550 titles, as well as actively acquiring third party feature films to further strengthen its international distribution slate.

For further information about the company, our slate of films, library and our experienced management team please visit


Imagination Design Works (IDW) is an independent production company formed for the purpose of creating feature length motion pictures, television programming and stage productions. Among its many unique projects, IDW represents the Winchester Mystery House, and was the first entity to broker the rights for a feature length film about and at the location.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Video: Scenes are Temporary, Movements are Forever (official teaser trailer)

This is a documentary being filmed about the current art renaissance going on in San Jose. We will feature many local artisans of all mediums in hopes to gain insight about what is fueling this movement. We will be posting updates and still shots from film sessions and other misc news. Thanks for supporting art. :)

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Icebreakers Coming to Santana Row

A hot New Zealand company called Icebreaker that specializes in wool adventure apparel is coming to Santana Row. Why is this significant? There are currently only 5 of these stores in the US: New York (two there), San Francisco, and Portland (their HQ is there). Instead of Chicago or LA, they're choosing San Jose for their next store. This is a good sign that we're being starting to be seen as a key city for retail. Full press release below.


Icebreaker Breaks Ground on Second Store in Northern California
- New Zealand merino wool apparel company to open second California store in September 2012 -

Wellington, New Zealand (April 24, 2012) – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the merino wool adventure apparel category, today announced it will open a new TouchLab store in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. 
Icebreaker’s new 1,500-square-foot TouchLab will open in September 2012, in Santana Row, a mixed-use development in the heart of San Jose and Silicon Valley’s premier destination for shopping, dining, living and nightlife. The store will be located at 356 Santana Row, across the street from Hotel Valencia Santana Row.
“We’re excited to be in the Silicon Valley, where people play as hard as they work and have an affinity toward what’s new and innovative,” says Jeremy Moon, founder and CEO of Icebreaker.
“Icebreaker is perfect for active Californians who value high performance apparel. It has something for everyone - from runners, cyclists and other fitness enthusiasts looking for a natural alternative to synthetics, to Santana Row shoppers with an eye for new and beautiful apparel,” Moon added. 
The San Jose TouchLab store will feature Icebreaker's complete line of pure merino wool apparel, including its Outdoor, Running, Travel, Kids, Underwear and City collections and Socks and Accessories, all made from handpicked merino wool born in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.
The store will allow shoppers to touch Icebreaker merino, known for being so soft that people often don’t even realize it’s wool. The store's Tactile Gallery will have garments that explain the functional benefits of Icebreaker merino – it’s soft, non-itch, odour-resistant and highly breathable. Merino also regulates temperatures, which means it warms in the cold and cools in the heat.
“Merino is so beautiful that we want people to touch the fabric and start a conversation about it,” said Moon.
Icebreaker opened its first California TouchLab store in San Francisco in November 2011. The company has three other USTouchLabs: one in Portland, Oregon (home of its US headquarters), and two in New York City – Soho and the Meatpacking District. In Canada, there are TouchLabs in Vancouver, British Columbia, and in Montréal, Canada. 
The San Jose TouchLab will be open Monday through Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm, and Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm.

Note to Editors: PHOTOS OF SOHO (NEW YORK CITY) TOUCHLAB. Credit: Ty Cole.
Click on images to download hi-res images.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

San Jose Bike Clinic this Sunday @ SPSM

Bike to Work Day is May 10—are you ready? Do you have a bike that's been gathering dust? Flat tire, creaky chain, sloppy shifting and squishy brakes?

Bring your bike down to the San Jose Bike Clinic Bike to Work Gear-Up on April 29 from noon to 4 p.m., and we'll show you how to fix those problems yourself, as well as provide you with a checklist so you know how to look for these problems on your own on May 10. Or, just come and hang out!

What: Bike repair and route planning classes, bike stands and tools so you can wrench under the guidance of our bike repair coaches, a safety ride to refresh your memory or teach you how to ride safely on the streets. We can even give you a personalized expert consultation on route planning!

When: Sunday April 29, noon to 4 p.m.

Where: San Pedro Square Market, Saint James and San Pedro streets, Downtown San Jose.

RSVP: Please RSVP if you can attend, and share with friends, at

More Info: If you have questions or comments, visit and leave a comment.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Screening of Marty's Magnificent Day-Glo Dream-a-Thon @ Camera 3 Tomorrow

Tomorrow a feature lengh Sci-Fi / Rock Musical partially shot by SJSU students (as both cast and crew) is premiering at Camera 3. You can check out a trailer right over here: as well as an animated sequence from the film here: More info below!

Wednesday Wishlist: Latest Moffett/SJC 2025 Concept

Today's Wednesday Wishlist comes courtesy of Anthony Dominguez. This is actually a revised version of the proposal posted last year regarding moving SJC to Moffett Field. As always, I'm sure there are going to be a lot of comments around this.

The main changes in this version are:

1) New runway is 7,000 ft in length vs. 10,000ft.
2) Hangar One is now envisioned as the iconic airport terminal of a future SJC, vs Hangar's Two and Three.
3) Road access provided via new roadway system and ramps from Ellis Street/101.
4) 40-gates vs 50, which is the maximum now envisioned for current Mineta/SJC.

Click here to read the full proposal!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SJ Beerwalk #2 @ Japantown, Apr 28th

SJ Beerwalk - Japantown

Japantown San Jose
San Jose, CA

SJ Beerwalk is back for Round 2
Japantown San Jose

Saturday, April 28th, 1 to 5 pm

Bigger. Better. Bolder.

Whether you attended the first, sold out Beerwalk in February or missed out on all the fun, the upcoming SJ Beerwalk in Japantown should not be missed!

Tucked away minutes from Downtown San Jose, sits the charming Japantown business district. Stoll the streets and discover all the unique boutique shops, art studios, and great restaurants you cannot find anywhere else in San Jose. All while sipping on great beers and enjoying the social enthusiasm of shopkeepers and beer lovers, alike.

SJ Beerwalk was created around more than the idea of sampling great beers, but rather to provide the outlet for our community to come together to explore the neighborhoods and small businesses, which help make San Jose the great city it is today.

Bigger. More local craft beers with IPA offerings like Firehouse, Rock Bottom, Strike, Faultline, and Campbell Brewing. More participating businesses and pourers to thin out and speed up lines and fill your glasses faster.

Better. Consistent pours to ensure everyone experiences every beer. More registration locations with full bars and ticket scanning to speed up the check-in process and provide drinks before, during, and after the event. More bathrooms throughout the walk for your convenience.

Bolder. IPA themed, the majority of the beers will be IPAs with a few Japantown favorites, such as Kirin, Napoli, and Primo mixed in.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $30 at Jack's Bar & Lounge or online at In the case the event does not sell out tickets can be purchased day of for $36. Registration begins at noon (12pm). Event runs from 1 to 5pm. Raffle held at 5:20pm.

For more information visit or like us of Facebook at SJ Beerwalk.

To benefit the Japantown Business Association (JBA) and Iwaki-Hisanohama Hanabi Taikai 2012 (Japan Relief, see

Disclaimer: Event is rain or shine. All tastings are 3 ounces. Only one tasting per each style of beer. Drinks must be consumed inside the tasting locations. We do not guarantee that everyone will make it to every tasting location. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. Drink Responsibly

Minimum Age: 21

Who:Jordan Trigg

Event Owner:SJ Beerwalk
On BPT Since:March 28, 2012
Twitter:Follow @sjbeerwalk

Monday, April 23, 2012

Touchstone Climbing & Fitness is Open in SoFA

This post is long overdue, but better late than never. Touchstone Climbing & Fitness is back in San Jose and this time they actually have some height (their previous spot near Camera 12 only had a 13 or 14 foot wall). Their new space in SoFA was originally a theater, then it became a 3-story nightclub, and now it's been gutted and turned into a cavernous rock climbing gym. This is a perfect example of how eclectic Downtown is becoming. On the same street you have art galleries, the California Theater, The Stage, First St. Billiards, night clubs, multiple restaurants, Singlebarrel, offices, apartments, and now this. I can't wait to see how things continue to develop.

San Jose's Touchstone is at 396 South 1st Street and it's open Mon-Fri 6am-10pm and Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. For more info check out their website over here.

sj splash


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Archaeology Days are coming to History Park

Dig into San José’s Past – Archaeology Days at History Park On Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May 20 from 11 AM to 4 PM
San José, CA – April 4, 2012 – Dig Into  San José’s Past with Stanford Archaeology Center students at History Park. The students will assist visitors by conducting a mock excavation, screening,  artifact identification and artifact reconstruction on Sunday, April 29 and Sunday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
On Sunday, April 29 at History Park, this family educational program will allow individuals to collect stickers for each activity to place in Archaeology Passports and become ‘certified’ as a Junior Archaeologist. The trolley will be available for a ride around the park, as well as handcar rides. Other activities will include visits to the Print Shop and live music by Fiddle Road throughout the afternoon.
Making fish kites will help celebrate Japanese Children’s Day, and Chinese dragon hats will coincide with the reading of Chinese folk tales, such as Tales of a Chinese Grandmother.
Rae Chang and Adam Tow will be available to present their movie documentary on China’s first feminist, Autumn Gem, which will screened at 2 PM in the first floor conference room inside the Pacific Hotel.  Autumn Gem is a film about Qui Jim (1875-1907 a radical women's rights activist who defied tradition to become the leader of a revolutionary army.  She attempted an armed uprising against the Quing Dynasty and became the first female martyr for China's 1911 Revolution.
Then on Sunday, May 4 History San Jose and Happy Hollow Park and Zoo will celebrate with Kelley Park neighbor, the Japanese Friendship Garden.
Coincidentally, this year on May 4th marks the 125th anniversary of the fire that destroyed downtown San José’s Chinatown, where today’s Fairmont Hotel stands on Market Street.John Heinlen, a local businessman, braved death threats to lease property to the displaced Chinese people at Taylor and Sixth Streets. It then became known as Heinlenville, in what is today’s Japantown in San Jose.
Besides ‘Digging Up San José’s Past’ at the Sunday, May 20th Archaeology Day, History San José will recognize the month of May as Asian American Heritage Month.
To celebrate Asian American Heritage, there also will be Samarai hat-making, Vietnamese lanterns, Chinese drums and more.
As  afiliates of History San José, the Ng Ching Gung of the Chinese Heritage Cultural Project (CHCP) and the Immigrant Resettlement & Cultural Center (IRCC), the Museum of the Boat People & Republic of Vietnam , located inside History Park, will be open.
For more information call 408 918-1047 or visit
   # # # 
About History San José: 
History San José is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the continuing history of the Santa Clara Valley.  HSJ manages one of the largest and most comprehensive regional history collections in the State of California, from 1784 Spanish governmental records to twenty-first century Silicon Valley technology.  History San José aspires to provide innovative national leadership in preserving and sharing regional history by engaging diverse audiences in exploring the varieties of human experience that contributes to the continuing history of San José and the Santa Clara Valley. 
History San José     1650 Senter Road     San José, CA  95112       408.287.2290

Saturday, April 21, 2012

SJMADE Happening Right Now!

SJMADE, Spring 2012
Showroom San Jose at San Pedro Square Market

Showroom San JoseToday, April 21st The Usuals will be closed. We are "all hands on deck"  at San Pedro Square Market for the opening of our new t-shirt bar, Showroom San Jose! Join us for our grand opening from 11a-8p today!

Lusardi Building
87 North San Pedro Street
San Jose, CA 95126

The bi-annual San Jose Made (SJMADE) with SJEats vendor and food truck event is happening at the same time throughout San Pedro Square.


April 21, 2012, 11am to 8pm
San Pedro Square
SJMADE (11a to 8p)

THREE buildings at San Pedro Square:

FARMERS MARKET (10a to 2p)
Introducing the NEW urban San Pedro Square Farmers Market on West St. John Street.

San Jose's landmark food event, is back with surprises. Enjoy the day's festivities at the new San Pedro Square Market with eleven independent restaurants, a new urban Farmers Market and food trucks from Moveable Feast! Find SJEATS along W. St. John Street atSan Pedro Square Market AFTER the Farmers Market.
    FOOD TRUCKS (5 pm to 8 pm)
    Eat on Monday
    KoJa Kitchen
    Pollo Fritto
    Project Cupcake
    Tandoori Chicken USA 
    RESTAURANTS at San Pedro Square Market (11 am to late)
    B2 Coffee
    Blush Raw Bar & Lounge
    Little Chef Counter
    On a Roll
    Pizza Bocca Lupo
    Robee's Falafel
    San Pedro Square Market Bar
    Veggie Box
    Vino Vino  

For more information about SJMADE, send us an email
For more information about SJEATS, contact us or visit

Saturday Stats: San Jose Records 3rd Highest Increase in Office Rent in the US

Despite having double digit vacancies in many areas (::cough:: Downtown ::cough::), the average office rents in the San Jose area somehow still found a way to rise. They climbed a surprising 4.1%, which puts us 3rd on the list of office rent increases nationwide. We were only bested by SF (6.8%) and New York (4.8%). I'm not sure if this is a stat to be very proud of, as higher office rents will reduce demand for companies to locate here and in turn put negative pressure on the job market. However, it does show strength in the overall market, so it is at the very least a positive short term sign.

Source: SJBJ

Friday, April 20, 2012

Downtown Condo Crawl Tomorrow

If you're interested in Downtown living, tomorrow is going to be a great time to sample each of the high-rise condo towers. They are also giving away all sorts of prizes including an iPad. While you're at it, don't forget to check out some of the other festivities going on tomorrow Downtown!


San Jose’s high-rise condominiums host springtime Downtown Condo Crawl Open House
Tours of Axis, City Heights and The 88 showcase urban living as high tech boom carries into downtown real estate market

SAN JOSE, Calif. (April 10, 2012) – While the high-tech boom in Silicon Valley is fueling increased demand for new home sales in the region, downtown San Jose’s three new high-rise condominiums – Axis, The 88 and City Heights – are offering a springtime glimpse into urban living at the Downtown Condo Crawl Open House.

The Downtown Condo Crawl runs from noon - 4 p.m., Saturday, April 21, 2012 and features model home and penthouse view tours at each condominium, ongoing pedicab rides connecting each destination courtesy of Eco City Cycles, raffle prizes (including a new iPad), music, refreshments and more.

According to Paul Zeger, president of Pacific Marketing Associates, the firm who handles the sales and marketing for all three downtown condominiums, for potential homebuyers, “now may be the best time to buy before heightened demand begins to drive prices up.”

 “The Condo Crawl is a chance for prospective buyers to experience three great downtown communities in one fun afternoon,” said Zeger. “Downtown San Jose offers a great lifestyle and with today’s prices and low mortgage rates, the monthly cost of ownership hasn’t been this affordable in more than 30 years.”

Visitors can begin the Condo Crawl at any of three downtown high-riselocations:

38 N. Almaden Blvd.

City Heights                                               
175 W. St. James St.

The 88
88 East San Fernando St.

If tour-goers visit all three properties and get their Downtown San Jose Passport Postcardstamped at each location during the event, they are eligible for prizes courtesy of downtown San Jose merchants.

On-site sales centers will make it easy to check out each development, including tours of model homes, penthouses and amenities. Each condominium is more than 65 percent sold; however, a wide-variety of homes and floor plans remain. Each location will have lenders on hand to help potential buyers with financing questions, as well. 

The Downtown San Jose Condo Crawl Open House is part of a unique public-private initiative to promote the features and benefits of living downtown in the heart of San Jose. The effort is endorsed by the San Jose Downtown Association and other civic and business leaders, as well as each high-rise’s developer:  Wilson, Meany Sullivan (The 88), Barry Swenson Builders (City Heights) and KT Properties (Axis). Downtown restaurants and businesses have jumped in to support the effort, providing raffle prizes.

“With the arrival of even more resident-friendly businesses in downtown San Jose, such as the  new San Pedro Square Market, now is the perfect time to make a home in our vibrant community,” said Scott Knies, executive director, San Jose Downtown Association. “This Condo Crawl is a convenient opportunity for people to discover the advantages of urban living.”

For more information, visit

About the SJDA
San JoseDowntown Association (SJDA) is a non-profit membership-based organization founded in 1986.  SJDA represent business and property owners working to enhance the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose.  For more information, call (408) 279-1775 or

About Axis
Downtown San Jose’s award-winning luxury condominium tower, Axis opened in 2008 and now has nearly 400 happy residents enjoying the perks of urban living. Neighbor to historic Hotel De Anza at the apex of majestic Almaden Boulevard, Axis commands San Jose’s premier location, offering all the advantages of urban living, including access to the popular new attractions at the San Pedro Square Market. The dramatic 22-story, 228 ft. tall glass and granite high-rise designed bynoted architects Ankrom Moisan features 329 spacious homes with luxury services and amenities, including floor-to-ceiling windows with breathtaking views of Silicon Valley. Downtown’s best-selling development, Axis was named “Residential Development of the Year” for 2007 by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal. For more information about Axis, marketed exclusively by Pacific Marketing Associates, stop by the sales center, open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 38 N. Almaden Blvd. in San Jose; call (408) 297-9888; or, visit online at
About City Heights
City Heights is a modern 15-story high-rise in Downtown San Jose, offering residents dramatic skyline views.  Built in 2008 by developer Barry Swenson, City Heights features 124 lofts, one- and two- bedroom homes, and penthouses, priced affordably from the high $200,000s. More than 100 people already call City Heights home. City Heights is an easy stroll to great restaurants, shopping, parks and cultural destinations, such as art galleries, museums and HP Pavilion, home of the San Jose Sharks and ongoing concerts and events. There’s also convenient access to San Jose International Airport, public transit and major freeways.  For more information or to see our models, stop by the City Heights Sales Gallery, open daily 10 a.m. -5 p.m., at 175 W. Saint James, just off Market Street; call (408) 286-2489; or, visit online at

About The 88
At just under 88-meters in height, The 88 is the tallest residential building between San Francisco and Los Angeles and offers stunning, unobstructed views. The best-selling downtown high-rise as of summer 2009, The 88 has 197 well-appointed 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom homes, most with floor-to-ceiling glass; has been designed with superior appliances, finishes and floor plans; and offers technology-readiness to attract the most discriminating buyers. Safeway’s innovative urban-format store, The Market, opened in August 2010 on the property’s ground floor. Voted Best Architectural Design by the Business Journal in 2008, The 88 is a joint venture of Wilson Meany Sullivan, Stockbridge Real Estate Funds, CIM Group and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency.  For more information, contact The 88 at 408-279-8882 or visit the website,

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: Dishcrawl's Foie Battle - 'Duck Pork Foie'

Myth Taverna & Lounge: Dishcrawl Foie Gras Dinner

Last week I attended Dishcrawl's "Duck Pork Foie" as part of their Bay Area "Foie Battle"; this one located at Myth Taverna & Lounge (and Greek restaurant) in Downtown San Jose.

For $90 (prices vary per event), hungry participants were treated to a five-course meal prepared by chef David Ramsey of Myth.

For those that enjoy foie gras* and are sad that they soon won't be able to order it in their favorite restaurants, this was quite the meal to enjoy and say farewell to the rich dish.

It has been awhile since I had foie gras, 2008 to be exact, while visiting friends living in Paris, France. What a place to have it, right? I remembered devouring it, along with the various yummy cheeses and other tasty treats our friends introduced us to.

That said... I was eager to taste these dishes! Keep in mind I am not a professional food critic; I like to think of myself as a general food enthusiast!

Course #1
Riesling Poached Foie & Cognac Tourchon with Mache, Brioche, & Marmalade Gastrique
(Paired with Chateau St. Michelle Riesling '10)

Riesling Poached Foie & Cognac Tourchon with Mache, Brioche, & Marmalade Gastrique

-- The marmalade made each bite really sweet with a little tart aftertaste. I'm not a huge fan of marmalade (usually because it's just too sweet); this dish was pretty much what we had in Paris so it brought back some fun memories. The pairing with the Riesling helped to mellow the sweetness of the marmalade.

Course #2
Crispy Fingerlings with Foie & Rosemary Cream Pudding and Fleur de Sel
(Paired with Elderflower & Rosemary Champagne Cocktail)

Crispy Fingerlings with Foie & Rosemary Cream Pudding and Fleur de SelElderflower & Rosemary Champagne Cocktail

-- I wish the "pudding" had been a smidge thicker; the flavor, thanks to the rosemary, was pretty good. Kind of bummed the fingerlings were cold. I'm not sure if they were supposed to be or not. The cocktail paired with this course was interesting. I had to sip it slowly throughout the next course as well (I can't have carbonated drinks, but I can sip slowly.) It tasted fantastic however. And when you moved the sprig of rosemary around it'd cause more fizzies around the sprig.. I was amused OK?

Course #3
Pan Seared Foie & Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Bing Cherries, Frisee, & Pain au Lait
(Paired with Late Harvest Tokaji '09)

Pan Seared Foie & Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Bing Cherries, Frisee, & Pain au Lait

-- Favorite course! My mouth is watering just a little bit while I relive eating this dish. The mix of a little crispy bite of pork belly, bing cherries, and a bite of the pan seared foie, oh my. So delicious. More please!

Course #4
Duck 3 Ways: Leg Confit, Pan Seared Breast, & Foie Demi Glace with Potato Mousse & English Peas
(Paired with Echelon Pinot Noir '06)

Duck 3 Ways: Leg Confit, Pan Seared Breast, & Foie Demi Glace with Potato Mousse & English Peas

-- This dish felt like homemade comfort food; you know with duck confit and foie gras - just how mom used to make! I have to admit, the presentation could have used a different flare to it - the squeezed-tube look of the potato mousse wasn't too appealing, but the taste was all that mattered (delicious!)

Course #5
"Ice Cream Cone" Blueberry Mousse with Brandied Foie Gras "Sprinkles"
(Paired with Heated Grand Marnier)

"Ice Cream Cone" Blueberry Mousse with Brandied Foie Gras "Sprinkles"Heated Grand Marnier

A tasty dessert - the "cone" was crispy and chewy (like a toffee) and the overall mix of flavors was great. The foie gras "sprinkles" were… eh? I tasted them by themselves before the rest of the dessert and couldn't taste anything. It didn't add to the dessert in my opinion.


Want to join others before it's too late? Here's some upcoming Foie Battles:

(The list below has tickets available as of publishing of this blog post.)

Tues April 24th, 8:00pm: Proud to be An American… Foie Dinner (SF) // $110
Wed May 2nd, 6:30pm: Bataille de Chefs - Foie Gras (SF) // $180
Thurs May 10th, 7:00pm: For the Love of Foie (Saratoga) // $180
Mon May 14th, 7:00pm: Foie-some, Four-some (Downtown SJ) // $110
Thurs May 24th, 6:30pm: Filipino Foie-Down (San Mateo) // $180

( for more information and to buy tickets)

*For those that have other opinions about foie gras, please note that 5% of the proceeds will go to CHEFS, the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming.

ZipCar Finally Comes Downtown!

I've been waiting for this for quite some time. ZipCar is finally coming to Downtown San Jose. This gives Downtown San Jose residents an alternative to owning a car. For those that can get by with mostly public transit or biking, this is the perfect solution. Why deal with all the hassles of car ownership (car payments, insurance, registration, parking, gas, etc.) if you can walk down the street and rent a car whenever you need for $8/hr. It's a brilliant idea and has already been very successful in cities all across the US.

They are starting off with 12 cars in 6 Downtown areas, but I'm sure this will grow very quickly. Fore more information, check out the source link below or click here for the ZipCar website.

ZipCar Locations:

  • East Santa Clara Street/North 4th Street (Chevron)
  • South Market Street/West San Carlos Street
  • South 2nd Street between East San Fernando Street and East San Carlos Street
  • South 2nd Street between East Santa Clara Street and East San Fernando Street
  • South 4th Street/Paseo de San Antonio (Colonnade garage)
  • South 3rd Street between East San Carlos and East San Salvador

Source: SJBJ

A Zipcar rental in New York City.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: I Want VTA to use THESE Buses

Several months ago I caught a glimpse a bus on 101 that I could have sworn was a double-decker. I thought I was perhaps sleep deprived since I had never seen a two-story bus in Silicon Valley up until that point. The following week, I saw another one. The past couple weeks, I have seen 6 or 7 of them every day going home. I finally snapped a picture to prove I'm not crazy. Now that I've confirmed these exist in the Bay Area, how do we get VTA some of these? =)

Also, for those of you that work at Google, Facebook, or Apple... can anyone confirm which company is using the double-deckers?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

TWO BUCK Tuesday Today!

TWO BUCK Tuesday is April 17th, 7-10pm!
Join us at KALEID Gallery for this upcoming Two Buck Tuesday! Come enjoy an inspired evening of art demos, performances, live painting, $2 art & quirky people get together!

Here's this evenings line up:
In conjunction with her current featured exhibit Selcouth, Shannon Amidon will have a curiosity jar making station. For a small fee you can make and take home your very own little curiosity bottle using, feathers, minerals, bones, or other oddities.

The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles invites you to participate in Crazy Quilts a fun interactive crazy patchwork method of quilting!

Nathan will host Juxl Puzzle, A simple yet challenging strategy game you can play with just a piece of paper and a pencil. You start with 12 short lines that you connect with curves and ultimately build a protective maze around your character. Setup up fast! Start with conception, then build your ultimate Mind Maze by strategically navigating around every single line that you’ve already put down. The rules are simple but deceptively challenging!

The San Jose Yarnbombers will show you how to make a simple yarn flower with a loom. Supplies will be provided.

Michele Guieu invites you to experiment with negative/positive space. Join her to make a 8×5.5″ collage of your own! Colored paper, glue and scissors are provided.

David Mejia will paint your portrait on the spot for a small fee.

Live performance by the Lokahi Polynesian Dance Group
Nik Caesar
Al Preciado (Live collaborative mural with anyone who wants to help! )
Kori Thompson
John Hageman
Michelle Waters
JoAnne Yada
Courtney Thiesen
Jean Davis
Live Ambient and Downtempo Electronic music by  Mark Camp

Tuesday, April 17th, 7-10pm
It's free and open to all ages!

88 South Fourth Street (@ San Fernando)
San Jose, CA
Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, noon -7pm, free admission

Monday, April 16, 2012

SJMADE + SJeats @ San Pedro Square This Saturday!

This weekend is going to mark an epic milestone for San Pedro Square. Three events are going to be happening on the same day: SJMADE, SJ EATS, and the new Saturday Farmer's Market. The icing on the cake is two brand new eateries opening in the San Pedro Square Market, Treatbot Karaoke Ice Cream and Blush Raw Bar and Lounge. This brings the grand total number of places to eat in the market to 10.

For everyone waiting to see what retail Downtown could be like, this is it. SJMADE is bringing dozens of local vendors into two locations, the San Pedro Square Market and a pop up location on Santa Clara Street. If you want to support local entrepreneurs, designers, and craftsmen, this is going to be the event for you. The last few SJMADE events have been a tremendous success, yet I somehow think this is going to top them all.

SJ EATS (run by Moveable Feast's Ryan Sebastian) is bringing 6 food trucks to the event. These include the 1st place winner of the San Jose Taco Festival, KoJa Kitchen--I tried it, phenomenal--and the 2nd place winner, Soulnese. If you're wondering where Treatbot is on the list below, it now has a permanent "truck" inside of the Market.

I think after Saturday it will become very difficult to question the potential of the San Pedro Square Market. The inflection point was hit last week with the first Farmer's Market and this event is going to show thousands of people exactly where Downtown is headed. It's not even optimism anymore, it's a done deal... this place is officially awesome and it only gets better with events like this. Can't wait!

San Jose Made (SJMADE), Spring 2012

San Jose Made (SJMADE) is a vendor fair where local San Jose makers, labels, brands, small businesses, and artists showcase and sell current projects and goods.
For the Spring 2012 installation of SJMADE, we are hosted by San Pedro Square Market in Downtown San Jose. On April 21st, our SJMADE vendors are showcasing goods alongside various San Pedro Square Market merchants.
TWO San Pedro Square locations:
151 W. Santa Clara Street (previously Spiedo Ristorante)
87 N. San Pedro Street (San Pedro Square Market)
FARMERS MARKET (10a to 2p)
Introducing the NEW urban San Pedro Square Farmers Market on West St. John Street.
San Jose's landmark food event, is back with surprises. Enjoy the day's festivities at the new San Pedro Square Market with eleven independent restaurants, a new urban Farmers Market and food trucks from Moveable Feast! Find SJEATS along W. St. John Street at San Pedro Square Market.
    FOOD TRUCKS (5 pm to 8 pm)
    Eat on Monday
    KoJa Kitchen
    Pollo Fritto
    Project Cupcake
    Tandoori Chicken USA
    RESTAURANTS at San Pedro Square Market (11 am to late)
    B2 Coffee
    Blush Raw Bar & Lounge
    Little Chef Counter
    On a Roll
    Pizza Bocca Lupo
    Robee's Falafel
    San Pedro Square Market Bar
    Veggie Box
    Vino Vino
For more information about SJMADE, send us an email at:
For more information about SJEATS, contact us at or

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Troy Dean Sims at Ameriprise

Please join us for an evening of Art and Wine. 

"The Flowering of Human Consciousness” by Troy Dean Sims

450,000 million years ago the first flower sprung fourth on earth. Hundreds of millions of years later man appeared. He discovered the beauty of these flowers, because he was drawn to them by there color and scent. At that time realizing that they had no other purpose to him than to be admired, his relationship with nature evolved into something he had not yet known! Hence the flowering of the plant and man’s innermost self became united.

Open house: Thursday, April 19th at 6 p.m.

Exhibition dates: April 6- June 22nd 2012

1 Almaden Blvd, Suite 800 / 8th floor
San Jose, CA 95113