Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This Thursday: Beta Tasting to Benefit the Bay Area Mobile Food Vendors Association

It's no secret that The San Jose Blog is fond of food; from restaurant openings, a full downtown restaurant spreadsheet, to the many Dishcrawls and Moveable Feast adventures -- we're simply addicted to eating!

So, when along comes another food truck adventure - we're happy to share it with others!

You may have already heard about it, but this Thursday is Beta Tasting

So here's the cheese:

There will be 10+ food trucks with varying cuisines, coming together to share over 20 experimental dishes. Tickets for the event are $2 each; all the dishes are priced $3-$5 each. So it's up to you what you'd like to try. After trying the dishes, you can vote for your favorites as well.

But this is more than just a food truck gathering. 

Proceeds from Beta Tasting benefit the livelihood and union of food trucks in the Bay Area through the Bay Area Mobile Food Vendors Association (BAMFVA).

I got in touch with a couple of the participating food trucks and asked the owners why they decided to participate in Beta Tasting and what they felt they'd gain in return by being part of this event?

As food truck owners, we are excited to have an association that represents us and our businesses. We are a group that has no representation when it comes to regulations, events, and legal representation.  Most food trucks are independent, and small businesses that need to have resources available to them to sustain their own business. When it comes to the food, we are a group of people that loves to cook, and want to be involved with presenting great food from truck.  
- Carol Wang & Robert Pei, Owners of Eat on Monday

I am a one of the members of the Board of Directors for the very new BAMFVA (Bay Area Mobile Food Vendors Association). The association is hosting this event in conjunction with Dishcrawl. It is our first fundraising effort to raise some money as we are still in the process of establishing the association. It will be the first event of its kind where each truck will be offering a brand new dish that no one else will have had the chance to try before! An opportunity to experiment with new recipes and for food truck fans to tell us what they think! 
- Nancy Nguyen, Owner/Operator, O Mi Ninja SJ - Vietnamese Street Food Truck

So what kind of dishes can you expect to see?

Eat on Monday will be featuring a Dungeness Crab Rangoon which is crispy fried wonton skin wrapped Dungeness crab, cream cheese, with a spicy and sweet Thai style dipping sauce. Along with that, they'll have an Egg in the Hole Burger and Fried Milk.

O Mi Ninja will be featuring Gluten-Free Vietnamese Carmelized Shrimp over Vermicelli Noodles, Honey Ginger Lemonade, Mini Pandan waffles with coconut whipped cream (see photo), Kumquat Limeade, Mini Ninja Banh Mi sandwich (A smaller version of their most popular banh mi combining all of their meats plus bacon and egg) among other items.

Some of the other trucks and their tasty treats include:

Waffle Amore: Lemon Bar Waffle, Frozen Fosters Waffle

Brothers Gow Chow: Lamb Sliders, Spanakopita, Dolmas, Greek Yogurt Parfait

Fairy Cakes: Banana Split Cupcake, Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcake

There are many more trucks that will be there. Be sure to check out Dishcrawl's event page for a full list. Maybe you'll find your favorite truck there and something new to taste!

When: Thursday, May 2
Time: 6p-9p
Tickets: $2
Location: San Jose Giants Parking Lot
588 East Alma Avenue, San Jose, CA 95112 (parking available nearby)

This event is hosted by the Bay Area Mobile Food Vendors Association, the first owner operated organization benefitting the livelihood of food trucks and presented by Dishcrawl.

April 2013 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • A seven-story mixed-use development with up to 235 apartments and ground-floor retail/office in South Market Street between Reed and Pierce has been proposed. They are shooting for a "modern urban project" that will "elevate the pedestrian environment downtown and make this a model for urban design." This will replace a parking lot and the buildings housing SLG Art Boutiki and Audio Design Car Stereos.
  • Chromatic Coffee has purchased the Realty Building at 15-25 N. Second St. and has started micro-roasting coffee. Their ideal setup long-term would be to have a cafe on-site at the roasting facility [!].
  • With all of the new dedicated bike lanes Downtown, there is now a proposal to ban riding on sidewalks in the Downtown core.
  • MUJI is now open [Josh: please support them, we need more retail Downtown!]
  • The first curb cafe is now up outside Chacho's and Love's Cupcakes [Josh: I hear Amir is applying for one as well]
  • 61 solar-powered SmartMeters that accept VISA and MasterCard have been added on Market Street and Park Avenue around Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
  • Wickedly Fast WiFi launches Downtown and is one of the fastest free outdoor WiFi systems in the country.
  • Groundwerx has commissioned a team of artists to create a 200 foot long ribbon mosaic along South Second Street near Fountain Alley.
  • The Friday Farmer's Market is returning on May 3rd.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Virginia Terrace Apartment Project

A brand new 238-unit apartment projects is going to be built in the area bound by East Virginia Street, Martha Street, South 5th Street, and South 6th Street. All of those units are going on a site that is less than 4 acres, so it is even more dense than it looks from the photos below. The project is just outside the Downtown core, but is close enough so that most of the residents will be utilizing Downtown's amenities. This looks like a great project for the area!

Source: Mark (from Think Bigger San Jose and Content Magazine)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

"From Earth to the Spirits" by Alejandra Cano at Mezcal Restaurant

from Phantom Galleries by PG

The Consulate General of Mexico is proud to present:

From the Earth to the Spirits
a photography exhibit by Alejandra Cano

In this photographic series, Alejandra Cano tells us the the mystic path of Mezcal, from being a precious gift to the tavern, where it alleviates the troubled spirits

Through this wonderful collection of images that distill and life, the artist will take us on a journey from the to the cup; from the Palenque, its stills and its mules, that kisses and caresses, that absolves, comforts and resurrects damned.

Exhibition: April 24-July 7, 2013

Mezcal Restaurant
25 W San Fernando St,
San José, CA 95113

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the 9th Best City for Nerds in America

San Jose has just been proclaimed the 9th nerdiest city by Movoto, a real estate site. How did they calculate this? Here are the metrics that were used:

  • Number of annual comic book, video game, anime, and sci-fi / fantasy conventions
  • People per comic book store
  • People per video game store
  • People per traditional gaming store
  • People per computer store
  • People per bookstore
  • People per LARPing group
  • People per science museum
  • Distance to the nearest Renaissance faire

Based on the data, here are the 10 Best Cities for Nerds:

1.) Atlanta, GA
2.) Portland, OR
3.) Seattle, WA
4.) Sacramento, CA
5.) Minneapolis, MN
6.) Boston, MA
7.) Las Vegas, NV
8.) Miami, FL
9.) San Jose, CA
10.) Denver, CO

San Jose also ranked #1 for number of computer stores per capita. We have a computer store for every 1,991 people. Also, I have to say that I think San Jose should have ranked way, way higher in the list. I think the SVBJ would also agree, but I am going to focus on the metrics above.

1.) Distance to the nearest Renaissance Faire:  I am guessing they used the Faire in the Gilroy area; however, there is a brand new Downtown San Jose Renaissance Faire along the Guadalupe River 0 miles from the center of San Jose.
2.) People per computer stores: okay we ranked #1 here, but I think we would have gotten some bonus points if square footage was taken into consideration. Fry's should count as 50 electronics stores in other cities =)
3.) People per video game store: same as #2. We have the flagship Gamestop on Stevens Creek that hosts video game competitions and is the size of three or four stores.
4.) People per bookstores: who buys physical books anymore? Most people in Silicon Valley have kindles or tablets to read on, likely at a much higher rate than other cities. Digital sales should be taken into consideration.
5.) Jobs for nerds should also be a metric. Look at how many tech/engineering jobs there are for nerds in the area. I'm sure San Jose would kill the rankings here (and looking at available jobs makes sense for a real estate site).

Hope we do better in the rankings next year!

Source: Movoto (thanks Nick for the tip)

Friday, April 26, 2013

New San Jose Maserati Dealership + Mercedes Expansion

A sign of the times perhaps? The economy is heating up in Silicon Valley and that money has to go somewhere. San Jose is about to get a new car dealership on Stevens Creek... none other than Maserati. The 4,000 SQFT building will host cars that have a starting price of $120,000. Currently the closest Maserati dealership is in Redwood City (photo below) and there is another one north of SF in Mill Valley. The San Jose showroom should be ready by the end of the year.

That isn't the only car news in the area. Smythe is going to expand it's 10,000 SQFT Mercedes showroom with a new steel-and-glass building clocking in at 20,200 SQFT. This project should be done by the end of March 2014.

I know I have mentioned it before, but I might as well remind you guys about the new Tesla showroom at Santana Row. If you haven't seen it yet, you have to go check it out. It's about three times larger than the old one and is the the space previously occupied by Burberry. This is easily the coolest car dealership I have ever been to, and we can take some pride in the fact that their cars are the only mass-produced vehicles being built right here in Silicon Valley.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wing Box: Hella Good Chicken Wings

Hella good chicken wings.

That's what it says on the sign for the San Jose restaurant, Wing Box. And, so far I have to agree! The Wing Box is a small chicken joint with a simple menu consisting of five asian-inspired sauce covered wings (and drumsticks). 

Located on Lundy Avenue in a small shopping center filled with various other asian restaurants (sushi, thai, etc - quite an assortment, among some other stores as well) the Wing Box is a stylish little spot.


The decor is industrial, sleek, and simple. A giant chalkboard shows you the limited menu.

Your options are:
(Four wings with the rice and pickled carrots and daikon.)
  • Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings
  • Singaporean Street Wings
  • Caramelized Tamarind Wings
  • Thai Basil Chili Wings
  • Red Sticky Wings
Your sides:
  • Garlic Noodles
  • Shoestring Fries
  • Sweet Potato Fries
The drinks are even a little different as well:
House specialty sparkling lemonades - freshly squeezed / exotic fruits.
  • Meyer Lemon
  • Guava
  • Lychee
  • Candied Kumquat)
They also have Southeast Asian Sweet Teas
  • Ginger-Mint, Lemongrass, Mango, Peach, or Pomegranate
  • Thai Iced Tea
  • Coca Cola (in a bottle)

and, the novelty item that caught my attention as much as it has some of the Yelpers out there - the Box Water.

Yes, they have a tall box of water (looks like a mini milk carton) for $2.50 
(However you can still get normal ice water for free.)

So - how'd this place make its way onto my radar? Well my husband and I work near the Wing Box (he's closer than I am by a few minutes) and he's been there a few times with coworkers. One day, the two of us were going to have lunch together and he suggested the Wing Box. Ok, I'm down. I've got mad chicken cravings so I wanted to give it a go. 

Alright so like I said, it's a little spot. Very little. There are two tables for four people, and a window seat bar with two seats. That's it. Thankfully the two times I've been there at lunch on a weekday, we were able to get seats. But if you get there and it's busy, have another idea of where you will eat your lunch. Don't skip out just because you can't find somewhere to sit! (Ok, this might be the food truck adventurer in me speaking, I'm pretty used to eating where I stand…)

My husband has had several of the flavors (if not all) and after a quick look at photos of the wings (that have more detailed ingredient listings) I chose the Singaporean Street Wings. 

Oh yeah - here's the thing. During the week, they have a special. For $5.80 you can get a large wing and drumstick, a scoop of rice, a small container of pickled carrots and daikon as well as a small scoop of their garlic noodles (you can sub fries if you like.) Perfect price! 

For me, this was plenty of food. If you are a lumberjack, skip that and go with the Wing Box Sampler: Two wings of each of the five flavors, four scoops of rice, and two trays of the pickled carrots and daikon. If you are with a small group, this would be a nice choice to try several of the flavors. 

I LOVED the chicken. It wasn't crazy soaked with the sauce (which was freakin' tasty) and that let the chicken stay crunchy. The inside was super juicy! The size of the wing and drumstick are larger than average as well. 

They have a few dipping sauces you can include as well. I like to have a small cup of the Sriracha sauce to mix with my white rice. Yum!

The second time I went, I chickened out (hah, see what I did there?) and ended up with the same flavor again. I didn't want to risk possibly not liking another flavor! I was craving the kind I had last time, so I had to go with that.

This just means I need to return a few more times to try the other flavors!

Oh and a small thing, that probably is just a detail for myself but -- the sparkling lemonades are mixed when you order. So I was able to try the Meyer Lemon lemonade without the carbonation (can't have it). It wasn't overly sweet which is a winner in my book. I think I'll try the Lychee version next time.

While I think it's great to have places outside of the downtown area - I really do think a place like this would fit perfectly either in the SoFA District or even better, at San Pedro Square Market.  

Have you been to the Wing Box yet? What did you think of the place?

1715 Lundy Ave #162
San Jose, CA 95131

San Jose's UCP is Going to IPO

Union Community Partners (UCP) is a San Jose-based homebuilder and developer who has just filed for a $125M IPO. They sell real estate lots for development to larger homebuilders or they build those lots out themselves using their Benchmark Communities brand. They currently control almost 5,000 residential lots in the South Bay, Central Valley, Monterey, and Puget Sound area. Not only is the IPO great news for San Jose, but it also shows how the housing market has rebounded since the bubble burst in 2008.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Video Tour of MUJI!

Check out the great little video below of MUJI's grand opening last week in Downtown San Jose (thanks to our friends at WMS Media for sending this over). You have to check out this store! I hope we will see many more like it in the future. Please be sure to also read Jen's write-up of opening day over here.

Muji San Jose Store Grand Opening 4-16-2013 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Breathe Deep Bay Area 5K Run/Walk

Another run/walk supporting a great cause is coming to Downtown San Jose this Sunday. The run begins in Discovery Meadow Park and all of the details are below!

Who: Anyone in the Bay Area!
What: Breathe Deep Bay Area, a 5K timed race and untimed family walk
Where: Discovery Meadow Park in Guadalupe River Park & Gardens, San Jose
When: Sunday, April 28th
Why: To raise money for lung cancer research and to raise awareness for this disease!


Event Details

Breathe Deep Bay Area is a 5K timed run and untimed walk to raise money for critical lung cancer research. The untimed walk course is friendly to strollers, wheelchairs, bicycles, and pets (as long as they are cleaned up after). Only wheelchairs are allowed on the timed race course. There will be a kids corner as well as refreshments for all participants. Awards will be given to the top 3 individual fundraisers; top 3 fundraising teams; first, second, and third male runners; first, second, and third female runners. Be sure to bring a photo or write a message on the Honor Wall, in honor or in memory of a loved one.

During event registration, you can warm up with special guest Cori Maiden, a local yoga instructor from San Francisco. At our opening ceremony, you can also join with other event participants in a moment of reflection lead by Cori.

Our Story

Breathe Deep Bay Area is a grassroots event planned and managed by a small group of volunteers from the Bay Area whose lives have been impacted by lung cancer. This 5K walk and timed run is an opportunity for our community to rally together against lung cancer. Together, our community has the power to raise the funds that might lead to new early detection technology or discover the best new targeted therapy and save hundreds of thousands of lives. After starting small in 2011, Breathe Deep Bay Area looks forward to tremendous growth in 2013 and we hope you’ll choose to be a part of it.

Promote your team!

Need a helpful tool to promote your team and gather donations? Download and print this flyer on your home computer, write in your team name, and pass to friends, family, and coworkers. You get two flyers per page so don't forget to cut it in half.

Monday, April 22, 2013

First San Jose Aloft Hotel Coming in 2014!

One of my favorite hotel brands is finally coming to San Jose. Aloft is part of the Starwood chain, which also includes Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis, Four Points, Le Meridien, and Element. Aloft hotels are designed by the same people responsible for the chic and modern W Hotels brand, except these rooms are a bit smaller and much more affordable. Where Aloft really excels above other brands is technology. Each room is guaranteed to have a large LCD screen with HDMI inputs, USB ports, lots of outlets, etc. Even the reception area of these hotels are tech friendly and seem more like a break room at Google than a hotel lobby. Aloft has also started a new pilot program where frequent guests get a permanent key and receive a text message with their room number 24 hours before arrival so that they do not need to check in.

The San Jose Aloft is going to go next to the America Center, which houses the corporate headquarters for Polycom and Flextronics. This also happens to be a stones-throw away from the new 49ers stadium, Santa Clara's future entertainment district, and massive new office developments currently under construction. The hotel clocks in at 175 rooms and five stories, and also shows that you can build a budget-friendly low rise hotel that does not look like crap (hope Hampton Inn is paying attention). Also, those colorful horizontal bars are filled with LEDs that light up at night and look really slick.

It's also great to see how Starwood Hotels have been expanding in San Jose. Just five years go there were ZERO Starwood hotels in San Jose proper. Even the "San Jose Sheraton" is in Milpitas. The Hotel Montgomery in Downtown San Jose was converted to the nicest Four Points Hotel in the world and became our first Starwood. Then a new Four Points opened in South San Jose off of Bernal and 101 late last year. The Westin San Jose is opening Downtown in November of this year. And now we get an Aloft for 2014. I hope the trend continues, I'm a big fan of the Starwood chain.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, April 21, 2013

49ers Draft Bash Event @ San Pedro Square Market

Well, well... have a look at where the 49ers are having their 2013 Draft Bash. The move to the South Bay is already providing some benefit to San Jose, and I'm sure we will see more of this in the future.

The San Francisco 49ers will host a Draft Bash presented by Bud Light from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. The free-ticketed event is open to all ages and will be held as an outdoor block party on St. John Street with a celebration throughout the San Pedro Square Market.
The Draft Bash will include food, music and entertainment, interactive sponsor booths, the latest 49ers merchandise, and the live broadcast of the 2013 NFL Draft which begins promptly at 5 p.m. to be displayed on large outdoor screens. Performances by the Gold Rush Cheerleaders, Niner Noise, and guest appearances by Sourdough Sam, 49ers players and alumni are expected.
Fans will be kept in the know with draft-day commentary from 49ers all-time great, Dwight Clark, and the voice of the team, Ted Robinson.
Attendees must register online to obtain tickets. Printed tickets must be presented at the gate in order to attend. Please follow all the latest 49ers news at www.49ers.com, on Twitter @49ers, and on Facebook.
Draft Bash Location: San Pedro Square Market and St. John Street between Almaden Avenue and San Pedro Street, San Jose, CA 95110.
PARKING: There are many public parking lots surrounding the San Pedro Square Market. Please consult www.sjdowntownparking.com for an interactive map and directions.

YWCA Silicon Valley Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

This Wednesday if you are walking around Downtown San Jose don't be surprised if you see hundreds of men wearing bright rid high-heels. There is an event going on sponsored by the YWCA that raises awareness for sexual assault, and has one of the more creative campaigns I've seen. More info below!


WHO: YWCA Silicon Valley

WHAT: YWCA Silicon Valley Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® is a light-hearted event to raise awareness to the issue of sexual assault and funds to assist in supporting the YWCA’s Rape Crisis Center. Community leaders, businessmen, students and residents will walk approximately one mile in women’s high heels through Downtown San Jose.

WHERE: Plaza de Cesar Chavez, downtown San Jose

WHEN: Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 5pm (Day-of registration and shoe pick up begins at 4pm)

Website: www.ywca-sv.org


Saturday, April 20, 2013

History San José’s Family Days Series Celebrates Earth Day with Litter Clean Up and Archaeology Saturday, April 20 at History Park in Kelley Park

San José, CA – April 11, 2013 --- Earth Day has been observed since 1970, and nowadays it always falls on April 22. Arbor Day is April 26. The most common way to celebrate is to plant a tree, or just go outside. This year in a harmonic convergence of nature and to honor both Earth Day and Arbor Day,  History San José is hosting a Kelley Park Litter Cleanup, as well as its exhibit, Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future.
History San José will celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day on Saturday, April 20 by inviting the public to a cleanup of Kelley Park. Partnering with Bright Green San Jose, the public is invited to participate beginning at 9 AM.
"The significance of honoring our planet with both trees, nature and water makes History Park a natural venue for a celebration,” said Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San José. "With Earth Day and Arbor Day, it is a wonderful integration with the award-winning exhibit Shaped by Water: Past Present & Future."
In keeping with the theme, there will be family activities and crafts for children, including making flower pots, planting ‘birdhouse’ gourd seeds and demonstrations by Our City Forest.
A family favorite, Archaeology Dig will be hosted by Stanford Archaeology Department Students.
There will be a concert by Linda Tringali at 2 PM on The Plaza. History Park will also have trolley rides available and historic homes available for a visit.
Inside the Gallery of the Pacific Hotel is  Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future, an exhibit depicting how water has literally shaped the history of Santa Clara Valley, and highlights what challenges our community will face in the future. The exhibition demonstrates through photographs, artistic interpretations, stories and interactive activities for kids of all ages, the unique connection between humans and this precious and finite resource.
Kelley Park Litter Clean Up will begin at from  9 AM to Noon. The clean-up is for children ages 10 and up, as well as adults.  Park clean-up registration begins at 9 am at the Phelan Avenue entrance to History Park. There is no charge for the creek clean-up, and everyone is invited.
Refreshments will be available for purchase from Larry’s Hot Dogs, Mona’s Fruit, Treat Ice Cream in O’Brien’s Ice Cream Parlor and Tony’s Popcorn Cart.
Admission is free for HSJ members, or $5 per person, city parking lots are $6. History Park is located at 1650 Senter Road (for GPS puposes, use 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose, CA).
   # # # 
Upcoming History San José Family Days will include:
Sunday, May 19: Celebrate Sempervirens 150th Anniversary, visit Andrew Hill and John Muir, and Dig San José: Public Archaeology Day for children at History Park. Admission charged.
Sunday, June 16: Celebrate Father’s Day at History Park as we celebrate Historic Transportation Day with toy trains, hand car and trolley rides, sit in the Wells Fargo Stage Coach and listen to stories about early travel.
Admission charged.
Sunday, July 7:  Gold Rush Family Day:  this family-friendly event  at History Park will highlight gold-panning activities for the children, and will celebrate the cultural diversity that the Gold Rush attracted to California and the Valley. Lion dancers will celebrate the contribution of the Chinese people to the Gold Rush. Admission charged.
Sunday, August 25 is the Fandango at the Peralta Adobe Historic Site
Sunday, October 27 is Haunt History Park, celebrating Halloween
Sunday, November 24 is the 236th Happy Birthday San José! celebration at the Peralta – Fallon Historic Site
Saturday, December 14 is the Children’s Heritage Festival at History Park.
For more information call 408 918-1047 or visit www.historysanjose.org
   # # # 
About History San José: 
History San José is a non-profit organization that collects, preserves and celebrates the stories of diversity and innovation in San José and 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     1650 Senter Road     San José, CA  95112       408.287.2290
Website:  historysanjose.org
Facebook: /historysanjose
Twitter: @historysanjose

Friday, April 19, 2013

Kaiser is Expanding in North San Jose

Earlier this year Kaiser purchased 9.7 acres at 1717 Technology Drive and is looking to demolish a warehouse sitting on the property and build a medical office building. The new development could be as large as 80,000 SQFT and is in close proximity to several new housing and office developments. There is also a possibility of upgrading the project to a full-blown hospital in the future if there is demand for it.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, April 18, 2013

HER City: Spring Fashionista Fling

SJDA with HERcity invites you to
A Spring Fashionista Fling 
San Jose Museum of Art
110 South Market Street
San Jose, CA 95113
Thursday, April 25
5:00p - 8:30p
As women increasingly become a larger part of the professional workforce, downtown San Jose wants to be known as HER city, an after work event series launched by theSan Jose Downtown Association (SJDA).   

HER city events are set to inspire and rejuvenate professional women. Past events have been crafted around downtown's best amenities with a VIP experience in mind. As Blage Zelalich, SJDA deputy direct puts it, "Participants will feel like VIPs as they enjoy socializing, food, drink, retail therapy, arts/theatre, beauty/fashion and do it yourself activities."

For this SJMADE Mini Mart installation, our goal is to create the feeling of an exclusive small scale boutique--a handful of female entrepreneurs asked to show off their fantastic products and goods!  

HER city's Spring Fashion Fling will be downtown
San Jose's hottest spring fashion event this April!
  • A runway show highlighting ready-to-wear spring styles 
  • Hair, makeup and accessory tips from Brixton Hue Salon and Style Studioexperts 
  • The hottest spring finds brought to you by The Usuals, a handful of SJMADEvendors, Lotus Premium Denim, and more! 
  • Appetizers and complimentary beverages served 
  • Signature HER city welcome bags with great gifts and more fantastic offers  

Any questions? Email sanjosemade@gmail.com.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Turbo Tea Party 3.0, April 26th

Mix and mingle - snack and shop at next Turbo Tea Party in Downtown San Jose!

I didn't attend previous Turbo Tea Parties but I plan on attending this one - and why not? Music, delicious tea and goodies, art, and vendors? Sounds like a swell evening to me. 

Read the following for more details (snagged from the Facebook Event page -- let everyone know you're gonna be there by joining the event and sharing with your friends!)


When: Friday, April 26th
Time: 6pm - 10pm

Turbo Tea Party is back! This variety show will have art, vendors, and live DJ music by DJ Coco and DJ Tumbleweed!

This is a FREE event!
If you do want to buy tea and food.. the bundle price is $7 for all you can eat and a cup of tea.
For $3 more you can purchase a Content Magazine in the bundle!

The event will be hosted at Satori Tea Company!

The displayed Artists will be:
  • Travis Gonsalves
  • Donald Miguel
  • Bryce Larson
  • Ryan Alexander Cosentino-Roush
  • Jamilyn Metz
  • Aaron Lee
  • Travis Watkins
  • Josh Quinonez

(jewelry, clothes, crafts, and vintage goods)
  • Stephanie Chatfield from Ego Mechanix, Manic Designs, and Creations
  • Seasonal Goods and Intwined
  • AM
  • Martie Guile, Betsy Wheelock, and Travis Gonzalves

In addition: the launch of Satori's Website and a preview to their documentary!
Spread the word and invite many people to help support the Bay Area community!!
Turbo Tea Party will have opportunities to build connections and have a great time!


Hope to see you there!


Wednesday Wishlist: Interactive Art

It's been a while since I have done a Wednesday Wishlist, and I think I have one that would be really easy to implement. Interactive art does not have to be digital, require programming, or be exorbitantly expensive. All it has to do is invite the viewer to participate in or become part of the art.

I had to go to Israel a couple months ago and was able to bring along my wife. We were walking around the old Arab city of Jaffa when we discovered this little gem. Two hand-painted wings with a gap in the middle... that's all it was. Yet, there was a whole line of people waiting to stand in front of it and get a photo taken by their friends and family.

Imagine if we had several of these types of simple interactive art installments spread across Downtown with just a touch of San Jose branding. Not only would it be fun and add even more character to our art scene, but every person that takes a photo and shares it would essentially be marketing San Jose.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MUJI is open!


The store that many people have been waiting for is officially open! MUJI is a Japanese brand that epitomizes simple, sleek and stylish design in everyday items from timeless clothing staples to kitchen ware, bathroom accessories to crafty and office materials. And now, Downtown San Jose is home to another one of their limited locations within the US. (The San Francisco location recently opened in November.) When asked "why Downtown San Jose" - the owner noted that "Downtown San Jose is a place where people live and are enjoying life," and that they appreciated the "cultural atmosphere" that San Jose provides.

I had the opportunity to check out the store before it opened doors to the public this morning and wanted to share a few thoughts…


For some reason during my online researching prior to the event, I completely missed the fact that they sold clothing! I had previously thought it was simply housewares, organization containers, crafty items and such. But here you go, they sell a wide assortment of clothing and all within a specific style and color palate. Soft grays, navy blues, crisp whites, tan and beige dominate the racks. These are timeless pieces, not items you'll buy this season and never wear again. Pricing is not necessarily "college student" friendly, on average at least. For example, a checkered foldable umbrella retails at $27.

However, if one needs an umbrella during their visit downtown - and they want one that is built with high quality materials - this one will be worth the purchase. I can see those that are visiting the area and staying at one of the many hotels would find the availability of having clothing options so close as a benefit. The feel of the material is sturdy and I feel that it is a higher quality merchandise than say, H&M and even Gap for example. If I weren't pregnant I'd buy a few clothing items myself (there is a super cute navy with white polka dot skirt there that I was very tempted to buy for next year.)

I spoke with Eric Kobuchi, store manager for both the San Jose and San Francisco locations. I wanted to know what the hot items were - what flies off the shelves or has people returning to purchase?

Untitled One of the popular items is actually a series of pieces - the Acrylic Cases have found their way into homes but for a variety of reasons. While they sell velour inner cases (to protect jewelry), many customers buy these cases and use them for creative uses -- makeup, crafty items, and more. While yes, there are other stores that carry similar items, MUJI has an array of different shapes and styles to choose from.

Untitled The most popular item is one that I actually smelled upon entering the building. Actually the first thing I said was how nice it smelled in the store. That was because of the Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (large $119.50, small $69.50). It vaporizes water and the essential oil (they have many to choose from, and you can use outside brands as well) and includes a timer so you can set it to go off when you like. No worries about leaving a tea candle lit and accidentally forgetting about it. Eric said that many people end up buying multiple for gifts, so this is definitely their number one selling item.

Other items I wanted to comment on:


They have these cute cardboard chairs for kids that are easy to assemble and decorate. While that might not be something everyone is looking for, crafty mothers and fathers might find them useful. I could see it being part of a birthday event; getting the crayons and markers out so every kid gets to design their own chair. 


Another item I spotted was the Silicon Ice Ball Makers - molds so you can create a large (or medium-sized) ball of ice. The large version will run you $11.75 but makes for a great gift for the whiskey-lover in your life or a fun stocking stuffer. Not to completely give away where I've seen these before, because it's part of the unique experience - but there is a local San Jose bar that uses ice balls in their whiskey-based drinks. So maybe if you want to make a few at home, this is how you can start. (Won't be the same, of course.)

The rest of the store is up to you to explore!

Check out the slideshow for more photos:

170 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel 408.200.7818

Store Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For purchases of $20+, MUJI offers a $1 parking validation for many of the surrounding downtown garages.

All photos taken by me! Jennifer Bullock / @Jenguin on Twitter

Record number of students shoot for the stars at 26th Annual The Tech Challenge

Record number of students shoot for the stars at 26th Annual
The Tech Challenge: Asteroids Rock!

Competition extended to accommodate more than 3,000 Bay Area participants

SAN JOSE, CA – More students than ever before will aim for top honors
at The Tech Challenge 2013 presented by Cisco, the Bay Area’s largest
team-design competition that harnesses the brainpower of innovative
youth to solve a real-world problem.

A record 3,000 Bay Area students will spill into The Tech Museum of
Innovation Saturday, April 20 and – in another first – Sunday, April 21 for
this year’s out-of-this-world challenge: Asteroids Rock!, in which students
must launch three delicate probes (read: eggs) intact onto the celestial
mass. Now in its 26th year, The Tech Challenge, a signature program of
the museum, reinforces 21st century skills of creativity, problem solving,
design, teamwork, leadership, presentation, risk-taking, perseverance,
and learning from failure.

“Learning happens through doing. Students engaged toward a common
goal increases learning and a connection with others,” said Tiffany
Strickland, program director for The Tech Challenge. “The Tech
Challenge lends itself to both high-tech and low-tech solutions: You can
be as successful with cardboard and rubber bands as others are with a
robot – but either way, students are engaged.”

The explosive growth of the program is the result of several key factors
that include: renewed academic focus on project-based learning, high
returns on deep community outreach, and broader program awareness,
museum officials explained. The extra day was added to accommodate
every student who wanted to participate, Strickland noted.

This year’s competition is already proving to be a landmark occasion: A
record 3,500 participants (1,400 last year), including 500 students from
San Diego and New York who will participate at their respective sites at
an earlier date; a record 49 percent of this year’s participants are girls (48
percent last year), and the highest involvement of Title I schools of any
science and technology competition in the region at 45 percent.

The Tech Challenge is an annual team- design challenge for students in
grades 5-12 that introduces and reinforces the science and engineering
design process with a hands-on project geared to solving a real-world

“Today’s students benefit from learning that promotes critical thinking
and collaboration,” said Sandra Wheatley, Cisco's director of global
community relations. “Students who use technology develop the technical
and learning skills that are necessary for success in higher education
and the workplace. And perhaps, most importantly, using technology
enhances students’ perception of what they can achieve.”

Designed to inspire the next generation of Silicon Valley innovators,
The Tech Challenge provides months of team learning in science,
engineering, and math, culminating in the Event Days on Saturday, April
20 and Sunday, April 21, 2013. Team efforts are celebrated in an awards
ceremony, recognizing everything from Best Overall Solution to Most
Spectacular Failure.

For 26 years, The Tech Challenge has allowed some 14,000 young girls
and boys throughout California, New York, and other regions to hone their
creativity and innovation on challenges that included building devices
to fight wildfires, remove invasive fish from a lake, explore an Egyptian
tomb, and survey craters on Mars.

For more information on The Tech Challenge, visit: http://www.thetech.org/

Monday, April 15, 2013

Veggielution Avant Garden - Food and Art Fundraiser

The renegade urban farmers at Veggielution are teaming up with SJMADE to "indulge your senses with farm-fresh food, captivating art, and hand crafted goods prepared by visionary local chefs, artists, and craftspeople." It all goes down this Friday at The Armory and all of the important info and links are below. You can also go to the event page over here.

SJMADE Mini Mart at Avant Garden

The Armory
240 North 2nd Street
San Jose, CA 95112
Friday, April 19th, 7p-10p

$10.00 Single Admission
$15.00 Single Admission Ticket +1 Raffle Ticket
$30.00 Single Admission Ticket + 5 Raffle Tickets
$50.00 Single Admission Ticket + 10 Raffle Tickets
Purchase tickets here >
SJMADE Mini Mart is a smaller version of our typical SJMADE events. This format allows for us to partner with other organizations who also seek to activate vacant spaces throughout San Jose. Smaller-scale vendor shows in inactive San Jose spaces brings life to these places and encourages local business at the same time.
Veggielution, in partnership with SJMADE, invites you to indulge your senses with farm-fresh food, captivating art, and hand crafted goods prepared by visionary local chefs, artists, and craftspeople.
Avant Garden harnesses San Jose’s creative talent to support Veggielution’s growing Community Farm. Veggielution is pushing the boundaries of food justice by redefining their relationship with land, food, and each other. Come experience a new way to think about food in our community, through the taste of our Spring harvest and captivating visual artistry.
Sample farm fresh small plates prepared by talented local chefs, take home food and farm related art by local artists, browse a variety of SJMADE vendors, enjoy live performances and craft brews!

RSVP for this year's Avant Garden on Facebook >

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Santana Row and Career Closet Throw a Beauty Bash

Santana Row and Career Closet Invite You
 To the First Ever Beauty Bash
Wednesday evening, April 24, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., various locations throughout Santana Row
San Jose, CA – A first time event that brings together pampering and primping for a good cause, Santana Row is hosting a Beauty Bash of fashion fun with style experts, retailers and salons to raise money for Career Closet.

The public is invited to shop, nibble, and enjoy cocktails and wine while talking to style experts and fashion bloggers who will be stationed in various stores to offer advice on the best looks for spring.
Guests can try the latest hair and make-up trends from professionals and receive personalized consultations on how they might work best for them.

Tickets are $15, or $10 with the donation of a gently used accessory (jewelry, bags, scarves) and available at  SantanaRow.com. Guests receive a "passport” for in-store events, a wine glass (wine will be poured in the stores) and a swag bag of goodies. Proceeds go to Career Closet, a non-profit organization based in Silicon Valley that gives disadvantaged women advice, confidence and appropriate work attire donated to the clothing boutiques it operates in San Jose and Foster City.
The Style advisors:
Beverly Zeiss, Red Haute & Co., is  a former model who’s been involved in the fashion industry throughout California for many years, Zeiss is Santana Row’s Fashion Consultant/Director who produces the annual fashion shows. Her company produces several other events, including social, fundraisers and charitable organizations.
Traci Halvorson, Halvorson Model Management,  has been part of the modeling industry for more than 25 years. She’s a Northern California native who owns and operates HMM- Silicon Valley's Top Model Agency. She advises, promotes and represents hundreds of professional models in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Cathy O’Brien, Bay Area Fashionista,  is the editor of local blogzine  BayAreaFashionista.com. She has more than ten years experience working in the fashion industry and is active in the local philanthropic community and is a sustainer in the Junior League of San Jose.
Rommellyn Fisher, The Stunning Post, is a native of San Jose with a background in hospitality. She’s always had a passion for the fashion industry, styling friends and clients as well as being a make-up artist. It led her to create The Stunning Post, a local blog focused on fashion, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle in the Bay Area. 
Jenna Ghosheh, Status Image Consulting, is an Ivy League-educated style expert to Silicon Valley’s movers and shakers. She marries the current trends of American fashion to the varying body types, style preferences, and ages of her clients, all within the modern Silicon Valley culture. Jenna has been a guest lecturer at style events and worked as producer and stylist to many Bay Area fashion shows. 
Dale Janeé Steliga, Savvy Spice,  is a San Francisco fashion stylist and founder of the style blog,  SavvySpice.com. Last year, she was a stylist for the Bravo show, “Startups: Silicon Valley” and just launched Savvy Sleepers, the world's first line of unisex luxury satin pillowcases for smoother hair and healthier skin. Dale tailors her blog posts and fashion columns on how capture celebrity looks and beauty secrets for less.
Tricia Santa Ines, Pink Stripes Boutique, owns the Santana Row store that uniquely combines her two passions for fashion and food. Tricia has designed clothes and handbags for bebe and Whiting and Davis as well as tableware for Williams-Sonoma. Pink Stripes Boutique celebrates 10 years in business, and is the go-to place for hot fashion and sweet treats.

Participating stores and salons include:
InSpa, Beau Bijou, Atelier SalonSpa, Furla, 100% Pure, LOFT, Flying Lizard, Lavande Nail Salon, Drybar, Ted Baker, Pink Stripes Boutique and Free People.
About Career Closet:
The organization’s mission is dedicated to giving disadvantaged women fundamental occupational and presentation skills through operating not-for-profit women’s clothing boutiques.
Career Closet was founded in 1992 by two volunteers at O’Connor Hospital in San Jose. At the hospital, they met women who needed to return to work and had no appropriate clothing. So, they began asking local women to donate their gently used suits and business attire so women leaving the hospital could have the necessary clothing to return to the workforce.
Career Closet now recycles thousands of pieces of donated, work-appropriate clothing every year and gives them to low-income women. With a staff of volunteers and with the help of partner agencies, it helps identify clients who otherwise would have a tough time returning or entering the workforce. Donations are accepted at two location: 43 E. Gish Rd., Suite 100, in San Jose and 1163 Chess Dr., Suite A, Foster City. For more information, go to  careercloset.org.

About Santana Row
Santana Row a 1.5 million square foot mixed used development in the heart of San Jose, California, is Silicon Valley's premier destination for shopping,
dining, living and nightlife. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, parks and plazas, Santana Row features over 70 retail shops, more than 20 acclaimed restaurants, a 212-room boutique hotel and six-screen movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail collection, Santana Row offers 622 residential units featuring a fitness center, rooftop pool and resort-living accommodations, and 65,000 square feet of office space at 300 Santana Row, its newest office address. Santana Row is a property of  www.federalrealty.com  (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit  www.santanarow.com.
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, and redevelopment of high quality retail real estate in the country’s best markets.  As of September 30, 2012, Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contained approximately 19.1 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 95.1% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of September 30, 2012, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 3.1% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 45 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For more information, please visit  www.federalrealty.com.