Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween 2016!

Hope you all have a fun and safe Halloween tonight! If you have a favorite neighborhood for trick-or-treating please post it in the comments.

Update: We also just received a little treat to share--a short horror film for Halloween put together by two San Jose locals, Travis & Brandon Leland. In true Silicon Valley fashion, the film utilizes VR technology. Check it out over here!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday Stats: highest paying jobs in San Jose

If you though the highest salaries in San Jose were dominated by tech, the list below provided by Zippia says otherwise. Healthcare dominates the Top 10 with six of the ten highest paid jobs in San Jose. Local surgeons pull in an average of over a quarter-million dollars a year. C-level executives, internists, physicians, lawyers, and nursing instructors also break the $200k salary threshold.

One thing this list does not account for is stock options which can easily tilt the balance of total compensation towards tech. For the full "Top 100" list, head over to the source link below.

Source: Zippia

Friday, October 28, 2016

Silicon Valley unemployement continues to drop

Our job market has been holding up quite well in 2016. Unemployment ticket up a bit in the summer months, but has now dropped back below 4%.

At 3.8%, the current San Jose metro job market is stronger than at any point in 2015. This is quite surprising given how conservative investment has become this year. Silicon Valley is significantly outperforming both the United States (4.7%) and California as a whole (5.3%).

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eastridge Shopping Center launches Holiday Season with safe Halloween fun and dazzling tree lighting display

San Jose, Calif. (October, 2016) – Eastridge Center, ( located in eastern San Jose, is kicking off the holiday season with safe mall-wide trick-or-treating on Oct. 31 from 4 to 6 p.m. Then, on Friday, Nov. 11 at 6 p.m., shoppers can join in the celebration of the grand arrival of Santa Claus to San Jose with a spectacular tree lighting display.

“Eastridge has been hosting friends and families for 45 years as they make holiday memories and find the perfect gifts for loved ones,” said Eastridge Center’s General Manager John Petersen. “We look forward to these annual holiday events and the chance to give back to the community through Halloween activities, the magical tree display and visits with Jolly Ol’ St. Nick.”

Halloween Activities

On Oct. 31, the fun begins at 4 p.m. as free gift bags are distributed to the first 1,000 kids, ages 2-12, who are wearing a costume.

  • Throughout the entire mall, stores displaying a pumpkin in the front window will be offering treats to families.
  • Halloween fun is offered online for kids with a Halloween Interactive Coloring Book ( The site offers 24 coloring designs, enough to keep kids busy for hours in between seasonal activities!
  • Worried about too many sugary treats? Eastridge Center offers a “Candy Buy Back” event Nov. 1-5 from 4 to 6 p.m. Bring your candy to Center Court and receive $1 per pound up to $5 per person. The candy will be donated to troops.
  • The Safe Trick-or-Treat and Candy Buy Back is sponsored by the dentists from Manila Dental Center & Orthodontics IV and South Bay Dental Center & Orthodontics.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

On Friday, Nov. 11 from 6 to 7 p.m., Eastridge Center guests will countdown with Santa to light a 36-foot holiday tree in Center Court. The tree stands more than 36 feet tall in center court and is wrapped with a giant ribbon spiraling around its surface and the base of the tree enclosed in an exploding gift box. Adorned with a collection of 1,000 festive ornaments featuring a modernized traditional palette and more than 300 lights, it has become a community holiday tradition.

The celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a Holiday DJ spinning music and holding holiday raffles. At 6:50 p.m., the parade starts, with a drum corps and about 100 cheerleaders cheering up and down the route. At the end of the parade, Santa and his special guest will lead the countdown to the tree lighting, followed by Santa tossing candy into the audience amidst magic falling snow. Even more importantly, Santa will stick around to hear Christmas wishes from young and old and pause for photos with those who still believe.

Celebration begins: 6 p.m.
Santa Arrival:  7 p.m.
Tree Lighting Countdown: 7:15 p.m.
Holiday Celebration and Photos with Santa:  7:15 p.m. – close

Eastridge is a major regional destination with more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the thriving Silicon Valley market. Set on 113 acres in eastern San Jose bounded by Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road, Eastridge is a two-story, enclosed super regional mall. Among the center’s distinctive mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations are a 15-screen AMC Theaters, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Chili’s, Red Robin and Olive Garden.

To learn more visit or its social media accounts

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Midtown Art Mercantile bringing more "coolness factor" to San Jose

A 40,000 SQFT building at 430 Lincoln Avenue that was previously used as a canning plant and furniture warehouse has been transformed into a "maker space" for San Jose artisans. A third of the building is already leased to Chromatic Coffee, Hapa's Brewing, Good Karma Bikes, and Terra Amico Studio. It has the potential to become a trendy spot where people can shop local, have a pint of microbrew, and caffinate-up on the way out. Visit the source link for more info and photos.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS: Adega became the first restaurant ever in San Jose to get a Michelin Star!!!

This is epic news for San Jose foodies! My favorite San Jose restaurant just got the international recognition it deserves. Adega in Little Portugal has become the first and only restaurant in San Jose to win a Michelin Star!

The Michelin guide represents the highest level of recognition restaurants can achieve. Each year, I highlight the lack of Michelin restaurants in San Jose with an annual post analyzing the guide and listing all Bay Area winners. I am completely thrilled that on my 8th annual post we will finally have a restaurant representing San Jose and it could not be a more appropriate one at that.

For my full review on Adega and its stunning interpretation of authentic Portuguese cuisine, head over here.

Better yet, head to the Adega website to make a reservation before the word gets out and it gets booked out for months.

Well done Adega, well done.

Okta is creating a second headquarters in Downtown San Jose

Okta is a hot "unicorn" tech company that provides identity management and security services for other businesses. In an unconventional move, they have decided to create a dual headquarters in the Bay Area.

They currently have 850 employees and around 500 of them work in the San Francisco office. That location limits their potential reach for talent, especially as commutes continue to get longer and longer with no public transit or highway improvements in site that will make a significant dent arriving anytime soon. Okta estimates that adding a HQ in San Jose will open up a third more talent that they would not have access to otherwise.

Okta will start with leasing the 16th floor at 300 Park Avenue near Adobe and right under Xactly. The 19,735 SQFT will provide enough room for at least 100 employees, but they have the option to expand to other floors in the building as well. They have already started hiring people for the office and plan to move in February.

The San Jose location will truly be a second headquarter. Executives will have desks in both locations and split their time between the two offices.

Why San Jose? They evaluated a lot of potential locations, but San Jose had the right mix of pro-growth mentality, expansion opportunity, urban amenities, and transportation options.

Source: SVBJ (Subscription Required)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Best Cities to Trick-or-Treat 2016

As a huge fan of Halloween, I'm thrilled to see San Jose maintain its Zillow rank as the 2nd best city to Trick-or-Treat in. Each year, Zillow creates the list using population density, walk score, home values, local crime data, and age distributions. This should theoretically provide the cities where trick-or-treaters can get the most candy, in the least amount of time, with the fewest safety risks.

Philadelphia took the top spot away from San Francisco this year, which now ranks #3 right behind San Jose. This means we now have the highest ranking west of the Mississippi for the study.

Within San Jose, the top specific neighborhoods for trick-or-treating were West San Jose (new this year), Cambrian Park, Willow Glen, Almaden Valley, and the Rose Garden.

Source: Zillow

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Playful People Productions Presents: Annie KIDS

Annie KIDS

Based on the popular comic strip “Little Orphan Annie" and adapted from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, Annie KIDS features everyone’s favorite little redhead in her very first adventure.

With equal measures of pluck and positivity,  Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. Annie is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel Miss Hannigan. Annie eventually foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, finding a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, November 4th - 7:00pm
Saturday, November 5th - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, November 6th - 11:00am, 3:00pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, $8 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, $10 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

Annie JR

Leapin’ Lizards! One of the world’s best-loved musicals returns to the Playful People stage.

Little Orphan Annie takes center stage in ANNIE JR. With pluck and positivity america’s favorite little orphan, Annie, charms everyone she meets despite a next-to-nothing start in the Depression-era New York City of the 1930s. She is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. When billionaire Oliver Warbucks decides to invite an orphan to his mansion for Christmas, Annie gets her chance to experience NYC  outside the confines of the orphanage. Despite Miss Hannigan's evil machinations, Annie befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new home alongside Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.

ANNIE JR is an adaptation of one of the world's best-loved and most-performed musicals. The show includes such unforgettable songs as It’s the Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, and the eternal anthem of optimism, Tomorrow.

Our shows often sell out prior to the show weekend. Be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Thursday, November 10th - 7:00pm
Friday, November 11th - 1:00pm and 7:00pm
Saturday, November 12th - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, $8 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, $10 children 11 and under, and $6 Children’s floor seating

For questions:

Founded in 2010, Playful People Production’s mission is to provide a quality, caring environment where children, teens and their families can have positive theater experiences. We strive to involve all family members in the many aspects of on stage and backstage theater in a safe and fun environment and offer participation in theatrical productions, classes, summer stock and camps for ages 3-103

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose rents are stabilizing

This will be good news for a lot of folks. San Jose is one of the largest cities where rent growth has slowed down. The rate of increase has only been 0.6% in the last year (Sep 2015 - Sep 2016). Given that we have some of the highest rents in the US, hitting the brakes may not be a bad thing. The major downside is that this will likely delay some major development projects in San Jose.

Source: RENTCafe Blog

Friday, October 21, 2016

Cellista's "Finding San Jose"

San Jose cellist and artistic director, Cellista, is leveraging her full-length album entitled "Finding San Jose" to direct a multidisciplinary theater performance featuring the Ransom Dance Company and Haus Serpens Cabaret. Typically I wouldn't promote an event that takes place in SF, but this is a special exception. The album pays homage to Cellista's time in San Jose and tells a story of San Jose's importance in the history of the Bay Area.

The event takes place at Little Boxes Theater in San Francisco on October 29th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10-15 and you can listen to the album at for a preview. Have a look at the press release below for more details.

Cellista to Present: Finding San José  | Theatrical Album Release

A small immersive theater event incorporating Cellista’s debut album as the soundtrack for a multimedia event choreographed by Lilith Ransom and Mojo Deville.

San Francisco, CA: Cellista extends San José’s branches into San Francisco. This October, San Jose cellist, artistic director and performer Cellista (Freya Seeburger) presents Finding San José, a one-of-a-kind multimedia performance that incorporates original choreography created and performed by Lilith Ransom (Ransom Dance) and Mojo Deville (Haus Serpens Cabaret). The presentation interweaves film by Brian Favorite (Heklina), Jennifer Gigantino, Arash Maleki, and Cellista into a small immersive setting for a presentation of dance, theater, and poetry.

Composed in narrative format, Finding San José was engineered and mixed by Maryam Qudus (Doe Eye) and Cellista. The album is reminiscent of the French avant garde, functioning as a stepping stone for many of her collaborators (Rykarda Parasol, Emcee Infinite, rapper Demone Carter, and members of the Juxtapositions Chamber Ensemble) into new disciplines.

The album is a pastiche of genres including classical, hip hop, spoken word and field recordings, showcasing Cellista’s strength as a curator and artistic director. It serves as a soundtrack for film and commercial use, functioning as Cellista’s crossover into production.

Finding San José parallels the diversity of the Bay Area at large and reinforces Cellista’s dedication to creating and producing art that reflects the community she is based in.

This presentation at Little Boxes Theater (1661 Tennessee Street, San Francisco) builds on Cellista’s work in storytelling and interweaves San Jose’s narrative into a piece, showing the immediacy of San Jose’s narrative as important to the Bay Area’s story of growth, gentrification, and more.

Finding San Jose Theatrical album release debuts on Saturday, October 29th, 2016 at 7:30PM at Little Boxes Theater in San Francisco.

Tickets $10-15 Available at the door or online via
Little Boxes Theater
1661 Tennessee St
San Francisco California 94107

Listen to the album:
Find out more about Cellista

“Freya (Cellista) is a classically trained, punk rock spirited girl with the charm and elegance to defy the stereotype that classical music isn’t cool.”
— Belle Foundation

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SJSU Engineering program gets high honors

The U.S. New & World Report's 2017 college rankings listed SJSU's engineering program as the third-best public school program in the country. If you factor in all schools, SJSU's engineering program ties for 23rd place. After factoring in the tuition compared to private schools, the ROI is tough to beat. It seems like SJSU continues to build more and more prestige over time.

Last school year over 2,000 students graduated from SJSU's College of Engineering, which is 29% higher than the previous year.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • has been relaunched with a more personal touch [Josh: the new site looks great!]
  • For the first time, food traffic can reliably be counted along Downtown's eight busiest walking corridors. San Pedro Street, Santa Clara west of First, and First between Santa Clara and San Fernando have the highest consistent pedestrian volumes Downtown while SoFA has the lowest of the corridors monitored.
  • SJDA Recommendations on local measures:
    • Measure A ($950M affordable housing bonds) - YES
    • Measure B - street repair and transit improvements - YES
    • Measure E - small businesses must offer extra hours to part time workers - NO
    • Measure F - pension modification for public employees - YES
    • Measure G - business tax modernization - YES
  • The public is invited to the 30th SJDA annual meeting on Oct 14th at First United Methodist Church (24 N. Fifth) from 8am-9:30am.
  • Google purchased Apigee for $625 million.
  • NextSpace expands to a 7,000 SQFT pace 97 S. Second St.
  • Coast Poke Counter is now open at the San Pedro Square Public Market.
  • Five Points is a new craft cocktail bar at 169 W.Santa Clara Street with drinks inspired by the saloons that graced the Five Points neighborhood in New York City.
  • WESTCA, a boutique gym, is moving into the Sperry Station building at 30 N. Third St.
  • Steve Borkenhagan will be the first recipient of the Business Support for the Arts Award issued by the San Jose Arts Commission.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Content Pick-Up Party tomorrow (Issue 8.4 - Profiles)

Content subscribers can enjoy an evening of art, music, food and drinks in the Citadel Art Studios Gallery to celebrate the release of Issue 8.4. This issue highlights 45 leaders in art, fashion, design, and music who are key to changing and growing the culture of the South Bay.

Snack on appetizers, sip refreshing beverages, and experience creations by some of the artists featured in 8.4 including Max DeHart, Tyson Johnston, Agency Furniture, David James Keaton, and more. There will also be a musical performance by the sibling duo Bird and Willow. Subscribers to Content Magazine will receive a complimentary beverage when picking up their issue.

The Citadel is the largest artist community in the South Bay with over 70 studios, fostering both established and emerging artists. Originally a cannery, the industrial feel of the building gives artists the freedom to express their creative side.

The event goes down tomorrow (Oct 19th) from 7pm to 9:30pm at 199 Martha St. in San Jose.

If you are not already a subscriber, you can find out more information over here.

Monday, October 17, 2016

San Jose Metro led the nation in economic growth for 2015!

Out of the 382 metros tracked by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, only 292 saw their economies grow in 2015. Of the 20 largest metros, guess which had the most growth.

The San Jose Metro grew its economy by an incredible 8.9% last year. This is miles away from the next city which is Houston at 4.6%. For all the buzz San Francisco got, they grew their economy by 4.1% last year, less than half of San Jose and putting them fifth on the list. New York barely made a dent at 1.7%.

What is even more impressive is that if you look at ALL 382 metros, including the smaller ones where it is easier to have big economic swings, San Jose still had the 2nd fastest growing economy in the US. Only Midland, TX with a population of 140k had a faster rate of growth.

The bubble chart below the grid shows economic performance versus the size of the metro (larger bubble = more population). San Jose is still performing like a fast-growing startup (hot small city) despite the fact the metro has 2 million people.

To paraphrase a Twain quote: the reports of Silicon Valley's death are greatly exaggerated. Every economy in the US would love to be where San Jose is today.

Source: CNBC, Hillrise from the San Jose Development Forum

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose has the highest density of computer and math-related jobs

The fact that San Jose is #1 in this stat should not surprise anyone. However, the gap between San Jose and any other city in the US when it comes to computer and math occupations is quite amazing. For every 1,000 jobs in San Jose, 124.9 of them are related to computers or math. This compares to just 78.9 in San Francisco, 76.6 in Seattle, 32.8 in New York, and 64.5 in Austin.

The chart below compares each city to the national average. A rating of 4.3 means San Jose has 4.3 times the national average of computer and math jobs. For stats on other types of jobs, hit the source link below.

Source: Abodo, Hillrise from the San Jose Development Forum

Friday, October 14, 2016

New "Visit San Jose" video

Team San Jose did an exceptional job of producing their latest promotional video for San Jose. The 1:37 long video highlights San Jose's diversity and culture and is one of the best promo videos I have seen yet for San Jose. Check it out below.

You can follow the "Visit San Jose" Facebook Page over here.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Aesop opens first Silicon Valley location at Santana Row

Aesop is a high-end retailer with skin, hair, and body "formulations." They have just opened a signature store at Santana Row, which is the first and only Silicon Valley location. They have four stores in San Francisco and hundreds all over the world.

The store is open now and is located between Gucci and Tesla. Hours are Monday-Saturday from 10am-9pm and Sunday from 11am-6pm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

St. James Park finally getting redesigned

Four finalist proposals have been selected in a competition to do a complete overhaul of St. James Park. As we all know, over the past several decades the park has become an unpleasant place. It is a shame given the park's central location and history that includes everything from presidential visits to one of the last lynchings in the US.

A finalist will be selected on October 15th, so you still have a few days to submit your opinion. The proposal will be selected based on how well the park addresses the needs for the Levitt Pavilion (year-round permanent music venue), the needs of the whole community, how original and creative it is, and how likely people are to visit it.

At least 50 free, family-friendly concerts will take place each year in the new St. James Park. Other requirements include picnic areas, greenery, and "whimsical" fountains. The cost will range from $30-60 million, but that money will be well spent if it can transform the area and add value to the community for decades.

You can view each of the four proposals over here.

Source: The Merc, huge thanks to Nick Fishler for sending this in!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More details on the Valley Fair expansion

We have been waiting a long time for the repeatedly-delayed Valley Fair expansion, but now plans are getting very real. Westfield has a video showcasing the massive 624,000 SQFT expansion. I can't give you a direct link or embed it, but all you have to do is go to this page, and scroll down to the middle of the page.

The official price tag will clock in at a whopping $1.1 billion. Given it is one of the most profitable retail centers in the world, I'm sure that investment will pay off.

The video starts off with a lot of nice things to say about us as consumers:

The heart of Silicon Valley
#1 Wealthiest Metropolitan Area in the U.S.
#1 Highest Median Home Value in U.S.
#1 Center for Technology and Innovation in the World
#1 Fastest Growing County in U.S.
Highest Concentration of Millionaires and Billionaires in the U.S.
Hyper Educated
Hyper Entrepreneurial

Then it goes into some of the details...

624,000 SQFT Expansion
Upscale Cinemas
150 New Retail Shops
New Flagship Bloominddails
Luxury Vallet and Elegant Outdoor Dining

And then you get the posh renders of what is being planned. I grabbed a few images from the video, but recommend watching it to get the full effect.

Huge thanks to Joe Meduri for sending this in!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Knight Cities Challenge 2017 kicks off today!

The Knight Cities Challenge is a battle for the best ideas to improve local communities. $5,000,000 in grants are up for grabs in 26 cities, including San Jose. We have done quite well in this competition in previous rounds. Earlier this year, $100k was given to create a Post Street Night Market and another $100k went to create MayFeria at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.

Applications will be accepted through November 3rd at

Each submission should pertain to one or more of the following three themes:
  • Talent - what will allow us to attract and keep talented people?
  • Opportunity - how can we expand the economic prospects of our community?
  • Engagement - what will spur civic connection and involvement?
Funding is provided by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Head over here and help make San Jose a better place!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Nutanix IPOs and raises $238M

Nutanix is a San Jose data tech company that had one of the most successful IPOs in recent years. The company's stock soared from $16 per share to $38 since the IPO, making the company worth over $5 billion. A huge chunk of that value will go to people that work and likely live in San Jose, adding further fuel to our economy.

The company is headquartered at 1740 Technology Drive, Suite 150.

Source: SVBJ

Saturday, October 8, 2016

New Downtown San Jose Dog Park opens on October 11th!

Hart's Dog Park is located in the Downtown core at 194 W. Santa Clara Street (between San Pedro St. and Almaden Avenue). To launch the new park, there will be an opening celebration on Tuesday, October 11th at 10:30am complete with dog treats.

The Downtown PBID worked with the SJ Downtown Association to create this urban park for the rising number of Downtown residents with dogs. The 2,000+ high-rise apartments built in the last five years are all within a quarter-mile of the new park.

The park is 2,000 SQFT with a double gate, artificial turf, benches, planters, and tree stumps. A mural by local artist Tom Colla will adorn the wall and honor one of San Jose's most famous department stores. The park will also be maintained by Groundwex.

This is a fantastic way to re-purpose abandoned/vacant space. A fire destroyed the previous structure and this space has sat empty for a decade. Much like the small park next to Axis, this is a great way to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors while also filling up the gaps in our streets.

Friday, October 7, 2016

San Jose Now-And-Then Photos

RENTCafe has 10 "Now-and-Then" photos that compare specific San Jose areas in 2008 to what they look like now. All you do is move the slider on each photo to quickly compare the two time periods. The article also has some flattering quotes such as this one:

"The downtown area in particular is transforming into a bustling live-work-play neighborhood with new residential towers bringing density to the business district." 

Head over to the source link to read the article and go through all of the photos!

Source: RENTCafe

Thursday, October 6, 2016

JetSuiteX is launching a new route to Carlsbad (San Diego)

JetSuiteX is a public charter airline that flies out of San Jose's swanky private terminal on the opposite side of Terminals A and B. They already have two routes, one to Burbank and another to Bozeman, Montana. Their third route will be a nonstop to Carlsbad that launches on October 17th.

The flight will depart Carlsbad at 7:45am and arrive in San Jose at 9:10am, with the return flight leaving San Jose at 5pm and arriving at 6:25pm. Fares are $499 each way, but hey you are basically flying on a private plane.

For more info, head over to the JetSuiteX website.

Source: SVBJ