Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tower of Power performs at Music in the Park

SAN JOSE – Bay Area legends Tower of Power returns to Music in the Park on Aug. 25.

Acclaimed for its venerable five-piece horn section, Tower of Power tours the world each year, playing hundreds of dates and pleasing their audiences with a parade of funk and soul classics including: “You’re Still a Young Man,” “Down to the Nightclub,” “So Very Hard to Go,” “Time Will Tell,” and “What is Hip?”

Tower of Power previously appeared at Music in the Park in 1994 and 1995.  Founding members Emilio Castillo (tenor sax and vocals), Stephen “Doc” Kupka (baritone sax), Francis Rocco Prestia (bass) and David Garibaldi (drummer), have never stopped recording or touring in 48 years.

Marcus Scott joined T.O.P. as its new lead singer in April.

The show begins at 5:30 p.m. with Super Soul Brothers, which combines funk and jazz with familiar melodies from classic video games, anime and TV and movie soundtracks.

All Music in the Park shows are at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, located in downtown San Jose along Market Street and surrounded by the Fairmont San Jose, Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose Museum of Art and other downtown landmarks.

The Tower of Power date is the last of four Music in the Park concerts scheduled for 2016:

July 14:  AC/DShe, The Killer Queens and The Drought
Aug. 4:  Ozomatli and Sonido Clash Session
Aug. 25: Tower of Power with Super Soul Brothers

For more about the Aug. 25 artists, visit and

Tickets are now available at

Advanced tickets are $10 per adult and free for 12-under when accompanied by an adult.  At the door, admission will cost $15 per adult.

Music in the Park is presented by Metro Newspapers and produced by the San Jose Downtown Association. The events are supported by a grant from the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs.

Visit for information about Downtown San Jose and the San Jose Downtown Association.


About San Jose Downtown Association:  SJDA, a non-profit membership-based organization founded in 1986, represents business and property owners and works to enhance downtown’s vitality and livability.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: Skinny Towers

Towers do not always have to consist of residential, offices, or hotel rooms. Many cities around the world have towers that exist solely as a landmark or tourist attraction. They do not always require a lot of space and can have a minimal (and usually beneficial) impact on the skyline.

Brighton (UK) is building a 531 foot-tall "skinny tower" that is only 13 feet wide called the Brighton i360. Once completed later this summer it will be the world's tallest moving observation tower. Given the tiny footprint of a tower like this, it could be located pretty much anywhere.

Since Downtown San Jose is burdened by height limitations, it would make sense to locate something like this just outside of Downtown. Somewhere in the Santana Row / Winchester Mystery House area or in Kelly Park would be ideal since tourists are already visiting those locations and they would provide amazing 360 degree views of the valley.

A tower like this looks extremely expensive but the cost is around $60 million at 531 feet. Levi's Stadium was more expensive than 20 of these and a shorter tower would be even less expensive to build. The cost is actually not that much for a landmark attraction that would help define our skyline.

Source: inhabitat

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Downtown San Jose ground floor activation

Our good friend Mark from Think Bigger San Jose has a new blog post about how Downtown San Jose is changing at the street level. There are a lot of new towers that will be coming online over the next few years, forever changing the skyline. However, the changes that will have the most impact on the overall success of Downtown will be the amount of vibrancy that these new projects bring to our streets.

Head over here to read the post at Think Bigger San Jose and learn why the map below is important to Downtown.

Monday, June 27, 2016

San Jose photo contest

History San Jose and Content Magazine are teaming up for the "This IS San Jose 2016" photo contest. The goal is to promote our uniqueness, diversity, and support our art community. Winners will have their photos displayed in the City Hall Routunda, win prizes, and will be featured in a future issues of Content Magazine.

Below you can see instructions for entry. For additional details (and a district map for tagging your photos), head over to the "This IS San JOSE" website over here.

Help Capture the Uniqueness and Diversity that IS San Jose!

Continuing the annual tradition, History San José will be accepting submissions for the 2016 Photo Competition, This IS San Jose.  There are several benefits to this contest including:

  • Promotes the uniqueness and diversity that is San Jose 
  • Supports the photographic arts and artists 
  • Helps contest winners build their photographic portfolio and resume
  • Documents each of the ten (10) districts with recent photographs for preservation for future generations

There are many ways for artists to participate - through our Kick-off Instagram Contest and then using any camera format the General Photo Contest.

Instagram Kick-Off Contest - Starts May 20 Thru July 1, 2016
Instagram contest begins May 20, 2016. Use @thisissanjose and the district number where the photo was taken (e.g., for District 1, use #district1; for District 10, use #district10, etc.) with your mobile device. District map can be found at San Jose Council Districts. 1, 2, 3. Honorable Mention winners will be automatically entered in the General Photo Contest.

General Photo Contest - Starts July 1 thru September 23, 2016
Primary photo contest begins June 20th and is open to all types of cameras and levels of ability (professional, non-professional or student under 18). Submissions for the primary contest need to be made before September 9th at Include your name, category (professional [earn over 50% from photography], non-professional or student under age 18), district taken, and your photograph in jpg document format.

All winning entries form all districts will be displayed in the San Jose City Hall Rotunda from October through December 2016. We are planning an awards reception in October with prizes. Winners will also be included in an upcoming issue of Content Magazine.

Presented by History San José
Media Sponsor Content Magazine

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Searchlight San Jose: The Sarah Winchester Movie

A former Winchester Mystery House tour guide posted some interesting thoughts on what should be included in the upcoming movie. This is an exciting moment for us--I think this will be the first big-budget movie ever to be built entirely around a historic San Jose landmark. Head over to Searchlight San Jose and read his post here.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the "weirdest" place in America

Weird can mean a lot of things, but in this case it is a good thing. An economist recently did a study based on 20 different variables to see which metro areas had the most deviations from being "normal." The metrics included the proportion of the population that is foreign born, married, working, in the military, that own a car, etc.

The San Jose metro came in as the most "weird" city in the US whereas Oklahoma was the most normal. San Jose ranked so highly due to our large percentage of immigrants, workers with high education, and high salaries. New York came in second on the "weirdness" list.

Source: Washington Post, hat tip to Fuss Lopez for sending this in!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Scott’s Seafood San Jose celebrates Fourth of July with a four course menu and spectacular views of fireworks

Now is the time to start thinking about Fourth of July plans since it is only two weeks away. The Rotary Fireworks show will be back again this year, and there are a few prime locations to enjoy it. Scott's Seafood is on the 6th floor of a parking structure and has a huge outdoor patio, making it one of those ideal spots. To learn about their Fourth of July event and special menu, have a look at the press release below.

(San Jose, Ca) - Scott’s Seafood San Jose is proud to celebrate Fourth of July 2016 with a special four course dinner menu and spectacular views of the Downtown San Jose firework celebration. Scott’s Seafood is located on the sixth floor of the Civic Center Plaza at 185 Park Ave in the heart of Downtown San Jose. Cost for this dinner is $75 dollars which will include a glass of sparkling wine.

Scott’s Seafood Culinary team has created a special four course menu with signature items such as: Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Crispy Calamari, House made Boston Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Almond Crusted Blue Noise Sea Bass, Sautéed Prawns, Crab Stuffed Sustainable Salmon, and house made specialty desserts.

Seating for Fourth of July begins at 4:30 and reservations are highly recommended as seating is due to sell out. Guest of Scott’s Seafood will be able to enjoy views of the Downtown San Jose Firework show beginning at 9:00 pm from the sixth floor of the restaurant.

Enjoy stunning views of Downtown San Jose from the sixth floor of Scott's Seafood from our dining room as well as our rooftop patio. Scott’s Seafood San Jose is located at 185 Park Ave in Downtown San Jose on the sixth floor. For more information or to make Open Table reservations visit or visit us on Facebook at

Fourth Of July 2016 Celebration:
What: Fourth of July 2016 at Scott's Seafood San Jose.
When: July 4th 2016 at 4:30pm
Where: Scott's Seafood San Jose: 185 Park Ave in Downtown San Jose.
Cost: $75

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Bay Area Bike Share seeking community input for second phase of expansion

The Bay Area Bike Share program is expanding dramatically from 700 bikes to 7,000 bikes. The bikes are easily recognizable in Downtown San Jose by their light blue color. The expansion will roll out in five phases over the next two years. In order to choose the best locations for the new bikes, Bay Area Bike Share is collecting community input through a series of workshops. Two of those workshops are in San Jose.

If you want to influence the future of the program, all you need to do is participate and let your voice be heard. At minimum, you can go online and suggest a San Jose location over here.

District 3 Bike Share Workshops

  • June 30, 2016
    6:00 PM – 7:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Bibliotecha Latinoamericana Branch Library, 921 S. 1st Street, San Jose, CA  95110
  • July 6, 2016
    6:00 PM – 7:00 PM and 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
    Northside Community Center, 488 N. 6th Street, San Jose, CA  95112

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Silicon Valley unemployment plummets to a 10-year low

I keep talking about an impending slowdown, yet stats like these continue to slap that notion in the face. In May our unemployment level hit a 10-year low with a rate of only 3.4%. In May 2015 that figure was already exceptional at 4.2% and even April 2016 was higher at 3.7%. To put that 3.4% figure in perspective, the whole state of California is performing well right now and the average California unemployment rate is 5.2%.

A total of 5,800 jobs were added to the San Jose Metro between April and May 2016. That brings us up to 1,083,100 jobs. Now some potentially bad news--most of the gains were in professional/business services, leisure and hospitality, and financial services. We lost 400 tech jobs, which tend to have the highest salaries. The positive spin is that our economy is diversifying, which would help weather any future dips in the tech sector.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Olla Cocina is now open in San Pedro Square

Olla Cocina, a Contemporary Mexican Restaurant and Bar,  Now Open in Downtown San Jose
Inspired by regional dishes from across Mexico and California’s fresh ingredients, the new restaurant is located in San Pedro Square

San Jose, CA – An exciting addition to the downtown dining scene, Olla Cocina puts a contemporary spin on traditional dishes from Mexico in a fun and casual environment. the restaurant is located in San Pedro Square in the heart of San Jose’s urban center and opened Thursday, June 16. Olla is a celebration of all that is Mexican: a strong community, vibrant culture and generous, fresh food along with a little noise and quirkiness.

The restaurant’s Executive Chef is Adan Ornelas, most recently from adjacent restaurant, The Farmers Union, and Dry Creek Grill, both in San Jose. Ornelas worked in tandem with Olla Operating Partner Armando Navarro of El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, who oversees the menu.

Olla Cocina introduces innovative takes on regional Mexican food, elevating favorites with fresh, unexpected ingredients and flavor combinations. The menu includes fresh ceviches and a taco bar, as well as traditional dishes such as Carne Asada ($22) and Torta de Cochinita Pibil ($14).

Spotlighting the many regions of Mexico, the menu features small, shareable bites as well as larger entrees for a blended dining experience where the sharing of both is encouraged. Dinner starters include Roasted Chiliesserved with sea salt and lemon and Frijoles Fritos, featuring Rancho Gordo beans, Oaxaca cheese, jalapeños and totopos (both $7). Small plates include Ceviche Verde with halibut, lime juice marinade, tomatillo and avocado ($14), Vegetable Tamales with peppers, onion, zucchini, black beans, pasilla peppers, salsa verde and queso Oaxaca ($10) and soups such as Posole de Cerdo with pork shoulder, hominy, cabbage oregano, radish, onion, cilantro, chile de árbol ($13). Salads are tossed with surprising ingredients such as chorizo, masa croutons and crispy quinoa.

Larger plates include Tostada de Pollo with chipotle-braised chicken, black bean puree, cotija cheese, avocado, romaine, pico de gallo, spicy crema, cilantro ($15). The menu also features a variety of vegetarian options such asCamote con Mole, a salt-crusted sweet potato, mole sauce, almonds, rajitas of onion and peppers and house-made tortillas ($12).

The full bar will offer 12 local craft beers and 12 wines on tap, bottled Mexican beer, eight featured cocktails including a Margarita, Paloma and Sangria, horchata, Jarritos sodas and aguas frescas.

The dining experience takes place in an environment that’s both casual and special. Designed by restaurateur Doug Washington, interior décor touches include an authentic church pulpit repurposed into the host stand, witty Mexican artwork, beautiful tiles and decorative cinder blocks, intended to represent modern Mexico. A central design element featured in the main dining room and continuing to the outside patio is a ceiling trellis, made of repurposed reclaimed Douglas Fir from the garage across the street from the restaurant. Olla invites guests into a warm space with deft touches such as shoes hanging from the electrical wires that run along the ceiling, garage doors that open onto the front patio and Dia de los Muertos wallpaper. The dining area features walnut dining tables and two big, modern, custom picnic tables for communal diners. Sleek stool legs dipped in bright orange paint add to the festive environment. The eating space has low, dividing walls constructed from patterned concrete cinder blocks and capped with stained wood tops.

The 5,900-square foot Olla Cocina will seat a total of 228 in the main dining room and private dining room and 30 on the outdoor patio.

It’s in a prime location of downtown San Jose, near hotels, the convention center, offices and SAP Center, home rink for the NHL Sharks.

About Olla Cocina
Olla Cocina is a contemporary Mexican restaurant serving food and drinks in a casual, festive environment. The cuisine and bar program draw inspiration from many regions across Mexico and use seasonal California ingredients for a fresh take on traditional favorites. Located at 17 N. San Pedro St. in downtown San Jose’s popular San Pedro Square, Olla is a slice of modern Mexico with a fun and shareable menu of traditional favorites, signature cocktails and local beers and wine on tap. For more information, visit

Monday, June 20, 2016

First annual "Bark in the Park" at Notre Dame Park

A new community-building event for Downtown residents, workers, visitors, and their pets kicks off this Sunday from 4-8pm at Notre Dame Park (intersection of Almaden Boulevard and Carlyle Street). This park exists today thanks to a group of Downtown residents that started a grassroots effort to clean out the unused lot and add some greenery.

The "Bark in the Park" event will have music, food trucks, wine, beer, an animal petting zoo, and art projects. Proceeds will go towards upgrading the park and helping with the maintenance for Andy's Pet Shop. With so many new residents comings into the Downtown area, we need to encourage more projects like this to improve the quality of the Downtown neighborhoods and create a stronger sense of community in the area!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

San Jose musicians Lucid Optics & Museum release new album

Project info: It was three years ago that Hip Hop duo Modern Language (Lucid Optics on rhymes & Museum on production) leaked two demos to the public. In a matter of days both songs gained thousands of listens then were mysteriously deleted off the Internet without any formal explanation.

Here we are now, still without much background and the duo is back with their first official project, a four-song EP titled Ok Txt Me that was available for free starting Friday May 27th. The work is heavily inspired by communication in a digital age with a spaced-out backpacker sound. Upon release they announced that these were the first handful of tracks they wrote 3 years ago, and that they have an LP coming out sometime this summer. An official release date hasn’t been set but we can likely expect the project by late July.

The duo does finally have some social media set up, so you can keep track of their projects and hear about Lucid’s forlorn love for fish tacos on Twitter & Facebook.

You can access the new album Ok Txt Me for free at

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #3 best metro for entrepreneurship growth

In the latest annual Kauffman study for startup funding growth, San Jose rose from fifth to third place on the list behind Washington D.C. and Austin. Note that this ranking is for growth and not total funding. In terms of total funding, the Bay Area nabbed $34 billion in investment during 2015, which is 27% of all the money invested in startups for the entire world. San Francisco dropped rank in the study from sixth place to eighth place.

The report also ranked the San Jose metro as being #1 for "emerging growth IPO density," whatever that means. San Francisco clocked in at #2 for that list.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, June 17, 2016

Hicklebees Children's Bookstore hosts a summer reading road trip celebration

San Jose, CA (Press Release) - In an effort to get kids reading this summer, the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip RV will visit Hicklebees Children's Books on June 26th from 12:00-2:00pm. Kids and families will have the opportunity to participate in their very own “pop-up” reading festival, meet some of their favorite authors, and engage in fun reading activities. The RVs will visit 20 U.S. cities nationwide throughout the summer, traveling more than 10,000 miles to spread the message about the importance of summer reading to kids.

At the Hicklebee's Children's Books reading road trip stop kids and families will enjoy a fun day of free reading activities including:

  • An author visit and book signing from
    • Susan Katz , author of ABC School's for Me!
    • Mike Jung, author of Unidentified Suburban Object
    • David Carter, author of Spot the Dot
  • An activity tent filled with reading activities
  • Giveaway tables and a prize wheel
  • Animated photo stations with Clifford the Big Red Dog® and Slappy from Goosebumps®
  • "Instaframes” picture stations for kids to show-off their “reading muscles”
  • Costume characters including: Clifford the Big Red Dog®

WHERE: Hicklebees Children's Books, 1378 Lincoln Ave, San Jose, CA 95125

WHEN:  June 25th

TIME: 11:00 - 1:00pm

To track the RVs and find local events, visit the tour schedule here: Follow the Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip live on social media via @Scholastic and #SummerReading.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Sun Basket is San Jose's answer to on-demand food delivery

Blue Apron, EatClub, and Caviar have all been gaining in popularity for on-demand food service, but we have a local San Jose company that has thrown its hat in the ring. Sun Basket is a subscription-based meal service that specializes in healthy, organic, paleo, and gluten-free options. They deliver the raw ingredients in the right proportions along with instructions on how to prepare the meals. It is a fantastic option for people that want to cook wholesome meals but do not want to waste time shopping for ingredients or hunting new recipes.

My wife and I currently use Blue Apron which has a similar business model, but are planning to try out Sun Basket very soon. So far we have had great experiences with Blue Apron meals. I really think these services are a great compromise between getting take out and traditional cooking. 90% of the meals I've had are restaurant-grade and half the price.

Sun Basket already has 20,000 subscribers. The company has 225 full-time employees and is planning to grow to 300 in the near future. They are based in a 65,000 SQFT warehouse on Olinder Court in East San Jose (formerly Race Street Foods).

Check out the Sun Basket website over here, and make sure to read SJ Economy's post using the source link below.

Source: SJ Economy Blog

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

San Jose's first BART station is coming along nicely

If you have driven around Berryessa recently, it is nearly impossible to miss the new BART station. The project seem to be moving pretty quickly and will hopefully hit its 2018 completion date. Below are the most recent construction photos I have found.

Source: Hillrise from the San Jose Development Forum

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

San Jose District 3 New & Events

Sure, the Stanley Cup Final didn't go as expected. That still does not negate the positive branding benefits that we received thanks to the Shark's stellar performance this season. Raul Peralez--San Jose City Councilmember for District 3 (Downtown)--started his last newsletter with some thoughts on how San Jose's brand is changing for the better. I have included his statement in its entirety below, but recommend reading the whole newsletter over here. 

Sports and politics putting us in the spotlight.

Never before has the Bay Area and specifically San José been in the spotlight as much as it has in recent weeks. Holding strong as the tenth largest city in the Unites States, it has been difficult to receive the same level of national recognition as other major cities. Sitting in the shadow of one of the greatest tourist destinations in the world, we San Joséans have regularly described ourselves in geographical context with San Francisco. This year I believe we can finally begin to see ourselves emerging with our own identity and that means our own internationally news worthy moments, for better or for worse.

Starting with Super Bowl 50 in February, there began to be a sense of pride amongst city officials, staff and our partners. When the San José Sports Authority helped cement a downtown hotel as the official NFC team host and the SAP Center as the official opening night venue, there was a measurable buzz going around. Fast forward to this past week, downtown has now played host to three more internationally newsworthy and historical events.

A few weeks ago both Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton made campaign stops in San José. Last Thursday night, while the Centennial of COPA America was having a kick off VIP celebration at our City Hall Rotunda, some San Joséans were helping to create national news with an inexcusable and disappointing display of violent protesting outside of the Trump rally at the McEnery Convention Center.

Friday afternoon, one of the greatest soccer players of all time was practicing at Spartan Stadium while fans were laying on the ground just trying to get a peek at him. Later that evening after the US National team lost to Colombia, downtown SubZero Festival guests could see lines of Colombia's visiting fans still donning their jerseys and patronized bars in the SoFA District.

On Saturday night the SAP Center hosted its first Stanley Cup Hockey game as our San José Sharks played their very first championship home game. The Sharks won the game with a spectacular overtime goal and created what may very well have been one of the single most prideful and exciting nights for San Josèans in a long time. The city had been shining teal all week with support pouring in from all over and after Saturday's win, the streets of downtown were flush with Sharks fans celebrating into the early morning.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention our friends to the Northeast, the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors. Needless to say there are plenty of San José residents who are also enjoying the spectacular and historic run that this team is having. I'll note that the SAP Center kicked off the Warriors preseason this year by hosting a game here in San José and fans even received a fantastic Stephan Curry bobble head with him wearing a Sharks Jersey. For those who caught it you may have also noticed Marreese Speights wearing his own personalized Sharks jersey prior to his team's game 2 win on Sunday.

Tomorrow marks a very important day in both national and local politics and I know I will be very keenly focused on the results. To keep your sports fix going, have no fear, San José is gearing up to become Gymnastics City USA once again when we host the Women's Gymnastic Olympic Trials early next month. Our very own San José Earthquakes are still undefeated at home and the San José Giants continue to farm their talents to their Major league ball club in that little city to our North.

Thank you to every one of our downtown residents, businesses and community partners for making San José shine brighter into the future.

Go Sharks!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Downtown Doors student art exhibit expands to 103 locations

20 new pieces of student art adorn downtown in 2016

SAN JOSE – Twenty vibrant, dynamic and inspiring artworks by high school students have been added to the urban landscape, the result of the 13th Downtown Doors art competition and exhibition.

The artworks are transferred onto vinyl decals and then pasted to service doors and utility boxes in high pedestrian areas of downtown San Jose.  In all, 103 doors and boxes are covered downtown by the Downtown Doors program, which stretches to all corners of the center city.

With the 20 new additions from students at 14 different schools, a total 234 pieces of art have helped beautify the downtown for thousands of passersby.  This year, the San Jose Downtown Foundation received 152 submissions from 19 high schools.

“Our selection committee always has a very difficult decision to make because so much of the art is truly outstanding,” said Diana Beechie, San Jose Downtown Foundation president.

The artworks cross a wide range of emotions.  “Amity” by Cayley Nickerson of Santa Teresa High School exudes a message of love and optimism; Willow Glen High School student Claire Krumm’s “The Whale House” takes a powerful introspective look at the relationship between humankind and the environment; Radiante Liu of Notre Dame High School and Kelly Lien of Evergreen Valley High were inspired by famous painters to tell their love stories; Sarah Enzminger of Leland High paid tribute to San Jose landmarks; Thu Nguyen of Independence High School and Homestead’s Nick Ybarra created pieces that are both poignant and light-hearted.  All the selectees bring to bear a worldview from the eyes of today’s teenagers.

A walking map of the art sites and more information can be downloaded from

Downtown Doors 2016 sponsors include: Applied Materials; Catered Too!; City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs; Councilmember Magdalena Carrasco; San Jose City Councilmembers Rose Herrera, Tam Nguyen and Raul Peralez; Donor Circle for the Arts at Silicon Valley Community Foundation; eBay Inc.; Jeppesen; Kimley-Horn and Associates: KQED; Law Offices of Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook; Orchard City Commercial, Inc.; San Jose Downtown Foundation; San Jose Water Company; and Xactly.

The Downtown Doors Class of 2016 includes:

Andrew P. Hill High School – Eastside Union

Tuyet Lam - Coloration of the Mind – Located on McEnery Convention Center

Evergreen Valley High School – Eastside Union

Kelly Lien - The Start of Love – Located on the Fairmont

Phillip Nguyen - Window of Davitha – Located on the Hilton San Jose

Gunderson High School – San Jose Unified

Alejandra Fraume – Topspin – Located at 33 S. Third Street Apartments

Randon Nijmeh – Untitled – Located at Paseo de San Antonio near Starbucks

Adrianne Taylor  - Untitled – Located on Market Street at Post Street

Homestead High School – Fremont Union

Nick Ybarra - Personas me Reuniré – Located on Plaza de Cesar Chavez at Park Avenue

Independence High School – Eastside Union

Thu Nguyen – Faded – Located on City Hall off Fourth Street

James Lick High School – Eastside Union

Jack Griffin – Repetition – Located on Third Street at San Carlos Street

Leigh High School – Campbell Union

Heather Ho - Afternoon Ride – Located on Market Street at Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph

Leland High School – San Jose Unified

Sarah Enzminger - Attack on De Anza Hotel – Located on Park Avenue at Almaden Boulevard

Mount Pleasant High School – Eastside Union

Brianna Lucio - Fox Guardian – Located at Hilton San Jose

Notre Dame High School – Private

Frances Maurer - Lost at Sea – Located on Second Street between San Fernando Street and Paseo de San Antonio

Radiante Liu - Portrait of the Princess of Eboli and the Governor of Netherlands – Located at Studio Climbing

San Jose High School - San Jose Unified

Vicky Ho – Birds – Located at The Globe

Santa Teresa High School – Eastside Union

Cayley Nickerson - Amity – Located on First Street between San Fernando and Paseo de San Antonio

Willow Glen High School – San Jose Unified

E’lan Hawkins – Moonlight – Located on Second Street between San Fernando and Paseo de San Antonio

Aly Carley – Wolf – Located at 8 N. San Pedro St.

Claire Krumm - The Whale House – Located at McEnery Convention Center

Yerba Buena High School – Eastside Union

Michelle Pham - Pieces – Located on San Carlos Street at Second Street


About:  The San Jose Downtown Foundation (SJDF) promotes cultural awareness and civic participation in San Jose and Santa Clara County through youth education programs, public events and art exhibits.  SJDF is the 501c3 arm of the San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), whose mission is to represent business and property owners to improve downtown and enhance downtown’s vitality and livability.

School tally of Downtown Doors Winners (2003-2016)

East Side Union HS District
(8) Andrew P Hill – 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 14, 15, 16
(15) Evergreen Valley – 09, 09, 09, 09, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16
(6) Independence – 12, 13, 14, 15, 15, 16
(3) James Lick – 11, 12, 16
(8) Mount Pleasant -  04, 05, 10, 10, 11, 11, 12, 16
(3) Oak Grove – 07, 07, 07
(16) Piedmont Hills – 09, 09, 09, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15
(13) Santa Teresa – 06, 09, 11, 11, 12, 12, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16
(2) Silver Creek – 12, 13
(5) Yerba Buena – 10, 14, 14, 15, 16
(79) East Side Total

(1) Bellarmine College Prep. – 10
(6) Cupertino – 10, 10, 10, 11, 11, 11
(5) Del Mar – 12, 12, 13, 14, 15
(3) Downtown College Prep – 04, 07, 07
(9) Gunderson – 14, 14, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16
(10) Homestead – 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 14, 16
(7) Leigh – 09, 11, 12, 13, 15, 15, 16
(1) Leland – 16
(48) Lincoln (includes Saturday Art Academy) – 03, 03, 03, 03, 04, 04, 04, 04, 04, 05, 05, 05, 05, 05, 05, 05, 05, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 06, 07, 07, 07, 07, 07, 07, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 10, 10, 12, 12, 13, 14, 14
(31)Notre Dame – 06, 07, 07, 07, 07, 07, 07, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 09, 10, 11, 11, 11, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15, 16, 16
(9) Pioneer –12, 12, 12, 12, 13, 13, 13, 14, 14
(5) San Jose High Academy – 04, 05, 05, 05, 05
(1) San Jose High – 16
(8) Willow Glen – 12, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 16
(1) Castillero Middle – 12
(145) All other districts subtotal

(2) Dublin, Ireland – 14, 16
(2) Okayama, Japan – 14, 16
(2) Pune, India – 14, 16
(2) Tainan, Taiwan – 14, 16
(2) San Jose, Costa Rica – 14, 16
(10) International Subtotal

(234) TOTAL

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Game Six!

Let the rally continue!

On the fence in a desperate Game Five in Pittsburgh, the Sharks successfully staved off elimination, bringing the series back to San Jose to play their last game in front of the faithful fans this season.  A win today will force a Game Seven in Pittsburgh, this time with the momentum on the Sharks' side.

Goaltender Martin Jones' brilliant performance (who arguably has played a significant role in keeping the Sharks in the running), coupled with an extremely solid defensive core, kept the Sharks in the lead.  Jones made 44 saves in Game Five, some of which were deadly scoring chances that many thought would be goals.  While the Penguins lit up Jones with shots, the Sharks' strategy of ensuring quality shots has given them a lower shot count.  The Penguins have also been nothing short of amazing with their positioning as to block most of the Sharks' opportunities and to not allow any clear shots towards the net.

While the Penguins currently have the upper hand on the series lead, the Sharks have shown stronger play as a team with each progressive game this series as they learn from the Penguins' method of playing, matching speed with finesse, and blind shots with quality scoring chances.  The Sharks had plenty of scoring opportunities in Game Five (i.e. one-on-none on the goalie), but Penguins goaltender Murray found a way each time to keep his team in the running.  Converting more of these can tun these close games into more of a runaway.  (Remember Game Seven vs. the Predators in Round Two?)  Ardent observers of the game understand that while you need to be good to begin with, hockey really comes down to matching up playing styles, and the Sharks' lack of experience with playing a team like the Penguins hurt in the opening of the Stanley Cup Finals.

This undoubtedly has changed in the Sharks' favor as this series has unfolded.

There are several points of consideration I would like to mention that will keep the Sharks fans happy and force a Game Seven.  See below:

The Sharks absolutely must be the first team to score.  While they demonstrated that - twice - in Game Five, it is equally important to not let up and allow the opposition to get two quick ones right back.  As the Sharks have shown this series that they have learned the Penguins' style of play to adapt to it (notice how the Penguins do not look as 'fast' as they did in Games One and Two?), they certainly will learn to "shut the gates" if they can throw one or two quick ones during the first period.

One notable point about this series is the lack of scoring by each team's best players.  Notice the lack of scoring by Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin (well, he did get one 'weak' one in Game Five), and Phil Kessel (invisible since Game One)?  Thank Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Justin Braun.  While Martin Jones' kudos is rightly earned, the Sharks' defensemen have been extremely hard at work, nullifying the team's most capable offensive producers.  (That explains why players like Vladimir Tarasenko from the Blues struggles to put points on the board.)

In addition to this, we must continue to position ourselves well to eliminate any potential scoring chance.  We have shown that we can do this, so let us continue on!

This one is both for the fans and for the players.  We can watch the trash talk and videos of Joe Thornton messing with Sidney Crosby, but there is good reason why playing at home gives the home team a distinct advantage.  Even more so, players voted the SAP Center as the toughest place to play in the entire league (as evidenced by this video, where the two facilities determined as 'tougher' to play no longer exist).  In other words: NO EXCUSES!  Time to be loud!  Remember that hockey is a fast-paced game, and either team can certainly recover from any goal deficit, so keep the cheers coming!

Sharks hockey, when they are playing well, is like watching some kind of art form.  Joe Thornton is arguably one of the best passers - ever - in the NHL, and watching him set up teammates is quite fun to watch.  Now that we know Joe Thornton can shoot as well, we are seeing far more scoring from any line he is on.  It seems now Thornton is not the only one who can pass well, with the likes of Tomas Hertl, and setting up scorers like Joonas Donskoi and Joel Ward.  While it is natural to have the Stanley Cup Final jitters, the Sharks need to relax and play like they can, because when they are indeed "cool and collected," it is quite beautiful to watch; not only what the team can do with the puck, but how the puck beautifully enters the opposing net.

We saw Brent Burns score in Game Five (the first time this series) and add on a couple of extra exciting scoring chances.  Joe Pavelski, despite getting his only goal on an empty netter, looked quite good as well.  The Sharks' prominent offense is waking up, and it does not seem like it will slow down through the rest of the series.  If they can keep this all up, a forced Game Seven seems all too within reach.

Along with many other diehard fans, I will be in attendance tonight.  It is going to be a fun one!


Go Sharks!

It's great to see Centerra showing some team spirit!

Source: jawz from the San Jose Development Forum

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the top place to start a business in America

San Jose has returned to the top spot as the best city in the country to start a business according to an annual ranking by Biz2Credit. Shockingly, we came in at 18th place last year due to high costs of doing business. However, this year the other criteria were more than able to make up for those costs. The study looked at the health of small businesses in each metro, the entrepreneurial ecosystem, taxes, and the local talent pool.

New York City took the second highest spot on the list followed by San Francisco in third. For more details, read the full article over here.

Source: CNBC

Friday, June 10, 2016

Content Magazine pick-up party for issue 8.2 "Sync"

The latest edition of content magazine celebrates the art of fashion and this will be one of their biggest "pick-up" parties yet. Unlike traditional magazines, if you are a Content subscriber you have the option of picking up the latest issue at an event with the writers, photographers, editors, and the people featured in the latest issue.

The pick-up party for issue 8.2 Sync will take place on Saturday, June 18th from 7-10pm at The Armory (240 N. 2nd Street). The event will include curated art galleries by Anne & Mark's Art Party, a fashion show by Pivot: The Art of Fashion, small bites, a no-host bar, live music, and a DJ. Of course if you are a subscriber you also get your latest issue of Content. There will also be an after-party at Ludwig's, a new German restaurant in Downtown San Jose.

Unlike most pick-up parties for Content, this is a paid event. However, the first 75 subscribers to RSVP will receive two free passes. To RSVP, click here. You will also get 1 free drink coupon. If you are not yet a subscriber, head over here.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Game Five: Let the Rallying Begin!

It is game five of the Stanley Cup Finals, and the Sharks are on the brink of elimination.

The whole nation, outside of Pittsburgh, is on board with the Sharks, and I do mean the city in Pennsylvania, as a similarly named East Bay town temporarily changed its name to stand behind our men in teal.

There have been a lot of horrible, bunk statistics being thrown around the last couple of days about the chances of recovery from a 1-3 series deficit.  Granted it is a different sport, but one other Bay Area team found a way.  A series comeback is not impossible, but the fans must believe and rally in their support.  It seems the norm these days to reinvent how statistics can be presented, from a rookie's performance to success based on whether or not the Western/Eastern trophies are touched.  These bunk stats are meant to fill blogs with silly story ideas.  In reality, the Sharks can absolutely come back in this with a Game Five win tonight to send the series back to the San Jose faithful.

The Sharks have demonstrated this series that they can hang with the Penguins, but they must play the full 60 minutes.  With the exception of last game, all games have been decided by one goal, and as the games have progressed, the Sharks have played better each game (despite the Game Four loss) with evidenced speed, puck handling, and scoring opportunities.

Oh, yes, those wonderful scoring opportunities.  We need to score on those.  Imagine if we have, after all.  This would be quite a different series.

With a win tonight, the Sharks can regain momentum and return to their dominance, as displayed from earlier this postseason, such as against the Blues.  With a roster full of players without Stanley Cup victories (with the exception of the once backup to Jonathan Quick), it is natural to want to support what can be described as an underdog run to the Cup, based on the slim chances the Sharks were perceived as having of winning the Stanley Cup before the postseason commenced.

Given the Sharks are in the position they are currently in, expect players like Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns to reactivate.  We all know Joe Thornton is ready to go.  I have to say, based on the interviews with the players today, they all appear determined and serious about upping their toughness and taking this series back to our favor.  This is great to see, because having this mindset is when the Sharks play well.

As fans, we must get behind our team, the valiant Sharks, and force a Game Six at home!  I therefore expect to see you all there at the SAP Center this Sunday!  Believe!  Go Sharks!

Dine Downtown Restaurant Week kicks off tomorrow

Starting tomorrow you will be able to get three-course meals at a variety of Downtown San Jose restaurants for a fixed price. 18 different restaurants are participating in the latest Dine Downtown Restaurant Week, including several of my favorites. I highly recommend Arcadia, Cafe Stritch, Nomikai, Scott's Seafood, and SP2. $1 will be donated to Martha's Kitchen for every meal that is purchased during the event.

Below in the SJDA press release you will also find a list of events to pair with your dining experiences. To see the full list of participating restaurants, head over here.

SAN JOSE – Downtown diners can experience a new hot spot every night over 10 days this June, when restaurants offer specially priced, three-course meals for Dine Downtown.

From June 10 to June 19, downtown restaurants create special menus for Dine Downtown. Options include new up-and-coming restaurants and recognized, award-winning downtown icons.  There’s a meal to meet every want – from Hawaiian to Asian-inspired comfort food to steakhouses, Italian food and beyond.  See all of the restaurants and menus at

Since food is also about community, the dining experience isn’t just for the joy of a great meal.  Dine Downtown sponsor Sysco will donate $1 to Martha’s Kitchen for every meal purchased.  Martha’s Kitchen has provided hot meals to the hungry for 35 years.

Dine Downtown is a great week to explore all the area has to offer – from great food to arts. Be sure to check out these great events downtown at the same time:

  • You and I:  Play-goers "take the leap into an unexpected friendship" with a poignant and insightful story about two teenagers.  City Lights Theater.
  • The Art of Fashion: A special preview of a collection that will be shown at Anne & Mark’s Art Party.
  • Third Thursday:  After-hours with live music, food, drinks and, of course, art at the San Jose Museum of Art.
  • Wild Party:  A musical and whodunit set in the Roaring 20s.  The Stage Theater Company. 

For a full list of downtown events, visit

Arts, giving and great food: That’s what great community and Dine Downtown are about.

Reservations taken through Open Table:


About Martha’s Kitchen: Martha’s Kitchen has served more than 3 million meals to San Jose’s hungry over 35 years.  Based between Willow Glen and downtown, it provides meals to service agencies and through its own dining room.

About Sysco:  Sysco helps the foodservice industry satisfy diners’ appetites with 194 locations throughout the U.S., Bahamas, Canada, Ireland & Northern Ireland.

About the SJDA:  The non-profit San Jose Downtown Association was founded in 1986 to represent businesses and property owners.  It works to enhance downtown’s vitality.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

SJ Economy: Indie coffee houses perk up Downtown

There is a blog post about the proliferation of indie coffee in Downtown San Jose over at the SJ Economy blog. I just started getting into coffee recently, and it is pretty amazing to see us go from mostly Starbucks and other chains a few years ago to a very diverse collection of outstanding coffee houses today. This list is growing longer and longer: Voltaire, Ola's, Vero's, Social Policy, Kartma, B2, Cafe Frascatti, Devine Grinde, iJava, Bel Bacio, Chromatic (coming soon), et cetera. Anyway, check out Tina Kapoor's post over here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Omescape has brought three awesome escape games to San Jose with more to come

Escape games have become all the rage in the Bay Area, and for good reason--they are a lot of fun! The concept is simple, you are locked in a room and have an hour to solve a series of puzzles in order to get the key and escape. The puzzles are often very creative and require out-of-the-box thinking to solve.

Usually these games are very challenging (only 15-33% of teams escape). I have now done four of them and and have only escaped once, and I can tell you that every single time has been a blast including the three losses. You'll be thinking and talking about the game for days after it ends. I have to warn you that these can be very addicting.

Omescape was kind enough to invite me to try a game in their San Jose location. In 2014, the company opened its first Bay Area location in Richmond. They then opened the San Jose location late last year at 625 Wool Creek Dr, Ste E, San Jose 95112. Over 3,500 groups had already played in Richmond and 6,000+ individuals have played in San Jose. Omescape chose to open a location in San Jose since their target customers are smart, young professionals that are passionate about trying new things.

Currently Omescape San Jose has three rooms: Kingdom of Cats (easiest, 2-6 players), Dark Altar (medium difficulty, 4-6 players), and Joker's Asylum (very hard, 6-10 players). Since I have done a few escape rooms already, I asked to try Joker's Asylum which only has a 13% escape rate. It was by far the toughest room I have done, but we had an awesome team and managed to escape! There is not much I can tell you about the room without spoilers, but I will say the puzzles were very creative and the room(s) were well designed. They also heavily used technology to enhance the whole experience.

Two additional rooms are under construction right now. One will open next month (ToxiNation) and the last one will take another three months. After those are completed, Omescape San Jose will be the largest complex for escape games in the Bay Area.

As a special treat for everyone reading this right now, they have provided me with a coupon code good for 10% off any game. Head over here to check out their games and redeem the code!

10% off

To redeem: Go to --> Pick the desired room by clicking "Book Now" -->  Choose a time and date --> Select the number of participants then click "Continue" --> Enter the code on the right column --> 10% discount will apply to the entire room rate.

Please note: The group must meet the minimum number of players required for the game room to make a booking, and once the booking is made, the room is exclusive to the group. If the group wants to add additional player(s) after the booking has been made, and the group is under the maximum number allowed for the room, they can just pay at Omescape once they arrive for the extra player(s).

Monday, June 6, 2016

June 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • "An unprecedented flurry of development proposals has descended upon Downtown San Jose" and they range across housing, office, hotel, and retail unlike our previous boom. [Josh: there are so many development proposals, they can't even fit on one map any more. Check out the maps from below]
    • Downtown San Jose currently has less than 9 million SQFT of office, 2.74 million additional SQFT have been proposed.
    • There are currently 2,150 hotel rooms Downtown, 650 additional rooms have been proposed.
    • A staggering 8,782 new homes have been proposed, which is more than double the amount during the absolute peak of the last boom.
    • Retail has not been left out either, over 200,000 SQFT of new retail has been proposed for Downtown.
  • A Stanley Cup title would have a significant positive economic impact for San Jose. Already, playoff games add $2.1 million of benefits to the Downtown area per game.
  • Music in the Park will feature Los Lobos on June 24th, AC/DShe + The Killer Queens on July 14, and Ozomatli on August 4th. One more band will be announced later this month for August 24th.
  • Dine Downtown Restaurant Week takes place from June 10-19th with 3-course meals starting at $20 (go to for details).
  • Bryan Adams will play a special Fourth of July concert with a VIP viewing area for the Rotary Fireworks show. Tickets start at $15 and more details are available at
  • An elevated double-sided mural has been completed on Second and San Carlos.
  • Ludwig's German Table is now open at 261 N. Second Street [Josh: this is Downtown's second German restaurant after Teske's Germania].
To read the newsletter, click here!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Playful People Productions Presents: Magic Tree House - Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS

Magic Tree House: Dinosaurs Before Dark KIDS is an adaptation of the first of Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning fantasy adventure books from the Magic Tree House book series, which has sold more than 100 million copies and is available in more than 100 countries around the world.

What would you do if a tree house in your neighborhood could transport you anywhere you wanted to go? While exploring one afternoon, Siblings, Jack and Annie, discover a tree house full of books while exploring one afternoon. Jack looks through a book about dinosaurs and wishes he could see a real one. Suddenly, the wind begins to blow and the tree house starts to spin wildly. When it finally stops, Jack and Annie open their eyes to find they have been transported back to the time of the dinosaurs. Jack and Annie have a harrowing adventure, befriending some dinosaurs along the way as they try to make their way back home.

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 Theatre, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, June 17th - 7:00pm
Saturday, June 18th - 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, June 19th - 11:00am, and 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

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 3-93.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Saturday Stats: Silicon Valley unemployment drops even further

Despite signs that the economy might be slowing down, unemployment somehow is continuing to drop. The San Jose metro has reached a ridiculously low 3.7% unemployment rate this April. This is down from 3.9% in the previous month and 4.1% a year ago. It's starting to feel a lot like 1999.

Statewide, 1,800 IT jobs were lost in April. In the San Jose metro, 400 were added in April. Clearly we're still doing something right. Hopefully we can maintain these stats for a while longer.

Source: SVBJ