Wednesday, August 23, 2017

City Dance 2017

Free outdoor dance classes are returning to Downtown San Jose. Every Thursday between August 24th and October 12th, a different genre of dance will be taught at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. You have everything from Salsa to Hip Hop to Disco. Even Bollywood and Zydeco are on the list this year.

Classes begin at 6pm and the lessons go for about an hour. Then between 7-9pm you can practice what you learned to live music. All are welcome and again, these classes are completely free. If that isn't enough to entice you, there will also be a beer garden and street food.

For more info, head over here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

One Million Sq. Ft. of New Office Downtown?

With news of Google potentially locating next to Diridon Station, suddenly everyone wants a piece of downtown San José! And boy are we ready! A Preliminary Review application came in last month to gain staff’s input on the potential to demolish existing buildings and construct three new 6-story office buildings totaling ONE MILLION square feet at 440 W. Julian Street.

The site is located within the Downtown boundary north of the SAP Center and is adjacent to the Guadalupe River, only separated by Autumn Parkway. The City of San José has designated these properties as Transit Employment Center in the General Plan, meaning that intensive job growth is supported here through high-density office and commercial development. The proposed one million square foot office development meets the intention of the Transit Employment Center land use designation.

The office concept in this proposal boasts having accessible green space on every floor and large terraces that will bring natural light deep into the floorplate (see pictures below). While the renderings are very preliminary, we can already gain a sense of the tapered design showcasing these private green spaces. This type of high-density employment next to Diridon Station would allow employees to take a multitude of transit modes to work: Caltrain, VTA bus rapid transit and light rail, ACE, and eventually BART. Not to mention the connectivity to the Guadalupe River Trail system that many bicyclists use to commute. 

If the developer wishes to proceed with their proposal, the next steps will include filing the following applications, at a minimum, with the City:
  1. Rezoning application to change the site’s current HI Heavy Industrial zoning district to a zoning district that supports intensive office uses
  2. Site development permit to allow the one million square foot office development
These permits would contain much more detail in regards to the design, circulation of vehicles, parking, landscaping, etc. and would most likely require a community meeting to gain input from the public. The preliminary application currently on file only serves as an informational application to the applicant so that they can get a preliminary analysis from staff. This helps applicants save time and money before submitting an actual development proposal. If the applicant decides to move forward, this project will give everyone an idea of what the City of San José will ask for regarding new development around Diridon and could very well set a precedent for Google moving forward.

-Kimberly Vacca

Monday, August 21, 2017

Frontier is the latest airline to come to SJC

Frontier is San Jose International's 7th new airline in just the last two years. The airline is a low-cost carrier that competes with Southwest, which should help keep fares as low as possible at SJC.

Their initial route will be a daily nonstop to Denver starting October 5th, which is also Frontier's base and largest hub. They are going to follow that with four weekly flights to Las Vegas beginning on November 1st. Up next will be a nonstop to Austin (this route used to be called the Nerd Bird as it connects two tech hubs). Lastly, they are planning to add a nonstop to San Antonio next spring. I'm most excited about the San Antonio flight since that will be a brand new route for San Jose.

Frontier typically charges half of what their competitors charge, but they have a multitude of fees for things you usually get for free such as seat assignments, sodas, and even carry-on bags. If you travel light and plan ahead, you can get fares as low as $29 each way.

More flights are routes are always a welcome addition to SJC!

Source: SVBJ

Photo by Chris Heaton (flickr)

Friday, August 18, 2017

SoFA Sundays: Aug 20th, Sep 17th, Oct 15th

SoFA Sundays is a great artsy event taking place each month in Downtown San Jose. It is similar to South First Fridays, but goes down on the third Sunday of each month from noon to 4pm across the SoFA District. Museums and art galleries such as the ICA, MACLA, and The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles will all be open and offering free admission.

The event features plenty of entertainment such as live performances, chalk art, bocce ball, and some surprises. Of course there will be food, ice cream trucks, boutique coffee, and freshly pressed juices. A super cool and unique feature is free brunch delivery from the SoFA market to your seats in the event (powered by Cowgirl Bike Courier).

This is also a great opportunity to see the new redesign of Parque de los Pobladores at William and South First St., which is centered around a concept of "urban rooms." Have a look at the first photo below for a taste of the concept.

The next three SoFA Sundays are this Sunday, September 17th, and October 15th. Fore more details, check out the press release below or head over to their Facebook page.

Back for more on AUGUST 20, SoFA Sundays offer great opportunities
to enjoy the visual and performing arts of the SoFA District

SAN JOSE, CA (August 10, 2017) – Downtown San Jose’s SoFA (South First Area) District, the center of creativity, is enjoying SoFA Sundays – a FREE event series celebrating the area’s vibrant arts scene – every THIRD SUNDAY from 12noon to 4pm.

Art lovers can visit more galleries on Sundays, now that the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art [560 South First] and MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana [510 South First] are open Sundays. The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles [520 South First] is also open, and with a special ticket from SoFA Sundays, you can get in FREE.

SoFA Sundays will highlight the fabulous “Urban Rooms” redesign of Parque de los Pobladores at William and South First, with ice cream trucks, chalk art muralist Clif Gold, and live sound healing performances with Jessica Neideffer. Plus there are lots of great prizes on our “Spinning Wheel of SoFA”, all from local businesses. New neighbor Academic Coffee will be there, tasting their cold brews as well as Origins Juicery on South First.

Upcoming dates are: August 20, September 17, and October 15.

BICYCLE BRUNCH DELIVERY? Sure why not. Thanks to SOFA Market and Cowgirl Bike Courier, you can now order your favorite brunch items at your seat, and have them delivered FREE!

LOVE BOCCE? Let’s play in the dirt, the way the wise guys do in the old country. Real hardwood balls on a crushed gravel court. We take the game seriously.

Special thanks to participating SoFA Sundays businesses: Academic Coffee, Origins Juicery, SoFA Market, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Filco Events, SIGNET, and Salon Blu.

And for more information about SoFA Sundays, please visit our Facebook Page:

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Content 9.4 Pick-up Party tonight at the Hammer Theatre

Content Magazine is turning things up a notch for their latest release party. Tonight, they are hosting the festivities on the roof of the Hammer Theatre in Downtown San Jose (101 Paseo de San Antonio).

The latest issue is entitled "perform" and features: Martin Malvar, Funkhouser Design, Nick Kumamoto, Majinga the Magician, Victor Parra, Los Lupenos De San Jose, Santa Clara Aquamaids and Stanford Women’s Synchronized Swimming Team, South Bay Polo Club, Nessia Starr, Ron Starr, Crissy Guggler, Academic Coffee, Raw Daddy, Vitamina, Hawaiian Poke Bowl, Love District, Ren Geisick, Turbo Sonidero, ASHA, and more.

The event tonight goes from 7pm-9:30pm and includes several musicians, refreshments, and signature beverages. You are welcome to attend even if you are not a subscriber. For more information, head over to the event's Facebook page.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

San Jose: A City Center Emerges (1988)

Below is a nostalgic look at Downtown San Jose nearly 30 years ago. It took a long time, but I think Downtown is finally living up to the vision that the city leaders describe in the video.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sourisseau News: The Valley’s Love Affair with the Bicycle

While biking is extremely popular in San Jose today, and we are one of the most bike-friendly cities in the US, our love for bicycles goes all the way back to the 1880's. To learn more, check out the two minute Sourisseau News video below.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News: The Valley's Love Affair With the Bicycle - March 2017 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Monday, August 14, 2017

North 4th Street Student Tower Proposal

There seems to be no shortage of exciting news related to Downtown San Jose these days! The newest development project proposal is a 26-story student housing tower at the intersection of N. 4th Street and St. John. This location is 3 blocks away from SJSU and only 1 block away from St. James Park.

At 285 feet, it would be the exact same height as the San Jose City Hall, the second tallest building in San Jose (The 88 is taller by one foot). If the height alone wasn't enough to make it stand out, the proposed design with guarantee it. If approved, the N. 4th Street tower would have the most colorful and eclectic design of any Downtown tower to date. It features almost Tetris-like cutouts both horizontally and vertically, multi-colored glass, and even trees on the roof.

The ground floor has a respectable 8,409 SQFT of retail, a 2,713 SQFT leasing office, bike parking, and retail & guest parking. Above that is four levels of parking for students followed by 21 levels of student housing with 400 units (enough for about 900 students). If that weren't enough, there is a rooftop patio and amenity area--again with trees!

There are some negatives with the design. First, the tower will be adjacent to many single family homes along 5th Street, and those homeowners are likely not thrilled to have a student housing tower as a next-door neighbor. Also, there are a ton of parking spaces for a tower designed for students--especially since BART, Light rail, Bus Rapid Transit, and protected bike lanes are all within a 5 minute walk. In combination with the advent of autonomous cars, this will be very expensive wasted space five years from now and does not promote good urban design. At minimum they should plan on building the parking floors in such a way where they can be repurposed in the future.

Overall, I have to say this is pretty exciting and would markedly improve our skyline as well as add foot-traffic to an undeserved part of Downtown.

Huge thanks to fellow blogger Kimberly Vacca for providing high-res images from the proposal! Also a shout out to Robertee from the San Jose Development Forum for being the first to post about the permit. Click on the images below to enlarge.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Academic Coffee Grand Opening

Academic Coffee has graduated from being a pop-up at Five Points (awesome bar by the way). They have opened a proper coffee shop at 499 S. 2nd Street and are hosting a grand opening event today from 7am-2pm. To celebrate they are offering buy one, get one free drinks all day long. Next month their hours will be extended to 7am-7pm every day. I'm pretty excited to have another non-chain, quality coffee shop Downtown!

There will be a short ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am with Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, State Assemblymember Ash Kalra, County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Councilmember Raul Peralez.

For more info and photos, head over to their Facebook Page.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Another great photo of San Jose

Below is quite a stunning perspective of Downtown San Jose that I have never seen before. This shows how population density is quickly increasing.

Source: Forbes, Dirt Patch from the San Jose Development Forum

Thursday, August 10, 2017

San Jose Jazz Summer Fest 2017: Aug 11-13

This weekend, San Jose Jazz brings its annual Summer Fest back to downtown San Jose. This is probably the biggest live music event in the city, and a large section of the downtown core is closed off to cars. Over the course of the weekend, over 100 acts will perform at 12 indoor and outdoor stages.

In addition to various sub-genres of jazz at each stage, there will also be dance lessons, food/drink, and local vendors throughout the area. Some people like to travel from stage to stage, while others find their favorite area and relax for the day. Whatever your style is, if you are at all into live music I highly recommend checking this out! See how it went last year in the summary video below.

In the last couple of years I've learned a few tips for attendees:
  • Bring a chair if you can! It is so much easier to just set up wherever you feel like it, and stay for as long as you want.
  • Don't forget that your ticket gets you a wristband, which allows you to leave the festival and return as you please. This makes it much easier to visit a nearby bar, restaurant, or cafe if you're looking for something outside of the festival.
  • As with any festival, try to map out where you want to be for specific performances. It can take some time to walk between stages. For indoor stages, capacity is limited so punctuality is especially important.
  • Jazz Beyond After Dark usually has slightly more experimental music, and is one of my favorite parts of the festival. If you get the chance, check it out on Fri and Sat nights.
  • Wear sunscreen!
For more information, see the promotional video or visit the website at

-Lawrence Lui

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Sourisseau News: Women Cannery Workers

The San Jose Fruit Packing company was once the largest cannery in the world and by the 1930s, Santa Clara Valley's 38 canneries were the largest employers of women in California.To learn more about the important role of women keeping these these canneries afloat, watch the latest episode of Sourisseau News below.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News August 2017 Women Cannery Workers from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

San Jose Light Tower Proposal

San Jose Inside has quite a bit more information on a proposal that will bring back our most iconic landmark, the electric light tower. The tower would likely be 250-260 feet tall, feature dynamic LED lighting, and may have an observation deck/restaurant at the top. The current team working on the project thinks it is feasible to build by 2020.

On a related note, there is a fund raiser tonight at Cafe Stritch to help fund Tom Wohlmut's documentary, "The Light Between Two Towers." The film will highlight the relationship between our tower and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Read the detailed article describing these very two exciting projects over here!

Monday, August 7, 2017

San Jose's ADEGA and Michelin announce first Michelin All-Star Event

ADEGA is an amazing Portuguese restaurant that became the first and only Michelin-star restaurant in San Jose last year. It is also one of only two Michelin starred Portuguese restaurants in the United States. This September, ADEGA is hosting a special event involving two special meals prepared by four different Portuguese chefs, all of which have Michelin stars.

  • San Jose’s ADEGA Chefs, David Costa and Jessica Carreira
  • Chef George Mendes of Michelin one-starred Aldea in New York, NY
  • Chef Alexandre Silva of Michelin one-starred Loco in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Chef Pedro Lemos of Michelin one-starred Pedro Lemos in Porto, Portugal

This special event will take place on September 12th and 14th. Each meal will consist of seven courses, each with a carefully selected wine pairing. After the meal, there is also a networking opportunity with the all-star cast of Portuguese chefs. Part part of the proceeds will be donated to No Kid Hungry - California.

Tickets for this exclusive experience are $375 per person, which includes food, wine pairing, tax, and service. It is pricey, but is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a meal prepared by so many decorated chefs. You can learn more or make reservations over here.

Update: The September 13th event has been moved to September 14th

Friday, August 4, 2017

Pop-Up Bikeway + Events

The City of San Jose is hosting several events related to biking next week thanks to funding from the Knight Foundation. The events begin with a temporary protected bikeway running along 4th Street between St. John and San Salvador starting on Monday, August 7th and continuing for a whole week. It will be interesting to see how the community reacts to the concept. You can check out the first flyer below for an idea of how this might look.

There will also be a community roundtable on August 9th to discuss how to better incorporate biking into our streets. Finally, there will be a meet & greet happy hour at Uproar brewery on August 10th. All of the flyers and Facebook page links are below.

Temporary pop-up protected bike lane on 4th St

Community Roundtable

Evening Social  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Downtown San Jose from Backesto Park

I love this photo from gillynova on the San Jose Development Forum. This was taken using a drone and provides a unique perspective of Downtown San Jose.

If you are curious about the exact location, Backesto Park is bound by 13th St., 15th St., Jackson St., and Empire St. It is perhapse best known as the location for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Riverpark Towers in Downtown San Jose gets new tenants

The Downtown office market is continuing to gain momentum. In addition to the big announcements from companies like Google and Adobe, there are smaller wins to celebrate as well. The Riverpark II office tower near the Guadalupe river sat empty for many years and was a sobering reminder of our great recession. Today the building is over 90% leased.

Cohesity is the latest tech company to make Downtown their headquarters, taking two whole floors in Riverpark. They are moving from a 14,000 SQFT space in Santa Clara to 40,000 SQFT in the tower. That means even more workers to liven up our city's core and hopefully take advantage of the Guadalupe River Park, one of our most underrated attractions.

A few feet away, Erik's DeliCafe has also opened a brand new location on the ground floor of Riverpark I (333 San Carlos Street, Suite 150). The restaurant will feature an espresso bar, breakfast options, and online ordering to cater towards Downtown techies. This was formerly the location of Paolo's, which closed down in August 2015. Slowly but surely, all the available office and retail spaces are filling up.

Source: SVBJ, SVBJ #2

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sourisseau News: Hotel Vendome

On First Street, just north of Downtown, there once stood the Hotel Vendome. The 150-room hotel was only around between 1889 and 1930, but featured several interesting amenities like a bowling alley. Eventually increased competition and damage from fires led it to shut down and the land was subdivided and sold off. It would have been nice to preserve this gem near Japantown, much like we were able to do for Hayes Mansion, the Hotel Montgomery, and the Hotel DeAnza.

Watch the two-minute video more to learn about this hotel and see some amazing historic photos.

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News: Hotel Vendome - April 2017 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Adobe is expanding their Downtown San Jose Headquarters!

This fantastic news has been around for a couple weeks, but I just got back from vacation and feel obligated to repeat it. Adobe has been on fire during the past couple years and is looking to dramatically grow their headcount. The company is planning to build a fourth office tower at 333 West San Fernando Street to compliment their current three-tower headquarters in Downtown San Jose.

The new tower must be massive as it will have capacity for 3,000 employees. That is more than Adobe's current three towers combined (2,500 employees). The 333 West San Fernando parcel is already entitled for up to 725,000 SQFT of space and there is even a render of what such a building might look like (although Adobe will likely go with something more creative).

Downtown is really having a banner year when it comes to attracting more tech jobs. First the Google announcement and now Adobe is more than doubling their Downtown office capacity!

Source: SJ Economy, SVBJ

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Drag Queen Brunch at SoFA Market

Join the Silicon Valley Pride Drag Queen Brunch at the SoFA Market. Enjoy brunch food, mimosas, live music, and drag queen performances for two Sunday brunch dates leading-up to the SV Pride Parade and Festival in late August.

Bottomless Mimosas will be available from 11am-2pm. Cost is $20 per bottomless mimosa, but patrons get a $5 discount for purchasing a dish from any of SoFA Market's participating brunch eateries.

387 South 1st Street in Downtown San Jose’s SoFA District
Sunday, July 30th 11am-2pm
Sunday, August 20th, 11am-2pm

Brunch reservations begin at 10am. To reserve a table, please RSVP on Facebook. Open seating is also available.

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Big Easy Rolls into Great America

This past weekend, Great America brought back their Taste of Orleans festival. Who Dat? In its second season, Taste of Orleans features Cajun cuisines, live entertainment such as mask decorating for kids, Mardi Gras murals, chalk artists, live music and more!

If you missed it, don’t fret as Great America plays host to the Nola event again this upcoming weekend: July 29-July 30.

Great America did a great job at bringing a taste of the Big Easy to Silicon Valley! Classic Cajun dishes such as gumbo, etouffée and beignets were on site and definitely were delicious. To our delight, the hushpuppy shrimp skewers was a hit and the crisp frog legs with Creole aoli was savory and on point!

Great America’s nightcap was a firework display that featured a kaleidoscope of colors in the sky!

Hushpuppy Shrimp Skewers:                             Crawfish Etouffée:

   Crisp Frog Legs w/Creole Aoili:               Blackened Catfish Slider w/Tangy Slaw:
Beignet (Left) & Praline Bread Pudding (Right):                              Brews!                                                     
        Live chalk artist and games for the family!

Great America's Taste of Orleans starts at Noon - 9pm on 7/29 - 7/30. The fireworks display starts at 9:45pm each day. Cajun cuisine is available with a $25 tasting card.

For more details on Taste of Orleans, visit:

2017 Season Passes are currently on sale for just $69 and features a season of fun in both Great America and Boomerang Bay Water Park. A $105 Gold Pass includes Halloween Haunt, WinterFest, free Great America parking, Gilroy Gardens and more.

By Andrew Rivlin and Noe Sacoco Jr

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Cafe Stritch has a multitude of events for Jazz aficionados coming up next week as part of their fifth annual RAHSAANATHON. The events honor the life and music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, one of the most influential jazz musicians in history. Fun fact, Cafe Stritch was actually named after Rahsaan Roland Kirk's saxophone. Fun fact #2, the name of Cafe Stritch's predecessor--Eulipia Restaurant--was inspired by Kirk's "Theme for the Eulipions." 

Cafe Stritch is one of the best Jazz venues in Silicon Valley and this is their flagship event. If you love jazz, get your tickets before they are gone. For all of the details, please have a look at the press release below.

The Fifth Annual Cafe Stritch RAHSAANATHON:
A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk
 Steve Turre Leads All-Star Band Featuring James Carter

RAHSAANATHON 2017 at Cafe Stritch

Thursday August 3 through Sunday August 6, 2017

San Jose, CA – July 5 2017 – San Jose’s Cafe Stritch is proud to present its Fifth Annual RAHSAANATHON: A Celebration of the Life and Music of Rahsaan Roland Kirk from Thursday August 3 through Sunday August 6, 2017.

The RAHSAANATHON’S main event is unique in the world. Rahsaan fanatics from everywhere will converge on Cafe Stritch for their annual pilgrimage. For three nights trombonist Steve Turre & The Eulipion All Stars featuring reedman extraordinaire James Carter (tenor sax / clarinet / flute) will bring bright moments to Cafe Stritch. This ensemble will be reprising their three-night stands from 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.  The group will be performing Turre’s arrangements of Kirk’s music Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, and Saturday August 5.  Poet Betty Neals, who co-wrote “Theme for the Eulipions” (the house anthem of Cafe Stritch) with Kirk, will perform the song live. The band includes Charles McNeal (alto sax / soprano sax), Matt Clark (piano), Marcus Shelby (bass), Darrell Green (drums), and Terrie Odabi (vocals). The concerts are from 8:30PM to 11:45PM.
Tickets: $50 available at or at the door (if not sold-out)

Please note: Tickets to Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, or Saturday August 5 performances also entitle guests to attend the Sunday August 6 performance.

The festivities on Sunday August 6 begin with a screening of Adam Kahan’s feature documentary film The Case of the Three Sided Dream at Cafe Stritch at 6:00PMThe Case of the Three Sided Dream is the award-winning documentary about multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk (1935-1977), who went from blind infant to child prodigy, to adult visionary, to political activist, and finally to paralyzed showman. He was a seemingly superhuman musical force who played literally until the day he died.  Kirk was a musical force beyond category.  He never let anything stop him from pursuing what he called his “Religion of Dreams.”  Following the film (no tickets required), Cafe Stritch will present the Sonelius Smith Quartet featuring Claire Daly.  The group includes Sonelius Smith (piano) and Claire Daly (baritone sax / flute). Smith played with Rahsaan on multiple recordings including Rahsaan Rahsaan (1970), Natural Black Inventions (1971), and Blacknuss (1972). Claire Daly has been the bandleader on numerous recordings including Rah Rah, A Tribute to Rahsaan Roland Kirk.  She has been deeply inspired by Rahsaan’s music.  This is a musical homage to Rahsaan Roland Kirk in voice and music featuring tunes by RRK, his friends, and other kindred spirits. The concert will be celebrating Rahsaan, one of the most original jazz artists ever to live. The concert is from 8:00PM to 11:00PM.
Tickets: $10 available at or at the door. Please note: Tickets to Thursday August 3, Friday August 4, or Saturday August 5 performances also entitle guests to attend the Sunday August 6 performance.

Cafe Stritch will continue to present the photographs of house photographer Ron Orlando from August 2 through August 31.  Mr. Orlando is a photographer who is passionate about photography and jazz.  He has been taking photos of jazz musicians since the 1980s. This exhibit is entitled Jazz Exploration. It is composed of photographs of jazz musicians taken at Cafe Stritch since 2014.

Press from past RAHSAANATHONS:

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sourisseau News: Ice Cream

In this fascinating two-minute video, learn about the history of ice cream in San Jose. I wish I could travel back in time to experience some of the locations in the video like O'Brien's Candy Store!

To see an archive of past videos, head over here.

Sourisseau News Ice Cream January 2017 from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.