Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Still need to purchase that last-minute holiday gift? Check out a variety of local options below. From the foodie, culture vulture, techie, family fun, the items below is sure to fit any budget for loved ones!

Hotel Valencia’s New Year’s Eve Guestroom Package – Cost: $395 per room
Ring in the New Year at Hotel Valencia. Hotel Valencia’s New Year's Eve celebration on Santana Row is always the toast of the town! Bid farewell to 2017 and welcome 2018 by taking advantage of our fabulous New Year's Eve Hotel Package. More deets on Hotel Valencia’s NYE package can be found here.
NETGEAR’s Arlo Pro – Cost: $419.99
With NETGEAR’s Arlo Pro, homeowners can protect their home and families. Featuring 2 wire-free HD cameras provides homeowners with a clear view of the home’s exterior. Plus, it’s weatherproof! NETGEAR’s flagship pop-up store at Santana Row through end of the year. More deets on NETGEAR’s Arlo Pro can be found here
The Tech Museum of Innovation’s Body Worlds Decoded – Cost: $24, (adult), $19 (child 3-17), $19 (student w/ID) and $19 (senior 65+)
The Tech’s new Body Worlds Decoded puts a Silicon Valley twist on the world-renowned plastinated human bodies exhibit through Gunther von Hagens’ Institute for Plastination. More deets on The Tech’s Body Worlds Decoded can be found here.

Great America’s Gold Season Pass – Cost: Nine Payments of $9.98
Take advantage of Great America’s Gold Season Pass with unlimited visits in 2017 and 2018. The Gold Pass free admission to Gilroy Gardens, Halloween Haunt and WinterFest as well as free parking! More deets on Great America’s Gold Season Pass can be found here.
First Order Stormtrooper by UBTECH – Cost: $299.99
With the recent release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the new First Order Stormtrooper by UBTECH looks to be one of the hottest products of the season. First Order Stormtrooper by UBTECH is an app-enabled interactive robot based on the character from the Star Wars movie franchise. More deets on First Order Stormtrooper by UBTECH can be found here.

Ridge Vineyards’ Year-Round Gift Pack – Cost: ATP Duo ($68), Estate Red Wine ($115), Olive Oil & Vinegar ($35)
Throughout the year, Ridge offers a year-round gift pack. More deets on Ridge’s Year-Round Gift Pack can be found here.

Friday, December 29, 2017

New Year's Eve in San Jose

If you are still figuring out what to do for New Year's Eve this Sunday, Rick Jensen from the SJDA has a lot of great suggestions in his last newsletter. His post is below and we also recommend subscribing to his newsletter over here.

Sunday – New Year’s Eve in Downtown – Happy 2018, San Jose! Celebrate the beginning of a new year with champagne, hors d’oeuvres and a ball drop at the Marriott’s New Year’s Eve Extravaganza III or at The GlassHouse’s NYE Party. Or join in on the music and dancing at the Fairmont’s 1920s themed NYE celebrations. Reminisce 2017 with an end-of-the-year comedy show by Will Durst and Co. at the Tabard TheatreTake your pick of the downtown restaurants for fine dining this weekend.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

3Below (formerly Camera 3) opens January 11th

Downtown San Jose's only remaining movie theater will be reopening in a couple weeks after a full remodel including a new cafe, lounge, restrooms, and comfortable seats. The cafe at "3Below" will be called Pix & Pints and they'll serve sandwiches, snacks, coffee, tea, beer, and wine.

In addition to the independent films and documentaries that Camera 3 was known for, 3Below will also host sing-a-longs, revival films, movie marathons, double features, game nights, karaoke, and open mic nights.

The theater will host several events in the future, including the Cinequest Film and VR Festival between Feb. 27 and March 11. ComedySportz will also continue to operate their improve comedy show from the 99-seat theater (the other two theaters are 250 seats and 89 seats).

3Below sounds like a solid improvement to one of Downtown's longest-running entertainment venues.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017: Downtown in Review

Below are the highlights from the annual San Jose Downtown Association's Year-in-Review meeting. It touches on all of the significant development projects that either broke ground or were proposed this year. The video also covers ongoing concerns such as High Speed Rail alignment, BART construction, and the homeless. A lot is going on Downtown, so check out all of the details here!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family enjoy the holidays this year.

For a fun little adventure, you can check out the most decked out holiday decorations in San Jose along with a map and addresses over here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Shop San Jose

If you are still doing some last minute shopping and you are trying to decide which brand to go with, why not prioritize companies that are based in San Jose. A few years ago we started putting together a list of companies headquarterd in San Jose that provide consumer goods and services. If you have any to add, just post in the comments!

To access the spreadsheet, click here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


As San Jose's prestige continues to rise, so does the quality of our promotional videos. Visit San Jose has produced what I think is the best promo video of our city to date. Click here for the full resolution version.

Huge thanks to Vianka Villanueva for sending this in!

Monday, December 18, 2017

SJC is getting a new nonstop flight to JFK!

Delta airlines is delivering on our #1 most requested domestic route. Starting Jun 8, 2018, you will be able to fly Delta nonstop from San Jose to JFK International in New York. The flight will leave San Jose at 10:35pm and arrive at JFK at 7:15am (yup, it's a redeye). The return flight will leave JFK at 8:15am and arrive back at SJC at 11:45am. The timing on that return flight is highly desirable, especially for business travelers.

JetBlue also operates a pair of nonstops between San Jose and JFK, but with less desirable times, no first class option, and fewer "in-network" connecting flights.

The flights will use Boeing 737-800 planes with 16 first class seats, 36 Comfort+ seats, and 108 economy seats. This is yet another big win for our airport and for travelers.

 Source: Hat-tip to Daniel Martinez, SVBJ

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Content 10.0 (Seek) Pick-up Party

Content Magazine is hosting a party to celebrate their latest issues on December 19th (entitled "Seek") at Hotel De Anza, 233 W. Santa Clara Street.

The event goes from 7pm-9:30pm and includes live music from featured artists such as Salty Sherilyn, Lake Stovall, Socorra, and The Mark Arroyo Trio. Subscribers get one free drink to kick off the night and a holiday gift bag. For more information, head over to the event's Facebook page.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

San Jose Craft Holiday Fair 2017

There is a great opportunity to shop local this weekend and buy holiday gifts made right here in San Jose. SJMADE is putting on their 2017 Craft Holiday Fair in South Hall this year (435 South Market Street) which is a block away from Christmas in the Park. There will be hundreds of craft makers, food producers, and artists. Also, the event is indoors, free, and family-friendly.

The San Jose Craft Holiday Fair runs from 11am to 6pm on Saturday, December 16th and Sunday December 17th. For more info, head over to the SJMADE website.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

New mixed-use project proposed off Bascom and Southwest Expressway

Bay West Development is proposing a significant residential and office development right next to Bascom Light Rail station. The 6.4-acre project would have 447 residential units and 200,000 SQFT of commercial space. Today the site is a half-empty strip mall and smog testing station. The residential building would be eight stories (respectable density outside of Downtown) while the office building would be seven stories. There would also be an undisclosed amount of retail on the ground floor and a landscaped public space connecting the two buildings.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, December 11, 2017

December 2017 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The City Council is buying six pieces of land by the SAP Center that will help ensure enough parking supply for Sharks games while the Autumn Parkway is completed (the road will connect Downtown to I-880 via Coleman).
  • VTA fares will increase by a quarter to $2.25 on regular routes and to $4.50 for express routes. Youth fares are dropping from $1.75 to $1 and day passes are increasing by a dollar to $7.
  • Bills Backyard has opened behind the Children's Discovery Museum, giving kids a new place to dig, roll, climb, build, and explore.
  • The Vacant Storefront Registry is an 18-month pilot program to activate long-vacant ground-floor spaces.
  • Four new businesses have opened in the San Pedro Square Market in the past month:
    • Barber Bar - haircuts and cocktails, need I say more
    • Urban Momo - South Asian fusion
    • 2W Salads - healthy salads, wraps, and stuffed potatoes
    • Crepes and More - eggs served four ways, smoothies, and crepes
  • Two more tech companies moved Downtown:
    • Pek Pongpaet (466 S. First) - UI / UX design
    • Kika Tech (8 N. San Pedro) - Artificial Intelligence
To read the newsletter, click here!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Downtown for the Holidays

There is no better place in the Bay Area to get into the holiday spirit than Downtown San Jose. To learn about all of the events and attractions going on right now such as Christmas in the Park, Downtown Ice, and Winter Wonderland... head over to the Downtown for the Holidays website.

Downtown for the Holidays Showcase from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fountain Alley Fridays

Today, experience a new event in Downtown San Jose's Fountain Alley neighborhood (between 1st and 2nd Street near Santa Clara Street). Fountain Alley Fridays feature live music, ping pong, stand-up acts, and live painting. If you have fun tonight, this is happening again on December 15th as well. For more info and a list of specific acts, head over here!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Broadcom is moving its headquarters to San Jose

Broadcom is a Singapore-based semiconductor company that purchased Brocade for $5.9 billion late last year. The company had decided to take advantage of that acquisition and officially move its headquarters to the US, and even more specifically to San Jose. The announcement was actually made by Trump at a White House press conference. Why is this so significant? It means $20 billion (with a "b") in revenue will be pouring into the US. Only a fraction of that will impact the economy, but it is a significant announcement nonetheless. It also could mean more jobs in San Jose.

Broadcom has become one of the largest companies in the world with a total market cap of $110 billion.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Great 408

On San Jose's 240th birthday last week (November 29th), Mayor Sam Liccardo and Mercury News Columnist Sal Pizarro launched a campaign to celebrate San Jose's story. Below is their letter to the community:

Dear Neighbors,

As two longtime San Jose residents, we feel fortunate to live in a community with a rich history and a unique, sometimes quirky, character. So, today - on San Jose's 240th birthday, we've come together launch The Great 408: a campaign to celebrate the gems, history, and culture that have helped make San Jose the great city it is, and set the tone for our future. 

Each week, we'll unveil interesting, unique tidbits on the campaign's website - - that we hope will both fuel San Josean pride and inspire others to learn more about the city we call home. 

While we've gotten the ball rolling with an initial list of 10 fun facts, we want you to join in by submitting your ideas on the Great408 website. We'll add public submissions to our weekly reveal to help ensure that The Great 408 remains a community-wide campaign. As our list grows, we hope you'll share all that's great in the 408 on social media, using #Great408. 

We're excited to share San Jose's story, and we hope you'll join us on this adventure. 

Sam Liccardo, San Jose Mayor 
Sal Pizarro, Mercury News Columnist 

In addition to the letter you can see their video introduction to the project over here. I love this idea and hope you will all contribute lots of ideas to!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

NETGEAR flagship pop-up at Santana Row

NETGEAR is a San Jose-based tech company that specializes in internet hardware. They make some of the best wireless routers available and I have owned many of them over the years. This holiday season they have decided to open a flagship pop-up store in their backyard. The Santana Row shop will let consumers test out NETGEAR's three key product lines: Arlo, Orbi, and Nighthawk.

The popup is open now through the end of the year.

Monday, December 4, 2017

San Jose's future tallest high-rises broke ground!

MIRO is San Jose's latest luxury housing project. It was originally proposed as a combination of offices and housing across the street from our iconic City Hall with one tower dedicated to offices and another dedicated to residential. The current plan focuses primarily on residential with only 20,000 SQFT of retail and commercial space (the entire project is 1,000,000 SQFT).

Each tower is 28 stories and 298 feet tall, so you are looking at the future #1 and #2 tallest buildings in San Jose. For reference, the San Jose City Hall is 285 feet tall and The 88 (our current tallest building) is 286 feet tall.

The project has a total of 600 units split among one, two, and three bedroom layouts. 16 of those will be extra-fancy penthouses. As far as amenities go, this might be the most impressive residential project in the Bay Area. 50,000 SQFT of indoor and outdoor amenity space is reserved for residents. That includes the standard fitness centers, loungers, pet facilities, and concierge. However, MIRO takes it to the next level with a rooftop pool (!) and rooftop lounges that will provide a spectacular view of Silicon Valley. There is also a spa in the building.

MIRO should be completed in 2020. It is way too early for pricing, but expect these units to set new records for San Jose condos.

Source: The Registry

Sunday, December 3, 2017

SPSM Tree Lighting Ceremony

Tomorrow at 4pm, the San Pedro Square Market is having its annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The event is free and features music, carolers, and holiday activities.