Monday, October 22, 2018

PWSJ 2018 Honors San Jose’s Historical “Speed City” with 10+ New Murals, Public Art Installations, Music Exhibitions, and More

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Oct. 9, 2018 – POW! WOW! San Jose 2018 ushers in its second annual week-long arts and culture festival spotlighting street art and music in Downtown San Jose on October 17-28, 2018.

This year’s festival is inspired by San Jose’s long history of activism and local cultural pride. Fifty years ago, San Jose State University track stars John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists at the 1968 Summer Olympics to show solidarity with those fighting for human rights. This year’s festival will honor this source of local pride, and artists will showcase their talent and passion for their art and culture throughout the week.

“While the Silicon Valley is traditionally known for its innovation in technology, the City of San José is an equally rich community of culture, art and music,” said Council member Raul Peralez, San José Council District 3. “Working with POW! WOW! San José, we are thrilled to turn San José into a city-wide artists’ canvas, showcasing art in action and transforming our City alongside the community.”


POW! WOW! San Jose 2018 is honored to welcome the following artists who will share their talents throughout Downtown San Jose and surrounding San Jose neighborhoods.


San Jose: Sean Boyles, Drew Flores, Abel Gonzalez, Ivan Gonzalez, J.Duh, Frances Marin, Harumo Sato, Nikkea Takagi, Roan Victor
San Francisco/Peninsula: Apexer, Knits for Life, t.w.five
Oakland/East Bay: Felicia Gabaldon, Illuminaries, Skinner, UrbanAztec


Hawaii: Cory Taum
Los Angeles: Shrine, Woes
New York: How and Nosm
San Diego: Spenser Little


Canada: 123KLAN
Iran: ICY and SOT
Japan: Dragon76
South Korea: Sixcoin


Pride in San Jose’s rich culture is not unique to the organizers of POW! WOW! San Jose. Many businesses throughout the Silicon Valley are supporting the festival through donations of supplies, lodging and funding. With the help of organizations such as Visit San Jose, a Community Partner, and The Silicon Valley Organization that represents over 1,400 businesses in the Bay Area, art in action will come to life during the festival.

“POW! WOW! San Jose continues to bring both businesses and community together to create a world-class event that showcases the heart of Silicon Valley,” said Matthew Mahood, President & CEO, The Silicon Valley Organization. “A city’s art and culture serves as its identity and offers its residents a way to connect. The SVO and our members applaud the work POW! WOW! San Jose is doing to showcase our city’s greatest strength: our diversity.”

2018 festival sponsors include: Cresco, Eastridge Center, Google, Hawaiian Airlines, Hyatt Place, Iguanas Burritozilla, Kelly-Moore Paints, Knight Foundation, City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), The Silicon Valley Organization, Visit San Jose, and more.

“As a local business headquartered in the Bay Area, we take pride in the beauty our paints can bring to the world in the hands of artists – whether those artists are homeowners, teachers, or muralists like those sharing their talents through POW! WOW! San Jose,” said Jasmine Hatch, regional learning and development specialist - South Bay, Peninsula and Central Coast, Kelly Moore Paint Co. “With our contribution of paint for the murals, we are thrilled that Kelly Moore will have a direct tie to the remarkable works of art that will live on in our City.”

Friday, October 19, 2018

Honey Harvest Celebration at the Fairmont San Jose

Did you know that the Fairmont San Jose has about 40,000 honeybees on its rooftop?

To celebrate this year's harvest, the Fairmont's Lobby Lounge has a special 'Honey Harvest Menu' throughout this weekend from Friday, 10/19 through Sunday, 10/21, 5pm-10pm each day.

Here's a picture of the pear tart with goat cheese ice cream, which I had the good fortune to recently sample.

For additional info., visit the Fairmont SJ dining page or check out my recent blog post for additional photos and descriptions of the special menu items.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Wednesday Wishlist: Halloween in the Park (Part XI)

Keeping with San Jose Blog tradition, in October we have a "wishlist" post for Halloween in the Park. The idea is to build on the momentum that Christmas in the Park brings to San Jose each year and create something of similar scale for the month of October with Halloween in the Park! A lot of the infrastructure such as wiring, lighting, and booths might even be able to be shared between the events. The goal would be to make Downtown San Jose the epicenter of October Halloween experiences.

Below you will find brainstorming ideas we have collected for this concept so far over the years. Please have a look and provide your feedback and suggestions in the comments. Thanks!

The largest draw to Downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. It has continued to grow year after year and brings in visitors from all over the Bay Area. It's economic impact is substantial and helps keep many Downtown businesses and restaurants alive.

What would you think about a similar event for Halloween? Picture Downtown lit up in orange and purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by local artists. Perhaps infrastructure could even be shared with Christmas in the Park (e.g. retail booths). A strong event in October would help maintain traffic between the summer months and Christmas in the Park. 
Here are the ideas we have so far:
  • Animated Halloween Displays
    • Created by local artists
    • Analogous to the Christmas displays that attract many families during Christmas in the Park (almost half a million visitors)
    • Family friendly so that everyone can enjoy it (PG/PG13, perhaps around the same level as Great America Halloween Haunt)
    • Halloween Lighting
      • Orange, purple, and green LED lighting on trees
      • May be possible to use new programmable LED lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button, allowing the lights to stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and reducing setup/take-down costs.
    • Halloween Food
      • Booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, pumpkin seeds, etc.
      • Food trucks
      • Trick-or-treating station - a free piece of candy to anyone wearing a costume any day in October (could also be used to hand out promotional flyers for Downtown events/businesses/resources)
    • Retail Booths selling Halloween items, for example:
      • Artwork (paintings, glass pumpkins, etc.)
      • Home decor/crafts like candles
      • Light-up hats/necklaces/bracelets
      • Costumes
      • Zombie/Halloween make-up station 
    • Halloween-themed Carnival Games
      • Pirates of Emerson and Candlelighters (Fremont) do a good job of providing family-friendly games themed around Halloween
      • A handful of children's rides could also be added to the Paseo and reused for Christmas in the Park
    • Interactive Art
      • Subzero/ZERO1-style, but with a Halloween spin.
      • Halloween-themed video game kiosks and/or arcades
    • Pumpkins
      • Instead of the sponsored Christmas trees in Christmas in the Park, how about decorated Pumpkins (can even be Styrofoam so there is no mess/decay)?
      • Pumpkin carving station for families. 
      • Pumpkin carving contest.
    • Costumed Entertainers
      • Walking around the area, not necessarily scaring people but adding to the ambiance and providing photo opportunities for families
    • Haunts / Mazes
      • Would be ideal if these were nearby, perhaps in vacant retails spaces, surface parking lots, the San Jose Convention Center tent, or at SJSU.
      • Could partners with one of the established San Jose haunt providers such as Deadtime Dreams or The World's Largest Haunted House.
    • Potential Events
      • Zombie-O-Rama can be used to kick off Halloween in the Park (late Sep. / early Oct. time-frame)
      • Zombie Crawl
      • Dia De Los Muertos Events
      • Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos Bike Party
      • Horror Movie Trivia Contest
      • Weekly horror movie screening (perhaps in the Circle of Palms area?)
      • Costume Ball

      Tuesday, October 16, 2018

      The new San Jose Light Tower is moving forward

      San Jose is a city that has been in search of an internationally recognizable landmark for quite some time. Fortunately, a grassroots organization has come together with a mission to do just that. The San Jose Light Tower Corporation (SJLTC) is a nonprofit with the goal of building a world-class iconic structure that will represent our city for generations.

      The project is broken down into four phases, and is surprisingly far along.

      Phase 1 - Launch the Documentary: The Light Between Two Towers 

      FUNDED. This exciting film by Thomas Wohlmut ties the historic San Jose Light Tower (built in 1881) to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It has been in the works for 8 years and will finally be complete in 2019. The film will be part of the promotional campaign for building a new tower that will represent the San Jose of today and tomorrow.

      The Light Between Two Towers - Trailer from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

      Phase 2 - Site Selection 

      FUNDED, IN PROGRESS. The Light Tower Corporation initially evaluated six different sites in Downtown San Jose. When seeking city council support earlier this year, they received unanimous approval from all 11 seats. Now, we have a final candidate and that is the Arena Green (photo below). This location would highlight San Jose's flagship park and would be easily accessible from the SAP Center and Diridon Station, which is destined to become the busiest transit hub on the West Coast. It would also sit in the middle of some 10+ million SQFT of new development that will be built over the coming decade or two.

      By December 4th, the City Council will decide whether or not to approve the location. The odds are looking quite good so far.

      Phase 3 - Idea Competition

      FUNDED. This one is hot off the press. On Sunday the San Jose Light Tower Corporation held a fundraiser to launch this next stage, an international competition to find the best design concept for the tower. It does not have to look like the 1881 historic tower, in fact it may not look like a traditional tower at all. As a wild futuristic example, the tower could be made out of drones. We are in the innovation capital of the world, it should be creative and reach a bit into the future.

      The goal of the fundraiser was to secure the remaining $300,000 required to launch the competition. It may have helped that four (!) San Jose mayors were in attendance, but the goal was nailed.

      Phase 4 - Construction

      TBD. After the design competition, we will have some idea of what will be included as part of the project and what the costs will be. The preferred location supports a structure up to 150 feet tall, but there may be ways to add virtual height such as with creative lighting or projections. As soon as any new details are available, we'll provide updates ASAP. If you are interested in contributing to this exciting project, you can donate over here.

      A New Iconic Monument for San Jose from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

      Friday, October 12, 2018

      Home Security Alarms Being Ignored In San Jose Area

      Home alarm calls in San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara are being ignored, potentially affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

      In conjunction with October’s Crime Prevention Month, Deep Sentinel recently unveiled new findings that due to the high number of false alarms, tens of millions of Americans run the risk of having their alarm calls go unanswered.

      Of the cities surveyed within the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area, 50 percent have a no response or no guaranteed response to an alarm call. This leaves 77 percent of residents (1,287,293) in those surveyed cities at risk should an alarm be triggered.

      Deep Sentinel’s announcement can be found below.
      Tens of Millions Living in American Metros Not Fully Protected by Home Security Systems

      Deep Sentinel ranks the top 20 metros showing the likelihood of home alarms going unanswered 

      PLEASANTON, Calif. – October 11, 2018 – Deep Sentinel, a company delivering an unrivaled, next-generation approach to home security, today released results of a new study that focuses on the lack of response to home security alarms within key metro areas across the United States. Deep Sentinel surveyed major American cities and sampled a portion of surrounding metro areas on their alarm response policies and found that every day, tens of millions of people run the risk of having their alarm calls go unanswered.

      Ranked by the number of residents potentially affected by a “no response” or “no guaranteed response” to an alarm call in the surveyed cities, the top 20 American metro areas at risk are:

      1. New York-Newark-Jersey City
      2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
      3. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland
      4. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward
      5. San Diego-Carlsbad
      6. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington
      7. Philadelphia-Wilmington
      8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood
      9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue
      10. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
      11. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
      12. Sacramento-Roseville- Arden-Arcade
      13. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn
      14. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale
      15. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis
      16. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
      17. Salt Lake City
      18. Boston-Cambridge-Newton
      19. Fresno
      20. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

      Read the full study here to see data used to determine rankings.
      Ranked at #1, the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro highlights the severity of the problem. Deep Sentinel surveyed 19 cities in the metro area and found that 21 percent have a “no response” or “no guaranteed response” to an alarm call. This leaves nearly 9M people at risk of having an alarm call go unanswered.

      To see the key findings of all 20 metro areas in the report, click here.

      Law enforcement agencies are inundated with false alarm calls (up to 95 percent), draining resources from their respective cities. This has resulted in many cities and agencies across America adopting policies that they do not respond or they don't guarantee a response to alarms.

      “Because the overwhelming majority of home security alarms are false, there is a ‘boy who cried wolf’ mentality surrounding these calls,” said David Selinger, CEO and co-founder, Deep Sentinel. “It’s unfortunate because many of these calls are legitimate, but can go unanswered, leaving people and their property at risk. Deep Sentinel is dedicated to putting an end to false alarms and ensuring that when an alarm is activated, it will be taken seriously.”

      To read the entire study and to learn more about Deep Sentinel, visit

      About Deep Sentinel
      Deep Sentinel delivers an unrivaled, next-generation approach to home security. LiveSentinel™ 24/7 video surveillance guards, armed with artificial intelligence, computer vision and wire-free cameras, confront intruders within seconds of them entering your property and notify law enforcement if necessary. Deep Sentinel’s intuitive and affordable home protection platform is the only system equipped with advanced technology to actually prevent burglaries, auto break-ins and package thefts before they occur.