Friday, January 27, 2023

New Vietnamese Supermarket in Berryessa

Many Downtown locals were saddened when the Dai Thanh grocery store was closed in order to make way for new development. Fortunately, the popular Vietnamese grocer is coming back with a vengeance. Not only did they open a much larger store at 2040 Tully last June, but they have just taken over a former Lucky's space in Berryessa. While the Downtown store was only 10,000 SQFT, the new Berryessa location is 33,000 SQFT and employs 50 people. 

This is quite a significant expansion for what was once a modest immigrant family-owned business. The purchases were funded by a $17 million sale of the SoFA location, which is destined to become a high-rise residential project in the future.

The new Dai Thanh grocery store opened on January 17--just in time for Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. You can find it at 1641 North Capital Avenue in San Jose.

Source: The Merc

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Good Samaritan planning a major hospital expansion

Today Good Samaritan Hospital in West San Jose has 273 beds but wants to undergo a major modernization project. The renovated hospital would expand by over 50% to 419 beds across 1.37 million SQFT (triple the size of the existing campus). It would also add 1,391 new parking stalls, a 200,000 SQFT medical office building, and seismic safety upgrades.

One part of the project that is bad news is their intention to drop acute care (urgent care) by 2030. Besides that it looks like a major win. Today all of the rooms at Good Sam are shared while private patient rooms are the norm for top hospital around the Bay. The expansion will likely address that gap and several other modernization opportunities.

The first phase of construction should be complete in 2029. It's great to see the hospital I was born in evolve into something better for San Jose residents.

Source: The Merc, Jawz from the SJ Development Forum 

Monday, January 2, 2023

January 2023 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Download the JANUARY 2023 Downtown Dimension.
This month's newsletter highlights:
  • Downtown Property Owners approved more Clean and Safe services starting in 2023 and Dimension reports on what has already happened and what is planned as Groundwerx ramps up services.
  • SJDA Board President Alan "Gumby" Marques writes a letter of hope and optimism for the new year.
  • San Jose's City Council approved an extension of incentives for developers to build more residences downtown over the next seven years.
  • Restaurateurs Carlos and Fernanda Carreira have ventured into the nightclub business with Noite, on the second floor above their SoFA restaurant Petiscos
  • Entrepreneurs continue to invest in downtown. This time, it's The Selfie Spot, a special place to be creative.
  • Groundwerx safety ambassador Victoria Manzanares shows how taking the initiative pays off.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

SJC airport getting a new name and logo

San Jose's airport is getting a long overdue rebrand. The official name of the airport was the "Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport." Now it will simply be the "San Jose Mineta International Airport." The name is much cleaner and puts San Jose first and foremost while still honoring Norman Mineta, the first Japanese-American mayor of a major US city.

The logo itself is everything that you could hope for in a modern rebrand. It's simple and clear at any resolution, the abstract shapes signify flight, the colors are a nod to the San Jose flag, and I think it will age very well. I love it. Similar to the new SJDA logo, I think they nailed it.

This is in sharp contrast to the VTA logo which after five years I still think is still the single worst rebranding I have ever seen in my entire life.

Without further ado, have a look at the old and new logos below and judge for yourself.

Source: SVBJ



Saturday, December 24, 2022

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

We hope that you and your family have the best holidays this year!

If you feel like driving through neighborhoods to find the best decorated homes in San Jose, there is a handy website for that over here. Some of the homes have been features on TV shows and even have light shows synced to music.

Happy Holidays! 🎄

Monday, December 12, 2022

San Jose ranked top metro for immigrant success

A report entitled "Immigrants and Opportunities in American Cities" ranked US metros that were most likely to help immigrants succeed. The criteria included household incomes, innovation, staffing in essential occupations like nursing, and measures of cultural appeal.

San Jose took home the gold medal as the city most likely to help immigrants succeed. San Jose was followed by Baltimore-Columbia-Towson in Maryland, San Francisco-Oakland in 3rd place, and Seattle in 4th.

Also included in the study was a note that metros with higher immigrant populations tended to preform better than other places in terms of income, startup businesses, and productivity.

As a product of two immigrants, I'm happy to see San Jose continue to be a welcoming environment to newcomers.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, December 6, 2022




Holiday Special

15th Annual Family Tradition Returns for One Night Only




WHO: Symphony San Jose Chorale presents

WHAT: "Carols in the California"

WHEN: Saturday, December 10, 2022 at 7pm

WHERE: The California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San Jose

WHY: A Family Holiday Tradition! The Symphony San Jose Chorale under the baton of Elena Sharkova presents the 15th Annual "Carols in the California", an exciting and festive program of holiday cheer. Enjoy a traditional sing-along of your favorite carols with choir and brass ensemble and prepare to be dazzled by performances of classical works by members of Symphony San Jose and the SSJ Chorale all in the warm glow of the beautifully restored California Theatre.

Symphony San Jose Chorale

Elena Sharkova, conductor

Marques Jerrell Ruff, special guest vocalist


And while downtown, enjoy Christmas in the Park, The Holiday Roller Skating Rink Under the Palms, and Winter Wonderland rides and games just two blocks from the theater. San Jose comes alive with the Holiday Season, with activities and memories for the entire family! All-day inexpensive parking is available at the city-owned garage on San Carlos Street with entrances on both Second and Third Streets.


PRICES: $36 ($26 for attendees under 26 years old.)

BOX OFFICE PHONE: 408.286.2600 or Website:

Or visit the Walk-In Box Office between 10am and 5pm, Monday through Friday at 325 South First Street in downtown San Jose, between San Carlos and San Salvador Streets just one-half block from the California Theatre.


Photo of conductor Elena Sharkova with Chorale by Robert Shomler


O Come All Ye Faithful (Sing-Along)

Little Star of Bethlehem

Do You Hear What I Hear?

The First Noel (Sing-Along)

Shine on Me

Christmas Spiritual Medley (with Marques Jerrell Ruff)

I Saw Three Ships

The Twelve Days of San Jose Xmas


Jazz Trio (with Jazz style Sing-Alongs)

We are Christmas (with Marques Jerrell Ruff)

Too Hot to Handel (with Marques Jerrell Ruff)

     Every Valley

     For Unto Us


Silent Night (Sing-Along with an added verse in Ukrainian)

Total concert is 100 minutes with intermission



Symphony San Jose Chorale performs classical masterworks and contemporary music with the symphony, as well as a wide range of pieces, from jazz to liturgical and everything in between. Performances include Movies in Concert, acapella programs, and appearances with smaller instrumental groups in San Jose and peninsula locations throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Maestra Elena Sharkova, who directs the Symphony San Jose Chorale and the Cantabile Youth Singers, is an internationally recognized conductor, lecturer and master teacher.


More about Chorale Director, Elena Sharkova:

Russian-American conductor Elena Sharkova is recognized nationally and internationally as an inspirational, versatile, and effective conductor, choral clinician, music educator, and lecturer. She has conducted professional, university, youth, and community choirs and orchestras in 17 countries across North America, Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. Elena has served as a jury member at numerous national and international music festivals and competitions.

Full Bio Here:


About Marques Jerrell Ruff:

American bass-baritone Marques Jerrell Ruff has performed across the globe, including at the Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles, California, the Weiner Musikverein in Vienna, Austria, the Rudolfinum in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Mariinksy Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia. The Hartford Courant marveled, “Ruff has a voice that has power, clarity and brilliant shades of color.” Mr. Ruff is a former member of the Grammy® award-winning ensemble, Chanticleer, and has distinguished himself as a versatile, dynamic performer and conductor across multiple genres. He is currently on the roster of several of the top choral ensembles in the country, including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Conspirare, Exigence, and Seraphic Fire. Most recently, Mr. Ruff made his debut in South Korea with The National Chorus of Korea, conducted by EJ Yoon, as the baritone soloist in Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony. He holds degrees in music from Central Connecticut State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Music Education at Florida State University. Mr. Ruff is a member of ACDA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He can be found @marquesjruff on all social media.

SJC passenger traffic is up plus other great news! ✈️

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is finally showing real signs of recovering from the Covid pandemic. October had over a million passengers passing through the airport, which is 32% better than October the previous year. This is still down 28% for 2019, but is a very positive trend. If you look at the data year-to-date (actually year-to-October) then traffic is up 64% from 2021 and only 38% down from 2019--which was the best year ever for San Jose air travel.

Looking forward to 2023, there is a lot of great news that will keep the momentum going. ZIPAIR is launching their nonstop flights from SJC to Japan this month. It might sounds like a random discount airline, but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan Airlines (JAL). The route will use a newer 787-8 plane with free WIFI and 290 seats, 18 of which are full-flat business. It will fly out from San Jose at 10am on Mondays, Thursday, and Sundays and arrive at Tokyo Narita at 2:30pm the next day.

In addition to ZIPAIR, there is a rumor that ANA will return to SJC in March with one big change. It will fly to Haneda instead of Narita in Tokyo. What's the difference? Narita is much closer to the city center, so it is generally preferred for travelers with a final destination of Tokyo.

Last but not least, Southwest has launched a six-day-per-week service to Palm Springs. Alaska was the only carrier doing this route before, so with Southwest joining prices have dropped significantly. Palm Springs is a great way to escape the cold in the winter and has one of the most interesting airports in the United States.

Below is a list of all of SJC's current international destinations. With service to 9 different destinations, we're still a bit off from our all-time high of 11 destinations. However, with people returning to travel in a post-pandemic world, I'm optimistic San Jose will score new routes in 2023.

SJC International Flights

  • Asia
    • Tokyo, Narita (ZIPAIR)
  • Europe
    • London (British Airways)
  • North America
    • Vancouver (Air Canada)
    • Guadalajara (Alaska Airlines, Volaris)
    • Cabo San Lucas (Alaska Airlines)
    • Puerto Vallarta (Alaska Airlines)
    • Morelia (Volaris)
    • Zacatecas (Volaris)
    • Leon (Volaris)

Sources: SVBJ, Wiki, ZIPAIR