Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Day in Downtown San Jose

How many times have you heard the question: "What's there to do in San Jose?" It's a question that I heard constantly during my upbringing here. As we continue to grow as a city and culture... it's also becoming an easier one to answer. Fortunately, we also have a place that is becoming a magnet for "things to do" and that's downtown.

Saturday, I wanted to get some new photos for this blog, so my wife and I decided to head over to Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park and start there. We were planning to swing downtown just for a few hours, but ended up spending all day there. We just kept getting sucked into doing more and more. He's a rundown of our day:

3:00pm - Grabbed a late lunch and smoothies at WOW Noodle House, which just opened up last Friday. The weather was amazing, so we decided to eat outside. The Chow Fun and Pad Thai we got were delicious and inexpensive. The restaurant was elaborately decorated in the inside and the servers were extremely friendly. From where we sat, you can start to see the transformation on First St., people walking on the streets, planters and flowers everywhere, retail holes starting to be filled.

3:30pm - Started walking around to take photos. Hundreds of people were in Plaza de Cesar Chavez Park sitting out on the grass, their kids playing in the fountains. I'll be posting these photos throughout the week.

5:00pm - Got a snack at Penguin Froyo. This has become my new favorite yogurt shop. They had the best tart yogurt I've ever had, the seating was comfortable and inviting, and if yogurt isn't your thing they also have gelato, crepes, and cake.

5:30pm - Took a detour to The 88, one of the 4 new high-rise residential buildings downtown.  Finally got to see the models and check out one of the penthouses on the 21st floor. The penthouse views were amazing (photos later this week), but tragically the $2.75 million price tag was a tad bit outside of our budget.

7:30pm - Swung by the rep and made an impulse decision to see The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show was hilarious and interactive. I would highly recommend checking it out soon, since it only runs until June 7th.

10:00pm - Since we did so much already, we couldn't stop now! We ended up at Tanq, the new Michael Mena bar next to Arcadia in the Marriott Hotel. We ordered some appetizers and their specialty drink called "Kiss the Fish." When they told me the drink came in a giant glass fish, I had to try it out. 

11:30pm - Nights not over yet, we jumped on the back of one of the downtown pedicabs. Terra, our chauffeur, quickly took us all over downtown so we could get some nightlife shots.  We also got to hear some interesting stories about people downtown. Very cool mode of transportation and I hope the redevelopment agency adds more bikes.

Please check back frequently throughout the week as I'll be posting lots of photos from Saturday!


  1. The place is filling out nicely.

  2. Thanks for the recap! Amazingly, you had so many other options available: The Tech, the Museum of Art, a comedy show at the Improv, a movie at one of the Camera Theatres, Peralta Adobe and Fallon House, St Joseph's Cathedral and on and on.

    Downtown is become a legitimate destination...even for the suburbanites that eschew it so much.

  3. Not bad, considering your day started at 3pm. I look forward to seeing some more of your trips in downtown San Jose.