Sunday, November 29, 2009

New SJC Terminal

Several weeks ago I took a Southwest flight down to the LA area and was lucky to get one of the 6 new gates in Terminal B! I think the terminal is already looking fantastic and should be a substantial improvement over terminals A and C when fully opened in mid 2010.

I was going to eat at all of the restaurants (I love food almost as much as San Jose... almost), but due to time constraints I opted to do Shark's Cage--one of the few places that was not available outside of the airport. The food was typical pub fare, but I was impressed by how they made the bar look like it was made out of ice and of course they went all out with Sharks paraphernalia. After walking into the Brit, I was also surprised to find out that a huge chunk of the new airport facing 87 is actually transparent! While it looks like a solid facade from the freeway, the metal is perforated to allow patrons to look out while still blocking most of the sun. Slick design move.

Below are a few snapshots:








Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Blog Links

Just a quick update to let you know that I have updated the links on the right hand side. Again, if you know of any other San Jose blogs I should post to, just let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

San Pedro Square Version 2.0

I was looking at the JRDV Architects website today and am still impressed at how awesome the San Pedro Square Urban Market renders look. When this gets executed, I really think it's going to dramatically reinvigorate the area and help draw people from around Silicon Valley to downtown San Jose. Take a look with me below:







Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Buck Tuesdays ($2 Art!)

Tomorrow you have a rare opportunity to purchase art for a steal at KALEID art gallery on 88 South Fourth Street Downtown. Small, original works of art are available for $2 and as an added bonus you get to mingle with up-and-coming local artists. The even takes place from 5-10pm and you can see a full list of talent at the Phantom Galleries website.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Halloween in the Park, Part II

A couple of weeks ago I posted a suggestion to have a Downtown San Jose event similar to Christmas in the Park... except themed for Halloween. Everyone seems to think that this is a really good idea and Dan Vado (sponsor for Zombie-O-Rama) volunteered to take point.

Here is a revised list of ideas to reflect what was previously posted in comments.
  • Animated Halloween Displays
    • assembled by talented 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 controllable lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button... that way the lights could stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and would only have to be put up and taken down once
  • Retail Booths selling Halloween items, for example:
    • home decor like candles
    • artwork (paintings, glass pumpkins, etc.)
    • costumes
    • light-up hats/necklaces/bracelets
    • zombie/Halloween make-up station 
  • Food booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, etc.
  • Halloween-themed carnival games
  • 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. Perhaps a 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
    • Would be ideal if these were nearby, perhaps in vacant retails spaces, surface parking lots, the convention center, or at SJSU.
  • Potential Events
    • Zombie-O-Rama can be used to kick off Halloween in the Park (late Sep. / early Oct. timeframe)
    • Dia De Los Muertes Bike Party
    • Weekly horror movie screening (perhaps in the Circle of Palms area?)
As before, please post your suggestions below!

Friday, November 13, 2009

San Jose Crime Rate

Just how safe is our city? Well let's take a look at some official crime statistics that I stumbled upon from the SJPD website. Between 1989 and 2008, our population grew from 757,964 to 989,496 yet homicides fell from 40 to 31, rape cases fell from 399 to 220, and aggravated assaults fell from 2,939 to 2,268. Let's put this in perspective. In 2008 San Francisco had a population nearly 200k LESS than San Jose and had 99 homicides, more than triple the San Jose rate. Oakland with a population of 420,183 in 2008 had a staggering 124 homicides. Detroit, the city closest to San Jose's population in 2008, had a mind-blowing 368 homicides. You often hear that San Jose is one of the safest large cities anywhere, but the proof is in the numbers.

Okay, one more fun statistic. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to how many 2008 homicides were in Downtown San Jose? Zero.






Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 2009 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here is the latest from the November edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • In a recent survey, San Jose residents said they would like to see more stores downtown that sell books, gifts, cards, computers, sporting goods and electronics. More used clothing stores and art galleries would also be a plus.
  • According to a survey of downtown business owners, 50% said their business activity was declining while 34% said that they were holding their own.  66% felt at least moderately confident in the future of downtown.
  • The second annual San Jose Downtown Open House was a tremendous success and brought in 1500 visitors to the 4 high-rise condo buildings downtown (6 visitors put down deposits on homes, 3 made offers, and several expressed serious intent in buying downtown condos).  Another similar event is scheduled for Dec. 4... more details here.
  • Downtown Ice opens Nov. 20th!
  • SJSU was ranked the 12th best public university in the West (up from 13th last year).
  • There is a new 135 foot long mural in SoFA near the Robert F. Peckman Federal Building.
  • SJDA's budget is relatively balanced.
  • The Cheesesteak Shop opened at 76 E. Santa Clara St.
  • Heel Bar shoe repair is coming to 134 E. Santa Clara St.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The San Jose Blog "Semi-anniversary"

It's been exactly 6 months since The San Jose Blog launched last May! I think I've finally gotten into a good rhythm for posting and plan to continue doing this indefinitely (and hopefully post more frequently). We have had some success in changing the perceptions of at least a few people regarding San Jose culture--particularly downtown--and I'm certain this blog will continue to gain traction as the economy picks up and San Jose continues to expand at a faster rate. Think of all the exciting projects on the table right now: downtown A's stadium, high-speed rail + BART, new downtown residential towers, Earthquakes stadium, massive airport expansion... the list goes on and on. Expect many interesting topics ahead.

Now to balance the positives with a little bit of bad news. Since launching I have been linking blogs about San Jose in the menu to the right. Today I decided to go through all of them to see how things are going and here is a little summary:

San Jose Revealed - Mysteriously vanished
San Jose Has A Blog - Taken down due to "Lack of Interest"
Going San Jose - No posts for 6 months
SJ21 - Still in suspended animation 

Thankfully San Jose Metblogs, San Jose Inside, Baseball San Jose, and San Jose Day-by-Day are still kicking, but it's time to replenish the blog list. If you know of a blog directly related to San Jose that I should link to please post the URL in the comments below. Speaking of comments, you can now post anonymously. Thank you again for reading!

Friday, November 6, 2009

South First Friday Art Walk Tonight

It's time for another South First Fridays Art Walk! Even though the weather is less than stellar tonight, there will be lots to see and do in SoFA from 8pm to late. The map below gives you an idea of how many businesses and organizations are participating. Click here to see the full menu of cultural delicacies in store for you this evening.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Halloween in the Park?

The largest draw to downtown San Jose for many years now has been Christmas in the Park. In has continued to grow year after year and brings in visitors from all over the bay. It's economic impact I'm sure is substantial and helps keep many downtown businesses afloat.

What would you think about a similar event for Halloween? Picture downtown lit up in orange and purple with elaborate Halloween displays assembled by talented local artists. Perhaps a lot of the 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 Music in the Park months and Christmas in the Park. It would be nice to flesh out this idea and perhaps make a formal proposal in a year or two if there is interest.

Here are some ideas I'm tossing around for what I would want to see in a "Halloween in the Park" event:
  • Animated Halloween Displays (analogous to the Christmas displays that attract many families during Christmas in the Park)
  • Orange, purple, and green LED lighting on trees.  It is also possible to use new controllable lighting that can go from Halloween colors to Christmas colors with the push of a button... that way the lights could stay up for Christmas in the Park as well and would only have to be put up and taken down once)
  • Retail booths selling Halloween items 
  • Food booths with candied apples, chocolates, candy, etc.
  • Halloween-themed carnival games
  • Costumed entertainers walking around the area, not necessarily scaring people but adding to the ambiance and providing photo opportunities for families.
Any thoughts?