Sunday, September 30, 2012

Leigh Weimers Memorial

Today is the memorial for Leigh Weimers, a long-time San Jose Mercury News columnist that retired in 2005 and was succeeded by Sal Pizarro. In his final column, he has a great quote that I really love and wanted to share:

"As I've said before, I'm convinced that when historians come to write about what has happened here over the past four decades, they'll compare Silicon Valley to Florence at the start of the Renaissance. After all, what took place in Italy back then was the development of new ways of looking at art, music, commerce, the world. And the technological developments here during the past 40 years have been no less global. Information now is available everywhere. Societies that experience this information explosion can never go back to the closed-off life they once led. The world has shrunk. And it's because of the people around us here in Silicon Valley and the wonders they've wrought. Is this all good? Nothing is. But on balance, we're tremendously empowered." (Source)

The memorial service is at St. Joseph's Basilica (Downtown) at 3:30pm.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday Stats: San Jose Tops The List of Richest Cities

Among the 25 largest cities in the United States, San Jose ranks as having the highest median household income by far. Even our neighbors up north were 10% behind. The national median income is $51,000, in California it is about $60,000, and it San Jose it is a whopping $77,000. I'm surprised New York was not in the top 5, but it is easy to forget that most of New York's 8 million residents live and work outside Manhattan. The full list is below:

1.) San Jose - $77,000
2.) San Francisco - $70,000
3.) Washington, D.C. - $63,000
4.) Seattle - $61,000
5.) San Diego - $61,000

Source: Huffington Post

Friday, September 28, 2012

Impact of Redevelopment on Downtown San Jose

Interesting 6 minute discussion about redevelopment Downtown with Bert Robinson, managing director for Bay Area News Group:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Earthquakes Stadium Groundbreaking Ceremony is on October 21!

Well, it looks like there is one San Jose stadium that is in the bag. The groundbreaking ceremony for the $60M Earthquakes stadium is taking place Sunday, October 21st at 1125 Coleman Avenue. So far multiple Fortune 100 companies have shown interest in naming rights and 7UP Bottling has already become a founding partner and sponsor.

The team is even shooting for the Guiness World Record for largest groundbreaking ceremony. 4,533 people will have to dig with commemorative shovels for 2 minutes in order to break the current record which was set in India. If you want to participate in the record breaking, sign up right over here!

Source: SJBJ

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Little Chef Encounter

San Jose just pops up in the most unexpected places...

A few weeks ago my husband and I were on a trip in Oahu, Hawaii and we decided to hit up the North Shore for all the delicious shrimp (and other) food trucks in the area. So of course, we go to the famous Giovanni's Shrimp Truck for some good eats.

So there we are... standing in line, and what do I see, at eye level as we are waiting for the delicious shrimp we just ordered?

WAIT. I know that logo!!

You Lil stinker -- the Little Chef Counter has made it's way out to Oahu! How fun to spot a local logo in a far away spot. Rumor has it, there are some stickers floating around in New York too. Have you seen them? Share them here in the comments!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Santana Row October/November Events


LavAzza Espression slated to open Monday, October 8
LavAzza, known as “Italy’s favourite coffee” since 2007, is expanding its presence in the U.S. and opens its first cafe Bay Area coffee shop/cafe at Santana Row. The shop brings a contemporary and innovative approach to coffee with Espression cafe, a place where customers can experience an extraordinary blend of coffee creations and eclectic dining in an artfully designed environment. The menu ranges from traditional Italian coffee drinks to fresh baked goods, panini sandwiches, chocolate drinks and gelato. LavAzza’s history goes back 110 years when founder Luigi Lavazza opened a small grocery store in Turin, Italy. He is credited with inventing the concept of the blend, the art of mixing coffee of different origins to obtain a flavorful brew.
LavAzza opens at 300 Santana Row, at the entrance of the office lobby across from Crate & Barrel.

San Jose International Short Film Festival, Oct. 18-21
For the second year, Santana Row is the host venue for the festival, which kicks off with a Red Carpet opening night and after-party on Oct. 18. Hundreds of the best short films from 25 countries will be screened over four days with genres that include comedy, drama, sci-fi, animation and documentary. The event also features workshops and technology demonstrations, plus nightly filmmaker receptions.
Tickets go on sale in September. For more information, go to

Mommy & Me “Halloween Family Fun Fest,” Tuesday, Oct. 30
Superheroes, princesses and little monsters are all invited to Santana Row’s Mommy & Me Halloween festivities. Costumed or not, kids can trick-or-treat on The Row, decorate pumpkins, play with balloon animals, get face paintings and listen to music by Andy Z. Complimentary trick-or-treat bags are provided. Capture the day with a 5x7 picture taken by a professional photographer for $10 at the Halloween set in Santana Row Park.
When: 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit


Light Up the Row! Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, Nov. 13
Santana Row celebrates the 2012 holiday season with the annual Light Up the Row Tree Lighting Ceremony honoring the 10-year anniversary. The day of festivities include Santa photos, children’s activities, hot chocolate samplings, live music, carolers, costumed characters, special guests, performances by local theater groups and the lighting of the 40-foot Christmas tree, making this one of the most exciting holiday events in Silicon Valley.
Time: Festivities are scheduled from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., with tree lighting slated for 7 p.m.
3 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Photos with Surfin’ Santa in Park Valencia
7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Tree Lighting Ceremony in Santana Row Park
6 p.m. to 9 p.m. - Live music, choirs, carolers, hot chocolate sampling and activities for children and families throughout The Row
Where: Tree lighting takes place at 368 Santana Row, across from the Left Bank Restaurant on the giant chess board in Santana Row Park.
Get your holiday shopping done, or get started! Guests will receive an exclusive shopping card good for 20 percent off any one item at select shops and restaurants on The Row. Pick up a card at Vera Bradley or the Concierge Center from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Nov. 13 and it’s valid through Sunday, Nov. 18.

Mommy & Me “Give Back to Your Community,” Tuesday, Nov. 13
The holidays encourage us to pull together and help those less fortunate and November’s program encourages kids to bring a canned food item that will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank. Holiday fun includes face painting, balloon animals, Arts & Crafts with Action Day, “Beaming with Health” scavenger hunt, building animals out of unusual veggies and mini manicures for little ones by Lavande nail spa. Moms and kids will be entertained by music and performances by Broadway San Jose, the Harvest Scarecrow and Andy Z. Snacks are provided by Happy Family Brands and there’s a drawing to win a $50 gift card from The Container Store.
When: 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Park Valencia. Mommy & Me is a free kids’ club held on the second Tuesday of every month from May through December. For more information, call 408.551.4611 or visit

Rainy Day Rewards, November 1, 2012 - March 31, 2013
When there’s a 70 percent chance for rain, shoppers and diners braving bad weather will be rewarded with discounts that include 15 percent off purchases at participating shops and restaurants, a free signature Santana Row golf umbrella for customers who spend $150 anywhere on The Row and a $20 gift certificate to a participating shop or restaurant for customers who spend $300 on a designated Rainy Day.
No need to get wet: On all rainy days,  customers can pick up a complimentary umbrella to use while shopping and dining and then return it before leaving. The yellow umbrellas are conveniently located throughout The Row - outside Concierge, Via between Village California Bistro and Lark Creek Blue and the valet parking lot in the Winchester Parking Garage.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The 49ers Have Already Sold $670M in Seats

While the Santa Clara stadium is a little bit outside the scope of this blog, most of the people that are going to fill these seats are San Joseans. The Niners have already sold a staggering $670M in seat licenses. This is more than any other team in history 2 years before opening. Selling every single seat before the 2014 opener seems like a sure thing.

The good news for San Jose--besides residents having easy access to games with no taxes or financial risk--is that there are not many pre/post game options in the immediate vicinity of the stadium. That means that a lot of people are going to hop on light rail, and go to the nearest hub for the pregame or afterparty, and most of those places are going to be in San Jose. You can also expect San Jose hotels located near light rail to do very well on game days.

As a side note, this also shows a very strong market for professional sports in the South Bay, and should be additional evidence for Lew Wolff and the MLB to get their act together and allow the A's to move to Downtown San Jose.

Source: The Merc

Sunday, September 23, 2012

San Jose Taiko presents Rhythm Spirit 2012: Taiko+Technology

San José, CA --- September 10, 2012 --- San Jose Taiko (SJT) is to perform Rhythm Spirit 2012: Taiko+Technology September 21 and 22. The company will be at an exciting new venue this year: the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza.  SJT has partnered with the ZERO1 Biennial to explore the art form of taiko through the medium of digital expression.

Also included in this year’s Rhythm Spirit performance will be a preview of next year’s 40th Anniversary Rhythm Spirit 2013. While it seems like a long way off, the 40th anniversary is a milestone for San Jose Taiko, one of the oldest taiko groups in North America.

There are three performances of Rhythm Spirit 2012: Friday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. All shows will be held at the School of Arts and Culture at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, 1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA 95116.

San Jose Taiko will be sharing this journey of taiko and technology on its website at and through its social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr).

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors if purchased in advance ($30/$25 at the door).  All seats are reserved, and group rates are available. Ticket information is available by visiting or by calling 408-293-9344.

# # #

About San Jose Taiko:

San Jose Taiko, with a deep respect of cultural traditions and a commitment to artistic excellence, is dedicated to the advancement of the taiko art form through the development of its world-class Performing Ensemble and the San Jose Taiko Conservatory. Located in the heart of Japantown of San Jose, the company performs throughout the Bay Area, the United States and abroad.

From its beginnings in 1973, SJT endeavored to create a contemporary musical style while respecting taiko’s Japanese roots.  Representative of the backgrounds and influences of its membership, SJT’s style joins the traditional rhythms of Japan with other world rhythms, including African, Brazilian, Filipino, Latin, and jazz percussion. All of SJT’s performances are fully choreographed, theatrically lit extravaganzas, bridging many styles while still resonating with the Asian soul in America.

Enrich the human spirit. Connect people beyond cultural and demographic boundaries.

San Jose Taiko, 565 North 5th Street, San Jose, CA 95112    408 293 9344

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Stats: San Jose Gains 2,400 Jobs Over the Last 5 Years

Gaining a couple thousand jobs over 5 years may not seem very impressive, but keep in mind we were in the midst of the financial crisis and great recession in 2008/2009. Let's look at the numbers in terms of percentages and compare to other cities:

% Growth in Jobs from 2007-2012
San Jose: +0.29%
New York City: +0.23%
Seattle: -1.92%
San Francisco: -4.2%
San Diego: -5.56%
Los Angeles: -7.27%
Sacramento: -12.11%

In total, 81 major metros have fewer jobs in the private sector today than they did in 2007. So we're not doing too shabby with a positive 0.29%. Now we just need infrastructure to catch up because the increased traffic on the road is starting to get old!

Source: On Numbers

Friday, September 21, 2012

Winchester Mystery House Fright Nights

Last year the Winchester Mystery House produced the highest quality and longest Halloween maze in the Bay Area. It was befitting that a place with so much occult history finally get a proper "scare" attraction. This year they are stepping it up to a new level with two attractions, one of which will likely be the longest haunted maze in the United States. A lot was also invested into further improving the props, actors, storytelling, and variety of scares in the flagship maze. To top it off, the second attraction is a self-guided flashlight tour of the mansion itself with a surprise or two along the way.

The October calendar for this event is below and you can use the discount code "THIRTEEN" to get $5 off per ticket. For more info, check out the Fright Nights website right over here.

There are going to be a lot of great Halloween events in the Bay Area this year, but if you can only choose one to try out... this is it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PARK(ing) Day this Friday @ 38 W Santa Clara Street

Friday, September 21, 2012, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Event image
First celebrated in San Francisco in 2005, PARK(ing) Day has since become a global phenomenon. The annual event celebrates public space and street life by temporarily transforming metered parking spots into public spaces. This year, SPUR San Jose and TransForm are partnering up in front of the SPUR office on Santa Clara Street to share its take on temporary parklets.

SPUR San Jose
38 W Santa Clara Street
San Jose, CA 95113
map >>
Free to public

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday Wishlist: San Joseans to Stop Referring to SF as "The City"

This really drives me nuts.  When San Franciscans do it, it sounds arrogant and self-indulgent.  However, it's even worse when San Joseans refer to our smaller neighbor up north as "the city." Every time we do this we are continuing to perpetuate a nickname that is degrading to San Jose, and many other Bay Area cities like Oakland.

Leigh Weimers is a former columnist from the San Jose Mercury News that has recently passed away (his memorial service is Monday, 3:30 at St. Joseph's Basilica). One of his few regrets was: "I'm sorry I haven't gotten more San Joseans to stop calling San Francisco "the city." It's "a city" -- so is San Jose -- but not "the city." That's so last century. (Source)

I'm hoping that Sal Pizarro, who has taken over Leigh's position, will take the baton and continue to fight to get that reference out of San Josean's vocabulary. I think the way things are going in San Jose, we can do it, but like anything it will take some time and conscious effort.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Downtown "Staycation"

I had a little Downtown "Staycation" over the weekend and thought it might be neat to share.


The Zero1 Street Festival started at 6pm and as always it featured all sorts of off the wall exhibits throughout SoFA like a silent rave and an interactive pipe-music-thingy. My wife and I were pretty impressed with the LED webbing they hung past William Street and I hope they keep it up year-round. The Zero1 Garage was definitely a highlight and will be open all the way up until December. Great addition to SoFA and worth checking out.

We had a snack at one of the food trucks, enjoyed some beers at the Gordon Biersch Beer Garden, then hit up Tanq with friends for dinner and drinks.

Then we did a second round at the festival and made it to the new Parque de los Pobladores, which turned out really well! It seems much, much larger and even hosted one of the music stages and a bright pink carpeted iLounge.

Some requests for the next biennial: participation from more galleries (Anno Domini, Higher Fire, SLG, etc.) and more food trucks.

After midnight, we all headed to Singlebarrel for some cocktails and stayed there until closing. After that we said goodbye to our friends and leisurely walked to the Four Points for the night, no need to deal with a car when you're staycationing Downtown.


Woke up late, grabbed lunch at Mosaic which has reinvented itself as an Asian Fusion restaurant. The menu is definitely better than what it was before, still could use a little work. We then went for a really long walk Downtown.

Swung by the San Jose Museum of Art, check out all of the new exhibits including one specifically for Zero1. Then we went to Ross for a bit to look for some clothes (you can buy clothes Downtown!).

I was hoping to go to Original Gravity Public House since they were having their belated Grand Opening party, but there were so many people there we didn't end up getting anything.

We then walked down Paseo de San Antonio to find that San Jose's newest wine bar--"Wyne"--is coming along and looks like it is just a month or so away from opening. At this point it is Saturday mid afternoon and La Lune Sucre and Philz are both completely packed. This is turning into a pretty active district.

Next stop is Cafe Bonne Terre, which used to be Whipps. They have all the same menu items with the addition of crepes, both savory and sweet. My wife and I shared some gelato and a nutella/banana crepe.

Then we took another long walk. There are plenty of people on the streets including a surprising amount of families. Two or three years ago, you wouldn't really see this Downtown. I think the new high rise condos/apartments are really helping to change the dynamic.

Later that day, a few friends from SF were in town. I decided to gamble and take them to a restaurant I haven't been to yet, but was on my high-priority to check out list: Back A Yard. Wow, just wow. The food blew us away. The Jamaican jerk combo had some of the most flavorful chicken I've ever had, the beans/rice were amazing, the plantains were delicious, and the corn festival which is some sort of corn fritter thing was completely addicting. The 4.5 Yelp rating is definitely justified on this one.

After that we headed over to the San Pedro Square Market, and I gave them a thorough tour. Last time I took them here only Vino Vino and Pizza Boca Luppo were open. What a difference a year makes. Lots of people, live music in 3 different areas, tons of great food (which we could smell but were too stuffed to try)... it showed really well and they were impressed. "San Jose has come a long way" and "I may come here more often now" were some of their comments. We hung out for a while and then ended with some Treatbot. That's pretty much a wrap for the night.


When people ask "what's there to do Downtown?" the answer is a whole lot. Even just walking around on a sunny day and going to a bunch of random places was good times. I hope in the future more people that don't live Downtown will be willing to think of it as a destination and make a day (or two) out of going there.

TWO BUCK Tuesday Today

from Phantom Galleries 

Join us at KALEID Gallery for this upcoming TWO BUCK Tuesday, September 18th, 7pm-10pm!
Come enjoy an inspired evening of performances, live painting, $2 art & quirky people get together!
Lots of live painters and live music happening this month:

Al Preciado

Jim Fonseca


Lydia Rae Black

Steve Borelli

Steven Suiter

Nic Ceasar

John Hageman

Live entertainment by G Willikers solo set


And you can check out our featured exhibition SJ Creatives One Year Anniversary Show!

Tuesday, September 18th, 7-10pm It’s free and open to all ages!

88 South Fourth Street (@ San Fernando)
San Jose, CA 95112
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, noon -7pm, free admission

Monday, September 17, 2012

n1: North First Campus

This is easily the most impressive office project that is underway right now in Silicon Valley. n1 consists of 1.8 million square feet of office space, tons of outdoor spaces, new cafes, and impressive athletic facilities (check out those rooftop tennis courts in the second to last photo). The entire development is off of North 1st with Component Drive bisecting the project and providing access to parking. There will be a new street called campus way that looks almost like a little downtown street and connects all of the main entrances to each buildings and hopefully some retail. You can see this in the fifth photo. Everything is within a 10min walk to lightrail, providing easy access to Downtown and other companies on First St., Tasman, etc.

For a campus-style project, this is exceptional design and I can't wait to see who the tenants are going to be.

zero1 2012

An art & technology fusion isn’t complete without a giant luchador head.  It was pretty awesome seeing it while we went to get fried chicken & beer.

There’s dancing in the streets.  Without music.  Well, music we can’t hear as they wore headphones.

There are some cool robotic installations on the street from plotting earthquakes (not the crazy kind that want to wipe out humanity, Bazinga!) to these little guys on the street that were rocking themselves.

A tiny fun house like maze, made out of reflective space fabric, minus the killer klowns from space .

Some of the coolest stuff was in the zero1 garage where we saw a stupendously mesmerizing piece where the motors vibrated strings with loops that bounced back & forth.  The loops moved in such a manner that it seemed to pass through each other.

Finally, we hung out at the last stage listening to electronica music & where they had a giant pink gym like cushiony thingy for people to sit on or to lie down on, as the shag carpeting was quite nice.

Anyways, exhibits will continue to run for a while so drop by their site & check out the schedule.  Maybe we'll see you there.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

ArtBox SJ

from Phantom Galleries 

Kori Thompson

Micah Bariteau

The ArtBox Project has completed 30 utility boxes painted with original works of art by local artists in neighborhoods all over San Jose with more locations in the works. If you'd like to help us beautify neighborhoods with your personal talents, please email us at info[at]PhantomGalleries[dot]com and we'll get you submission info.

More photos of completed boxes here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blockbuster partnership: Cinequest to produce inspiring films for The Tech Museum’s international awards program The Tech Awards

SAN JOSE, CA – A dozen top-flight international filmmakers today were dispatched to capture stories of the people who use technology to benefit humanity around the world, marking a new partnership between The Tech Awards and international film powerhouse Cinequest.

The 90-second films will be shown as part of Silicon Valley’s foremost technology awards program, The Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society. A signature program of The Tech Museum, The Tech Awards recognizes 12 brilliant innovators who are changing the world with their technologies to eliminate hunger, do away with disease and combat illiteracy, among other global challenges.

The Cinequest partnership is neatly aligned with the goals of The Tech Awards, which seeks to raise awareness about the life-changing work that affects people from Uganda to Uruguay. Over the years, the 257 laureates of The Tech Awards have worked hard to erase stubborn global problems. Thanks to the international reach of Cinequest, these gripping stories will be relayed around the world.

“As we explored different ways to introduce The Tech Awards laureates this year, Cinequest's Film Festival and its Picture the Possibilities project caught our attention—and a new idea emerged,” David Whitman, vice president The Tech Awards.  “Why not convey the compelling stories of the laureates this year through the lenses of 12 diverse, imaginative, and daring filmmakers associated with Cinequest? We pictured the possibilities. And now we're making them into a reality.”

Cinequest has paired a filmmaker with each of the 12 laureates to feature the laureates’ fieldwork and illustrate how their innovations help people most in need. The films will serve as a creative introduction for the nearly 1,500 attendees at the annual The Tech Awards gala November 15 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. After the gala, the films will be available for the laureates to share with media, potential partners and donors or those simply interested in learning more about their work. The films will also be posted on the museum’s website, along with those of past laureates. The top three will be screened during the Cinequest Film Festival, February 26 – March 10, 2013.

“Cinequest and The Tech Museum share a commitment to integrating creativity and innovation. It’s a pleasure to engage Cinequest filmmakers to honor the innovation and powerful work of this year’s laureates,” Halfdan Hussey, director and co-founder on Cinequest, said.

The inspiring work of the laureates has included designing earthquake-resistant construction technology to creating a heat-sensitive label for vaccine vials to make sure children receive potent immunizations to building a simple, low-cost, mobile phone-based device that allows remote monitoring and operation of irrigation pumps.

This year, the laureates will be honored in six categories: Intel Environment Award; Microsoft Education Award; The Swanson Foundation Young Innovator Award; Nokia Health Award; Flextronics Economic Development Award, and The Sustainable Energy Award. The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award will be presented to Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy, who founded tech services giant Infosys along with six colleagues and went on to become one of India’s most influential advocates for health care and rural development.
The following lists the filmmakers’ names and short biographies:

* Abbey Luck, Awesome + Modest
Abbey is a director and animator whose work has been featured at the Slamdance and Cinequest film festivals and in the feature film, Waiting for Superman. She produced music videos and commercials for General Electric, Gerber, Scion, Nokia, and AOL

*Lee Lanier, BeezleBug Bit
Lee is a leading animator and visual effects designer who has served as a senior animator at PDI/Dreamworks, taught at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, authored six high-end animation and visual effects books, was featured at 200+ venues worldwide, and is the executive director of the Dam Short Film Festival

*Landon Zakheim, filmmaker
Landon is a short-film programmer for the Sundance Film Festival and a filmmaker whose short films, Delmer Builds A Machine and Another Bullet Dodged, have been featured at over 60 international film festivals around the world

*Mike Blum, Pipsquek Films & Blumayan Films
Mike is an Emmy-nominated and award-wining director, writer, and producer who owns and operates the Pipsquek Films animation studio and Blumayan Films. Mike’s projects include the Emmy-nominated series, The Adventures of Baxter & McGuire (Comedy Central); live-action feature, The Playback Singer; and recent series, Samurai! Daycare (SMOSH/Alloy Digital)

*Evan Mather, filmmaker
Evan is an independent filmmaker and landscape architect based in Los Angeles. His 2007 film,So What?, received the 2008 Communications Award of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects and he is a Graham Foundation recipient for his 2009 documentary, A Necessary Ruin

*Mary Skinner, 2B Productions
Mary directs and produces documentary films and corporate media. Her most recent project Irena Sendler: In the Name of Their Mothers, an official selection at this year’s UN Film Festival, was broadcast nationally on PBS and won the 2012 Gracie Award for outstanding documentary for, by, and about women

*Oliver Cukor, Sleeveless Productions, Inc
Oliver has combined his passions for film, music and new technologies to create stunningly visual and immersive experiences. He has produced, edited, and directed several award-winning films, two of which, Sleeveless Heart and Blue Road, have been shown at the Cinequest Film Festival

*Kavi Raz, K.R. Films Hollywood
Kavi is an award-winning actor, writer, producer, and director as well as the founder of his production company. His directorial debut film The Gold Bracelet has been screened at many prestigious film festivals and has garnered several awards

*Vijay Vanniarajan, Siren Song Creations
Vijay is a co-owner of Siren Song Creations, whose work has been featured on national television,, Deepak Chopra’s website, several film festivals, and has produced for companies such as Adobe, ESPN, NBC, Sentilla, Cinequest and Plug and Play. Paramount Pictures also distributed his documentary.

*Sean McCarthy, Guerilla Wanderers Films
Sean McCarthy is the founder and director of Guerilla Wanderers Films, an award-winning, full-service production company that specializes in film, commercials, corporate videos, and music videos. His short films, Superhero, Boxed Up and Raging Cyclist have received high recognition and awards at various film festivals throughout the United States

*Sidney Sherman with Cliff Schmidt
Sidney is the founder and CEO of Rosa Entertainment, an independent film/television production and management company. Sherman produced the IFC Films released Go Tigers!, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and was an Academy Award Finalist and Independent Spirit Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature

*Thomas Mignone, filmmaker
Thomas is a leading filmmaker and music video director who has directed over 150 award-winning music videos for top industry artists and feature film, On the Doll, Thomas utilizes his electrical engineering background to fuse digital audio and video systems and technologies in his filmmaking

For learn more about The Tech Awards, click:

For more information about Cinequest, click:

About The Tech Museum
The Tech Museum is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The museum—located in the Capital of Silicon Valley —is a non-profit learning resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through programs such as The Tech Challenge presented by Cisco, our annual team-design competition for youth, and internationally renowned programs such as The Tech Awards presented by Applied Materials, The Tech Museum endeavors to inspire the innovator in everyone.

About Cinequest
CINEQUEST is a leading organization that fuses creativity with technological
innovation to empower, improve, and transform the lives of people and communities,
through Cinequest Picture the Possibilities (PTP), Cinequest Film Festival and Cinequest Mavericks Studio.
• CINEQUEST Film Festival (CQFF): showcases premier films, renowned
and emerging artists, and breakthrough technology—empowering global
connectivity between creators and innovators.
• CINEQUEST Picture The Possibilities (PTP): a transformative leadership
movement, where empowered youth create films expressing visions of a better
tomorrow that inspire global leaders to ignite change.
• PTP World Premiere Event during CQFF: multiple, simultaneous, worldwide
connections between media, business, entertainment, and political leaders where
interaction with PTP films and each other jump-start the ultimate realization of
these youthful visions for a better tomorrow.
Cinequest’s sister company, Cinequest Mavericks Studio LLC, produces, distributes
and markets innovative and transformative motion pictures.

Friday, September 14, 2012

[e]MERGE ZER01 Street Festival Today!!!

The largest ZER01 event is going on tonight in SoFA! You can look forward to nonstop entertainment, art, and San Jose culture from 6pm to midnight. If there was ever a day to grab all your friends and show them what Downtown could be like, this is it. All of the information is below and hope to see all of you there!

Join us in re-imagining San Jose’s SoFA District to look and feel how people imagine Silicon Valley to be. (e)MERGE is the ZERO1 Biennial street festival featuring outdoor projects by over 100 emerging artists whose innovative and experimental works engage with a range of exciting new technologies.

(e)MERGE Street Festival:
Friday September 14, 2012 from 6pm-Midnight
and Saturday September 15th from 11am-6pm
SoFA district in downtown San Jose
(on South First Street between San Carlos & Reed Streets)
Free Open to the public

12:00pm – Nick Lally's 1st bike tour of Silicon Valley leaves from Menlo Park Caltrain Station

6:45pm – Nick Lally's celebratory bicycle tour arrives in SoFA

6:50pm - Mike Lai's Sonic Kung Fu 2 begins on the street

7:00pm – Three Bodies Performance #1, 500 block, at MACLA Theater

7:15pm - UC Berkeley's Ashley Ferro-Murray & Erin Johnson perform Tulle/Tool in front of the San Jose Stage Company

7:50pm - Mike Lai's Sonic Kung Fu 2 performance begins on the Music Stage at Gore Park

 8:00pm – Amy Alexander & Annina Rust's Discotrope: The Secret Nightlife of Solar Cells Set #1, junction of S. 1st Street & San Salvador

8:00pm – Three Bodies performance #2, 500 block at MACLA Theater

8:30pm – Micha Cardenas, Karen Anzoategui, Bianca Molina & Allison Wyper perform Local Autonomy Networks/Autonets, 400 block throughout S. 1st Street

9:00pm – Three Bodies performance #3, 500 block at MACLA Theater

9:15pm – Eve Warnock, Colin McDonald & Tina Matthews perform Denizen, from 300 S. 1st Street

9:30pm – Amy Alexander & Annina Rust SolarDisco 2nd set, intersection of S. 1st St. & San Carlos St.

10:00pm – Three Bodies performance #4, 500 block at MACLA Theater

10:15pm – UC Berkeley's Ashley Ferro-Murray and Erin Johnson performance #2, S. 1st Street in front of San Jose Stage Company

11:00pm – UCSD Disco 3nd set, junction of S. 1st Street & San Salvador

6:45pm April Chase

8:00pm French Cassettes

9:00pm The Blank Tapes

10:00pm Seventeen Evergreen

11:00am – 2nd bike tour of Silicon Valley with artist Nick Lally at his installation space at (e)MERGE

2:30pm – Slow Mail Mail Call at (e)MERGE Performance (Horses arrive at 2pm)

Learn More about the (e)MERGE Artists!

Also open late! Come see Biennial art exhibitions at the ZERO1 Garage (439 S. 1st Street) plus the Tech Museum,  ICA, MACLA, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, WORKS/San Jose and more!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

ZER01 is Here!

Tonight officially kicks off ZER01 and you won't want to miss it! To see the full list of events, check out the events calendar over here. The largest event by far is going to be the street festival in SoFA tomorrow. It's going to be like a South First Friday injected with a steroid cannon and will no doubt be one of the best Downtown events of 2012!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: The Death of the Novel @ The San Jose Rep

The 2012-2013 show season at the San Jose Repertory Theatre has begun! And what a great show to start it off with!

I attended opening night of The Death of the Novel by Jonathan Marc Feldman and directed by the Rep's Rick Lombardo and for me, it was quite the treat. 

The play is about a young author who has experienced several heartbreaking losses throughout his life. Set shortly post-9/11 (with references within the play) New York, this man, Sebastian Justice, suffers from agoraphobia - he doesn't leave his New York apartment. Despite not leaving, thanks to his long time friend, he is able to meet an exotic and seemingly interesting woman, Sheba. Mixed in with words of sound logical advice (he chooses not to take, stubborn one that he is) from his psychologist, Samantha Cray, the story takes an interesting turn. 

My husband and I talked more about this show than we have over the last handful we've seen together. We're in our thirties and can relate to some of the topics brought up. I for one, felt a strong connection to the feelings Justice discussed as he reflected on the losses he had, one after another. A quote stuck in my head… "a clown car of tragedies". I'm sure many can relate… 

The Set: 
I love the set; design was a sleek furnished New York apartment with stylish modern furniture. Technically speaking - once again the Rep added their flair - the set rotated! Perfect way to bring you into another room. One of the other technical aspects (perhaps more along the lines of the sound department) that stood out for me was when someone opened the sliding glass door to the balcony, you'd hear the sounds of the New York streets below. Light horns honking, people talking, a whispy breeze -- great touches, Rep. They didn't go unnoticed!

The Music:
The music?! Wait this wasn't a musical - however, in a surprising moment, it played a lot like a music video or a montage in the middle of a film or television show. I don't want to give it all way, but it was an interesting touch and got the message across perfectly. 

The Actors:
Saving the best for last! The entire cast consisted of just five actors; and they were all captivating and moving in their own way. Vincent Kartheiser and Vaishnavi Sharma wowed the audience with their energy and outstanding ability to deliver lines upon lines of fast moving dialogue. There was a scene right after intermission that literally had me holding my breath because Sharma was talking so fast!

My husband and I lingered about during the Afters! party in hopes to meet some of the actors in the show. Fangirl confession: I'm a huge Buffy/Angel fan, and Vincent portrayed Angel's son in a couple of seasons. I was determined to meet him and hopefully get a photo. Another fangirl confession: Amy Pietz! I was so excited to find out she was going to be part of this production. Why? Because back in the day, I used to watch Caroline in the City. It was an adorable and hilarious little sitcom in the 90s. Anyway.. silliness aside, I really wanted to meet her too.

We chatted for a bit with an older couple about the show, about the topics of death and our shared enthusiasm for the powerful acting. They noted that often the audience is a little older group, but they've been seeing a change. I agree -- I think the topical shows that The San Jose Repertory are choosing have started to attract new, younger audiences. 

I think the mix of the Hollywood ties (Kartheiser and Pietz) along with the topics explored in this show, a younger crowd would definitely find themselves being entertained. That of course, applies to those that don't normally attend this avenue of entertainment.

Well after a few minutes my inner fangirl was pleased! I got to meet Amy Pietz and Vincent Kartheiser, chat with them a smidge and get some photos. 

Adam (hubby) and I with Amy Pietz
Vincent Kartheiser and me

Now it's your turn - go see the show!

Runs through September 22, 2012

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (Q3 2012 Edition)

It has been a while since I updated the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database, but I now think everything is up to date (if not please let me know). We are now up to 227 eateries, which is Downtown's new record!

First off, some bad news. Morocco's--which used to be my favorite restaurant Downtown--is now only open in Mountain View. They are looking for a new location in the San Jose area but don't have any sort of timeline. Blendz is also closed.

Now the good news. 5 brand new eateries with 4.5 star yelp reviews!

  • Original Gravity House - OMG, epic new addition Downtown. 20 craft beers on tab that are constantly changing, home-made gourmet sausages, duck-fat fries, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches... oh did I mention the 20 craft beers on tap?
  • Back A Yard - Carribean restaurant where Gumbo Jumbo used to be, over 100 Yelp reviews already.
  • Dosa & Curry - New Indian/Pakistani restaurant where Los Gallos De Villa used to be, right by SJSU.
  • Zenon's Place - Reinvention of Nazca Peruvian on San Fernando
  • Devine Grind - New Coffee Shop and breakfast place on Devine and 2nd Streets

Oh but there is more. Little Cheese Shop is now open in the San Pedro Square Market, offering the best cheeses you can find in the South Bay along with gourmet spreads, crackers, and exotic beverages. Whipps is now Cafe Bonne Terre, they still have frozen fruit desserts but have added crepes to the menu. Shellena's Cafe in SoFA is now Just Hot Dogs.

As for the latest status update on my mission to eat at every single restaurant in Downtown San Jose... I'm at 209 out of 227, or 92%. It is now becoming very difficult to try new places with so many amazing restaurants I want to go back to again and again.

Below is the changelog from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:
  • 2/26/2012 Added Sa-By Thai in SoFA
  • 2/26/2012 Replaced Miro's with the Hyatt Place Bakery Cafe
  • 4/7/2012 Added Cre-Paris and Blush to the list (new San Pedro Square Market restaurants)
  • 9/9/2012 Added Morocco's to the Closed DTSJ Restaurants list (rent was too high).
  • 9/9/2012 Added Blendz to the Closed DTSJ Restaurants list
  • 9/9/2012 Added Back a Yard Restaurant
  • 9/9/2012 Added Yelp information to Original Gravity Public House
  • 9/9/2012 Added Devine Grind on Devine and 2nd Streets
  • 9/9/2012 Added Little Cheese Shoppe in the San Pedro Square Market
  • 9/9/2012 Replaced Nazca with Zenon's Place
  • 9/9/2012 Replaced Whipps with Cafe Bonne Terre
  • 9/9/2012 Replaced Los Gallos De Villa with Doza & Curry
  • 9/9/2012 Replaced Shellena's Cafe with Just Hot Dogs
If you haven't bookmarked it yet, here's the link to the spreadsheet! There is also a permanent link over to the right entitled Downtown San Jose Restaurants.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Memorial and Flame-Lighting Ceremony, 9am @ Memorial Park

Memorial and Flame-Lighting Ceremony
Tuesday, September 11 beginning at 9 a.m.
Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park
Oak Hill Memorial Park will host a memorial flame-lighting ceremony on Tuesday, September 11  at 9 a.m. and again at 6 p.m. at the 9/11 monument inside Oak Hill Memorial Park. The two ceremonies will signify the events of that day eleven years ago.
The memorial flame will be lighted for this day only at ceremonies close to the exact time of the fall of the twin towers on that day in New York City.  The first tower was hit at exactly 8:46 a.m. and burned for 103 minutes, collapsing at 9:59 a.m. The second tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. Almost simultaneously in Shanksville, PA, Flight 93 went down at 10:08 a.m.  Within 30 minutes the Pentagon in Washington D.C. was hit by an aircraft.
“The defining moments of September 11 deserve to be honored and respected in perpetuity,” said Brian Kestenblatt, General Manager of Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park. “It is appropriate that the heroism from that day be forever remembered, and that we pause and reflect how people came together on that day eleven years ago.” 
The 9/11 monument at Oak Hill Cemetery was designed in remembrance of loved ones lost during the 9/11 tragedy and includes a depiction of Flight 93 that went down in Pennsylvania, as well as a pentagon, depicting the damage done on that day in Washington D.C. 
The public is invited to honor, support and love those who sacrificed their lives, who had the courage to help others and the strength to live on. Both ceremonies are free and open to the public, at 9 a.m. or 6 p.m.
The theme of coming together as a community will be reflected in this ceremony. The lighting of the ceremonial flame will occur at the 9/11 memorial at Oak Hill Cemetery for all to salute.
Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park is located at 300 Curtner Avenue at Monterey Highway in San José.  For more information call 408.297. 2447. Parking will be available throughout the park.