Sunday, March 31, 2013

Persuasion Playing at The Stage


San Jose Stage Company Presents
Jane Austen’s World Premiere
Adapted by Jennifer Le Blanc from the Novel
San Jose, CA --- March 18, 2013  San Jose Stage Company is producing the World Premiere of Persuasion, Jane Austen’s final novel, adapted by local Bay Area playwright, Jennifer Le Blanc. 
The Threepenny Opera, originally slated for this time frame, has been rescheduled to be part of The Stage’s 2013-14 Season.
“The Stage Company is excited to embrace the opportunity to produce the world premiere of Jane Austen's final novel Persuasion,” said Randall King, Artistic Director of the San Jose Stage Company. “The intimate setting of The Stage venue is the perfect environment to revel in Miss Austen's characters, who must negotiate a complex code of conduct in order to survive, much less achieve their ends. The story is indicative of Austen's great talent, razor sharp, laced with irony and wit, and remarkably phrased.”
Persuasion was Jane Austen’s last finished novel, of only six total, and she is considered the greatest of English women novelists. There are numerous contemporary movies based upon her novels, and she has become a book club staple.  
“Miss Austen directed her pen to give voice to a woman finding strength to be persuaded by her own heart. Her final novel is said to be a 'Present to herself,’” added King. “The Stage was founded upon the mission of new works and local talent, and now The Stage offers the gift of Persuasion to the Bay area.”
Persuasion was first published posthumously by her family, along with Northanger Abbey, in December 1817. While the characters reflect Austen’s own maturity, the book is filled with satire and is perceptive of people and their relationships, especially love.
Persuasion is one of Austen’s lesser-known novels, and the characters are old, more mature and have known heartache,” says Jennifer Le Blanc, the author of this world premiere and Bay Area native. She adds that she was drawn to this works because the main character Anne has “developed her own voice.” Ms. Le Blanc continues, “I admire Anne greatly; she is selfless, intelligent, practical and a strong woman to have around in a crisis.”
Persuasion was presented as a staged reading at Portland’s Cerimon House in March of 2012, with Ms. Le Blanc performing the lead role of Anne. This is the twelfth world premiere presented by San Jose Stage Company.
Persuasion begins preview on April 3 and opens April 6. Performances are on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. Persuasion runs through April 28.
Tickets range from $20 – $45 and are available at or by calling the box office at 408.283.7142. Visa and MasterCard are accepted, and discounts are available for groups, students and seniors. The theatre is handicapped accessible.
The Stage is located at 490 South First Street at William Street in downtown San Jose’s South First (SoFA) area.
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The Cast of Persuasion:
Maryssa Wanlass (Anne Elliot) is making her debut at The Stage. She has appeared locally Theatre Rhinoceros, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, PlayGround, TheatreFirst and Center REPertory Company.
Paul Myrvold* (Sir Walter Elliot, Admiral Crofts) returns to San Jose Stage Company, where he has appeared in Urinetown, The Musical and the World Premiere of Tenders in the Fog. He has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-off Broadway, as well as working as guest artist in colleges and universities across the country.
Allison F. Rich* (Elizabeth Elliot, Henrietta Musgrove) returns to The Stage, where she was last seen in the Regional Premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew JacksonCabaret, Carly in the Regional Premiere of Reasons To Be Pretty and The Great American Trailer Park Musical. She has also appeared at PCPA Theatrefest, Capital Stage Company and 42nd Street Moon. She is an Associate Artist at The Stage.
Will Springhorn Jr.* (Frederick Wentworth) returns to The Stage, where he was last seen inReckless, the Regional Premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, Cabaret and the Regional Premiere of Reasons To Be Pretty. He recently appear at Ashby Stage in The Fourth Messenger, an original musical by Tanya Shaffer and Vienna Teng. He has appeared with TheatreWorks, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, SF Playhouse and Theatre Rhinoceros.
Halsey Varady* (Mary Musgrove, Mrs. Smith) returns to San Jose Stage Company, where she played Rachel in Reckless, Rachel Jackson in the Regional Premiere of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Kate Monster in Avenue Q and Steph in the Regional Premiere of Reasons To Be Pretty. She has also appeared locally at Bus Barn Stage Company, The Spare Stage Company, Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company, City Lights Theater Company, Palo Alto Players, Foothill College Saratoga Drama Group. In Washington D.C., she appeared at Ford’s Theatre and Spooky Action Theater. She is an Associate Artist at The Stage.
William J. Brown III (Charles, Benwick) returns to San Jose Stage Company, where he was seen in On The Waterfront.
Donna Federico (Mrs. Musgrove, Lady Diarymaple) is making her debut at The Stage.
Susan Gundunas (Lady Russell, Mrs. Crofts) is making her first appearance at San Jose Stage Company. She was recently seen as Elaine Novazio in Last of the Red Hot Lovers at Novato Theatre Company as Helen Hart in the Retro Dome’s Game Show Show.
Juliet Heller (Mrs. Clay, Louisa Musgrove) returns to The Stage, where she was seen in Rock ‘n’ Roll. She has appeared locally with Berkeley Playhouse, Willows Theatre Company, Shotgun Players, 42nd Street Moon, Pacific Repertory Theatre and Broadway By the Bay.
Paul Stout (Mr. Shepard, Captain Harville, Mr. Elliot) is making his debut at San Jose Stage Company. He has appeared locally with Marin Shakespeare Company, Custom Made Theatre, The Western Stage and Boxcar Theatre.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association
Kenneth Kelleher (Director) has directed over twenty performances for The Stage, including John Logan’s Red, Craig Lucas’ Reckless, Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, the Regional Premiere ofOn The Waterfront and Tom Stoppard’s  Rock ‘n’ Roll. He is currently the Artistic Director of Pacific Repertory Theatre and Resident Director of The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival. He has also directed for San Jose Repertory Theatre, TheatreWorks, California Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Sacramento Theatre Company and B Street Theatre.
Giulio Perrone (Set Designer) returns to San Jose Stage Company, where his previous set designs include Buried Child and the World Premiere of Lolita Roadtrip.
Jean Cardinale (Costume Designer) returns to The Stage, where her designs were seen inRed, RecklessRaceAvenue Q and the Regional Premiere of Reasons To Be Pretty.
David Gotlieb (Light Designer) is making his design debut for San Jose Stage Company.
John Koss (Sound Designer) returns to The Stage, where he designed the sound for Rd, Reckless and Race.
Attn: Media and Calendar Editors:  San Jose Stage Company holds the press opening on Saturday, April 6 at 8:00 PM, with previews beginning Wednesday and Thursday, April 3 and 4 at 7:30 PM and Friday, April 5 at 8:00 PM.
Production photos are available upon request. Visit
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About San Jose Stage Company:
Now in its 30th season, San Jose Stage Company is recognized as The Bay Area's Premiere Off-Broadway Theatre. The Stage is known for its devotion to new and cutting-edge work and for its commitment to showcasing high-quality local talent.
Ranked 3rd largest theatre and 9th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley by the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal (May 2012), San Jose Stage Company is a vital force in the community. The Stage has earned a reputation for artistic excellence by providing high-quality, edgy theatrical experiences that engage, educate and provoke audiences. The Stage has produced 143 productions, 44 new works and 13 world premieres.
The Stage also offers five core educational and outreach programs, including National High School Top Honors Awards, and has housed over 200 independent performance groups in its theatre. The Stage is located at 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113. For more information:   Box Office: 408.283.7142

Saturday, March 30, 2013

San Jose Metro Ties for No.1 Job Market in the US

According to a new study that Forbes put together, the San Jose area has tied for the No.1 top job market for Spring 2013. This was calculated by looking at the percentage of employers that are planning to add jobs, and subtracting the percentage of employers planning to cut jobs. Forbes is calling this metric the net employment outlook. San Jose came in with a staggering 23%. This means that the market for employees is going to get even tighter this year, unemployment will drop, and salaries will likely rise even higher.

Tied for 1st place is Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine, which needless to say has a much smaller workforce than the San Jose Metro. Third place was another tie between Salt Lake City and Tuscon.

SF was not on the top 10 list, and the NYC metro was actually on the bottom 10 list.

Source: SVBJ, Forbes

The Best Cities for Jobs this Spring

Friday, March 29, 2013

Community Easter Egg Hunt

Tomorrow from 10am-10:30am, bring your Easter baskets to Discovery Meadow for a free Easter Egg Hunt. The focus this year will be on sharing, generosity, and equality. The event is happening rain or shine and the hosts are also giving away prizes. For more info, just click here.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

MUJI Update!

This is really happening, MUJI is coming to Downtown San Jose! The sign is up and there is an official grand opening date, April 16th. Inside its 4,590 square feet you will find over 2,000 products, including household items and clothing. The first 1,000 customers on the 16th will get a reusable bag with a map of San Jose. I can't wait and already have setting some money set aside to help contribute to this store's success. If you want to see retail thrive Downtown, please mark your calendar, grab your wallet, and let's give MUJI a warm welcome!

Source: MUJI, Thanks to Rob Swierk for the tip!

New York, NY, March 7th, 2013, MUJI U.S.A. LIMITED announces its opening date of San Jose store, which has been set to April 16, 2013, the second MUJI store to open on the West coast. Located at the base of the Fairmont Hotel Annex, on South 1st street, along the Paseo de San Antonio street, 170 South Market Street, CA 95113. MUJI San Jose will open from 11:00a.m. to 8:00p.m. during its first day of operation.
With approximately 4,590 square feet of retail floor space, MUJI’s second store on the West coast will offer over 2,000 items of MUJI products, including about 1,700 items of Household and 300 items of Apparels. After the first day of opening, the store will open regularly from 10:30a.m. to 8:00p.m. from Monday to Saturday, 11:00a.m. to 6:30p.m. on Sundays.

MUJI San Jose Original My Bags for the opening
As Capital of Silicon Valley, the city of San Jose is innovative in terms of economy and ecology. To celebrate the San Jose store opening as well as to promote sustainability, MUJI will offer an exclusive My Bag with a map of San Jose to the first 1,000 customers who make a purchase on the opening day to encourage reducing waste that results from the use of paper or plastic bags. MUJI plain My Bag will be offered at $3.5 after the opening.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

San Jose's Tesla Store is Expanding

The very first Tesla store--which just so happens to be located at Santana Row--has outgrown its space. Unofficially I have heard that this is the most successful store in the Tesla network. The fact that I now see up to nine Model S sedans each morning on my commute is evidence that they are doing pretty damn well (I can't help but to count them). At the Row, Tesla is just moving a few spaces down into to the store formerly occupied by Burberry. In addition, they will continue to keep the area in the parking structure where they store test drive vehicles and let Tesla owners charge their cars for free.

Tesla is also hosting a party on April 3rd between 6:30pm and 9pm to celebrate the new store!

"Many of you may recall about two years ago when we opened our first new design Tesla Store at Santana Row in San Jose, California. It was our first prototype new-design store and has been a great learning experience for us during the past two years. Customer response has been so positive that we need to expand. We will be relocating to a new, larger location in the next few weeks. Thanks to everyone who has frequented our Santana Row store and has made it such a great success. We’re growing because of your support." -George Blankenship 

Source: Tesla Blog

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Joint Venture Index of Silicon Valley 2013

The 2013 Silicon Valley Index has arrived and always brings with it some interesting statistics related to our region. Here are a few of my favorite bits from the report:
  • Silicon valley is adding jobs faster than it has in more than a decade and in a faster rate than the rest of California and the Nation. In the last year, Silicon Valley has gained 42,360 jobs.
  • Regional unemployment is down to 7%, and has also declined across all ethnicity groups.
  • In 2011, 64% of Silicon Valley professionals with higher education working in science/engineering fields were born outside the US (the national average is 26%).
  • Transit ridership increased by 1.3% in 2012.
  • Average housing rents hit a historic high of $1,966.
  • Foreclosures declined 41% between the first half of 2011 and the first half of 2012.
  • Silicon Valley reached a five-year high of 17 IPOs in 2012, representing 52% of all statewide IPOs and 15% of all national IPOs.
  • 48% of all patents in the state and 12.5% of all patents in the country come from Silicon Valley.
  • The percentage of kids enrolled in preschool hit 46% in Silicon Valley, compared to 37% in California and 40% for the United States as a whole.
  • Since 1998, Silicon Valley's daily per capita waste disposal has fallen by 42% greatly outpacing the nation and state. Per capita energy consumption has also dropped by 2.5%.
  • Overall solar installations have increased 14% in 2012 over 2011.
  • 82% of all new housing units approved in 2012 were within 1/3 mile of a major transit station.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Downtown San Jose Restaurant List Updates! (Q1 2013 Edition)

I have done the latest round of updates to the Downtown San Jose Restaurants database and I think Downtown is just about hit the critical mass needed to really be seen as a restaurant destination similar to Willow Glen, Santana Row, or Downtown Palo Alto / Mountain View / Campbell. The number of new restaurants is not only up, but the quality of these new venues is outstanding. We are up to a grand total of 242 eateries, the latest record for Downtown San Jose.

This is our second quarter with no bad news, no significant closures. The restaurants that have lasted through the last major downturn are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and are here to stay. The one closure worth mentioning is Chevy's in the San Jose Market Center (this was the worst Chevy's I have been to in my life) and it is being replaced with a BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse.

Now the good news, and you might want to grab some coffee because it is a long list:
  • Cafe Stritch - Meet the new SoFA anchor venue. The menu is inexpensive, casual, and delicious, they have a great bar, live music will be coming 3-5 times per week, they are building an art gallery on the second floor, oh and they have the coolest outdoor seating in Downtown San Jose. Half a dozen other improvements are coming over the next few weeks. Have to check it out during South First Fridays.
  • Nemea Greek Taverna - Just got to try this out last night. Nemea is located at 1st and San Fernando, one of our "key corners." The ambiance looks incredible, it has the most polished interior Downtown right now. The fare is on the higher-end side and everything I had was fantastic. In fact it puts Thea to shame in Santana Row and is pretty close to Dio Deka in Los Gatos. They will be featuring live Greek music every Friday and also have a great outdoor dining space. I was a big fan of E&O, but this surpasses it in every way. 4.5 stars on Yelp!
  • Vyne - Great new wine bar and bistro! Hip, chic atmosphere, great happy hour, and a great food menu. They are the only place Downtown I can think of that has a caviar plate. Also 4.5 stars on Yelp.
  • K zzang - Welcome to Downtown San Jose's first and only Korean restaurant (that I can remember at least). I had to add a new Genre for this one. Have not been here yet, but the menu looks great (Bulgogi, Bibimbaps, etc.). This is located a few spaces down from Nemea.
  • Amir Restaurant - The former Morocco's space has a new tenant! Amir is a casual mediterranean restaurant with geneous portions and reasonable prices. It is locally owned and has a stellar 4.5 Yelp rating (are you noticing the trend here?).
  • Grub Shack - Yet another great restaurant. This one is on 93 E. Santa Clara Street and the food is a mix of Hawaiian, Chinese, and Japanese food. 4.5 starts on Yelp with over 100 reviews.
  • San Pedro Square Market Updates
    • Chocatoo - Great new dessert and coffee shop inside of the Lusardi building (Blush, Treatbot, Phonomenal). Wide selection, knowledgeable staff, 
    • Market Beer Company - replacing Polkadotz Mini Gourmet Cupcakes. Will feature a huge assortment of craft beers for visitors: over 300 refrigerated craft brews (either bomber 22-oz bottles or 750-ml bottles) as well as 5-10 beers on tap.
    • B2 Coffee - they have moved to their permanent spot in the corner of the "garage" area. They now have way more space, their own bathrooms, and new seating options.
    • Garage Bar - a brand new bar that they are opening at night time in the same "garage" area where B2 Coffee is located.
    • Konjoe Burger Bar (Coming Soon) - Handmade, contemporary, Asian-American burgers using freshly ground patties and exotic ingredients. 
    • Bray Butcher Block & Bistro (Coming Soon) - This is for all of those that have been complaining that there is no traditional Market in the Market. Bray will bring a full selection of deli meats, fish, steaks, house-made sausages, and BBQ dishes.
  • Other Places Coming Soon
    • Orchestria Palm Court - Now this is going to be interesting. Palm Court is a cafe opening behind the Stage Theater in a 1910 brick structure and will feature music from the early part of the last century played on mechanical music machines. The menu will be healthy European cuisine prepared in old-fashioned ways. You will also find fountain drinks with natural fresh-squeezed fruit juices.
    • The Farmer's Union - A new two-story Ale House/Sports Bar at San Pedro and Santa Clara Street with 60 beers on tap and the largest TV screen in Silicon Valley. It will be decorated with items from San Jose's history and serve traditional American fare. Tremendous potential with this restaurant and it sits on a key corner.
    • The Blackbird Tavern - My most highly anticipated restaurant opening in the queue right now. If anyone can turn around the corner lot that hosted Zing, Asquew Grill, and Ruffled Feathers Eatery... it's these guys from the Naglee Park Garage. Similar to the Original Gravity House, this can be a game changer. Expect an outstanding beer selection, tapas, live music, and a laid back atmosphere right in the middle of Downtown San Jose (across the street from where the Muji flagship Japanese retail store will go and next to Camera 12 and the Fairmont)
    • Cafe Eden - Supposed to be coming to 2 N. First but cannot find any additional info.
    • Chromatic Coffee - They bought the building at 19 N 2nd St and will be moving their roasting facilities there and open a cafe.
    • ISO: Beers - New craft beer shop and lounge on Santa Clara that should compliment places like Original Gravity and Good Karma quite nicely.
    • Ike's Place - One of the best sandwich chains ever, coming to the SJSU area around summer time.

As for the latest status update on my mission to eat at every single restaurant in Downtown San Jose... I'm at 218 out of 242, or 90%. So many new restaurants opened up I am actually a bit behind last quarter!

Below is the changelog from the Downtown San Jose Restaurants Database:
  • 12/16/2012 Updated hours and contact info for La Lune Sucree
  • 12/16/2012 Taza on Santa Clara street closed
  • 12/31/2012 Added ISO: Beers
  • 1/13/2013 Repaced Uncle Bernie's Fish & Chips with The City Fish
  • 1/21/2013 Added Nemea Greek Taverna, which replaces E&O Trading Company
  • 3/16/2013 Replaced Eulipia with Cafe Stritch
  • 3/24/2013 Expanded Cafe Stritch's Hours (Sun-Tues 7:00am-10pm, Wed-Sat 7:00am-12am)
  • 3/24/2013 Updated the information for Nemea Greek Taverna (4.5 yelp score)
  • 3/24/2013 Added the Vyne Bistro wine bar to the list on Paseo de San Antonio
  • 3/24/2013 Added K zzang, Downtown's first Korean restaurant that I can remember
  • 3/24/2013 Replaced Chevy's at the San Jose Market Center with BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse
  • 3/24/2013 Added outdoor seating for Chacho's
  • 3/24/2013 Added Chocatoo which is in the San Pedro Square Market
  • 3/24/2013 Added Konjoe Burger Bar in the San Pedro Square Market
  • 3/24/2013 Added Spiedo and Agave Viejo to the Closed Restaurants List (these are old)
  • 3/24/2013 Added The Farmer's Union at 151 W. Santa Clara Street
  • 3/24/2013 Added Amir Restaurant at 86 N Market (former Morocco's Space)
  • 3/24/2013 Added outdoor dining to Grub Shack
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.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Local Vet and Animal Rescue Organizers Team Up to Save Life of Obese Cat

“Shirley” Gets a Second Chance at Life Thanks to Pinnacle Animal Hospital,
Foster Family, and Two Animal Welfare Groups

SAN JOSE, CA – Obesity can affect felines in the same way it can affect humans: high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and respiratory disease, joint degradation and more.  It has one additional impact on shelter animals:  it can prevent them from being classified as adoptable.
So goes the story of Shirley, a 7-year-old domestic shorthair tabby, who was surrendered to a San Jose shelter last November.  Despite a sweet disposition, good general health and young age, Shirley was classified as unadoptable due to her weight.   The 15.7 pound tabby, about 30 percent overweight, was considered too unhealthy to “re-home.”  

Enter St. Francis Animal Protection Society (APS) and San Jose Animal Advocates.  The two organizations working hand-in-hand determined that Shirley could and should get a second chance.  St. Francis APS rescued Shirley from the shelter and San Jose Animal Advocates found her a great foster home.  Once Shirley settled in with her foster family, the goal became getting her healthy so she could find her forever home.  

Veterinarians at Pinnacle Animal Hospital in San Jose learned about Shirley’s situation and donated their help.  They enrolled Shirley in the hospital’s “Chub Club,” where vets work with pets and their owners to address and eliminate animal obesity.  Dr. Michelle Forgy screened Shirley for other potential illnesses, designed a food program for her feline patient, and provided the structure of regular monitoring and monthly weigh-ins.   A local representative from Hill’s Pet Nutrition heard about Shirley’s rescue and donated the dry food prescribed by the vet.

Last week – after four months of disciplined diet and active play – Shirley reached her goal weight of 12.5 pounds.  She has been cleared by Dr. Forgy to find her perfect forever home and is ready to start the next healthy chapter in her life.  Thanks to Shirley’s foster mom, her progress and story have been documented here
“We’re grateful to all of the people and organizations that have helped give Shirley a new lease on life.  As she enters this new phase, we’ll find her a good home, loving family, and a partner in health,” said Melissa Lisbon, co-founder of San Jose Animal Advocates.

Shirley is available for adoption through St. Francis Animal Protection Society (see Petfinder Profile -  For more information about Shirley, San Jose Animal Advocates or St. Francis Animal Protection Society, call Melissa Lisbon at (408) 637-1282, email, or go to
# # #
Shirley’s Veterinarian
Interview with Dr. Michelle Forgy, Pinnacle Animal Hospital, San Jose
Q. How many pets – and what kind -- are enrolled in Club Chub? A. We have about 25 cats and dogs in the program right now.
Q. How long has the program existed?
A. Dr. Andrea Moore and I formed the Chub Club soon after we opened in July 2012.
Q. Why is it so important that animals have a managed and methodical weight loss approach?A. Weight loss that is too rapid can be unhealthy, especially in cats. Cats can develop a potentially serious liver condition called hepatic lipidosis if they lose weight too quickly. For some of our severely obese cats (we have two of them over 25 pounds), we plan for the weight loss program to take almost a year.
Q. How important with animals is the combination of play/activity/food management, versus one or the other?
A. Just like in people, they are all important. Calories eaten should not dramatically exceed calories expended. And for cats, the type of calories is especially important.  Many cats do not handle carbs well and do better on a higher protein diet.
Q. What stands out to you about Shirley and her situation? A. What strikes me about Shirley is that she could have so easily been passed over and not made it out of the shelter system, simply due to her weight. She is a beautiful cat with so much personality. But what is so gratifying is that with a few simple steps, we have been able to transform her. She looks healthier, she feels better, and she is now adoptable. I think she and her foster mom can be a great inspiration for other cat owners.  One other thing I'd like to touch on about Shirley and our other Chub Clubbers is that our Facebook community has been a great source of support for them. We do monthly weigh-ins with the primary vet, reassess the diet plan, and get a picture for Facebook. We post the picture and provide a short update, and our followers tend to chime in with words of encouragement. It also gives many of the owners a sense of accountability, since their pet’s progress is tracked for others to see. It's all in good fun, but it keeps people motivated.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Call for Artists_The Studio Climbing Gym

from Phantom Galleries 

The Studio Rock Climbing Gym is a vibrant busy place in the heart of downtown San Jose's SoFA District. Each month they dedicate over 60' linear feet of wall space to showcase art work by San Jose area artists and participate in the monthly South FIRST FRIDAYS Art Walk which is attended by thousands of people each month.

All narrative content and mediums will be considered. Art work must be appropriate for an all ages professional business atmosphere and may be for sale.

If you'd like to be considered for a feature exhibition, please send your art site URL (or 5-7 small jpgs) and artist's statement as soon as possible to Diane Ortega at

Friday, March 22, 2013

Miami Beach Club is Being Razed

Now is the time to say your last goodbyes to the pink Miami Beach Club building. Demolition is under way and soon the building will become... a parking lot. Not the best news for most people that read this blog, but the positive spin is that the land is being prepped for bigger and better things in the hopefully not too distant future. I think this would be a great space for a new high-rise or an expansion of the San Pedro Square Market.

Thanks to Victor for the tip and photo!

Update: added second photo

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Battle Among Talents Charity Event

Next week there is going to be an event at the Center for Performing Arts that will raise money to increase awareness for sex trafficking that is happening to kids right here in the Bay Area, including Santa Clara County. To learn more about the event, just head over here. There is also a two minute video on the site that is a real eye opener... you don't think of these sorts of things happening in our backyard.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Start Up San Jose Event Kicks off Tomorrow!

A slew of key Downtown establishments are getting together to push Start Up San Jose. The goal of this event is to fill up vacant retail space in Downtown San Jose, which will create a more vibrant and safe Downtown. The event is being championed by Councilmember Sam Liccardo, along with NextSpace and SJMADE. A vacant floor space at 75 E. Santa Clara Street is going to be brimming with San Jose entrepreneurs tomorrow and Friday. You will be able to swing by and check out some Moveable Feast food trucks, local products from SJMADE vendors, grab Barefoot coffee, or even work for a bit in a coworking space hosted by NextSpace. At night you will even have an assortment of beers to sample thanks to Beerwalk.

Next door is a really slick assortment of local vendors at Sperry Station, a new project that is well worth checking out. For more information click here.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

TWO BUCK Tuesday Today

from Phantom Galleries 

Join us at KALEID Gallery for this upcoming TWO BUCK Tuesday, March 19th, 7pm-10pm!

Come enjoy an inspired evening of performances, live painting, $2 art, drop-in sketching table & quirky people get together! It’s open to all ages and free!

Participating Artists include:
Shannon Amidon will be demonstrating how to create packing tape transfers. Learn how to make your photographs or clip art into transparent transfers that can be used for artwork, collage, crafts and more.

Sculptor David Canavese will give a free workshop teaching you some of his papercraft skills! All materials are provided.

connections . relationships . attachments . hold us together, what are your connections? be part an installation of labels defining connections that will be attached together and presented in an art show by Valerie Runningwolf in May at gallery 25, Fresno, CA. make a label telling of your connections to what, who, where.

Lara Sophia will host another lovely costumed life drawing session. Bring your sketch pads and pencils!

Julie Bilyeu
Nic Caesar
John Hageman
Jean Davis
Cecile F. Zapanta
Maricruz Mendoza
Jeff Bramschreiber
Jehoiakim Santos
David Mejia
Al Preciado and Friends
Felipe Jimenez

Jessica Neideffer will play sound healing bowls for your listening pleasure!

TWO BUCK Tuesday is March 19th, 7pm-10pm!
KALEID Gallery
88 South Fourth Street (@ San Fernando)
San Jose, CA 95112

Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, noon -7pm
Free admission

Monday, March 18, 2013

North San Pedro Housing Project Takes a Step Forward

It looks like there is going to be a community meeting at City Hall (Wing Room 120) at 7pm on Monday March 25th to go over the planned development of North San Pedro. The project is going to be right behind City Heights, have 408 residential units (coincidental number?), and weight in at 460,106 square feet. I believe these units would be placed across three different high-rise buildings. If you happen to attend, be sure to email us or post in the comments and let us know if any new details are released at the meeting.

Hat tip to Brent Pearse for sending this in.

Cafe Stritch Now Open in SoFA!

2013 is going to be the best year for new restaurants that Downtown San Jose has ever seen. I'm going to go out on a limb (as usual) and say that by the end of the year the type of scene and energy that you can now find at the San Pedro Square Market will also be available in other parts of Downtown.

SoFA's new restaurant anchor--Cafe Stritch--officially opened over the weekend. It's operated by the next generation of the Borkenhagen family, which ran Eulipia for decades.

The ambiance is hip, modern, and artsy, with a jazz-club vibe (somewhat ironic since Eulipia was a jazz club at one point). The food and staff are excellent, there's a great bar, the outdoor seating setup is one of the most impressive I've seen Downtown, oh yeah... and everything on the menu is under $10.

The fare is essentially modern American comfort food served tapas-style. Over the weekend I tried the chicken & waffles, mac & cheese, fries, tomato bisque with a grilled cheese sandwich, and the vegan french dip which was my favorite. That last one was surprisingly excellent for a vegan entree and you have to try it even if you're not vegan! Picture vegetable tempura inside of a crisp baguette with a great dipping sauce. The total bill for food that would easily have fed 3-4 people... $30.

Some other big huge pluses about this establishment:

  • Elevated stage for live musicians, which they will likely feature several times week (more live music in SoFA!)
  • Second floor where they will eventually build some sort of lounge area with couches. 
  • Open Sundays (many Downtown restaurants are not)
  • Open until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays

I can see this place improving the vibe of the entire SoFA district. This is another epic addition to Downtown San Jose and I'm thrilled with how this turned out!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2nd Annual Fashion Show for the South Bay Art Institute

The Art Institute of California - Silicon Valley is preparing "Up in the Air" for this Thursday, March 21st at the Computer History Museum. It is being produced by the Bachelor or Science students in the Fashion Marketing & Management program and will feature original designs created and styled by the students and instructors.

Frankly, I had no idea there was even a Fashion program in the South Bay. It's great to see the region start to build out proficiencies outside of tech. It will add to work and cultural diversity and make help make Silicon Valley an even more interesting place! For more information on the fashion program, click here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here are my top recommendations for places to go in San Jose this St. Patty's Day:

  • San Pedro Square Market
  • O'Flaherty's Irish Pub
  • Trials Pub
  • Rosie McCann's Restaurant 
  • Britannia Arms
  • Firehouse No. 1 Gastro Pub
  • Cafe Stritch

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

New ArtBox in Japantown

from Phantom Galleries 

Takahiro Kitamura along with fellow artists Chris Brand & Drew Flores have just completed a new ArtBox in Japantown at 3rd & Jackson.

If you'd like to be involved in the ArtBox Project, please send samples of your art work and artist's statement to info[at]PhantomGalleries[dot]com. The weather's getting nicer and we have a lot of new locations in the works!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Riverpark II Finally Getting Tenants!

The single largest vacant office space in Downtown San Jose is Legacy Partner's massive tower at 300 Park Avenue, which is 320,000 SQFT. Much like the Sobrato Tower, Legacy has been holding out for a single tenant for the whole building. It is much easier to manage one tenant as opposed to several smaller tenants, and the location of this tower would make a great corporate headquarters for a large company like Adobe.

However, it looks like the strategy of looking for a single tenant has not panned out so well. Legacy is now leasing the building floor by floor. The results? They now have three letters of intent to move into the building.

Source: SVBJ, Thanks Jonathan Bush for the tip!

Riverpark Tower II Exterior

Thursday, March 14, 2013

History San José’s Family Days Series Celebrates International World Water Day Saturday, March 23 at History Park in Kelley Park

San José, CA – March 7, 2013 ---March 22 marks the 20th anniversary of International World Water Day. By decree from the United Nations General Assembly, this year’s theme of “International Year of Water Co-Operation---Make Every Drop Count,” is a day that focuses on the importance of freshwater and the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Just in time, History San Jose is hosting a Coyote Creek Cleanup, as well as its exhibit, Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future.
History San José will celebrate World Water Day on Saturday, March 23 by inviting the public to a cleanup of the banks of Coyote Creek, that runs between History Park and Happy Hollow Park and Zoo. Partnering with Bright Green San Jose, Santa Clara Water District and Watershed Watch, History Park will raise awareness of the significance of water.
"The importance of water is life itself, and don't we all take it for granted?" asks Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San Jose. "With World Water Day and the exhibit Shaped by Water: Past Present & Future we are reminded that when history meets the present day, it is important to plan for the future."
Coyote Creek is one of the largest watersheds in the Santa Clara Valley. Sixteen major creeks drain the 350 square miles that comprise the watershed, which eventually meets tidewater and becomes part of the salt marsh at the foot of the San Francisco Bay. It is home to over one-half million people, and provides a habitat for a wide variety of plants, fish and animals and runs from Milpitas to Morgan Hill.
In keeping with the theme, a Spring Egg Hunt will take place for children ages 2 to 9 on the Firehouse Lawn.  Registration for the egg hunt is from noon to 12:45 PM on the porch at the Pacific Hotel, with the hunt beginning at 1 PM. Donation is $2 per child.
Inside the Gallery of the Pacific Hotel is  Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future, an exhibit depicting how water has literally shaped the history of Santa Clara Valley, and highlights what challenges our community will face in the future. The exhibition demonstrates through photographs, artistic interpretations, stories and interactive activities for kids of all ages, the unique connection between humans and this precious and finite resource.
There will also be a Water Fair including participants from local agencies dealing with water and conservation. In conjunction with Watershed Watch, and “Bright Green San José,” the environmental branch of the City of San José, the ‘spring cleaning’ will take place from  9 AM to Noon. The clean-up is for children ages 10 and up, as well as adults.  Park clean-up registration begins at 9 am at the Phelan Avenue entrance to History Park. There is no charge for the creek clean-up, and everyone is invited to learn about the freshwater.
Then at 2 PM on the Plaza at History Park, watch the “Water Wizard” Kathy Machado, with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, perform seemingly impossible feats with water.
Refreshments will be available for purchase from Larry’s Hot Dogs, Mona’s Fruit, Treat Ice Cream in O’Brien’s Ice Cream Parlor and Tony’s Popcorn Cart.
Admission is free, city parking lots $6. History Park is located at 1650 Senter Road (for GPS puposes, use 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose, CA).
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Upcoming History San José Family Days will include:
Saturday, April 20: Earth Day / Arbor Day:  There will be a concert by Linda Tringali, and Archaeology Dig with the Stanford Archaeology Students, and Litter Pick Up of Kelley Park.
Sunday, May 19: Celebrate Sempre Virens 150th Anniversary, visit Andrew Hill and John Muir, and Dig San José: Public Archaeology Day for children at History Park. Admission charged.
Sunday, June 19: Celebrate Father’s Day at History Park as we celebrate Historic Transportation Day with toy trains, hand car and trolley rides, sit in the Wells Fargo Stage Coach and listen to stories about early travel.
Admission charged.
Sunday, July 7:  Gold Rush Family Day:  this family-friendly event at History Park will highlight gold panning actiities for the children, which is also a great opportunity to play in water. Lion dancers will celebrate the contribution of the Chinese people to the Gold Rush. Admission charged.
Sunday, August 25 is the Fandango at the Peralta Adobe Historic Site
Sunday, October 27 is Haunt History Park, celebrating Halloween
Sunday, November 24 is the 236th Happy Birthday San José! Celebration at the Peralta – Fallon Historic Site
Saturday, December 14 is the Children’s Heritage Festival at History Park.
For more information call 408 918-1047 or visit
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About History San José: 
History San José is a non-profit organization that collects, preserves and celebrates the stories of diversity and innovation in San José and the Santa Clara Valley. HSJ manages one of the largest and most comprehensive regional history collections in the State of California, from 1784 Spanish governmental records to twenty-first century Silicon Valley technology. 
History San José     1650 Senter Road     San José, CA  95112      408.287.2290
Facebook: /historysanjose
Twitter: @historysanjose