Friday, January 31, 2014

Battledish Downtown San Jose

San Jose is participating in an international cooking competition called Battledish, which is actually hosted by our friends at Dishcrawl. Six chefs have been chosen to compete in "Battledish San Jose." Each chef will be preparing a miniature version of their signature plate along with a drink pairing. Each dish (or drink pairing) is available for only $5, and the participants are the ones who rate the food and determine the king of Battledish.

Sounds like an awesome event! It is all going down at the San Pedro Square Market between 2-6pm on February 8th. You can get your tickets right over here.

3098battledishdowntownsanjoseposter8.5inx11in 2 resized 600

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chinese New Year @ Santana Row

Kung Hei Fat Choi!
Chinese New Year at Santana Row
Celebrate the Year of the Horse on Saturday, Feb. 22at
  Silicon Valley’s Premier Destination

SAN JOSE (Jan. 28, 2014) Santana Row’s annual celebration of the new lunar year begins at 1 p.m. on Feb. 22 with the exciting drumbeats and crashing cymbals of the lion and dragon dances in Santana Row Park.

New this year, traditional red envelopes, called “lai see” will be distributed to guests, with one lucky winner finding a $1,000 Santana Row gift card inside. Every envelope will contain discount coupons for shopping and complimentary two-week passes to Club One Fitness.

When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22
Where: Santana Row Park, across from Left Bank Brassiere
What: A festive afternoon celebrating the Lunar New Year. Lucky red envelopes will be distributed to guests from 1 to 4 p.m.  with one extra lucky winner who will find a $1,000 Santana Row Gift Card inside. All other envelopes will contain coupons, certificates and discounts to stores such as Icebreaker Touchlab and Lucy as well as complimentary two-week passes to Club One Fitness.
The afternoon is filled with a lineup of traditional live performances celebrating the start of a new year, including martial arts demonstrations, fashion presentations, music, singing and dancing.

The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Hollow Park & Zoo Nabs $1M for Upgrades

Happy Hollow has just received an anonymous $1 million donation donation, which is the largest gift it has ever received. The donation will go towards planning a future multispecies exhibit (multiple animals cohabitating) as well as upgrading the lower zoo area.

While not exactly the largest zoo in the world, I was very impressed with the renovation that was done several years ago. The lemur exhibit at the entrance of the park is particularly interesting since it incorporates an area where children can play while watching/imitating the animals. Hopefully they keep this level of interactivity in mind when planning out their renovations and new exhibits.

Source: The Merc

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

San Jose Earthquakes 40th Anniversary Celebration!

The Quakes have been representing San Jose for four decades now, and they hosting a big party to celebrate on January 30th at the San Pedro Square Market. There will be live music, a meet & greet with the players, and they are giving away an autographed 2014 Earthquakes jersey. However, the highlight of the night will probably be the big reveal of their brand new logo and jersey.

The festivities go from 5:30pm to 9pm. The event is free and you can RSVP right over here.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Campaign to Reopen Cine Mexico Theater

The Cine Mexico Theater on Santa Clara Street opened as the Mayfair in 1949 and was once owned by Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak in the 1980s. Stephanie Chang has initiated a gofundme campaign to reopen the neglected landmark as a live music and entertainment venue. She is also proposing to reinstall a projector and show movies again as well as adding a coffeehouse, cafe, and art gallery. Stephanie is looking to raise $19,000 for the project.

For more information, just head over to the gofundme page. Thanks to Alyssa Kies for sending this in!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Latest from Bay Area Die Hard Co.

Check out the latest news about San Jose-based Bay Are Die Hard Co. in the release below. They also just launched a limited edition line for the US team at Sochi (use the promo code "GO USA" for a 20% discount, click here to see the options).

SAN JOSE, Calif., — Since 2010, local clothing company, Die Hard Co. has been providing Bay Area sports fans apparel, including t-shirts, sweaters and hats, to wear proudly when cheering on their favorite team.  Their tagline “Sport Your Colors is the foundation for their brand as they strictly cater to the loyal fans of the seven professional sports teams in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“We represent the die hard fans.  We want them to be able to represent their team at anytime, giving them an alternative from the logos,” said Adam Mayberry, co-creator of DieHard Co.
In the spring of 2010, brothers Adam and Ben Mayberry wanted to create a line of clothing that reflected their passion for Bay Area sports while incorporating their skills as designers—Adam in architecture and Ben a graphic designer. Their first design, “Big Time Timmy Jim” was inspired by the 2010 ESPN commercial with Tim Lincecum and was a hit that following fall when the Giants won the World Series. 
Now with thirty designs to choose from in their online store—including their best-selling “Hella,” “Fin City and I Survived the Stick t-shirts—Die Hard Co. continues to grow, garnering a vast following of fans on their social media platforms.
One special fan of the brand, Alex Boone, offensive guard of the San Francisco 49ers, took interest in DieHard Co. and asked the Mayberry brothers to create a design that represented Boone’s moniker, “The Rhino” during the 2013 Super Bowl. It has been seen on Boone as well as on defensive end, Justin Smith and is among their product list to choose from on their website.  Amid last Sunday’s when against the Carolina Panthers, Boone announced on his Instagram profile that he will be donating the proceeds made from DieHard’s “The Rhino” t-shirt towards the San Francisco Zoo. 
Die Hard Co. has been awarded the Creative Industries Incentive Fund grant through The City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs and the Center for Cultural Innovation.  The money received from this grant will allow them to fund part of the budget needed to manufacture shirts at a higher quality to the exact specifications of Die Hard fans—color, material, size and branding will all be upgraded.
The additional funding needed will come from a KickStarter campaign in late February to match the money from the grant. The project will allow Die Hard Co. to bypass buying premade shirts from a distributor which has set colors and materials that are mostly made overseas. The new line will be Made in the USA.
With these future projects lined up, Die Hard Company will continue to grow as a brand and provide fans unique ways to Sport Their Colors no matter what they are doing.
For more information and updates on DieHard Co., visit or contact

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose Metro is the #1 Area to Flip a House

Flipping a house involves buying a property, renovating it, and reselling it. It is a key measure of housing market activity. According to 24/7 Wall St., San Jose is killing it when it comes to flipping homes. In fact, they ranked the region as the #1 place in the county to flip a home. The average gross profit flippers nabbed in San Jose is $166,287. The average selling price of the renovated homes came in at $704,762... which is the highest among all areas in the study. Check out the full list of cities (metros actually) below.


1.) San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
2.) San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
3.) Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
4.) Ocean City, NJ
5.) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
6.) San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
7.) Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA
8.) Salinas, CA
9.) Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
10.) Vallejo-Fairfield, CA

Source: 24/7 Wall St., Hat-tip to Barclay Livker

Friday, January 24, 2014

San Jose: The Smartest City In America (as seen on The TODAY Show)

In case you missed it - San Jose was featured on The TODAY Show this morning. In their "Healthy, Wealthy, Wise" segment, they showed a video about the innovative and awesome place we call home - San Jose.

Check out the video:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rockage 3.0: February 7-9th @ SJSU Student Union

Three days of indie music and retro gaming will be coming to Downtown San Jose in early February. Rockage 3.0 features 25 bands (several local ones), DJs, and 50+ classic arcades and pinball machines. You will even be able to meet independent game soundtrack composers and learn about their craft. This sounds like a great event for fans of either indie music and/or video games, which I'm sure you will find a lot of in San Jose.

This is the largest Rockage event so far, and is targeted towards all ages. You can learn more at or their Facebook page. Head down past the flier for the full release.

* * Featuring live music from 25+ bands/ DJs and a huge collection of retro video games **


For three exciting days, music and video game fans will experience some of the most cherished old school video games in the ultimate celebration of independent music, digital nostalgia, and retro bliss as Rockage 3.0® returns to Downtown San Jose!  More than 25 dynamic indie rock bands, chiptune artists and DJs will perform over the weekend in front of a classic free play arcade backdrop of more than 50 rare classic cabinets and pinball. 

In addition to the live music and arcade, die-hard fans can meet the composers of many modern independent game soundtracks and learn how to make their own chiptune music through workshops and panels. The intimate venue on campus at San Jose State University gives fans unparalleled access to meet and play their all-time favorite video games with their favorite independent musicians! 

Bit Brigade, video game rock band from Athens, Georgia, will be headlining the event. They will perform the full soundtrack and simultaneous speed run of The Legend Of Zelda for the first time on the West Coast live on Saturday, February 8th.

One of the steady-growing independent music festivals in the Bay Area, Rockage 3.0® has doubled attendance each year providing quality low-priced family entertainment in Downtown San Jose. Now in its third year, Rockage 3.0® looks to extend its appeal to a like-minded audience with more bands, more games, and more excitement.


Bit Brigade, Mega Ran, crashfaster, Slime Girls, Danimal Cannon, The Megas, Curious Quail, Matthew Joseph Payne, Super Soul Bros., Picture Atlantic, Good Hustle, Gnarboots, Space Town Savior, Cartoon Violence, Petriform, Together We Are Robots, Hawk Jones, The Albert Square, Ghost & The City, Porch, Lady Game Lyric, Space Boyfriend, Cartoon Bar Fight, Boboso, Jean Baudin, Continuum Kingdom, DJ Mr Smith, DJ Coco.                       


San Jose State University, Student Union Ballroom – One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192


Friday, February 7 – Sunday, February 9, 2014Friday 3:00 PM – midnight
Saturday NOON – midnight
Sunday NOON – 8:00 PM

Ticket prices – $30 for a 3-day pass or $20 for one day, at the door.                       
Advance tickets – $30 for a 3-day pass
Kids tickets (ages 2-12) – FREE on Sunday (2/9) at the door with adult admission.
*Tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.  

For more information and updates log onto

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Josh Marcotte @ Bela La Vie

Come check out local guerrilla photographer Josh Marcotte's latest work this weekend at Bela La Vie!

Source: Phantom Galleries
Bela La Vie presents: "Mobile Manipulation" Hipstamatic photos by Josh Marcotte.
Opening Reception January 25th, 7–10pm
311 E. Campbell Ave.
Campbell, CA

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

January 2014 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The Downtown Association's Design Review Committee awarded three golden nail awards for Downtown beautification:
    • The Gold Building (55 S market)
    • CityView Plaza
    • Orchestria Palm Court
  • Aavid Design Corp is moving its nine employees from Cupertino to Downtown San Jose.
  • San Jose's Department of Transportation officially opened the green, buffered bikeways along San Fernando from Cahill to 11th.
  • The San Jose Civic Auditorium was rebranded the City National Civic.
  • Essential Travel, a travel magazine based in the UK, said Christmas in the Park is one of the top 10 Christmas displays in the world.
  • A new Business Coaching Center for those looking to launch or expand a business in San Jose is available at:
  • Ike's Sandwiches is open at 75 E. Santa Clara.
  • Brix Nightclub at 349 S. First has been remodeled into the "Metropolitan" [Josh: I'm getting the impression that it is either no longer a gay club, or is at least trying to be more inclusive of those attracted to the opposite sex]
  • Caffe Frascati owner has turned a 3-wheeled utility van into a portable espresso station (it premiered during the last South First Friday).
  • 8 Treasure Restaurant is now open at 150 S. First, replacing Asian Gourmet.
  • Power Bowl is open at 132 E. San Fernando and features authentic acai bowls and detox drinks.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Caffe Frascati Named One of the Best Coffee Shops in the World!

Huge congratulations to Caffe Frascati for making it to an international list of best coffee shops on BBC Travel. The quote is priceless "In my opinion, the coffee is, without a doubt, the best in both the US and the UK" [Josh: okay I did fix a small typo in there]. I have to agree that it is a super cool coffee shop with a quality product, loads of character, and a friendly owner that is passionate about what he does. The live music at night is a nice touch (Opera on First Fridays).

Source: I Heart SJ, BBC

Monday, January 20, 2014

Downtown San Jose Development Projects Map

There are so many big projects kicking off in Downtown San Jose, that we need a map to keep track of them all. Below is a nice one put together by the city that shows all projects that are under construction, in planning, and even goes so far as to highlight key areas for future infill development. You can click the map below to enlarge or access a PDF version right over here.

  1. North San Pedro - 408 Units, Est. Completion 2016
  2. Little Italy Developments
  3. Santa Clara County Family Justice Center - Est. Completion 2015
  4. St. James Towers - 612 Units, 10,000 SQFT Retail, Est. Completion 2016
  5. Centerra - 347 Units, 7,000 SQFT Retail, Est. Completion 2015
  6. Fairfield Mid-Rise - 195 Units, Retail
  7. Hampton Inn & Suites - 197 Rooms, 5,900 SQFT Retail, Est. Completion 2015
  8. Symphony Development - 127 Units (Student Housing)
  9. One South - 312 Units, 6,000 SQFT Retail, Est. Completion 2015
  10. Post & San Pedro Tower - 156 Units, 4,100 SQFT Retail
  11. San Jose Convention Center $130 Million Expansion
  12. Balbach Condos - 100 Units
  13. The Pierce - 234 Units, 9,400 SQFT Retail, Est. Completion 2015
  14. Parkview Towers - 197 Units, 5,000 SQFT Retail

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Whiskies of the World 2014 @ SPSM

If you are a fan of whiskey, the San Pedro Square Market is hosting a substantial whiskey event with food pairings, a seminar, and of course tastings. Ignore the Christmas references below, I wanted to post this a bit closer to the event date of March 27th! For details and links just keep on reading.

sanpedrosquaremarketlogo1111 resized 600
Mark your calendars and save the date of March 27th, 2014 for a very special event at the San Pedro Square Market in Downtown San Jose!

We are pre-selling tickets right now for this exclusive engagement (can someone say stocking stuffer!?)

Check out the eventbrite ticket link by clicking HERE.


Whiskies of the World Expo will treat both the whiskey connoisseur and novice alike with hundreds of the world’s most renowned whiskies. Coming in March, sample Scotch, Irish, American, Canadian, Australian, and Indian whiskies, bourbons, single malts, blends, and many other styles of liquid delicacies.

  • Pair dishes with your favorite whiskies.
  • Meet and share a dram with the whiskey stars, master distillers, blenders, and nosers.
  • Attend a fun and informative whiskey seminar to learn first-hand and mouth from the whiskey experts.
  • Come and be among the first to learn and experience a night of delicious spirited fun!

Don't forget to purchase tickets as a last minute Christmas gift for the Whiskey lover in your life by clicking HERE!

Robots Taking over the Tech Tomorrow

Got Bots

Cutting-Edge Robotics Take Over The Tech Museum of Innovation
Museum hosts entire day of human-robot interaction activities on MLK day

SAN JOSE, CA –Bust out moves to your favorite tunes alongside a humanoid robot as your partner. Hear from experts leading the social robot evolution. Build a robot comedian and laugh out loud. There may soon be a day when robots are integrated into our everyday lives, and even be able to anticipate and adjust to human preferences.

For an entire day, The Tech showcases a variety of social robots and guest speakers at the forefront of their field. NAO, a programmable humanoid robot from France’s Aldebaran Robotics, will perform dances to popular hits throughout the day. Guests can also program Play-i' Bo the Robot to play a xylophone, as well as engage with Furby and Pleo and see how they respond to actions.

Over in the RoboTheater, visitors can try their hand at design by programming a human robot to perform a variety of tasks before heading into The Tech’s Social Robots experience to design and build their own robot that makes them laugh. The museum will feature a special theme in the experience that day – Robot Comedians.

Special speakers include Intuitive Automata’s Cory Kidd and Professor Andrea Thomaz. Thomaz is an Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology and an innovator in the robotics field. Published in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and Human-Robot Interaction, she is radically redefining how robots and humans interact.

WHO/WHAT: Special robot programming and special guests throughout the day featuring Georgia Tech’s Professor Andrea Thomaz, Intuitive Automata’s Cory Kidd, Play-i founders, NAO, and a bevy of engaging social robots. Free with Museum Admission.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MLK day, Monday, January 20

WHERE: The Tech, 201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA

For more information and programming schedule, visit:

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #1 Richest City in America

You will have to hit the source link for the video, but San Jose was named the Richest City in America. There were some shots of Downtown both at the beginning and the end of the video. What do they attribute San Jose's success to? Tech, tech, and more tech.

The #2 wealthiest city was Washington, D.C., followed by Bridgeport, CT in 3rd. San Francisco came in 4th while Boston rounded out the top 5.

Source: Wall Street Journal, Bobby Guz Man from the San Jose Development Forum

Friday, January 17, 2014

JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers at The Blank Club, Jan 21st

If you are craving some dirty blues and rock n' roll, then there's a great band coming The Blank Club next week that I think you'll enjoy. JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers has just released their third album entitled Wild Moon. You can get a little preview by watching the YouTube video below. The band was originally formed as an old-timey acoustic outlet for JD Wilkes, but has since become fully amplified as you can hear in the video. Grab some Kentucky Bourbon and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014
JD Wilkes and the Dirt Daubers
@ The Blank Club
San Jose, CA
Doors: 8:00PM
Show: 9:00PM
Tix: $10 // 21+

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BASIS Private School Coming to San Jose

BASIS is responsible for some of the highest ranked charter schools in the country. There operate a dozen for-profit charters across DC, Arizona, and Texas. However, it looks like there are branching out to the private school system and are launching their first two in San Jose and Brooklyn.

The Silicon Valley campus will be located in Midtown San Jose (1290 Parkmoor) and will eventually accommodate 800 students. The plan is to offer education from grades 5 through 12, with tuition clocking in at $22,000 a year (wow, private schools are getting expensive).

The San Jose site was chosen deliberately so that they could be in the "heart of technological innovation." It seems like their culture will mesh quite well with Silicon Valley, which comes closer to a meritocracy than any other region in the world. BASIS does not believe in the traditional "elitist model of private education," there will be no boards made up of influential parents/donors, and there will be no fundraising efforts. The curriculum is heavily STEM-focused (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). 8th Graders have access to nine different math options and the curriculum will be both challenging and based on international standards.

This sounds like a school right up San Jose's alley! They are even constructing it in an office campus ;).

Source: SVBJ

BASIS Independent Silicon Valley will renovate this building at 1290 Parkmoor.
1290 Parkmoor


Come check out a great event showcasing locally-made art and goods today at the San Jose Museum of Art. It is free to access the SJMADE mini-mart in the lobby, but you can also visit the galleries for just $5 after 5 PM.

January 16, 2013
5–8 PM
Admission to the workshop and galleries is just $5 after 5 PM (free for members).
Admission to SJMADE Mini Mart is free.
San Jose Made (SJMADE) is a platform for local San Jose makers, labels, brands, small businesses, and artists to showcase and sell current projects and goods. For one night only, SJMADE will gather a small group of its independent makers in SJMA’s lobby for our SJMADE Mini Mart. You can peruse the wares and then create a unique, up-cycled cup cozy or t-shirt bracelet with the help of GoGo Craft, a mobile crafting workshop that provides exciting and accessible make-and-take projects for participants at all skill levels. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New $35M Hotel Project in North San Jose

Remember the old Piercey Toyota lot on North First near the airport? That is about to become not one, but two hotels. On the table is a 145-room Hampton Inn and Suites as well as a 140-room Home2 Suites. Unlike the SpringHill Suites and Residence Inn project also happening near the airport, each of these hotels will be housed in a separate building. However, I would be surprised if they did not share some of their resources and staff since the owner is going to be the same (Kalthia Group Hotels).

I know some of the urbanists that frequent this site will not be impressed with five-story buildings, especially along North First where we could theoretically go beyond 30. Personally, I'll take it over an empty parking lot any day of the week. North First seems under-serviced by hotels, and we need these resources to help entice more large companies to the area.

Source: SVBJ

An elevation of the Hampton Inn & Suites proposed for North First Street in San Jose

Wednesday Wishlist: Michelin Star Restaurants (2014 Edition)

This is the 5th time I am doing this post. Each year it is more or less the same... we need to start getting some Michelin-starred restaurants in San Jose! The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric for measuring culinary greatness, and for the most part San Jose restaurants have been excluded from its pages. However, I think the foodie culture is growing here and I have high hopes for 2015.

Michelin has three different star categories:

One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.

I created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2014, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 38 restaurants on the list, which is down from 42 in 2013 and the peak of 47 in 2012. 50% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 26% in Wine Country, 21% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), and 3% in the East Bay. The only new restaurant on the list this year is State Bird Provisions (an American dim sum-style eatery).

I will also mention that there are some restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." Within this category San Jose scored a total of 8 restaurants:

  • Downtown
    • Vung Tau
    • Back A Yard
  • Santana Row
    • LB Steak
    • Pizza Antica
  • North San Jose
    • Smoking Pig BBQ
  • East San Jose
    • La Costa
  • South San Jose
    • Bun Bo Hue An Nam
    • Thien Long
  • Willow Glen
    • Fratello
  • Japantown
    • SJ Omogari

Source: Michelin Guide

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Rise of a High Rise Tower - Centerra

An Axis resident has decided to document the construction of Centerra across the street from his condo. Check out his blog over at Great idea!

Centerra Tower
Downtown San Jose
January 5th, 2014
January 5th

Monday, January 13, 2014

Metro Moves Further into Downtown's SoFA District

Metro Newspapers has purchased a 4,200 SQFT building at 380 S. First St., right in the heart of Downtown San Jose's SoFA district. This is a space that has been vacant for 10 years.

Metro was actually one of the companies that helped make SoFA what it is today (it used to be San Jose's red light district). The area has hit a positive trajectory as of late. Jazz-oriented Cafe Stritch launched last year, Parque De Los Pobladores Park was greatly expanded, work started on the SoFA Market venue which will house multiple small eateries and shops, and a massive residential project called The Pierce is about to break ground (with a great design). I'm looking forward to seeing what SoFA will be like a few years from now.

The New Metro HQ will house 30 staff members and is going to be designed to easily accommodate events and temporary art galleries. Metro does a bit already (they are a First Fridays stop), but this new space will be arranged with that in mind from the beginning.

Source: SVBJ

Lick Observatory Council's Letter to the Merc

The iconic Lick Observatory is in danger of being shut down following the end of UC funding in 2018. The Lick Observatory Council has launched a campaign to find the support needed to keep it in operation. Below is a letter that was written to the Mercury News:


Lick Observatory's work deserves support
Writing on behalf of the Lick Observatory Council, we strongly urge the University of California to reconsider its unwise decision to end all funding for Lick Observatory. Lick science remains vibrant, with programs to discover Earth-sized, potentially habitable planets and to develop technology enabling ground-based telescopes to see more sharply than the Hubble Space Telescope. More than 100 UC astronomers and students use Lick each year for groundbreaking research.
Lick is also a unique educational resource for the Bay Area. Thirty-five thousand people visit annually to tour the telescopes, hear lectures by renowned astronomers and behold the universe through the eyepiece of the great refractor.
We are committed to keeping this gem alive and thriving. Our vision is compelling: a working observatory and major science education center for research, outreach and inspiration. We invite the university to support and partner with us in this quest.
Would you like to help save Lick? Learn more at .
James A. Katzman
Member, Lick Observatory Council Saratoga
Lick Laser West

Orion City Lights

APF Snow

Summer Visitors

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose Named One of 10 Cities That Could Run out of Water

Not all the Saturday Stats are positive. The Weather Channel highlighted 10 US cities that could run out of water, and calls San Jose "one of the most water-stressed areas anywhere in the U.S." We are at high risk of water shortages, especially on top of multi-year droughts like we had between 205 and 2007. Other cities that made the list include El Paso, Miami, Lincoln (Nebraska), Salt Lake City, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Atlanta.

Sources: The Weather Channel, Hat tip to Bel

Friday, January 10, 2014

Column of Air @ The Citadel and Motif

Column of Air is a new local musical duo consisting of David Sosa and artist Andre Hart. They just finished recording their first EP and have two shows lined up over the next few days. The first will be at The Citadel Art Gallery on January 18th, which will also be showcasing Andre's paintings (you can see a preview of these below) and feature poetry and theatrical performances.

They will also be playing at Motif in Downtown San Jose on January 20th along with an assortment of other musical acts in a show called Pixels. This event is 21+ and is all about the freedom of expression through sound.

Column of Air Facebook Page
RAW artists - Column of Air Page

Another Costco Coming to South San Jose

An empty 76-acre Edenvale site near Highway 85 and Great Oaks could become the site of another Costco. This is land that used to be part of the IBM/Hitachi campus. In addition to the massive wholesaler, there would be 260,000 SQFT of new office space, ~50,000 additional SQFT of retail, and 720 housing units. The city of San Jose plans for this to eventually become and urban village connected with mass transit.

One surprising side benefit of this development project is that $10 million would go towards the new San Jose Earthquakes Stadium. The money would be used for upgrading the stadium, including an upgraded seating system and riser, and a terra-cotta finish.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Johnny Cash's Tribute Show is Coming to the Montgomery Theater

James Garner's critically acclaimed tribute to Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three is coming to Downtown San Jose on January 18th. In addition to performing hits like "Ring of Fire," "I Walk the Line," and "Folsom Prison Blues," Garner will recount stories about Johnny Cash and his band. So you get both the songs and the story behind the songs.

Tickets for James Garner's Tribute to Johnny Cash are available at and range from $31-46.

Virident Moving from Milpitas to San Jose

Virident is a storage company that specializes in flash-based technologies that are used in data centers. They have decided to move their headquarters from a 30,000 SQFT space in Milpitas to 68,000 SQFT at 1745 Technology Drive in San Jose. The building used to be part of the old Brocade campus before they moved to @First.

Virident will bring with it over 100 employees, along with the potential to house nearly 300 in the new space. While the main reason for the move was to have room to expand, I like how a company executive also mentioned it was "closer to amenities employees may be looking for."

Source: SVBJ

Virident is nearly filling up 1745 Technology Drive in San Jose.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wednesday Wishlist: Retail Under Highways

In Houston, one of this issues that is currently holding back developers are the highways that bifurcate the city, especially in their downtown area. Gensler (which is a SF-based firm) suggested building retail underneath Houston highways to better connect city streets divided by highways and spur development. I have seen this concept in action when I visited Tokyo many years ago. Heck, there are even whole shopping malls built underneath streets and highways there.

Building retail underneath highways and major roads could make a lot of sense for Downtown San Jose, especially where Highway 87 crosses Santa Clara Street and San Fernando Street. Eventually we will have major art installations in both of those locations, but having retail there would take it to the next level. North Almaden and 87 (leading to Little Italy) would be another great spot. I'm sure there are several potential retail sites along 280 as well.

What do you guys think?

Source: Anonymous Poster, Houston Business Journal

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Sharks Planning SAP Center and Sharks Ice Upgrades

Last month John Tortora, the COO of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, made several interesting comments about the future of the Shark Tank and Sharks Ice (the Sharks' practice facility which is also open to the public). It sounds like he is interesting in remodeling the SAP Center to keep it competitive for prestigious events, especially given the $1.3 billion stadium going up in Santa Clara. One of the specific things he mentioned is rolling out new technology like in-seat food and merchandise delivery. This is exactly what the 49ers are planning for the new stadium--a mobile app is used to have items delivered right to your seat.

Tortora also has plans to expand the Sharks Ice facility a stones-throw away from Downtown San Jose. It is already the largest ice facility west of the Mississippi, but he would like to take it from four sheets of ice to six. The total cost of that project would be in the $60 million range.

Source: SVBJ

Santana Row in January, February and March 2014

Check out the release below for the latest news, promotions, and events happening at Santana Row:

San Jose, CA (Jan 3, 2013) – Happy New Year from Santana Row! The Row is gearing up for another exciting year of celebrations, openings and events in 2014. We hope you’ll share the journey with us.
Rainy Day Rewards, through March 31, 2014
When there’s a 70 percent or greater 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.
Silicon Valley Education Foundation Wine Stroll
Thursday, Jan. 9, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Sip wine, shop and stroll and enjoy chef demonstrations and samples at this event benefiting the Silicon Valley Education Foundation. The evening includes a reception inside Misora, the newest luxury community at Santana Row.
Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at or at the concierge office. Registration opens at 5:45 p.m. in Santana Row Park across from Left Bank Brasserie.

A look ahead to February and March…
Wine & Dine Around Benefit for the American Heart Association
Saturday, Feb. 8, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
More than a dozen Santana Row shops and restaurants host exclusive in-store events with complimentary wine and food pairings and incredible one-time discounts available only to ticketholders, all to benefit the American Heart Association. The wine stroll begins on Olin Avenue at 2 p.m. Tickets are $30 and include access to all in-store events, a Heart Card shopping pass, wine bottle tote bag and a signature Santana Row wine glass. Tickets available in person at Concierge or online at

Chinese New Year Celebration
Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Kung Hei Fat Choi! Santana Row celebrates the Year of the Horse with an afternoon of Chinese New Year festivities. The celebration begins at 1 p.m. with exciting drumbeats and crashing cymbals of the Lion and Dragon dances in Santana Row Park.
The afternoon is filled with a lineup of traditional live performances celebrating the start of a new year and includes martial arts demonstrations, fashion presentations, music, singing and dancing.
The event is free and open to the public.
Third Annual 408K Race to the Row
Sunday, March 2 
The eight-kilometer road race that benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation and its Team Tillman initiative is winding through the streets of San Jose for the third year in a row. It starts at SAP Center on The Alameda and ends at Santana Row. The 8K run last year drew more than 4,000 runners.
For information and registration, go to:
Twitter Promotion @SantanaRow Invites Tweets #LifeOnTheRow
For a Chance to Win Gift Cards to Restaurants at The Row
Santana Row’s Twitter campaign and photo contest continues through the @SantanaRow Twitter handle. The contest invites anyone at Santana Row to Tweet photos of a new outfit, haircut, meal, event or artsy shots and then Tweet it to Santana Row with the hash tag #LifeonTheRow. Every month, Santana Row will post an album on Facebook with all of the photos with the #LifeonTheRow hash tag. The person who took the best or most original photo will win a gift card to a Santana Row restaurant.

About Santana Row
Santana Row a 1.5 million square foot mixed used development in the heart of San Jose, California, is Silicon Valley's premier destination for shopping,
dining, living and nightlife. Surrounded by landscaped gardens, parks and plazas, Santana Row features over 70 retail shops, more than 20 acclaimed restaurants, a 212-room boutique hotel and six-screen movie theatre. In addition to the dynamic retail collection, Santana Row offers 622 residential units featuring a fitness center, rooftop pool and resort-living accommodations, and 65,000 square feet of office space at 300 Santana Row, its newest office address. Santana Row is a property of (NYSE:FRT), headquartered in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, development, and redevelopment of high quality retail assets. Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contains approximately 20 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 95.3% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of September 30, 2013, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 3.4% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 46 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.