Monday, June 30, 2014

Yet Another Hotel Coming to North San Jose

North San Jose has been adding new hotels left and right. A combo 175-room Residence Inn and 146-room SpringHill Suites (both owned by Marriott) is just about ready near the airport. A new Aloft near Alviso has broken ground. Hyatt is moving forward with 330 rooms across two of their brands (Hampton Inn and Home2 Suites) that would both be on the same parcel. Lastly, part of Bay 101's redevelopment will likely include two hotels, and Phase 2 of M8trix includes a hotel tower.

If that wasn't enough for you, there is one more project to add to the mix. A 1.9-acre site at 1610 N. 4th Street is being considered for a 120-room hotel with 6,500 SQFT of banquet space. Currently this space is a private parking lot for airport travelers.

The developer is known for building hotels that are part of the InterContinental chain, such as Candlewood Suites and Holiday Inn. $25 million is being budgeted for this particular project. For more info check out the source link below.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, June 29, 2014

ShakesBEERience San Jose Presents Taming of the Shrew at Cafe Stritch

Cafe Stritch hosts the latest installment of Buck Hill Production's ShakesBEERience tomorrow night, Mon., June 30 starting at 7 p.m.

Billed as a "pub, a pint and a play," Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew will be presented in a playful and accessible way, and folks are invited to check out one scene or stay for the entire reading over food and drinks.

As space is limited, be sure to get there early to get your seats. As many are already aware, Cafe Stritch has a good beer lineup, and recent beers on tap have included Drake’s Hefeweizen, Lagunitas IPA, Lost Coast Downtown Brown, Firestone Walker Double Jack (Double IPA), Stone Arrogant Bastard (a hoppy American Strong Ale) and Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, among others. There are also plenty cocktail and some wine options.

Tomorrow's presentation is the third play this 2014 year. The fourth and final play this season will be in October; expect an announcement for the 2015 season around that time.

I've written a lot more about this ShakesBEERience event for

Photo from Buck Hill Productions Facebook page.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #3 Most "Upward Mobile" City

Where are the best places to realize the American dream? Check out the list below. San Jose comes in as the 3rd most upwardly mobile region in the US. Absolute Upward Mobility tells us how children are able to stack up compared to their parents. Relative Mobility measures an employee's odds of moving up or down the income ladder. Note that while San Jose had the 3rd best Absolute Upward Mobility score, we were #1 in Relative Mobility.

San Francisco came in 5th place and New York rounded out the top 10.

Source: The Atlantic, Hat tip to Dan De La O.

Friday, June 27, 2014

2014 Downtown Doors Expands to 91 Locations!

Downtown Doors is a fantastic program that allows student art to be featured throughout Downtown San Jose by turning a typically boring object--doors--into thought provoking art. For 2014 the program is undergoing a substantial expansion, both in the number of locations and the scope of the art.

21 additional San Jose high school students are now featured Downtown across 11 brand new locations and 15 sites that have been refreshed. 5 of the locations feature art from students at our sister cities of Dublin (Ireland), Okayama (Japan), Pune (India), San Jose (Costa Rica), and Tainan (Taiwan).

11 of the students have even posted YouTube videos that explain the inspiration for their piece and how they feel about being selected. You can find these videos along with more information about the program at the Downtown Doors website over here.

Below is a handy map that shows where the art is located, which you can click to enlarge and print it out.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Two New San Pedro Square Market Eateries!

Arepa Swing (Venezuelan Cuisine) is now open in the Market Hall right next to Treatbot. They feature crispy maize-based flatbreads (gluten free) filled with a variety of meats and cheeses. As for the second eatery, Spuds is a loaded backed potato bar with organic topping options. They plan to open a bit later this year and will be the first "Potato Bar" in San Jose. For more details on both Arepa Swing and Spuds, just scroll down.

Arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough and is a Venezuelan delicacy! It's a daily tradition that can be served with various items such as cheese, avocado, jam, or split and used to make sandwiches.  Arepa Swing, located in the Market Hall at San Pedro Square Market will offer the best and most traditional Venezuelan Arepas, all glutten-free! Stop on by and grab a bite!

Two crazy dreamers from the Americas' met in Australia in 2009 and  merging both their dreams, passions and skills, they began to develop the concept of SPUDS USA.  They dreamt of real food that can be different, fast and healthy so, here they are in 2014 opening their prototype and first loaded baked potato shop for you to enjoy in the Heart of the Silicon Valley.

Spuds USA is the best way to enjoy real food served to you promptly. The base of our meal is a delicious and soft, Baked potato. Added that we offer you less carbs and calories than average sub sandwich bread, plus a huge variety of delicious organic toppings, your meal will be as healthy as you decide.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Diridon Station Plan Moves Forward

The master plan for the Diridon area was approved by the San Jose City Council last week. The vision includes up to 5 million SQFT of office/R&D--which is not far away from what all of Downtown San Jose has today (8 million SQFT)--as well as 2,600 residential units, 900 hotel rooms, and 424,000 SQFT of retail.

It is ambitious, but after BART, Bus Rapid Transit, and High Speed Rail connect to Diridon it will be far and away the best connected station in the Bay Area. For more info or to get involved in the planning from the community side, head over to the Diridon Station Area Plan website.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scott's Seafood Hosts First Brewmaster's Dinner

Downtown San Jose's Scott's Seafood is hosting its first brewmaster's dinner featuring beers from Firestone Walker Brewing Company this Thursday, June 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This dinner provides a great opportunity for those who haven't tried a food-and-beer pairing event yet and will surely satisfy beer dinner veterans.

It's set to take place on the scenic sixth floor rooftop patio, and like any true brewmaster dinner, original brewmaster Jeffers Richardson and others from the Firestone Walker team will be on hand to answer any questions about the brewery and their offerings.

Here's the menu:
  • First Course: Nuts and berries cheese plate paired with Pivo Hoppy Pils.
  • Second Course: Butter leaf lettuce, spicy pecans, and goat cheese, with raspberry vinaigrette paired with Double Barrel Ale.
  • Third Course: Seared ahi tuna with ponzu sauce, sticky rice, and bok choy paired with Union Jack IPA.
  • Fourth Course: Bread pudding with whipped cream and caramel sauce paired with Stickee Monkee Central Coast Quad.

This dinner is $40, and space is limited. Tickets are available at their Eventbrite page.

I've written a bit more about this event for

San Jose Historic Photos

Check out this amazing collection of photos put together for History San Jose. Thanks to Arturo from the Skyscraper City Community for finding this. I have posted some of my favorites below (check out what St. James Park used to look like in 1890!).

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Riverpark II Tower Downtown Finally Gets Tenants!

Riverpark II at the edge of Highway 87 in Downtown San Jose is finally going to start filling up! Much like the Sobrato Tower before Oracle moved in, this is a key building that has sat empty for years. Since it was completed in 2009, it has never had a tenant. Legacy Partners (the owner) was holding out for a single flagship tenant to take the whole building. However, that strategy did not pan out.

Now there are two big deals on the horizon. Both Intacct and Xactly are rapidly expanding tech companies currently located in Downtown San Jose. Each is looking to grab three floors in the building, which would amount to a grand total of 120,000 SQFT between both of them. If this comes through, it would likely put office vacancy Downtown around 17%, a huge improvement from 22% a year ago.

There has also been a 3,500 SQFT lease on the ground floor to Fremont-based Pan Pacific Bank. They focus primarily on small and mid-sized business and this would be the bank's second location.

Needless to say, this is fantastic news and could be a sign that the Downtown office market will be receiving a lot more attention.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Merc is Moving Back Downtown

Last week The San Jose Mercury News officially announced that they were moving to Downtown San Jose. Specifically, they signed a lease for two floors at 4 N. Second Street (same complex with Ike's and ISO: Beers). They are taking a total of 33,186 SQFT on the 7th and 8th floors. The move will happen in September.

While it's not a huge lease, it means a lot that the largest newspaper in Silicon Valley is now in Downtown San Jose. The last time the Mercury News was located Downtown was in 1967.

Source: SVBJ

Screen shot 2014 02 26 at 10

The Photography of Modern Cuisine at The Tech (Jun 25 - Sep 1)

SAN JOSE, CA – Prepare for your close-up – with food like you’ve never seen it before.

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of more than 75 large-format photographs of food taken by Nathan Myhrvold and his Modernist Cuisine team, will be on display at The Tech Museum of Innovation from June 25 to September 1. Admission is free.

Myhrvold is the former Microsoft chief technology officer and author of the critically acclaimed Modernist Cuisine books, which are beloved by chefs. The photographs in the exhibition illuminate the fascinating, accessible science at work every day in our kitchens. “Cooking is the only science experiment we all do on a regular basis,” Myhrvold says.

"Nathan Myhrvold's passion for food and photography are on full display in this extraordinary exhibit,” said Tech President Tim Ritchie. “He enables us to see how wonderful and beautiful food really is, and how we can use technology to prepare it in delightful ways."

“I hope that others share with us the child-like wonder and curiosity I feel when looking at these photos,” Myhrvold says. “The exhibition and book are in many ways a culmination of my lifelong interest in photography, in much the same way thatModernist Cuisine was a milestone in my interest in food.”

Visitors will see the fractal structures and mesmerizing color gradations of vitamin C crystals through research microscopes with filters that polarize light. They’ll learn about the physics that propel and explode a bursting kernel of popcorn through the lens of a high-speed video camera that slows the action by a factor of 200. This unprecedented collection of images uses these innovations and other advanced technologies – including photographic techniques like panoramic stitching, focus stacking, and microscopy – to show the world of food in an entirely new way.

The Tech is the exhibition’s second stop in a three-year worldwide tour.

WHATThe Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of more than 75 large-format photographs of food taken by Nathan Myhrvold and his team atModernist Cuisine

WHEN:  June 25 through Sept. 1, 2014

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

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the #6 Healthiest City in the US

The ACSM American Fitness Index is a scientific snapshot of health and fitness at a metropolitan level. On a national level, San Jose ranked at the #6 healthiest city. San Francisco came in a hair better at #5.

The areas San Jose excelled at include a high vegetable consumption, low percentage of people smoking, low obesity rates, high percentage of people in excellent or very good health, and a high number of playgrounds and parks per capita. Areas improvement include a higher percentage of mental health issues (all the stress from tech jobs?) and a higher rate of asthma than other metros.

You can download the full report as well as historic reports at the link below.

Source: ACSM American Fitness Index, Hat tip to Barclay Livker

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dine Downtown San Jose Starts Today!

A 10 day "restaurant week" in Downtown San Jose kicks off today. This year there are 27 different restaurants including 8 brand new options. You can check out the full list below along with some menu examples. For a restaurant list with links to Opentable reservations, check out this handy SJDA webpage. 

Dine Downtown San Jose – June 20-29
27 downtown restaurants combine value, service and quality

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Foodies have a lot of new choices at the sixth annual Dine Downtown San Jose “restaurant week,” so good it extends to 10 days.

From June 20-29, new and regular customers alike can savor the tastes of 27 different restaurants offering prix-fixed, three-course meals including appetizer or salad, entrée and dessert, starting at $15 per person.

Restaurants new to the Dine Downtown program this year include: Blackbird Tavern, The Blue Mango, Bluefin Sushi, Da Kine Island Grill, The Farmers Union, First to Market, La Pinata and Nomikai Social Food + Drinkery.

First to Market’s (399 S. First St.) $35 per person Dine Downtown San Jose sampling includes grilled watermelon salad, pork belly mac and cheese or grilled ahi for appetizers, grilled elk chops, seared scallops or brown rice-stuffed bell pepper for main course and pie of the day.  Or after trying Nomikai’s arugula salad and corn pizza, save room for fresh strawberry with Nutella coconut cream parfait, all for $20 per person.

The offers also include a six-course meal at 71 Saint Peter for $45 a person and a five-course, $55 offer at Nemea Greek Taverna.

Some of downtown San Jose’s best restaurants will return to support the popular program: 71 Saint Peter Modern European Kitchen; Arcadia – A  Michael Mina Steakhouse; Bella Mia; Billy Berk’s Restaurant; Cafe Stritch; Fahrenheit Restaurant & Lounge; Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant; The Grill on the Alley; Il Fornaio San Jose; Loft Bar and Bistro; Los Gatos Brewing Company; Mezcal Restaurant; Morton’s The Steakhouse; Nemea Greek Taverna; Orchestria Palm Court Restaurant; Paolo’s Restaurant; San Pedro Square Bistro & Wine; Scott’s Seafood San Jose; and Vino Vino.

Since 2009, Dine Downtown showcases the exceptional restaurants offered in the center city.  Based on restaurant surveys, Dine Downtown customers come back again and again, trying new places and returning to familiar favorites.  In 2013, downtown restaurants served thousands of meals

“The San Jose Downtown Association loves to produce Dine Downtown because it promotes some of downtown’s best assets,” said Julie Carlson, SJDA marketing director. “We’re excited to see so many new restaurants and old favorites in the Dine Downtown mix this year.”

Dine Downtown restaurants, menus and additional information are at  Dinner starts nightly at 5:30 p.m. and reservations are recommended through each restaurant’s website or

Sysco, the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, will sponsor Dine Downtown for the second year.  For each meal served, Sysco will donate $1 to San Jose’s Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen.  Also, OpenTable will again take Dine Downtown reservations.

Meals to tempt the most discriminating of culinary tastes, including vegetarian options, include:

$30 for two people
La Pinata:
First:  Nachos, flautas or quesadilla
Second:  Super famoso burrito, mole enchiladas or enchilada/taco combo
Third:  Flan, cheesecake chimichanga or pastel tres leches

$39 for two people
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant:
First:  Southwest egg rolls
Second: Baby greens, Caesar salad
Third:  Brewhouse chicken, miso mahi, bourbon chicken & grilled shrimp, and bistro steak medallions
Fourth:  4 mini sampler desserts

$20 per person
Bella Mia:
First:  House side garden salad
Second:  Oven-baked lasagna, ravioli trio or crab & shrinp cannelloni
Third:  Petite season fruit crisp

$30 per person

Blackbird Tavern:
First:  Soup du jour, green Waldorf salad or grilled farmers market peppers
Second:  Bourbon grilled chicken, seasonal risotto, steak frites or rockfish
Third:  Nectarine bruschetta or strawberries and cream ice cream

Da Kine Island Grill:
First:  Ahi poke, tako poke, salmon poke, Kalua nachos or Kalua quesadilla
Second:  Hawaiian plate, mahi loco moco, seared ahi plate, aloha spare ribs, flamin salmon, mango pork chop, Da Kine chicken Ceasar
Third:  Rum bread pudding or pineapple sticky rice

First:  Oaxacan summer salad, tortilla soup or seared scallops
Second:  Bacon-wrapped filet mignon, sea bass or vegetarian duo
Third:  warm Oaxacan chocolate cake or Don Julio anejo neat, chocolate and sliced orange

$45 per person (six courses)

71 St. Peter Mediterranean Grill
Amuse-Bouche:  Chilled gazpacho
First:  Fresh Dungeness crab salad
Second:  Spring vegetable risotto
Intermezzo: Lime sorbet
Main Course:  Pancetta wrapped petite filet mignon, or sage roasted California sea bass, or roasted butternut squash ravioli
Dessert:  Apricot upside-down cake

$45 per person
Morton’s The Steakhouse
First: Caesar salad, Morton’s salad or baked five-onion soup
Second: 6oz single cut filet mignon (+$10 for 8oz), double cut prime pork chop, honey-chili glazed salmon or chicken bianco
Third:  Chocolate mousse or cheesecake

$50 per person

First:  Heirloom tomato salad or roasted corn soup
Second:  Grilled king salmon steak or petit filet & short rib rillettes
Third:  Chocolate molten cake or mascarpone cheesecake

$60 per person
The Grill on the Alley:
First: Charcuterie board or rustic grilled Ceasar
Second:  Smoked bacon-wrapped filet or sweet pea, lemon & prawn risotto
Third:  Vanilla brandy panna cotta


San Jose Downtown Association is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose.  Check

Loaves & Fishes Family Kitchen is a non-profit organization that has served the working poor, families, homeless and seniors living in and around the downtown and East Side of San Jose for over 32 years. What began as a simple first meal of fish and bread for 11 adults and 15 children has grown to nearly 500 meals per day, served with dignity.  Visit

Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 177 distribution facilities serving approximately 400,000 customers. Visit

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New Manufacturing and Office Project Coming to Alviso

A large 34-acre project including 565,000 SQFT of manufacturing space and 450,000 SQFT of office was approved in San Jose's Alviso District (northwest corner of Nortech Parkway and Disk Drive, land formerly owned by Cisco). The project will likely result in 1,200 jobs or more.

Construction should begin by the end of the year and phase 1 will be two manufacturing buildings totaling 330,00 SQFT and two R&D/office buildings totaling 170,000. This is a speculative project, meaning there is no tenant in mind at this point.

Source: SVBJ

Tee Nee Thai Celebration

A beloved restaurant on The Alameda that burned down over two years ago is having their grand re-opening party this Friday, June 27th starting at 6:30pm. The festivities will include a procession along The Alameda with Thai dancers, food, and even wine tasting hosted by San Jose's own J. Lohr Winery. For all the info on Tee Nee Thai's celebration, check out the press release below:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 2014 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • The city plans to reduce permit fees and red tape to hold events in St. James Park. There are a lot of great ideas floating around to activate the park like food trucks, aerobics classes, performing arts, games, and even "Zoo to You" where animals from Happy Hollow Zoo would visit the park. 
  • The Dine Downtown restaurant week is being extended to 10 days and will run at 26 Downtown restaurants from June 20-29th. New participating restaurants this year include Blackbird Tavern, Blue Mango, Bluefin Sushi (Downtown is expanding into the Alameda), Da Kine Island Grill, The Farmers Union, First to Market, La Pinata, and Nomikai.
  • Camera 12 Cinemas has reduced its rates for the summer. All moves are $5.50 until 6pm and $8.50 afterwards. Students, seniors, children, military, and library card holders (?) pay $7. They also added D-Box motion seats in their largest theater.
  • A father-son team is opening the Wolfpack Enclave gaming center at 17 N. Second St. Gamers can rent high-end PCs to pay games for $5/hour.
  • The former P.F. Chang's on Second and San Fernando is becoming M Lounge Bar and Restaurant later this summer, featuring Southeast Asian Cuisines.
  • Garlic Bread BBQ Smokehouse is open on Fountain Alley (30 E. Santa Clara #160). Check out for more info.
  • Broadway San Jose is adding an extra week of "Wicked," a one-night performance by Jerry Seinfeld, and a five-show package including multiple award-winning musicals.
  • The Rotary Club of San Jose is providing Fourth of July fireworks after darkness falls on the Discovery Meadow. During the day, check out the Bacon Festival at Plaza de Cesar Chavez.
  • The San Jose Rock Shop is hosting "90 Days of Summer" which is 90 consecutive days of shows for music lovers at 30 N. Second St.
To read the full newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Joint Venture Index of Silicon Valley 2014

The 2014 Silicon Valley Index brings with it some interesting statistics related to our region. Here are a few quick stats from this year's report:
  • Silicon Valley has added 46,665 new jobs (22,842 jobs were added in San Francisco). 
  • The region's total population grew by 1.31% (13,766 people) versus 0.88% average growth statewide.
  • Silicon Valley has 46.5% of all IPOs, 46.9% of Patents, and 47.6% of Venture Capital, and 54.6% of Angel Investment in California.
  • Consumption of electricity has declined for five years in a row (189 megawatts of solar capacity helps quite a bit here).
  • 45% of households are making over $100,000 a year.
  • 75% of commuters are solo drivers, not a dramatic difference from 78% in 2003.
  • Caltrain ridership has increased 26.4% from 2010 to 2013.
  • For the first time since 2008, Silicon Valley government achieved greater revenues than expenses.
Click here to read the entire report. You can also watch a video briefing below.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Downtown San Jose Street Life Plan

CMG Landscape Architecture was hired by Groundwerx and the Downtown Association to shape a vision of Downtown San Jose's street life. Key to this is creating a sense of place and connecting the pockets of activity we have today to one another (San Pedro Square, SoFA, the Convention Center, etc.).

It is a long read, you you can go through all 6 chapters of the vision over here. There is also a nice abbreviation in slideshow form that the Silicon Valley Business Journal did over here.

I think there are a ton of great ideas in here. You can check out some of my favorites below.

Source: Groundwex

Downtown Parklets

Mobile Solar Hubs

Downtown Stages

Cool Posts

Downtown Shades to mark pedestrian routes

Downtown art walls

Downtown wall features (such as this tailgate wall near the SAP Center)

Mural Corners

Art Sidewalks

Urban Forests

Wall Gardens

"Heroic" Statues

Content Magazine 6.2 Pick Up Party!

Content Magazine is launching their latest issue tomorrow with another one of their famed pick-up parties. This one will take place at Downtown San Jose's newest craft beer hot spot, ISO Beers (75 E Santa Clara St. right next to Ike's Sandwiches). The event runs from 6-8pm.

If you are not a subscriber yet, learn more about Content Magazine over here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Playful People Productions Presents: Disney Jungle Book Kids

For those with kids, there is a great family event at the Historic Hoover Theater (across the street from the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum). Full details below:

Our tale begins deep in the heart of the Jungle. A baby boy, lost and abandoned, is raised by wolves. He is called “Mowgli”. On the run from Shere Khan, a ferocious tiger who has banished him from the jungle, a human boy named Mowgli is aided by an agile panther named Bagheera. Along the way, the two meet a sinister snake named Kaa, a herd of elephants, and a giant bear named Baloo, who teaches them the swingin’ musical rhythms of the jungle. After surviving a dangerous encounter with a band of monkeys led by King Louie, Mowgli and Bagheera are forced to run for their lives. Shere Khan returns, leading our protagonists to rally their follow jungle creatures into battle and restore peace to the jungle.

Our last show sold out prior to the show weekend so be sure to buy your tickets early, you won’t want to miss out on this fantastic production.

All Shows at the Historic Hoover Theater, 1635 Park Ave  San Jose, CA 95126

Show Times:
Friday, June 20th  7:00pm
Saturday, June 21st 10:00am,  2:00pm and 7:00pm
Sunday, June 22nd 10:00am and 2:00pm

Tickets available at
$12 attendees 12 and up, and $8 children 11 and under

Tickets at the door (30 minutes prior to curtain)
$15 attendees 12 and up, and $10 children 11 and under

For questions:

Playful People Productions provides a quality, caring environment in which children, youth & their families have positive theatre experiences, while being involved in many aspects of on-stage/ back-stage theatre. Our company fills a need of providing beginning through advanced theatre for the whole family to the community. The founders have expanded the program to include classes & summer camps.

Playful People Productions is run by mother-daughter team, Barbara Galiotto & Katie D' Arcey, who between them have approx 50 years experience in the musical theatre world. Both are Positive Discipline trained & worked as early Childhood Educators as well as in theatre. Both have worked as professional directors with children's theatre for many years.

For each production, Playful People Productions employs professional designers, artists, choreographers and directors to guide our students. The company also hires experienced college & high school students to do jobs in the production such as directors, stage managers, lighting, make-up, & set designers, choreographers and assistants. This allows students to gain work experiences in all aspects of theatre. The goals of Playful People Productions are: to provide the community with a variety of performing opportunities for children, youth & families to experience; to challenge young people in the community; provide a safe, caring environment; and to involve parents in a wholesome, well-rounded activity. The founders believe that a good theatre experience will greatly improve the lives of the children.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Saturday Stats: San Jose is the Most Expensive Metro

In the first quarter of 2014, median single-family home sales hit $808,000 in the San Jose metro. This is enough to rank it as the most expensive metro in the US by the National Association of Realtors.

The San Francisco metro (which also includes Oakland) ranked as the second most expensive metro with a median home price of $679,800. To put these medium home sale prices in context, the median for the 170 largest metros combined was only $191,600.

Source: SocketSite

Friday, June 13, 2014

Starlight Cinemas - FREE Films Under the Stars (Jun 14 - Aug 20)

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Enjoy great movies from the 1980s for free, under the stars, on warm San Jose summer nights, at Starlight Cinemas.  Come early and enjoy pre-show fun and games, often as entertaining as the main event.   
The eight-movie series produced by the San Jose Downtown Association begins June 14 with the only non-’80s film of the bunch, “Bend It Like Beckham.”  That film complements the opening day of World Cup soccer from Brazil, with San Jose sharing in four matches live on a giant television screen at Plaza de Cesar Chavez starting at 9 a.m. Check for the full World Cup viewing schedule.
The second film of the series, “Back to the Future Part II,” also follows World Cup action, USA vs. Portugal, from 3p.m.-5 p.m. on June 22.  The big screen moves to St. James Park for that viewing.
Starlight Movie Schedule:
June 14 - Bend it Like Beckham (2002/PG-13) - Plaza de Cesar Chavez(following World Cup Viewing at 8 p.m.)
Set in London, Jess dreams of playing soccer like her hero, David Beckham, and will stop at nothing short of her goal. The girl’s independence clashes with her elder sister Pinky, who dreams of a traditional Indian wedding and making perfect meals for her man.
PRE-SHOW:  SJ Earthquakes/soccer-related trivia and games
June 22 - Back to the Future Part II (1989/PG) - St. James Park
(following World Cup Viewing at 6 p.m.)
See what 2015 was imagined to look like 20 years ago as Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel forward in time to prevent the future little McFly from going to jail.  But Biff gets hold of the time-traveling DeLorean, speeds back to 1955 and rewrites history by making his younger self filthy rich.
PRE-SHOW:  “How to make a mini Hovercraft” workshop and movie trivia.

July 16 - Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade (1989/PG-13) - St. James Park
The third movie of the Indiana Jones trilogy, this time with Dr. Henry Jones (Harrison Ford) and his father (Sean Connery) taking up the action.  Directed by Steve Spielberg, the Joneses go after the Holy Grail in a race against Nazis.
PRE-SHOW:  “Map with no names” as a treasure hunt guide to find the holy grail and Indiana Jones trivia.

July 23 - Ghostbusters (1984/PG) - San Pedro Square Market
Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Rick Moranis star as NYC-based "paranormal investigators."  After their government grants run out, the former three go into business as The Ghostbusters, ridding The Big Apple of ghouls, ghosts and beasts.
PRE-SHOW:  Sing-off of “Who You Gonna Call” theme song; “Build your own” Sta-Puff marshmallow giant contest; movie quotes/trivia contest.

July 30 - Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (1985/PG) - St. James Park
Celebrate a “drive-in” movie experience on bicycle with San Jose Bike Party.  Watch as Pee-Wee Herman sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life to retrieve his beloved bike, which was stolen from him in broad daylight.  This was Tim Burton’s directorial debut and a stepping stone for Paul reubens and composer Dany Elfman.
PRE-SHOW:  Tequila dance-off; bike contests; DJ’s on bikes. 

August 6 - Pretty in Pink (1986/PG-13) - San Pedro Square Market
John Hughes writes and directs this '80s Brat Pack romance resembling Cinderella.  Molly Ringwald survives the wackos around her, including a boy hopelessly in love with her, her father and a record store co-worker to realize her potential
PRE-SHOW:  Alice@97.3 radio 18th Anniversary ’80s themed dance night.

August 13 - Gremlins (1984/PG) - St. James Park
These little things are cute as long as they don’t see bright lights, get wet or feed after midnight.  So what happens?  All three things, and pandemonium ensues. Starring Hoyt Axton, Keye Luke, John Louie, Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, Judge Reinhold and even the film’s producer - Steven Spielberg.
PRE-SHOW:  Rockage Retro Gaming Festival video games; Chiptune DJ; Stripe vs. Gizmo contest.

August 20 - Airplane (1980/PG) - San Pedro Square Market
This spoof of the Airport series of disaster movies relies on hilarious sight gags, groan-inducing dialogue, and deadpan acting -- a comedy style has been imitated for the past two decades. Alcoholic pilot Ted Striker has to land the plane after the captain gets food poisoning.  Lloyd bridges and Robert Stack have to talk him down.  Leslie Nielsen launches a career as slapstick leading man.  Please, don’t call him Shirley.
PRE-SHOW:  Comedy Sportz Improv troupe performance.

Movie night details include:

Starlight Cinema Series sponsors and supporters are: San Jose Downtown Association, CINEQUEST, Metro Newspapers,, City of San Jose, Republic Services, McEnery Family, San Pedro Square Market, San Jose Bike Party, and radio partners: KCBS 740 AM, Alice@97.3, Live 105.3 and NOW 99.7

San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) is a non-profit group of business and property owners working to improve the vitality and livability of downtown San Jose for more than 25 years. SJDA produces events such as Downtown Ice, Starlight Cinemas, Downtown Farmers' Market at San Pedro Square and Dine Downtown. Visit