Tuesday, May 31, 2016

New residential tower may replace Ross Downtown

Another day, another tower. Nathan Donato-Weinstein broke the news of yet another high-rise proposal in Downtown San Jose. First, the bad news. Ross--currently Downtown's largest clothing store--is shutting down at the end of the summer. This will leave a 30,000 SQFT retail gap in a key location. Instead of replacing it with another store, the property owners are instead seeking to build a 24-story apartment tower.

The modern glass tower would have 324 units and 5,000 SQFT of retail on the ground floor. It looks like amenities will be on the sixth floor and include a small swimming pool. I'm sure a gym would be there as well. Parking will be available on eight floors, four under ground and four above ground.

The design and scale will be highly contested I'm sure since it is in the middle of the historic district. However, adding around 700 new residents to this area will no doubt be a huge benefit to the businesses in the immediate area and breathe new life into the district. Light-rail is also quite literally in front of the building, encouraging the use of transit instead of driving.

Personally, I really like the mixing of old and new architectural styles--the San Jose Museum of Art is a great example which incorporated a historic post office. Also, I hate to say this but I also don't think there is enough character in the historic district today to justify blocking development that will add value to the whole Downtown area. There is huge value in maintaining the character and aesthetics of certain areas (especially when walking down the street transports you to a different era), but I don't think the historic district merits that today. We certainly shouldn't be tearing down any more historic buildings and repeat mistakes that were made decades ago, but it's time to move forward and evolve the Downtown area with greater density, amenities, and housing options.

If the tower below moves forward, construction could begin by January 2017.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 30, 2016

Think Bigger San Jose's blog post on what the Stanley Cup means for San Jose

Check out this great post on "Think Bigger San Jose" about the implications of the Stanley Cup on our city's brand. I couldn't agree more!

Google Fiber is one big step closer to coming to San Jose

There is a good chance that San Jose will be the first city in California to get Google Fiber, as well as be the largest city ever to be fully served by Google's 1,000 Mbps internet connection.

Fiber is many times faster than most broadband services that Comcast and AT&T offer, at the same cost or less. You can also add 150 TV channels for about $60/mo. Even those that for some crazy reason do not select Google's service will benefit--competing internet providers will be forced to offer faster services and/or drop prices in order to compete with Google. Oh, and Google is also known to give away 5 Mbps internet access for free (besides the cost of the box) as well as provide elementary schools complimentary access to gigabit internet service.

So just how likely are we to get this amazing service in San Jose? It's pretty damn near certain at this point. Last week the city council unanimously approved Google's construction plan for running 2,300 miles of residential fiber in our city. The official announcement from Google is expected by the end of the summer and may include some neighboring cities like Santa Clara, Palo Alto, and Mountain View. Construction will take around three years to fully build out, with 60% of the fiber cables going underground and 40% hung from utility poles.

When the service does arrive, it will be another great perk of living in San Jose.

Source: SiliconBeat

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Go Sharks!!!

Here is a great photo before Game 4 of the NHL Western Conference finals posted by Hillrise on the San Jose Picture Thread at SkyscraperCity. This year could be the first time in history that the Sharks win the Stanley Cup!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Saturday Status - San Jose is the #1 city for jobs

San Jose nailed the top spot on yet another study seeking the best cities for jobs. Glassdoor calculated a an overall job score by looking at hiring opportunities, cost of living, work-life balance, and job satisfaction (all equally weighted). San Jose was the clear winner and had the highest median base salary of any metro in the United States ($112,000/year). San Francisco came in second place.

Source: Glassdoor

Friday, May 27, 2016

The Dancing Cat pops up again

Silicon Valley's first cat adoption lounge is back at its original location, 702 E. Julian Street. The Dancing Cat is a great place to relax, have some snacks, and play with adoptable cats. The cat lounge opens on May 29th and will remain open until the fall. The organization is currently looking for a permanent location in the San Jose area and is seeking suggestions. For more info, read the release below or head over to The Dancing Cat website.

Announcing the Return of San Jose’s Creative Community Space for Felines and Those who Love Them 

SAN JOSE, CA - Silicon Valley’s first cat adoption lounge, The Dancing Cat, is back better than ever with the announcement of its re-opening in its original location of 702 E. Julian, San Jose.  From May 29 through the fall of 2016, Silicon Valley will have a fun venue for the community in which to relax, meet, and mingle while enjoying the company of adoptable feline friends.

The Dancing Cat is the perfect place for cat lovers and potential adopters who are looking for a place to socialize with friends, or just a respite from a hectic day.  Visitors can have fun with other guests, read, study or just lounge with adoptable cats in a comfortable, open room.  Guests are invited to bring their own food and beverage. A small selection of drinks and cookies from local bakeries is available for purchase. Wi-Fi and catnip are on the house.

Building on the organization’s success, The Dancing Cat's founders Mary Rubin and Ann Chasson have joined with Silicon Valley Pet Project to establish a permanent space for The Dancing Cat. This initiative expands Silicon Valley Pet Project’s mission to save at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education. The Dancing Cat will showcase adult cats who are looking for loving forever homes in order to reduce the number of cats euthanized in the South Bay.  Additionally, this initiative seeks to present a unique venue for cat-centered social and educational events in the community.

“The Julian-Saint James neighborhood is thrilled to have The Dancing Cat back for a few more months” said Robert Wright, local resident, cat lover and member of the 13th Street Neighborhood Association.  “I love the idea of stopping in, relaxing and hanging out with friendly cats.”

Even The Dancing Cat needs a forever home. While The Dancing Cat will return to the East Julian location through November, Silicon Valley Pet Project is currently searching for a suitable permanent location for the lounge in the San Jose area.  A larger space will allow for the expansion of Silicon Valley Pet Project's mission and programs. Anyone with information about a possible available location can contact thedancingcat@svpetproject.org. Financial donations are being accepted on The Dancing Cat’s website.

 “It was exciting to see how welcoming the neighborhood and the surrounding cities were to us last year.  Cat lovers from all around the Bay Area visited us and were inspired. We had many wonderful cats adopted, and we are eager to showcase even more this year.” Chasson said.  “We look forward to continuing The Dancing Cat with Silicon Valley Pet Project's contributions of both talent and support.”

The Dancing Cat is a passion project developed by a small group of cat lovers and creatives who work to improve the quality of life for the cats in Silicon Valley. We are dedicated to connecting these valuable members of our community with their forever homes in a responsible way. Recognizing that there are many cat lovers among us, we also hope The Dancing Cat will provide opportunities for new partnerships among people who are contributing to the vibrancy and creativity of our community. www.thedancingcat.org

Silicon Valley Pet Project (SVPP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers committed to saving local at-risk shelter pets through rescue, community involvement and education.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eastridge Shopping Center is celebrating their 45th anniversary tomorrow with new tenants and free events

The mall I frequented as a child is celebrated their 45th anniversary with some big events and new tenants. The biggest addition to their retail mix is H&M, which is opening a 24,000 SQFT store in the fall. A 6,800 SQFT Payless will open in June, Valliani Jewelers just opened in a larger space, and Gong Cha (boba shop) has just opened.

Tomorrow from 4-6pm, Eastridge will host a celebration in the Center Court with live music, free cake and ice cream, dance contests, and gift card giveaways. This summer they announced that they will host a Job Fair on June 9th from 1-3pm featuring local non-profits, a dance break with DJ music every Friday from 4-6pm, free fitness classes, and a concert series. For more details, please read the press release below or head over to the Eastridge Center website.

San Jose, Calif. – Eastridge Center (http://www.eastridgecenter.com) located in eastern San Jose, is celebrating 45 years by welcoming new tenants, launching a Summer Event series and hosting a Free Anniversary Celebration on May 27. Eastridge is a major regional destination with more than 150 shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in the thriving Silicon Valley market.

“Eastridge has been hosting friends and families for 45 years as they make memories at our entertainment, dining and retail destinations,” said Eastridge Center’s General Manager John Petersen. “Now it’s our turn to give back with a free anniversary celebration and summer event series that will include valuable job fairs, enriching health and wellness activities and entertainment for local families.”

Anniversary Celebration

May 27 from 4 to 6 p.m., Eastridge Center will host a free anniversary celebration in Center Court. Guests can enjoy a live DJ and music, complimentary cake and ice cream, dance contests and activities as well as gift card giveaways and retailer prizes.

Summer Event Series

This summer Eastridge Center will host a number of events including:

  • Community Job Fair on June 9th in Center Court from 1-3 p.m. featuring local non-profits, trade schools and opportunities for people to receive valuable job training and networking with area companies seeking applicants.
  • Dance Break Friday: Every Friday in May, June and July, guests can enjoy Friday Night – DJ Night with complementary tunes, dance contests and giveaways with local DJs performing from 4-6 p.m.
  • Fitness Fridays: San Jose can get fit for free at Eastridge Center this summer. Guests will enjoy free fitness classes in center court with local health and wellness professionals on Fridays in July, August, and September. Pre-registration not needed, simply show-up in comfortable clothes and shoes and bring water to stay hydrated.
  • July Summer Concert Series – featuring a number of local performers throughout the month of July offering fresh free musical performances for Eastridge guests. Check http://www.eastridgecenter.com for full schedule of July performances a month prior.

Grand Openings, Relocations and New Tenants

  • Valliani Jewelers hosted a grand opening this month for its new larger space in a prime location across from Best Buy next to Center Court. The popular jeweler features the latest styles and accessories for spring and summer.
  • Gong Cha Tea and Beverages is a new Eastridge Center restaurateur opening in the Food Court this month. Gong Cha offers popular bubble tea, coffee, juices and other custom beverages.
  • Payless Superstore is opening in June in a 6,800-square foot space and will offer an expanded collection of footwear and accessories for all ages and styles.
  • H&M, offering fast-fashion clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women, teenagers and children, is anticipated to open fall of 2016 in a 24,000-square foot space.

Eastridge is a two-story, enclosed super regional mall set on 113 acres in eastern San Jose bounded by Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway and Quimby Road. Among the center’s distinctive mix of retail, restaurant and entertainment destinations are a 15-screen AMC Theaters, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, Forever 21, Tilly’s, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Chili’s, Red Robin and Olive Garden.

To learn more visit http://www.eastridgecenter.com or its social media accounts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EastridgeCenter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/eastridgecenter
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/eastridgecenter/


About Eastridge Center
Eastridge Center is a 1.4 million square-foot shopping destination in eastern San Jose that features abundant shopping, dining and entertainment options. Featuring Macy’s, JCPenney, Sears, Barnes & Noble, Sport Chalet, Red Robin, and Chili’s, the long-standing center showcases 150 stores, an impressive 15-screen AMC Theatre and multiple restaurants. Highlights include Hollister Co., Tilly’s, Victoria’s Secret, crazy 8, Forever 21, a spacious Food Court and family restrooms. The grand Center Court offers two levels of shopping with superior store accessibility and visibility in between Tully Road, East Capitol Expressway, and Quimby Road in eastern San Jose, California. For more information, visit http://www.eastridgecenter.com

About Pacific Retail Capital Partners
Pacific Retail Capital Partners is a fully integrated, entrepreneurial organization with an unparalleled depth of knowledge in all aspects of retail real estate. Its team of executives and strategic partners draw on decades of experience with major national shopping center owners to deliver top-tier service as an operating partner and provide efficient oversight of the company’s own portfolio. Pacific Retail’s broad-based talent is versed in multiple disciplines from investment and development, which enables the company to quickly assess market opportunities, to management, leasing and marketing which allows it to effectively control costs and maintain the quality of its properties. Based in Southern California, the company operates nationally with a particular emphasis on large regional malls. Its investment and management portfolio includes the West Oaks Mall in Houston; Yorktown Center in suburban Chicago; Colonie Center outside Albany, New York; South Towne Center in Sandy, Utah; Queen Ka’ahumanu Center on Maui, Hawaii; and Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara, California. To learn more visit www.pacificretail.com

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The San Jose Sharks are going to the Stanley Cup Finals!!!

For the first time in history, the Sharks are the NHL Western Conference Champions! Fourth time's a charm. Next week San Jose will participate in the Stanley Cup Finals! Now's the time to paint the city teal.

Virtual tour of Adobe's San Jose headquarters

Did you ever wonder what is inside Adobe's three office towers in Downtown San Jose? You can now take a brief virtual tour of the largest company headquartered Downtown. Unfortunately, a few areas were omitted like the basketball court in the middle of the three buildings and the many terraces towards the top of the towers with amazing views.

Head over here and explore one of our flagship companies.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The America Center in North San Jose is expanding

The final phase of the America Center in San Jose's northernmost tip is breaking ground. Two more six-story buildings will add 450,000 SQFT of office space to the office center, bringing the grand total to 1.1 million SQFT.

Polycom and Flextronics both have their US headquarters in the office complex. There is also a new Aloft hotel onsite using the "Aloft Santa Clara" moniker (the naming really irks me since it is physically located in San Jose).

The new building will be wrapped in a massive amount of electrochromatic glass, which can tint the windows automatically based on the amount of sunlight or user preference. This helps cut down on HVAC costs and is also more convenient for people working in the building. Other cool amenities include a 16,000 SQFT fitness center/cafe, a roofdeck with putting green, an outdoor bar, and 36 electric vehicle charging stations.

The location is right off of Highway 237 and close to Highways 101 and 880, making it easily accessible by freeway from all directions. Transit access is nonexistent although there might be some corporate shuttles available to employees. For more information, visit the source link or watch the video below.

Source: SVBJ

America Center | ±1,100,000 SF Class "A" Office Opportunity for Lease from Newmark Cornish & Carey on Vimeo.

Monday, May 23, 2016

SJC is getting even more direct flights

Southwest Airlines, San Jose International Airport's largest carrier, has just announced several new nonstop flights. First off is a brand new flight to Baltimore/Washington (BWI). Not only will this be San Jose's only direct flight to BWI, but that airport is Southwest's hub for East Coast connections. It will open up several new routes with fewer stops.

Southwest is also adding two daily round trips to Salt Lake City. Here there is a bit more competition since Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines both already have direct flights to Salt Lake. However, more competition means better options and lower prices for San Jose travelers.

The new routes start Nov 6th and their schedules are below:

San Jose-Salt Lake City
Leave 9:15 a.m., Arrive 12:05 p.m.
Leave 8:40 p.m., Arrive 11:20 p.m.

Salt Lake City-San Jose
Leave 9:35 a.m., Arrive 10:35 a.m.
Leave 6:25 p.m., Arrive 7:20 p.m.

San Jose-Baltimore/Washington
Leave 6:35 a.m., Arrive 2:35 p.m.

Baltimore/Washington-San Jose
Leave 2:30 p.m., Arrive 5:35 p.m.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, May 22, 2016

CorePower Yoga Expands Presence in San Jose

(Denver, CO) May 5, 2016 – America’s leading yoga brand CorePower Yoga is pleased to announce a new studio opening in North San Jose, located at 55 River Oaks Place, Suite #10. CorePower Yoga roots an intensely physical workout in the mindfulness of yoga, helping students to change their bodies as well as their lives. Studio manager Jane Shim will officially open doors to the brand’s third location next month.

“We are thrilled to expand our presence in San Jose,” said Tess Roering, chief marketing officer at CorePower Yoga. “The San Jose community has really embraced our classes, and with a third studio we’ll be able to share the physical and mental benefits of this practice with more people.”

Each CorePower Yoga class is designed to work every muscle and every emotion, creating a unique all-inclusive fitness experience. Offerings range from restorative classes to physically demanding, muscle-sculpting classes. In addition to the daily class schedule, CorePower Yoga offers a renowned Yoga Teacher Training program, along with special programs including boot camps, retreats and wellness cleanses.

Designed with green building practices in mind, using recycled products and sustainable materials, the new San Jose studio will mirror all others by employing the latest technology to efficiently heat the practice rooms. Class attendees will have access to spa-like amenities including spacious changing rooms with showers and private lockers, and a full retail boutique showcasing a stylish selection of men’s and women’s activewear and accessories.

San Jose community members are encouraged to take advantage of the studio’s limited-time founding rate on Black Tag Memberships. People who sign up prior to the studio opening will receive 25% off unlimited yoga. Black Tag Membership perks include unlimited classes and 20% off programs and teacher trainings. Black Tag Memberships following the grand opening will start at $155 per month. For more information, or to find out how to secure the founding rate, please visit http://corepoweryoga.com.


About CorePower Yoga:

CorePower Yoga strives to show the world the incredible, life-changing things that happen when an intensely physical workout is rooted in the mindfulness of yoga. Through a variety of yoga classes, convenient times and more than 150 studio locations, CorePower Yoga provides a highly intense and incredibly mindful form of fitness.

CorePower Yoga classes are taught by passionate and encouraging certified yoga instructors who take a typical yoga practice and crank it up to 11. In addition to yoga classes, CorePower Yoga offers transformative Yoga Teacher Training programs to empower students to advance their individual practice or become instructors. The beautiful, spa-like studios are built with green practices in mind and operate to meet the highest standards of service and quality. For more information, visit corepoweryoga.com.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

TheFitExpo, Northern California’s Largest Fitness Expo, returns to San Jose McEnery Convention Center today and tomorrow

Don’t miss 15 Free Competitions, Non-Stop Cutting Edge Classes, 300 Companies Selling the Hottest New Health & Fitness Products and Tons of Free Samples!

(San Jose, Calif.) – TheFitExpo™ San Jose, presented by Bodybuilding.com and sponsored by Subway Restaurants, is returning to San Jose for the fifth year Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, 2016, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

“This year we have added a number of new exhibits and events for our loyal followers as well as for first-time attendees,” said Erin Ferries, Executive Director, TheFitExpo/National Fitness Productions. “With summer only a month away, we want to invite people of all ages and from all fitness levels tocome out and experience everything TheFitExpo has to offer. We hope to inspire them to live a healthier lifestyle.”

Exciting attractions this year include:

Xtreme Top Box Throwdown – This athletic event provides the opportunity for area CrossFit-style teams and individuals to showcase their skills and test their abilities for $16,500 in case and prizes (Register online in advance)

Battle of the Bar 13 – Presented by World Calisthenics Organization, this competitive sports program has been created by Athletes for Athletes to elevate Calisthenics or street workout movements into a professional series of competitions in order to bring it to the forefront of competitive sports programs.

Extreme Tricking and Sports Karate – Bay Area’s Team LoopKicks will host this event, performing their aesthetic blend of kicks, flips, twists and intricate groundwork. And they’ll not only hold battles (contests) but they will teach you how to do it, too!

Special Kids and Youth Programming – Special kid’s and youth activities at the expo will feature a Spartan Kids workout, Kids and Youth Nutrition Seminar and Cooking Demo, a Martial Arts Workshop and Performance, and an anti-bulling Seminar and The Railey & Raifa's Kids Zone featuring a bouncy house ($10 charge for bouncy house).

Several fan-favorites competitions set to return include: Gracie Regionals 2016 (Jiu Jitsu Tournament), Odd Haugen Strength Classic (Strong Man Challenge, The Visegrip Viking Grip Challenge presented by Ironmind, North American USA Open MAS Wrestling Tournament), and USPA American Cup Powerlifting Championships. Plus, attendees can get into the action and compete for cash and prizes in the MAXREP’s 4 CA$H and TheFitExpo’s BEST! competitions.

Fitness greats slated to appear include: fitness icon and creator of the Tae Bo exercise program Billy Blanks; celebrity MMA Fighter and UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz; 5x and current Mr. Olympia Phil Heath; 6X World Champion Powerlifter CT Fletcher; top physique trainer and coach of 13 Olympia titles Hany Rambod; 2X IFFBB Olympian James Hurst; Oakland’s own Kali Muscle, bodybuilder with 27 million views on YouTube and successful author, actor, philanthropist, motivator; Northern
California’s Maria Kang, whose Facebook photo went viral and got over 16 million views with her "No More Excuse Diet;” top Hollywood physique expert Eric the Trainer; actor and fitness celebrity Roland Kickinger, and many more.

Attendees can also meet the cast of the new docudrama The Perfect Physique Saturday, May 21 at a special seminar hosted by T.J. Hoban (fitness model/actor/producer). Special appearances include Jeremy Buendia (2nd and current Men’s Physique Olympia Champion), David Kimmerle (cover model/fitness expert), Tonnell Rodrigue (IFBB Pro), David Morin (Cover model/actor/physique competitor), Hany Rambod (trainer and coach of 15 Olympia titles); Dennis James (IFBB Pro
Bodybuilder master trainer), and Kandice King (Producer/Director/Writer of The Perfect Physique). This show reveals what it takes to become a champion and allows viewers to get to know each athlete
and to understand his internal struggles and sacrifices.

Come dressed to work out as Evolution Fitness offers free express workouts and fitness challenges daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the Group Exercise Stage. The areas top pros will offer sessions in POUND, Spartan SGX, R.I.P.P.E.D., Spartan SGX, Celebrity SweatPlus, everyone who participates will win a prize. Also, personal trainers and group fitness instructors can earn up to six Continuing Education Units. (Separate fee to participate).

The Healthy Living Pavilion will feature a variety of demonstrations by leading experts as well as unique products and services to help live a healthy lifestyle. Fun cooking demos will include: the Naked Chef from MTV’s Snack Off and author of 14 Minute Snacks Cookbook Jacques Laventure; the Fit DJ, Lauren Pappas, who has rocked the turntables for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, the Sundance Film Festival Keeping up with the Kardashians and more; Silicon Valley’s Aaron Vaden, owner of an innovative healthy food truck and catering service called Lean On Wheels that specializes in gluten-free, dairy-free all-natural meals as well as sports supplements in the Bay Area and more. Innovative products will be available to sample and purchase including Daiya vegan cheese, Arctic Zero’s fit frozen desert, black bean pasta by Explore Asian, NuGo protein bars that are wholesome and naturally delicious, Chef’s Cuts Jerky, and much more. Plus, an online wellness platform by Kenzai and even a monitoring devise by Ernest Sports to help improve a golfer’s swing.

On Sunday, May 22, TheFitExpo has teamed up with Tickets for Kids Charities, Y Cares and Unity Care to bring 75 local at-risk youth for a free day at the expo to teach them about health and fitness.

TheFitExpo adult tickets are $25 per day or $40 for the full weekend. Children 12 years and under are $10 per day and children 6 and under are free. Show hours are Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Plenty of parking is available. Discount coupons are available at participating Subway Restaurants, GNC locations, Jamba Juice, Sports Authority, Nutrishop, and hundreds of local gyms.

TheFitExpo is produced by National Fitness Productions (NFP). Title Sponsor is Bodybuilding.com. Presenting Sponsor is Subway Restaurants. Supporting Sponsors are GAT, Monster Energy, GNC, MYO Buddy Products. Media Sponsors are ESPN Deportes 860 AM radio, Men’s Health Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine.

For full event information call 888-FIT- EXPO or visit www.thefitexpo.com.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Home8 Smart Garage Kit

I'm a huge gadget nerd and extreme early adopter of new technology and came across something that might be helpful for a lot of people. San Jose has one of the lowest violent crime in the country (if not the world) for a city of over 1 million, but we have obviously struggled when it comes to theft and burglary. Home8 is a Silicon Valley company that creates smart security systems. They have just release a garage kit that comes with a smart garage door opener, HD camera, and siren.

I have to admit that I've forgotten to close my garage door more than once. With this kit you can check on your garage in real time and also remotely open and close it with a smartphone app. There is also a sensor that can set off the siren if you do forget to close the door and someone happens to go into your garage. The tougher we make it for criminals to get into our homes, the less likely we are to be a target for burglars. Check out the release below for more info.

Home8 Gives Consumers Unprecedented Security Access and Control of Their Garages
Smart Garage Starter Kit Pairs with Mobile App to Deliver Remote Control and Video Capabilities for Anytime, Anywhere Access

FREMONT, Calif.-- Home8, a new venture by MivaTek, today set a new standard in home security and awareness with the introduction of the Smart Garage Starter Kit. The smart protection platform features the Shuttle intelligent hub with a built-in siren, HD camera, and garage door opener, allowing users to not only visually check in on their garages via the Home8mobile app, but also open and close the garage door regardless of location. The Home8 Smart Garage Starter Kit retails for $229.99 and is available for purchase at www.home8systems.com. “Our Garage Door Starter Kit serves a dual purpose by taking steps to help prevent break-ins, while at the same time giving users exclusive smart features that can be used for practical, everyday living.”

Garages remain an enticing target for burglars as it gives them quick access to goods or can be used as an entry point into the actualhome itself,” said Daniel Wong, Worldwide Vice President of MivaTek. “Our Garage Door Starter Kit serves a dual purpose by taking steps to help prevent break-ins, while at the same time giving users exclusive smart features that can be used for practical, everyday living.”

The Home8 Garage Starter Kit delivers peace of mind bygiving users full control of their garages no matter where they are. The HDcamera allows users instant visual access to their garage to make sure the door is properly closed or that no one has entered the property. The Home8 garage door pairs with the mobile app allowing users to open and close the door from their smartphones. Uses include opening and closing the door for a delivery person, using it as a failsafe in the event a user is locked out of the house, or simply reassuring one’s self that the garage door was closed minutes after driving away from the house. To see how the Home8 Garage Starter Kit works,watch this video.

The Home8 Garage Starter Kit Includes:

  • Shuttle Intelligent Hub: The Shuttle intelligent hub serves as an integrated bridge and smart controller, providing wireless access between a user’s devices and the Home8 cloud. It creates a closed network, protecting data with bank-level encryption and anti-sniffing technology, so that only users and those they authorize can access the Home8 system. The Shuttle is also equipped with a 110db built-in siren and 4GB of memory storage.
  • Mini Cube HD Camera: The Mini Cube HD camera features motion detection, night-vision, and 2-way audio. A ball-and-socket mount makes it easy to swivel the camera in any direction.
  • Garage Door Opener: The Home8 garage door opener makes your garage door smarter. It pairs with the Shuttle and the existing garage opening system to give users remote access.
  • Mobile App: The Home8 mobile app allows users to stream live video and open and close the garage door remotely.

A recent study by Parks Associates finds a growing demand for smart garage systems. According to the study, 15 percent of U.S. broadband households plan to buy a smart garage door opener in 2016, particularly homeowners under the age of 35. Further, of the 9% who already own a smart garage system, nearly 50% interact with it on an almost daily basis via a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

The Home8 Smart Garage starter kit is easy to install and works with most existing garage opening systems. Users can also purchase additional devices to customize their Smart Garage platform, control multiple garages from the same mobile app, and expand their system beyond the garage by installing HD cameras and sensors throughout the property for complete home security and awareness. For more information on the Smart Garage Starter Kit and other Home8 products and services, visit www.home8systems.com.

Social Media
Twitter: @Home8Systems
Facebook: facebook.com/home8systems
Instagram: instagram.com/home8systems
YouTube: https://youtu.be/vft_b0xR_rY

About Home8
Home8 delivers home awareness and smart protection through its smart living platform. Home8 solutions include sensor-initiated video recording, cloud and local storage options, notifications to multiple tiers of recipients, and can be used in multiple locations all accessible under one single mobile app. For Home8’s comprehensive and affordable alarm, awareness, and assurance solutions and services, please visit www.home8systems.com.

The Color Run Tropicolor™ World Tour Makes a Splash in San Jose, May 28, 2016

San Jose, CA – The Color Run®, the largest 5K event series in the world, will bring its 2016 tour theme, “The Color Run Tropicolor™ World Tour” to San Jose on May 28, kicking off at 8:00 a.m. The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour will combine the enjoyment of a 5k with all the fun leisure of an island-style vacation full of unforgettable memories, music, and colors. The San Jose run benefits the American Diabetes Association’s San Jose office, a non-profit organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.

“We want to bring happiness and health to people’s lives and The Color Run does just that. We are excited to come to San Jose and give Color Runners the opportunity to step into paradise with us and enjoy a 5K vacation that only The Color Run can create,” said Louis Wills, The Color Run’s event director. “Our participants will experience palm trees, beach balls in the air, festive music, tons of color, island flowers and more at our Tropicolor World Tour. It’ll be a colorific experience you won’t want to miss!”

Brand new this year is the Tropicolor Zone™ on the course, where Color Runners will be bathed in a tropical array of colors and delicious island scents as they pass through the shade of palm trees, inflatable arches, and island-style music. Participants can expect to be whisked away to paradise and splashed with vivid colors every kilometer as they pass a different color zone. At the Finish Festival, Color Runners will enjoy even more fun at Rainbow Beach—an interactive island featuring music, dancing, unique photo opportunities, and massive color throws.

Each Color Runner will receive a custom race kit, including a limited-edition Tropicolor race shirt, finishers medal on a floral-printed ribbon, embroidered headband, and fun temporary tattoos. An option to upgrade race kits to receive additional gear is also available with the deluxe registration package. Participants can color it up with more accessories, clothing and fun paradise inspired items at The Color Run store.

Event: The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour in San Jose
Date: Saturday, May 28, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Location: Arena Green East – Guadalupe River Park
330 West Saint John Street, San Jose, CA
Tickets: $44.99

The Tropicolor World Tour marks the fifth anniversary of The Color Run. The tour will be making stops all around the globe and is anticipated to visit more than 40 countries worldwide in 2016. Registration for The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour in San Jose is open and tickets are available until the start of the run. To purchase your ticket or for more information about The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour, visit, thecolorrun.com/san-jose. Join the #Happiest5K #Tropicolor journey on social media by following The Color Run on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hellen Mirren will play Sarah Winchester in new movie

On this past Friday the 13th, it was announced that Oscar-winning actress Hellen Mirren will play the leading role of Sarah Winchester in a new thriller called "Winchester." The movie is based on the story of Sarah Winchester, the eccentric heir to the Winchester fortune that built the 600-room mansion now known as the Winchester Mystery House (San Jose's #1 tourist attraction).

Production is expected to begin in early 2017 and will be shot on location in San Jose as well as Australia. For more details read the full release below.


Friday, May 13, Cannes, France – Academy Award-winner Helen Mirren is finalizing a deal to play Sarah Winchester, the millionaire heiress to the Winchester Arms fortune in the Spierig Brothers new thriller WINCHESTER.

The story follows the Sarah Winchester, who was convinced that she and her family were haunted by the souls killed at the barrel of the infamous rifle.  Her real-life obsession led to the 24 hour a day, 7 days a week construction of an enormous 600-room mansion, designed to keep these evil spirits at bay.  Her home, the Winchester Mystery House, still stands today and has been named one of the “Most Haunted Places in the World” by Time Magazine.  Studio System News (SSN) called the house one of the top “haunted house properties ready to scare up audiences.”

Michael and Peter Spierig were announced at Cannes this week as the writer/directors of the film based on a script first penned by writer, Tom Vaughan.

Diamond Pictures and Bullitt Entertainment are co-financing with Australia’s Blacklab Entertainment, with Diamond selling international territories and WME brokering the US rights deal.

IDW’s Brett Matthew Tomberlin and Blacklab’s Tim McGahan are producing, with Bullitt’s Benedict Carver, Diamond’s Daniel Diamond and Tobin Armbrust as executive producers.  Andy Trapani, Toni Lianos, Brian Gilbert, Marc Shipper and Simon Oakes are also executive producers.

Production is expected to start in early 2017 shooting at the historic house in San Jose, California and in Australia.

Mirren is repped by CAA; IDW is repped by Michael Black Management and Mark Temple Law, and Blacklab by Marshalls+Dent Lawyers.  Sheppard Mullin brokered the deal for Diamond and Bullitt.

About Winchester Mystery House:

A 160-room Victorian wonder, The Winchester Mystery House is one of California’s original and most popular historic attractions.  Since opening to the public in 1923, the house has welcomed nearly 12 million people from around the world and has taken its rightful place in American legend.  Popular belief holds that Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune, was convinced she was haunted by the spirits of those killed by her family’s invention.  Following a medium’s advice, Sarah built a massive house in Northern California to appease the spirits. For the next 38 years, she never stopped building believing that if she continued, she would live forever, and if she stopped, she would die. Known as the “house built for the spirits,” there have been many inexplicable ghost sightings there and to this day, visitors share their paranormal stories of having been in the presence of these departed souls who continue to roam the grounds of the labyrinth-like house. Various tours are offered daily with popular annual events including Friday the 13th Flashlight Tours (May 16, 2016), Summer Twilight Evenings (July), Halloween Candlelight Tours (October) and The Spirit of Christmas (December).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wednesday Wishlist: smog-eating architecture

Italy has built a vertical forest to help combat rapidly escalating air pollution in the region. The 21,000 individual plats on the side of the building absorb carbon dioxide and generate oxygen, as well as help buffer some of Milan's "noise pollution."

Air pollution in San Jose may not be as bad as Los Angeles and is far better than some international cities like Beijing, but it is significant enough to cause serious health issues. It would be great if we can incorporate creative ideas into our future buildings that can help address the issue while at the same time making the architecture look more interesting. Building parks on top of buildings like Vancouver is another green way to help minimize our pollution.

Check out this "inhabitat" article for five more smog-eating designs that are reducing pollution around the world.

Source: inhabitat

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Real Escape Game San Jose - The Crazy Last Will of Dr. Mad

San Jose's second mass-escape game takes place this weekend at the San Jose Woman's Club in Downtown San Jose. Teams of six will compete to virtually escape a room by solving a variety of puzzles and riddles. Each team has 60 minutes to escape, and even if you don't escape you will get a full walk-through at the end. These events are a ton of fun and you will be talking about the game well after it ends.

There are 13 different time-slots to choose from between Thursday the 19th to Sunday the 22nd. For more information and to book tickets, click here.

Monday, May 16, 2016

SJSU breaks ground on $10.2 million golf complex

Last week San Jose State University broke ground on its first on-campus training facility for golf. The world-class complex is across the street from Spartan Stadium and will be used for both men and women's golf teams. It will certainly help SJSU's student athletes get a leg up on the competition, especially since it can accommodate a large number of people. It will have hitting positions for 80 golfers, two large "tour-quality" putting greens, three bunkers, and two chipping greens.

The whole project was funded by private giving, including a $5 million gift from Rich and Cindy Thawly (alumni entrepreneurs and finance industry executives). The golf complex is expected to be complete by this December.

Source: SJSU

Sunday, May 15, 2016

May is National Foster Care Month

There are over 6,000 children in foster care in the Bay Area and 60,000 in California. I think foster parenting is one of the most important way you can contribute to making the world a better place and have a tremendous impact on a child's life. This topic is very close to me since my mother participated in foster care for two decades and made the lives of dozens of children better.

Seneca Family of Agencies was founded 30 years ago in the Bay Area. The agency helps at-risk children and families in the region with a multitude of challenges. Below is a profile of one of their San Jose foster parents, Beatriz Alvarez. For more information on how you can get involved, please visit the Seneca Center website.

Beatriz Alvarez is excited about what's to come next in life. That's because she's in the process of becoming a certified foster parent, fulfilling a dream that has its roots in her early childhood. As the second youngest of 14 children, it was a struggle and a bit lonely, as ironic as it seems being in a big family. It's comparable to being lost in a crowd. It was during that time, at about 10 years old, that Beatriz remembers gravitating toward young people in need and learning about orphanages, a term less used now in the U.S., but often still used in many foreign countries. In fact, her mother had been raised in an orphanage in Mexico from age five to nine years old, and learning about it had an impact on Beatriz.

As Beatriz grew up she became involved in volunteer work with kids, the homeless and others in need. She also has a son, now 23 years old. Beatriz also became close to fiancé Marco Vazmendes and he learned of her interest in foster parenting. Without prompting, Marco did some research and learned about Seneca Family of Agencies in San Jose, an organization that was founded in the Bay Area more than 30 years ago to help children and families overcome life's biggest challenges. Not only did Marco learn about foster parenting and advise Beatriz, he enthusiastically joined her in the foster parenting certification program.

They have both enjoyed the process, which includes classes and a wide range of topics to help them learn all the ins and outs of being foster parents. Beatriz and Marco don't have a preference about fostering a boy or a girl, but their current thinking is a child in the age range of seven years old. They are excited about the joys that lie ahead, the opportunity to help a young person have a better life and how it will enrich their own lives.

For more information about foster parenting and foster-to-adoption call Seneca Family of Agencies at 877-380-5300, or attend Seneca's Community Foster Care Day event on Saturday, May 14, Noon-to-3pm at Mayfair Community Center, 2039 Kammerer Avenue, San Jose.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Upcoming PAC*SJ Events

The Preservation Action Council of San Jose (PAC*SJ) has several great events over the next couple months including a Lincoln Avenue Walking Tour in a few hours. For information and tickets, head over to the PAC*SJ Facebook page over here.

"Lincoln Avenue Walking Tour"
May 14th at 10am, Intersection of Lincoln and Minnesota

We'll be strolling Lincoln Avenue looking at the design of the commercial buildings and hearing stories about the town of Willow Glen and some of the colorful characters who lived and worked there.

If you don't order tickets in advance, arrive 10 minutes early to see if there are any spaces remaining. Tickets are $10 for PAC*SJ members and $15 for the general public. Package prices are available for the series of walks

"Renovation or Restoration - Making the Best of Your Old House."
June 28th at 7pm, The Firehouse at History Park San Jose

Preservationist, licensed house inspector, and DIY expert Ron Tanner will offer a slide show that illustrates several projects he and his wife undertook as they restored an 1897 Baltimore brownstone---condemned property, which was a wrecked former frat. house--and then restored an early Victorian farm house that hadn't been altered since 1959. Combining humor with history and his extensive knowledge of old houses, Ron will try to answer the question, Should you make your old house even "better" than it was originally?
Drive through the gate off Phelan Avenue to enter the park.
The event is free, but donations will be accepted to cover the refreshments.

"A Night in Old Havana"
July 14th at 6:30pm, San Jose Woman's Club (75 S. 11th St.)

Make your way through the palm trees to the San Jose Woman's Club –the scene of spicy and sultry Cuba-central, for a Night in Old Havana!

Enjoy a Cuba Libre, Mojito, or Rum Punch, or a Cuban Mocktail and nosh on Havana street food while listening to hot Cuban beats. Guys: Dust off your white fedora and don your guayabera shirt. Gals: 50s tropical cocktail or cuban whites are muy bonita! Yes, there will be a costume contest! Don't forget to snap a selfie in the Hot Havana Photo Booth.

At 8 p.m., John Pastier, formerly a Seattle design critic and the first architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times who now lives in Naglee Park, will present a slide show of Havana Architecture.
The evening is co-hosted by SJWC and Preservation Action Council * San Jose. Tickets $5 for SJWC and PAC* SJ members, $10 general. Suggested donation of $5 per cocktail to help cover event costs.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Equinix planning a significant San Jose data-center expansion

Santa Clara is definitely the hotspot in Silicon Valley for data centers. The city has their own electric utility which provides the least expensive and most reliable electricity in the area. However, the cost of Santa Clara real estate has gotten to the point where it is not always the obvious choice anymore. Equinix, a Redwood City-based data center giant, is doubling down in South San Jose to meet our ever-growing need for more capacity.

The company already has two data centers at Great Oaks Boulevard (SV1 and SV5) and have purchased 11.15 acres that formerly housed an IBM disk drive campus (there is some irony here). Equinix could build as much as 386,000 SQFT of data center space on the land.

Next door is another 65 acres of land already primed for development. A 150,000 SQFT Costco, 700+ homes, and retail will all likely join the new data center in the neighborhood.

Equinix also owns 18 acres of land at San Ignacio and Via del Oro over Highway 85 where they are planning to build three, two-story data centers that total a whopping 579,000 SQFT. Combined with their latest acquisition, Equinix could be adding nearly 1 million SQFT of data centers to South San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, May 12, 2016

LeEco chooses San Jose for their North American headquarters

LeEco is an innovate Chinese company that is involved a multitude of high-tech businesses. They make smartphones, smart TVs, and are now working on autonomous cars. They are also a leading provider of streaming content in China (and are sometimes referred to as the Netflix of China). San Jose just scored a big win as LeEco recently decided to locate their North American headquarters here.

The new office is located at 3553 North 1st Street, conveniently close to just about every other major tech company on the planet. The 80,000 SQFT building could be home to as many as 800 new employees by the end of the year. LeEco will primarily use the space for cutting-edge R&D in both artificial intelligence and autonomous driving, two markets that will help drive the next wave of tech innovation.

Below is a short video and photos courtesy of the SJSV Chamber of Commerce.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 2016 Downtown Dimension Highlights

Here are my notes from the latest edition of Downtown Dimension:
  • Several initiatives have been launched to make it easier to do business Downtown. These include speeding up the permitting process for small businesses, updating the signage code to allow for supergraphics and electronic billboards, improved WiFi, and transparent data on crime and traffic statistics.
  • Must in the Park will welcome Los Lobos on June 24th and AC/DShe and The Killer Queens on July 14th. Two as of yet unannounced shows will take place on August 4th and August 25th. All shows begin at 5:30pm and tickets are $10-$15.
  •  The Downtown San Jose Farmer's Market is now open every Friday along San Pedro Street around lunch time.
  • Dine Downtown will kick off between June 10th through June 19th. Over 20 restaurants will feature three-course fixed priced dinners starting at $20 per person. $1 from each dinner will be donated to Martha's Kitchen.
  • KT Urban is building the largest residential project to date in Downtown San Jose at 70 S. Almaden Ave. The two towers will be 23 and 24 floors tall and have a total of 723 units. The Greyhound bus station currently on the site will be moved to Diridon station.
  • Sobrato is building a 190,000 SQFT office building at 353 Julian St.
  • Bay Area Bike Share is added 13 more Bike Share stations to the Downtown area.
  • Valley Health Center's 60,000 SQFT Downtown Clinic is opening in June and will offer the first Downtown urgent care services in a decade. The center will be open seven days a week from 8am-10pm.
To read the newsletter, click here!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The San Jose Blog's 7th Anniversary!

Today marks a very special milestone for The San Jose Blog. Seven years ago today this site started as a personal project to highlight all of the great things happening in San Jose. I love this city, and wanted as many other people as possible to love it as well.

It started out as a challenge to show the world that San Jose is cool, has culture, and is worthy of world-class development. Fast forward seven years, and it is much less of a challenge than it was before. San Jose has come a very long way, especially Downtown San Jose which is thriving far beyond my expectations for 2016.

Over seven years the San Jose Blog has put out over 2,800 posts and welcomed 2,350,000 visitors. It has not been easy keeping things running for so long (as many other local bloggers can attest), but I would like to thank all of our contributors over the years for helping keep this special project going. I would especially like to thank Jen Bullock who manages all of our social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) in addition to her super-busy day job.

If you are interested in contributing--whether you would like to write posts, send in photography/artwork, or have unreported news, please feel free to email me any time at josh@thesanjoseblog.com. Last but not least, thank you to all of the readers for giving us the motivation to keep on going!

Monday, May 9, 2016

21-story hotel expansion proposed Donwntown!

Exciting new proposals for projects that will change the Downtown San Jose skyline continue to roll in on a weekly basis. This latest one is unique in many ways. The Sheraton Four Points (previously the Montgomery Hotel) is proposing a 245-foot tall expansion tower that would contain 280 guest rooms. That in and of itself is exciting news, but how they are planning to execute it takes it to the next level.

The expansion would be the first cantilevered tower in Silicon Valley, meaning a substantial portion of the building would be in the airspace directly above the Sheraton Four Points. Not only would this allow a much larger building to be constructed on the narrow strip of land between the current hotel and the Fairmont annex, but it would allow the tower to be built without impacting the historic Montgomery Hotel building. It would be a beautiful juxtaposition of old and new.

The hotel would also have at least one amenity that does not exist in any other hotel building in the Bay Area--a rooftop pool. The 21st floor would also have a bar and fitness center, making the penthouse a major attraction accessible to all hotel guests.

Currently the hotel is somehow a Sheraton Four Points, which is the lowest-end brand in the Starwood chain. It is already one of the nicest, if not the nicest Four Points in the US. I cannot imagine that it would retain the Four Points brand if this tower gets built. It should be converted to at least a Sheraton, but I wouldn't be surprised to see this turn into an Aloft, Element Hotel, or even a W Hotel. The only other Starwood hotel in Downtown San Jose is the recently re-branded Westin San Jose.

This proposal is taking tower design to the next level in Downtown San Jose. I really hope this gets built, but even if it doesn't at least it is clear that proposals are getting more ambitious and in line with what Downtown San Jose deserves to have.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Events in District 6

This upcoming week has several events going on in District 6. These include a political debate, a pop-up bikeway, and a neighborhood block party (we need more of these). More info below and a big thanks to Alex Shoor for sending in the details.

Candidates Forum/Debate featuring all of the candidates running for the open San Jose City Council seat in District 6

Date: Wednesday, May 11

Time:  6:30 to 6:55 pm will be a casual chance to meet the candidates and obtain information from their campaigns. The debate itself will be from 7 to 8:30 pm. Many, if not all, of the candidates will stick around after the debate to interact with voters further.

Place: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1100 Shasta Avenue, San Jose (of course!)
Parking will be limited, so please walk, bike, carpool or take public transit if you can.

Candidates present will be:
- Peter Allen - Helen Chapman - Dev Davis - Erik Fong
- Norm Kline - Ruben Navarro - Chris Roth - Myron Von Raesfeld

The forum will feature as lead moderator Beth Willon, KQED's Senior Editor of the Silicon Valley News Desk.

Sponsors of the forum include: S/HPNA, the District 6 Neighborhood Leaders Group and the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Pop-Up Bikeway Demonstration Project

In honor of Bike Month, I want to invite you to experience what a safer, more bikeable Scott Street could look and feel like. Join the Greenbelt Alliance and the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association in a two-day event featuring a pop-up bikeway and a bike-themed neighborhood block party!

Friday, May 13th

7:30 - 10:00 a.m., 4:00– 7:00 p.m.

Scott Street from Richmond Avenue to Mayellen Avenue

Ride your bike down Scott Street to experience how the street could be transformed. Drop by our energizer station for snacks and info about biking in San Jose. Best of all - take advantage of FREE BIKE REPAIR provided by Performance Bicycle during the morning event hours! RSVP HERE

Neighborhood Block Party

Saturday, May 14th | 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Scott Street from Menker Avenue to Mayellen Avenue

Greenbelt Alliance and the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association will be hosting a bike-themed block party to encourage active transportation and engage residents and commuters in sharing their thoughts about biking in San Jose. Join us at the block party to meet your neighbors, learn about bike safety, and enjoy games and food! RSVP HERE

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Saturday Stats: best places for STEM grads 2016

There is no place in the US that will reward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degrees more than the San Jose area when it comes to salary. However, after you factor in the astronomical cost of living here are we still #1?  A recent NerdWallet study looked at the 330 largest metro areas and analyzed salaries, concentration of STEM jobs, unemployment, and average rent.

The study ranked the San Jose area as #2 on the list. Who was #1? Huntsville, Alabama (what???). I don't think I would agree with how the attributes were ranked. I think few people would argue against Silicon Valley being the #1 place for tech jobs despite the high cost of living. San Jose has more STEM employees per 1,000 jobs than any other metro. It has the highest income for tech employees, $122,398 versus a $84,222 average for the study (and $107,722 for San Francisco). It also has far and away the best ecosystem for tech. If you have a STEM degree here, you're likely multiple calls and LinkedIn invites from recruiters each month. For more details and the full list, hit the source link below.

Source: NerdWallet

Friday, May 6, 2016

Downtown San Jose Farmer's Market kicks off today

The weekly farmer's market in San Pedro Square is returning to Downtown starting today. It takes place on San Pedro Street right between the parking structure and restaurant row. The market runs from 10am to 2pm every Friday except for July 1st.

Free two-hour parking validations are available at the market info table. Also available is a $1 coupon to any vendor if you take public transit and show your VTA pass. More details below:

Downtown San Jose Farmer's Market from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

SAN JOSE – The  Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market, presented by Kaiser Permanente, opens for its 24th season on May 6 along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.

The market offers more than fresh-picked fruits and vegetables direct from California growers.  Opening day, for example, features live music and Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) chef demonstrations and recipe tastes.

Besides fresh fruits and veggies, the Downtown Farmers’ Market offers artisan booths for unique gifts, cut flowers, and gourmet foods, such as fresh and smoked fish, olives, breads and Kettle Korn.

Each week, the market may include up to 40 vendors.  On average, 2,500 residents, office workers and visitors head to the Farmers’ Market and San Pedro Square for lunch, activities, people-watching and shopping.  Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable and washed bags.

Market partner Kaiser Permanente has teamed with the Downtown Association and PCFMA for six years to focus attendees on healthful and “green” living.  Kaiser Permanente will schedule its Blender Bike for Smoothies on occasion, allowing shoppers to hop on the stationary bike and whip up a smoothie made from fresh Farmers’ Market fruit.

Parking validations for Farmers’ Market shoppers are available for the Market-San Pedro Garage at the SJDA information table.  Visit sjdowntownparking.com.

Follow the Downtown Farmers’ Market on Twitter (@SJ_Downtown) and Facebook (sjdowntown).  Check sjdowntown.com/events/sjda-events/farmers-market-presented-by-kaiser-permanente/. Call (408) 279-1775 for information.

About the San Jose Downtown Association:  The 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.  Established in 1986, SJDA programs more than 100 days of events each year.


Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market, presented by Kaiser Permanente

Find the season's freshest fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, and gourmet treats from more than 30 local certified growers and purveyors of fine food, plus unique gifts from local artisans, at the Downtown Farmers' Market, now in its 23nd season.

When:  Every Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
              May 6, 2016 – November 20, (no Market July 1)
Where:  The Downtown Farmers’ Market is located on San Pedro
               Street in San Jose, between St. John and Santa Clara streets

Admission:  The Market is free and open to the public

Attendance:  Weekly attendance averages approximately 2,500

Audience:  Downtown office workers, out-of-town visitors, residents, and San Jose State University students and faculty

Event Producers:  The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA), a local nonprofit business association, in partnership with Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association (PCFMA)
Seasonal produce:  Though a lot of vegetables are grown in California year-round, a lot of fruit ripens starting in May, including apricots, blueberries, cantaloupes, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, prunes and raspberries.  In June, find blackberries, boysenberries and other melons.

Gourmet foods:  The market has attracted purveyors of breads and baked goods, fresh fish, cheeses, honey products, olive oils and vinegars, wine, jams, sauces and ethnic treats, all locally grown and made.

Local artists:  Displaying crafts, jewelry, soaps, lotions, candles, scarves and clothing.

Sponsors/partners:  City of San Jose, VTA (Valley Transportation Authority), San Pedro Square, Republic Services; Metro Newspapers, El Observador, NBC Bay Area, Telemundo 48, MIX 106.5, 94.5 KBAY, KFOX 98.5

Websites:  www.sjdowntown.com and www.pcfma.com

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Inaugural British Airways flight lands in San Jose

BA has officially begun service to San Jose International Airport! Their first flight from London landed yesterday around 6pm and our friends at WMS Media managed to record the event from a Downtown San Jose tower (see below).

The new international route not only brings San Jose closer to London, but also the 130+ destinations that British Airways serves out of Terminal 5 in Heathrow Airport. The flight features a state-of-the-art Boeing 787-900 (20 feet longer than the 787-800 pictured below). The plane is the first in San Jose International's history to have four classes of service: 8 First Class "cabins," 42 Business Class seats, 39 Premium Economy, and 127 Economy seats. Those who have flown on British Airways know that even the cheapest seats are pretty nice compared to American carriers--and this is the very best plane in the British Airways fleet.

I'm thrilled that my favorite airline is finally in San Jose and hope they will add more routes in the future!

Arrival in San Jose of British Airways #279 Inaugural flight from London from WMS media Inc. on Vimeo.

Downtown San Jose gets its first Malaysian restaurant

Downtown has an extremely diverse restaurant scene with over 260 different eateries of 25 different ethnic varieties. IPOH Garden is Downtown San Jose's very first Malaysian restaurant. The restaurant replaces Dalian Kitchen/8 Treasures at 150 S. First St. Suite 111 (a huge upgrade in my opinion).

While I have yet to try IPOH out, the menu and interior look fantastic and early Yelp reviews have been positive. The restaurant is open on Monday through Saturday from 11am-3pm and 5pm-10pm.