Wednesday, July 17, 2019

July 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month:

The JULY 2019 Downtown Dimension is now available at:
  • Jay Paul Co. calls San Jose the "next great frontier of Silicon Valley," and backed that statement up by buying three more properties.
  • Planning the future Diridon Station has taken some big steps, with many more still to go. Here's the update.
  • New parking systems are starting to be installed in city-owned Park SJ garages.  The systems integrate new parking technology and are meant to create a "frictionless" parking experience. Dimension has the schedule and info for businesses about new validation options.  
  • July is a big month for SJDA events, with Music in the ParkDine DowntownStarlight Cinemas and the Farmers' Market all in rotation. Get ready to eat and drink a little more and be extra merry this month!
Keep up with all that's happening downtown:
  • Live and Local SJ supports live music in the center city.
  • Traffic alerts keep up with lane and road closures and openings.
  • Maps of downtown commercial property availability and development proposals.
  • Boom City: SJDA's summary of new downtown building proposals and west side acquisitions, continues to be updated almost monthly...
Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses.  Subscribe with a simple email to sjda@sjdowntown.com, subject line:  Subscribe.
Copyright © 2019 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

San Jose Development Updates

The SJ Economy Blog will start sharing a detailed update on development projects on a regular basis. The current stats are impressive.

  • There are 16.22 million SQFT of office in development
  • There are 7,261 residential units in planning, 5,215 units have been entitles, and 3,476 units are currently under construction (1,533 units are under construction Downtown).
  • There are multiple hotels in the pipeline including a Hyatt House, Hampton Inn, Resident Inn, 24-story Tribute Hotel, and several others.

For more details head over to the source links below.

Source: SJ Economy Blog, Full development report

Miro's twin high-rise under construction across from City Hall

Monday, July 15, 2019

20-story office tower proposed for 200 Park Ave.

Developer Jay Paul Co. has picked up 200 Park Avenue, which is across from CityView Plaza in Downtown San Jose. The company is proposing a massive 850,000 SQFT building that looks pretty unique. Not much else is known about the project, which still has to go through extensive approvals.

It is wild to think that 10 years ago we couldn't get a normal office tower built, and now we are hearing about one mega-project after the other. Google may not have to build any of their own towers at this rate.

Source: SVBJ


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

VTA calling for innovative transit ideas to connect SJC

The VTA as well as the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, and Cupertino are looking for ideas on how to quickly move people between SJC and various parts of Silicon Valley. They want these ideas by September 30th.

Specifically, this consortium is looking for grade-separated mass transit at a significantly lower cost than traditional projects in two segments. The first is integrating SJC and Diridon such that they are viewed as a single facility--which would be amazing! I remember being completely shocked when visiting Hong Kong and realizing there was a special Airport train line where you can check your suitcases at the train station, hop on the train, and walk straight to security. Something that well integrated might not be part of the plan, but there are many airports in the US with people movers between terminals. How cool would it be if Diridon felt like it was just a quick terminal transfer away from the airport?

The second route would link the airport to three urban villages along Steven's Creek (I'm sure Santana Row is one of them), Santa Clara, Cupertino, and DeAnza College. This is a high-traffic route and extending BART or Light Rail down this way would cost billions of dollars.

It sounds like this RFI (request for ideas) is a way to legally satisfy the common government requirement of getting multiple bidders for each project. There is literally only one company right now that might be able to pull off something like this at a low cost, and it is The Boring Company. They are already designing an underground loop for the new Las Vegas Convention Center Expansion at a cost of about $10 million a mile. For less than the cost of the two-stop Eastridge light rail extension, we could connect SJC, Downtown San Jose, Santana Row, Santa Clara, and Cupertino with a fast and direct point-to-point transit system.

This could be the beginning of a whole new era in transportation that blends public and personal transportation together. San Jose should be leading the charge, innovation is our middle name!

Source: SVBJ


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Taylor Street Night Market

Every Thursday night during the summer, the Taylor Street Night Market will take place at the Gordon Biersch Brewery in Japantown from 5-9pm. The event includes food trucks, a beer garden, music, and shopping. For more info, head over to the event Facebook page over here.


Monday, July 8, 2019

StarCity's "co-living" tower moves forward

StarCity is working on the largest co-living project in the United States and it just received final city approvals. Co-living is like a dorm for adults. You get a small private space which typically includes a bedroom and bathroom and other facilities like the kitchen, living area, and laundry are shared between multiple residents. Generally co-living facilities are much less expensive than a typical newer apartment.

StarCity would like to build an 18-story tower with 803 co-living units at 199 Bassett Street. The location is is just three blocks away from San Pedro Square.

I would assume this will be on the higher-end of the co-living spectrum. The building will have a 5,000 SQFT gym, chef-style kitchens, bike storage, co-working areas. As an added bonus, there will be retail on the ground-floor that might include a cafe, grocery store, or bar.

If this gets built, it will immediately increase the Downtown population by a significant number and hopefully provide a more affordable living option.

Source: SVBJ


Thursday, July 4, 2019

San Jose Rotary Fireworks 2019

Tonight, join the Rotary Club of San Jose at Discovery Meadow for a free fireworks show. While it can be seen from most of Downtown San Jose, the best viewing spots will be close to the Children's Discovery Museum. The family-friendly event kicks off around 5pm with entertainment and the fireworks begin at 10pm. For more info and a list of sponsors head over here.

Have a happy and safe Independence Day everyone!



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

San Fernando Bike Lanes

Downtown San Jose has become of of the most bike-friendly urban centers in the United States and is getting better year after year. Check out the video below showcasing nearly two miles of continuously protected lanes down San Fernando Street.

Source: Sharkcity from the San Jose Development Forum



Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2018 Year in Review by Scott Knies

This post is long overdue. Below is the San Jose Downtown Association's recap of 2018 hosted by Scott Knies. It provides a great look at all of our highlights and lowlights last year along with nearly every major development project that is in the hopper today. Even though I'm 6 months late with this one, the content is still 100% relevant.

 


Monday, July 1, 2019

Adobe breaks ground on San Jose's largest office high-rise

Last week, Adobe broke ground on it's remarkable 4th tower in Downtown San Jose. At 1.3 million SQFT it is about as large as the existing three towers combined and will house over 4,000 employees. There will also be a new bridge over San Fernando connecting Tower 4 to the original campus

Adobe is already Downtown San Jose's largest employer, so this is a major vote of confidence for the area. If all goes well, the tower will be complete by 2022.

If this is what 4,000 employees looks like, imagine what 20,000 new Googlers will do for San Jose's core.

Source: SVBJ





Thursday, June 27, 2019

Resident Roundtable: Life and Work in San Jose

A new video has been published by San Jose OED that focuses on three different people working and living in San Jose. It's short, but is an interesting and realistic discussion nonetheless.




Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Unemployment in San Jose Metro hits record low

According to the California Employment Development Department, unemployment in Santa Clara County has dropped to 2.1%. This is the lowest number on record, and that includes the .COM days in 1998-2000.

The six counties with the lowest unemployment in California are all here. San Mateo managed a jaw-dropping 1.7%, San Francisco was at 1.9%, Marin was at 1.9% Sonoma came in at 2.3%, and Napa rounds out the top 6 at 2.3%. This compares to a statewide unemployment rate of 3.5%.

This means that now is probably a great time to ask for a raise or evaluate all of your opportunities. It has become a strong employee's market with more available jobs than qualified applicants.

Source: SVBJ


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

"Disenchanted" @ 3Below - A Musical Parody on Disney Princesses!


Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Although I may not be an expert of the world of Disney, I have always been a fan of their stories including the timeless animated movies. Breaking down "The Princess Complex", the musical comedy Disenchanted brings the audience to laughter on the alternative true stories of the many princesses you've come to love including:
  • Belle from Beauty & the Beast
  • Hua Mulan from Mulan
  • Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  • Pocahontas from Pocahontas
  • Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
  • Rapunzel from Tangled
  • Jasmine from Aladdin
  • Cinderalla from Cinderella
  • Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) from Sleeping Beauty
The Princesses featured on Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge  Pictured left to right: Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena), Tiana (played by Marissa Rudd), Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), Ariel (played by Shannon Guggenheim)  Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
The Princesses featured on Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Pictured left to right: Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena), Tiana (played by Marissa Rudd), Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), Ariel (played by Shannon Guggenheim)
Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Arriving to 3Below Theaters & Lounge, there were so many people in line who were eagerly waiting to see Disenchanted. Some audience members wore their tiaras or some type of Disney gear. Once I got to my seat, I had some time to admire their stage design and lighting while playing a guessing game on which princess is which silhouette on the wall.

The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
The program of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
Sporting their Mickey hats, the small band starts off the first number of the musical comedy led by the hostesses, Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), and Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena).

One of my all-time favorite characters, Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), shared her story on the fact that she may in fact be a lesbian! Marissa Rudd played one of the most underrated princesses, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, who used her stature as a strong black woman stating one obvious truth: "Why’d it take ’em so long to give a sistah a song?"

However, one cast member that brought the audience members (including me) to passion, joy, and laughter was Shannon Guggenheim. In addition to being the show's choreographer, Shannon played Belle, Ariel, and Rapunzel. Although Shannon was able to exude Belle as clinically insane and why Ariel truly regrets having her own two feet, nothing can compare to her character as Rapunzel! With direct interaction with the audience members, Shannon's Rapunzel held her long hair while speaking to us with a strong German accent to literally whip us to sing "Not V'One Red Cent."

Unfortunately, one issue that I hope will be resolved in the future are the microphone issues. Ever since I saw their previous production of "A Spoonful of Sherman", it seems that the microphone did cut in and out for some of the musical numbers. Thankfully, it was not enough for me or for others to follow along with the stories, jokes, and singing from this cast.

The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
All in all, the musical comedy Enchanted was a very entertaining and funny show hitting the humorous layers of sexism, racism, and women empowerment.

Catch a good laugh now and until July 21, 2019 by catching a performance of Disenchanted playing Thursdays to Sundays at 3Below Theaters & Lounge. You may purchasing tickets online or at their box office at 288 South 2nd Street, San Jose, CA, (408) 404-7711. Discount tickets are available for students, seniors, military, and educators and parking validation is available at the upstairs parking garage. Please note that the show may not suitable for everyone and discretion is advised due to some language and sexual innuendos. As their advertisement would put it: the show is "not suitable for youth but perfect for parents' night out!" As one running joke from the show went, the princesses always had to "wait for their princes ... to come."

Written by John Huân Vũ.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Quick look inside the Valley Fair expansion

The Silicon Valley Business Journal has given us a sneak peak into Valley Fair's $1.1 billion remodel and expansion. The mall is growing from 1.5 million SQFT to 2.2 million, making it by far the largest mall in Northern  California and the 15th largest in the US (If you were to count stores at Santana Row it would be the largest).

The expansion will bring flagship stores for Apple and Bloomindale's as well as other premium brands such as Jimmmy Choo, John Varvatos, UNTUCKit, and Gorjana. Double Eagle Steakhouse, Shake Shack, Salt & Straw, and SomiSomi are some of the new eateries. 80% of the expansion is already pre-leased. If you are concerned about parking, they just added another 1,200 space garage and optimized the new front entrance for car sharing/pooling, bikes, and pedestrians in mind (finally).

By pushing the mall outwards towards Stevens Creek and adding an outdoor paseo, they are doing their best to better connect to Santana Row. Inside the more traditional mall area, they are using a lot of high-end materials and leveraging natural light thanks to massive skylights.

The expansion will have its grand opening early next year, but I wouldn't be surprised if some of the 100 new stores did a soft opening before Christmas.

Source: SVBJ







Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Grammy Award hits at Music in the Park this season


San Jose shows include The Delfonics June 21 and Ozomatli July 19

Rising stars Cuco and J Boog also headline San Jose Downtown Association-produced shows

SAN JOSE – Airfield Supply Co’s Music in the Park presented by Metro summer concert season at Plaza de Cesar Chavez opens with two Grammy Award winners:

·      June 21 – The Delfonics (soul and R&B)

·      July 19 – Ozomatli (Latin rock)

·      Aug. 2 – Cuco (Alternative Latin)

·      Aug. 23 – J Boog (reggae fused with R&B, hip-hop and rock)

Shows begin at 5:30 p.m. at Plaza de Cesar Chavez. Tickets are $15 in advance for general admission, $35 for a VIP experience, $20 and $40, respectively day of the show and available at http://musicintheparksj.com

The Delfonics:  Love songs and oldies from these Philly soul pioneers, headed by William “Poogie” Hart, including classics “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), which won the Grammy for Best R&B Performance, and “La La Means I Love You.”  The Delfonics inspired other ’70s groups such as the Spinners, and Stylistics.

Ozomatli:  Ozomatli brings their melting pot of global sounds and rhythms from LA to SJ, an intoxicating blend of Latin rock, funk, and hip-hop.  Ozo delighted Music in the Park audience two other times, in 2013 and 2016.  They have won Grammy Awards for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album twice for “Embrace the Chaos” and “Street Signs.”

Cuco:  Based in Los Angeles, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Cuco exploded onto the scene via Twitter and social media, making music from his bedroom studio. His simple but catchy “Lo Que Siento” has more than 12 million streams combined on Spotify and Soundcloud.

J Boog:  Southern California native J Boog has built his musical career since his 2007 debut album “Hear Me Roar.”  His 2011 Backyard Boogie release expanded his following internationally, topping Billboard and iTunes charts in a number of countries. “Live Up!” earned him a Top 5 spot on the Reggae Albums charts in 2014.

San Jose Downtown Association has produced Music in the Park for 30 years.  Music in the Park sponsors for 2019 include:  Airfield Supply Co., Metro, Adobe Systems and Google.

###

About San Jose Downtown Association:  SJDA, a non-profit membership-based organization founded in 1986, represents business and property owners and works to enhance downtown’s vitality and livability. www.sjdowntown.com

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Lyft Scooters have arrived in San Jose

Scooters have become a popular "last mile" or micromobility transportation option for helping get people from public transit to their final destination or just for cruising around Downtown San Jose. Last week, Lyft tossed their hat in the ring to compete with Lime and Byrd. Here are the main points you should know about the program:

  • San Jose is the first Bay Area city where Lyft is offering scooters
  • Scooters cost $1 to unlock and 15 cents for each minute you ride
  • With launch comes the unveiling of our Community Pass, allowing low-income San Jose residents  to ride for just $5/month.
  • Lyft’s scooters are part of the existing Lyft app that San Jose residents already know and love, and can be rented with just a few taps in the app. Riders are also able to reserve scooters ahead of time.
  • Lyft will also be providing trilingual on-scooter educational decals (English, Spanish, Vietnamese) along with Vietnamese translation of the San Jose microsite.

Below are quotes from Lyft, the Silicon Valley Bike Coalition, and Councilmember Lan Diep.

Lyft: “We’re thrilled to bring Lyft Scooters to San Jose and provide a quick, affordable and sustainable way to move around - all within a single app,” said Jake Darby, Market Manager for Lyft Bikes & Scooters. “Lyft is committed to a future where cities are built around people instead of private cars — and Lyft scooters can play a key role in furthering this movement locally here in San Jose.”

Silicon Valley Bike Coalition: "Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition recognizes the enormous potential electric scooters have to improve mobility and accelerate our push for healthier communities,” said Shiloh Ballard, Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. "We look forward to working alongside Lyft to support our overarching goals of making multi-modal options safe, accessible, convenient and fun."

Councilmember Lan Diep: “With today’s launch of Lyft scooters, San Jose residents will have an additional sustainable and affordable option for commuting across our city. I want to thank Lyft for working with the City of San Jose to better serve members of our Vietnamese community with trilingual in-app education and decals, and for offering its Community Pass to reach low-income residents across all neighborhoods."

The Lyft Scooter service area is below and for more information you can click here




Monday, June 17, 2019

"San Jose" - a beautiful new anthem for our city!

Grace Kelly is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter from Auckland that has been visiting San Jose since she was eight years old. Her father used to work in San Jose and live in Santana Row and she would visit him during her time off of school. She even bought her first electric guitar in San Jose.

Many of us that have been here for decades are jaded. Honestly, we have probably seen more downs than ups and more broken promises than success stories. However, the last decade has been quite good for San Jose and the song tells a story of a new generation of people that see San Jose for what it is today without the decades of bias.

Grace Kelly's "San Jose" is, without a doubt, the best song about San Jose since Dionne Warwick's "Do you Know the Way to San Jose" in 1968. Yes... that was 51 years ago. A lot has changed since then and I'm not sure the lyrics are entirely accurate anymore (read them here for your entertainment).

The new song is pop with a hint of Nashville. It's a little eclectic, kind of like San Jose. It's upbeat, catchy, and I seriously hope it makes it's way into mainstream music channels.

For the San Jose nerds out there, you'll find all sorts of scenes from San Jose in the official music video below, including:
  • Downtown San Jose
    • The Improv
    • St. Joseph's Cathedral
    • Transit Corridor
    • SJSU
    • Paseo de San Antonio
    • SAP Center
    • the Tech Interactive
    • SoFA
  • Santana Row
  • The San Jose Flea Market
  • Willow Glen
  • Japantown
  • East San Jose foothills
Please give it a watch and share with your friends.





Wednesday, June 12, 2019

"A Night in Napoli" at Trianon Theatre on June 16th

On June 16th, Italian-born President of the Jury, Antonio Pompa-Baldi will host an unforgettable opening concert, "A Night in Napoli" at the sublime Trianon Theatre in downtown San Jose. This will kick off the ONLY international piano competition in Northern California: The San Jose International Piano Competition. Thirty contestants, ages 18 to 32 will fly in from 13 countries to compete. Anyone, regardless of music interest, be it jazz, hip hop, rock, or blues to become inspired. 

The opening night will include Italian appetizers and entrees (from ten local Italian eateries!) and wine. Pompa-Baldi is SJIPC's Jury President and a Van Cliburn medalist. 

This is the 19th annual competition. SJIPC is a nonprofit that works all year guiding, educating, and providing one-on-one mentorship to young people and children of all ages to learn, appreciate, and strive in piano. Music-lovers can dive into 8 days of events, mixers, masterclasses, and competition rounds starting on June 16th and ending on June 23rd. 

Events, both paid and free, will be held in San Jose, CA at the historic Trianon Theater (its last year as a public space) and San Jose State University.The contestants and attendees will immerse themselves into a week of music, education, and community. Contestants practice 5 to 8 hours every day!  The mission of SJIPC for almost 20 years has been to provide excellence in education and performance while nurturing the love of classical music. Many go on to win awards all around the world or to prestigious piano careers. 

Our community will have access to a week of free and paid performances of the highest caliber, fun mixers, and an inspiring master class. This will be a rare a unique and unforgettable experience. Pompa-Baldi, who does not reside in California, will lead a not-to-be-missed Master Class on June 21st. 

Please support our local music arts by visiting www.sjipc.com for the schedule, tickets, and to learn of the the various ways you can become involved.



5 reasons to buy your ticket, attend free competition rounds or donate to SJIPC 

1. It is motivating and inspiring to go for your own dreams and challenge yourself when you see making a challenging dream their #1 priority. Seeing students in San Jose and from around the world dedicated, mind, body, and soul, to polishing a skill that takes a lifetime of patience, practice, and perseverance...encourages us to root for others AND ourselves.  

2. We believe our core job is to encourage children and young adults to be their best at every moment of performance or practice as they pursue excellence.  We are mentors to our students, guiding them one-on-one through frustration, setbacks, and mistakes, and cheering for them when they improve, gain confidence, and triumph. Whatever the chosen field, SJIPC contestants learn lifetime values that will nurture them in all areas of life. 

3. We provide opportunities for the community to experience the highest caliber of piano performance in public spaces, like libraries, where we have Competition winners perform for the public. We feel classical piano is for all. We don't forget the reactions on peoples' faces when they hear the sounds of the keys of a SJIPC winner. It is awe and joy. We believe in accessibility to the learning, appreciation, and joy of classical piano.

4. This success story. Six years ago, a young 14  year old teenager flew over from Vietnam to compete. We worked with the community to provide lodging for her and her mother that they could not afford. As she competed, it was made known she was self-taught, she had NO access to teachers.  SJIPC provided her with sponsored masterclasses from every jury member, and then we had her taken to one of the  best piano teachers in the world. This tutor was one of Rachmaninoff's only students. She returned to SJIPC and received an Honorable Mention. We smiled through tears as she received a coveted SJIPC competition prize of a scholarship to a summer piano festival in Europe. It was a life-changing transformation. She dared to dream and we helped make the dream a reality. 

5. We pride ourselves in a transparent, honest competition and we are committed to making sure our Jury and contestants adhere to fair competition values and practices. This is why we have one of the most respected piano competitions in the world. Need more reason? We help mold world-renowned pianists. The 2012 winner of SJIPC, won the Gold Medal in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition yesterday. This is the most prestigious piano competition in the world! 

-Anna Bagirov 




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

June 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension is now live. Below is a summary of the content this month:

The June 2019 Downtown Dimension is now available at:
In this edition:
  • Immediate, short-term and long-term programs addressing homelessness are starting to emerge in San Jose. However, for every individual placed in housing, three more homeless people come to San Jose. Here's an update on homeless services.
  • Results of the Groundwerx survey are reported.  Property owners in general approve of Groundwerx programs, but factors out of Groundwerx control are keeping people from giving high marks to the state of downtown cleanliness.
  • Santa Clara County has released plans for the old hospital site on East Santa Clara Street.
  • Downtown properties continue to change ownership.
  • The 15th version of Downtown Doors has been posted on service doors and utility boxes around downtown.
  • Get ready for the start of Music in the Park on June 21, when The Delfonics come to Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Also for your information:

  • Live and Local SJ supports live music in the center city.
  • Traffic alerts keep up with lane and road closures and openings.
  • Maps of downtown commercial property availability and development proposals.
  • Boom City: SJDA's summary of new downtown building proposals and west side acquisitions, continues to be updated almost monthly...
Downtown Dimension is a leading source for information about downtown San Jose news, events and businesses.  Subscribe with a simple email to sjda@sjdowntown.com, subject line:  Subscribe.
Copyright © 2019 San Jose Downtown Association, All rights reserved. 

Monday, June 10, 2019

SJC is getting five new gates this month

SJC is one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In fact, this year we overtook Oakland to become the second busiest airport in the Bay Area. The downside to the rapid growth is that we are quickly running out of space. Fortunately, a $54 million airport expansion with five temporary gates will go live this month and increase capacity in Terminal B by 50%. A 6th gate will also be ready in November.

The new gates will let Southwest and Alaska airlines consolidate their operations to make it easier for connecting flights. It will also open up opportunities for expansion. For example, Delta is going to make San Jose a focus city and wants to more aggressively compete with Southwest and Alaska. Delta is planning to increase service at SJC by 23.1%, which means a lot more flights and better prices for San Joseans.

As exciting as this news is, it is only the beginning. Terminal B will eventually have a permanent 12-gate expansion (see diagram below) with new restaurants an shopping options. This would bring our total gate count to 40 and it could be built without disruptions to the temporary gates. This is still five to seven years away, but shows the airport still has a long way to go before hitting its potential.

Sources: SVBJ, Flight Global, thanks to Daniel Martinez for the tip regarding Delta!



Thursday, June 6, 2019

12th Annual SubZERO Festival June 7th & 8th

South FIRST FRIDAYS is hosting an art walk on steroids tomorrow--SubZERO. Over 100 artists, performers, and musicians are participating in the event. Dozens of local arts & crafts vendors will also be there and two stages will host nonstop live music. The event runs from 6pm to midnight on Friday and Saturday. Oh, and admission is free.

For more info, head over here. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

The Light Between Two Towers is getting recognized

The documentary film relating the San Jose Electric Light Tower and the Eiffel Tower has received its first two awards. It was recognized as an Official Selection for both the Rome Independent Prisma Awards and the Depth of Field International Film Festival. If you haven't seen the movie yet, we highly recommend doing so. You can watch The Light Between Two Towers over here. 


Monday, June 3, 2019

Mamma Mia! @ The Stage

Donna and the Dynamos
Allison F. Rich (Tanya), Adrienne Herro (Donna), Jill Miller (Rosie)
Courtesy photograph provided by The Stage in San Jose.

As an ABBA fan, I knew that I wanted to see Mamma Mia! playing at The Stage in San Jose even if my friends may jokingly say, Here We Go Again! Upon seeing the Broadway tour production at the Center for Performing Arts and watching every movie of its franchise, I know that The Stage would give its own take allowing every audience member to love its song and story.

The set of Mamma Mia! at The Stage in San Jose.
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
Sitting on the last row—also known as row 5—at The Stage, the simple stage was elegant on "an island sparkling in the iridescent blue of the Aegean in 1999." I was surrounded people from all ages from an elementary school daughter to two seniors going on their lovely date on a Sunday afternoon.

As the Overture starts, the five band orchestra is found playing at the center back part of the stage led by The Stage former cast member and now conductor, Martín Rojas Dietrich. Despite the small theater, the orchestra was able to deliver all the songs allowing an ABBA fan to feel the music resonating in their hearts.

Although I came in with high expectations, what really hit the musical out of the park were the three cast members that made Donna and the Dynamos (Donna, Tanya, and Rosie) including their delivery of the infamous song, "Dancing Queen."

Allison F. Rich, musical director and cast member, continues to deliver a solid performance as Tanya including her seductive flirtation with Pepper, played by Michael J. Wu, in "Does Your Mother Know." Jill Miller, who played Rosie, performed a great duet with Jeffrey Brian Adams, who played Bill, in "Take a Chance on Me" with a nod to some future BDSM.

Donna, played by Adrienne Herro
Courtesy photograph provided by The Stage in San Jose
Nevertheless, to round out the trio was a spectacular performance by Adrienne Herro who played Donna. From the first scene to the last, Adrienee Herro evoked Donna's character as a mother who is not only confused and frustrated but also loving and fun. The audience can relate to Adrienee Herro when she delivered her anguish in "The Winner Takes it All" for feeling cheated by Sam, played by Noel Anthony, to her elation in "Super Trouper." Personally, I can envision Adrienee Herro playing the character Diana in one of my personal favorite musicals, Next to Normal. She was a great actress!

I want to give a callout to the crew under Bethany Deal, Costume Designer, and Ge Jia, Costume Design Assistant, for creating the amazing costumes worn by Donna and the Dynamos along with the fathers (Harry, Bill, and Sam). Instead of doing the same costume style but with different colors, they used the same fabric and silver color but using different styles to represent each of the respective personalities. See the photograph of Donna and the Dynamos to understand why I loved their costumes. Heck, I'd love to buy any of the ones worn by the fathers!

Unfortunately, one of the things that made me really cringe throughout the show was when the ensemble and cast members were wearing masquerade masks. Although I could understand the significance to blend into the background, there are alternative ways such as the use of lighting, similar colored costumes, or maybe not even having them wear masquerade masks at all.

Despite my cringe, I was proud of the men who were willing to wear adorable flippers and go shirtless in "Lay All Your Love On Me" with Sky, played by Sam Saustine, and the boys, played by Michael J. Wu, Sean Okuniewicz, Vinh G. Nguyen, and James Zongus. Along with the girls played by Allison J. Parker, Brigitte Losey, Sarah Bylsma, Monica Moe, Brittney Monroe, and Tracey Shaw, the audience were engaged throughout the storyline including after the bows with some audience members standing (and dancing) to their final song!

It was a fun show and you can catch a performance playing from Wednesdays to Sundays now until July 7, 2019. You can purchase tickets online at The Stage website at www.thestage.org or at their box office at 490 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113, (408) 283-7141. Discount tickets are available for students and seniors. As a word of caution, this show may not be appropriate for everyone and discretion is strongly advised due to the some language, a lot of sexual innuendos, and taboo humor. I personally had some good laughs and I believe you will also too!

Written by John Huân Vu.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Apple is building a flagship two-story store in San Jose

San Jose is finally getting an Apple store worthy of being in Silicon Valley! As part of Westfield's $1.1 billion expansion, Apple will move to a two-story location facing the new Santana Row-style outdoor dining district. In the image below I marked where I think it could go. Based on the description it could be anywhere on the walkway closest to Stevens Creek Boulevard and it will feature both indoor and outdoor areas.

Westfield is calling this out as an "anchor" tenant for their expansion which will have over 150 new retail stores, multiple new restaurants, and a Bloomingdale's department store. Apple tends to pull out all the stops for their flagship locations and I can't see what they come up with for San Jose.

Source: SVBJ


Thursday, May 23, 2019

San Jose holds 3rd place in US solar rankings

We just hit the highest level of atmospheric carbon dioxide in 3 million years. Fortunately, some cities are doing their part to reduce CO2 as much as possible. San Jose has the highest per-capita electric vehicle adoption of any major city in the United States and now we are 3rd when it comes to per capita solar adoption.

Only sunny San Diego and Honolulu (where electricity rates are insane) are ranked higher than San Jose. San Francisco came in 20th place.

As the prices of solar systems drop and electricity becomes more expensive, hopefully adoption of clean energy will continue to rise.

Source: SJ Economy Blog


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Symphony Silicon Valley presents Beethoven’s Ninth with Tatsuya Shimono conducting. Season Closing Performance!




WHO: Symphony Silicon Valley presents
WHAT: Beethoven’s Ninth
WHEN: Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 8:00pm
Sunday, June 2, 2019 at 2:30pm
WHERE: The California Theatre, 345 South First Street in downtown San Jose, 95113.
Easy, inexpensive parking is just one block away at San Jose City Garage on San Carlos Street with entrances on 2nd and 3rd Streets.

WHY: Beethoven's Ninth is the unquestioned champion of the concert hall, a work that sums up the Classical age, looks forward to what would follow, and has come to represent courage, hope, and triumph around the world. Every December, innumerable Ninths are performed throughout Maestro Shimono's homeland to mark the turn of the year. SSV last played it to packed houses for the Symphony's 10th anniversary, This June it will be introduced by one of Dvořák's most joyful short works, festive and deeply felt.

PRICES: $50 - $94  
BOX OFFICE: 408.286.2600 or www.symphonysiliconvalley.org
Or visit the Box Office between 10am and 5pm, Monday through Friday at 325 South First Street in downtown San Jose, between San Carlos and San Salvador Streets just one-half block from the California Theatre. 

PROGRAM:
Antonín Dvořák: Te Deum, Op.103
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

Conductor: Tatsuya Shimono
Soloist(s): Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale

About Tatsuya Shimono
Born in Kagoshima in 1969, Tatsuya Shimono cemented his international reputation as a conductor by winning First Prize at the 47th Besançon International Competition in 2001. Since then he has guest conducted major orchestras in Japan and abroad. He received great acclaim for his debuts in subscription concerts with the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009, and then in March 2010, made his debut with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

About Symphony Silicon Valley
The Symphony Silicon Valley Chorale, directed by Maestra Elena Sharkova, has become known for its eclectic mix of vibrant programs. It most often performs at the California Theatre, where it accompanies the Symphony in performing major works. The Chorale also performs pieces from the classical and popular repertoire on its own and with guest soloists. Each December the Chorale presents a holiday concert, Carols in the California, that combines traditional and unusual holiday music with a refreshing major work and audience participation.
More: http://www.symphonysiliconvalley.org/musicians.php?pagecontID=66&MusID=88

Photo courtesy of Symphony Silicon Valley

About Symphony Silicon Valley:  Founded in 2002, Symphony Silicon Valley has progressed from daring idea to exciting reality, rapidly becoming the greater South Bay's premiere orchestra and a notable community success story. 
As the Mercury News wrote:
Symphony Silicon Valley began as a phoenix orchestra, rising from the ashes of the old San Jose Symphony.  But ...the "new" orchestra…is becoming a fixture on the scene, with its own way of doing things.  One night it may play Ellington, the next Mozart…carving out its own identity with numerous guest conductors, some unique repertory and a celebrated new home at the California.
The Symphony's artists, nationally recruited, locally resident, with an average performance tenure in San Jose of over 20 years, are recognized as among the best in the greater Bay Area.  Led by an exciting roster of distinguished guest conductors on the European model, the Symphony is an anchor tenant of San Jose's magnificently restored downtown California Theatre, one of Northern California's most outstanding music halls.  There, audiences and critics alike greet its concerts with enthusiasm.

Symphony Silicon Valley is setting an example of an innovative business model in the arts -- market driven and financially conservative, with low overhead and the flexibility to match its programming to its support base.  It earns 60% of its revenue each year – an extraordinarily high proportion for a symphony of its size.