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.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Downtown San Jose Safeway to close

Unfortunately, The Safeway market in Downtown San Jose will close by June 14th. This was one of the first "Market" concepts that Safeway built and is the most central grocery store in Downtown San Jose. Grocery Outlet, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods are all in the periphery of Downtown San Jose and are difficult to walk to.

One of the key reasons appears to be a situation with free parking. The parking structure beneath The 88 was owned by the former Redevelopment Agency and the city offered free 2 hour parking for Safeway patrons. Once the lot was sold per legal requirements of the now defunct agency, the city was no longer able to offer free parking and it put the Safeway at a significant disadvantage.

If you dig a little deeper, I don't think the real reason is parking but that there are still not enough people living in Downtown San Jose. Many towers are under construction and once they are built hopefully we will be able to support a Safeway-sized market with or without free parking.

It will be interesting to see how long the space takes to get leased and what will replace the Safeway. It could be an opportunity for something even better, we'll see.

Source: SVBJ


Monday, May 20, 2019

Santana Row is welcoming Vince, Brandy Melville, TravisMathew, Sauced BBQ & Spirits, and Cosecha

Santana Row has just announced five new retail and restaurant offerings. They continue to attract unique stores that are not easy to find and in some cases are the first location in Silicon Valley.

Retail 

Vince is a luxury brand offering shoes, handbags, and home items. The 2,378 SQFT shop will be next to the newly expanded Lululemon store. The only other Bay Area stores are in Palo Alto and San Francisco.

Brandy Melville is a tendy women's apperel line from Italy. The 3,122 SQFT store will open in the summer.

TravisMathew is a lifestyle apparel company for men. The 1,911 SQFT store has a ping pong table and classic arcades (!!!), so it will likely be my new favorite Santana Row spot. This will be the very first location in Northern California.


Restaurants

Sauced BBQ & Spirits is a new Southern-inspired restaurant featuring BBQ and numerous beer, wine, and whiskey options. It will open in the parkside location next to Maggiano's this fall.

Cosecha is a revamped version of Consuelo's with the same ownership and an 800 SQFT expansion. They will offer modern Mexican dishes with local ingredients.

It has been announced before, but is worth mentioning again that Blue Bottle Coffee is opening soon in the former Pinkberry location in the middle of the park and Meso Modern Mediterranean will be the new restaurant in Santana Row's new capstone building next to CineArts movie theater.

For the full press release, see below.



Santana Row Continues to Draw Cutting-Edge Eateries and Stylish Shops
San Jose’s most popular neighborhood welcomes Vince, Brandy Melville, TravisMathew, Sauced BBQ & Spirits & Cosecha to its vibrant merchant roster

SAN JOSE, Calif.—May 14, 2019—Santana Row continues to attract top brands & eateries, making it the most sought-after dining and shopping scene in the Bay Area.  As Santana Row prepares to welcome Splunk in the newly developed 700 Santana Row office campus, a new generation of retail and restaurants are opening to meet the standards of Silicon Valley tastemakers.

Santana Row today announced the signing of VinceBrandy MelvilleTravisMathew and Sauced BBQ & Spirits; plus a renovation and expansion of Cosecha, formerly Consuelo’s at Santana Row. Brandy Melville, Vince and TravisMathew will offer on-trend clothing and accessories, while BBQ darling Sauced, and the under-construction eatery Cosecha will offer foodies two new vibrant restaurants; adding to the already incredibly dynamic dining scene.

Luxury retail brand Vince will bring California-inspired, everyday essentials to Santana Row in summer 2019. Vince encompasses a modern, timeless aesthetic and effortless sophistication, best known for creating elevated yet understated pieces for every day. Known for its range of luxury goods, Vince offers women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, shoes, handbags, and home fit for a global lifestyle. The collections are inspired by the brand’s California origins and embody a feeling of effortless style. Vince will debut in a 2,378 sf shop located next to the newly expanded lululemon.

Popular boutique Brandy Melville, the women’s apparel line from Italy known for its trend-setting styles with a beachy, comfortable vibe will open a 3,112-square-foot space in summer of 2019 at Santana Row. This Instagram favorite has a cult following known for its rich fabrics, fine quality and excellent prices.

Additionally, premier men’s apparel brand TravisMathew, known for leading the way in quality and lifestyle apparel with styles for both work and play, will open its first Northern California store at Santana Row.  You can find classic arcade style gaming consoles and ping pong tables in the 1,911 sf space. With a casual SoCal vibe and clothing that effortlessly transitions from the course to daily life, TravisMathew has established itself as a leading innovative brand in the sportswear world. The Santana Row location will carry their exclusive California capsule product and will open in fall 2019.

In addition to Vince, Brandy Melville and TravisMathew; Sauced BBQ & Spirits will be making its debut this year, moving into the parkside location next door to the popular Maggiano’s Little Italy. Sauced is a Southern-inspired restaurant concept influenced by modern flavor and design, founded by two cousins with a passion to bring authentic, Southern BBQ to Northern California. Besides featuring multiple Southern styles of barbecue, the restaurant touts numerous beer, wine and whiskey options. You can expect outdoor patio seating at this new, hip foodie experience opening in fall 2019.

In addition to the best-in-class operators vying for space in Santana Row, existing merchants are flourishing with opportunity to evolve and progress in response to consumer demands. Mexican bistro Consuelo’s is undergoing a major revamp and 800-square-foot expansion, re-opening as Cosecha under the same ownership. Cosecha will offer modern-inspired Mexican cuisine sourced with local ingredients in its diverse menu of wood grill plates, traditional fare and beyond. The announcement of these new restaurant openings and renovations comes on the heel of Barry’s Bootcamp, Meso Modern Mediterranean and Blue Bottle Coffee lease signings at Santana Row.

"Being on the cutting edge of mixed-use trends is in our DNA at Santana Row. We are ever-evolving and looking for ways to make room for the best-in-class brands that our customers are talking about, purchasing from and following. It is important to our strategic vision to recapture core retail spaces when sales dip and our consumers shift focus. Our connectivity to our on-site community and the 13 million annual visitors allows us a unique vantage point that separates us from big box malls and gets our customers offline and into our businesses” said Jeff Kreshek, Senior Vice President West Coast Leasing at Federal Realty Investment Trust.

With 834 homes, 50 shops, 30 restaurants, a CinéArts movie theatre, the boutique Hotel Valencia and added new developments like 700 Santana Row, Santana Row continues to evolve and thrive since its opening in 2002.

About Federal Realty
Federal Realty is a recognized leader in the ownership, operation and redevelopment of high-quality retail based properties located primarily in major coastal markets from Washington, D.C. to Boston as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles. Founded in 1962, our mission is to deliver long term, sustainable growth through investing in densely populated, affluent communities where retail demand exceeds supply. Our expertise includes creating urban, mixed-use neighborhoods like Santana Row in San Jose, California, Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, Maryland and Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts. These unique and vibrant environments that combine shopping, dining, living and working provide a destination experience valued by their respective communities. Federal Realty's 98 properties include over 2,800 tenants, in approximately 23 million square feet, and over 1,800 residential units. 

Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 49 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT. For additional information about Federal Realty and its properties, visit www.FederalRealty.com.
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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

San Jose ranked 2nd best small business growth city

For the 2nd year in a row, San Jose was ranked as the 2nd best metro for small businesses in the US.  The analysis was based on the financials of almost 30,000 companies. San Jose also had the highest average credit score of any city.

Miami took the crown for being the #1 growth city for small business, while San Francisco came in 3rd place. Below is the full list.

Top 25 Cities for Small Business 2019

  1. Miami (No. 3)
  2. San Jose, CA (No. 2)
  3. San Francisco (No. 4)
  4. New York (No. 1)
  5. San Diego (No. 9)
  6. Los Angeles (No. 5)
  7. Boston (unranked)
  8. Sacramento, CA (No. 10)
  9. Baltimore (No. 16)
  10. Washington, DC (No. 7)
  11. Philadelphia (No. 22)
  12. Chicago (No. 12)
  13. Seattle (No. 14)
  14. Riverside, CA (No. 6)
  15. Minneapolis (unranked)
  16. Phoenix (No. 11)
  17. Las Vegas (No. 18)
  18. Charlotte, NC (No. 24)
  19. Nashville, TN (unranked)
  20. Raleigh, NC (unranked)
  21. Detroit (No. 20)
  22. Oklahoma City (unranked)
  23. Houston (No. 21)
  24. Cleveland (unranked)
  25. Pittsburgh (unranked)
Source: SJ Economy Blog

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Music in the Park 2019

With the recent weather it is hard to believe summer is just around the corner. This year's lineup for Music in the Park includes oldies from the The Delfonics, Latin rock/funk/hip-hop from Ozomatli, pop from Cuco, and reggae from J Boog. Early bird tickets start at only $10 and VIP tickets with private seating, a drink ticket, and nicer restrooms go for $35. You can get your tickets right over here.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Roku snaps up another 162,557 SQFT of San Jose office space

Roku, the popular video streaming tech company, is moving their headquarters from Los Gatos to a much larger space in San Jose's Coleman Highline. Currently they sublease 160,000 SQFT from Netflix, one of their initial investors. The new campus in San Jose will clock in at 735,000 SQFT across five buildings.

Roku has brown from 400 people at the end of 2015 to 1,111 employees just three years later at the end of 2018. That will make the company one of the top employers in the Downtown or Airport areas. Getting the HQ for another fast growing tech company represents a big win for San Jose.

The Coleman Highline is also planning further expansion to a grand total of 1.5 million SQFT along with two new hotels.

Source: SVBJ


Thursday, May 9, 2019

Flicks and Grooves at History Park


History San José invites you to enjoy great movies and music under the stars during the Flicks & Grooves outdoor cinema and concert series in History Park. This year's outdoor cinema line up will showcase the quirky genius of director Wes Anderson the second Friday of each month. The Flicks & Grooves concert slate features an eclectic array of live bands to enliven your Friday nights on the Fire House Green. No movie or concert is complete without great food and beverage offerings. Each Flicks & Grooves event will feature a variety of local brews, wine, and food vendors. And of course, popcorn and local ice cream from O’Brien’s Ice Cream Parlor!

Cinema Dates
Friday, May 10th 7:30 pm (Moonrise Kingdom)Friday, June 14th 7:30 pm (Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou) 
Friday, July 12th 7:30 pm (Rushmore)Friday, August 9th 7:30 pm (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Friday, September 13th 7:30 pm (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Friday, October 11th 7:30 pm (Fantastic Mr. Fox) 

Concert Dates
Friday, May 31st at 7:30 pm (Kiva Uhuru + Noop & Neens)
Friday, June 28th at 7:30 pm (Steely Nash + Q&A)
Friday, July 26th at 7:30 pm (Aki Kumar + DJs Albert Jenkins and Basura and Guests)
Friday, August 30 at 7:30 pm (Le Vice + Ian Santillano and the Housewarmers)
Friday, September 27 at 7:30 pm (Valley Wolf + Deseos Primitivos)
Friday, October 25 at 7:30 pm (Gene Washington and The Sweet Sounds + Rhythm  and Folk)

Outdoor Cinema
This year's outdoor cinema line up will showcase the quirky genius of director Wes Anderson the second Friday of each month. The beautiful and relaxing Fire House Green inside History Park serves as a perfect backdrop for the unorthodox filmmaker's cinematic gems including Rushmore, The Life Aquatic, and The Royal Tenenbaums to name just a few. Oscar-nominated Wes Anderson has created films that are bonafide cult classics resonating with audiences of all ages.

Outdoor Concerts

History Park will also be a destination for live music the last Friday of each month. The Flicks & Grooves concert slate features an eclectic array of live bands to enliven your Friday nights on the Fire House Green. The San Jose Jazz Boombox Stage will host hot acts curated by Needle to the Groove Records and Quynh Mai. Confirmed acts include Neo-Soul songstress Kiva Uhuru (May 31), Hip Pop outfit Steely Nash (June 28), the neo-Jazz stylings of Le Vice (Aug 30), Cumbia/Latin Rock crooner Valley Wolf (September 27) and many more acts to be announced.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May 2019 Downtown Dimension Highlights

The latest addition of Downtown Dimension highlights new Downtown development projects (including a 3.4 million SQFT three-tower project at CityView Plaza). Little Italy is finally getting their museum and cultural center, and as an added bonus there will be a speakeasy in the basement. Check out the full newsletter using the link below:


The MAY 2019 Downtown Dimension is now available at:

In this edition:
  • What can the City and development community do to get more cranes in the sky?  Cranes, of course, symbolize construction of taller office and residential buildings.  Downtown San Jose has plenty of high-rise proposals, but getting them started at ground level is another matter.  Dimension presents the more popular ideas.
  • A decade into its renewal, Little Italy continues to grow and prosper. Here's what's ahead in the near future for Little Italy.
  • Downtown properties continue to change ownership.
  • Businesses continue to grow, looking for more space for additional employees.
  • SJDA's 100 days of events starts May 3 with the Farmers' Market.  In June, the Delfonics bring their smash hits of the '70s to Music in the Park.

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.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

BlueJeans moves HQ to San Jose

The popular video conferencing company BlueJeans is moving from Mountain View to the posh Santana Row flagship building at the very end of the row. They are upgrading from a 24,000 SQFT space to 40,000 SQFT in the same area where Splunk is headquartered. In fact, BlueJeans may have to bump up their salaries to keep their neighbor from poaching talent--Splunk has the highest median salary of any large company in the US.

It is an interesting move considering that their key competitor, Zoom, is also located in San Jose (Downtown). A few weeks ago Zoom became the must successful IPO of 2019 and the company is now worth over $16 billion. BlueJeans is smaller player but was worth $728 million four years ago during their last funding round. Who knows, they could be the next epic San Jose IPO.

Source: SVBJ


Monday, May 6, 2019

Santana Row opens new public plaza and 1,300 space garage

The capstone project at the very end of Santana Row is nearing completion, and two very important components of that project have just opened. First, a new 21,000 SQFT signature plaza is now open to the public. It features fountains, benches, a re-planted oak tree, and the beautiful landscaping Santana Row is known for. When the building is complete, there will be new retail stores wrapping around the plaza as well.

The second component is a much-needed 1,300 space parking lot, just north of the plaza. This should make parking at the Row much easier during those busy summer months.

Another nice perk of the garage is 50 (!) new EV parking stations, bringing the grand total to 134 at Santana Row. San Jose has one of the highest concentration of electric car owners in the world, so this is greatly appreciated.

Santana Row was the site of the very first Tesla store and there is a new amenity that I didn't really see announced anywhere. Last year, there were 0 Tesla Superchargers in San Jose. These are highly coveted since they charge 3 to 10 times faster than normal chargers. Today, there is not one but two Supercharger stations at Santana Row with a total of 36 stalls, making it one of the largest Tesla stations anywhere. Based on the press release for the new garage, they may get 25 more stalls in the near future since 61 Tesla stalls are referenced.



Thursday, May 2, 2019

Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market season begins May 3

The Downtown San Jose farmer's market is back tomorrow from 10am-2pm on San Pedro Street! Check out the full press release below.





Fresh produce, hot food, unique gifts available each Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at San Pedro Square

SAN JOSE - The Downtown San Jose Farmers’ Market, presented by Kaiser Permanente, will take place Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. starting May 3 along San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John streets.
The market includes fresh produce from California growers, fresh cut flowers, special gourmet foods and artisan booths full of clothing and crafts.  The energy of the market is lifted by live music, special food booths, San Pedro Square restaurants lining the street and thousands of downtown employees and residents who make the market part of their weekly routine.
The Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association (PCFMA) recruits 25-40 farmers and the San Jose Downtown Association oversees the street closures and other vendors. The partnership dates back to spring 1993, when the market was originally located at First and San Fernando streets. This is the 27th season.
Admission is free.

For more, check PCFMA.org, the @PCFMA Facebook page and sjdowntown.com

The market continues each week into November. On average, 2,500 residents, office workers and visitors head to the Farmers’ Market.  Customers are encouraged to bring their own reusable and washed bags.
Market partner Kaiser Permanente has teamed with the Downtown Association and PCFMA for nine years, educating attendees on healthful and “green” living that allow each individual to thrive.

In the spirit of thriving, many market shoppers walk to the market.  Those who drive can get parking validation for the Market-San Pedro Garage at the SJDA information table.  Visit www.parksj.org. Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) recommends riding light rail to the Santa Clara Street or St. James Street stations.  More at VTA.org.

Follow the Downtown Farmers’ Market on Twitter (@SJ_Downtown) and Facebook (/sjdowntown and /DowntownFarmers’Market).  The market website is https://sjdowntown.com/farmers-market-presented-by-kaiser-permanente/

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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Diridon Community Engagement Event: May 4 at SJ Museum of Art

The SJSU Master of Urban Planning Program is hosting an open house along with CommUniverCity to discuss how Diridon can be better connected to the rest of Downtown San Jose. In addition to some thoughtful discussion, the event has free food, activities, and entertainment and will take place this Saturday, May 4th from 10am to 2pm at the San Jose Museum of Art (also worth checking out).

You can RSVP over here.


Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Atlas Obscura - San Jose

Atlas Obscura is an interesting site that show unique or historical spots within a city. Their mission is "to inspire wonder and curiosity about the incredible world we all share." It is often used by travelers when planning trips to new places.

Atlas Obscura has a section for San Jose, but it has only 14 entries. This is compares to 168 entries for San Francisco or 324 for Manhattan. Heck, even Sacramento had 13 attractions listed. So what can we do about it? At the very end of the page, we can submit more suggestions for unique places and things to do in San Jose. Just head over here to see the current list and add your suggestions.

Hat tip to Kyle O'Dea for sending this in.



Monday, April 29, 2019

Google expanding to North San Jose

Google has a long term vision of building an epic 8 million SQFT campus in Downtown San Jose near Diridon. That project that will probably take a decade to come to fruition. Fortunately, there is another Google project in North San Jose with a much shorter horizon.

Google has just secured leases on three buildings totaling 611,535 SQFT that have yet to be constructed at 60 North Brokaw (near Casino M8trix). Peery-Arrillaga, the developer, has already requested permits to start construction. Two of the buildings would be eight stories tall, while the third is four stories.

The buildings could accommodate up to 4,900 employees, and they could start moving in as early as 2021. That sounds like ages from now, but is less than two years away. Since Mountain View real estate is completely tapped out, this is the first step in a long journey for Google to move the majority of their Silicon Valley operations to San Jose. Without major changes in building policies up north, San Jose is without a doubt Google's future.

Sources: SVBJ, San Jose Inside




Thursday, April 25, 2019

Future Motion opening 60,000 SQFT facility in San Jose

Future Motion makes a one-wheel electric skateboard that is becoming increasingly popular. The self-balancing skateboards retail from $950 to $1,800. I see a bunch of them every time I'm in Downtown San Jose.

While the company is currently headquartered in Santa Cruz, they are opening a new manufacturing outpost in North San Jose at 2250 Zanker Road. Future Motion expects to employ 150 people at the new facility.

For additional information on Future Motion and the industrial market in general, check out the source link below.

Source: SVBJ


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

San Jose has fastest growth in international visitors to US cities

Of the 40 US cities attracting the most overseas visitors, San Jose was the fastest growing. We had 611,000 international visitors in 2017, which is a 25% increase from 2016. Note that these do not include visitors from Canada and Mexico. This compares to a nationwide increase of only 0.7% over the same period. That makes us the 19th metro in the US for international tourism.

San Francisco comes in 5th nationally with 3.4 million international visitors, but they actually saw a decline of 3.6% in the same period.

International visitors have a major impact on the economy measured in the thousands of dollars per single visitor. In fact, one full international flight can contribute a million dollars to the San Jose economy. While we do not rank very highly overall right now in terms of international visitors, the fact that the number is growing rapidly is a good sign.

Source: SJ Economy Blog


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

"Will a Vibrant New Skyline Finally Give San Jose a Sense of Place?"

There is a great article about San Jose in Redshift, a publication about the future of "making" that specializes in architecture and design. Silicon Valley is growing up, and creating a sense of place will become a very important part of our future. The article mentions the multitude of projects coming our way in the near future. Over 5.5 million SQFT of projects are in the works, including MIRO (two 28-story high-rise apartments), Modera, and Invicta. The new projects will connect Downtown and are more about placemaking than facades. The long term architectural strategy for one San Jose architect, Stenberg Hart, is creating buildings that impose an architectural point of view on San Jose and catalyze the community. The end goal is helping San Jose create a unique local culture that will eventually shape the overall aesthetic of the city.

To read the article, head over here.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Viva Calle 2019 Part 1 - "Downtown and Eastbound" on May 19th

One of my favorite events of the year returns is returning in a big way. During Viva Calle SJ, miles of city streets will be completely shut down to let people walk, run, bike, or skateboard down the streets of San Jose. For 2019, the event will take place twice! The first event is on May 19th and the second will take place sometime in September.

Viva Calle features multiple activity hubs which are basically festivals-within-a-festival that highlight the local area. For part 1, the activity hubs will be at St. James Park, Parque de los Pabladores in SoFA, and Emma Prusch Farm. You can expect live music, vendors, food, activities, bike parking, and good times at all three hubs. In between the activity hubs you will still find all sorts of interesting stops, hydration stations, and stores. Last year over 100,000 people attended the event.

The route will extend from Emma Prusch to near Willow Glen. At the intersection of Keyes St. (Story Rd.) and 1st St., you will be able to take 1st/Market St. all the way to the St. James Park area.

Viva Calle 2019 "Downtown and Eastbound" takes place on Sunday, May 19th from 10am to 3pm (streets are closed until 4pm). It is completely free and has no designated beginning or end as it's not a race. It is not clear yet if PokemonGo will be integrated into the event like the previous two years. You can use the handy map below to locate the routes and festivities. For more info, head over here. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, April 18, 2019

San Jose Wayfinding Project

The SJ Economy Blog has some interesting information on a Wayfinding Project for San Jose. The goal is to provide block-by-block guidance to Downtown visitors.

One of the big challenges Downtown faces is that there are many districts that are poorly connected with dead space in between them--empty store fronts, parking lots, etc. Thankfully, the Knight Foundation funded a project to help overcome this key issue and city staff is working on implementing some of the proposals.

The first phase of the program will focus on delivering navigation totems throughout Downtown at key intersections. It will cover a ten-minute walking radius and the first totems will be placed along San Carlos between the convention center and SJSU. It will help visitors and students branch out into other parts of Downtown.

The totems for now will unfortunately be static, which is inconvenient as Downtown is changing very rapidly. I was hoping for interactive screens that would be better suited for the "Capital of Silicon Valley" and perhaps direct people to events happening that day or allow for integrating creative art or even location-based games. At least there will likely be a mobile way-finding element at some point.

For more info, check out the link below or check out the Knight Foundation report.

Source: SJ Economy Blog





Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Santana Row Summer Fashion Show

Below is the press release for Santana Row's most popular event of the year. Tickets often sell out, so if you are interested it would be a good idea to buy them early.

~~~

On Saturday, June 8 at 2 p.m. Santana Row’s most popular annual event, the Summer Fashion Show, returns to showcase the coolest looks for a hot summer in the most summery of spots – Santana Row Park. This professional runway show will benefit The Princess Project, an organization that collects dresses and gives them to teens all over California to make sure everyone feels like a princess at prom. Participating retailers include:

  • Free People
  • Kendra Scott
  • Tea Collection
  • Ted Baker
  • Anthropologie
  • Everything But Water
  • …and more Santana Row retailers!

Tickets are $50 and include seating at the runway show, access to the on-site style boutique, champagne and wine, light hors d’oeuvres, a Passion for Fashion shopping card with exclusive incentives and post-show soirees. Tickets are now on sale online, and inside the Santana Row Concierge. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Bay Area Michelin Star Restaurants - 2019 Edition

The Michelin guide is the most renowned rubric in the world for measuring culinary success. Unfortunately, we have some bad news this year. San Jose's first and only Michelin Star restaurant, Adega in Little Portugal, lost its star after holding the honor for two years. It's unclear why, although it is still featured in the guide as a recommended restaurant.

Michelin has three different star categories:
  • One Star - A very good restaurant in its category with cuisine prepared to a consistently high standard. A good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two Stars - Excellent cuisine, skillfully and carefully crafted dishes of outstanding quality. Worth a detour.
  • Three Stars - Exceptional cuisine with distinctive dishes and superlative ingredients. Worth a special journey.
There are also restaurants in the Michelin guide that do not get a star, but are considered "Michelin Recommended." This is already a significant honor that a very small percentage of restaurants achieve. Within this category San Jose scored a total of 8 restaurants, which is up two from last year (one is Adega). Luna Mexican Kitchen on the Alameda is the newcomer. Fortunately we we did not lose any Michelin recommended restaurants this year.


San Jose Michelin Recommended Restaurants:
  • Downtown
    • Back A Yard
  • East San Jose
    • Adega
  • Midtown
    • Luna Mexican Kitchen
    • Din Tai Fung
    • Walia
  • South San Jose
    • Thien Long
    • Lau Hai San
  • Camden
    • Zeni

I also created a Google doc listing all of the star recipients for 2019, along with tabs for all previous years and some general statistics. Below is an image capture from the doc. This year there were a total of 57 restaurants that were awarded Michelin stars, which is up 2 from last year and an all-time high for the Bay Area. 63% of the restaurants are locating in SF, 18% in Silicon Valley (split evenly between the South Bay and the Peninsula), 16% in Wine Country, 2% in the East Bay, and 2% in Marin. This is the first time ever where Silicon Valley has more Michelin Star restaurants than Wine Country. There are 5 new restaurants on the list for 2019 and 3 that did not make the cut or were closed down. The only new starred restaurant on the list from Silicon Valley is Protege in Palo Alto.

Source: Michelin Guide

Monday, April 15, 2019

"A Spoonful of Sherman" U.S. Premiere @ 3Below Theaters & Lounge

A great song is always "singable, sellable, and most of all, sincere."

This is the core belief of The Sherman Brothers where we come to love many of their songs including those from Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Winnie The Pooh, Charlotte's Web, and the infamous, "It's a Small World After All." Nevertheless, "A Spoonful of Sherman" is much more than The Sherman Brothers  - it's about their family.


The San Jose Blog was given an opportunity to talk with Robert J. Sherman, the son of Robert B. Sherman and the nephew of Richard M. ShermanAfter his father passed away in 2012, Robert launched a posthumously biography of his father but thought a book signing wasn't really appropriate. Given this, Robert decided to do a small cabaret show in London with just four cast members and with him as a narrator. With low expectations, Robert did not realize that his show would garner rave reviews including 4 stars from The London Times. Robert worked with a producing partner and reworked the show to what we have today as "A Spoonful of Sherman."




3Below hangs these colorful umbrellas in their lobby to welcome "A Spoonful of Sherman"
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.

"A Spoonful of Sherman" is a loving tribute to Robert's family starting from the roots of his grandfather, Al Sherman, to The Sherman Brothers, to his own life as a songwriter and composer today. In addition to 55 songs, the show is narrated by the singers themselves where we follow the family during the Great Depression, the fight in World War II, the successful work under Walt Disney, and their continued legacy to today. The show had its world premiere in the United Kingdom with a tour in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In the future, they are hoping to do a production in South Africa and Singapore.

Nevertheless, it was an honor for Robert when Guggenheim Entertainment reached out to have the United States Premiere at 3Below Theaters and Lounge! Like The Sherman Brothers, it was no coincidence that the brothers and producers of 3Below (Scott Guggenheim and Stephen Guggenheim) really wanted "A Spoonful of Sherman" to be at their theater in San Jose. As Robert puts it, the brothers were persistent!



A close up set of "A Spoonful of Sherman" from Row E
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.


The set of "A Spoonful of Sherman" from Theater 3 Entrance
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.

Well, the persistence paid off when I had the opportunity to see the show on Sunday, April 14, 2019 at their matinee. The last time I got to see a stage production was "Sondheim on Sondheim" and you can read my article on The San Jose Blog here. The production was significantly different from "Sondheim on Sondheim" where "A Spoonful of Sherman" was focused on a gifted, talented, and close-knitted family.

Although I would consider myself a Disney fan, I was more keen to hearing about the Sherman family and listening to other unknown musical pieces. Fans of Mary Poppins would know its songs including the infamous "A Spoonful of Sugar", "Jolly Holliday", "Feed the Birds", "Step in Time", "Chim Chim Cher-ee", and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". With the amazing lighting and set design, the singers were able to narrate the story while bringing all its songs to its fruition. 



Robert J. Sherman talks to the cast and audience after the show of "A Spoonful of Sherman"
Left to Right: Susan Gundunas, F. James Raasch, Barry Koron, Robert J. Sherman, Theresa Swain, Stephen Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.


For me, there were some songs that stood out. Although he is the main pianist throughout the show, Barry Koron sung "Crunchy Crackers" humorously as a bird from the musical "Love Birds." In honor of one of Al Sherman's work, Theresa Swain sang "Now's the Time to Fall in Love" taking a positive spin during the Great Depression. If you love Winnie the Pooh, you would enjoy the singing and acting of "The Wonderful Thing about Tiggers" done by Shannon Guggenheim. F. James Raasch was able to make us laugh by monkeying around in "I Wanna Be Like You" from "The Jungle Book." Giving life to "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," Stephen Guggenheim lend his opera voice to the song "Hushabye Mountain" with Susan Gundunas expressing her pining love in in "Lovely Lonely Man."


Although some might consider the song "It's a Small World After All" an annoying song, learning about its history, especially at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, brings us the reality of why The Sherman Brothers wrote it. And if you get to see the show, try to hear that one extra verse added and only been shared on "A Spoonful of Sherman."


Robert J. Sherman with the cast of "A Spoonful of Sherman"
Left to Right: Stephen Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim, Susan Gundunas, Barry Koron, Robert J. Sherman, Theresa Swain, F. James Raasch 
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.


Robert J. Sherman with the cast of "A Spoonful of Sherman"
Left to Right: Stephen Guggenheim, Shannon Guggenheim, Susan Gundunas, Barry Koron, Robert J. Sherman, Theresa Swain, F. James Raasch
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.

Although I only covered the tip of the iceberg of "A Spoonful of Sherman," only you can experience the entire production in your own ears, eyes, and heart. Catch a performance today until May 5, 2019 on Thursdays to Sundays by purchasing tickets online at the 3Below Theaters and Lounge website at www.3belowtheaters.com or at their box office at 288 South 2nd Street San Jose, CA, (408) 404-7711. Discount tickets are available for seniors, students, military, and youth. Please note that although it's a family-friendly production, children under the age of 10 may find some parts boring and some parts exciting like "Let's Go Fly a Kite."



Written by John Huân Vu.