Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Santana Row Farmer's Market

One of the few food-related events we can still enjoy in Silicon Valley are farmer's markets. Santana Row's Farmer's Market is already running and has been has been slightly modified to ensure social distancing is in place. Face masks are required and there are limitations around samplings and how many people can visit each stall at a time. The featured items are organic produce, fruit, pasta, pastries, and jams.

If you are interested in a bit of normalcy, the market runs today--and every other Wednesday until September--from 4pm to 8pm. For additional information, click here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

BART is finally coming to San Jose!

June 13th. That's the date when BART will officially open in both San Jose (Berryessa) and Milpitas! It took 14 years since we first voted for the extension, but it is finally happening.

The first train will leave the station at 7:56am from San Jose, stop at Milpitas at 7:59am, and then head to Richmond in the North Bay.

The next phase of the BART extension will be a subway that will add three more stations in the Downtown San Jose area and one in Santa Clara. Currently that is slated for completion in 2028.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, May 25, 2020

May Day for the Arts - Free Virtual Concert

The Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose are focused on building a permanent performance venue at St. James Park that will feature 50+ family-friendly concerts every year. They are already working on their goal of building community through music by hosting events even before the pavilion is ready. This Thursday will be May Day, featuring 4 hours of virtual concerts where you can interact with the performers after each session.

Below is a list of groups that will be performing:
The concert runs from 6-10pm and you can get your free tickets over here.

For more information, the full press release is below.

Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose to Host First Virtual Concert,
May Day for the Arts

Picnic with us in your living room, on the patio, or in your bedroom
as we join together to
 enjoy and support the local San Jose arts community

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 12, 2020 — With all physical venues temporarily shut down and limited local entertainment options available, the Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose (FLPSJ) are coming to the rescue to entertain your family and friends by hosting the organization’s first virtual concert, May Day for the Arts, on May 28 from 6 to 10 p.m.

This four-hour virtual Levitt Pavilion concert will feature a variety of performances by local arts groups to raise community morale and support the San Jose performing arts community, including organizations like Opera San JoséSan Jose Taiko and San Jose Jazz.

“The quality of local artistry in San Jose is truly exceptional, and we just couldn’t wait to showcase that talent, even if we aren’t able to gather together in person just yet. This virtual concert will foster an online community where performers can interact with fans, support other arts groups, and provide a brief break from the monotony of our daily routines,” event organizer Fil Maresca said.

Those in the audience will have the chance to participate in live Q&A sessions with the arts groups, stream pre-recorded performances, and donate directly to the groups themselves through virtual tip jars.
The Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose have had a singular mission since day one: the construction of a performance venue in historic St. James Park that will feature 50 free, family-friendly concerts each year. The addition of the Levitt Pavilion is one aspect of the City of San Jose’s long-term goals to integrate arts and culture within the City’s frequently used spaces through public and private partnerships.

“While we work toward this goal, we can begin our purpose now as a bridge between the community and local arts groups,” FLPSJ President Rick Holden said. “This virtual concert is just one example of how Levitt Pavilion San Jose will serve as a platform for arts groups ranging from local emerging talent to acclaimed performers to share their music with the local Bay Area community.”
A full list and schedule of performances, along with online channels to view the performances will be shared soon at Reserve your free ticket at Eventbrite.
Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagramor sign up for our e-mail list to receive the latest info about May Day for the Arts and Levitt Pavilion San Jose!

Formed in 2016, Friends of Levitt Pavilion San Jose is a non-profit organization comprised of community stakeholders committed to the revitalization of St. James Park as a safe and inclusive destination for people of all ages and background. The new outdoor Pavilion will feature 50+ free concerts throughout the year along with other performances to build community through music.
About Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation
The Mortimer & Mimi Levitt Foundation is a private foundation that exists to strengthen the social fabric of America. Through its support of creative placemaking, the Levitt Foundation empowers communities to transform neglected public spaces into welcoming destinations where the power of free, live music brings people together and invigorates community life. The Foundation’s primary funding areas include permanent Levitt venues and the Levitt AMP Grant Awards, an annual grants competition. The national Levitt network of permanent outdoor music venues and AMP concert sites collectively serves more than half a million people annually through 400+ free, family-friendly concerts. Learn more at

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SoFA Saturdays

The San Jose music scene must carry on until we are back to the point where we can have concerts and music festivals again. Thankfully, the SoFA Street Fair organizers have put together a new series of weekly virtual performances called SoFA Saturdays. Every weekend there will be live concerts, podcasts, and maybe even some martial arts. The site also allows easy access to ordering food and cocktails from SoFA businesses (many of which desperately need our help to stay afloat).

For more details and to see each week's lineup of performers, head over here.


STEP 1 - text your pals and tell them what’s up

STEP 2 - go to FOOD & DRINK and place your orders directly with
restaurants and breweries in SoFA that really need your business right now

STEP 3 - view the SCHED above to plan your evening.
you can even make an account to create a personalized schedule

STEP 4 - get out of the house for a bit, and go pick up your freshly made food,
craft cocktails, and beer all within a few blocks of each other in SoFA

STEP 5 - find your next performance using SCHED or by clicking on the TVs above
to be taken to the current livestream that channel is playing
and enjoy music, watch martial arts, hang backstage with the bands, or just chill.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

We Love San Jose Coloring Book

It's great to see people still being creative despite the lock-down. The Kirsten Reilly Silicon Valley Realty Team put together something pretty amazing--a coloring book highlighting San Jose landmarks!

They gathered ideas from San Jose residents on their favorite places and commissioned an artist to create the book. Inside you'll find City Hall, the California Theater, Five Wounds Church, the Japanese Friendship Gardens, Municipal Rose Garden, the San Pedro Square Market, Winchester Mystery House, and several others.

The coloring book is free and you can download it over here.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The San Pedro Square Market Re-Opens Today!

Bit-by-bit, more of the San Jose economy is opening up. Several vendors at the SoFA Market have continued to stay open for pickup and delivery, such as Habana Cuba, Pizzetta 408, and Umi Hand Roll. Now the San Pedro Square Market is finally opening up again.

Participating eateries include:

  • Anchors
  • Bread Brothers
  • Gameday
  • JORA Ceviche Bar
  • Pizza Bocca Lupo
  • Pasta Fresca
  • Phonomenal
  • Taco Bar
  • Urban Momo
  • Voyager Craft Coffee

Initially these will be open only for pickup and delivery. Given the abundance of outdoor seating at the San Pedro Square Market, I think this will be one of the first places in San Jose where you will be able to have a somewhat "normal" dining experience in the coming months since they will be able to easily conform to California guidelines.

It might be a good idea to shut down all of San Pedro Street between Santa Clara and St. John and use this area for socially distanced outdoor dining for all the San Pedro Street restaurants. It is not unprecedented as we did something similar during Super Bowl 50.

I will definitely be visiting sometime this week!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Today's Coronavirus situation in San Jose is shockingly similar to the Spanish Flu 100 years ago

San Jose Inside has an enlightening article comparing our current situation with that of 1918. The Spanish Flu killed as many as 100 million people, double that of World War I casualties. 430 people died in San Jose alone, which had a population of less than 100,000 back then.

In response to the flu 100 years ago, Santa Clara County officials closed schools, halted public gatherings including church, and asked everyone to wear face masks. Sound familiar? History tends to repeat itself, so hopefully we can break the cycle this time around with better solutions for the next pandemic.

Monday, May 11, 2020

San Jose wants to allow more business outdoors

In order to maintain social distancing while slowly reopening the economy, San Jose officials would like to allow more businesses to utilize sidewalks, parking lots, and streets. This will help businesses that will have to drastically limit the number of patrons inside, especially restaurants.

Currently, over 46,000 restaurant workers have lost their jobs in Silicon Valley. The industry has been devastated and many restaurants will be closing their doors for good. It's expected that restaurants will reopen with no more than 25-50% of their previous interior capacity, so any change we can make to cushion further blows to the industry I'm sure will be greatly appreciated.

City officials are also trying to offset application costs and provide quick-build infrastructure. These include barriers and potted plants.

Hopefully some of the changes will become permanent so that we can have more al fresco dining and retail in the community when all of this is over.

Source: SVBJ, San Jose Inside

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

May 2020 Downtown Dimension Highlights

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

The MAY 2020 Downtown Dimension is now available.

In this edition:
  • As part of the process for Diridon Station Area Plan planning, city transportation staff disclosed a proposal that would close the northbound off-ramp from Highway 87 onto Santa Clara Street, much to the surprise of many key stakeholders.  The purpose of the plan update is to include Google's Downtown West (DoWe) proposed development. 
  • BART and VTA have decided to take one step backward to move forward on how it will dig BART tracks underground through downtown San Jose.  The big tunnel idea has been scrapped in favor of the original idea to place stacked tracks through downtown, which requires a smaller, less-costly dig.
  • Business survived the second month of shelter-in-place by giving themselves a pep talk.
  • SJDA plans to open its Friday Downtown Farmer's Market June 5, 10 am-2 p.m.
  • Groundwerx management answers questions about cleaning and keeping downtown safe during shelter-in-place.
  • Urban Community and Swenson keep buying property downtown.
  • A new scooter company moves in.
  • The popular From the Archives feature summarizes downtown highlights 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years ago.
Other ways to stay connected to Downtown:

The Downtowner Online continues to be sent out on Wednesdays.  This weekly email features downtown businesses including virtual events and ways to support downtown. Subscribe

Monday, May 4, 2020

SJC moves ahead with expansion despite downturn in travel

Before COVID-19, San Jose International was one of the fastest growing airports in the country. To keep up with demand, 8 temporary gates were added to Terminal B, and a major expansion plan was put into motion to create 14 new permanent gates, a 300,000 SQFT hotel with 330 room, and 5,300 new parking spaces.

As traffic was down 97% at the airport compared to last year, I think most people assumed the expansion plans would be on hold. However, the San Jose city council unanimously approved the plans.

Eventually, things will get back to normal. When they do, it is better to build in a downturn then when resources are extremely expensive. It's clear that Silicon Valley isn't going away anytime soon and our abundance of work-from-home-friendly tech jobs means we will likely recover faster than other parts of the world. The airport is a critical resource for us, and I'm glad we're still going ahead with this important long-term investment.

Source: The Merc