Saturday, September 30, 2023

Mid-Autumn Festival today at San Jose's Berryessa Branch Library

The mid-autumn festival is a wonderful opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diversity of Asian cultures in San Jose. Decorate paper lanterns, munch on delicious treats, and enjoy performances by lion dancers and storytellers.

The festival celebration takes place today, September 30ths, at the Berryessa Branch Library from 10am-1pm. The library is located at 3355 Noble Avenue in San Jose.

Friday, September 29, 2023

Rock 'n' Roll Marathon this Weekend

If you’re looking for a fun and fast way to experience the spirit of San Jose, look no further than the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon. This annual event, which will take place on September 30 and October 1, 2023, is part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series that features live music, cheer squads, and a festive atmosphere along the course.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon offers four distances to choose from: half marathon, 10K, 5K, and KiDS ROCK. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner, you’ll find a challenge that suits your level and goal. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the scenic views of downtown San Jose, the Rose Garden, and the Alameda as you run.

The race weekend kicks off with a two-day Health & Fitness Expo at the San Jose Convention Center, where you can pick up your race packet, shop for running gear, and get inspired by guest speakers and experts. On Saturday, you can join the 5K or the KiDS ROCK races, which are perfect for families and friends who want to have some fun together. On Sunday, you can test your endurance and speed in the half marathon or the 10K races, which are known for being flat and fast.

But the fun doesn’t stop at the finish line. You’ll also get to celebrate your achievement with a medal, a T-shirt, a free beverage, and admission to the Finish Line Festival and Post-Race Concert. There, you can rock out to live bands, enjoy food and drinks from local vendors, and mingle with other runners and spectators.

If you’re feeling generous, you can also run for a cause by joining the St. Jude Heroes program. By fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you’ll get free race entry and other perks, such as an exclusive medal, a race singlet, and access to the race weekend hospitality experience. You’ll also help St. Jude lead the way in treating and defeating childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Register now for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose marathon and get ready to rock your run. You’ll not only have a blast, but also make some lasting memories in Speed City (new nickname for San Jose?). For more information and registration details, visit the official website of the event.

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Urban Confluence meeting to discuss placing Breeze of Innovation in Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Urban Confluence is working on building a new landmark for the city of San Jose that plays homage to the San Jose Electric Light Tower, an innovative structure that may have provided some inspiration for the Eiffel Tower. They are looking for your feedback on the new project and have an event coming up tomorrow, Sep 29th, from 5:30pm to 6:30pm at the San Jose Chamber of Commerce (101 West Santa Clara Street).

The agenda will cover a history of the project, the Plaza de Cesar Chavez master plan, and plenty of time for public comments and questions.

Below is an early concept render, but no finalized design currently exists. The project will be developed in collaboration with park neighbors, event producers, visitors, and all interested citizens of San Jose.

Some of the ideas being thrown around for the project in its new location are:
  • Improved infrastructure such as a stage, lighting, and sound for park events such as concerts and Christmas in the Park
  • A possible expansion of the park footprint based on recommendations from the San Jose Department of Transportation
  • Elements that honor Cesar Chavez
To participate, please either send a text to (408) 813-5984 or email 

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Downtown Ice is returning to San Jose this holiday season

After a one-year hiatus, outdoor ice skating between two concentric circles of LED-lit palm trees is back this year. Last year there was a switch to roller skating, but it's just not the same feeling as ice skating at Christmas in the Park.

Downtown Ice will run for it's 26th season from November 17th to mid-January. It's part of a holiday experience that brings over a half million people to Downtown San Jose during Christmas time. All of the details are below.

SAN JOSE – For the 26th time, outdoor Ice skating will return to downtown San Jose’s annual holiday celebration.

Special Ice, which has the largest portfolio of seasonal ice rinks in the western U.S., has agreed to produce and operate the downtown San Jose skating rink in the Circle of Palms plaza this season. The rink will be open Nov. 17 through mid-January.

“Downtown Ice is an iconic event that leaves a lasting impression,” said Emery Lykins, president of Special Ice, based in Livermore.  “We’re excited to be a part of the rink’s history, to contribute to this amazing city and hopefully usher in a revitalized future for the rink.”

Since starting business in 2011, Special Ice has been involved in California rinks including Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Sacramento, Santa Monica, Great America in Santa Clara and Sea World in San Diego. Special Ice locations across the country have included Fenway Park in Boston and Dollywood near Knoxville, Tenn.

“I am thrilled to have our iconic ice rink back alongside all the many fun holiday-related activities in downtown San Jose that enrich families and people of all ages,” said Alex Stettinski, San Jose Downtown Association CEO. “More and more, families are looking for things they can experience together.  We’re in good hands having the largest producer of seasonal ice rinks in the state on board with us.”

Rink organizer San Jose Downtown Association pivoted to keep the skating tradition alive downtown during the holidays in 2022 when the previous ice rink producer did not renew and Aloha Skate owner Liz Ruiz stepped up to host a circular roller-skating rink under the palms for the holidays.

“People enjoyed roller skating, but we heard loud and clear that families and friends from all parts of Northern and Central California missed their tradition of coming to skate at our ice rink,” said Tricia Lee McNabb, who has managed rink operations since 1997.

“It’s increasingly important that Downtown Ice keeps coming back, especially in the wake of Raging Waters’ recent closing,” McNabb said, noting Great America in Santa Clara is also slated to shut down its operations in less than 10 years.

Added Lykins:  “Events like Downtown Ice carry the torch by providing true family experiences at the time of year when people are starved for them. Yes, it’s a business and it can be tough, but that all goes away when you're at the rink hearing the music and the kids laughing.  Plus, you find the big burly dad on skates who isn’t afraid of anything, and he falls in front of the family and kids and gets up smiling. Those are great experiences to see and be a part of – and makes the whole event worthwhile.”

Up to a half million people come to downtown San Jose to enjoy Downtown Ice, Christmas in the Park holiday displays, Winter Wonderland amusement rides, plus performing arts, concerts, Sharks hockey, museums and galleries, restaurants and shopping from Halloween through mid-January. Visit for events and downtown details, and for parking information.

Downtown Ice is located at 120 S. Market Street, nestled between the San Jose Museum of Art and the Signia by Hilton hotel in the Circle of Palms plaza. Construction of the rink begins Oct. 2.  Details including tickets, dates, hours and sessions will become available at

Downtown Ice is supported by the City of San Jose. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

New San Jose winery open for tastings 🍷

Yes, you read that correctly. A winery--not a wine bar or wine store--is open in San Jose. Now while we were never Napa, our region has been know to produce some quality grapes. J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines is actually based in San Jose but most if not all of the wine production is now done elsewhere. Like the orchards and farmland, real estate values make it highly impractical to have wineries in San Jose these days. However, there are still some rebels out there that are going to try.

In Evergreen if you keep following Quimby Road you will eventually fine a vineyard on the hillside called Bella Montagna. The owner, Victor Klee, sold his Vino Vino wine bars to focus on the new winery (I still miss the original San Pedro Square Market Vino Vino).

The land Bella Montagna sits on was once owned by the Mirassou family which were pioneers in the US winemaking industry. The 12-acre property was also once owned by the Bay Area Girl Scouts, who put it up for sale in 2001 after plans to turn it into a retreat didn't materialize. Now it's an actual vineyard and winery, in San Jose, in the year 2023.

Bella Montagna winery is currently making Sauvignon Blanc, Merlots, and an award winning Cabernet Sauvignon which you can buy on their website over here. They also have a wine club and you can schedule weekend tastings by emailing

I should also mention that the vineyard looks gorgeous. Up on a hill it has amazing view of Silicon Valley. Hopefully they will do tastings and events more regularly. For now you have to make a reservation via email. 

Source: The Merc

Monday, September 25, 2023

Little Italy San Jose Street Festival this weekend

The 6th Annual Little Italy San Jose Festival kicks off this Saturday, September 30th from 6-10pm and continues on Sunday, October 1st from 11am-7pm. It'll feature authentic Italian cuisine, entertainment, Cal-Italia wine tasting, Italian supercars, arts & crafts, and will of course highlight both the existing and new Little Italy San Jose businesses. There is also a silent auction to benefit the Italian Museum & Cultural Center which is located right inside Little Italy.

The list of sponsors includes some big names like Google and The Sobrato Organization, which is great since over 15,000 people could participate this year. It's always a fun event and a great way to explore one of San Jose's newest districts. I would recommend parking at San Pedro Square and walking over or using Uber/Lyft so you can really enjoy those Cal-Italian wines.

For more information head over here!

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Updated design for 1881 West San Carlos in Midtown San Jose

1881 West San Carlos is a seven-story mixed-use project that replaces four 1-2 story buildings on a 1.23-acre lot. It's a prominent location facing San Carlos which is the core street that connects Downtown San Jose to Santana Row/Valley Fair.

The building will have 61 condominiums, 137 assisted-living senior apartments, and 109 memory-care senior apartments. Each floor has a nurse's station and activity room. For the condominiums, there will be a studio, 16 one-bedrooms, and 44 two-bedroom units. To support the new units, there is parking for 113 cars and 75 bicycles.

The ground floor has 6,000 SQFT of retail spread across four units. It is less than what will be torn down to build the project, but at least they are keeping retail as a component of the project. 

I really like the tapered design allowing for balconies in the rear of the building away from San Carlos Street. While it cuts into the possible square footage for the project, it looks a lot nicer and adds a practical amenity for residents. Midtown is such a key corridor that I wish they pushed the height limits a bit more, or at least used the roof of the building as amenity space. 

This is one of the few areas of San Jose that can support urban development without encroaching on suburban single-family areas. It also has easy access to transit with a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station a 4 minute walk away and a normal bus station a block away. Either of those bus stops go to Santa Row/Valley Fair or Downtown San Jose (connecting with Light Rail at the Convention Center). 

This is a great improvement for the area and I'm hoping future projects will continue to raise the bar and density for the Midtown area.

Source: SF YIMBY

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Accidental Posts 🤦‍♂️

I'm sorry about the duplicate posts. I was trying to connect X (Twitter) with Blogger and unintentionally created an endless loop!

I fixed it, so that: 
  • Any post on the blog will also get a headline and image sent to X and Facebook (this was already mostly working before)
  • Any post to Instagram will also send the photo to X, Facebook, and the Blog. These will be rare and only when I'm out-and-about which is tough with a 4 month old. (This is new)
  • Any post or commentary on X, will unfortunately be stuck just there. This is a shame since there is a lot of great interaction on X right around transportation and development topics. Once and a while people involved in those projects jump in.
Thanks for your patience as these issues get addressed!

sjDANCEco presents ABLAZE with San José Chamber Orchestra

Opening program for the 21st Season

October 6 and 7 In the California Theatre

The opening program of sjDANCEco’s 21st Season will celebrate new works including four World Premieres by company choreographers Maria Basile and Nhan Ho and guest choreographers, Kara Davis, Rogelio Lopez and Cathleen McCarthy. As the company looks forward to its next twenty years, this also marks the first program overseen by Maria Basile in her new role as sole Artistic Director, following the retirement of Gary Masters.

The season also marks the 12th year of collaboration with Barbara Day Turner and the San José Chamber Orchestra.


Who: sjDANCEco presents


When: Friday, October 6 and Saturday, October 7 at 8:00 pm.

Where: The California Theatre, 345 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113,


Tickets: www.sjDANCEco. 408.520.9854


Pricing: $25 to $100

$25 Student - $45 Senior and $50 General Admission.   

$80 - $100. VIP Package

VIP packages include VIP seating and a Saturday evening reception with the Dancers and Choreographers, Guest Artists, Artistic Directors, Musical Director, and Board of Trustees.


The Passing of the Reins:

After twenty years as the Founder and Artistic Director of sjDANCEco, Gary Masters has formally announced his retirement and has passed the reins to his long-time Co-Artistic DirectorMaria BasileThe two have worked together since the company’s inception when they were both part of Limón West Dance Project. Masters had this to say about her leadership, “As I step down from the artistic and administrative responsibilities of sjDANCEco, I feel confident in the future development and growth of the company under Maria’s artistic excellence and forward thinking. She has been, since the beginning, the company’s symbol of excellence through her extraordinary performances and stellar choreography. She believes in the power of dance to enhance, inspire, and change our world. I look forward to the next 20 years and beyond with her passionate leadership, keen eye, and devotion to Dance, the company and the community.” 


THE PROGRAM: (Still a work in progress)

sjDANCEco “Ablaze” is burning brightly into our next 20 years!


Title: TBA  / To Be Announced  (World Premier)

Choreographer: Maria Basile
Music: Concerto for Marimba and String Orchestra mvt. III Rythmique, Energique
Music by: Emmanuel Séjourné
Dancers: Full company

This piece is about breaking free from things that keep us bound. Assisted lovingly by others to fully feel our expanded selves.

 (Time: 8 minutes)


Title: TBA (World Premier)
Choreographer: Nhan Ho
Music: original score
Music by: Zachary White
Dancers: Full Company

This piece ingeniously melds space and motion, creating a mesmerizing exploration of the interplay between physicality and environment that leaves viewers captivated and spellbound.

(Time: 7 minutes)


Title: El recuento de nuestra ultima conversacion   (World Premier)
Choreographer: Rogelio Lopez
Music: Newton’s Cradle
Music by: Einaudi
Dancers: Full Company

(Time: 9 minutes)


Title: TBA (World Premier)
Choreographer: Kara Davis
Music: original score
Music by: Alex Kelly
Dancers:  Full company

(Time: Not yet finished)


Title: Remembrances (Company Premier)
Choreographer: Cathleen McCarthy
Music: Elegies
Music by: Rachmaninov
Dancers: Kevin Gaytan, Maria Basile

(Time: 5 minutes)


Title: Sacred Places (Company Premier)
Choreographer: Fred Mathews
Music:  No Distance Falls
Music by: Ferdinand Maisel
Dancers: Luis Isidoria, Raven Bautista, or Kelly Barry, Danielle Noda

(Time: 5 minutes)


sjDANCEco. The Full Company: Kevin Gaytan, Kelly Barry, Wade Reynolds, Luis Isidordia, Raven Bautista, Madeline Takemori, Danielle Noda, Alexandra Sheppard.




sjDANCEco is a year-round contemporary dance company based in San Jose, California that produces world premieres by its core and guest choreographers, and presents the very best of Contemporary and Classic Modern Dance and Masterpieces of the American Modern Dance Repertory. The company has also participated in International Dance Festivals in New York and Taipei and produces a FREE Spring Festival each year celebrating National Dance Week. sjDANCEco ignites the spirit of dance.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sidewalk Shops every Sunday through October 29th at San Pedro Square from 1pm to 5pm

A retail experience highlighting local entrepreneurs is taking place every Sunday in front of Moment SJ (60 N. San Pedro Street). Twelve different makers and artists will set up pop-up shops each week along the four local small business storefronts that already exist there--Woofboard, Tiny Keyboard Shop, Boho Moon Art, and Plant Slut.

You can park free for 90 minutes with no validation needed in the San Pedro Garage on-site. Enter the garage at 45 N. Market Street.

It's all outdoors, admission is free, and it's dog friendly. 

It's also a great opportunity to check out your favorite eateries or some of the newer restaurants on San Pedro such as Serious Dumpling, Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ, Dr. Funk, and Slice of Homage Pizza.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

CODAsummit: Art, Technology and Place - Oct 4-6

CODAsummit San Jose is a 2.5 day conference that that explores the intersection of Art, Technology, and Place. For years I have believed that San Jose's best opportunity to differentiate its art scene is to lean into its technological and innovative heritage. Combining art with interactive, digital, and dynamic elements is how we can create a unique brand for ourselves in the global art scene and make San Jose much more lively.

This is why I was incredibly excited when I found out about the CODAsummit. It's a series of presentations, showcases, and discussions to shine a spotlight on how art can transform our urban landscapes. 

I'll throw out some examples of projects in San Jose that have done just that. Of course there is Sonic Runway which attracts hundreds of people at night to experience a light show in a tunnel synced to music right in front of City Hall. The 88 had a fully interactive light system that anyone could control from their cell phone. If you wanted the first four floors of the high-rise to be red, all you had to do is dial the number and enter the right code. More recently, there have been new animated murals that really take things to the next level.

So, I can't wait to see what types of projects around the world will be highlighted at the conference. The target audience is artists that want to explore new mediums, city planners that want to revitalize public spaces, or people that are passionate about the transformative power of art. I fall into the last bucket and will be there to cover the full event for the blog. I'll also be posting real time updates on X / Twitter.

If you are interested in attending as well, you can register for the conference over here.

Sonic Runway in front of San Jose City Hall

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Culture Night Market at Hillview Park in East San Jose, Sep 23

Another Culture Night Market is coming to San Jose, except this time on the East Side. This is an opportunity for the community to come together and celebrate San Jose culture through food, art, and music. 

A key goal of the event is to empower small businesses, artists, and local entrepreneurs in the area--especially those that are still recovering from the impact COVID had on our economy.

The event takes place Saturday, September 23rd from 4-10pm at Hillview Park (2255 Ocala Ave, San Jose).

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Affordable housing coming to Buena Vista neighborhood in Midtown San Jose

259 Meridian Avenue is the current site of a few 1-story commercial buildings built in 1958 that are tucked away behind W. San Carlos. This is the Buena Vista neighborhood or Midtown between Downtown San Jose, and Santana Row/Valley Fair (Uptown).

Developer Milestone Housing Group is proposing to build a 154-unit six-story project on this site. This developer specializes in affordable homes and teams with nonprofit organizations. The housing they build is typical for individuals and families that have a wide variety of specific needs, including veterans with disabilities, senior housing, and permanent housing for the unhoused.

This was just filed with the San Jose Planning Department, and there is no official ETA.

Source: The Merc

Monday, September 18, 2023

La Ca Phe now open on 740 Story Road in San Jose near Vietnam Town

La Ca Phe is a Vietnamese Coffee shop specializing in a variety of specialties that are not easy to find in the Bay Area. Their Eggspresso Hanoi is a special egg-based coffee drink that I last tried in Vietnam and it blew my mind. They also have Ube Coffee and a wide variety of other Vietnamese and Southeast Asian-style drinks.

They have been working on this coffee shop for three years and opened to huge demand. La Ca Phe is at 740 Story Road. Instead of doing your typical Starbucks routine, come try out some unique and truly delicious coffee someplace new!

Source: Insta

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Menu for Maui at the Signia San Jose

Executive Sous Chef Joe Derla has a strong personal connection to the islands and crafted a unique menu offering to benefit the Kokua Hospitality and Restaurant Fund. It's called Menu for Maui and it's available at the Fountain Restaurant every Sunday until October 1st. Proceeds will assist fellow restaurant, bar, and hospitality workers displaced be the wildfires in West Maui.

The menu includes items such as ube custard French toast with candied macadamia nuts, braised short rib loco moco with kimchee fried rice, fish with poi, and a pineapple mimosa with Hawaiian salt.

It's a great menu for a great cause. The Signia is located right in front of Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the middle of Downtown San Jose.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Luna Park Chalk Art Festival - Sat, Sep 16 from 10am-5pm at San Jose's Backesto Park

The Luna Park Chalk Art Festival is a colorful family-friendly event celebrating creativity. This annual event, which will take place on September 16th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Backesto Park, showcases the amazing talents of local artists who create stunning chalk murals on the sidewalks and streets.

The festival is more than just a visual feast. It also features live music, food trucks, vendors, and activities for kids of all ages. You can even join in the fun and create your own chalk masterpiece in the designated community areas. The best part is that the festival is free to attend and supports a great cause: the Luna Park Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes art education and cultural awareness in San Jose.

Whether you're an art lover, a music fan, or just looking for a good time, you'll find something to enjoy at the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival 2023. Don't miss this opportunity to see how San Jose's creative community transforms Backesto Park into a colorful wonderland of chalk art. You'll be amazed by what they can do with some chalk and imagination!

Friday, September 15, 2023

Original Gravity in Downtown San Jose will transform into two new unique lounges

Original Gravity was the first large-scale craft beer pub and taproom in San Jose. You could argue Good Karma was across the street was technically the first, but they typically only had a handful of unique craft beers while Original Gravity had dozens rotating constantly. 

After Original Gravity, the proprietors went on to open Paper Plane next door focusing on craft cocktails and elevated gastropub food. Miniboss was their 3rd project, literally taking it to the next level with arcades, pinball machines, and a gaming twist to their craft cocktails on Santa Clara Street. In 2024, they'll open Eos & Nyx--a stunning two-story restaurant and bar that will be a key anchor for the Paseo building (formerly Camera 12) along with Urban Putt and an Unofficial Logging.

So after all this success, they shut down Original Gravity earlier this year. Why?

The proprietors believe that craft beer has become more common and local breweries like Strike, Camino, and Clandestine now all have their own taprooms. So they are pivoting and using the space for a new dual-concept space.

The front will be a listening lounge called Still OG. It'll feature a DJ area, shelved filled with vinyl, and an acoustic ceiling. Here they will primarily serve pre-made draft cocktails.

In the back will be Alter Ego, a more modern lounge that will feature handmade craft cocktails with a lot of focus on presentation. Drinks will have unique glassware and unusual garnishes and ingredients. Seating will be mostly by reservation with limited space reserved for walkups. To me it sounds like a modern day speakeasy.

Both Still OG and Alter Ego are scheduled to open in November. Everything this team has done so far has been excellent, so I can't wait to try out their latest concepts.

P.S. If you want great craft beer in Downtown San Jose, you still have Market Beer Co. inside of the San Pedro Square market with a killer selection of both taps and bottles.

Source: The Merc

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Downtown San Jose office tower converting to housing

Urban Catalyst is building two high rises near city hall, one is a 26-story high-rise with 389 residences and the other was supposed to be a 20-story office building called Icon with 525,000 SQFT of office space. Now given market conditions, it looks like the office building is going to pivot into more housing.

The converted project would have 650 multifamily units after getting city approval. There is a significant need for housing and a lot of vacant office space right now in Downtown San Jose, so this sounds like a wise shift.

Source: The Merc

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

The Signia San Jose (former Fairmont) added to ResortPass ☀️🏊🏻🍸🍹

ResortPass is a site for "Daycations" meaning if you live locally instead of staying at a hotel you can pay to come and use the hotel's amenities. This includes things like the pool, poolside bar, gym, and spa. You're essentially a guest, but without the room.

The Signia by Hilton (formerly the Fairmont) is the latest hotel to be added to the program. This is a huge addition as it has the best swimming pool of all the Downtown San Jose hotels and maybe all of the South Bay hotels period. If you have never stayed here, you probably didn't even know this pool even exists. It's hidden on the podium on the 4th floor of the hotel, and looks down at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in the middle of Downtown San Jose. From the park if you look at the hotel and see the palm trees, that's where the pool is.

A day pass costs $50 for adults and $15 for children and includes the pool, steam room, sauna, lounge chairs, towel service, and the fitness center. You can also book a cabana for $130 that is good for 2 adults and 2 children and comes with a complimentary snack pack (two non-alcoholic beverages, popcorn, kettle chips, a protein bar, and candy).

It's a rare opportunity to stay and San Jose's fanciest hotel without paying for a room. You can book your daycation at The Signia over here or check out other San Jose options here. 

Hayes Mansion, the DoubleTree by Hilton, Hyatt House San Jose Airport, Hyatt Place San Jose Airport, and the San Jose Marriott Downtown are also available on the site.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Downtown San Jose expected to escape "doom loop"

An article at has been circulating over the past week with an optimistic outlook on Downtown San Jose's future. The title says it all: "Downtown San Jose is poised to escape ‘doom loop’ scenario: experts."

These experts are a panel of industry leaders, executives, and developers. The primary struggles are access to capital markets which are mostly frozen or too expensive due to interest rates. They predicted it would take until 2025 for major recovery and apartment and office projects to get off the ground.

Several people from the panel urged business leaders to make Downtown San Jose a vibrant entertainment district in 2024, which would help set the stage for major development in 2025. 

In order to make that happen, San Jose has to confront homelessness, blight, and crime. These issues also exist in San Francisco, but to a much larger extent. One panelist said:

"There is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for San Jose to eat San Francisco's lunch. San Jose is a more friendly place for conventions, it is a better place to hear music, it is a better place to have dinner."

In addition to bring more of these recreational opportunities down south, there is still significant demand for office space for AI startups. Normally these small companies would look first in SF, but the panelists said they are seeing more and more inquiries for space in the South Bay.

Mayor Matt Mahan and other panelists rattled off a list of reasons why Downtown San Jose is destined to become Silicon Valley's urban core. These included access to transit, entertainment, SJSU, great weather, a large population base, and existing nearby companies like Google, Adobe, and Apple as anchors.

One last quote from panelist Gary Dillabough worth mentioning is:

"We have to be bold. We need to start thinking differently in San Jose. We need a different attitude. We can’t overthink things. We need to take chances.”

In other words we have to do the same things as a city that our local tech companies have to do in order to survive and thrive. 

Monday, September 11, 2023

New Five Wounds Trail would link San Jose's cycling and walking network to the 28th Street/Little Portugal BART station by 2031

The Mercury News has a story about a trail that has been in the works for over 20 years. 

The Five Wounds Trail--named after the Five Wounds Portuguese National Church it would run by--would be a paved 2.17 mile route starting at the intersection of Story and Senter Roads. This is where the Coyote Creek and Lower Silver Creek trails come together. It is also near Kelly Park, Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and History San Jose.

From there it would follow an abandoned railroad track all the way to Little Portugal, which is anchored by Five Wounds Church and is the site of the proposed 28th Street BART station, sometimes also referred to as the Alum Rock BART station.

What has become an unofficial walkway for some would be cleaned up, paved, and turned into a nice trail for walkers, runners, and cyclists with a few potentials areas for basketball courts and exercise equipment. It is all part of a master plan to connect hundreds of miles of trails together in Santa Clara County and would be a tremendous amenity for residents, especially those that are planning to utilize the new BART station.

Source: The Merc


Sunday, September 10, 2023

San Jose Stage Co.'s West Coast Premiere of BALD SISTERS

SAN JOSE STAGE COMPANY Announces Cast & Creative Team for
West Coast Premiere of
By Vichet Chum

Directed by Jeffrey Lo
September 13 - October 8, 2023

SAN JOSE, CA (August 29, 2023) – San Jose Stage Company (Randall King, Artistic Director and Cathleen King, Executive Director) is pleased to announce the full cast and creative team for The Stage’s upcoming West Coast Premiere of the powerful family saga BALD SISTERS by Vichet Chum. Directed by Jeffrey Lo, BALD SISTERS will run from September 13 – October 8, 2023 at San Jose Stage Company (490 South 1st Street, San Jose, CA, 95113). Tickets range from $34 - $74 and can be purchased through the Box Office at (408) 283-7142 or online at For more information, visit

Vichet Chum’s captivating new play BALD SISTERS revolves around two sisters who have been at odds since their birth. Now, tasked with the responsibility of organizing their strong-willed, quick-witted mother's affairs, they must also come to terms with their family's Cambodian heritage, intricately woven into the complexities of their American present. Through a mix of irreverent humor and heartfelt moments, the story delves into the bonds formed by history, spirituality, and the power of laughter.
“Funny, Powerful, Stunningly Good [by] a rising playwright gaining national renown.” - Bill Esler,
“The Stage is excited to kick-off its 2023/24 Season with the West Coast Premiere of Vichet Chum’s BALD SISTERS. The story originated from its development at the prestigious Steppenwolf Theatre, where it received its world premiere during an extended run in early 2023.  We are honored to present the West Coast Premiere,” remarks Randall King, Artistic Director. “Vichet Chum’s exceptional new work deeply resonates with our search for the power of connection, the freedom that comes from embracing our individual personal stories, and a wonderful celebration our shared human journey.”
“BALD SISTERS is equal parts hilarious, heartbreaking, and uplifting,” says Jeffrey Lo, Director. “This celebration of the Cambodian-American women in playwright Vichet Chum’s life is an astounding work that taps into the beauty and struggle of creating human connection while wrestling with the mortality of ourselves and our loved ones."
The cast of BALD SISTERS will feature Nicole Tung* as “Him”, Rinabeth Apostol* as “Sophea”, Keiko Carreiro* as “Ma”, Will Springhorn Jr.* as “Nate” and Zaya Kolia* as “Seth”.
In addition to Jeffrey Lo+, the creative team includes Christopher Fitzer (Scenic Design), Becky Bodurtha^ (Costume Design), Maurice Vercoutere (Lighting Design), Steve Schoebeck (Sound), Spenser Matubang (Video Design), Patrick Chew (Dialect, Language and Cultural Consultant) and Alexa Burn (Stage Manager).
*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.
+Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the union professional stage directors and choreographers .
^Member of United Scenic Artists, the union of professional designers.
Through powerful, provocative and profound theatre, San Jose Stage Company (The Stage) seeks to expand community, forge creative partnerships and challenge individuals in order to illuminate the human condition.
San Jose Stage Company is recognized as the South Bay’s leading professional theatre company, having earned a reputation for artistic excellence through imaginative and edgy theatrical experiences that spark ideas and dialogue with the audience. The Stage is dedicated to the presentation and development of new works, with a concentration on American literature scripted by modern playwrights that speak to the conditions, hopes and fears of humanity. With the farthest seat in the house no more than 15 feet from the three-quarter thrust stage, the connection between actor and audience is profoundly visceral.
The Stage is a multi-award-winning theatre company, including the 2018 Paine Knickerbocker Award for continued contributions to Bay Area theatre from the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle. The Stage has produced over 200 productions, including 20 world premieres and 50 new works and is ranked as the 2nd largest professional theatre and 8th largest performance arts organization in Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
Attracting over 30,000 patrons to downtown and employing more than 150 local artists annually, San Jose Stage Company continues to be a vital force in the region’s economic and creative landscape.
Single tickets to San Jose Stage Company’s 2023-2024 Season may be purchased online at

To continue our safe return to in-person performances at The Stage, we have updated our Covid-19 Safety Policies in accordance with guidelines provided by the State of California and Santa Clara County:
  • Vaccination checks will no longer be required of patrons before entering the theatre.
  • Masking is strongly encouraged but no longer required for all patrons and staff while inside the theatre and lobby area.
  • San Jose Stage Company remains a fully vaccinated company, i.e., artists, staff, and crew are vaccinated.
  • Concessions will be permitted in the theatre and lobby area.
  • We have upgraded our air filters and increased air flow in the theatre.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the theatre and lobby area.
  • Performers will not be masked.
  • All tickets will be e-tickets for touchless check-in.
  • Digital playbills will be available by QR code and website link. Physical playbills can be provided upon request.
  • Patrons will not be allowed to wait for performers in the lobby after the show, but are welcome to wait in the courtyard.
  • The theatre, backstage, and lobby areas will be sanitized after each performance.
The Stage is constantly monitoring state and county guidelines and these policies may change and evolve over time. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining safety at The Stage. These policies and procedures are in place to keep our doors open for live performances. If you have any questions or concerns regarding our policies, please contact us via email at

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Picnic by the lake with Senator Dave Cortese - Sep 30th at Hellyer County Park in South San Jose

Sen. Dave Cortese is hosting an inaugural "Picnic by the Lake" multicultural festival and resource fair in South San Jose. Everyone is welcome. Firefighters will be grilling up beef and veggie burgers for visitors, and unlike many things in life they will be completely free. There will also be a pumpkin patch filled with free pumpkins (while supplies last) and raffle prizes.

For the kids, there will be inflatables, face painting, and rock climbing. Entertainment includes performances from Folklorico Nacional Mexicano, Viet Steps dancers, and others.

Attendees can also get free flu shots and COVID vaccines. Up to 100 resource booths will also be there as well to promote other city resources.

The event will be Saturday, September 30th from 10am to 3pm at the scenic Hellyer County Park.

Source: San Jose Spotlight