Sunday, March 31, 2024

Happy Easter 2024!

Below is an AI-generated image of "Easter in Downtown San Jose" using DALL-E 3. I like the floating eggs, not a bad idea.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Three new Downtown San Jose eateries casually announced

While reading reading an article titled "Tenant experience and convenience driving San Jose's downtown office market" I wasn't expecting to come across a surprise announcement for three new Downtown attractions. Here is the magic paragraph:

"Saign highlighted several of Jay Paul Company’s additions Downtown, including the developer’s plans to have a destination restaurant at 200 Park, a marketplace at the street-level portion of CityView Plaza at 185 Park and a café and lounge at 50 W. San Fernando Street (home of The Business Journal)."

200 Park is the 1 million SQFT beast behind The Tech Interactive museum (pictured below). A "destination restaurant" you say? That sounds very intriguing.

CityView will be a new project that will dwarf 200 Park when complete with 3.8 million rentable SQFT and 6 interconnected 19-story office towers. This is far into the future, but a new marketplace in central Downtown San Jose sounds amazing.

Last but not least is 50 W. San Fernando. This is next to the Signia by Hilton (former Fairmont San Jose) and is the building with the Capital Club on one of the two Penthouse floors. A cafe and lounge here will help fill another hole in Downtown San Jose's restaurant and retail landscape.

All three additions will be very welcome and I can't wait to learn more about the specific places coming to these projects.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, March 29, 2024

Easter Brunch in Downtown San Jose 🐣🥂

As usual, the San Jose Downtown Association has a list of all the great brunch options in Downtown San Jose for Easter weekend. They also have a brief history of brunch in America.

I'll call out Rollati specifically since they have a special Easter Menu with a Cocoa Pappardelle (lamb ragu, pistachio, and mint gremolata) and Italian Easter Bread pictured below. However, you can't go wrong with any of the restaurants below. I've been to all but one.

For your convenience, here is the entire DTSJ brunch list with links to the restaurant in the title:


Brunch at Rollati is best enjoyed with a group of friends, so you can order the Aperol Spritz Tower for four, which is their featured Brunch Cocktail.  Brunch entrees include Italian Toast (Sweet Batard, Nutella, Maple Syrup) and Buttermilk Pancakes with Huckleberry, plus the entire lunch menu.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 3pm.


The FAB brunch menu includes Egg Machaca, Pozole, and their hearty loaded dirty fries, served “breakfast-style” with a soft over-easy egg.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 3pm.

The Club on Post

The brunch menu at The Club includes Berry Waffles, Chilaquiles, Crab Cake Benedict, or a Club Burger, served brunch-style, with an egg on top of the Wagyu patty.  There’s a full bar and specialty cocktails, but the Fever Tree Sparking Sicilian Lemonade is worth a try.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun 11am to 3pm.

SP2 Communal Bar  & Restaurant

The Sourdough Machi Waffle, Tri-Tip Hash, Smoked Salmon Scramble (to name just a few) pair perfectly with imaginative cocktails that include an Elderflower Spritz, Passionfruit Bellini, and a drink called Corpse Reviver No. 2.  SP2 also has a preset Brunch menu that allows you to choose an entree, side and a salad for the fixed price of $45.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 11am to 2pm.

The Farmer’s Union

The Chuy’s Michelada at Farmer’s Union is practically a meal, but you will want to try the Chicken Fried Chicken & Eggs or the Huevos Motulenos with turkey, peas, cojita cheese, and friend plantain.  Brunch served Sun.11am to 3pm.

Mama Kin

Brunch at Mama Kin includes the usual brunch staples, along with Cajun Creole specialties of the house, but it’s mostly about the vibe.  On Saturday, the R&B Brunch and Day Party, features R&B tunes from the 80s to the 2000s.  Sunday is the Boom Box Brunch and Day Party, with a DJ playing music from the golden era of Hip Hop.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 10am to 3pm.

Poor House Bistro

Jambalaya Scramble, Pecan pancakes, New Orleans-style Beignets, and Pain Perdu (New Orleans French Toast) are just a few choices on the brunch menu at PHB. Doors open 10 am, but the live Blues on the Patio entertainment doesn’t start until noon.  Brunch served Sun. 10am to 2pm.

Whispers Cafe & Creperie

The sweet and savory crepes at Whispers are offered all day every day, but it’s a very popular place for brunch on the weekends. It’s also the longest hours for Brunch in the downtown, for early risers who don’t want to wait until 10 a.m. to eat.  Brunch served Sat. & Sun. 8am to 3 pm.

Fountain Restaurant

Located inside the Signia by Hilton San Jose, next to the Circle of Palms, offers a weekend brunch that includes Lobster Benedict served atop fresh artichoke hearts, generous Avocado Toast and Trout Toast, Pancakes, and Belgian Waffles. The weekend brunch menu also adds lunchtime go-tos like the tasty Fountain Burger with balsamic onion jam and gruyere, plus salads, sandwiches, and a crowd-pleasing kid’s selection with Mac n’ Cheese, Chicken Tenders and Sliders.

Rollati's Cocoa Pappardelle (lamb ragu, pistachio, and mint gremolata) and Italian Easter Bread

Thursday, March 28, 2024

San Jose is using AI to scan streets for homeless people's cars

The city of San Jose is piloting using car-mounted cameras and AI software by SenSen.AI to scan for vehicles that people are living in. Why would we do this? The pilot was actually launched to systematically find all sorts of issues including potholes, trash, graffiti, parking validations, and illegal encampments. However, the encampments are the most controversial aspect of the scanning.

If the technology was fully deployed, then city staff could respond by sending outreach workers to small encampments before they become large ones. However, the accuracy was quite low with only 10-15% accuracy for lived-in cars and 70-75% for RVs. 

The intention of proactive outreach is positive despite the Black-Mirrorish nature of the pilot. Whether the program will move forward is yet to be determined, but both privacy and homeless-rights advocates are up-in-arms over this initiative. This may be one of the first projects of its kind but it definitely won't be the last. Hopefully there is a way to run these pilots ethically with respect to all parties involved.

Source: SFGATE

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Still O.G. in San Jose

Original Gravity Public House was the first of its kind in San Jose. A bar completely dedicated to craft beers. Sure there were some places like Good Karma that featured a limited selection of craft beers first, but Original Gravity was truly the first of its kind in San Jose. The proprietors then went on to open Paper Plane, Miniboss, and soon will open they highly anticipated Eos & Nyx (more on that next week).

Now that craft beer is everywhere, the owners decided to turn Original Gravity into two new concepts: Still O.G. and Alter Ego.

Still O.G. still has craft beers, but they are also adding cocktails on tap and the vibe will be very different. Think analog with vinyl records all over the place and a high-end sound system. Still O.G. has been packed since it opened a month ago and is well worth checking out.

If you want a more relaxing atmosphere, you can head to the back where there is a completely different bar called Alter Ego featuring craft cocktails. It's a hidden bar within a bar, you can call it a modern speakeasy (last photo below). It looks amazing and will be yet another top destination for San Jose's nightlife.

You can find Still O.G. and Alter Ego at 66 S. First Street. More photos and info at the source link.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Save-the-date for all the 2024 Block Parties

Below are the dates and locations of all six block parties in Downtown San Jose. Each will highlight the local restaurants and stores in the area and add additional amenities like food trucks or live music. The 2023 block parties were a lot of fun and all six of these regions have had new businesses open in the past 12 months. Mark your calendars!

Monday, March 25, 2024

SJC celebrates 75 years with a giant chick in Terminal B

If you have flown out of San Jose recently, you might be wondering why there is a giant inflatable baby chick at baggage claim. The bird is there to commemorate the airport's 75th anniversary. The first commercial flight at SJC arrived in 1949 with two pilots, seven passengers, and 2,550 baby chickens. Only the chickens exited at SJC, the rest of the passengers continued on to LAX.

For the full history of the airport and a contest to win some swag by taking photos with the chicks (there are multiple throughout the airport) fly over here.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Santana Row Spring Fling Wine Stroll

Walk down the Row while enjoying an assortment of wines in select shops and restaurants. The two hour event runs from 5-7pm on April 18th and includes a Santana Row wine glass to keep and wine tastings from local Bay Area wineries.

The cost is $50 per person, and you can also get a complimentary flower bouquet if you spend more than $100 while strolling down the Row. You can order tickets here.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Caltrain tests first batch of electric trains

Caltrain is planning to run electric trains between San Jose and San Francisco. Testing of the first set of trains has been complete. The new trains should bring less noise, help improve regional air quality, and reduce travel times. They'll even have easier access to power outlets and WiFi.

The electric trains will also allow for a 9% increase in weekday peak-hour service, which is scheduled to begin late this year and ramp up to maximum capacity in 2025.

Source: KRON4


Friday, March 22, 2024

Moving scheduled posting times

Just a quick note that I'll be moving the scheduled posts from 6am to 7am. Very few people are actually up at 6am and 95% of readers are in PT. In rare cases where there are two posts in one day, the second one will still be scheduled for noon.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

TikTok is subleasing major San Jose office building

A controversial tenant is subleasing an office building at 1143 Coleman Ave, also known as the Coleman Highline. TikTok is going to ramp up their operations in San Jose. I'm assuming this will be the case whether or not their China-based parent company--ByteDance--is forced to sell their interest in the company. By the way, ByteDance also has 658,000 SQFT in that same office complex.

TikTok will be subleasing the space from Roku. It appears that they will take a total of over 350,000 SQFT across two buildings.

Source: The Mercury News

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

203 homes proposed off of East Capital Expressway

MidPen Housing is planning to build a 100% affordable housing project at the intersection of East Capitol Expressway and Narvaez Avenue. This is right next to a VTA transit station on East Capital Expressway.

The project would consist of 203 homes divided into studios, 1bd, 2bd, and 3bd units spread across two buildings connected by an open-air elevated walkway. The proposal has already been fast-tracked and only requires the approval of the Planning Department.

There is no official ETA for construction as MidPen is currently seeking financing for the project.

Source: Mercury News

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Nvidia AI Conference taking place in Downtown San Jose right now

The latest advancements in AI hardware--which is quickly headed to becoming a multi-trillion dollar market--are being announced right now in Downtown San Jose. Yesterday Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang delivered his keynote at the SAP Center. Throughout the rest of the week, about 10,000 visitors will attend workshops and panel discussions at the McEnery Convention Center each day.

San Jose has a strong desire to make Downtown the AI capital of the world. Hosting Nvidia's flagship conference here is definitely a big win.

Source: San Jose Downtown Association

Monday, March 18, 2024

San Jose will get $12.7 million to build 200 tiny homes

San Jose is acquiring state funding to purchase 200 tiny homes to house a portion of our homeless population. San Jose qualified for the funding due to its record of actually building interim housing instead of just talking about it. So far San Jose has built 499 small homes and plans for 784 more beds.

San Jose already has a site selected for the new homes in North San Jose near VTA operations. The project will be named the Cerone Interim Housing Community and it is expected to open next year.

Source: Patch

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Plaza de Cesar Chavez has some new amenities

Just in time for nicer weather, I noticed a few new features in Plaza de Cesar Chavez yesterday. There are two outdoor table tennis tables that look really nice along with fancy lounge seating. Several kids were already playing in the fountains even though it was not a very warm day.

The additions felt very welcome and will inevitably be popular with the college students that are moving into the former Fairmont Annex tower across the street. I also like that the colors chosen match and compliment The Tech Interactive museum.

Hopefully we'll see more surprises like this in parks throughout Downtown San Jose.

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Downtown San Jose is St. Patrick's Day Central 🍀

The Downtowner has a list of some of the St. Patrick's Day festivities happening in Downtown San Jose this weekend. Get out there an have a great time!

Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations in Downtown San Jose include a leprechaun hunt, a leprechaun chase, a 5K race, lots of live music, and a lot of green beer. Whether you’re Irish, or just love a good party, here’s some celebrations taking place this weekend:

The South Bay’s Biggest Celebration - Friday-Sunday @ O’Flaherty’s Irish Pub

The Shamrock Run & Leprechaun Chase - Saturday @ San Pedro Square Market

Shamrock Stroll Bar Crawl - Saturday, starts @ The Rec Room

Paddy Hard Bar Crawl - Saturday & Sunday

Shenanigans & Sushi - Sunday @ Sushi Confidential

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration - Saturday & Sunday @ Five Points

Qmunity District’s St. Patty’s Pre-Game Vendor Market - Saturday on Post Street

St. Patty's Day Club and Music Festival - Sunday @ Myth Lounge

Friday, March 15, 2024

Downtown San Jose photo from the edge of SJSU

While this is an older photos of Downtown San Jose missing several new towers, it's a pretty neat angle that shows how connected SJSU is with the rest of Downtown. This will only be more true in the future with the former Fairmont Annex turning into student housing and several student towers are built in areas a few blocks outside the campus.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Main Library was one of the most significant partnerships between SJSU and the city of San Jose. I wonder what other options we have for collaboration. Perhaps something around an AI program involving both coursework and involvement from local startups? 

Source: Visit San Jose State University

Thursday, March 14, 2024

VTA board green lights Eastridge Light Rail extension

Finally, the Eastridge Light Rail extension is officially approved. The project will extend VTA Light Rail from the Alum Rock Station to the Eastridge Transit Center, which is 2.4 miles further down Capital Expressway.

The total cost will clock in at a whopping $653 million, which is $122 million over the original budget. This amount will be covered by the VTA's debt reduction fund.

There is one nice silver lining. The extension is expected to be completed 350 days faster than originally estimated. Trains should be running to the new station by 2028.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

How much income you need to comfortably afford a San Jose home

Imagine you have just moved your family to San Jose and want to comfortably afford the average mortgage. We're not talking about a luxury home, but your average detached tract home in a San Jose suburb. How much income would you have to make?

Are you ready? $454,296. Almost half a million dollars.

San Francisco requires less, but a still astronomical $339,864 of annual income.

This number is expected to come down in the future with interest rates, which would also increase the supply of homes for sale. In the mean time, we should be doing everything possible to increase the amount of housing available.

Source: NBC Bay Area

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Estimated BART costs go up again

If you thought $12.2 billion was astronomical for a 6-mile, 4-station extension... I don't have good news. The Federal Transit Administration now thinks the project will cost $12.8 billion and the timeline will be extended to 2037. Reasons behind the cost increase are primarily the volatility of labor and supply costs.

13 years is a long time. We might be living in a post-AGI word (artificial general intelligence) where costs for design and construction could be significantly lower than expected or perhaps new transit options will arise that were not feasible in the past. While I have voted for the BART extension every single time, the consistent increase of cost estimates and timeline adjustments is concerning.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 11, 2024

San Jose's Super Micro is being added to the S&P 500

Super Micro is an IT solutions provider heavily involved in AI infrastructure. The company saw sales double in Q4 over the previous year to $3.66 billion. 

Their stock has exploded, rising nearly 1,000% in the last 12 months. Super Micro's new market cap has qualified it to join the S&P 500 on March 18th, replacing Whirlpool. This has added yet another boost to the stock price.

It's great to see yet another local company doing extremely well.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Daylight saving time is in effect right now ⏰

Reminder to check your offline clocks today and adjust as needed. I tried to generate an AI image for daylight savings in San Jose, and below was the least terrifying option. AI still has a long way to go when rendering letters and numbers.

Anyway, enjoy the 7:11pm sunset time today!

Saturday, March 9, 2024

New public art added to the front of the Children's Discovery Museum

A piece of art called "Civic Stage Set" by David Bottini now welcomes visitors to the Children's Discovery Museum in Downtown San Jose. The sculpture has spent the last 30 years on Park Avenue in front of Parkside Hall which was once San Jose's main convention center (fun fact I wasn't aware of).

Now that major construction is taking place at Parkside Hall to make way for a new high-rise project, the piece has been given a fresh coat of paint and moved to it's new permanent home. It looks right at home and fits in with the aesthetic of the Children's Discovery Museum perfectly.

Source: The Mercury News

Friday, March 8, 2024

Get #DTSJLucky for St. Patrick's Day (Mar 8-17)

Today the #DTSJLucky the Leprechaun Hunt kicks off until St. Patrick's Day on Sunday, Marth 17th.

The more you find, the more you can win. Enter for a chance to win gift cards to downtown San Jose businesses when you post a selfie with Lucky, tag @sj_downtown on Instagram or @sjdowntown on Facebook and include #DTSJLucky, or submit your photo with the submission form.
Also, earn 2 extra entries when you post or submit a photo of you participating in the Shamrock Run!

Pro tip: use the Lucky the Leprechaun map at

Winners will be announced every day on @sj_downtown's stories starting on March 11, with a grand prize valued at $250 for the person with the most entries.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

A Photo Night in Japantown

Multiple Japantown venues are coming together to showcase photography culture in San Jose. A Photo Night in Japantown was created to gather folks to check out really cool photography and get to know local photographers. It's a mix of solo shows, group shows and photo experiences.

The event takes place this Saturday, March 9th from 4-7pm across the following Japantown venues:


1. @empire7studios 
2. @cukui 
4. @headliners 
5. @lannynguyenphotography 
6. @thecoterieden 
7. @paradoxbarbers 
8. @knowfuturegallery

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Election Results

The results are in and it looks like Matt Mahan will remain Mayor of San Jose for at least another 4 years. Joe Lopez led the Councilmember race for District 2, David Cohen for District 4, Michael Mulcahy for District 6, Domingo Candelas for District 8, and George Casey for District 10. Congratulations to all of the winners! To see the full election results, head over here.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

San Jose developing new business incentives for AI

AI is currently the future of tech, there is no way around it. San Jose has declared its intentions to become a hub for AI, including turning Downtown San Jose into an incubator for AI startups. However, now our city seems to be taking a further step and planning business incentives for AI companies as part of the initial budgeting sessions of the year. It's still too early to know what form these would take or how much would be available, but the goal is officially there.

Also part of the budgetary priorities are incentives for manufacturing companies and expanding the residential high-rise program citywide to encourage high-density development outside of Downtown San Jose.

Source: SVBJ

Monday, March 4, 2024

VTA partnering with Beep on autonomous shuttle pilot program

The VTA is leaning into transit innovation by testing out new options for getting people from point A to B. They announced a partnership with a company called Beep that provides a low-speed autonomous shuttle service in a geofenced area.

The first test pilot would be at the Veteran Administration's office in Palo Alto and the autonomous shuttles would replace golf carts that are currently used to move people from building to building. The shuttles will still have a human attendant that can over-ride anything the shuttle is attempting to do.

The pilot was supposed to start several years ago but was delayed by covid. Hopefully it will be one of many as there are several places where a shuttle like this would be useful (Downtown San Jose, Willow Glen, Japantown, perhaps even suburban areas like Evergreen with limited public transit options). I rode a similar shuttle on Treasure Island by a company called Loop and it was great.

Beep also has another pilot in the area. They partnered with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority on a similar shuttle that goes through San Ramon's Bishop Ranch business park.

Source: SVBJ

Sunday, March 3, 2024

San Jose Water Lantern Festival

A three-day lantern festival is coming to Almaden Lake Park in South San Jose from June 21-23. Each day starts with food trucks, music, and activities. Around 8pm, you can design your lantern and then between 8:30 and 10pm you launch your lantern into the lake.

Tickets range from $27-56, but the cheapest pricing ends on March 6th. Tickets include a floating lantern kit, LED candle, a drawstring bag, and lantern retrieval and clean up at the end of the event.

For more information and to get tickets, head here.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

20 interesting facts about San Jose

With the sad news that SJtoday is pausing operations, I'd like to send them one last plug. This is one of my favorite recent articles. 

Did you know an elephant shut down SJC for 3 days? Or perhaps that the San Jose Earthquakes set the Guinness World Record for the largest ground breaking with 6,256 participants (I was one of them and still have the shovel). California's first and largest mercury mining operation was in San Jose, but did you know there is still a publicly accessible quicksilver mining museum in New Almaden?

To see the full list of interesting facts, head here. 

You'll be missed SJtoday!

Friday, March 1, 2024

South FIRST FRIDAY March 1st, 2024 in #DTSJ

South FIRST FRIDAYS is back for their latest event in 2024 with exhibits across multiple galleries in three different districts. Everything is open from at least 5-9pm. Participating venues include ANNO DOMINI, the Institute of Contemporary Art, KALEID Gallery, Works San Jose, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the SoFA Market, MACLA, Art Ark Gallery, MACHU PICCHU, San Jose Jazz, and Chopsticks Alley Gallery.

Worth noting this month is a free concert at the SJZ Break Room from 7-8pm featuring several young jazz musicians.

It all goes down today, March 1st. As usual admission is free and all ages are welcome. Click here for a preview of featured art! Below is a map with all of the galleries to check out across all three different districts.

Artwork: Michael “MWIN” Nguyen , “Leonardo The King of the Hoàn Kiếm Turtles”