Showing posts with label san jose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label san jose. Show all posts

Monday, September 29, 2014

Some Details re: AFK Gamer Lounge in Downtown SJ

Last week a friend of mine asked me if I knew what happened to the Los Gatos Brewing Company on Santa Clara Street. If there was any news or gossip about why it abruptly shut down. I actually didn't even know it had shut down, but I was not very surprised. The last time I had been there I was not very impressed with their food, and since there are so many other wonderful options downtown, LGBC never made it back to the top of my list. (But that is just *my* experience.)

So I did a quick search and found out that taking the place of the restaurant will be the AFK Gamer Lounge, a new eSports bar & PC gaming center. One-hundred gaming PC's networked together installed with some of today's most popular online games. 

Gamers will gather, play games, enjoy food and enjoy beverages from the bar. There will be memberships and access for casual guests. 

The whole concept is interesting to me as former (short term) player of World of Warcraft and The Sims, but a much longer term player of video games in general. Most of any recent online game exposure is due to my husband (and friends) playing of Starcraft, EverQuest (back in the day!), World of Warcraft, and League of Legends to name a few. 

A few days ago I exchanged emails with one of the owners, Tyler Peckham, and asked a few questions.

JO: In reference to your press release, will you be open on October 18/19 for the League of Legends tournament being held at the SAP Center?

TP. We will be open for some sort of event - however its unlikely it will be a full grand opening.

JO: What popular games will you have installed? Starcraft? WoW? The Sims?

TP: Users will have access to their own library of games (ie. Steam libraries, games that require an online account: LoL, WoW, SCII and many more).  Full list of games is unknown, but the main concept is to first provide access to the games users are already playing, and then second, provide access to some games they may not already have or play. 

JO: Are users limited to only MMORPGs or can they hop on Facebook and play their favorite casual games as well? 

TP: By no means are they limited to MMORPG's. Web browser access is likely, however not 100% (potential security issues).

JO: Members and guests are encouraged to purchase drinks from the bar, what is your plan of attack for keeping liquids away from the computers? 

TP: We are going to start off with some experimentation on methods to allow everyone to game/drink/eat peacefully without restriction. 

JO: Will you be holding tournaments?


I inquired about some renderings but they didn't have any updated ones on hand yet. Hopefully I'll be able to update soon with a few. For now, if you're still interested be sure to either sign up for email updates via the AFK Gamer Lounge website or follow them on their Facebook page

For a more in-depth read, if you can follow Reddit threads, check out their post and the conversation happening over there.

I'm looking forward to checking this place out with my husband and a few friends. I'd like to see what they think about it!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

SF Beer Week is Here! Check it out With the "Japantown Beer Walk"

                                                       JAPANTOWN BEER WALK-
                                                             FEBRUARY 8TH, 2014
                                                                 TIME: 2PM - 6PM

SF Beer Week is here yet again, starting off its opening Gala on February 7th 2014, at the Concourse Exhibition Center in San Francisco. The San Francisco Brewers Guild and associates sponsor this week-long event as a collaborative effort between local breweries and participating cities throughout the Bay Area. As it states on their website, “Our purpose is to restore and preserve San Francisco’s brewing heritage, and unite those who make local beer with those who love it”; it couldn't be done in a better fashion than its week’s worth of events and activities dedicated to the craft of brewing. The contagious spirit of this eventful week and its rising fame--putting together as many as 500 events--has reached into neighboring cities, and has made its way into San Jose’s Japantown. Participants in association with the festivities have made this ongoing tradition hit its 6th year in the Bay Area, and for San Jose’s Japantown Beer Walk it marks its 3rd year with beer tasting sweetness at every unique destination.

As it grows in popularity there is an ongoing effort between organizations to bring awareness to this cool tradition located near the heart of Downtown San Jose. I had the pleasure of participating last year for the first time. Joining me was a good friend and we had an inebriating experience walking from establishment to establishment, tasting what seemed like a good amount of quality beer. Which now reminds me; it might be his turn to buy the tickets this time around, and I should recommend dinner a little closer to the event than his house down the street. Not that the Bar-B-Q was bad (the slow cooked ribs were delicious), but I’m definitely looking forward to some sushi, or a teriyaki chicken bowl between destinations. There are a variety of great restaurants, and parlors in the neighborhood in which to dine and snack at, and it’s a good idea to take a little extra cash for any on the spot purchases you might have an itch for.

There are plenty of attractions that bring this beer walk together and if the weather permits, it should be a great one to join in on this weekend. You can take a nice long stroll with your dog to visit the many Art Galleries in the neighborhood, and if your sitter isn’t available to watch the kids; than at least one parent can enjoy the beer while the other shops at one of the many establishments and boutiques that will be open that day catering to the event between 2-6pm. Registration starts at Jack’s Bar at 12pm.

Between the many breweries that participated last year and will be participating this year, I would have to say it will be hard to predict what will grab my attention. Many will be participating and there are vast choices at the local liquor store now; all with different names, different alcohol content, and cool looking labels. So, what I will do this time around is write down on a Jacks Bar napkin my favorite brewery and the reasons why. I will challenge you all to do the same, and if you can, send it out that day on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #beerlist, to see if we all can maybe agree on a favorite to remember for next time we’re at Bevmo. For the sake of the companies and destinations participating in the Japantown Beer Walk be sure to hashtag their names on your pictures and posts, and don’t forget to include cool hashtags like #japantownbeerwalk #sfbeerweek #SJcheckthisout #thisbeerisawesome….A few hours later… #ilostmyphone #waitimonmyphone #takingacab

But please people, drink responsibly. There is a need for this city’s citizens to take matters into the hands of sober good friends, family members, or at the very least cab drivers willing to drive you and your party around. Also, enjoy the many festivities presented throughout the Bay Area running until February 16th, 2014. For more information with locations, events, and activities running throughout the Bay Area go to You can find a list of breweries, locations, and buy your tickets in advance for the Japan Town Beer Walk at, or at Jack’s Bar located at 167 E. Taylor St., San Jose CA for $30 ($35 the day of). Check out for a more in depth look at what’s brewing around Northern California, and be sure to remember not to drink and drive.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MUJI is open!


The store that many people have been waiting for is officially open! MUJI is a Japanese brand that epitomizes simple, sleek and stylish design in everyday items from timeless clothing staples to kitchen ware, bathroom accessories to crafty and office materials. And now, Downtown San Jose is home to another one of their limited locations within the US. (The San Francisco location recently opened in November.) When asked "why Downtown San Jose" - the owner noted that "Downtown San Jose is a place where people live and are enjoying life," and that they appreciated the "cultural atmosphere" that San Jose provides.

I had the opportunity to check out the store before it opened doors to the public this morning and wanted to share a few thoughts…


For some reason during my online researching prior to the event, I completely missed the fact that they sold clothing! I had previously thought it was simply housewares, organization containers, crafty items and such. But here you go, they sell a wide assortment of clothing and all within a specific style and color palate. Soft grays, navy blues, crisp whites, tan and beige dominate the racks. These are timeless pieces, not items you'll buy this season and never wear again. Pricing is not necessarily "college student" friendly, on average at least. For example, a checkered foldable umbrella retails at $27.

However, if one needs an umbrella during their visit downtown - and they want one that is built with high quality materials - this one will be worth the purchase. I can see those that are visiting the area and staying at one of the many hotels would find the availability of having clothing options so close as a benefit. The feel of the material is sturdy and I feel that it is a higher quality merchandise than say, H&M and even Gap for example. If I weren't pregnant I'd buy a few clothing items myself (there is a super cute navy with white polka dot skirt there that I was very tempted to buy for next year.)

I spoke with Eric Kobuchi, store manager for both the San Jose and San Francisco locations. I wanted to know what the hot items were - what flies off the shelves or has people returning to purchase?

Untitled One of the popular items is actually a series of pieces - the Acrylic Cases have found their way into homes but for a variety of reasons. While they sell velour inner cases (to protect jewelry), many customers buy these cases and use them for creative uses -- makeup, crafty items, and more. While yes, there are other stores that carry similar items, MUJI has an array of different shapes and styles to choose from.

Untitled The most popular item is one that I actually smelled upon entering the building. Actually the first thing I said was how nice it smelled in the store. That was because of the Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser (large $119.50, small $69.50). It vaporizes water and the essential oil (they have many to choose from, and you can use outside brands as well) and includes a timer so you can set it to go off when you like. No worries about leaving a tea candle lit and accidentally forgetting about it. Eric said that many people end up buying multiple for gifts, so this is definitely their number one selling item.

Other items I wanted to comment on:


They have these cute cardboard chairs for kids that are easy to assemble and decorate. While that might not be something everyone is looking for, crafty mothers and fathers might find them useful. I could see it being part of a birthday event; getting the crayons and markers out so every kid gets to design their own chair. 


Another item I spotted was the Silicon Ice Ball Makers - molds so you can create a large (or medium-sized) ball of ice. The large version will run you $11.75 but makes for a great gift for the whiskey-lover in your life or a fun stocking stuffer. Not to completely give away where I've seen these before, because it's part of the unique experience - but there is a local San Jose bar that uses ice balls in their whiskey-based drinks. So maybe if you want to make a few at home, this is how you can start. (Won't be the same, of course.)

The rest of the store is up to you to explore!

Check out the slideshow for more photos:

170 S. Market St.
San Jose, CA 95113
Tel 408.200.7818

Store Hours:
Monday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

For purchases of $20+, MUJI offers a $1 parking validation for many of the surrounding downtown garages.

All photos taken by me! Jennifer Bullock / @Jenguin on Twitter

Sunday, March 17, 2013

2nd Annual Fashion Show for the South Bay Art Institute

The Art Institute of California - Silicon Valley is preparing "Up in the Air" for this Thursday, March 21st at the Computer History Museum. It is being produced by the Bachelor or Science students in the Fashion Marketing & Management program and will feature original designs created and styled by the students and instructors.

Frankly, I had no idea there was even a Fashion program in the South Bay. It's great to see the region start to build out proficiencies outside of tech. It will add to work and cultural diversity and make help make Silicon Valley an even more interesting place! For more information on the fashion program, click here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Silicon Valley Photography in SPUR & ZERO1 Exhibit

When someone says "Silicon Valley", what images, concepts, or names come to mind? 

Many people immediately start to rattle off the tech giants; Google, Yahoo, Apple... well you know, all of them. Technology! Cell phones! Semiconductors! 

But to some of us - it means your favorite taqueria, downtown festivals, movies in the park, or some of the many people that make up the South Bay. 

In partnership with Hipstamatic and ZERO1, SPUR (San Francisco Planning and Urban Research) put together an exhibit of Bay Area photographer's interpretation of the theme:


I want to share my excitement, that -- I was part of the exhibit! I saw the call for submissions on Facebook awhile back and thought I'd go for it. So I put together some of my favorite photos I've taken here in the San Jose area. In the shots below, you might spy the Silicon Valley Roller Girls, the Alviso Marina, a scene from SubZero, and the Valet building next to the San Jose Stage Company. I really wanted to represent as much as I could of the San Jose area.

Me with my photos!
Posing with my photos. First time on exhibit!

My work is nothing compared to the other photographers featured at the event. It was an honor to be included with them. 

The exhibition photographers (and the theme of their work) are:

  • Michele Guieu - a "geek tour" of Silicon Valley, from the Hewlett Packard garage to the Google Campus to the Apple Store
  • Daniel Garcia - "Behind Everything is a Person", the talented people of San Jose that are changing the culture of Silicon Valley in less traditional ways
  • Thomas Rogers - glimpses and snippets of Menlo Park, a focus on things that people wouldn't normally see in passing
  • Barbara Boissevain - My Backyard to highlight environmental issues, with aerial shots of ponds along the bay's edge and mining in the South Bay
  • Michelle Oblena - "Valley of Stomach's Delight", shots of the diversity of restaurant owners in the Santa Clara Valley
  • Alex Chan - shots of Japantown performers, local painters and Color Me Rad in San Jose
  • Halie Kampman - video footage of the subtle connections between the areas of San Jose, Los Gatos, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto

Here are some photos from the opening night:

Daniel Garcia from Content Magazine and his portraits
Daniel Garcia of CONTENT Magazine
UntitledDisplay in the front window

The exhibit is currently running up in San Francisco at the SPUR Gallery until October 20th. There has been some talk that a photo from each of the photographers will be featured in the windows of the retail establishments under the SPUR San Jose office (on Santa Clara Street) but I haven't gotten confirmation just yet. (I also haven't been downtown in the last week to check it out first hand.)

So you have a couple of weeks to jump on BART and head up to the SPUR gallery and check out the exhibition! 

A Peek Behind Silicon Valley's Digital Veil

September 19 - October 19
SPUR Urban Center Gallery
654 Mission Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-4015

Thursday, March 1, 2012

TOTEM Ticket Giveaway: And the winner is....

What a whirlwind contest! We had fun watching the entries come in... but enough of that. You want to know who won don't you?

The winner of Two (2) tickets to see tomorrow night's premiere of Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM is....

RAY C.!!!


But wait... there's more!

The super generous folks at TOTEM decided, what the heck... here's ANOTHER PAIR OF TICKETS. So, surprise San Jose Blog readers - there's another winner out there!

And that winner is ...

ANNE J.!!!

Congratulations to both winners! We hope you have a fantastic time at the show!

I'll be posting about the show later this weekend so be sure to come back and check that out. Ray and Anne - we look forward to hearing what you thought about the show too!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Win 2 Tix to see TOTEM, Friday March 2nd!

Attention The San Jose Blog readers! Between now and NOON TOMORROW, you have the opportunity to win TWO (2) tickets to attend the Premiere of Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM!

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.

Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential
- TOTEM website

Here's the show details:

When: Friday, March 2, 2012
Where: Taylor Street Bridge, Lot E (You can't miss the big tent!)
Site Opens: 7:00 PM
Showtime: 8:00 PM

Enter to win by filling out the form below-- but first, some contest details:

Contest ends NOON tomorrow, Thursday, March 1st.
Winner will be chosen at random.

Please do not enter the contest if you cannot make the show!
Winners will be notified by email (look for an email from Jennifer Bullock!)

Fill out the form below, and GOOD LUCK!

3/1: 12:00PM (NOON):

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dishcrawlin' The Fairmont San Jose

First off, I have to say hello to the readers of The San Jose Blog! My name is Jennifer and I’m a blogger/photographer/San Jose resident. I’ll be blogging about random events, shindigs, places to be.. who knows -- but here I am! Hello to all!


Last Tuesday, I attended my third Dishcrawl, this time in downtown at the Fairmont San Jose. If you don’t know what Dishcrawl is then you are missing out. During a Dishcrawl, you get a chance to sample 4-5 different dishes of food; tasting food you may have never had before -- or perhaps going to venues you only thought you’d check out someday. Oh and a fun kicker - you won’t know what you get to try until a few days before the event. Mystery meals are fun!

Around 7pm I showed up at The Fairmont and the only area I was familiar with was the lobby. I looked around and saw a lot of hungry people, most with beverages from the lobby lounge in their hand.

I see buttons! Green, blue and red buttons. Everyone is ready to crawl, ready to EAT. I’m Team Green. Team Blue was the most rambunctious. Those crazies.

It’s time to start the eating. Green Team gets to eat Sushi from the Lobby first.

Now in no way am I a proper food critic - I just know when something tastes good to me or not so much. So these are my very-uneducated opinions in food cuisine.

My first dish: Fresh Tuna and Salmon Nigiri Sushi, Spider and Unagi-Hamachi Roll. The tuna and salmon literally melted in my mouth. I’ve had sushi that is a little chewy - THIS WAS NOT. I am not a big raw fish-sushi eater. However, I LOVED this sushi.

Sushi Time!

After some delightful conversation, our group moved on to Pagoda for some Wok Fried Mango and Mint Chicken and Dungeness Crag Egg Drop Soup, Honey Walnut Prawns (NOM!), and Steamed Jasmine Rice. My fiance and I have been to Pagoda before and have had the Honey Walnut Prawns but not the other stuff. Oh so delicious!

Pagoda Goods

After Pagoda, it is time to hit up The Fountain. I honestly had no idea The Fountain was there. I only knew of Pagoda.

At the Fountain we were served House Hickory Smoked Salmon Blinis with Caviar and Creme fraiche, Heirloom Tomato Shooter, and Dungeness Crake Cake with Basil Aioli. I’m not a big fan of tomato soups or bloody marys, but with a quick taste of the shooter I noted it was pretty flavorful and had that zest kick to it. My favorite was the smoked salmon blinis with caviar and creme fraiche.

Goodies from The Fountain

Tracy Lee, the creator of Dishcrawl sat down with us and chatted a bit. Did you know that there is essentially a Dishcrawl happening somewhere (within the 23 cities listed on the website) everyday? They’re becoming more and more popular too - I hear Portland sold out of their tickets for their first event in two days flat.

After some discussion about downtown San Jose and all the wonderful little spots to try out, someone with Tracy’s team came up to her and announced that IT WAS TIME.

Time for what?

The grand finale! On to the SWEETS!

Sea of sweets

The Fairmont opened three of its suites - The Presidential, The Fairmont, and The International and put out a spread of sweets: chocolate fountain with assorted fruits and nibbles, truffles, macaroons, mango-fennel panna cotta, assorted french pastries, and assorted fruit sorbet with super cute little cones. While there was no way I could try them all, I grabbed a plate of mixed goodies and sat down to nosh away.

I simply cannot pick a favorite as everything I tried was delicious, The Fairmont San Jose’s award-winning Pastry Chef Fernando Arreola is amazing.

Next upcoming San Jose Dishcrawl is “Taste San Jose’s Night Air” on Tuesday, September 20th at 7pm for $26. As of writing this blog post there were only 5 tickets left. Get yours before they run out!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Today's SubZERO Schedule (Part of First Friday in SoFA)!


ON THE STAGE (South First Street btwn San Carlos & San Salvador Streets)
  • 6:30-7:00pm TSIGOTI
  • 7:10-7:25pm BRAVE NEW WORLD (fashion show)
  • 7:45-8:25pm FEROCIOUS FEW
  • 8:50-9:30pm CORPUS CALLOSUM
  • 9:50-10:40pm BEN HENDERSON
  • 11-Midnight BANGERZ + SAN JOSE TAIKO

Moped Beauty Pageant with Mopedhead

SJ Bike Party's Friday Night Lights SPIRAL RIDE
  • Start: 7pm
  • Wheels on Street: 7:20-7:30pm

Museum Proper
  • 7:00-7:30pm Museum Proper performance
  • 8:00-8:30pm Museum Proper performance [leads into a 8.30-9.10 corpus callosum stage set]
  • 10:00-10:30pm Museum Proper performance
  • 11:00-11:30pm Museum Proper performance

Dr. Sketchy Anti-Art School
  • Session 1: 7pm
  • Session 2: 7:30pm
  • Session 3: Brave New World models 8pm
  • Session 4: Museum Proper Puppeteer - 8:30pm
  • Session 5 & 6: Persephone Belly Dance- 9pm/9:30pm
  • Session 7: 10pm

Thursday, June 3, 2010

UBER First Friday Tomorrow ! ! !

What happens when South First Fridays meets the 3rd annual SubZERO? A true San Jose enthusiast's playground! I liken it to walking into the flagship Chuck E. Cheese off Tully when you're 8 years old. If you have never been to a SubZERO-supercharged First Friday, tomorrow is your lucky day. From 6pm to midnight+ you'll have the everything that makes First Fridays awesome PLUS live performances by 6 artists, a SJ Bike Party, Dr. Sketchy Anti-Art School, Museum Proper (a 12-foot-tall monster puppet), SJ FAM, SJ Yarn Bombers, The Summer Film Initiative, The Usuals, Veggielution, Barefoot Coffee, Treatbot, etc., etc., etc. There are literally a hundred reasons to swing by SoFA tomorrow. A shocking majority of the uniquely-San Jose cultural events, artists, and vendors we've been promoting for the past year will all culminate on South First Street... Tomorrow... 6pm! More SubZERO details below:


3rd Annual SubZERO Festival June 4, 2010

South FIRST FRIDAYS presents the 3rd Annual SubZERO Festival

Kick off summer with SubZERO, a diy, artistically bent, hi/lo-techno mashup where street meets geek. Come downtown on June 4th to San Jose’s SoFA District from 6pm ‘til midnight for an inspired evening of arts & culture. In addition to the South FIRST FRIDAYS monthly art walk you’ll find an outdor stage of entertainment plus artists, performers & musicians celebrating the indie creative spirit!
FRIDAY JUNE 4, 2010 from 6pm-midnight
SoFA district in downtown San Jose
(on South First Street between San Carlos & Reed Streets)
Be sure to follow @subzerofestival on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook to keep up with the latest news as the festival approaches.
Here are some images from the 2nd Annual SubZERO Festival in 2009.
The mosaic above includes photos from: Brian EderFenchurchCherri Lakey, and Paul Robinson. See more in the SubZERO Festival Flickr Pool. Come out this year and add a few of your own!