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

Monday, June 20, 2016

First annual "Bark in the Park" at Notre Dame Park

A new community-building event for Downtown residents, workers, visitors, and their pets kicks off this Sunday from 4-8pm at Notre Dame Park (intersection of Almaden Boulevard and Carlyle Street). This park exists today thanks to a group of Downtown residents that started a grassroots effort to clean out the unused lot and add some greenery.

The "Bark in the Park" event will have music, food trucks, wine, beer, an animal petting zoo, and art projects. Proceeds will go towards upgrading the park and helping with the maintenance for Andy's Pet Shop. With so many new residents comings into the Downtown area, we need to encourage more projects like this to improve the quality of the Downtown neighborhoods and create a stronger sense of community in the area!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Review & Photos - 7th Annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival

Despite the fact we're in a drought, I am glad that it didn't rain on Saturday.

I know, I'm simply horrible to say such a thing.

But hear me out - on Saturday, it was the 7th Annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.

The Luna Park Chalk Art Festival "is an annual nonprofit event organized by volunteers to increase support for the arts in local schools and the community. The purpose of the festival is to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need." []

Last year I wanted to attend. We were going to bring our one and a half month old out for a day at the park. But since it was raining that didn't seem like a good idea. And apparently rain and chalk, for the most part, are not friends. Not unless you get really creative…

Anyway, this year it was sunny! Sun sun shiny sun hot sun.

My hubby and I packed up our 13 month old and headed to Backesto Park. It was hoppin'! Lots of people wandering around, checking out completed and in-progress chalk art pieces, listening to live performances, buying handmade goodies, or snacking on some food from a couple food trucks.

I love events like this. I really do. It's family fun, artsy, and it's at a park. It really makes me love San Jose even more than I already do.

So we made our way around part of the artwork, snagged a lunch from the truck Banjara Bistro. Chicken tikka masala in a crepe with a side spinach salad for me, and my hubby had the chicken tikka masala in an omelette. Then my hubby, a donut purist, moseyed over to Rollo's Donuts to bring back TWO donuts. However, he arrived with a bag of five instead. Apparently it pays to go to a donut shop a short time before they close. (Generous freebies.)

On to the artwork!

I noticed a *lot* of sea and sea life - fish, octopuses, and mermaids-a-plenty.

Pop culture references FTW!

Trader Joes not only had some artwork going on, they were giving out free snacks and water. Very generous and awesome of them. Unfortunately I did not win the "guess how many brussel sprouts" contest. Boo.

Both Dave Cortese and Sam Liccardo showed up to say a few ones. Not even going to get political here, but one sounded more enthused to be there than the other.

There were a ton of vendors, many of which I've seen numerous times at SOFA district or SJ Made events. There was something for everyone. If you like candles and knickknacks - they had that. Want designed t-shirts with local messaging - that was there ( to be specific, and a personal fave of mine.) Many of the chalk artists had booths as well. Working on the Back to the Future pixel art was David Canavese from OtherLife Art. I made a mental note to purchase one of his mixed pop culture referenced art pieces.

While we stayed for several hours we did not stay until the end so I didn't get a chance to see the final outcomes of some of the work-in-progress pieces I saw. But thanks to the magic of the interwebs, those photos are out there.

Follow Luna Park Chalk Art Festival on Facebook for updates - many people have shared their photos/links to photos via the Event page as well.

Feel free to check out the rest of my Luna Park Chalk Art Festival album of photos on Flickr. There are a lot of great pieces of work (in various stages) in there!

Also - see you next year! I made ornaments two years ago (for The San Jose Blog) at Christmas in the Park - I think next year we should have a sidewalk space to draw on. What do you think? I'm excited to participate!

Monday, March 24, 2014 IndiGoGo Campaign

A new community events website focused on Downtown San Jose is looking for crowdsourced funding to get off the ground. The mission of the project is better connect people, places, and events in our City's core. Matt Spergel, the proprietor of, also believes that this project has the potential to improve Downtown's image, bring more people Downtown, strengthen the community, and encourage new culture.

The perks for contributing to the campaign sound pretty great. They range from chocolate bars and t-shirts, to snacks at a variety of Downtown restaurants, invites to the launch party (complete with magicians, DJs, and laser beams). High rollers can even get a private dinner Downtown with Al Alcorn (the inventor of Pong), Lee Felsenstein from the Homebrew Computer Club, or even Daniel Kottke (Steve Jobs' hippie friend).

Please have a look at the campaign over here. Let's support these projects that will help make Downtown a better place!

DTSJ final from Matt Spergel on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Community Event for Downtown Residents Today

Don't miss this... a Special Community Open House & Movie Night on Thursday!
Community Open House June 14
Attention Neighbors
This Thursday, come on over to the San Jose Athletic Club. Meet your local merchants and sample some of their wares. Mingle by the pool for some jazz and then cross the street for the first Outdoor Movie Night of the Summer...HOOK. (Arrreee...don't forget your to bring your best pirate look if you dare)!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sobrato House: A Green Solution for Teenage Homelessness in San Jose

Guest Post by Tim Eyre 

At the corner of Third and William Street downtown, there's an attractive yellow-and-green house with a wrap-around porch. In my travels to San Jose over the last two years, I've driven past this intersection several times but never given the building much thought beyond, 'That's a nice looking house.'

As it turns out, it's a life-changing house.

Recently in Oakland, someone sparked a conversation with me about Crossroads, ( an $11 million emergency homeless shelter constructed to green-building standards. It seemed questionable to spend that kind of money on a population of people who may never return the investment, but I kept listening and was soon convinced of the merits. When we show the needy the same sort of care and comforts we would want ourselves, they respond with hope and motivation to reenter society.

Wondering if San Jose had anything similar, I discovered a website for the Sobrato House Youth Center. Of course, I immediately recognized the building.

Relocated from where City Hall now sits in 2008 (and virtually rebuilt, to the tune of $12.8 million), the Sobrato House is an outreach of EHC LifeBuilders ( The 2,500 square foot historic home is flanked by an adjoining 13,000 square foot brand new facility, including nine apartment units, a community room, and a kitchen designed for homeless teenagers and young people.

Santa Clara County is estimated to have over 5,000 people under 18 who experience homelessness at some point during the year, many of whom leave home due to physical or sexual abuse. Leaving young people to fend for themselves on the street after a troubling childhood only asks for more problems, be it drugs or criminal activity. With the Sobrato House, San Jose has found a solution.

In Santa Clara, the Sobrato Family Living Center on Agnew Road offers the same sort of respite. Its' 50 private apartments offer families that would otherwise be on the street a transitional bridge to self-sustenance through stability and a comfortable roof over their head.

Like Crossroads in Oakland, both Sobrato facilities embrace green building principles typically reserved for city government buildings and private businesses.

"All of the lighting is energy efficient, with water-saving laundry facilities and a new HVAC system," explains Anna Bagirov, the Communications Manager for EHC LifeBuilders, adding that they've reduced energy costs by 40 percent since the upgrades in 2008.

Both sites use reclaimed rainwater in their landscaping and feature double-paned window insulation. Most importantly to the residents, they're attractive dwellings that are worth taking pride in, a crucial element to gaining a new start in life.

"The Sobrato House, in particular, is beautiful," says Bagirov. "There's a lot of pride and happiness within these shelters."

In most cities around the country, homeless shelters are dreary, dim places. In that type of environment, it can be almost impossible for a person to find the hope required to make real life changes.

It's refreshing to find an organization like the Sobrato House and EHC Lifebuilders right here in San Jose. When we build shelters for the homeless that those of us more well off would find worthy of our own families, we're on the path to ending homelessness. That's something San Jose can take pride in, and a unique model that will hopefully be replicated elsewhere.


Tim Eyre works in the self storage industry, regularly traveling to see locations like San Jose storage facility. In many locations, like the storage units yard in San Diego, Tim helps his customers store seasonal equipment when it is not being used for outdoor activities or home improvement projects.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Soul of the Community 2010 - San Jose

This video is more oriented towards San Jose than the last Soul of the Community video I posted. If you have seen the previous one, you can fast forward to the 3 minute mark or so.

Knight Soul of the Community 2010 - San Jose from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Interesting Webinar Tomorrow on Improving Communities

Webinar: Knight Soul of the Community: Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters
A New Approach to Improving Communities
Based on Gallup Research
On November 15, 2010, Gallup and the Knight Foundation will host an event and broadcast it live via a Webcast, to share the results from the Knight Soul of the Community study. The study’s goal is to determine what drives community attachment or emotional connection to a place. Leaders can use this information to improve the vitality of their own communities. The Knight Soul of the Community study represents the result of three years of research and shows fascinating insights into the importance of community attachment and ways to build it.

Speakers include Paula Ellis, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives at Knight, Jon Clifton, Deputy Director of the Gallup World Poll, and Katherine Loflin, Lead Consultant, Soul of the Community.

Gallup and Knight Foundation invite you to join us as we discuss the community attributes that drive an emotional connection to a place. Media, policymakers and non-profit and community-based organization leaders are encouraged to view this live Webcast.
Live Webcast
The Knight Soul of the Community: Why People Love Where They Live and Why It Matters event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on November 15, 2010, and will be broadcast live on the Soul of the Community website. There is no cost to attend and no advance registration is needed to view the Webcast. For more information, contact Paul Wiseman at 305.860.1000 x124.