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

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.

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 

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!

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, August 15, 2023

Content 15.4 "Profiles" pick-up party

Content Magazine is releasing their newest issue on Thursday, August 17th. As is tradition they are hosting a party to celebrate the release, which is taking place at the San Jose Museum of Art (SJMA). Music and entertainment will be provided by DJ Weezmatic, Yosimar Reyes, Ervin Wilson, James Mertke, Paul J. Gonzalez, Together We Create, and more.

The event takes place from 6-9pm and is free to the public. Content Subscribers also get a complimentary beverage and hors d'oeuvres courtesy of El Cafecito by Mezcal Restaurant.

For more info or to become a subscriber, head over here.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Italian Family Festa this weekend at History Park San Jose

The 41st Italian Family Festa returns this weekend at History Park. There will be delicious Italian foods, live entertainment, culinary demos, five wineries, arts and crafts, a street dance, grape stomping, and even a re-enactment of a Roman encampment complete with Italian sword fighting. 

The event will run from 11am to 8pm on Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sunday at History Park San Jose (1650 Senter Road). Admission is free and all ages are welcome. For more info and a full schedule of events, head over here.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Monopoly: San Jose Edition

Did you know San Jose has the largest Monopoly board in the world? You can find it at Discovery Meadow near the Children's Discovery Museum and for $300 you can rent it for a private party. The 3-hour game even uses giant game pieces and dice. 

Now we're getting a normal size version of the game, but with a San Jose twist. The makers of Monopoly are creating a San Jose Edition of the game where all 38 spots on the board will represent local areas. You can submit ideas for the 22 property spots at So if it's always been your dream to own both Santana Row and Valley Fair and add a couple hotels to them, this will be your chance.

Source: SVBJ

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

100 Things To Do In San Jose Before You Die - 2nd Edition

Welcome to the blog post that has stayed in "draft" the longest. I started writing this right as COVID had just started to spread and decided to table it until the pandemic was over. Then last year, life got crazy... so this has been in draft for over three years!

Five Eight years ago I read the first edition of Susannah Greenwood's "100 Things To Do in San Jose Before You Die." As a hardcore San Jose aficionado, I was shocked (and delighted) that I had only done 54 out of the 100 things to do in the book. There is so much to do and see in San Jose.

25% of the entries on the second edition are new, and the rest have been updates with extended tips. I have used the book as sort of a checklist to see how many I can do. The answer is 52. In the 2nd Edition I have been able to do 52/100.

Some of the new entries include:
  • Hiking Mount Umunhum
  • Having a picnic at the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve
  • Bike, Blade, and Board at Viva CalleSJ
  • Letting your taste buds travel with a Little Ethiopian in Little Ethiopia
  • Indulge at Adega (I think this will be updated for the 3rd Edition)
  • Pair farm-fresh food with gorgeous valley views at the Mount Hamilton GrandView Restaurant
  • Celebrating the geekiest week of the year with Star Wars Day and Free Comic Book Day
...and many, many more. It's a great book and still very relevant, especially if you want to get the most out of the beautiful place where you live and uncover as many hidden gems and fun attractions as possible in your own home. San Jose is one of the most underrated cities in the United States, and this book will help explain why.

If I haven't been super clear, I highly recommend the 2nd edition (even if you have the first). You can get the book in paperback or Kindle form over here.

"In sitting down to revise the book, I thought a lot about San Jose, how it has and continues to change, as well as what a successful travel experience for me personally constitutes. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to 6 continents and I examined what my favorite places were and why they ranked so. Certainly natural beauty, history, cultural offerings and great weather all play a part in connecting one to a destination and creating a positive travel memory, but what it really comes down to for me, are the people. That is the x factor. The people you meet, at least in my experience, can leave as much of a lasting impression in many cases as the food or the views or the activities you engage in. The people you meet have the power to transform a moment into a story and create a shared experience that extends its impact well after you’ve returned home. In short; conversations create connection and that connection is ripe for the picking in San Jose.

They say it’s not about the destination - it’s the journey, but I think San Jose truly proves they’re both very much intertwined. The featured places and events in the book were especially selected to not only represent our culture and highlight our tremendous natural landscape, but to underscore our strong sense of community. Each of the entries certainly qualifies as a stand-alone adventure, but each of them also strives to put the participant directly in the path of our cities most magical asset; San Joseans. These are the places you’re most likely to strike up that all important conversation with the most passionate and knowledgeable secret tour guides, each genuinely eager to enhance and elevate your experience with additional history, tidbits, and previously undocumented advice. It’s less of a guide to physical places perhaps as it is a curation of potential conversations by which one can better understand and enjoy our awesome City.

Whether you're a first time visitor to this biggest little city in the heart of Silicon Valley, a regular traveler to the area, or a local this 2nd edition is a great catalyst to exploring what makes San Jose tick and getting to know the authentic San Jose." -Susannah Greenwood

Monday, April 17, 2023

Bay Area's first Portugal Restaurant Week! April 17th - April 24th

As a Portuguese-American it used to be a huge challenge to even find Portuguese food at restaurants in the Bay Area. Once Sousa's Restaurant (Azorean Portuguese) on Santa Clara Street closed down, there wasn't a single proper sit-down Portuguese restaurant in San Jose.

Fast forward to today and it's a different story. The first and only Michelin Star restaurant in San Jose and the only Portuguese restaurant with a star in the United States is ADEGA--coincidentally in the same East San Jose retail spot as Sousa's used to be. One of the hottest Downtown San Jose restaurants is Petiscos. Then you have Uma Case in SF, LaSalette in Sonoma, and Tasca Tasca also in Sonoma. There are also outstanding Portuguese-influenced restaurants popping up like Broma in Mountain View (with a Michelin Star chef from Chez TJ).

A celebration of these restaurants kicks off today with the Bay Area's first-ever Portugal Restaurant Week. Special discounted multi-course menus will be available at Adega, Petiscos, Uma Casa, La Salete, and Tasca Tasca. Now's the time if you have yet to experience Portuguese food, which is best served family-style with wide varieties of things to try. You can't go wrong with any of the five options, but please support our San Jose restaurants so they stick around for a long, long time. 

For more info and menus, head over to the Portugal Week site over here! The event only runs until April 24th.

Monday, December 12, 2022

San Jose ranked top metro for immigrant success

A report entitled "Immigrants and Opportunities in American Cities" ranked US metros that were most likely to help immigrants succeed. The criteria included household incomes, innovation, staffing in essential occupations like nursing, and measures of cultural appeal.

San Jose took home the gold medal as the city most likely to help immigrants succeed. San Jose was followed by Baltimore-Columbia-Towson in Maryland, San Francisco-Oakland in 3rd place, and Seattle in 4th.

Also included in the study was a note that metros with higher immigrant populations tended to preform better than other places in terms of income, startup businesses, and productivity.

As a product of two immigrants, I'm happy to see San Jose continue to be a welcoming environment to newcomers.

Source: SVBJ

Friday, August 19, 2022

28th Annual Assyrian Food Festival

One of the biggest benefits of living in San Jose is diversity. It's amazing that we have access to so many events each year celebrating different cultures. This weekend is the 28th Assyrian Food Festival. The two day event also features dancing, live entertainment, exotic teas, coffee, parties, arts, a raffle and of course a ton of authentic Assyrian cuisine.

The event runs from 11am to 11pm on Saturday and 11am to 9pm on Sunday at the Assyrian Church of the East (680 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125). Admission and parking are both free. For more info head over to

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Content 10th Anniversary Pick-Up Party

San Jose's leading publication focused on art and culture is celebrating 10 years in print on March 3rd with the release of issue 14.2 "Sight & Sound." As is tradition, Content kicks off each issue with a party, often including the people featured in the magazine. This time around, they are returning to the venue of one of their very first parties--the San Pedro Square Market.

Issue 14.2 features: Culture Night MarketBrandon “BQ” Quintanilla6th Street StudiosAbby BettencourtBaunfire, Juan Sanchez; Cartoonist/Writer, Trinidad Escobar; Artist/Muralist, Manuel Villagran; Artist, Caia Koopman; Photographer, Alex KnowbodyTabrizi Productions, Faran Tabrizi; Photo 125, San Jose State Photographers; Musician, Bennett Roth-Newell; Instrumentalist, Lidia Rodriguez408 Collective, Gabe Rangel, Jared Carbajal, Misa James, & Tyler Richards; and Album Picks by Needle to the Groove.

There will be live music, courtesy of the artists in the latest issue, along with an assortment of local artwork on display.

This special event runs from 7pm-9:30pm at the San Pedro Square Market on March 3rd. Subscribers, features, and contributors will get a free drink and gift upon entry.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Content Pick-Up Party 12.4 "Profiles"

San Jose's premier art & culture magazine is resuming their "pick-up parties" with issue 13.4 on September 3rd--conveniently coinciding with the First Friday Art Walk. You can pick up your latest issue at Parque de Los Pobladores between 6pm-8pm and then check out the galleries and restaurants of SoFA. They'll even have live music, visual art, and mini auto show. What sort of magazine does that for their subscribers?

Speaking of which, if you're not already a subscriber you can learn more about the magazine over here.

In partnership with First Friday Art Walk - Content Magazine celebrates the release of issue 13.4 "Profiles" at Parque de Los Pobladores.

About this event

Join Content Magazine for the first outdoor Pick-Up Party of 2021 on Friday, September 3rd from 6:00-8:00pm in partnership with First Friday Art Walk.

This Pick-Up Party celebrates the release of Issue 13.4 "Profiles."


Low Conspiracy | Warren Chang | San Jose Foos | Annmariz | Aulala Design | 2021 West Valley Fashion Designers | Kaylee Dougherty | Barely Funktional | HeadHunter Crew | FlipSide Lovers | Francisco J Zarate | Google Downtown West | Needle to the Groove Album Picks

Connect with one another in this open outdoor setting and experience a blend of music by Barely Funktional and FlipSide Lovers, along with special guest performances, and visual art by Warren Chang, Francisco J Zarate, Jackelin Solorio, and more. Plus a special visit by Low Conspiracy Car Club.

It is a packed two hour event. We hope you will join us and stay and explore First Friday Art Walk. Open from 5-10pm.

We have missed you and cannot wait to see you!!

This event is made possible by Heritage Bank.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021


This month, South FIRST FRIDAYS is supersized with the return of our annual summer street market. All art venues will be open for in-person visits from 5pm-9pm, as will the indie urban street market featuring over 50 artists, performers, and creatives. You can't miss it since the market will take over a chunk of SoFA. Of course there will be great food and drinks as well.

For more info head over here.

Participating Artists & Indie Creatives:

Atiso Garden
Delilah Bender
Bolo Vintage
Calpulli Tonalehqueh Aztec Dance (7:30pm)
Calli Miquiztli
Arely Cardenas
Classic Loot
Content Magazine
Jhovany R De Ala
Sharon Deibert
Kirsten Dorsey
Ruben Escalante
Faerie Goatmother
Kristin Fjeldheim 
FUSE Presents
Mark Gomez
Cynthia Gonzalez
Hand in Hand Henna
Matty Heimgartner
Higher Fire Clayspace & Gallery
Christine Hofstetter
Maureen Holcomb 
Inside Out Clothing
KathyKay Shirts & Kimonos
Nao Kondo
David Krase
Le Joe
LGBTQ Youth Space
The Local Creative Show
Frankie McFly
Joe Mandrick
Jodi Mascarenas
David Mejia
Poet Mighty Mike McGee + Friends
Bruce Miles
More Más Marami Arts
Sean Nash
Jean-Luc Pedanou
Leslie Perez Designs
Petite Galleria 
Plant Theory
Poetry Center San Jose
Al Preciado 
Francisco Ramirez
Marilyn Roaf 
SJ Institute of Contemporary Art
Second Hand Hustle
South Bay Burners 
Stay Tuft Rug Co.
Tochtli Wear
Willow Workshop Collective
Works San Jose
Zonkey Toys

In addition to neighborhood restaurants being open, we’ll have the 3 Brothers Kitchen and Road Doggs food trucks on site.

Beer Garden sponsored by LVL Uproar an independent brewery, gastropub and arcade now open in the SoFA District. Music provided by DJ Flipside Crew.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Silicon Valley Annual Check-up

In the video below Joint Venture CEO Russel Hancock summarizes the key learnings from the 2021 Silicon Valley Index. This year, special attention was paid to the impacts of the Coronavirus on our local economy. Other topics include income inequality, racial demographics, housing imbalances, patent registrations, and venture capital funding. The presentation provides an objective look at how our region is doing compared to previous years as well as the rest of the country.

If you find the content interesting, you can also read the whole 150-page study over here.

Monday, March 15, 2021

St. Patty's Day in Downtown San Jose

Downtown San Jose will be illuminated in green until March 17th for St. Patrick's Day. If you are in the area, these are the places you should pay special attention to:

  • Security and Leticia Buildings at 70 S. First St.
  • Twohy Building at 210 S. First St.
  • The Pavilion at 150 S. First St.
  • Circle of Palms on S. Market Street.
  • Post Street between S. Market and S First streets
  • San Pedro Square
  • Fairmont Anex
  • Bamboo Panda Mural on S. First St.
"Lucky the Leprechaun" will also be making an appearance at more than 30 different Downtown businesses. If you find him, take a photo and share it on social media with #DTSJlucky or #DTSJlove to be entered in a drawing for gift cards.

If you're looking for themed events, Ludwig's German Table will have a St. Patty's Day stand up comedy show featuring 5 local comics, Mezcal will be serving up Green Margarita's, and Plant Lush is discounting their Oxalis "shamrock" plants by 17% this week (if you find one with a 4-leaf clover it's free).

We could use a bit of luck right now, as could our local businesses so let's support them!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Thursday, September 10, 2020

New San Jose Flag

Pop quiz, do you know what the San Jose flag looks like?

Here is a quick reminder:

It doesn't quite seem to represent the San Jose of today. Bushels of wheat and grape vines have little to do with our current culture of innovation, technology, diversity, or entrepreneurship. There was an attempt to redesign this flag in 2016, but it never gained traction.

Abhinav Ganesh has created a modernized version of the San Jose flag. It's clean and easy to remember. The sun iconography is also used in official City logos and reminds us of our 300 days of sunshine each year. Here is the official description of the unofficial redesign:

"the triangular shape represents the Santa Clara Valley, the triangles represent the mountains at our borders, and the sun represents our warmth and lofty aspirations. The blue and gold colors, currently used by the city, are also California's official colors."

If you would like to support the initiative to modernize the flag, Abhinav has started selling the new flags and donating $10 to local charities for each sale. You can learn more over here.

Monday, August 10, 2020

New San Jose Landmark Proposals!

After years of planning, we finally have an opportunity to make an internationally recognized landmark for San Jose! Urban Confluence Silicon Valley has collected hundreds of idea submissions from around the globe for an iconic landmark that incorporates modern technology, history, art, architecture, engineering, and place-making. These came from architects, artists, urban planners, and development enthusiasts from 72 different countries across 6 continents.

The next step is to choose three finalists that will each receive $150,000 to refine and re-develop their concept. After that a single winner will be chosen around April 2021 and fundraising would begin for what could be a $100 million+ project next to the SAP Center on the Arena Green.

I've gone through all 960 submissions, and some are truly epic. Below are images of my personal favorites. I love so many of these, but my vote would go to the Infinity Ring at the end (check out the video). It looks amazing despite the 200ft height restriction, you can walk inside it to cross the river while getting a view of San Jose, and it can do some impressive lighting effects than amplify it's coolness. Which is your favorite?

List of Top Submissions
List of all Submissions

The Ring

Ode To Nature

The Statue of Innovation

The Bulb

Urban Spiral

The Caterpillar

Super Natural Skypark

San Jose

Kinetic Obelisk

Land Lux

The Guadaloop

The Infinity Ring