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

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Spend $125 at San Jose Downtown Businesses and get a $25 gift card

In the spirit of supporting local San Jose businesses, the San Jose Downtown Association is offering a special promotion this holiday season. If you spend $125 at Downtown San Jose businesses between Nov. 24 and Dec 24th, they will send you a $25 gift card.

Downtown San Jose in this case is defined as the Business Improvement District. Just provide the receipt(s) from any retail store, restaurant, cafe, museum, theatre, or entertainment venue located within the highlighted area in the map below and claim you gift card over here.

There are some exclusions such as touring shows, Sharks tickets, parking, and stays at hotels. 

Monday, July 31, 2023

San Jose has the largest share of Vietnamese restaurants in the country and exciting projects to come

I believe San Jose has the largest Vietnamese community of any city in the US. At the County-level, it is only second to Orange County down south. However, despite having a slightly smaller Vietnamese population than Orange County (180k vs. 120k in here), Silicon Valley has the highest concentration of Vietnamese restaurants in the US. 6% of all restaurants in Santa Clara County are Vietnamese, featuring some of my favorite foods like pho, banh mi, and other delicacies.

SJ Today has great guides for both the top Pho and Banh Mi shops in San Jose. There are also lots of other types of restaurants featuring spicy Bun Bo Hue and Nuoc Mia (sugarcane juice) that you can find throughout San Jose.

The strength of the Vietnamese community here is one of the reasons why there is a proposal on the table to build a 260,000 SQFT Vietnamese indoor market modeled after a Ho Chi Minh City landmark (image below) where Sears used to be in Eastridge. It would be called Hello Ben Thanh Indoor Market and would have a combination of retail stores, massive food courts with as many as 50 booths, an entertainment center, and banquet hall. The project would take over both floors of the old Sears building. Think of it as a Vietnamese version of Eataly that will be accessible from both inside and outside the mall.

There is no formal ETA, but the developer Intelli has already secured the space for $24.8 million.

Source: The Merc, NextShark

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Urban Putt and Unofficial Logging coming to Paseo Project in Downtown San Jose

Paseo is getting more the super cool looking bar "Eos & Nyx" mentioned yesterday. Also planned is a 13,300 SQFT Urban Putt miniature golf course a 6,800 SQFT ax-throwing and restaurant space called Unofficial Logging.

Below is one of the first renders of Urban Putt. As far as I can remember, this will be the first miniature golf place in Downtown San Jose. As for Ax-throwing... well, that is starting to get pretty popular. We already have Axe-Men on 14 South Second and AxeVentures just outside Downtown. 

This will be Unofficial Logging's 2nd locations, with the first being in Bend, Oregon. Urban Putt has two other locations: San Francisco and Denver.

Source: Silicon Valley Joe from the San Jose Development Forum

Monday, July 18, 2022

City Dance San Jose

CityDance is back for the summer! Head over to the Circle of Palms in Downtown San Jose from 6-9pm every third Thursday for free live music and dance lessons. This week on July 21st the genre is Bollywood. The August 18th session feature Cumbia. On September 15 K-Pop will wrap up the series.

Each session includes an hour of instructor-led dance lessons followed by live music and dancing until sunset on warm summer nights.

Better yet, admission to the San Jose Museum of Art will be free on these nights and Cafecito by Mezcal at the San Jose Museum of Art will be open in case you dance up an appetite. I would also recommend walking into the Hilton Signia next door (formerly the Fairmont) to see the new aesthetic. There is an excellent bar and Peruvian/Japanese tapas at the Signia to continue the night after dancing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Topgolf opens first Silicon Valley location in San Jose

North San Jose and Alviso are quiet parts of San Jose. There is honestly not much to do in terms of entertainment. Fortunately a new major amenity arrived a few months ago, Topgolf. It's part driving range, part Dave & Busters, and part gastropub.

The San Jose location is the first in the Bay Area as well as only the second location in all of Northern California. It is also one of only 4 flagship venues. To give you an idea of how popular these are, the Topgolf in Austin sells more alcohol than any other venue in Austin. The San Jose location is three stories with large bars and restaurants on each one.

The driving range aspect is more of a video game than anything else. Each golf ball has a microchip that lets it be tracked and the computer scores you based on your level of accuracy. There are also tons of games with different rules that you can play with your companions.

The food was surprisingly solid for a big chain. The burgers and fried mac & cheese were delicious. Service was a bit slow, but they were completely slammed when I went (on a Monday).

If you want to play, I would recommend getting a reservation since standby times can stretch to 4 hours or beyond. Parking is free, convenient, and they have a large number of free EV chargers as a bonus. It's also a great location for corporate events and parties. I experienced one firsthand and it was a blast.

For more info and to make reservations, head over here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

A Bowling Alley is coming to Downtown San Jose!

If like me, you're craving new entertainment options amidst the COVID era... we have some good news. Believe it or not, a new bowling alley with cocktails and games is coming to the heart of San Jose on Santa Clara Street. Oh, and it's under construction as we speak!

If you're scratching you're head wondering where this could possibly go, it's being built in the two-story space formerly occupied by AFK Gamer Lounge. It looks like the Bowling Alley with four lanes will be in the basement along with a private dining area and the ground floor will feature vintage arcade games, pinball, pool, and karaoke.

The project is called San Pedro Social and you can learn more over here.

Source: jgordo32 from the San Jose Development Forum

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SoFA Saturdays

The San Jose music scene must carry on until we are back to the point where we can have concerts and music festivals again. Thankfully, the SoFA Street Fair organizers have put together a new series of weekly virtual performances called SoFA Saturdays. Every weekend there will be live concerts, podcasts, and maybe even some martial arts. The site also allows easy access to ordering food and cocktails from SoFA businesses (many of which desperately need our help to stay afloat).

For more details and to see each week's lineup of performers, head over here.


STEP 1 - text your pals and tell them what’s up

STEP 2 - go to FOOD & DRINK and place your orders directly with
restaurants and breweries in SoFA that really need your business right now

STEP 3 - view the SCHED above to plan your evening.
you can even make an account to create a personalized schedule

STEP 4 - get out of the house for a bit, and go pick up your freshly made food,
craft cocktails, and beer all within a few blocks of each other in SoFA

STEP 5 - find your next performance using SCHED or by clicking on the TVs above
to be taken to the current livestream that channel is playing
and enjoy music, watch martial arts, hang backstage with the bands, or just chill.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Great America 2020 Announcements

Last week I had the opportunity to learn more about Great America's 2020 plans for events and new attractions. The big news is the expansion and re-branding of the water park from Boomerang Bay to South Bay Shores. Just about everything in the existing park will be updated and they are in the process of doubling the size of the water park. There will be seven new water attractions this year: four drop slides, two tube slides, and a kid-friendly lagoon area with private cabanas. Admission is included

They also announced three new festivals:

  • Spring Fiesta – This three-weekend-long festival celebrates Hispanic culture with authentic food, live music and entertainment. Each weekend brings a different focus: Dia del Nino (April 25–26) offers kid-friendly crafts, games and activities; Cinco de Mayo (May 2–3) brings traditional, folkloric dance; and Latin Music Festival (May 9–10) showcases Bay Area performers.
  • Monster Jam® Thunder Alley™ – Popular Monster Jam® trucks roll into Great America this summer, offering a larger-than-life experience where park guests can get nose-to-grille, sit inside and even take an adrenaline-charged ride in a Monster Jam truck. Meet-and-greets with drivers, a themed kids play area and the Monster Jam garage round out the limited-time event, which takes place June 20–July 12.
  • Carnivale at Orleans Place – Authentic New Orleans food, glittering floats and costumed street performers come together in a unique nighttime festival that marries the best of Great America’s fan-favorite Taste of Orleans event with the excitement and vibrancy of Mardi Gras. Highlighting the festival is the Spectacle of Color full-scale parade, with extravagantly decorated floats and performers who draw the audience into the action. The exclusive event takes place nightly July 18–August 2.

The "Red, White and Brews" beer festival, Halloween Haunt, and WinterFest will all return this year. Halloween Haunt will get a brand new Asian-themed maze called Shadowlands. Oh, and several new food offerings will be available throughout the year such as fish tacos and sesame chicken on a crispy fried wonton. I hear Micheladas will be available as well inside the park.

It seems like an action packed year, I'm especially looking forward to Carnivale and Halloween Haunt this year!

For more info head over here.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Great America WinterFest 2019

Now that the rain has stopped, it's the perfect time to go out and enjoy the holiday amenities around San Jose. Great America's WinterFest has a strong showing this year with almost all of the rides open, including the two newest roller coasters RailBlazer and Gold Striker. There are 10 different holiday-themed shows, ice skating, interactive cookie decorating, arts & crafts, and festive food throughout the park. If you're with small children, I'd recommend heading over to Camp Snoopy for a dozen toddler-friendly rides.

Every corner of the park was decked out and I had a great time just walking through each themed area and seeing the decorations. There's even a section with fire pits this year.

WinterFest runs until December 31st and is open every day except for the 21st, 24th, and 25th. Tickets start at $27 a person ($19 if you know someone with a season pass) and are available over here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

"Disenchanted" @ 3Below - A Musical Parody on Disney Princesses!

Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Although I may not be an expert of the world of Disney, I have always been a fan of their stories including the timeless animated movies. Breaking down "The Princess Complex", the musical comedy Disenchanted brings the audience to laughter on the alternative true stories of the many princesses you've come to love including:
  • Belle from Beauty & the Beast
  • Hua Mulan from Mulan
  • Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  • Pocahontas from Pocahontas
  • Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
  • Rapunzel from Tangled
  • Jasmine from Aladdin
  • Cinderalla from Cinderella
  • Snow White from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) from Sleeping Beauty
The Princesses featured on Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge  Pictured left to right: Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena), Tiana (played by Marissa Rudd), Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), Ariel (played by Shannon Guggenheim)  Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
The Princesses featured on Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Pictured left to right: Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena), Tiana (played by Marissa Rudd), Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), Ariel (played by Shannon Guggenheim)
Courtesy image by 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Arriving to 3Below Theaters & Lounge, there were so many people in line who were eagerly waiting to see Disenchanted. Some audience members wore their tiaras or some type of Disney gear. Once I got to my seat, I had some time to admire their stage design and lighting while playing a guessing game on which princess is which silhouette on the wall.

The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
The program of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
Sporting their Mickey hats, the small band starts off the first number of the musical comedy led by the hostesses, Snow White (played by Colette Froehlich), Cinderella (played by Theresa Swain), and Sleeping Beauty (played by Natasha Drena).

One of my all-time favorite characters, Mulan (played by Eimi Taormina), shared her story on the fact that she may in fact be a lesbian! Marissa Rudd played one of the most underrated princesses, Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, who used her stature as a strong black woman stating one obvious truth: "Why’d it take ’em so long to give a sistah a song?"

However, one cast member that brought the audience members (including me) to passion, joy, and laughter was Shannon Guggenheim. In addition to being the show's choreographer, Shannon played Belle, Ariel, and Rapunzel. Although Shannon was able to exude Belle as clinically insane and why Ariel truly regrets having her own two feet, nothing can compare to her character as Rapunzel! With direct interaction with the audience members, Shannon's Rapunzel held her long hair while speaking to us with a strong German accent to literally whip us to sing "Not V'One Red Cent."

Unfortunately, one issue that I hope will be resolved in the future are the microphone issues. Ever since I saw their previous production of "A Spoonful of Sherman", it seems that the microphone did cut in and out for some of the musical numbers. Thankfully, it was not enough for me or for others to follow along with the stories, jokes, and singing from this cast.

The set of Disenchanted at 3Below Theaters & Lounge
Photograph taken and with permission by John Huân Vu.
All in all, the musical comedy Enchanted was a very entertaining and funny show hitting the humorous layers of sexism, racism, and women empowerment.

Catch a good laugh now and until July 21, 2019 by catching a performance of Disenchanted playing Thursdays to Sundays at 3Below Theaters & Lounge. You may purchasing tickets online or at their box office at 288 South 2nd Street, San Jose, CA, (408) 404-7711. Discount tickets are available for students, seniors, military, and educators and parking validation is available at the upstairs parking garage. Please note that the show may not suitable for everyone and discretion is advised due to some language and sexual innuendos. As their advertisement would put it: the show is "not suitable for youth but perfect for parents' night out!" As one running joke from the show went, the princesses always had to "wait for their princes ... to come."

Written by John Huân Vũ.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

ShowPlace Icon is San Jose's new flagship movie theater

I'm a big fan of movies and was devastated when my favorite theater--Camera 12 shut its doors. Finally there is a new movie theater in San Jose that has enough character to fill those shoes and elevates the movie watching experience to the next level.

ShowPlace Icon is a 10-screen movie theater spanning two floors and 60,000 SQFT in Valley Fair Mall. All 1,474 seats are reserved loungers with electric footrests and heaters. Their largest theater is a 281 seat ICON*X premium large format room with a 4k laser projection and Dolby Atmos sound. What really made Icon stand out for me was the VIP section upstairs for those 21 and over. Up there you will find surprisingly good craft cocktails, an adult take on Icee's with flavors like "Frozen Margarita," a great food selection, and bacon popcorn. The whole floor looks like a lounge and has comfortable seating throughout. After entering their largest movie theater from the VIP section, you'll soon realize you are on a private balcony where you can continue to enjoy your fancy beverages and food. This is a great design that I hope others will copy.

I was fortunate to get a media preview of The Upside (great movie by the way). The seats were at least as comfortable as the recliners at CineArts or Cinemark Mountain View. The food and drink are for sure the best you can find in any South Bay movie theater. The video and sound quality were exceptional, we're talking IMAX-level. I also like the finishing touches throughout the theater like photos of San Jose and portraits of actors born in the Bay Area.

You can reserve a seat now at Prices are in line with other theaters and I highly recommend checking them out.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cinema Club Silicon Valley

One of San Jose's best kept secrets is Cinema Club Silicon Valley. Once per month, they screen a movie that you can't see anywhere else and follow it with a filmmaker Q&A. Each screening is a surprise and the club has been going strong for 22 years. The last movie they screened was PROSPECT, which just opened for a wide release this past weekend.

On November 18th, they will have their final screening for 2018 and they are opening it up for everyone. Tickets are $16 and it will screen at 3Below in Downtown San Jose.

To RSVP, click here and follow the ticket link.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

p1440 Announces San Jose Music Lineup

- Foster the People, Grouplove, Daya, Marian Hill and Magic Giant to perform at three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings’ inaugural p1440 event in San Jose, Sept. 28 – 30, 2018 -

SAN DIEGO (August 16, 2018) – Professional beach volleyball player and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings’ event series, p1440, announces its p1440 San Jose weekend music lineup for Sept. 28 – 30, featuring Foster the PeopleGrouploveDayaMarian Hill and Magic Giant. The five music acts will perform at the inaugural p1440 San Jose event at the Avaya Stadium grounds. In addition to the live music performances, the three-day event will also feature a professional beach volleyball tournament with the best athletes from around the world, a health & wellness village and development experiences.

“We are so excited to announce such an extremely talented and fun music lineup for our p1440 San Jose event,” said Walsh Jennings, co-founder of p1440. “The p1440 event series was founded upon four pillars—competition, development, health & wellness and entertainment, and each of these pillars will come to life in a powerful way at each event stop. These music acts are an amazing reflection of our entertainment pillar and will help ensure that our fans and guests have an amazing ending to their days spent with us! It’ll be a weekend full of experiences they will never forget and we hope everyone leaves inspired and equipped to live the p1440 lifestyle beyond the weekend and into their daily lives.” 

The music lineup for p1440 San Jose features:

Foster The People—Founded in 2009, the popular alternative rock band is most well known for its #1 hit single “Pumped Up Kicks,” from its debut album, “Torches,” which was declared “the year’s anthem” in 2011 by SPIN. Foster the People garnered three Grammy nominations for its monumental debut, including Best Alternative Album, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Pumped Up Kicks” and Best Short Form Music Video for “Houdini.” The band’s current single, “Sit Next To Me,” recently debuted on the Top 40 airplay chart.

Grouplove—The Los Angeles-based band was founded in 2009 and has quickly become one of music’s most exhilarating young acts. Grouplove’s album, “NEVER TRUST A HAPPY SONG” arrived in 2011, making a stellar chart debut among the Top 5 on Billboard’s “Heatseekers” album chart for new and developing acts. “Tongue Tied,” the second single from “NEVER TRUST A HAPPY SONG,” proved an even greater success, earning RIAA platinum certification for sales in excess of one million while spending three consecutive weeks at #1 on the Alternative airplay chart.

Daya—Since making her debut with 2016’s double-platinum “Hide Away,” the 19-year-old singer/songwriter won her first ever Grammy for her smash collaboration with The Chainsmokers “Don’t Let Me Down,” released a gold-certified album, and headlined a national tour. In 2017, Daya emerged as the youngest honoree on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 music list. Daya is set to deliver a sophomore album that finally shows the full depth of her talent and scope of her artistry.

Marian Hill—This multi-talented duo, Jeremy Lloyd and Samantha Gongol, have been collaborating since they were in high school. In 2013, after recording their first EP, “Play,” in a bedroom, Marian Hill amassed millions of plays on various platforms, sold out shows across the country and were featured in high profile commercials. They signed to Republic Records in early 2015 and settled in to write and record their debut album over the course of the following year with a plan to push their unique sound to its fullest potential.

Magic Giant—This Los Angeles-based band released their debut album, “In The Wind,” in 2017 and have since been named one of the “Artists You Need to Know” by Rolling Stone. The trio’s initial single “Set on Fire” broke the Top 25 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative chart and their second single, “Window” debuted on the Hot AC Top 50. At their live shows, Magic Giant’s upbeat, energetic sound inspires the crowd to get up and dance along to the music.

Daily line-up schedule is below:
Friday, Sept. 28| Grouplove and Daya
Saturday, Sept. 29| Foster the People and Marian Hill
Sunday, Sept. 30| Magic Giant

p1440 San Jose tickets are now on-sale at

Weekend passes start at $80 for adults and $40 for youth under 12 years old. Single day tickets start at $40 for adults and $20 for youth under 12 years old. Kids three years and under are complimentary. Ticket prices will increase as the event approaches. 

To purchase tickets and stay up-to-date with p1440 San Jose, visit here.
Following the p1440 San Jose event, the inaugural p1440 season will travel to Las Vegas, San Diego and Huntington Beach in 2018 with four additional events in 2019 to round out its inaugural year.

To become a part of the #1440Movement, visit,, or follow p1440 on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @platform1440.


About p1440

p1440 was created from the vision of three-time Olympic gold medalist and one-time Olympic bronze medalist, Kerri Walsh Jennings, and husband Casey Jennings’ way of life: to live every minute of the day with purpose—all 1,440 of them. p1440 is an event series encompassing a professional beach volleyball tournament, personal development experiences, live music performances and a health & wellness village, mirrored by a powerful digital community that will provide inspiration and resources to live life fully. It is a movement that goes beyond the lines in the sand, encouraging all to live the p1440 lifestyle regardless of age, gender, profession or geographic location. p1440 was founded upon four pillars: Competition, Development, Health & Wellness and Entertainment. Through the event series and the digital community, p1440 will elevate the sport of beach volleyball, provide a credible platform for aspiring and professional athletes, grow the volleyball audience and become the leading resource for individuals to live a life full of intention. To become a part of the #1440Movement, visit or follow p1440 on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @platform1440.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Topgolf breaking ground in Alviso

Later this year, Topgolf will begin construction on their first Bay Area location. Topgolf is the Dave&Busters of driving ranges and has 41 locations nationwide (only one in California). The San Jose venue will have a three-story driving range with 120 hitting bays, each of which can accommodate six people. Each golf ball has a microchip that can score each golfer--turning it into more of a video game than a traditional range. 

Most Topgolfs are open until midnight during the week and 2am on the weekend. This would provide another much-needed late-night entertainment option for North San Jose and Aliviso. Of course there will be a high-end lounge, one or more restaurants, and several bars onsite. To put the size of the project in perspective, it will employ about 500 people and entertain 450,000+ guests each year.

In addition to the Topgolf, the overall development site will also have a 200-room hotel and 119,000 SQFT of retail. The project is being proposed without subsidies and would bring even more tax dollars to San Jose coffers. It's not clear how long it will take to build, but an opening by the end of 2020 would be a safe bet if there are no roadblocks.

Source: SVBJ

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Terminator Virtual Reality attraction coming to San Jose

An LA entertainment startup called Spaces is launching their first US-based attraction and we are one of two planned stateside locations. The 30-minute experience sets up teams of guests to take on Skynet, so the location couldn't be more appropriate. In addition to VR headsets, there will be physical effects like wind and explosions.

Even though you probably have never heard of Spaces, they were spun out of DreamWorks Animation and have an impressive list of executives and investors. This will likely be a big-budget experience. The company also has a $30 million contract to bring VR and mixed-reality to a Chinese theme park and are working on other VR experiences using their own intellectual property.

There will be an exclusive sneak peak at a secret location sometime soon. You can register for a chance to be one of the first to try out the experience over here.

It will be interesting to see how these next-generation entertainment experiences pan out. Hopefully we are not taking too many steps towards becoming a Black Mirror episode.

Source: SVBJ

Thursday, July 5, 2018

3Below Theaters & Lounge is hosting Slapstick Sundays

Who: 3Below Theaters & Lounge presents
What: Slapstick Sundays
When: July 1st through September 16th 
Where: 3Below Theaters & Lounge, 288 So. Second Street, San Jose, CA 95113
Why: Every Sunday young and old alike can enjoy the company of others who appreciate this high art…the art of slapstick comedy. With origins dating all the way back to Ancient Greece and Rome, the slapstick genre has charmed audiences throughout time: commedia dell’arte, Punch and Judy, Amercian and English vaudeville. Across time and geography, audiences have been treated to these hilarious actors performing acrobatics and intentionally harming themselves, all in the name of laughs. Thankfully, the physical blows were not damaging; the comedians you’ll see in our Slapstick Sunday celebrations are most definitely masters of timing and comedic illusion.

Tickets: $10.00  (Discounts available for Students, Seniors, Military and Educators)   Online at or 408.404.7711
Double Feature: See two movies on one day and take 25% off ($12 to $15)

Schedule: The same film(s) will be shown on the 1st and 3rd Sundays with another pair on the 2nd and 4th Sundays. Showing times are 11:00am and 12:45pm.
Sunday, July 1 & 14 at 11am: City Lights with Charlie Chaplin
Sunday, July 1 & 14 at 12:45pm: Modern Times with Charlie Chaplin
Sunday, July 8 & 22 at 11:00am: The Nutty Professor with Jerry Lewis
Sunday, July 8 & 22 at 12:45pm: The Caddy with Jerry Lewis & Dean Martin
Sunday, July 29 & August 12 at 11:00am: Buster Keaton in The General (+ a series of Keaton shorts)
Sunday, August 5 & 19 at 10:30am: The Cocoanuts with The Marx Brothers
Sunday, August 5 & 19 at 12:15pm: Animal Crackers with The Marx Brothers
Sunday, August 26 & Sept 9 at 11:00am: Laughing 20’s with Laurel & Hardy
Sunday, September 2 & 16 at 11:00am: Horse Feathers with The Marx Brothers
Sunday, September 2 & 16 at 12:30pm: Duck Soup with The Marx Brothers

Photos courtesy of 3Below: Charlie Chaplin in City Lights and The Marx Brothers in The Cocoanuts

Thursday, June 14, 2018

RailBlazer is the new coaster at Great America for 2018

Today Great America's new Railblazer roller coaster is officially open to the public. The unique ride will be the first of its kind on the West Coast. There is a single track and riders sit single-file straddling the rail. This enables tighter turns than most coaster. The ride is 106 feet tall and reaches 52 MPH.

I was able to experience it firsthand a couple hours ago. To make sure I fully understood the experience, I went on the ride three times--once in the very front row which was well worth the extra wait time! Even though the ATV-themed ride is only about 30 seconds long, it is one of the most intense roller-coasters I have ever been on. The initial drop is completely vertical and is quickly followed by three very tight inversions. The whole ride is silky smooth unlike some of the older coasters that toss you around (e.g. Demon and Patriot, formerly Vortex). Flight Deck is still my favorite ride at Great America, but Railblazer is a close second.

In addition to the new coaster, California's Great Amercia has also expanded food options. The park now has a full-service Starbucks, an expanded menu and outdoor dining at Maggie's Smokehouse & Fried Chicken, and a new family-friendly restaurant called Sierra Creek Lodge. Even the restrooms have been fully renovated and are the nicest I have seen in a theme park. I'm thrilled to see that Cedar Fair is living up to their promise to invest and improve the park. If you haven't been to Great America in a while, now is a great time to see what's new.

For more info on RailBlazer and Great America, click here.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Retro arcade and upscale bar on tap for Downtown this summer

"miniBoss" is the most anticipated new Downtown bar in years. The owners of Original Gravity (San Jose's first bar exclusively dedicated to craft beer) and Paper Plane (one of San Jose's first craft cocktail bars) are now opening a third venue at the corner of Santa Clara Street and 2nd Street. This is a very high-profile and easily accessible space that was last occupied by Toons years ago.

Clocking in at 5,528 SQFT, miniBoss will host dozens of old-school arcades and pinball machines. Given its pedigree, craft beers and cocktails are guaranteed. The venue will also have a full kitchen which will likely serve up surprisingly good pub fare if Paper Plane and Original Gravity are any indication. It will provide a unique entertainment option that simply does not exist in Silicon Valley right now and be yet another "cool" thing to do in San Jose.

Downtown San Jose is finally getting the traction and attention it deserves and miniBoss will undoubtedly be an anchor tenant for the growing numbers that live, work, and play Downtown. I'm greatly looking forward to its grand opening this summer.

Source: The MercSVBJ

Monday, February 5, 2018

sjDANCEco presents program of World Premieres with “On The Edge” Feb 16 & 17 in San Jose

WHO: sjDANCEco presents
WHAT: "On The Edge"
WHEN: Friday, February 16 and Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 2:30pm & 7:00pm 
WHERE: SJSU Dance Theater; SPX 216. 

The theater is located in the Spartan Complex building on the San Jose State University Campus at One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95112 near 4th Street and San Carlos.
Inexpensive parking is available at the City garage on San Carlos between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

WHY: The South Bay and the East Bay come together in sjDANCEco’s winter offering, “On The Edge”, a shared bill of contemporary choreography. "On the Edge" was initiated to give greater opportunity to sjDANCEco's seasoned and aspiring company choreographers. It brings together an evening of World Premieres by Company dancer/choreographers Hannah McNany, Kelisha Gardeen, Katherine House, Jazmyn Turner and Danielle Galvez. Diablo Ballet's Resident Choreographer, Robert Dekkers, presents the touching duet "No One Does It Like You" performed to music by Department of Eagles.  The ballet, originally created for Arizona's NovaBallet premiered in July of 2010 at the Tempe Center for the Arts in Tempe, Arizona. 

TICKETS: $30 General, $25 Senior (65 & up). $20 Student (w/student ID) - plus fees for all tickets levels.
BOX OFFICE: 408.520.9854


ABOUT US: 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. In addition to a full season of dance concerts, sjDANCEco also is a major participant each Spring in free outdoor dance presentations during National Dance Week, international dance festivals, and has a full schedule of contemporary dance classes for the advanced and professional dancer. sjDANCEco ignites the spirit of dance.
sjDANCEco is a registered 501c3.  Fed ID 61-1446985
Photo Clockwise from Top Left: Dancer/choreographers Hannah McNany, Frankie Reviera, Kelisha Gardeen and Katherine House. Photo by Thomas Hassing.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Super Bowl Watch Party at Bourbon Steak & Pub

What better place to watch the big game than at the location of Super Bowl 50? Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak & Pub will be transformed into a special culinary extravaganza on February 4th from 11am to 9pm.

The $49/person all-inclusive menu highlights items from the restaurant's new BBQ smoker, including Allen Brothers beef brisket, baby back ribs, and BBQ chicken spicy sausage links. There are also vegetarian-friendly options like marinated portabella mushrooms, braised greens, mac 'n cheese, potato salad, backed beans, and brussel cole slaw--not to mention plenty of desserts like Michael Mina's signature cookies.

Tickets are available over here.