Showing posts with label the san jose blog editorial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the san jose blog editorial. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

Normal posting schedule resumes tomorrow

I'm sorry for drought of posts lately! I was in Asia for a couple weeks for work and am still trying to catch up. However, I did get to take a detour and see two very interesting places--Macau and Hong Kong.

Macau is the most densely populated county (technically a S.A.R. of China) on the planet with 73,350 people per square mile. That is basically triple the density of New York and quadruple that of San Francisco. What is interesting is that most of Macau is not super tall--there are only 20 skyscrapers in the whole country (buildings 492 ft or taller). Most of the buildings were 3-8 stories with retail on the ground floor.

Hong Kong on the other hand has the largest number of skyscrapers anywhere with 353 buildings over 492 feet tall. It also has thousands of "San Francisco" height high-rises, some of them 5-6 times wider than what you would see in the US. It was one of the cleanest, safest, and best-organized cities I have ever been too. It has one of if not the best subway system in the world and most trips cost $2. Also--sit down for this--it has one of the lowest rates of homelessness of any large city. The homeless rate is 0.02% in Hong Kong versus 0.5% in San Jose. Like San Jose, real estate prices are sky high and the weather is warm most of the year, yet somehow we have four times as many homeless as a city of 8 million with insane density and many public spaces.

So, I got to see two stereotypes dispelled first hand. 1.) You don't need a lot of super tall buildings to create density and a critical mass of people 2.) Density does not necessarily equal chaos, traffic, crime, and homelessness.

I'm happy to see there are many San Jose projects about to break ground or are recently proposed and I'll post about them over the next couple of weeks. If we do things right, it IS possible to increase density and quality of life at the same time!

Senado Square in Macau

View from the 110th floor of the ICC, tallest building in Hong Kong

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The San Jose Blog's 9th Anniversary!

It is hard for me to believe that the blog has been running for 9 years. I still remember writing the initial post fueled by the desire to prove San Jose is worthy of being the 10th largest city in the county and the capital of Silicon Valley (I re-posted it below, just for fun). Since then, there have been 3,406 additional posts and 3.34 million visitors to The San Jose Blog.

There is still much we can improve as a city, but it is no longer a challenge to argue San Jose is a world-class city. Rarely does a week go by without San Jose being in the national news. We are getting new development proposals weekly and across all sectors (office, housing, hotel, etc.), major infrastructure improvements such as BART and an airport expansion are moving forward, new landmarks such are a modern Light Tower are now an actual possibility--and most importantly--we have a culture that revolves around innovation. That means a willingness to grow, recognize where we can do better, take risks, and try things that push the world forward. As long as we keep innovation as a core value in our culture, the future will always be just a little bit brighter.

Thank you all for supporting this blog over the years. Special shout out to Jennifer Bullock and Kimberly Vacca who have moved out of San Jose for their next adventures. We appreciate all of their contributions to the blog and wish them the best on their future adventures--hopefully they will find their way back to SJ in the future ;) 

Now for a quick step back in time...

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The San Jose Blog's 8th Anniversary!

Where does the time go, has it really been 8 years already? I feel like San Jose has really turned the corner and is getting a lot more love than it did when this blog was first started. There is still a long way to go and plenty of challenges to contend with, but the city is moving in the right direction.

You might have noticed the posting frequency has gone down over the last year or so. Unfortunately some priorities had to be shifted around and I have a lot less time than I used to. My goal is still to do at least three posts a week, but I would be thrilled if any out there wants to contribute as well. We get tons of offers to cover restaurant openings, events, and concerts (usually with free passes). Most of those posts never get written because there just aren't enough hours in the day. If you are interested in stepping up to the podium, just drop me a line.

Now for a bit of nostalgia. Below is our very first post:

Monday, January 23, 2017

VTA introduces abysmal, terrible, AND horrific new logo

As regular readers know, I am usually pretty upbeat and optimistic. Unfortunately, this post will be a bit uncharacteristic of this blog... we are making a terrible mistake that will impact the region for at least the next decade. Before I get too it, let me start off by saying that I respect all the hard work the VTA has been putting in on trying to improve local transportation and later this week we will discuss some of the exciting route changes that will have a net positive impact for our city.

Switching gears, let's have a good look at the logo and slogan that will adorn hundreds (maybe thousands) of buses and light rail trains in the region. This is what will represent transportation in the most technologically advanced and innovative region in the entire world:

What... the... %@#&.

The first thing I think of when I see this logo is a Christian Fellowship. I'm Catholic and have nothing against religion, but that is not the vibe a transportation company should exude, except for perhaps a mortuary, hearse manufacturer, or ambulance company. Speaking of which, that is the second thing that comes to mind--a hospital like Good Samaritan or O'Connor. Have one more look.

Next the slogan seeps into your brain... "Solutions that move you." As Sal points out in his piece, "Solutions that move you" makes our transportation system sound like a laxative. That's right, the perception is that VTA is something that helps you go to the toilet. If you think I'm overrating, show the image below without the "Valley Transportation Authority" text to anyone that is not familiar with VTA and ask them what product they think this company produces:

To prove that this is not an early April Fools joke, here is what all of our buses will eventually look like:

Let me ask you, what about this logo represents Silicon Valley? Where do you see innovation, or diversity, or technology, or sunlight, or even transportation in this logo? I can't imagine a more vapid representation of Silicon Valley to slap on the side of our entire transit network. 

How did this happen? There were focus groups, people voted, this was a community decision. This logo is supposed to represent a peaceful ocean and sky, the white reminiscent of a seagull gliding through the air. Of course people are going to like in isolation, the logo reminds them of a vacation in a coastal town. But guess what--we are not Santa Cruz, Monterrey, or Hawaii, and we are definitely not San Francisco. Where does the ocean touch Silicon Valley? When was the last time you saw a seagull gliding through Downtown San Jose? 

This is so misguided, it's apalling. The last time the VTA changed their logo was 1998. That means we could be stuck with this aberration for the next 20 years! We have so many intelligent, creative, passionate people working in San Jose. We shouldn't settle, we can do better than this. We have accomplished so much as a region, we cannot let this be our brand.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The San Jose Blog's 7th Anniversary!

Today marks a very special milestone for The San Jose Blog. Seven years ago today this site started as a personal project to highlight all of the great things happening in San Jose. I love this city, and wanted as many other people as possible to love it as well.

It started out as a challenge to show the world that San Jose is cool, has culture, and is worthy of world-class development. Fast forward seven years, and it is much less of a challenge than it was before. San Jose has come a very long way, especially Downtown San Jose which is thriving far beyond my expectations for 2016.

Over seven years the San Jose Blog has put out over 2,800 posts and welcomed 2,350,000 visitors. It has not been easy keeping things running for so long (as many other local bloggers can attest), but I would like to thank all of our contributors over the years for helping keep this special project going. I would especially like to thank Jen Bullock who manages all of our social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) in addition to her super-busy day job.

If you are interested in contributing--whether you would like to write posts, send in photography/artwork, or have unreported news, please feel free to email me any time at Last but not least, thank you to all of the readers for giving us the motivation to keep on going!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The San Jose Blog's Subtle Refresh

We have recently hit two major milestones on this blog: 2,500 posts and 2,000,000 visits! To celebrate, we made a few minor changes to make the blog easier to read and use:

  • The background color has been changed to white in order to make the content on the page pop out more, especially photos.
  • The top header has been completely eliminated as most of the links there were not relevant.
  • We added a new search (red arrow below) that is far more effective and lets you quickly filter results by The San Jose Blog, content we link to, or the San Jose Blogroll.
We hope you like the changes. If not, let us know in the comments and we'll see what else we can tweak. Thanks everyone for making this blog a big success!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Downtown with a Capital D

Some people noticed that when I refer to Downtown San Jose, I write the word downtown with a capital "D" instead of a lowercase letter. I started doing this years ago and it is entirely intentional.

When you write it as "downtown" you are referring to a type of place... such as a street, a block, or an alley. It's a generic descriptor to can refer to a downtown anywhere. It's nothing more than a common noun.

However, when you write "Downtown" it becomes a proper noun and means a place in and of itself. It's a destination or district, such as Willow Glen, Japantown or Santana Row and it gives our urban core some respect. Instead of "a" downtown it becomes "the" Downtown, our Downtown.

It may seem like a small difference, but I feel like it changes the context of the word entirely. Its just something to keep an eye out for when reading what other people write about Downtown San Jose. How the word is written will already give you a lot of information on what their opinions are. I hope to see more people using the capital D in the future!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

5 Year Anniversary of TSJB, San Jose Population Hits 1 Million!!!

Today marks this blog's fifth anniversary, which is quite a long time in the local blogosphere! I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I decided to pull up the very first post from May 10th, 2009:

Born and raised in San Jose, I've had the opportunity to witness this city's amazing transformation from a midsized suburban town into the 10th largest city in the US, the capital of Silicon Valley, and a incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship. The goal of this blog is to highlight new developments in San Jose as well as to visually show a side of the city that many people haven't seen before.  Major changes are underway, and there hasn't been a better time to be a San Josean. Cheers to the future!

I still stand by this statement today, but I have to admit that this really doesn't tell the full story on the blog's origins. Five years ago it was estimated that San Jose broke one million residents. I thought this was a cause for celebration, but I noticed in a couple of online forums when the news broke out instead of congratulating San Jose, the city was getting berated. Posters complained about San Jose's lack of culture, development, and downtown area. In essence, the theme was that San Jose did not deserve to be a city of a million people. Of course, the guys from Skyscraper City and I quickly rose to the challenge and vehemently defended our city. However, I didn't think that was enough. I wanted to prove to the world that San Jose is already a great place and it is developing and innovating at a rapid pace. That was the real impetus for the blog.

When the official census numbers came out a year later in 2010, San Jose did not hit the million mark in population. The figure came out to only 945,952 residents, definitely a disappointment.

Fast forward to 2014. San Jose is again estimated to have hit the million mark, except this time it is an official government statistic and will almost certainly stick by the time the 2020 census comes around. The exact figure released by the California Department of Finance is 1,006,892 residents.

This time the reaction is quite a bit different. There is very little negativity or mockery coming from the news, and even a few San Franciscans have offered congratulations on online forums. It you look at the San Jose of today, it is very different than five years ago. Downtown is booming. The restaurant scene has exploded, multiple cranes are up for major projects, the San Pedro Square Market is bringing people from across the Bay into the area, the convention center is expanded, and I have never seen so many people on the streets over the weekends. As far as infrastructure goes, San Jose is getting BART in a few short years, it will be the core of a new and extensive Bus Rapid Transit system, and Light Rail is going to get several improvements and a new line. In terms of pro sports (a big draw), over the last five years two major stadiums were approved in the area and are well under construction: the Earthquakes stadium at the edge of Downtown and the $1.3 billion Levi's Stadium less than a mile away from San Jose's border. Both will have a big impact on tourism and the area's brand. Lastly, over the last half decade millions of square feet in office have been added with several million more to come. San Jose has become a clear choice for large tech companies that need a large amount of space as well as startups looking for a more urban atmosphere and public transit.

The last five years have had their ups and downs, but I think we are hitting this marker on a very high note. The next five years are going to be much more exciting and I can't wait to see where we'll be in 2019.

Hope you all have a great weekend, Cheers!

Photo by LastLightBender

Saturday, April 5, 2014

2,000th Post on The San Jose Blog!

It has been quite a journey so far. Honestly, I was not sure if we would ever hit this milestone and I am pretty sure that no other independent San Jose-oriented blog has reached 2,000 posts. We're still going strong and also just broke 1.2 million page views.

I have been travelling for the past week to visit family and had an opportunity to visit two great American cities: Denver, CO and Louisville, KY. I spent a great deal of time in the downtown areas of both cities and have to say that I had a lot of fun in both locations. The people in Louisville were incredible (friendliest city I have ever been to) and Denver's lively and walkable 16th street filled with shops and restaurants seemed to go on for miles.

The one thing I did not get a sense of in either city (or their downtown cores) was that there would be substantial changes in the future. They are already great cities with a lot to be proud of, but five years from now Denver will still be Denver and Louisville will still be Louisville. On the other hand, I think in five years San Jose will be a very different city than it is today... and while change is scary for most I think San Joseans have the ability to weather and welcome change better than anyone else in the country. That is what excites me the most about living here and working on this blog. We have a lot to look forward to and expect to see some big announcements in the coming months!

Cheers, and hope to see you all another 2,000 posts from now =)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2014 is Going to be an Epic Year for San Jose!

Happy New Year everyone! 2013 was a great year for San Jose and I think 2014 is going to be even better. Just a little warning, this is going to be a very long post.  First off, what do we have to look forward to in 2014:

  • The 49ers Stadium - Not only will San Joseans have easy access to a world-class facility, but it will bring some big dollars into our economy. San Jose stands to gain as much as Santa Clara with this new project, and it may also lead to an inflection point with VTA Light Rail. You also have to love that the first major event there will be a San Jose Earthquakes game.
  • 10 New Cranes in the Air Downtown - The development boom in Downtown San Jose has just begun. While we already have cranes up for One South and Centerra, expect to see a sky filled with them by the end of 2014.
  • Major Events at the San Jose Convention Center - The remodeled convention center looks fantastic. The 2014 Silicon Valley International Auto Show will be the first event to take full advantage of the new space, and I'll look forward to many more events that use the new space.
  • More Great Restaurants - In 2013 we saw a huge list of significant openings Downtown: SP2, Cafe Stritch, Orchestria Palm Court, The Farmer's Union, Blackbird Tavern, Nemea, Ike's Vyne, Konjoe, Bray, Bel Bacio, and Whispers. Expect the trend to continue in 2014. I'm especially looking forward to ISO: Beers, Da Kine Grill, CREAM, and of course the SoFA Market.
  • More international flights at SJC - We got Tokyo in 2013 and I have a feeling we will land at least one other major international route in 2014.
  • Construction on Transit Projects - Both BART and BRT construction will be in full swing this year. Even though those systems will not be operational in 2014, it will be 
  • Seeing North First, Midtown, and Japantown Develop - These are the three areas of San Jose that are seeing major urbanization outside of Downtown. In 2014 North First will get millions of additional SQFT in office space, thousands of new homes, and improvements to Light Rail. Midtown will start seeing some new residential projects and retail as will Japantown.
  • The Completion of Santana Row - The last major development projects to complete the original vision for Santana Row should be in place or nearing completion by the end of this year. 

Last year I also took the liberty of making a few 2013 predictions. Let's see how I did:

1.) More than two high-rise buildings will break ground in Downtown San Jose. We know about the Carlyle and One South Market, but I think we will see at least one more. Close, but no cigar. Those two projects did break ground but we will not get the 3rd "high-rise" project until 2014. Many people thought these two would not happen, so I still consider this an overall success.

2.) A major transportation project will be greenlit: be it a BRT line, a Lightrail Expansion, or funding for the subway portion of the BART expansion to San Jose. The number of transit riders and bicyclists will rise. Yes. BRT moving forward.

3.) San Jose will have a stronger brand and identity by the end of the year. Many new cultural and art projects will happen Downtown, helping San Jose feel and look like the Capital of Silicon Valley. I think as a brand there was movement in the right direction, especially with Downtown. Most of the art projects were pushed back, but we will see them in 2014 (underpass illumination, high-rise lighting, etc.)

4.) The Sharks will be back with a vengeance for the 2013-2014 Season. Yes. They are doing quite well ;)

5.) Downtown San Jose Office Vacancies will fall below 10%. Not even close, we are still around 20% but did score some big wins over the year.

6.) The number of restaurants in Downtown San Jose will break 250 for the first time in history. Oh, so so close... @248.

7.) We still have no decision on the A's stadium. However, you can expect a decision in 2014 before Bud Selig retires. This one will depend on how you look at it. Was there an official permanent decision on the A's or just that specific proposal? Still a bit grey here.

8.) San Jose will continue to dominate national rankings in salaries and quality of life. Yes, I think we nailed this one.

9.) We will maintain our status as the safest US city with over 500,000 residents. Yes, believe it or not. In terms of murders and violent crimes we were still far and away the safest city above 500,000 residents in the US.

10.) The Golden Triangle and North First Street developments will accelerate, and we will attract at least one massive tech company to relocate to San Jose to compliment what is the largest cluster of tech companies in the world by a huge margin. Yes, millions of SQFT in planned new developments... several major tech companies moved their HQs to San Jose and we will see a Fortune 100 company move into a million SQFT of North San Jose space in 2014.

Okay one last section here.

Now for some items related to The San Jose Blog. As some of you may have noticed, there was a slight
redesign to the layout of the site. The main panel is now much wider, allowing us to post substantially larger photos and videos. There is also a new ad-block on the right, which I tried to make as subtle as possible. I hope it is not too annoying, but if it is feel free to email me about it ( Also, for 2014, you will likely see several more days with two posts instead of one. There is so much going on that it is difficult not to get behind with only one post per day.

That's a wrap, hope you all have an amazing first day of 2014!

From Lastlightbender's Instagram Page

Monday, December 9, 2013

The San Jose Blog Hits 1 Million Page Views!

Over the weekend The San Jose Blog hit a major milestone. The homepage has now officially been viewed over 1,000,000 times! It took four and a half years to get to this point, but it looks like the next million views will happen by the end of 2014. I really want to thank of all of our readers. Without you guys this blog would have died long ago, along with the majority of San Jose blogs with similar goals that have come and gone over the years. I would also like to thank the other contributors to the blog: Jen, Jarrod, and Andy for their continued support.

Just like any other major milestone in life, it is a good time to look ahead at the future. One of my key hopes for this blog was always to have it contribute more to the community, especially Downtown San Jose. So I would like to work towards an annual event for readers and supporters, hosted at a new, hip Downtown eatery with free beer and snacks. I love how Content Magazine throws parties for their supporters, and would like to do the same thing. A longer term goal is contributing to major projects (Halloween in the Park and local art projects comes to mind).

In order to fund these plans, I'm planning to put up a single, unobtrusive ad block over on the right hand panel by the end of the year. It will not affect the posts in any way, either visually or from a content perspective. If you guys hate it, just let me know ( If it doesn't work or annoys people, I have no problem rolling back the change.

Thank you again for all of the support, and here's to the future!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The San Jose Blog's 4 Year Anniversary!!!!

It's amazing how time goes by. The very first post on The San Jose Blog was four years ago today. That was over 1,500 posts ago. The original mission was simple, show the world that San Jose is a really cool city and deserves a lot more respect than it has been given in the past, both from outsiders and even residents themselves.

2009 was not a great year. Financial markets were dry, real estate was depressed, unemployment was at a 26-year high, and just about every major project in San Jose was either on-hold or cancelled. If you looked at the very core of San Jose, the Downtown residential high-rises were selling at an abysmal rate, and there was little hope that any of the dozen or so planned towers would move forward. Yet, there was still reason to be optimistic.

San Jose has a unique history. 60 years ago, the economy was mostly agrarian and the population consisted of barely 100,000 residents. To put that in perspective San Francisco had 775,000 and Oakland was up to 365,000 people at that time. Over those 60 years, San Jose experienced unprecedented growth to become 10-fold larger and is now the base of one of the strongest if not the strongest economic engines in the world. That is quite a turn around for a little farming town. The one thing that did not grow as quickly as the population was culture and community pride. Even many San Jose residents felt like it was a second class city. Then something happened...

The masses slowly started caring. A culture based around innovation and constant improvement began emerging. Communities of people excited with every new potential San Jose project popped up. The Usuals opened up shop and started selling I "Heart" SJ shirts, and people actually put them on. San Jose started getting ranked on National Top 10 lists: #1 Top Job Market in the US, #1 Happiest City of Young Professionals, #1 City for Patent Creation, #1 Highest Median Household Income, #1 Top Cleantech City in the US, #1 Healthiest City for Women, #1 Safest Large City in the US, #1 Highest Salaries for [Fill in the Blank], etc., etc. etc. Of all the stats, perhaps the one I was most proud of was getting technically and objectively ranked as a "World Class" City for the first time ever.

Now, we are in an era where our culture is growing, our city is growing, and national recognition is growing. Here is a list of some of the things that either currently exist or are in progress today that seemed unfeasible and out of reach four years ago:
  • Four completely full residential high-rises Downtown
  • A brand new San Jose Earthquakes Stadium
  • The San Pedro Square Market
  • The South Bay 49ers
  • A Downtown with 250 restaurants
  • Premier Retail (i.e. launching here before SF and LA) in Santana Row and Valley Fair
  • Little Italy
  • Art projects of this calibur
  • BART to San Jose
  • One billion new miles of new bike lanes (don't quote me on the number)
  • MUJI Downtown
  • Office HQs that look like this
  • Virgin and ANA flights at SJC
  • A Shark's Stanley Cup Win (had to throw that one in)
And of course, the big news that I have been harassed about for taking so long to mention...

Thanks to David Cheung for the photo. Also read this and this.

ONE SOUTH MARKET BROKE GROUND!!! San Jose is getting a new tower! There will be some sort of TSJB celebration and I will be buying the first round of beers. More details on this soon.

In parting, I would just like to say a huge thanks to Jen, Jarrod, and Alvin for their contributions to this blog over the years; you guys area amazing! Also a heartfelt thanks to all the readers out there for stopping by, for believing in San Jose, and contributing to its future successes. Our city is a better place because of people that believe making a difference is possible. Even something as small as shopping at a local vendor can have a big impact. Happy Friday!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Silicon Valley in the Media

For all of Silicon Valley's fame and prominence in the international business community, we have rarely been featured in the entertainment scene. So many TV shows and movies are set in New York, LA, SF, and Chicago... but Silicon Valley rarely if ever is featured even as a background location. The one exception would be the 1985 bond movie A View to a Kill, where the main plot was to prevent the annihilation of Silicon Valley. And look at what Silicon Valley was portrayed as in that movie below.

Well, things are about to change. Several new TV shows and movies are coming out where Silicon Valley is at the very least a supporting role. This actually started a couple months ago with the show Start-Ups: Silicon Valley. While I did enjoy seeing at least a dozen shots of San Jose throughout the show's 8 episode run, for the most part the show was considered a failure by the media. I'm not going to shed too many tears since I don't think it accurately portrayed Silicon Valley (and most of it was shot in SF). You can read the postmortem at SiliconBeat.

Now for what's coming up. HBO has just green-lighted a live action sitcom series called "Silicon Valley." This is a "single camera" dark comedy by Mike Judge, the creator of Office Space, King of the Hill, and Beavis and Butthead. Here is how the show is described: "Silicon Valley is set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success." Sounds very promising. For more info on this one check out Deadline Hollywood.

Next up is a feature film called the Internship. This movie has two big-name stars, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, as a couple of 40-something salesmen who get laid off and decide to restart their careers at Google. Part of the movie is even shot onsite at Google's HQ in Mountain View. More info on this one is available at Marketing Land.

Last one for now is a new show by Simon Cowell and called X Factor for Tech. They are hunting for the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerburg. The producers are claiming that this show will generate a lot of jobs and give youth a platform to express themselves using science and mathematics. While this show is not yet confirmed to take place in Silicon Valley, it will no doubt fuel more media interest to the region which is king of entrepreneurship and technology. More info over at Venturebeat. & Simon Cowell to debut TV show to find the next Steve Jobs

I'm sure this is only the tip of the iceberg. If any of these are successful, you can be sure that there will be more Silicon Valley-oriented shows to follow.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year Predictions for 2013

2012 has been a good year for San Jose. The San Pedro Square Market has exploded, showing everyone that it is possible to have a successful new project in Downtown San Jose. The 49ers stadium and Earthquakes stadiums broke ground, both of which will contribute heavily to expanding our entertainment options and attract more tourism dollars into Silicon Valley. A flagship retailer, Muji, announced plans to come Downtown. The overall economy improved, unemployment fell, and millions of square feet of new office space are in the pipeline.

So what will 2013 bring? I think it's only going to get better, regardless of what happens with the fiscal cliff. Specifically, here are my predictions for the new year:

1.) More than two high-rise buildings will break ground in Downtown San Jose. We know about the Carlyle and One South Market, but I think we will see at least one more.

2.) A major transportation project will be greenlit: be it a BRT line, a Lightrail Expansion, or funding for the subway portion of the BART expansion to San Jose. The number of transit riders and bicyclists will rise.

3.) San Jose will have a stronger brand and identity by the end of the year. Many new cultural and art projects will happen Downtown, helping San Jose feel and look like the Capital of Silicon Valley.

4.) The Sharks will be back with a vengeance for the 2013-2014 Season.

5.) Downtown San Jose Office Vacancies will fall below 10%.

6.) The number of restaurants in Downtown San Jose will break 250 for the first time in history.

7.) We still have no decision on the A's stadium. However, you can expect a decision in 2014 before Bud Selig retires.

8.) San Jose will continue to dominate national rankings in salaries and quality of life.

9.) We will maintain our status as the safest US city with over 500,000 residents.

10.) The Golden Triangle and North First Street developments will accelerate, and we will attract at least one massive tech company to relocate to San Jose to compliment what is the largest cluster of tech companies in the world by a huge margin.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The San Jose Blog Turns 3!

After 3 years, over 1100 posts, and half a million visits... I'm going to take a moment to go back to the original premise of this blog--to show that San Jose is a world-class city. But how the heck do you measure world-class? It seems like something that is completely subjective.

Well, it turns out that there is an organization called GaWC that objectively defines, categorizes, and ranks "global cities" based on multiple criteria. They are also based out of the UK, further increasing objectivity when it comes to US cities. Their criteria for global cities includes:

  • Economic characteristics: corporate headquarters, financial output, number of financial services companies, cost of living, etc.
  • Political characteristics: influence on and participation in international events and world affairs, hosting headquarters for international organizations, demographic diversity, etc.
  • Cultural characteristics: museums, galleries, film festivals, professional sports teams, educational institutions, tourism, historic features, etc.
  • Infrastructural characteristics: advanced transportation systems, mass transit, major international airports, communications, hospitals, prominent skylines, etc.

Their research is legitimate and well respected internationally. They have 4 different levels of global cities:

  1. Alpha Cities - very important world cities that link major economic regions and states into the  global economy
  2. Beta Cities - important world cities that link their region or state into the world economy
  3. Gamma Cities - world cities linking smaller regions or states into the world economy
  4. Sufficiency Cities - There are NOT considered world cities, but have sufficient services so as to not be overtly dependent on world cities

Each "global city" category is further subdivided into normal, plus, or minus... similar to letter grades in school. Sufficient cities can either have a "sufficiency" or "high sufficiency" ranking.

Okay, now the real question... how has San Jose done based upon the research?

2000 Rankings: High Sufficiency

2004 Rankings: High Sufficiency  

2008 Rankings: Sufficiency  

2010 Rankings: Gamma+  

There you have it folks. In the latest rankings, San Jose is now objectively considered to be a world-class city for the first time. I've said many times before that we're on a great trajectory, and now there is even scientific data to back it up. The future is only going to get brighter and there is so much to look forward to. Soon we'll have new teams to root for (Earthquakes, A's, and the South Bay 49ers), more transit options (BART, BRT, Zipcar), and tons of development projects Downtown, Midtown, and on North First.

Thanks for reading and for any and all contributions you make towards making our city a better place!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The San Jose Blog's 1 Year Anniversary!!!

Exactly one year ago today The San Jose Blog launched with a simple premise, and that's to incubate enthusiasm for San Jose. 200+ blog posts later, I have to say I'm extremely satisfied with how things have turned out and it's crystal clear there are people out there that feel just as passionately about San Jose as I do. In fact, over 22,000 individuals have visited this blog since launch. We have even been able to add a second writer to cover the Shark's amazing run this playoff season!

While many San Jose blogs and sites have come and gone over the past year, the overall trend is a positive one. Never has there been such an active community of people that love San Jose. Over the past year, we've seen the launch of I Heart SJ, San Jose 2030, and the resurrection of SJ21. We have some outstanding projects in the hopper like the San Pedro Square Market, Little Italy, the Earthquakes Stadium, HSR, BART, SJC Terminal B, @First, Guadalupe River Park revitalization, the A's Stadium, and at least half dozen high-rises waiting in the wings when the economy improves. Downtown San Jose--the very heart of our city--is the most active it's been in half a century and its potential has never been greater than it is today.

I think this next year will be the one where San Jose is finally recognized as a true world-class city, and we'll be here to blog about it! Thanks so much for reading and supporting San Jose, and stay tuned for a whole lot of posts today in celebration of our 1st Anniversary!