*-----------September 30, 1999----------*
*----San Jose News/Gossip Bulletin------*
**Many San Joseans are unaware that our Japantown is the largest in America. And, while
most truly ethnic neighborhoods are shrinking in major cities, Japantown is expanding
like wildfire. The Miraido Village Apartment complex was completed several months ago,
with room for retail on the ground floor; rumor has it that Blockbuster and Walgreens are
on the prowl for space there. Meanwhile, 232 more apartments are under construction at
Taylor and 7th. Finally, a third complex is on the drawing board for the old Del Monte
building (about 278 more townhouses and flats as well as live/work space), though this
development is mired in controversy over whether to start from scratch or to construct
SF-style warehouse loft space in the existing building. With the neighborhood about to be
teeming with new residents, it's a good thing that councilmember Cindy Chavez has secured
funding for a new community/cultural center, a new neighborhood park, and more retail
space for North 6th street, between Jackson and Taylor.
**Imagine being able to power-walk or ride your bike from Lincoln Avenue in Willow Glen
right into the heart of downtown San Jose - in fact, directly into the Guadalupe River
Park and Gardens. Vice mayor Frank Fiscalini has been instrumental in establishing a
first-class trail system in the city. This latest stretch of the Los Gatos Creek Trail,
which currently extends from Vasona Park to Willow Glen, is currently being planned and
designed. But, don't promise your pooch a stroll to the Arena Green just yet; this
section of the ever-popular paved path won't be completed until sometime in 2001.
Incidentally, this same trail has brought much-increased foot traffic into downtown Los
Gatos on weekends, particularly tired, sweaty techies craving smoothies, coffee, and
**San Jose (and the surrounding suburbs, e.g., San Francisco) has become ice skating
central in California. Sure, our average temp is in the low 70's, but our Arena has
hosted a number of important competitive events and exhibitions. Why not - with
world-reknowned talent like Rudy Galindo (San Jose) and Kristy Yamaguchi (Fremont) in our
own backyard? So, it's only natural that the city is bidding for a major international
competition in 2003, the World Figure Skating Championships. A delegation from the
International Skating Union (ISU) was in town recently, and met with Mayor Ron Gonzales
and with folks from the Sports Authority. We clearly have the facilities, between the San
Jose Arena and the new San Jose State Ice Arena (which will be completed well before the
competition). A decision is expected by the end of next month.
**Circa 2000 is newly-formed group of young professionals committed to furthering the
arts in and around downtown San Jose. While the organization sponsors a speaker series at
Fuel and a monthly outdoor classic film behind Emile's restaurant, its hottest project is
to create a summer "Art Zone" near the Circle of Palms (adjacent to the Fairmont Hotel).
The "Zone" would begin as a monthly exhibition for a select group of local artists to
display and sell their work. If successful, it could progress into a weekly or even
constant fixture downtown, ideally in Paseo de San Antonio once construction tapers off
**Camera crews from the TNT cable network were in town to shoot scenes for their planned
airing of the 1982 horror movie, "Poltergeist." Like numerous other production crews, the
team opted for the world-famous Winchester Mystery House. The 160-room West San Jose
mansion has hosted a number of TV and documentary shoots, averaging about 3 to 4
productions annually over the past few years. [Thanks to the San Jose Film & Video
Commission for the information.]
++Go Back in Time on The Alameda: The Alameda neighborhood, featured in last week's
Bulletin, celebrates Living History Day this Sunday from 10am-5pm. Last year's festival
drew over 15,000 people to the up-and-coming business district, whose history winds back
through the 1800's. On hand this year will be horse and carriage rides, live demos of
Victorian houseware, furniture, and clothing, as well as a host of activities for kids.
In addition, the History Museums of San Jose will be leading tours of the surrounding
residential blocks, which include many ornate homes from as early as the 1870's.
++Comedy in the Streets This Weekend: Check out the San Pedro Square Brew Ha Ha. This
year, the festival gets back to its roots, bringing on board Comedy Central and
recruiting big-name talent like Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hollywood
Squares) and Michael Winslow (Police Academy films). The laughter (which can be enhanced
with the help of the 20 national and local breweries that will also be on hand) takes
place THIS Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7:30pm.
++ Keep the gossip coming!! I want to emphasize that all sources shall remain completely
++ And, last but not least, past issues of the San Jose News/Gossip Bulletin are now
available at www.wgna.net/todd-nl.htm.
Please send all news or gossip regarding new business openings, redevelopment projects,
celebrity sightings, and other interesting gems concerning San Jose to
To be added to the weekly bulletin, please email the above address.
The San Jose News/Gossip Bulletin is a free weekly newsletter intended
to boost city pride, to foster a vital link between city districts, and
to provide information on current and future plans for downtown and the
neighborhoods. Information is gathered from a variety of sources,
including non-profit organizations, neighborhood business
associations, local and national newswires, as well as city government
meetings and documents. All items are written by myself, unless otherwise noted.