Back to Downtown Living

Look at all the newly built residential units coming to downtown San Jose.  If you haven’t been to downtown lately, then by the next time you happen to go through the city you will discover a lot of changes.

What is the fascination with downtown living?  The conveniences!  There are a bunch of new art galleries on South First Street transforming it into an artsy district.  The repertory theatre attracts world-class playwrights and actors.  The American Musical Theatre of San Jose offers ballet, opera, and concerts.  The Pavilion offers an extremely competitive NHL hockey team, hosts a professional tennis tournament every year, and musical concerts that attract major international entertainers.

Another attraction to downtown living is the idea of leaving the car behind.  With oil prices approaching $100 per barrel, gasoline price increases are surely to follow.  Downtown restaurants are among the best in the area and the light rail is always available to take you to Japantown or many of the other stops as it continues to expand. 

Adobe discovered the benefits of locating its headquarters in downtown San Jose and other major technology companies have followed.  BEA recently purchased the Sobrato Tower on Almaden Blvd so we are expecting another 1500 employees bustling in the streets of downtown San Jose – eating and shopping, entertaining customers, and looking for housing.

So what does it all mean?  The revival of a thriving downtown!

There are at least 4 high-rise condos in various stages of construction in the immediate downtown area, including what looks like the first and only luxury high rise – 360 Residences.  These condos have features like a 24 hour doorman and a concierge service that helps residents make reservations for restaurants, theatres, or even oversees that your dry cleaning is picked up and delivered.  These are benefits only seen in cities like New York and San Francisco.  San Jose is growing up!

So what will happen to housing prices of existing homes in downtown?  Well consider this – the builders of Tower 88, Axis, 360 Residences, and all the others have fixed building costs (steel, concrete, labor, etc) at today’s rates and that means they cannot offer their new units for sale below a certain price per square foot.  That price is well above the price per square foot of existing homes in places like Paseo Plaza or The Brickyard for example.  So, as the new homes are introduced and absorbed into the market the overall price per unit for most existing condos in downtown should also rise.  Downtown jobs need to continue to grow of course, but the investments being made downtown are a good sign and the return of professionals looking to build their lives downtown are a great and welcome trend to see.


2007 Food Network Party – Part 1

The Holidays are coming!  Do you have any plans for the Christmas week?  If you have not made your plan, why not come to our party?  In place of our December wine tasting event we are going to have our first 2007 Food Network Party at 5pm on Saturday 12/29 instead.  We came up with a GREAT idea for our Holiday party this year.  Listen up…it will be a POTLUCK.  I know what you are thinking right now, but no, this is not a normal potluck. 

I have chosen many recipes online for each of you to pick one to prepare, and bring it with you to the party.  This is not an Iron Chef contest, so don’t worry.  I thought it would be fun to try some new recipes, and come share them with everyone so we can sample the food and enjoy the experience.  I am also going to take photos of each dish, so please remember to bring the dish to me first before you put on the kitchen counter.

If you don’t see anything you like on this list, that’s ok.  You can find a dish somewhere else that you would like to bring (online recipe preferred, so I can post the link), as long as it is not something you have made before.  But please do let me know though so I can post it here for other people to see.

If you really don’t have time to prepare some food, that’s ok too.  You can bring some cheeses, olives, bread, a bottle of wine or you can just come and have fun.

Here is how it works:  People who are coming for the party need to leave me a comment here to say you are coming, alone or with someone, and which dish you are going to make.  Then I will put your name next to the dish, so no one else can take it.  You don’t need to double the amount for the recipes, and you might even need to cut it in half for some of the recipes because I think we will have enough food.

Trust me, it will be a lot of fun!!

– 2007 Food Network Party Potluck Menu –


Pomegranate-champagne punch       
Jasmine Spritzers    
Pineapple Cosmopolitans   
White Wine and Sparkling Cider Sangria   


Holiday Salad   
Pear, Stilton, and Chicory Salad with Crispy Chestnuts 
Ginger, Green Apple, Sweet Onion and Coconut Salad   
Papaya, Cashew and Frisée Salad   
Tropical Fruit Salad with Toasted Coconut   
Five-Spice Chicken Salad in Wonton Shells   
Crab Salad with Ginger and Dried Orange Peel   
Orange Juice-Braised Sweet Potatoes   
Plump Turkey-Stuffed Tofu Dumplings   
Eggplant and Mozzarella Roll-Ups   
Foie gras with date puree and pomegranate   


Roasted Butternut Squash Soup   
Sweet Potato and Apple Soup   
Broccoli-Leek Soup   
Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger   


Jicama, Kirby and Carrot Salad with Charred Lamb   
Lamb Meatballs with Mint    


Veal rolls stuffed with spinach and gruyere   
Grilled lemon-parsley veal chops  
BBQ Shortribs   
Beef Stew with Belgian-Style Pale Ale   


Apple-Glazed Pork Loin   
Crown Roast of Pork with Rosemary    
Ham with Orange Glaze   
Spicy Pork Kabobs with Moorish Flavors   


Herb-and-Cheese-Filled Chicken Thighs   
Chicken and Peanut Stew   
Almond-Crusted Chicken Wings 
Individual Chicken Potpies   
Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry
Young Chickens with Apricot-Fig Stuffing   


Braised Duck in a Chocolate Wine Sauce   
Duck with Cranberry Mostaza   
Duck Breast with Peach and Mango Salsa  
Duck Breasts with Black Cherry Sauce    


Scallops in a Saffron and Rioja Wine Sauce   
Sautéed Scallops with Lemon Beurre Blanc   
Seared Scallops with Tropical Salsa   
Lime-White Pepper Scallops with Bell Pepper Sauce      


Nyonya Grilled Shrimp with Coconut Sauce   
Grilled Jumbo Shrimp with Garlic-Herb Butter  
Shrimp Marinated in Lemon and Olive Oil   
Flat Breads with Shrimp and Romesco Sauce   
Shrimp, Scallops and Stuffed Squid   
Shrimp with Rice vinegar Dipping Sauce   


Clams with Spicy Sausage  
Coconut-Crab Cocktail   
Grilled Calamari   
Seared Ahi Tuna with Green Peppercorn-Thyme Crust    


Apple Coffee Cake   
Fresh Raspberry Tart
Tapioca Pudding   
Pear Bruschetta with Hazelnut Cream   
Banana Soufflés   
Orange Cardamom Cookies