Archive for the ‘Made in San Jose Magazine’ Category

Before silicon chips and venture capital, before high-rises sprang from the ground and criss-crossing highways sped this way and that, orchards covered the valley floor.  Prunes, apricots, cherries, and other trees grew abundantly in what is now known as Silicon Valley. The poet Clara Louise Lawrence once described it as “a veritable paradise each season of the year… with the whitest of white blossoms neath the bluest of blue skies.” It once emitted such a tantalizing smell of ripening fruit that it became known as The Valley of Heart’s Delight.

“I just remember there were so many orchards,” remembers Carolyn Vogt, who grew up in the Santa Clara Valley in the 1950s, when her childhood days consisted of hiking up the creeks with a bagged lunch in hand to play among the apricot trees. As she reminisces about the mustard grass and the cawing crows, she recalls, “My first job was cutting apricots for drying- I would walk down to one of the owners’ orchards in the morning and cut ‘cots for the drying tray.”

Although Vogt now lives in Mariposa, California, her heart lies with the Santa Clara Valley. One of her favorite cherry orchards, Olson’s Cherries, still thrives on El Camino Real in Sunnyvale. Families gathered when the fruit was ripe to freely pick their baskets of fresh cherries to bring home.

Unlike Olsen’s Cherries, many orchards of the Santa Clara Valley have faded to fond memories. Sorosis Fruit Company, one of the most successful orchards in the early 19th century, grew prunes and peaches on 220 acres off of Saratoga Avenue. The San Tomas Orchard housed thousands of cherry, plum, peach, and almond trees, as well as a vineyard. However successful these orchards once were, they were unsustainable after the 1950s housing boom brought urbanization to the valley.

Although blanketed with orchards at the time, the valley had been known for its innovation and experimentation in the electronics industry beginning in the early 20th century. In the 1940s and 50s, Stanford’s Dean of Engineering and Provost, Frederick Terman, encouraged faculty and graduates to start their own companies, giving rise to Fairchild Semiconductor and Hewlett-Packard, among others. Vogt remembers her father taking a job at Hewlett-Packard in 1951 saying, “I think this is the wave of the future.”

On January 11, 1971, Don Hoefler of the Electronic News began the series, “Silicon Valley in the USA”- the first time the term had been seen in print. As the electronics industry gained steam, the Valley of Heart’s Delight slowly gave way to Silicon Valley, becoming the leader for high-tech innovation and development in the world.

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose


Read Full Post »

Downtown San Jose teems with restaurants, bars and bistros. With so many great options, how do you choose? The quality of the food is an obvious factor, but it’s by no means the only one. A certain atmosphere is key to a fine dining experience, be it peaceful or lively, secluded or showy, classy or cozy.

Whether you want a quiet lunch, after-dinner cocktails or a venue for a corporate event, Loft Bar & Bistro on South 2nd Street boasts a perfect ambiance. With elegant décor and a shaded terrace upstairs, Loft caters to all kinds of people looking for an upscale and sophisticated experience.

During the day, linger over lunch, watching the World Open or reading the newspaper while Frank Sinatra croons about having the world on string. On Thursday evenings, live jazz trumpets out the door. And on Friday and Saturday nights, young people gather for delicious cocktails and dancing. “We have a unique environment,” says owner Kam Razavi. “And the food speaks for itself.”

The American cuisine ranges from a low-carb, spicy Cajun Blackened Salmon to Linguine Santa Maria to a vegetarian Stir Fry. And who can resist a decadent hot-fudge chocolate cake for dessert?

The long list of wine, by the glass or by the bottle, comes from California vineyards in Napa, Sonoma, Monterey, and other regions in California. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, Loft’s Happy Hour offers $6 cocktails, including a breezy Coconut Pineapple Mojito and an 1850 Crusta.

With an airy summer terrace, a friendly staff and mouth-watering menu, it can be easy to lose track of time in Loft Bar & Bistro.

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »

EP: When did your interest in photography start?

DG: I began my career on my high school yearbook. I had never picked up camera before that but then just had a knack for it.  I liked it so much I went to the Academy of Art. Then with the 10 images I did in the fashion class landed several gigs with local model agencies. So after a few semesters, I left school to shoot full time.


EP: Where did the inspiration for Content Magazine come from?

DG:  San Jose is my home and I was tired of living in a city that didn’t have a magazine with a style and content that fit me. There are some great newspapers and weeklies but not a magazine. So some friends and I decided to do something for our city that we liked. Looking at how it could help serve the businesses, artists and talented people that live here by having a style and quality like that of more recognized national magazines–but do it all for and by San Joseans.


EP: What do you hope for the future of Content Magazine?

DG:  We are looking to help businesses reach more customers, artists to have their work displayed, and the city of San Jose to be a place to live and to visit that celebrates the creativity and innovation that is here.  We succeed when others are rewarded for their work. We are striving to have high quality writing, meaningful interviews, and a layout and design that inspires and grows the creative artist community in San Jose.


EP: Where do you like to spend your time?

DG:  I would really like to spend my time playing soccer with my son. But, I do really love shooting and cultivating Content and meeting all the great people in our community. I love people and helping them, so Content is an expression of what it means for me to bless the people around me. And, that really is the key to life isn’t it, helping others?


EP: How do you balance your family and your work life?

DG:  It’s the most difficult thing for me to stop and enjoy what I have. I am so blessed and love my family and the work I get to do, but it is easy to be driven by deadlines, or what I think I need to do or should do. So I juggle. I try to play and enjoy and do it all. I know that family or work is not about the quantity but the quality so I try to keep that in my mix.


EP: Why San Jose? Would you ever want to live someplace else?

DG:  San Jose is where I grew up; it is my home. I chased the bigger city dream for a while but landed back here with family. I have such a passion for this place. We bought a home downtown to put roots down right here. And when I was moving into the house I kept saying, “I am going to die in the house; this is the last time I move.” So, I have no desire to expand Content to other cities. Let the other cities come to us, they have in the tech world, now my mission and Content’s mission is to have that same effect on the world but from here.

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »

From his quiet and calm demeanor, you would never guess that this man is best known for sending other men hurtling toward the ground of a mixed martial arts fighting cage. Having only lost one fight as a professional, Cung Le quickly rose to the top of MMA and has been named Strikeforce Middleweight Champion six times over.

If Le’s story were like any other success story, he would have been a natural martial artist from day one. But Le didn’t actually like martial arts and continuously failed tests until years after he started. “I got into martial arts because my mom said I needed to defend myself,” Le said. “Growing up in America as a skinny refugee, I was picked on and beat up a lot.”

Le and his mother escaped from Vietnam in 1975 when he was two years old, three days before the Fall of Saigon. San Jose has been his home ever since. “My family is here and it has the best Pho,” he says with a laugh. Le is committed to being a lifelong resident of San Jose, despite his recent move into Hollywood cinema.

It wasn’t until after college that the kicking, punching and wrestling styles of Sanshou became Le’s niche in martial arts and catapulted him to the top. He conquered the Sanshou arena as an international medalist, ESPN2 Strike Force professional fighter and as a successful US Sanshou Team coach. He decided to step into the MMA cage in 2006. Skeptics doubted the skills and strength of the Sanshou fighter, but they were quickly silenced as Le won one fight after the next.

“A lot of people inspire me, but I think my mom inspires me because she works so hard,” Le said. “She inspires me to be the best that I can be.”

If Le has a soft spot, it is for his family. As a husband and father of three, Le says, “When I’m not in the gym, when I’m not training for a fight, when I’m not making a movie, all the time I have left I enjoy spending with my family.”

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »

A man is only as good as his last haircut, or so the saying goes. For some, a haircut is a mere necessity. For others, it defines who they want to be. No matter the reason, everybody needs a haircut, and few are going to cut their own hair, says Dan Dixon, the owner of Crewners Barbershop, a small shop located in the San Pedro Square Market in downtown San Jose.

On the walls hang photos and letters personally written to Dixon from famous actors and musicians of a bygone era, including Bob Hope, Glenn Miller and Jimmy Stewart. The unique vintage barber’s chair, with rounded seat cushion and comfortable footrest, began its journey in Chicago in the 1930s, rode Route 66 to California 30 years later and two years ago bought by Dixon for his shop.

“I wanted it to feel like old Las Vegas,” he says of starting his barbershop. Like traditional barbershops, there is only one chair at Crewners, and only one barber providing high quality full barbershop services, including consultations, precision haircuts, styling with product, hot towel, and straight-razor neck shave along with complimentary beverages, internet access and parking validation.

During that special time of the year- the San Jose Sharks playoff season- Sharks fans can get a special Sharks playoff trim, in which the proceeds of a $5 trim goes toward the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Whether it is out of necessity or for style, a man will never have to gamble on his haircut with Dan Dixon at Crewners Barbershop.

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »

Every great city deserves a great marketplace.

In September, the great city of San Jose will be home to a new and improved San Pedro Square Market, an outdoor marketplace for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Situated between downtown San Jose’s oldest historical buildings, the Peralta Adobe and the Fallon House, and filled with some of the finest local restaurants and shops, the Market will be a hotspot for locals and visitors alike.

Steve Borkenhagen, veteran in the restaurant business and market manager, has worked diligently with managing partners Tom McEnery, John McEnery, and Martin Menne to bring the market to life. “We are committed to making this happen,” he says. “The offerings at the San Pedro Square Market will be unlike anything you’ve ever seen in Santa Clara County.”

Looking for a Pizza Hut? Or The Gap? You won’t find chain stores here. Everyone involved, including the City of San Jose, Urban Markets LLC and Barry Swenson Builder, is interested in encouraging the potential of small, private businesses of San Jose at the Market, like Pizza Bocca Lupo, the Veggie Box, Crewners Barbershop, Treatbot Ice Cream and La Fina Cocina.

On opening day, people will stroll through the market halls, sit down for lunch in the Peralta Adobe Plaza and sip on a glass of fine wine or microbrew, all while listening to live music and enjoying the final days of summer.

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »

At History San Jose’s “A Taste of Tapestry” this Labor Day weekend, artists of all stripes- painters, writers, musicians, dancers, and many others- will weave together to produce a tapestry of life, emotion and relationships.

Founded in 1976, the Tapestry Arts Festival, formerly known as “Tapestry in Talent,” has become a summer tradition in San Jose. After a brief hiatus in 2010, Tapestry Arts has partnered with History San Jose to bring the festival back, celebrating all types of visual and performing arts.

The festival will move from downtown San Jose to a more intimate venue, History Park San Jose at Kelley Park. “It will be a much more unique experience for people,” says Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San Jose.

The revived festival will be organized into distinct sections, allowing festival-goers to experience each art form separately. Authors will give readings from their books in one area while local bands will play in another. The festival will feature artists from previous years, including textile artists, painters and jewelery makers, as well as some new exhibitors like the San Jose Earthquakes soccer team, children’s activities, and auditions for a televised Talent Show.

All proceeds will benefit arts education programs in elementary schools, community centers and other venues throughout the Bay Area. “We really promote the arts and culture of the valley,” explains Bray. “And we are able to offer more to the community by partnering with each other.”

-Erin Peterson

Printed in the premiere Fall 2011 issue of Made in San Jose

Read Full Post »