Archive for May, 2011

Today is DURBIN DAY in Santa Cruz

American Idol: One of the four singers was cut from the show. To say that I was surprised at the outcome is an understatement. The first clue that something was wrong was when Lauren Alaina was the first contestant to be deemed safe. Excuse me! Nice singer, nice girl, but not, in my opinion, good enough to be an American Idol. And then when the snarky Haley Reinhardt was chosen I began to wonder if Idol might be playing with us. Cut Scotty McCreery or James Durbin? Seriously? I was waiting for Ryan Seacrest to put on his sad face and then announce that all four were safe! Sadly, the joke was on us. James Durbin would be going home! Home to Santa Cruz where Durbin Day would have to be canceled. After the show Twitter and other sites were set ablaze when fans expressed their disbelief and outrage. American Idol must have felt that heat, and Durbin Day is Back On!

Santa Cruz Beach Bandstand

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Durban Day Schedule of Events

Tour of California to visit San Jose

Cyclists in the 2009 Tour of California

The starting line of 2009's Tour of California stage 3 near downtown San Jose.

Following close in the slipstream of Bike to Work Day, the Amgen Tour of California bike race will once again visit San Jose next week. Wednesday’s stage 4 will be a mountain finish on Sierra Road, technically within San Jose city limits, rather than the downtown location that’s been used for stage starts in a couple of past tours.

Aside from moving the San Jose site outside the core of the city, there are a few other changes for the tour route this year. Instead of an opening day time trial, the tour will start tomorrow with a regular road stage on a mountainous route from South Lake Tahoe, making 1-1/2 laps around the lake and ending at Northstar on the lake’s north shore. Previous northern California stage sites like Davis and Santa Rosa will be bypassed, though the tour will still visit Sacramento, Livermore, and Modesto before hopping south to Seaside to begin its four final days in the southern half of the state. As in years past, the tour will finish in sponsor Amgen’s home city of Thousand Oaks, in Ventura County, on Sunday, May 22.

Wednesday’s stage 4 begins just before noon in Livermore and wends through the hills to the east of us before coming to San Jose sometime around 3 pm. The tour includes two major climbs, the hors catagorie backside of Mount Hamilton, and the final class 1 climb up Sierra Road to the finish, 3-1/2 miles at grades topping 9%.

Having a mountain finish in San Jose will add some great excitement to our spot in the tour, although it will also take quite a bit more dedication for spectators to get to a place on the course than it has in the past.

Yes, I’m on a Si Food Diet….

I was still having major latin food cravings so I hopped on yelp and searched by most popular Mexican food and ended up seeing Dia De Pesca (yelp.) met up with Amit to go check out Dia De Pesca since I still haven’t been able to satiate my latin food craving.

The place is extremely cute and cool looking.  Strangely, it reminded me a bit of a trailer park in New Mexico or Southern California, but to me that was a bit of an appeal. It is a bit confusing at first since when you walk in, it’s an open space with a few trailers/trucks and a standalone building.  Do you order at the truck or do you order at the building.  Everyone there was really nice and helpful and explained the process to us, so we went into small building to order which had a few tables set up inside there as well.

There are quite a few items on the menu and we wanted to try a few different things.  Once you order they give you a number and you find a table and they bring the food out to you.  The numbers themselves are also pretty cute. They’re old playing cards.

They have a few drinks as well like horchata, some strawberry fruit drink and a lime cucumber drink.  I ended up getting the cucumber drink, which was really refreshing.

The food came out pretty quickly from the taco truck.  They deliver it to your table and the food was pretty fresh.  The ceviche came out more like a crispy torta type dish.  I ended up getting the mixed seafood ceviche, which was pretty good. This was probably my most favorite dish, but lately I’ve been into simple things.  It was pretty simple with little extra sauce, just the lime juice and the seafood, but all the items were fresh.


We also got a variety of tacos as well. We pretty much tried all the tacos on the menu and I think once again, my favorite was the shrimp taco.

As we sat there on the patio, I really enjoyed the weather and the atmosphere.  The food was good and fresh and while I know there are better mexican food places, but with a mix of the atmosphere and novelty of the place, I know I’ll be back here for sure.  I don’t even know why, but I also started thinking that this would be a great place for a party especially if the fruit drinks were spiked. =P Perhaps for my birthday next year…

Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers Food Drive 2011

This Saturday, May 14, Stamp Out Hunger Letter Carriers Food Drive is in its 19th year to combat hunger and the largest single-day food drive for food banks in the Bay Area.

This food drive raises food to help Bay Area Food Banks ready themselves for summer, when emergency food requests increase dramatically.

Residents, who wish to participate, place a bag of non-perishable food items like canned tuna, peanut butter, soup, canned vegetables and fruits, dry beans and pasta, rice or cereal by their mailbox before mail delivery on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Letter carriers will collect the donations and deliver them to local food banks, then distributed to hungry people in the community.

Food bags also accepted at your local post office.

In Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, the food will be donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Other Bay Area food banks include:

San Francisco Food Bank

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano

Nostalgic Free Movie Tonight in San Jose

A small representation of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County’s film collection will be featured at a free movie night tonight May 11 from 6 – 9pm at the historic Le Petit Trianon Theater.

The featured film includes 100s of short clips from our local past. Those who have attended previous movie nights know it is a one of a kind, nostalgic good time.

Attendees are asked (optional) to bring and share a fruit or food dish that hearkens back to the days when we were known as “The Valley of Hearts Delight” and agriculture was king in this valley. 1900-1950’s attire is also optional. A prize is given for best costume and recipe. Fruit Cocktail cooked in spam and apricot brandywere past winners. There is also a silent auction.

The Fruit Cocktail Club will be showing a “Film Cocktail” of various clips from the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County Film Archive – many of which have never before been shown in public! Gone are the days when orchards dominated the landscape, but the miracle of Kodachrome brings it all back. You’ll see planes, trains, ships, trolleys and automobiles from the longhistory of transportation in the Valley, sports highlights, scenes of long-gone buildings and landmarks, trips through the mines of New Almaden, Alumn Rock Park and views of familiar places from before your mother was born. Audience participation is encouraged – no film should be a silent film!

This event will also feature:
Vintage recipe pot luck dinner: Bring your grandmother’s fruit salad, your mom’s favorite prune dish, and your fruit-cocktail jello mold! Every year, exciting recipes from the past are enjoyed by all, and prizes given to the best blast from the past!

Silent auction of antiques, gifts, and other interesting items – there are always surprising deals to be had!

Costume contest! We welcome all flappers, swing dancers, and forties dames! Slide on your skinny ties, Mad Men fashions, and put on a poodle skirt, ladies! Bring your bowlers, sport your Stetsons, and fold your fedoras just-so, the best vintage clothes are always in style at Film Cocktail night!

Bill Foley asks you to come see, come remember and reminisce, and come enjoy the lost landscapes of San Jose.

A free film show to benefit the Preservation Action Council of San Jose

Tonight – May 11, 2011, 6PM – 9PM

Le Petit Trianon Theatre
72 North 5th Street
San Jose, CA 95112-5417
(408) 995-5400

Free Admission – Donations Suggested

Please contact Bill Foley at

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Lights up the Stage with the Glitz and Glamour of the 20’s

Annmarie Martin as The Drowsy Chaperone, toasts the upcoming wedding of Janet Van de Graaff (Courtney Hatcher) and Robert Martin (Trevor Meacham). Photo: Nancy Fitzgerald-Metzler

My theatre buddy and I were lucky enough to be able to attend Opening Night of Hillbarn Theatre’s last show of their 70th season, The Drowsy Chaperone. We really enjoyed this fun, clever story, which is a good introduction to musical theatre.

I had heard of Hillbarn before, but had never been. Well worth the drive to Foster City from the South Bay. Hillbarn is a nice sized house, about 140 seats. Intimate, yet still large enough to have a great audience and to hold all the amazing song and dance numbers and extensive set from the Tony Award-Winning musical, The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Drowsy Chaperone is different than most musicals I have seen. It is narrated by a lonely, agoraphobic man who loves musical theatre, the Man in Chair. He plays for us the record of his favorite musical, the fictional 1928 musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, and his apartment comes to life with the sights and sounds of the roaring 20’s, full of tap dancing, vaudevillians, gangsters, starlets, impressive sets, and of course, a drowsy chaperone. I even noticed some Shakespearean aspects, like mistaken identity and multiple weddings. Staples in most of Shakespeare’s comedies.

Ron Lopez, Jr. who plays the Man in Chair did an amazing job of engaging the audience into his world. It is just a normal night at home for him, listening to music to cure his blues. As the musical comes to life before us, he starts and stops the record, which stops the action on stage, to explain what is going on, what makes a good musical, and the gossip behind the actors who originally played the roles of this musical within a play. Ron’s neuroticism, flamboyance, and excitement to share the story of The Drowsy Chaperone with us made me chuckle again and again.

Courtney Hatcher who plays Janet Van de Graaff, the 20’s showgirl who is giving up her career to marry an oil tycoon, Robert Martin, definitely has some singing pipes and acting chops. Her song and dance numbers blew me away. Not just because of her extraordinary charisma and talent, but all the cute costumes she wore, fun props, the great background dancers, and the humor in it all.

Annmarie Martin who plays The Drowsy Chaperone, is an amazing singer and has a great stage presence. Annmarie was spot on as the Drowsy Chaperone. The Chaperone is a woman who enjoys a drink, or five, during prohibition. She reminds me of Karen in the sitcom Will and Grace. Karen was always drinking, saying something funny, and stealing the show. That’s exactly what Annmarie’s Chaperone did.

The show is full of humor and physical comedy. There are the Vaudeville-like characters such as Mrs. Tottendale, played by Melody Cole, and her butler, Underling, played by Don Cima. Mrs. Tottendale and Underling have an amusing scene where Tottendale repeatedly spits vodka at Underling.  It is spit take after spit take. Also Vaudevillian are the gangsters, Stewart Kramar and Joey Montes, who are disguised as pastry chefs to threaten Janet’s producer, Feldzieg, played by Michael Carey, to get Janet to call off the wedding and stay in show business. I love the gangsters’ dessert and food puns and their side-splitting physical comedy and dance numbers. Very memorable.

Also memorable were Eric Ribeiro as Aldolpho, the bumbling romantic, hired by Feldzieg to seduce Janet so as stop the wedding. And, of course, Trevor Meacham, Robert Martin, who has many enjoyable scenes. I especially liked the scene where he is blindfolded on roller skates as well as the entertaining tap dance number with his best man, George, played by Daniel Lloyd Pias. I can’t forget Michelle Foletta, who played Kitty, the dumb blonde who, according to Feldzieg, has no talent but thinks she can take Janet’s place as the starlet. She has some very cute numbers and scenes. The rest of the ensemble was very talented as well.

I’m glad I finally made it to Hillbarn Theatre and was able to experience this pleasurable, entertaining musical. Even if you aren’t into musicals, you will hear the Man in Chair’s opinion about what makes a good musical, and you might just agree with him. And I know you will agree that going to Hillbarn to see The Drowsy Chaperone makes for a fun evening out.

The Drowsy Chaperone Through May 29th at Hillbarn Theatre
1285 East Hillsdale Blvd. Foster City, CA 94404
Tickets available at Hillbarn Theatre or call 650.349.6411

Michelle Foletta, as Kitty, has a run in with Gangster #1 (left - Stewart Kramar) and Gangster #2 (right - Joey Montes) as Feldzieg (Michael Carey) looks on. Photo: Nancy Fitzgerald-Metzler

Thursday is Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day 2011 is coming up this Thursday. The weather looks like its going to be perfect. So dust off your two-wheeler and hit the streets.

More information at

Free Haagen-Dazs Cone Day 2011

This Tuesday, May 10, 2011 is Free Haagen-Dazs Cone Day; receive a free scoop of your favorite flavor. Yippee!

From 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at participating Haagen-Dazs Shops:

Oakridge Mall
925 Blossom Hill Road
San Jose, 95123

Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd
Santa Clara, 95050-6709

Stanford Shopping Center
230 Stanford Shopping Center
Palo Alto, 94304

Stoneridge Mall
1144 Stoneridge Mall Rd
Pleasanton, 94588

San Francisco Centre
865 Market Street
San Francisco, 94103

Stonestown Center
3251 20th Avenue
San Francisco, 94132

Walnut Creek
625 Capwell Lane
Walnut Creek, 94596

Sun Valley Mall
1 Sun Valley Mall
Concord, 94520

Solano Mall
1530 Travis Blvd
Fairfield, 94533

Haagen-Dazs on Facebook

Ride the Rails for FREE Today May 6

ACE Train Celebrates Customer Appreciation Day – Today Ride for FREE!

This from ACE Train:
SAN JOSÉ, Calif. ~ Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) is proud to celebrate Customer Appreciation Day in conjunction with National Train Day on May 6th. Whether you are a veteran rider or a new comer, ACE train will be providing free transportation, refreshments and an easy commute.

ACE works to provide a quality commute for all passengers. Many of its riders spend a significant amount of time in the trains traveling to and from work so this day is meant to celebrate the ACE rider and thank them for their loyalty.

“Our riders have been incredibly supportive of the ACE service, some since the very beginning 12 years ago,” said Thomas Reeves, Manager of Public Affairs and Community Relations. “Offering this free day of travel is one way the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission can show its appreciation for its passengers and also show off the train to those who may be considering an alternative mode of transportation to work.”

To commemorate this day, current ACE monthly passholders will receive 10% off their June pass.

National Train Day, which takes place on May 7th, is a day that commemorates the 142nd anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. By celebrating this day in conjunction with Passenger Appreciation Day, ACE brings to life the rich narrative of how trains have transformed America while appreciating those customers who continue to use ACE rail.

About Altamont Commuter Express:

The Altamont Commuter Express (ACE) provides passenger rail service from the Central Valley to the Bay Area. The train operates weekdays with stations in San Joaquin County, Alameda County and Santa Clara County. The San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) owns and operates the Altamont Commuter Express. Visit for schedules, fares and more information.

D’Andre Berry
Public Information Officer
Mobile: (209) 649-5079

Silicon Valley Open Studios 2011

The 25th annual Silicon Valley Open Studios event in which visitors are welcomed into artist’s studios and workspaces begins this weekend.

During this free event, you will view diverse one-of-a-kind works of art, including painting, mixed media, photography, sculpture, jewelry, calligraphy, ceramics, fiber arts, pottery, mosaics, metal work, glass, drawing, printmaking, watercolor, woodworking and more. You will be able to meet with the artists and purchase artworks directly.

Silicon Valley Open Studios is a non-juried event so it is more inclusive than many other public art events. Rather than have a committee judge what your see, you be the judge of what you like.

Silicon Valley artists open their studios to the public during the first three weekends in May by location. Please visit the artists/locations only on the appropriate weekend between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm.

Weekend 1, May 7 – 8:
Atherton, Belmont, Hillsborough, Menlo Park, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo, Woodside

Weekend 2, May 14 – 15:
East Palo Alto, Ladera, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Loyola, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Stanford, Sunnyvale

Weekend 3, May 21 – 22:
Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, San Jose, Saratoga

A list of all artists with icons depicting their specialty here.

Search artist by name/city/weekend/medium here.

Silicon Valley Open Studios
Saturday and Sunday, the first three weekends in May 2011
11:00 am – 5:00 pm

Note: some artists may be in the studio more than one weekend, call ahead.

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