Archive for the ‘Cheap’ Category

Doggie Sale! $20 at San Jose Animal Shelter

Through May 31

Through May 31

There is a major sale for lovable dogs needing forever homes at the San Jose Animal Care Center throughout May.  Until May 31 all full grown dogs (not puppies) are only $20! Even better, any dog who has been at the shelter for more than two weeks is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

I adopted a dog at the shelter last December, and Simon is now a wonderful addition to our family. I can’t recommend the shelter enough. Dogs are spayed/neutered, have their shots, and are microchipped, all for the one very low price. You also get a certificate for a free first vet appointment. My dog Simon is wonderful with children and came home already housetrained and knowing all his commands. Shelter dogs are wonderful dogs and will love you forever.

The San Jose Animal Care Center is a full-service animal shelter serving the cities of San Jose, Milpitas, Cupertino, Los Gatos and Saratoga, located at 2750 Monterey Highway, San Jose.

There are currently four pages of dogs up on their website. Here are just a few who need homes today – for only $20!! Dogs are first come, first serve, so get down to the shelter today!

MEISHA $20 ID#A987556

MEISHA $20 ID#A987556

BONNIE - FREE ID#A988272

BONNIE – FREE ID#A988272

JACK $20 ID#A992511

JACK $20 ID#A992511

 

Chalk Art Festival in Luna Park

lunapark-chalk-art-festivalOn Saturday, September 20 Backesto Park comes alive with the 7th annual Luna Park Chalk Art Festival.  The festival is an all-volunteer run event created to provide a family-friendly, accessible venue to showcase the talents of local artists and students, foster awareness of the critical need for arts in schools and organizations serving youth, and to raise funds for providing grants and scholarships to meet that need.

No longer a tiny neighborhood event, the festival has grown, bringing in talented performers and musicians, vendors and food trucks, including some of my favorites, Hill Country BBQ and Waffle Amore! The dancers from  Movimiento Cosmico Indigenous Dance will be there too with their stunning ceremonial dances.

Check out the Flickr feed for the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival for more photos and follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter too.

If you’d like to participate as an artist or support the festival as a volunteer or sponsor , registration for all artists, artist/vendors, schools, and nonprofits is located here.

Did Somebody Say #Bacon Festival AND Fireworks?

Bacon Festival

What’s not to love about a bacon festival with fireworks too? July 4th and 5th is the second annual Movable Feast Bacon Festival on the Plaza de Cesar Chavez. They’ve expanded to two full days of food, entertainment, music and SJStreet Mart vendors with everything from henna tattoos and organic indigo to jewelry, clothing and more.

The food
Throughout the day there will be a load of food trucks including the famous Bacon Bacon and Baconbot trucks. Even if bacon isn’t your favorite thing there are plenty of other options from Grilled Cheese bandits, Madd Mex Cantina, Tastee Bytes, Chromatic Coffee, Treatbot and Fairycakes. Here’s the list of food vendors.

Entertainment
Kick up your heels to Yeshua and the Hi-Tones, Anya and the Getdown, The People and The Honey Wilders and watch the Pro Wrestling Revolution at several times both days. Silly Ricky the stilt juggler will be there as well as Brian the Bubble guy to entertain the kids. This is definitely a family friendly event.

Fireworks will start at 9:30 on July 4th courtesy of the San Jose Rotary Club

Here’s the full schedule and be sure to get tickets in advance at a discounted price. (Kids tickets are free online)

Treasure hunter’s weekend

This weekend may give Bay Area, and especially downtown San Jose “treasure hunters” more than they can handle.

It’s the weekend of the annual Northside Flea Market, held at Backesto Park on Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm. The flea market raises funds for the Northside Neighborhood Association’s activities throughout the year.

Saturday is also the day of the San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin’s annual rummage sale. The rummage sale runs from 9 am to 2 pm. The church is on Fourth Street between Jackson and Taylor.

And, of course, it’s the first weekend of August. That means that the monthly De Anza College flea market will be held on Saturday between 8 am and 4 pm.

And Sunday will be the Alameda Point Antiques Faire on Alameda Island on the tarmac of the old naval air base. The Antiques Faire runs from 6 am to 3 pm, with entry prices falling as the day goes on (and the best treasures are claimed).

Good hunting!

Director Todd Solondz at Camera 3, July 21!

DARK HORSE at Camera 3

Todd Solondz

THIS SATURDAY! Legendary independent filmmaker Todd Solondz, the acclaimed director of dark comedies such as WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and HAPPINESS will be at Camera 3 for a Q&A session, following a screening of his new movie DARK HORSE.  The movie will be at 3pm, the Q&A is at 4:30. Tickets are matinee price–$7!

DARK HORSE
Cast: Justin Bartha, Christopher Walken, Selma Blair, Zachary Booth, Mia Farrow, Jordan Gelber and Donna Murphy
Synopsis: Abe is a schlubby 30-something loser who still lives with his parents, half-heartedly working in his father’s office and spending all his time buying Thundercats toys on eBay. Perversely, however, Abe is not without confidence and when he meets heavily-medicated depressive Miranda –- who has also just moved back in with her parents — he thinks he’s found a kindred spirit and proposes on their first date. “Solondz brilliantly — triumphantly — transforms what might have been an exercise in easy satirical cruelty into a tremendously moving argument for the necessity of compassion.”–New York Times

Running Time: 84 Minutes

MPAA Rating: R

There is something wrong when you’re rooting for the French while watching Henry V

I attended the Shady Shakespeare production of Henry V last night with Dr. Adrienne Eastwood, SJSU Associate Professor of English literature.  I love to have her as my guest for Shakespeare plays as she helps bring a deeper insight into the productions.  Last night however, I didn’t need anyone to confirm that this show was just not up to par.

Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company usually puts on great shows.  They play at a very nice outdoor theater in Saratoga, their prices are fantastic, and we usually empty our purses into the hats at the end of the shows because we’re so impressed with the talent and have so much fun.  One bad show isn’t going to turn me off Shady Shakes, and since Henry V ends tonight, I want to focus on the positives we experienced, which were many.

Doll Piccotto. Photo by Lance Huntley.

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Doll Piccotto, as “Chorus”, arguably carried the show.  Director Larry Barrott made a great choice in having her sit at a desk at center stage so that she was always in the middle of the action. Barrott actually had a great vision for the play; a single poor casting choice is all it took to suck the life out of the show.  As for Piccotto, I have seen her in other Shakespeare plays and she rewards every time.  There’s no doubt she’ll have a successful theatre career.

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Stephen Maddox. Photo by Lance Huntley.

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Stephen Maddox, as the King of France, was perfect as a much more interesting king than Henry V was in this production.  Actually, all the French characters were so well done it was hard to not take France’s side in this show.  Also notable was the actor who played Dauphin — either the character was somehow omitted from the cast list or the playbill was too confusing for me to find him, but he was fantastic.

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Evan Kraemer. Photo by Lance Huntley.

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Evan Kraemer, as Boy, stole the show in every scene he was in.  Many of the lesser characters were actually very interesting and charismatic in the show.  Unfortunately, it only takes one miscast in a big part to bring the show down to dud status.  I look forward to seeing Kraemer on stage in future shows.

 

Henry V ends tonight so I’d like to direct you to a different Shady Shakes production that plays through September 4th, and is likely to please the whole family.  A Midsummer Night’s Dream is always a crowd pleaser, and to make it even more family friendly, kids 17 and under get in FREE with a paid adult.  So get out this weekend and enjoy a great Shakespeare play with your family!

Tickets range in price from $10.00 to $15.00, but with only around 150 seats in the theater, ALL are good seats.

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Henry V
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company
Sanborn-Skyline County Park
16055 Sanborn Road, Saratoga

William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth urge you to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  (Dolls available at concessions, $15 each)

William Shakespeare & Queen Elizabeth did not enjoy Henry V

Fountain Blues Festival: New place, New date

Derek Trucks at the 2009 Fountain Blues Festival

The 31st Fountain Blues Festival is coming this weekend. While for many years, the festival had been held in May on the San Jose State campus, this year’s festival has been moved to July 9th, and will be sited in Saint James Park a few blocks away from its old location. Another new feature will be a $10 entry fee.

Past festivals have presented Blues luminaries such as John Lee Hooker and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. This year’s festival lineup includes Roomful of Blues, The Tommy Castro Band, The Fountain Blues Festival All-Stars, Rob Piazza, and Guitar Shorty.

The venue and date changes show the festival is facing an uncertain economic situation and is looking to do what it can to stay viable. If you haven’t been before, this would be a great year to ante up a really reasonable ticket price and support live music in San Jose. If you are a longtime festival-goer, you know that $10 is a fantastic price for the music you’re going to see at this show. Advance tickets are now available at Brown Paper Tickets.

  • What: Metro Fountain Blues Festival
  • When: Saturday, July 9, noon to 8 pm
  • Where: Saint James Park, San Jose
  • How much: $10

Asian Street food in Oakland – Hawker Fare

I know that Oakland is quite away from San Jose, but over the weekend I had one of the best Southeast Asian restaurants I’ve had in quite sometime.  The restaurant, Hawker Fare is located in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland and I’m glad that I finally got to check it out because I am hooked.  While the restaurant calls their cuisine Southeast style, with Hawker Fare being James Syhabout’s restaurant and with him being Thai,  you can see the heavy emphasis on Thai cuisine.

I’m Thai-American meaning my parents are both Thai, but I was born here in the United States.  My parents would send me back to Thailand during the summers to attend Thai school and live with my grandma there 3 months at a time every year.  So, while I’m not normally picky eater, but when it comes to food in general, I do know when I really like a Thai place and when I don’t and I definitely love Hawker Fare and can see myself making the trek up to Oakland from San Jose often just to eat here.  Yes, it is that good.

The restaurant itself is very casual and fun as far as decor.  There’s a disco ball on the ceiling and the wall is done up with a graffiti mural and old movie posters.

The Decor of the Restaurant

Hawker Fare - Disco ball and graffiti

When we got there around 8pm, it was quite crowded but they were able to seat us right away.  My friend and I decided to start with the Som Tum.

Papaya Salad

Som Tum At Hawker Fare

The Som Tum (Papaya Salad) was absolutely delicious.  It made me think about the Wat Thai (Thai Temple) in North Hollywood. There used to be this lady, Auntie Noi who made the best Som Tum and she would remember you if you went there a lot and season your Som Tum in front of you and have you taste it until she got it just to your liking.  She would have little buckets of lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, and chilli from which she would add a scoop here and add a scoop there to her mortar.  She’d stop each time, tell you to try it and then ask you if it was too sweet or salty and then add more to her mortar according to what you liked.   Once she remembered you, she would always get the seasoning just right on the first try.  Unfortunately, the city ended up shutting down North Hollywood’s Wat Thai’s food court a few years ago and since then, I’ve been dying to have some of Auntie Noi’s Som Tum.  I miss her, too.  She was such a charismatic lady and was always fun to talk to.

I’m sure Hawker Fare doesn’t have Auntie Noi hidden in their kitchen, but somehow they made the perfect Som Tum, just how i like it.   Thank you, Hawker Fare for bringing back childhood memories just with a bite of  your Som Tum.  I washed it down with some Singha beer.  Thank goodness I ordered beer because it was a bit spicy.  FYI, don’t ever drink more water when you eat something spicy, it’ll only make it worse.  You should try to kill it with rice or beer.

For our entrees, we decided to try their rice bowls.  Initially, when driving up, I had wanted to try the Khao Mun Gai.  That is my most favorite Thai dish, but after seeing their menu and the other items, I decided to wait and save that for another time.

My friend got the 24 hr Pork Belly, which I highly recommend. It was absolutely delicious and just melted in your mouth.  It wasn’t all dried out either.

24 Hour Pork Belly

Hawker Fare's 24 Hour Pork Belly

I ended up getting the “Issan” (Northeastern Thailand) style sausage bowl.  It was very good.  I also highly recommend this dish as well.   You can only imagine how happy I was at this point.  Everything we were eating was perfectly done and in such a simple way.  It was fun, casual and really cozy and easy going in the restaurant and the food was equally comforting.

Issan sausage at Hawker Fare

Issan (NorthEastern Region) sausage

They had a few items for dessert. We ended up getting the Hawker ice cream sundae. It was salted palm sugar caramel with candied red beans and puffed rice, lime whip topping.  It was  yummy.

Overall, I absolutely loved this place.  This is probably going to be my favorite restaurant for awhile.  It’s casual, cheap and the food is absolutely amazing.  It’s got an urban feel to it, but I still would take my mom to eat there and I’m sure as an older Thai mommy who doesn’t get the whole urban thing, she’d love it because of the food.

Hawker Fare
2300 Webster St.
Oakland, Ca 94612
(510) 832-8896

Rabbit’s Foot Meadery – Sunnyvale, Ca

With all of the warm weather we’ve been having, a friend and I decided to check out Rabbit’s Foot Meadery yesterday afternoon. For those of you who don’t know what Mead is, the guys here at the Meadery will definitely educate and tell you all they know about Mead, but for all simplicity sake, Mead is basically honey wine.

Rabbit’s Foot Meadery is the only meadery located in Sunnyvale and I had heard a lot of good things about this place from friends who had been there, especially my beer and brewing friends.

I think it’s kind of nice that we have a meadery here in Sunnyvale, not to mention it is one of the biggest meaderies in the United States and has won a lot of awards.  Not to mention, their mead is the only one served at French Laundry.

The tasting room itself is open for tasting Tue-Thur 2pm-7pm, Fri 2pm-8pm and Sat 1pm-5pm.  We ended up going on a Thursday after lunch. They were pouring quite a few items, not just mead.  They also had some cyser (cider style) and braggots (beer style.)

The tasting room itself is quite cozy and has an intimate feel to it.  Kelly was working behind the counter and was very nice and really knew his stuff about mead.  We didn’t know a lot about mead but he never made us feel intimidated.

We ended up doing a tasting of all three items the mead, cyser and braggots.

Rabbit's Foot Meadery

Kelly was really interesting to talk to and very informative. We talked about the meadery stuff and about random stuff as well.  I thought it was cool that he even mentioned that “nerd” was spoken here, as a few of their Mug Club members started trickling in as our tasting was ending and ended up engaging us in some conversation about comics.

The mead wine itself was very refreshing on a hot day.  Not to mention, extremely sweet and tasty. I’ve you’ve never had mead before, I definitely recommend it.

The tasting itself didn’t take long, but because we ended up talking and chit chatting, we ended up ordering a drink afterwards as well.  The environment was so relaxing and felt very comfortable and homey.  I really liked it.  We liked it so much, we bought a few of their beers and wines and are hoping that next year we can become a part of their Mug Club, which is limited to 50 people and every member has the option to renew every year, with spots opening up when a member chooses not to.  We’re hoping to slide in and pick up one of these spots next year when they open up again in June.  It’s a pretty cool concept and it seemed as if a lot of mug club members were there that night towards the end of our tasting.

Overall, we really liked this place.  We can’t wait to go back.  Especially with the summer, the mead definitely is a nice thing to have on a warm day.

 

 

Pho – Vietnamese Noodle Soup

After being overseas for quite some time, Henry had a few cravings for things that he couldn’t really get over in the Philippines.  So, when we got back to San Jose, he really wanted to find some really good Pho.  After talking to a few of my friends, we decided to check out Pho Y #1.

We both ended up getting the #1 Pho.  There are numbers that correspond to the different types of meats and things in the pho. #1 was their basic Pho.

Pho Y

The only difference between my order and Henry’s order was that he got the Large size Pho bowl and I got the regular and he also got a side of rare steak with his.

Pho Y.

The one thing I love about the bay area in general is the diversity of people here.  Because of this diversity, we are exposed to so many great cuisines from all over the world.  We are pretty fortunate, especially with a huge Vietnamese population in San Jose to have access to great Pho restaurants.

Overall, I really liked this restaurant. The only thing is they only have pho, so if you want some side dishes and rice dishes maybe try their other location which has a few other items on the menu.  I will definitely be back here since I really thought their broth was really good.

The address to the original restaurant with Pho only:
1660 E Capitol Expy
San Jose, CA 95121

The other location with other items:

2050 Concourse Dr
San Jose, CA 95131

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