As a child, San Jose seemed very suburban to me. A great place to grow up with not much to do. It took me a year of living in it as a young adult to realize it’s a place you have to dig to find the underlying gold. Once you find it, the riches change you for the better.
Downtown San Jose is filled with bars and good eats. My all time favorite brewery is Original Gravity Public House. I guarantee if you visit, there is something for everyone. Whether you like fruity ciders or bitter stouts, the selection is pretty fantastic. I actually never acquired a taste for beer until I started coming here during my weekly Sunday sessions with my close friend. That is how good the beer is. Also, for the record, I will always stand by the fact that beer and french fries were made for each other. It is the perfect combination. Original Gravity has these thin, long, crispy fries from heaven that I swear by.
The Black Power statue located in San Jose State is a testament to civil rights by commemorating the brave Olympians of 1968: Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Their hand gesture, which stood for black power, brought global awareness to the plight of the black community in America. I found it incredibly inspirational and brave that they stood up to an unfair system with dignity and peace. A small detail that I didn’t notice until it was pointed out was the fact that they took off their shoes on the stand. This was to symbolize how rampant poverty is to marginalized black communities. The SJSU alumni are heroes for risking not only their careers, but also their lives.
Christmas In The Park is a special San Jose tradition where a majority of the organizations/groups from the local community decorate Christmas trees and put them on display for the visitors to enjoy. On one side of the park, there are also small carnival rides, kettle corn stands, and balloon artists. It is a delightful outdoor Christmas wonderland that has a magical way of making you feel like a kid. I loved the display of Santa in a beach house because it reminded me of Australia and how the usual winter months are summers.
The unnamed artwork by Nicholas Douglass was displayed at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art. I had to shine a light on this series in particular because it is so raw and truthful. The common theme between all of the pictures is that the subject of the picture is hiding an aspect of themselves. The covering up of a feature or avoiding eye contact with the lens or their body language protecting them in a way. The self-taught artist commented, “It is harder and harder to be genuine, and as a photographer, it is my duty to combat that.”
The San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is undeniably the perfect spot for a romantic picnic. The garden is really well kept, so much so it won America’s Best Rose Garden award from All-America Rose Collections. For the happily single folks like myself, it is also a perfect place for a photo shoot. I came during Christmas time, so I figured why not get a prime photo for the 2019 Christmas card? So, I did!
Alum Rock Park has a special place in my heart and after a hike, I bet you’ll feel the same. When I was a teenager, running cross country a majority of our races against other schools would be at Alum Rock Park. It is a beloved place for hikers and runners alike because it’s got it all: a balance between flat and hilly areas, wildlife prancing around every corner, and views worth working for. Special tip: if you go early in the morning, there is a good chance you’ll see deer roaming around.