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Fanime Convention in Silicon Valley

Fanime 2010It’s a warm and sunny spring day in San Jose, yet it is anything but normal. The sidewalks are packed with people in costume. The individuals in street clothes seem not to notice the spectacle, and everyone appears completely comfortable with the situation. A few of those in costume pose for photos or playfully get into character, to the amusement of themselves and others. Larger groups loiter outside the San Jose Convention Center. Some gather for pictures with peers in the same outfits. More pose for professional photographers. Yet others munch on Pocky and show off the contents of their shopping bags. This is Fanime.

Fanime is an annual convention held on Memorial Day weekend in San Jose. Open to all enthusiasts, the convention’s slogan is “By fans, for fans” and, true to that, it welcomes lovers of anime, video games, martial arts, manga, music, sci-fi, comic books, steam punk, and much, much more. Throughout the four days of its running, the center is packed with a multitude of events for all to enjoy, including 24 hour video programming, a game room, a music festival, costume contests, an artist gallery, panels, guest speakers, and even a black and white (costume optional) ball with organized dance lessons earlier that weekend. If you’re a dedicated fan, you’ll be in good company. It is the largest such convention in Northern California (but, who can compete with Comic Con in San Diego for size?), and many dedicated fans come quite a distance to attend it. Don’t expect to find hotel vacancies downtown next weekend!

This year, Fanime runs from Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30 and will be held, once more, at the San Jose Convention Center. To join in, attendees must purchase a badge. The at-door prices for each day of the week and for the full weekend price are listed below via the links. Discounted, Pre-Sale badges are closed for 2011 but will be available the morning of the 30th. To learn more about Fanime, visit the website. And if you go downtown during Memorial Day weekend, remember to bring your camera – fans love to be appreciated!

The San Jose Convention Center is located at 150 West San Carlos St. San Jose, CA 95110

For more information on Fanime Con:

Fanime website
Register for Fanime
Wikipedia article on FanimeCon



Greenlee’s Bakery: Cinnamon Bread and More!

Greenlee's Bakery in San Jose - the best cinnamon bread in Silicon ValleyGreenlee’s Bakery in San Jose offers the very best (most temptingly irresistible) cinnamon bread in Silicon Valley. Located on the Alameda near Race Street, it’s just about a block from Schurra’s handmade chocolate shop (between the Shasta Hanchett neighborhood and the Shark Tank or arena & downtown San Jose) so is a good reason to visit that neck of the woods should you have company coming to town – offering a perfect excuse for stocking up on the goods!

I should add that you can now buy Greenlee’s famous cinnamon bread at many local Whole Foods markets. But they are not nearly as fresh as if you walk into the shop itself. Besides, at the Greenlee’s store you can also buy the mini size, which is a whole lot safer for most of us. (more…)

What’s the Ratio of Distressed Sales – Short Sales or Foreclosures – to “Regular Sales” in Santa Clara County?

Right now there are about 4664 active residential real estate listings (homes listed for sale on our local MLS) which are houses, duet homes, townhouses or condominiums in Santa Clara County.  Of those, there are 1255 short sales (27% of the inventory) and 463 bank owned properties, or REOs (9%),  on the market.  So the “distressed properties” segment equals 37% of the Silicon Valley real estate market (or Santa Clara County real estate market).

Some areas are flooded with short sales & bank owned homes. Others are going through this meltdown nearly unscathed. Below please find a sampling of areas in and around San Jose with the percentage of distressed homes for sale (including both short sales and REOs or bank owned properties).  In most areas, there are usually about 3 times as many short sales as bank owned homes, but sometimes it’s a lower percentage, closer to 2.5%.   I pulled the numbers from our MLS tonight – info is deemed correct but of course not guaranteed.

Percent of Distressed Home Listings in Parts of Santa Clara County
Figures represent houses, duet homes, townhouses & condos for sale
South County (Morgan Hill, Gilroy, “area 1” 43%
Santa Teresa (area of San Jose, “area 3”) 44%
Central San Jose (downtown & nearby, “area 9”) 51%
Palo Alto 2%
Saratoga 4%
Los Gatos (town of, zips 95030 & 95032) 12%

Spanish Revival Style Home in Japantown Features Classic Tile Bathroom

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of working with some past clients in purchasing a home in downtown San Jose’s Japantown neighborhood.  Their street is full of bungalows and  gracious 1920s or 1930s Spanish Revival style homes. With a wide road and an enormous “sidewalk strip” and beautiful trees, just a look down the street is like a look back in time.

The home that my friends bought had a lot of wonderful  exterior touches and a few interior ones that are reminiscent of the era.  (This is fun real estate to see and sell!)  A walk into the bathroom, though, really just takes your breath away if you love older, historic homes.  In this post I’ll share a few large photos of this very cool, classic tiled bathroom and indicate why a bathroom like this is so special.  Please continue on to see several photos!


Downtown San Jose is the Heart of Silicon Valley

A quick introduction to downtown San Jose via YouTube. Downtown San Jose is Sharks Territory (NHL team), home to a diverse number of theaters and museums (including a quilting museum) and a huge variety of shops and restaurants. When the Sharks aren’t playing at the Arena, the Shark Tank becomes a musical venue too.

In summer, fireworks and many events draw large crowds downtown.

In winter, downtown offers Christmas in the Park and a palm tree encircled ice rink as wonderful ways to enjoy the sunny, cool days downtown. The Catholic Cathedral features free musical concerts for all from many groups around Silicon Valley, with each concert performed twice in many of the evenings leading up to Christmas.

There’s loads to do in downtown San Jose!