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CONTENT Silicon Valley’s Innovative and Creative Culture

content magazine, san jose

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Celebrating our new look! #NewAtEastridge 5 Massive Murals by Local Artists Community Gathering Spaces Kids’ PLAY Area (Now Open!) A New Look for The Eatery ReCharge Lounges Vehicle Charging Stations Fresh Entrances Center-Wide Amenity Updates All New 2018 Events

#NewAtEastridge @EastridgeCenter 2200 EASTRIDGE LOOP, SAN JOSE | CALL OR TEXT US 408-444-8110 |




ISSUE 10.0 “Seek” Jan / Feb 2018

The Makers: Cultivator Daniel Garcia Editors Elizabeth Sullivan Kelsy Thompson, Katherine Hypes Grace Olivieri, Vila Schwindt Circulation/Distribution Elle Mitchell Communication Manager Julia Canavese Production Kristen Pfund

Designers Elle Mitchell, Maggie Moore Jeff Gardner Photographers Gregory Cortez, Arabela Espinoza Scott MacDonald, Robert Schultze Jacob Martinez Writers Tracy Lee, Brandon Roos Michelle Runde, Nathan Zanon Francisco Alvarado, Diane Solomon Daniel Codella, Tad Malone Johanna Hickle, Caroline Beleno Thomas Ulrich

Publisher SVCreates We are all “seekers” in some way. Seeking to improve, grow, help, or even innovate. Groping for ways to move forward, sometimes unaware that behind our search for fun, excitement, or entertainment is the strong pull of connection. In this issue, you will find a group of people seeking to connect who they are with what they do. From a family looking to connect us with our food to a young poet exploring her inner feelings and new directions, each profile can help us discover a little bit about ourselves and our own quests. You will notice a lot of black in this issue. I have wanted to experiment and play with black pages rather than white for a while, and this being a celebration of six years of Content, I thought that now would be a great time to do something different. Hopefully, it will be as fun for you as it was for us, and though there is no hidden meaning—I’m not depressed, angry, or whatever emotion might be associated with black—I do know that the searching and questioning that comes into our lives can feel like a silent, black hole of despair. If that is the case for you, I hope that the bright red and the personalities of this issue give you hope and help you to discover whatever you might seek. Enjoy. Daniel Garcia THE CULTIVATOR

IN THIS ISSUE Breezy Excursion / Bibliotheca / Ash Kalra / Scape Martinez / Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard To participate in Content Magazine: Subscription & advertising information available by contacting

CONTENT MAGAZINE is a bimonthly publication about the innovative and creative culture of Silicon Valley, published by


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Jan / Feb 2018 San Jose, California

DAY TRIP 8 Los Altos, Ca ART/DESIGN 10 POW! WOW! San Jose 18 Artist, Scape Martinez 22 Artist, Michele Bisaillon 28 Artist, J.Duh 32 Poet, Marissa Ahmadkhani 36 Breezy Excursion, Ryan Mante & Christian “Flip” Lilleland 40 Steamy Tech, Greg & Lora Price 44 Bibliotheca, Adam Lewis Greene

J.Duh, pg. 28

TECH/LEADERS 48 Tech Profiles, Tracy Lee 52 San Jose Earthquakes, Nick Lima 56 Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Shiloh Ballard 60 State Assemblymember, Ash Kalra FOOD/DRINK 64 Ludwig’s, Ben Bate and Nicole Jacobi 68 Spade & Plow, Mike, Nick, & Sam Thorp 72 The Curated Feast, Liz Birnbaum 76 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Jeff Emery MUSIC/STYLE 80 Bareback, Content Editorial 90 Paris Fashion Week, Kerry Adams Hapner 93 Album Picks, UNGRAMR

Breezy Excursion, pg. 36

96 Calendar 98 Contributors

All materials in CONTENT MAGAZINE are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published, broadcast or modified in any way without the prior written consent of Silicon Valley Creates, or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of this content. For further information, or to participate in the production or distribution, please contact us at

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, pg. 56

Michele Bisaillon, pg. 22


592 North Fifth Street in heart of historic Japantown San Jose Open by appointment 408 288-9305 408 823-6450 c Gallery rental now available for exhibits, events, and receptions

Need an escape? Don’t have a lot of time? Living in Silicon Valley provides you with all kinds of options for a short getaway. From the beach to the mountains, wineries to windsurfing, the South Bay is one of the best hubs for launching into world-class scenery and activities. So why not take a day trip?

Day trip


Los Altos, Ca. Written by DANIEL CODELLA Photography by ARABELA ESPINOZA

Spanish for “the heights,” Los Altos does indeed boast a higher elevation than its two neighbors to the north, Palo Alto and Mountain View, yet it’s often hidden in their shadows. It’s a small community and one of the few in Santa Clara County that isn’t home to a tech company campus. You won’t find any Google, Apple, or Facebook buildings here. In fact, the largest private employer is Whole Foods. Yet it’s a town that occupies a place as one of Silicon Valley’s holiest sites. In 1976, in the garage of his childhood home, Steve Jobs, along with cofounder Steve Wozniak and others, built what would become Apple computers and changed history. While the major hardware and software companies didn’t choose to make the city their home, many of their wealthy founders and executives did. Some of the largest and most expensive homes in the country are located in Los Altos and neighboring Los Altos Hills. You may feel inclined to write Los Altos off as merely the suburb of choice for the digerati. But upon further inspection, you’ll find a dynamic, welcoming community filled with rich history, culture, and character. To begin your day, head straight to Voyageur du Temps for an authentic European-style coffee and pastry. Housed in one of Los Altos’ early train stations, this chic cafe lives up to its name (French for “Time Traveler”) by transporting you back to an era where strangers were friends you hadn’t met yet and baked goods were made from scratch with the finest ingredients. But while you’ll be tempted to stuff yourself on their rustic baguettes and matcha tea croissants, save some 8

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room for your next stop, Manresa Bread. This popular bakery is a spinoff of David Kinch’s celebrated Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos. Order a kouign-amann (Breton for “butter cake”), a crown-shaped pastry made with butter, sugar, and salt that will dazzle your taste buds. Be sure to wipe the crumbs off your lips before heading next door to Linden Tree Books, a colorful and quirky bookstore that prides itself on being a destination for both the “head and the heart.” Much of their collection is geared towards younger readers, but they really do have something that will appeal to everyone. Get lost in one of their several reading nooks and be sure to ask their warm and dedicated staff for recommendations. After preparing your mind for learning, it’s time to head over to the Los Altos History Museum. Located in a former apricot orchard, this community museum has a diverse array of impressive, hands-on displays that include interactive video and audio elements. Be sure to check out all of the subtle details of the miniature model of early Los Altos— complete with working train—examine the ancient pottery of the area’s first inhabitants, the Ohlone, and spin the prize wheel that movie theater patrons spun during intermissions for the chance to win free plots of land. By this time your stomach should be rumbling, so take a short drive over to San Antonio Road to enjoy some of the best Chinese food in the country at Chef Chu’s. You’ll have to call and give advance notice if you want to try their signature Beijing Duck, but it’s worth the effort. It’s crispy, juicy, and full of flavor. If duck is not your

thing, the whole steamed Chilean Sea Bass is sure to please with its flaky white meat and spicy-sweet black bean sauce. On your way out, be sure to check out their gallery wall to see pictures of Chef Chu’s celebrity patrons, including Bill Clinton, Justin Bieber, and Jaden Smith. Hopefully you saved room for dessert, because once you’re back downtown, you’ll want to head over to Tin Pot Creamery to sample some of the creamiest and richest ice cream in the area. This small-batch ice cream parlor uses local, organic ingredients to concoct all kinds of delicious flavors. With a full belly, it’s time to swing by the Los Altos Stage Company, an intimate 99-seat theater that hosts a variety of productions by enthusiastic and passionate local performers. Whether it’s a classic you think you’ve seen done to death or something modern you’re unfamiliar with, you’re in for a surprising live performance that will captivate and enthrall you. If it’s a Friday night, another great option is to stargaze at the Foothill College Observatory during their public viewing hours. To end the evening, head over to Honcho for a night cap. This cozy, mellow watering hole displays a sign that both patrons and staff take very seriously: “Good Vibes Only.” Los Altos may have given birth to one of the biggest companies in tech, but it’s a community that prefers being the quiet corner of the Valley. So sip your drink slowly, strike up a conversation with someone next to you, and for heaven’s sake, put your iPhone away.

Voyageur du Temps

288 1st Street Los Altos, CA 94022

Manresa Bread

271 State Street Los Altos, CA 94022 Manresa Bread

Linden Tree Books

265 State Street Los Altos, CA 94022

Los Altos History Museum

51 S San Antonio Road Los Altos, CA 94022 Los Altos History Museum

Honcho Bar

Chef Chu’s

1067 N San Antonio Road Los Altos, CA 94022

Tin Pot Creamery

201 1st Street Los Altos, CA 94022 Linden Tree Books

Chef Chu’s

Los Altos Stage Company

97 Hillview Avenue Los Altos, CA 94022

Welcome to Los Altos, CA Population: 30,561

Foothill College Observatory

4100 Perimeter Road Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

Built on land purchased from Sarah Winchester, widow of the inventor of the Winchester rifle, the town of Los Altos was initially created by employees of the Southern Pacific Railroad to serve as a midway stop between Palo Alto and Los Gatos. In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple computers in a Los Altos garage, cementing its place in Silicon Valley history. Today, Los Altos is home to some of the most valuable real estate in the entire country.


235 1st Street Los Altos, CA 94022

Voyageur du Temps


Written by UNGRAMR x Empire Seven Studios Photography by Jasper Wong and Lanny Nguyen

Instagram powwowsanjose

POW! WOW ! Year One of POW! WOW! POW! WOW! San Jose has come and gone, but this is only the beginning. Just as we initially called upon a handful of friends to start this movement, now, we encourage our neighbors to walk alongside Empire Seven Studios and UNGRAMR on this new journey. Come and experience San Jose, continue to get to know its rich cultural history, and discover the identity that has always been here. To all those who have joined us, thank you for your support of the first annual POW! WOW! San Jose. To all others, we hope that you can share in our excitement as we begin our preparations for year two of POW! WOW! San Jose. To get involved, visit C


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ARTIST: Sean Boyles LOCATION: 251 E Empire Street

ARTIST: Jeff Meadows LOCATION: 486 W San Carlos Street


ARTIST: Griffin One LOCATION: 251 E Empire Street

ARTIST: Roan Victor LOCATION: 140 Jackson Street (Nichi Bei Bussan)

ARTIST: Wisper LOCATION: 251 E Empire Street

ARTIST: Adele Renault LOCATION: 91 Autumn Street (Poor House Bistro) 12

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ARTIST: Aaron De La Cruz LOCATION: 440 King Road

ARTIST: Doper LOCATION: 251 E Empire Street


ARTIST: Kristin Farr LOCATION: 490 W San Carlos Street (The Learning Center)

ARTIST: Ken Davis x Lauren Napolitano LOCATION: 1043 Garland Avenue (The Food Basket)

ARTIST: Ricky Watts LOCATION: 45 N 1st Street


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ARTIST: Casey Gray LOCATION: 91 Autumn Street (Poor House Bistro)

ARTIST: Lacey Bryant x Ben Henderson LOCATION: 1068 The Alameda (Alameda ArtWorks)


ARTIST: Jet Martinez LOCATION: 91 Autumn Street (Poor House Bistro)


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ARTIST: TRAV MSK LOCATION: 490 S 1st Street (San Jose Stage Company)

ARTIST: Mesngr LOCATION: 1068 The Alameda (Alameda ArtWorks) C

Written by Johanna Hickle Photography by Daniel Garcia

Scape Martinez Facebook scapemartinezartist Instagram scapemartinez


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THE POETRY WITHIN SPRAY PAINT GRAFFITI IS AS INDIGENOUS to cities as cement and skyscrapers. Intense spray paint expressions and illegible fonts pour over alleyway walls and flow down train tunnels.

Above: Scape Martinez

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“If it looks like something, I’m not doing my job.” – Scape Martinez Scape Martinez is responsible for his fair share of unsanctioned public art. Identifying as a contemporary urban artist these days, his work is heavily influenced by his graffiti background. “It informs my work today, but it’s not explicitly what I do. I don’t do anything illegal anymore—I’m too old,” Scape says, with a tinge of regret. He follows this statement with fond recollections of youthful indiscretions—tagging a tunnel under The Alameda with his pals, raiding his mom’s makeup drawer for art supplies, and using the back of his closet as a canvas. “She didn’t like that, but she was a great resource,” he adds. His artist alias, Scape, is one component transferred over from the graffiti days. It’s an acronym for “Screaming, Creative, and Positive Energy.” It is also derived from the word “escape.” “I decided to drop the ‘e’ so that it sounded a little bit sharper. I like how the letters play with each other—the ‘s’ flowing into the ‘c’ and the ‘a,’ ” Scape explains, exposing his poetic side. And like a poet, Scape skillfully wields emotion and abstraction in his work. “If it looks like something, I’m not doing my job,” Scape says. Instead, he seeks to create a “visual representation of deeper philosophical and spiritual concepts.” Scape has generated both studio and public art— each with its own agenda. The public murals are an outward reflection of the community. “It’s you and I, going back and forth in the creative process. It’s a shared experience,” Scape says. In contrast, studio art is meditative and discloses Scape’s unconscious mind. “I’m digging out all this stuff that may not make sense to me in the short term—in the long term, possibly—but it will make sense to the right person who’s looking at it and can have that dialogue with me,” he says. “It’s totally interpretive—but I’ve had people look at my work and tell me about myself.” This willingness to bare parts of his mind he himself isn’t even aware of yet makes each piece an act of deep vulnerability and intimacy. Just as a person’s personality develops while maintaining certain aspects of who that person was,

Scape’s art evolves while sustaining overarching elements. The other noticeable constant besides abstraction? “A robust use of color,” Scape states. “I like to use color straight out of the can or straight out of the tube. I don’t water it down. I try to be as uncluttered and raw and pure as possible.” This isn’t solely a visual choice. Scape likes to explore the psychological effects of colors, especially their impact on our moods and ways of thinking. In fact, he recently challenged his go-to color palate through experiments with monochromatic studio art, dedicating himself to the study of one color a year. Green was the color of 2017. Scape considered the properties and interactions of “that mysterious color between blue and yellow,” exploring the color’s associations with nature and the environment, money and success, growth and restoration. He also contemplated how meaning varies based on the beholder. “The viewer is interpreting it and also sharing a little about themselves and their frames of reference,” Scape explains. This upcoming year, Scape’s challenge will switch focus from colors to bigger canvases. He enjoys the process of applying layer upon layer to an expansive canvas that covers an entire wall, cutting out parts he likes and reorganizing them. Scape compares the process to visiting a butcher’s shop. “You say, ‘I want this specific part—the ribs.’ So then you cut that and start working with it,” he explains. “Then I might come back over here and cut this part out. But even the scraps I don’t throw away because that still has life.” When Scape isn’t absorbed in painting, he enjoys sharing his creative process with others. He’s written four heavily illustrated how-to books on the subject of graffiti and hosted workshops across the United States, most notably for Lakĥóta youth on a reservation. “Youths are attracted to this art form and use it as a tool to heal,” Scape explains. “It lets them identify and rediscover their own culture.” C


MICHELE BISAILLON PICTURE A HOUSE OF MIRRORS designed by a female Wes Anderson. What you see is all symmetry and spectacular shades of pink and blue, but you are left wondering which mirror is the source of the reflection and which the echoed image. Written by Francisco Alvarado Photography by Daniel Garcia

Instagram michel_e_b

That is the best way to describe Michele Bisaillon’s art, which she refers to as “analog collage.” She showcases femininity and self-love using meticulously placed mirrors, achieving balance in the setup of a photo just before her manipulations of perspective threaten chaos. “The world is as ugly and harsh as it is beautiful and soft and gorgeous,” Bisaillon said. The internet agrees. Her Instagram following and career as an artist have grown rapidly since 2015, boasting 136,000 followers on the internet platform and several feature stories in publications that include PAPER Magazine, i-D Magazine, and Highsnobiety. Michele Bisaillon, a 29-year-old Bay Area native, was born and raised in San Jose. Her first venture into photography came at the age of nine by way of a Barbie point-and-shoot camera gifted to her by her late mother. “It was this little Barbie camera she got me for Easter, and it was my favorite thing,” Bisaillon said. “I couldn’t put it down.” Bisaillon credits her mother for encouraging her to be creative. As a teenager, Bisaillon transitioned from taking simple pictures with the Barbie camera to coordinating elaborate photo shoots with her friends and posting the pictures on her Xanga page and other social media platforms of the mid-aughts. Frustrations with the Barbie camera developed patience in Bisaillon and the meticulous attention to detail her style demands. “I’m really hard on myself. I’m such a perfectionist. You can really see that, I think, in the photos because of the tiny movements required.” “The most inspirational things to me are things that are fleeting,” Bisaillon said. “Things that will go away if you don’t capture them.” That inspiration stems from the personal losses she’s endured in life, as well as future loss, embodied in her 11-year-


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old cat and muse, Peach. “I’m already gonna cry,” Bisaillon laughed half-heartedly at the impending fate of her aging companion. Sunsets are also a favorite fleeting subject for Bisaillon, which she features prominently in her work. Accessing different perspectives is also important to Bisaillon’s work. “It’s so limiting to just be in your body,” Bisaillon said. “To have your one body and one physical perspective. It’s so limiting for us.” Empathy, self-love, and love of others are often the intended takeaways from her analog collages. “There’s such a lack of love in this world,” Bisaillon said. “Why wouldn’t you want to be loving?” Bisaillon wears her emotions on her sleeve, and that sets her apart. “That’s what helps me to see things differently from some people—I do care. Life is short; you gotta care about something.” Bisaillon uses her work to promote body and sex positivity and self-confidence. “What I try to show is that I appreciate the female form.” Her willingness to venture outside her level of confidence hits close to home for her audience—75 percent of whom are female, according to Instagram analytics. The manipulations of her body through perspective often reminds audience members of the Disney film Mulan and the protagonist’s simple question: “When will my reflection show?” Bisaillon is a rising artist. She wants to do bigger pieces, with more people, and with better equipment. Despite success, Bisaillon is uncertain about her future in art. “I don’t want to feel like I have everything figured out because I don’t,” Bisaillon said. “I don’t want to pretend I do. I just want to see where it takes me.” C


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J.DUH Written by Tad Malone Photography by Arabela Espinoza Instagram j.duh_

Jorge “J.Duh” Camacho uses the symbiotic duality of his creative process—fine art versus street—to create unique, vibrant, and witty works of art. Jorge “J.Duh” Camacho fell in love with art right around the time he got into skateboarding in 4th grade. The San Jose–based artist and muralist was immediately attracted to the art on skateboard decks and apparel but couldn’t afford to buy the brand names. Instead, his mom would get him blank shirts from Goodwill, and Camacho would flip them inside out and draw his own designs. “At that age, the only artists I knew about were taggers,” recalls Camacho. “Those graffiti artists showed me from a young age how to be consistent with my art, how to travel and network with other people, and more importantly, how to obsess over it.” In high school, his obsession grew to the point that Camacho would almost always be drawing or doodling—on his desk or in the margins of an assignment. This adherence to practice is arguably one of his greatest artistic assets. Rain, sleet, or snow, Camacho is always drawing, painting, or creating. “I feel empty without it,” he says. “I could win the lottery, but if I didn’t draw, I still wouldn’t feel content.” Now at age 22, Camacho is focusing on his art full-time. When Local Color opened last year, Camacho knew he wanted a space with like-minded individuals where he could evolve his style, so he got a booth. When Camacho was brought into Local Color, he was under the impression that the space would only be active for two months, so he eschewed all other life obligations and got to work fast. “I took a leap of faith and quit my job in February. I’ve been starving-artisting it since,” he says. In many ways, Camacho is an artist of practicality, usually working on small canvases because they are cheap. Moreover, he tries to go for speed—his graffiti background has instilled an efficiency in his technique—often making a base layer in spray paint before bringing in a brush for the details. Suffice it to say, he’s prolific. All of the artwork on display in his space at Local Color, from large, mural-style works to smaller acrylic paintings and calligraphic


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“I feel empty without it. I could win the lottery, but if I didn’t draw, I still wouldn’t feel content.” – Jorge Camacho

works, have been done in the last couple months, and he shows no sign of slowing down. Camacho prefers to work with anything that’s smooth. As a self-taught artist, he uses whatever supplies he can to make his creations come to life. Often that involves spray paint, acrylic paint, and pens. Camacho’s inspiration comes from music, culture, skateboarding, and his own life experiences. While many of Camacho’s pieces are symbolic and point to greater social or cultural issues, his art is always infused with sarcastic humor. “I want to make pieces of art that make somebody laugh or feel comfortable.” Camacho’s art also comes from a place of love. His artist moniker “J.Duh” was also his sister’s nickname. After her untimely passing, he started signing all of his work in her honor. “I think that’s one reason I obsess about my work so much, because it’s all a tribute to her,” Camacho says. Whether he’s painting logos, selling canvases, making T-shirts, or painting murals for people or local businesses, Camacho is keeping himself afloat through his art. “I really don’t have a plan B,” he says. Besides his own personal hustle, Camacho’s work has been featured in numerous art shows across the Bay Area. His most recent show was also one he curated: The Letter Show at Local Color, which featured over 20 notable local artists interpreting the letters of the alphabet. Camacho recently started going around to businesses he frequented and seeing if they would like murals. His enterprising idea has been a big success. Camacho has created numerous murals and installations for local companies including Bosch Appliances and C’est Si Bon Bakery. He also painted the new San Jose mural on Balbach Street next to the Convention Center. As for the future, Jorge “J.Duh” Camacho has simple desires—he just wants to keep making art. C

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M A R I S S A A h m a d k h a n i IF YOU HAD TOLD Marissa Ahmadkhani that going to California Polytechnic State University would lead her to become a prize-winning poet, she’d probably have been incredulous. Born and raised in Gilroy, Ahmadkhani decided to go to college at Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo because of its location. Soon after arriving, she found a group of like-minded creatives in the tightly knit English Department, a refuge in a sense from the polytechnic focus of the university. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English literature.

Written by Tad Malone Photography by Daniel Garcia

Instagram marissamehh

She fell in love with poetry through her freshman poetry courses, eventually spending the next six years pursuing poetry and building up her portfolio. Above anything, she credits one of her professors with helping her cultivate her craft, see the power of poetry, and be true to her process. “When you are first starting to write,” she muses, “it’s easy to write to an audience, to what you think the audience might want. I try to say exactly what it is I’m trying to say.” That tutelage showed. While at Cal Poly, she won Cal Poly’s Academy of American Poets prize twice—one of the few students to ever do so—first in 2015 and then again two years later in 2017. Currently, she is still studying at Cal Poly, this time pursuing a master’s degree in English literature. Since her early poetic forays, Ahmadkhani’s voice has developed more conciseness as she attempts to say the most with the least amount of words. By her own estimate, Ahmadkhani’s poems top out at no more than 14 lines and often feature deliberate use of white space and other compositional techniques—echoes of the lyrical influences on her writing of Romantic poets such as Shelley or Keats or the lyrical minimalism of the early 20th-century Bohemian poet Rainer Maria Rilke. Her writing process varies, with the words sometimes coming out of her head fully formed. Usually, though, Ahmadkhani starts with the last line, then goes back and builds up the poem around that finale. “It’s a strange little structural anchor,” she says.


“I try to start my poems with one moment that can lead the reader to greater questions about human relationships.” –Marissa Ahmadkhani

Thematically, Ahmadkhani’s poems focus on the natural world, femininity, mental illness, and the nuances of people’s interactions. “I try to start my poems with one moment that can lead the reader to greater questions about human relationships,” she says. “That’s kind of my most consistent theme in my work.” But her most celebrated poems, like her award-winning rumination on her heritage, “Only Half,” deal with her own identity struggles— particularly with being half Iranian. As for the reader’s perception, Ahmadkhani believes the more the merrier. “I don’t know what I want people to take away from my poems,” she says. “The great thing about poetry is that people bring their own lives and knowledge to the writing, so a poem can be about a specific topic, but everyone will perceive it differently, with people picking up on things you never noticed.” Ahmadkhani felt a bit out of place when she applied for the first Academy of American Poets contest. Originally not even planning on submitting, she wrestled with a voice she was still coming into. “So I just wrote what I wanted to write, and it won,” she recalls about the poem which explores love, the absence of love, and the exploration of former versions of oneself. Now, only a few years later, Ahmadkhani’s well on her way to becoming one of the South Bay’s premiere young poetic voices. Besides her two prize-winning poems, her work has been published in the literary journal Byzantium and in the new anthology California’s Best Emerging Poets. While finishing her master’s, Marissa Ahmadkhani is trying out teaching and is hoping to get into the editorial, marketing, and publishing side of the literary business. While she adds to her alreadycelebrated portfolio and submits to other literary journals, Ahmadkhani ultimately hopes to publish a book of her poetry. “I am in this weird in-between stage,” she remarks. “Once December passes, I will see where it all takes me.” C

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Christian “Flip” Lilleland and Ryan Mante



LIFESTYLE AND STREETWEAR brand Breezy Excursion is a testament to the beauty of recognizing one’s dreams and following them to their breathtaking conclusions. If one needs an example of magic and miracle, they need look no further than San Jose–based clothing and lifestyle company Breezy Excursion. Its founders, Ryan Mante and Christian “Flip” Lilleland, were both raised in San Jose before attending San Diego State University. Although they didn’t know each other at the time, fate soon brought them together and forward on a lifechanging journey. The initial impetus came with a dream Mante had one night during his last quarter at SDSU. “In the dream, I had my own boutique with shirts made out of solid gold, and they were selling so fast, moms were fighting over them,” Mante relates. “I woke up and said this has got to be a sign for something.” Immediately, he started designing shirts in Microsoft Paint, before finding a screen printer and having the designs printed. “That was the beginning of the brand,” Mante says. Mante picked the name Breezy Excursion from a sample sentence for a font, not realizing how prescient that decision was. Six months later, he’d develop a partnership with Lilleland in an equally serendipitous way. Committed to the vision he’d had in his dream, Mante took the rest of his financial aid money and invested it in the brand, a move which not only left little to no money for living expenses, but eventually drove him to homelessness. Pride kept him from asking for help, so he took advantage of San Diego State’s eternal party scene. “I would

go from party to party, and stay so late that I would pass out, so I didn’t have to worry about where to sleep,” Mante says. “Christian threw infamous parties, so I tried my trick at his place one night.” Lilleland, however, immediately caught on and confronted Mante about his living situation, to which Mante admitted that he was homeless. Lilleland lent a hand and let Ryan live in his place rent free—save for doing dishes and other chores.

Written by Tad Malone Photography by Arabela Espinoza

Breezy Excursion 1020 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95126 Instagram breezyexcursion

“He’s just a good dude. We aren’t just business partners, we’re like brothers. I would do anything for him. It’s almost like we’re married,” Lilleland says. They both moved back to San Jose, where Mante was contacted by a clothing boutique in LA about carrying some of his designs for its grand opening— the problem was that Mante didn’t have enough money to deliver. Lilleland waxed his guardian angel wings once again and offered to help cover the costs. The venture was successful. After the meeting with the boutique, Mante and Lilleland had a discussion in a nearby parking lot that solidified their partnership, and Breezy Excursion was truly born. “From there it became a rollercoaster, and we thought we were going to take the streetwear scene by storm,” Mante says.


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“In the dream, I had my own boutique with shirts made out of solid gold, and they were selling so fast, moms were fighting over them. I woke up and said this has got to be a sign for something.” – Ryan Mante Breezy Excursion’s first line was simple. A few fitted hats and T-shirts established that they were all about hip-hop, nostalgia, and Bay Area culture. To market it, they headed to the MAGIC streetwear trade show in Las Vegas, where they walked around with backpacks and hocked their wares. “Everyone in the industry was there—our heroes really—and it was intimidating,” says Lilleland. “We were the outsiders.” Breezy Excursion only sold a few units, but their spirits were high and they were willing to do whatever it took to get noticed. They started an online radio show, got their clothes listed on KarmaLoop (the premier streetwear distributor), and continued to hustle at clothing expos. Their efforts paid off, and only a year later they were back at the MAGIC show, this time with an entourage of 30-plus people, a DJ, and the loudest booth in the show. “We built the brand to our lifestyle, and back then we partied pretty hard,” Lilleland says and laughs. “You couldn’t miss us.”

Now, nearly a decade later, Breezy Excursion is one of the hottest up-and-coming streetwear brands, with a large, loyal group of employees, a flagship store in San Jose, and clothing being sold in countless shops across the globe. With their success, they’ve been able to sit back a bit, but they still share creative responsibilities and oversee the day-to-day operations. In the future, Breezy Excursion hopes to continue to grow and inspire people with their transgressive but endearing cultural vision. Like their extended name says, Breezy Excursion Sticks Together. “We want to maintain the legacy of being a company that was brought out of nothing and became successful,” Mante says. “But more than anything, we want to show that we are a product of San Jose, California.” C


STEAMY TECH Written by Gillian Claus

Form vs Function

Photography by Daniel Garcia

Steamy Tech 394 Martin Avenue Santa Clara, CA 95050 Social Media steamytech

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When it comes to that age-old question of form versus function, simply looking good is not enough for Greg and Lora Price, the owners of Steamy Tech, a steampunk-inspired maker shop. The couple had been interested in the pageantry of steampunk since attending the steampunk event Clockwork Alchemy. They talked to artists and enjoyed the costumes and gadgetry, but one detail really nagged at them. “Steampunk is cool, but the gears don’t work. They are all glued on,” says Lora. “I mean, it’s beautiful. The people are amazing, the artists are phenomenal, but the gears don’t move.”

began cutting gears in the guest room of their downtown apartment. “No one ever complained, and we actually got our deposit back,” says Greg. They then rented a little house off The Alameda with a detached garage, but it was soon apparent they needed more space—enough, in fact, to accommodate a 90-watt laser cutter.

Determined to do something about it, Greg and Lora got a membership at TechShop and began to make small, functional gears. An artist friend raved about their work’s functionality and suggested they present their pieces at an upcoming steampunk event. At first, $300 for a booth seemed like a risky investment. “It was only a one-day show, and we were going to have to pay for a hotel overnight, but we decided to do it,” says Greg. “So we boxed up a bunch of stuff, and our friend was right—people lost their minds.”

After three years of weekends at conventions and shows, both Greg and Lora were still working their day jobs. Greg worked as a trained software engineer doing server administration at companies like Facebook and Fujitsu, and Lora is a technical trainer. They both enjoyed stretching their creative muscles outside the four walls of a cubicle. “We made the decision that one of us had to stop tech if we wanted this to go any bigger,” says Greg. “So, I was the one doing IT work. I was on call all the time, which makes it hard to go to shows. It was logical for me to be the one to quit.” After establishing themselves in downtown San Jose, trying a new market was the logical next step, so they rented booths at almost every art and wine festival up and down the peninsula.

Calling themselves Steamy Tech, Greg and Lora broke even on that first event. But it signaled they were onto something good. From there, they began to break records at local shows, and their projects were outgrowing the TechShop. After hours, they

Because they love to see people building their toys, Greg and Lora began to host maker events for groups of their friends. They expanded these into weekly maker nights, and by choosing kid-friendly venues, parents and kids could assemble kits

“We pride ourselves in saying that everything is made here.” – Lora Price Owners Greg and Lora Price

together over craft beer and food. “Maker nights are a lot less intimidating than a paint night,” Greg explains. “We give them a pile of wooden gears and they just go!” Putting together the wooden kits is simple, and materials are provided for customers to decorate the bare wood. Maker nights became so popular and sought-after that the Prices began to think of ways to bring the experience to more people. Eventually, they landed on the idea of a bimonthly subscription service called The Box of Making. Subscribers receive a box on schedule that contains multiple projects, art supplies, and access to instructions. Once they have an idea, Greg and Lora confer on how the design needs to work and make sure it is buildable. The project must be reproducible without proving too challenging to assemble. Then they build and sell the object before streamlining it into a kit which then debuts at maker night. The final destination is their customers’ homes. Because their company is small, they pride themselves on being nimble, responding to needs, and evolving. A perfect example of this is their response to fidget spinners. Just three weeks after first seeing the gadgets, Greg and Lora’s wheels started to turn. “We 3D-printed an original, took a look, and thought, ‘It’s super boring—they’re all exactly the same,’ ” says Greg. They added their Steamy Tech touch and took it to Maker Faire. Even teachers professing their hatred of the gadget will sometimes walk out of their booth at Maker Faire with one, “to outdo their students and own the best fidget spinner in the class,” explains Lora. Now they have settled into a new industrial building near the airport. This little factory has space for cutting and designing, as well as for 42

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hosting birthday parties and team-building events. At the back of their workshop, Greg and Lora have heaped leftover shapes they lovingly refer to as “scrap mountain.” They periodically hold events at which participants compete to see who can build the most interesting creation from scrap pieces. Many of the off-cuts also find their way into the classroom via RAFT (Resource Area For Teachers). The couple is dedicated to keeping things familyfriendly and accessible to children, and they love watching kids discover the joy of building by themselves. At this year’s Santa Clara County Fair, 230 kids built simplified train pins with three gears. “We are all about getting people to build things,” says Greg. “People don’t make things anymore.” Lora stresses that supporting the local community is important to Steamy Tech. “We pride ourselves in saying that everything is made here. We buy wood, glue, and stain, but everything else we make.” When Southern Lumber went out of business, they faced a major problem until they found a local company selling hardwoods for guitars. That meeting resulted in a connection with lumber mills in the area—assuring them a supply of good, local plywood for a decent price. The Prices source their hardware from The Olander Company, Sunnyvale. But Lora and Greg’s world is not all bare wood and hard edges. The couple is also known for their artistic flair for showmanship and their signature top hats, which are reflected in the Steamy Tech logo. Showcased beneath a wall of customer inventions at their shop are two original steampunk top hats. One is black leather covered with moving parts, and the other is an impressive wooden hat that lights up in the dark—much as Steamy Tech hopes to light up the maker movement for years to come. C


BIBLIOTHECA Redesigning the Bible, Bibliotheca prioritizes beauty and readability above convention. Reading the Bible can be daunting for anyone—from biblical experts to everyday readers. Text is often squeezed into narrow columns with sentences interrupted by verse numbers every few lines, and the faux gold–edged pages feel too thin and fragile to be handled on the go. These factors, along with outmoded language styles, create a book that doesn’t feel accessible to modern readers. These small yet crucial design choices caused Adam Lewis Greene, a professional graphic designer, typographer, and book designer, to wonder if this was the only way to read one of the most influential works of literature in human history. “I realized it didn’t look like anything I normally read,” says Greene. “And as I learned more about book design and its history, I started to appreciate the reading experience more.”

Written by Michelle Runde Photography by Daniel Garcia Social Media bibliothecaco

In looking back on the history of the Bible, Greene discovered that it was biblical literature that shaped what we expect in books today. The transition from the scroll to the codex (similar to a modern-day book that has its pages bound at the spine) was driven by early Christian communities passing around their scriptures. Greene learned that the Bible’s original form was a collection of narratives—without the encyclopedic feel it has today—and was convinced there should be an alternative way to read its stories. In June 2014, Greene launched a Kickstarter project titled Bibliotheca with the modest goal of $37,000—just enough to cover production costs. Greene strove for the highest quality in every aspect of production. To accommodate his choice of book-weight paper, he divided the Bible into five separate volumes. He scoured the US and Europe for the best paper, ribbons, and binding methods that would meet his exacting standards. He even designed an original typeface specifically for Bibliotheca. When faced with choosing which translation to use, Greene decided to craft a new translation he called the American Literary Version (ALV) with the help of biblical scholars. Starting with the 1901 American Standard Version (ASV), they subtly modernized the text while still respecting the literary quality of the original translation: thou became you, doth became does, etc. While not intended to be the same as reading a contemporary novel, it helps the reader to not stumble on archaic vocabulary and still retains the story’s flow. Left: Adam Lewis Greene


Greene thought it would never go beyond being his own passion project. “I didn’t think that many people would be interested—just book design nerds like me, and maybe bibliophiles and Bible collectors.” He quickly realized he had underestimated how popular the project would be. After surpassing the original goal of $37,000 in only 27 hours, Greene raised over $1.4 million by the time the campaign closed and had thousands of orders to fulfill. Not only did Bibliotheca appeal to readers who appreciate thoughtful design, but also to those who were ready to enjoy the Bible as a literary anthology. There is no separating the Bible as story from its significance as a religious tome, but Greene wants Bibliotheca to be enjoyed from any perspective. He keeps his own spirituality separate from his appreciation of the Bible as a work of literature. When asked about his own beliefs, he paused to consider before explaining, “I don’t usually address that because it depends on what you mean by religious. There are so many descriptors nowadays. I come from a very stringent religious Christian background—those are my roots. That was an environment of absolute certainty—until I got older, and then suddenly it wasn’t clear. So the way I describe it is this: as someone who spent much of his life absolutely convinced of a certain way of seeing the world and other people, and then eventually coming to see things quite differently, I’m now hesitant to label myself with anything specific or to land on any hard answers. Rather than finding a new set of beliefs and becoming dogmatic about something else, which I’ve noted is often the route taken by people with my background, I try to be open and in a constant state of learning and observation.” Since his sudden Kickstarter success, Greene has taken on smaller book design projects to ease back into normal work. With a family and new baby to care for, Greene is in no rush to take on more work; he’s content to wait for the next idea that captures his imagination the way Bibliotheca did. C


TECH PROFILES Written by Tracy Lee Photography by Daniel Garcia Instagram ladyleet

TECHNOLOGY. What’s out there that we’re completely unaware of? What’s been sitting under our noses that we’ve yet to discover? What new discoveries are waiting to change our lives? Never underestimate the small movements that become the summation of our lives. In Silicon Valley, the tech world is moving at lightning speed, and noteworthy initiatives are around every corner. Whether it’s new algorithms that help improve popular languages you write in every day or the realization that you can get directly involved in shaping the future of the web through browser standards, there’s always something to be discovered. Have you ever wondered what kind of community-support initiatives tech giants are providing to everyday developers that you haven’t taken advantage of yet? The following stories illustrate how Silicon Valley is taking steps toward a better future for us all and focus on three key conversations you should get involved in. Take a moment to digest the passionate hopes of Addy Osmani, Senior Staff Software Engineer at Google on the Chrome and Developer Relations team. Learn what’s new in highly coveted React 16 with Sophie Alpert, Engineering Manager at Facebook and member of the React core team. Get inspired by a conversation with Nilay Yener, community manager for Google Developer Groups and Women Techmakers Leads, and find out how you can take part in the diversity initiatives. Together, we can write the stories of tomorrow, today. C

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NILAY YENER is a community manager for Google Developer Groups North America and global Women Techmakers Leads. Before joining Google and helping facilitate the Women Techmakers program, Nilay was a software developer in Turkey and ran the local Google Developer Group. “The first time I organized Devfest Istanbul, I was surprised that no women submitted as speakers. Shortly after, I organized an International Women’s Day event, and 76 percent of our speaker submissions were women. The only difference was the name of each event. I then realized the importance of having events focused on women to help them believe in themselves.” Women Techmakers is a global program that provides visibility and community resources. It celebrates women designers, technologists, and entrepreneurs. Currently, there are over 350 Women Techmakers Leads around the world, focused on creating diversity and inclusion. “We provide resources, training, and share best practices so women can solve problems within their own communities and train other women to do the same,” Nilay says. From Udacity scholarships where women can receive online technical degrees to outreach initiatives like partnering with groups such as Women Who Code, GirlDevelopIt, PyLadies, and Hackbright, it is by taking proactive approaches to promote inclusivity that programs help change the ratio long term. “We are all responsible for fixing the diversity problem in tech,” Nilay remarks. “If you are a community organizer, you should try to create a safe space at events.” She also recommends that event organizers invite women speakers, encouraging other women to speak and increasing the number of female attendees at events. “It is up to everyone, including attendees, to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible.” Instagram womentechmakers Twitter womentechmakers

“We provide resources, training, and share best practices so women can solve problems within their own communities and train other women to do the same.”


ADDY OSMANI is a Senior Staff Software Engineer and Engineering Manager at Google, working with the Chrome and Developer Relations teams. Browser teams may seem unreachable or as if they are dictating a developer’s experience, but Addy wants to change that perception and provide a platform where everyone can get involved in building the future web. The Chrome team strives to understand from developers what is missing from the browser. “It’s important for the Chrome team to help others get involved. I remember being terrified about reaching out to browser vendors,” Addy says. “I want to show people how easy it is to contribute and help lower the bar for bringing those ideas to the platform.” It’s become easier to pitch ideas, and it’s as simple as having conversations in the WICG (Web Platform Incubator Community Group) Discourse group. Standards and browser engineers there are always happy to help developers get involved. “Babel started as a transpiler for modern JavaScript and now plays a key role in enabling developers to prototype new proposals for the JavaScript language, have a voice in TC39 (Technical Committee 39) meetings, and help shape the future web,” Addy explains. By proposing new APIs (application programming interfaces) for speed, community member contributions led to the Preload spec from Yoav Weiss, which helped deliver assets for interactive experiences more quickly. Addy and Yoav are working on a new API called Priority Hints for giving developers even more control over how browsers prioritize loading content. Though his life was enriched with computers at a young age, it was the welcoming nature of Dave Methvin from jQuery that led Addy to open source. Addy explains: “jQuery docs were my first open source contribution. Now, my job at Google is to create relationships within the developer community that make meaningful impacts to the web. Community is important to me. I wouldn’t have been able to get involved in open source if it wasn’t for others giving me the opportunity to stand on their shoulders.” Facebook googlechrome Twitter addyosmani

“Community is important to me. I wouldn’t have been able to get involved in open source if it wasn’t for others giving me the opportunity to stand on their shoulders.”



SOPHIE ALPERT is an Engineering Manager at Facebook working on the React team. When React was first open sourced, it did many things, including pushing the adoption of functional programming and making it easier to build robust UIs (user interfaces). React has been at the forefront of changing the way developers write applications. Now, a new discovery awaits: React 16. Revolutionizing an industry can be a challenge. One must introduce new technologies without making big demands, creating a natural, logical path for developers to adopt new ideas and paradigms. The React team has been able to reimagine what they would like the future of React to be and has spent the past year rewriting the library. But developers don’t need to worry—they won’t have to rewrite their apps. “We didn’t want to make a big API change that would force everyone to rewrite their components. Instead, we kept the same API and changed the internals,” says Sophie. “All components you have previously written in React should work exactly the same way. Now we are prepared for larger changes to how React works. We built the architecture of our future and have a new foundation to iterate on features quicker.” One benefit of React 16 is that the code makes it a lot easier for developers to contribute. “People on the React team and other contributors have found it easier to wrap their heads around the new code,” Sophie says. She hopes new contributors will be encouraged to try their hand at contributing to the library and getting involved. With passion for creating a more seamless experience on the web, Sophie shares the excitement of being part of the JavaScript ecosystem and seeing how React can help the industry focus on the right thing. “We’re always listening to developers in the React community to hear what our biggest opportunities are. At the same time, we’re trying to go beyond what people are asking for and push the boundaries so that React can help solve problems that people aren’t even thinking about.” Facebook react Twitter sophiebits

“We’re trying to go beyond what people are asking for and push the boundaries so that React can help solve problems that people aren’t even thinking about.”

N LCI M A K Written by Brandon Roos Photography by Daniel Garcia Instagram nick__lima

GROWING UP in Castro Valley, Nick Lima spent his early years supporting the San Jose Earthquakes. With his rookie season now one for the books, he looks back on the journey that saw his lifelong dream come true. Entering the pros, rookies often need time to develop before they’re able to make an on-field impact. That was not the case for Castro Valley native Nick Lima, whose presence yielded nearly immediate results for the San Jose Earthquakes earlier this year.

to be perfect on the pitch and tireless in his quest for daily self-improvement. That tenacity may also explain how he shouldered a position switch early in his college career to earn conference accolades his senior year and a professional soccer contract.

In March, before a sellout crowd at Avaya Stadium, Lima’s attacking instincts proved well-founded when he rushed into the box to receive a drop-off pass from captain Chris Wondolowski. He promptly drilled the ball home for his first career goal, the first goal by an MLS Homegrown Player signed by the San Jose Earthquakes. History—in only his second start.

With his older brothers all into sports, Lima spent a lot of time at the ball field growing up. As a young child, he kicked a soccer ball around more than anything else he came across. Soccer became his sport of choice by the age of two or three, and he started playing organized soccer at four. “From as early as I can remember,” he shares, “playing soccer at a professional level is what I always dreamt of doing.”

“All I remember is seeing Wondo backpedaling with his arms wide open, with the look on his face he gets after he scores,” Lima recalls. “That’s something I dreamed about, coming in and making an immediate impact. I wanted the coaching staff to see that I belonged on the field.” Lima has earned plenty of playing time in his first season with the Quakes, making 22 appearances and 20 starts. He’s also managed two goals and one assist, but the season hasn’t been without its share of obstacles. After that quick start, he lost his spot in the starting lineup, then was forced to cut his season short due to a hamstring injury. Given all he’s experienced, his description seems apt: “It’s been quite a roller coaster.” There’s been plenty to learn, and much like his team captain, Lima seems both mindful of his inability 52

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While at Castro Valley High School, he kept busy with numerous sports, bookending his academy soccer seasons with school football in the fall and track in the spring. After issues at the club level, he focused his attention more fully on football his junior year, and even briefly considered pushing for a scholarship in that sport instead of soccer. “I was angry—not with the sport, but a couple people,” he recalls. “I didn’t realize that because I’m upset with a few things, I shouldn’t throw away what I’ve been working for my whole life.” He was able to rekindle his passion, and by his senior year, Lima was looking to play for either Stanford or UC Berkeley. A last second push from Cal led him to Berkeley.

“I think my senior season made me realize I’m back here to play for the Earthquakes. That whole season, I knew I wanted to be there.” – Nick Lima Lima arrived at Cal inspired by the team’s recent success and the playing style implemented by head coach Kevin Grimes. Yet that faith was tested at the start of his sophomore year, when Grimes informed Lima he was looking to transition him to fullback. Up until that point, his experience was exclusively as a striker. “Obviously, it took me a while to see,” Lima admits, though he counters that he “was probably the first one to recognize it. Maybe it was out of blindness and not wanting to admit it was the wrong decision, so I was always optimistic it was going to work out.” His friends and family first treated the choice with skepticism, but Lima tried his best to adjust to the change. His sophomore year was largely dedicated to getting familiar with the position. During his junior year, he was exceeding his coaches’ expectations and was told he’d firmly earned a spot in the starting lineup. At the end of his senior year, with 16 appearances and four goals, he’d earned NCAA Division 1 Men’s All-Far West Region First Team and First Team All-Pac-12 honors. His ability to earn such accolades only a few years after learning a new position reveals much about Lima’s tireless work ethic. When asked about the awards, he chooses to give thanks to the mentors who offered critical insight and pointers over the years—people from Cal coach Grimes to Quakes coach Chris Leitch to former US national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann, whose son, Jonathan, was a teammate of Lima’s at Cal. In fact, the two traveled to Norway together, where they trained with Molde FK the summer before Lima’s senior year. Molde reached out soon after, but Lima opted to wait until after his final collegiate season to make a definitive decision. In addition to Molde, Lima also had interest from the San Jose Earthquakes. In early 2016, Leitch, then the club’s Technical Director, said they were looking

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to sign Lima as a Homegrown Player. He wasn’t unfamiliar to the club, as he had trained with the team throughout high school and college. Coming from Castro Valley, Lima grew up as a Quakes supporter, and at one point even had a Landon Donovan poster on his wall. As time went on, his decision felt clearer. “I think my senior season made me realize I’m back here to play for the Earthquakes,” he says. “That whole season, I knew I wanted to be there. It was a little extra motivation to help Cal and hopefully become a player on the local team.” As his senior season with Cal drew to a close, Lima constantly checked in with Leitch, eagerly awaiting a decision. What followed was a month and a half of tension and uncertainty. He was ready to sign the paperwork and begin his professional journey, but what seemed like a green light one day would turn to a tossup the next. A night after being informed the deal wouldn’t work out, Leitch called to say that things had changed. The switch was a huge relief to Lima, who now got to fully realize his dream of playing professional soccer with the team he grew up cheering for. Examining his first season, Lima seems more excited to conquer the next challenge that confronts him than he is to sing his praises for all he’s accomplished so far. Again, it’s his persistence—that willingness to set small goals, break through them, then set another mark—that shines when he reflects on his first year with the team. “I knew that if I got an opportunity, I wasn’t going to let it go to waste,” he says. “It was just being confident, knowing that I can come in and make an impact, that the work I’ve put in will hopefully pay off and others will see it. There’s still a long, long way to go, but I’ve learned a lot.” C

SHILOH BALLARD Written by Diane Solomon Photography by Jacob Martinez

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition 96 N Third Street, Suite 375 San Jose, CA 95112 Instagram bikesiliconvalley Twitter bikesv

Seeking equity and inclusion in the bicycle movement, making bikeable streets for all. Shiloh Ballard wants to make diversity, equity, and inclusion central to Silicon Valley’s bicycle movement. Ballard is the Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition (SVBC), a membership-based organization founded in 1970. If you use bicycle lanes, sharrows, public bike racks or if you bring your bike on Caltrain, BART, or VTA, thank the SVBC. SVBC advocates for safe, bikeable streets in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties by working with local governments, developers, and public transportation agencies. SVBC staffers also teach bicycle safety at elementary schools and manage the Bay Area’s Bike to Work Day. SVBC volunteers offer free bicycle valet parking at festivals, as well as on game days at Levi’s Stadium and Stanford University. Representing underserved communities, however, wasn’t central to SVBC’s mission until Ballard met Tamika Butler, who was the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. Butler became one of Ballard’s mentors and helped her connect bicycle advocacy to the challenges faced by lowincome communities. “If we’re supposed to be a bicycle coalition that cares about all folks,” says Butler, “then we have to realize that everyone who rides a bike isn’t just making a lifestyle decision. There are folks who depend on this mode of transportation because they have nothing else.” What advocating for safe, bikeable streets has in common with advocating for affordable housing, employment equity, and an accessible public transportation system, says Butler, is helping people who are underserved and unseen and whose voices are often disregarded. Ballard was uncomfortable when she first heard Butler talk about transportation justice. “But after I thought about it,” says Ballard, “I knew we had work to do to make equity and inclusion more front and center in all we do.” Statistics say this work is needed. The City of San Jose’s Vision Zero program found that 50 percent of the serious bicycle and pedestrian accidents happen on 3 percent of its streets. These streets are in low-income communities like East San Jose. SVBC is helping the city reduce these accidents to zero. Ballard is no newcomer to equity and justice work. She worked at the Silicon

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“I knew we had work to do to make equity and inclusion front and center in all we do.” – Shiloh Ballard

Executive Director Shiloh Ballard

Valley Leadership Group for 15 years, advocating for affordable housing. Her work convinced Santa Clara County cities to enact housing impact fees, inclusionary zoning laws, and green building measures. Before joining the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Ballard worked for California State Senator Byron Sher and on pro-labor initiatives with South Bay labor unions and the Santa Clara County Democratic Party. The SVBC was a perfect next step for Ballard. Her mother inspired her to become an environmentalist and to live a life of public service. Their camping trips to national parks gave Ballard a love of nature that led her to earn an environmental studies degree at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Watching her mother’s struggle to provide her with a happy childhood and a home in one of the nation’s best school districts showed Ballard the divide between haves and have-nots—and made her want to do something about it. The “something about it” at SVBC has been to re-engineer the metrics they use to prioritize staff time and resources so that in all they do, underserved, low-income communities are considered. Her first step was self-education. Ballard reached out to the East Bay Bicycle Coalition’s René Rivera. He gave Ballard dozens of articles about ending racism. From there, Ballard met with her staff and Board of Directors. They spoke freely about racism and their experiences of it. They began a process to eliminate bias from their decision making. Ballard also recruited her friend and mentor Poncho Guevara to join SVBC’s Board of Directors and help with this work. Guevara is the Executive Director of Sacred Heart Community Services, a grassroots antipoverty organization that serves the Valley’s neediest. Guevara says that it was Ballard’s authentic leadership that grabbed him. “We’re trying to become relevant to communities that not only have the greatest needs, but also have their own indigenous strengths and values,” says Guevara. “Is it happening quickly enough? Of course not, because this has a real impact on people’s lives. But it’s happening, and that’s encouraging.” “For me, it’s about growing and galvanizing our membership,” says Ballard, “and transforming the SVBC into a powerful force of people who come out and work to make all of our streets and communities safe and better through bicycling.” C 59

Interview by Nathan Zanon Photography by Daniel Garcia Instagram ash_kalra

ASH KALRA CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLYMEMBER Ash Kalra represents his Silicon Valley roots at the State Capitol. Ash Kalra represents the 27th District in the California State Assembly. Kalra grew up in San Jose and attended law school at Georgetown before returning home to work as a public defender. Through the years, he became involved with many local causes before turning to politics with a run for City Council in 2008. After serving two terms as Councilman for District 2 in South San Jose, he was elected to the State Assembly in 2016. What areas does the 27th District represent? It covers about half of San Jose, including all of downtown, East San Jose, Silver Creek, Evergreen, as well as South San Jose. I live in the Edenvale community. And it also holds neighborhoods like Japantown and Little Saigon—so it’s got some really great parts of our city and history, including the Shark Tank and the train station. I’m the only assemblymember who has 100 percent of his district in San Jose. What made you want to transition from law into politics? It’s not uncommon. I was a public defender for 11 years. All I’ve wanted is a career in public service, and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do that. We have a great public defender’s office here. I was able to work there and represent people from all over the community and got to see a lot of the challenges and flaws in the system. I remember going to India as a child of eight. I was seeing kids who looked just like me coming

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out to beg for money, and that was the first time I recognized the privilege we have of living in this country. I felt like there was something different about the opportunities in the life that I’m living compared to so many others in the world. That kind of led me down the path to becoming a public defender. I started teaching, got involved with a wide range of community work, and eventually helped to start a neighborhood association where I live. I was on the Human Rights Commission, then on the Planning Commission. I mention all that because that work led me to want to run for office, but never did I do the work with the intention of running. I did what I was passionate about. And then I realized there was an opportunity for me to help represent the city in which I grew up—the city I love—and put all these experiences and knowledge to work for our neighborhoods. You were the first Indian American elected to the City Council, and now you’re the first Indian American elected to the State Assembly. How important is that to you? It means a lot to me. My community has grown and done well—certainly in Silicon Valley. But there are still a lot more chapters to write, and one of those chapters is in public service—it’s an honor to be a pioneer in that regard. When an immigrant community establishes itself, the next logical step is civic engagement, public service, elected office; but at times it’s hard to believe I’m the first, especially given the

Santa Clara Aquamaids

“It can all be done—you actually can run a state that’s united, that protects everyone, but also that’s innovative and drives the global economy.”

fact our community has so many accomplished members. So, it’s something I definitely value, and I understand the responsibility in it as well: being a de facto representative of a community that doesn’t have a whole lot of other folks in elected office at this level. Do you feel the diversity of the South Bay is represented in our government? Overall, there’s still a lack in terms of elected representation. We have to do a better job—a lot of that has to do with empowering certain groups and nurturing potential leaders from all communities, and making sure that outreach is done on voter engagement, empowerment, and education. Silicon Valley is a leader in tech, but how do you see arts and culture fitting in as the region continues to develop? One challenge underlying the issue of economic growth is income inequality, and in many ways, we do have a “Tale of Two Valleys.” Many people are struggling, and many of them are artists, teachers—the folks we need to create the innovative minds that drive the economy. There’s a reason why—in this country, in this state, in particular in Silicon Valley—you have some of the most creative, innovative minds in the world either being developed here or coming here. And as much as other countries try to create their own “Silicon Valleys,” they miss the spirit of innovation that is here organically. A big part of creating that spirit is our arts, our culture. It requires a partnership at all levels of government—with the state, with our local city council and our county—with artists in the community, and philanthropists. But we want to make sure we don’t neglect the importance of a thriving arts community. I’ve seen a lot of schools that have cut arts programs, and that’s definitely the wrong direction. I’m glad that oftentimes, now, when people talk about STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, Math], they’re talking instead about STEAM—they add in Arts—because it’s really the arts that inspire much of that scientific ingenuity.

How do you address local concerns at the state level? I’m able to focus on the bigger issues that impact our residents. Getting resources for affordable housing, for our transportation network, our infrastructure, for public transit. Making sure our roads are in good repair. So some of those bigticket items are the ones that are front-of-mind for me. Are there bills in the works that you’re attached to? A number of them. Just yesterday [on October 5], the governor signed 11 bills regarding immigration. One was my bill, AB21, which will protect undocumented students in higher education. It’s part of a package of bills we had—one for higher ed, one for K-12, another for housing, and one for employers that gives direction regarding ICE raids at work. Another of my bills requires landlords to inform tenants if they live in a flood zone. That’s not the law currently, but it’s now going to become law. That’s a cool part about this job—you really can identify an issue, get to work right away, and within a matter of months you can make a new state law. Local leaders, including yourself, have taken strong stands against some of the policies of the current presidential administration. Why is that important? We have definitely done a lot of work in terms of standing up for our immigrant community. Many of them are very scared, understandably, and my role, as their representative in the state legislature, should not be just symbolic, but to put forth legislation that can really help their quality of life and provide some degree of protection and comfort. California has the sixth largest economy in the world. When you’re that large, you can deal directly with other nations. If DC wants to get in the way, we’ll keep fighting against that. We are committed to ensuring that we provide greater access to health care, protection for our communities, and all while creating one of the most vibrant economies in the world. It can all be done—you actually can run a state that’s united, that protects everyone, but also that’s innovative and drives the global economy. Say you’ve got one day off, with nothing to do. Where in San Jose would you go? I’d just explore the city, even though I’ve done it a thousand times. Neighborhoods are starting to evolve, interesting little restaurants are popping up, and that’s cool. I’m always surprised what I notice, just driving around. I see so many different kinds of places that really reflect the diversity we have in San Jose. C


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German-English duo brings a taste of Europe to San Jose dining. At Ludwig’s, beer garden is spelled biergarten—the German way. It’s a small but important detail in the restaurant’s mission to bring a real sense of Europe to San Jose. From the communal seating, the Jägerschnitzel, and the boot-shaped beer glasses to the German members’ club that owns the building—this is as European as it gets in Silicon Valley. Co-owners Ben Bate and Nicole Jacobi set out to create something different and adventurous for guests in a “sterile” culinary ecosystem, as Bate describes it. “The mission, really, was to create a true piece of Europe here in America,” Bate says. “A lot of people attempt it, but I don’t know that they make it that.”

Written by Francisco Alvarado Photography by Daniel Garcia

Ludwig’s 261 N Second Street San Jose, CA 95112 408.771.9871 Instagram ludwigssj

History has provided a great foundation for Ludwig’s. The building’s landowner is Germania Verein, the German-American club of San Jose, founded in 1856. Ludwig’s co-owner Nicole Jacobi brings a culinary background from Hamburg, Jacobi’s German grandfather is the restaurant’s namesake, and the building has well over 100 years of character. Despite, or perhaps because of that history, Ludwig’s feels fresh and exciting. The food is eye-catching, the beers are all wonderfully German, each with its own unique pint glass—a favorite target of petty thieves who visit Ludwig’s, although they arrive initially as patrons—and the biergarten comes alive shortly after opening at 4pm. The food business is a hard industry, and Ludwig’s has gone through growing pains. “The first few months? Seems like a long time ago now,” Bate says, pausing to track time by the number of Oktoberfests (two) and Christmases (approaching two) the restaurant has seen. Differences in local restaurant norms such as communal seating and a deliberate lack of a hostess created friction between the restaurant and the hungry denizens of the South Bay. “When we first started out, it didn’t really work,” Bate says. “People were questioning it. They would ask for a table for two and we’d say ‘we don’t have it.’” After some time passed, along with the Euro 2016 soccer tournament and Oktoberfest 2016, Ludwig’s found its footing and had a clear identity.

Left: Co-owners Nicole Jacobi and Ben Bate


“This is comfort food,” Bate says. “It’s that feel of home. Big beer, meatballs, mashed potatoes. It’s exactly what I’d love to eat at home.” Creating that feeling of home was critical for Bate and Jacobi. Cooking for their families is important in each of their lives and became an objective for the business they shared, helping them find common ground. Finding common ground was critical, as the duo had not previously met before becoming business partners. The first day they met was the day they signed the lease for the building, Bate recalls. They shared a vision that stemmed from their love of cooking and taking care of others and jumped into business together feet first. “It’s all rolled in—my passion and her knowledge,” Bate says, “and it works really well.” A large part of why Ludwig’s “works really well” is the importance placed on customer service. Read their Yelp reviews and you’ll see the common thread—no matter their take on the food, the reviewer always praised the service. “I tell my staff: ‘People choose to come here,’” Bate says. “People have a lot of choices when they go out and eat nowadays, so if someone decides to come here, I want all my staff to buy into the fact that you have to appreciate them when they sit down to eat here.” That approach to service is why San Jose has embraced Ludwig’s, and why regulars—literally—embrace Bate. “A lot of customers will give me a cuddle when they come in,” Bate laughs.

“Big beer, meatballs, mashed potatoes. It’s exactly what I’d love to eat at home.”

– Ben Bate

Ludwig’s is well on its way to becoming a local favorite. It’s a weekend hotspot thanks to its fine selection of German beers, flavorful bites, warm atmosphere, and its dedication to customer service. Located in downtown San Jose on the northern edge of St. James Park, Ludwig’s opened its doors in 2016, prior to the summer season, and has since found great success—even earning the distinction of “Best South Bay Beer Garden” in the 2017 Best of San Francisco magazine. Despite the acclaim and the thriving business, Bate remains humble and only asks the foodies of the South Bay to “give us a go.” C


SPADE & PLOW ORGANICS Written by Michelle Runde Photography by Daniel Garcia Email Instagram spadeandplow

IT’S ALL IN THE FAMILY for this locally owned and operated farm, bringing organic produce straight to the Bay Area’s doorstep. Eating well is an essential part of life for many residents in the health-conscious Bay Area. In a region rich with diverse dietary preferences and multicultural backgrounds, cooking at home allows people to create meals perfectly tailored to their tastes. But not everyone has the bandwidth to source food from local farms or even time to shop for fresh produce regularly. Enter Spade & Plow Organics, a 40-acre, family-owned and operated farm with a thriving community supported agriculture (CSA) program in the heart of San Martin. Established in 2014 by Mike Thorp along with his two sons, Nick and Sam, the family’s proud history and passion for agriculture shows in every root, gourd, and sprout they harvest. When the Thorp family first founded Spade & Plow, they began with 11 acres of winter squash grown in Hollister and sold the gourds wholesale to small grocery stores throughout 2015. Mike recalled the challenges of the first year: “At first, we were really just on the hunt for property, which turned out to be the most difficult part. I teamed up with a friend of mine in Hollister to get us started because that was all we could find, but we knew we wanted to be here.” Fighting to secure a reasonable deal on land was not easy—as every Bay Area resident knows all too well—but after months of searching and negotiating, they finally secured 40 acres of land, giving them freedom to grow a wide variety of vegetables that had not been possible before. In March 2016,

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they delivered their first CSA box, and six months later they had a regular produce stand at the weekend farmer’s markets in San Jose and San Mateo. Growing spectacular produce without the aid of commercial pesticides isn’t something anyone can learn overnight: it requires years of experience, patience, and the endurance to weather both good times and bad. For the Thorp family, working the soil runs through their veins as deeply as the roots they cultivate. “My brother and I are the eighth generation of farmers in our family,” said Sam, “dating all the way back to the first family member who came to this country and settled in the Midwest.” The Thorp family has relations outside the Bay Area, but for Nick and Sam, they are tilling almost the same earth as their great-grandfather once did. Mike explained the migration throughout the West Coast: “My grandfather used to grow a lot of apricots down south in Greenfield, in Monterey County. My dad was more a row-crop vegetable guy, so my uncle took over the apricots until the business died out in the 1960s. My mother was born and raised in San Jose, and she was a school teacher when she met my dad.” While Sam and Nick have a sister and another brother who are not actively involved with Spade & Plow, all four siblings know what it’s like to work the land. Sam explained growing up in a farm-friendly household as children and as young

L to R: Nick, Mike, and Sam Thorp

adults: “We always worked summer jobs—working on vineyards, other farms, and raising animals. We were even involved in 4-H growing up.” Nick nodded in agreement, grinning as his brother described what many modern-day youths would deem to be hard labor. “It’s all we’ve ever known,” Nick said. As they spoke, Mike smiled fondly, visibly proud of his sons’ achievements and that they inherited his love of the land. Up until July of 2017, the Thorps were managing crops completely on their own, and five months before that, they were packing each CSA box by hand. Every zucchini, bundle of radishes, bag of spinach, and sprig of rosemary was planted, watered, fertilized, harvested, cleaned, packed, and delivered by a Thorp. “Labor on the farming side has been a major obstacle. For a guy my age, it’s not easy,” Mike admitted. “When we harvest artichokes, we throw them into a big bag over our shoulders, anywhere from 50 to 70 per load. It’s literally backbreaking work.” Thankfully, they now have two part-time helpers for packing and delivery, and two farm hands for the fields, but all three men still do the majority of the work themselves. While some programs may seek to grow their footprint as rapidly as possible, the Thorp family wants to make sure they are serving their current customers the best produce before expanding. “There’s lots of potential right here, so keeping it hyper-local is really important for us,” said Sam. They’ve prioritized making their program as easy to use as possible, learning from where others have gone wrong. Mike reflected on his own experience: “I got frustrated with the CSA I used to be subscribed to. I love tomatoes, but not every week for three months. You couldn’t predict what was coming or customize it. Whatever they had, you got. We wanted to make ours more user-friendly.” Nick agreed, adding: “If the customers aren’t happy, they are not going to stay and will eventually quit the program. So we wanted to make it so the customer has quite a bit of control over their boxes, so if it’s something they don’t like, they have full control over changing it up to what they’d prefer.” Not only do subscribers have the ability to pick and choose what they get in their box, they also have

the opportunity to share feedback about what they want to see more of in coming seasons. The Thorps are excited to have a direct line of communication with their customers. “We get a lot of emails and feedback from our customers, which we love,” said Sam. “When you’re dealing with wholesale, you never hear back. You send it to the distributors, and they might say, ‘This is the wrong size,’ or ‘It’s not ripe enough,’ or ‘You didn’t send enough cases.’ But with the CSA, we get that direct feedback from the consumer saying ‘I really liked this,’ and we can adjust our planting schedules for the next season to accommodate that.” As a result, this season the Thorps planted an even wider variety of options to respond to what their customers want. “This year we’ve concentrated on different types of radishes, and we’ve increased the amount of artichokes. They’re so expensive in the store, and there was a need for organic artichokes. We noticed there wasn’t a lot of organic options for them in the Bay Area, so we wanted to fill that gap.” Thanks to Spade & Plow Organics, eating local in the Bay Area is more accessible than ever. If you’re not fortunate enough to live within their delivery zone, you can find their produce at the San Jose and San Mateo farmer’s markets. While they plan to expand to other markets in the long-term, the Thorps are content to wait for the right time. As often quoted from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Patience is a bitter plant but it has sweet fruit.” C

“There’s lots of potential right here, so keeping it hyper-local is really important for us.”

– Sam Thorp



Written by Johanna Hickle Photography by Robert Schultze Instagram thecuratedfeast

Savory Storytelling WHEN YOU MEET LIZ BIRNBAUM, chances are she’ll entertain you with facts and anecdotes about food. Did you know that the oldest piece of pasta ever found was a 4,000-year-old noodle discovered under a bowl at an archaeological site in China? Or that people used to believe tomatoes were poisonous and associated them with witchcraft? Or that medieval moralists criticized breakfast as an act of gluttony? But this knack for recalling food-related trivia is so much more than a party trick. It’s the foundation upon which the Curated Feast, Birnbaum’s experiential dining business, was built. Intricately crafted banquets weave storytelling and food with architecture, interior design, art, music, and theater to offer guests an immersive experience. Each dish in a series of courses becomes a catalyst for storytelling. Each individual ingredient in that salad or entree is symbolically tied to a unified tale— factual or fictitious. “Every dish has a story to tell,” the Curated Feast website explains. “We dig into history, mythology, and the roots of culture itself as we explore, explain, and taste the origins of the foods we eat today.” The objective is to offer “something that connects to the infinite. Because that’s where poetry is,” Birnbaum says. Birnbaum wholeheartedly believes in the power of stories. “Stories are the root of all human culture and experience,” she affirms. “They tie us all together.” Birnbaum also notes that stories are effective educational tools. She tells of the Egyptian god Osiris,


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whose body is cut into 14 pieces by his brother and later brought together again by his devoted wife. These pieces represented the lunar phases around which Egyptians structured their agricultural cycles. “So it was, in part, a soap opera way to remember these different planting cycles and good agricultural practices,” she chuckles. Birnbaum has hosted a number of feasts so far. The first three events celebrated food histories and geographies. By cultivating an environment designed to stimulate the imagination, Birnbaum encourages diners to consecutively assume the roles, in this case, of sojourners to Ancient Greece, travelers along the Silk Road, and voyagers of the Columbian Exchange. The next few feasts were “not bound to a place,” but rather an “exploration of story itself.” The Feast of Archetypes used each dish as a way to analyze recurring characters in history, mythology, and literature. The archetypes, including The King/The Queen, The Warrior, The Magician, and The Lover, were then applied to the psyches of the diners themselves. Birnbaum’s Underground Feast, aptly set in an 1890s wine cave in the Santa Cruz Mountains, venerated themes of rebirth and renewal throughout ancient mythology. The evening was enriched with tales of Persephone, the Greek goddess of spring, who spends the winter months with her husband, Hades, in the underworld, as well as the Greek myth of the burning phoenix rising from the ashes.

Founder Liz Birnbaum


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But brief overviews don’t capture the all-encompassing enchantment spun by her curations. The Feast of Fables, an event dedicated to unfamiliar retellings of well-known fairytales, offered an example of Birnbaum’s ability to create an immersive experience. The meal’s four courses embodied The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel. The salad course was a particular favorite for Birnbaum. “This is a really special piece because I felt like I was uncovering these universal stories,” she explains. The course explored how the tale of Cinderella holds commonalities with thousands of stories around the globe, and an abundance of Cinderella alter egos with absent fathers, malicious stepmothers and stepsisters, rags to riches transformations, and dashing princes. The salad began with a bed of dandelion greens “because the persecuted heroine comes up like a weed through adversity,” Birnbaum explains. Also included in the dish were dates (“because the godmother in the Middle Eastern counterpart pops out of a date palm”), bacon (“because it’s delicious and also because in many versions of the story, her stepsisters are total pigs”), and kabocha squash (“because there’s a pumpkin coach in the Disney version”). But Birnbaum doesn’t stop at stories and food. She devotes fastidious attention to detail to create a holistic experience, such as perfectly attuned ambiance and symbols planted throughout the decorations. Ideally suited to the whimsical nature of fairytales, the venue was lille æske, an art house in Boulder Creek that Birnbaum describes as “a wonder emporium” with teal walls and “many rich materials—but funky.” Reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumb trail, the azure table runner had an embroidered crimson thread serpentining down its center. Depicting the forest’s floor, she arranged her centerpiece with flowers and ferns intertwined with feathers, mushrooms, moss, and bones. It “reminds us that the pathless woods are a character, too,” Birnbaum says. “In fact, fairytales can help us find the way again when a person loses their path in life. These tales counseled us. They laid a trail of bread crumbs out of the woods, reminding us we can make it safely home without getting eaten by a big bad wolf.” With her eye for detail and creative presentation, it comes as no surprise Birnbaum’s legacy extends beyond the feasts. As a freelance photographer, she’s contributed images for a photo-ethnography book documenting farmers across America as well as an upcoming book to be published with Ten Speed Press on fruit trees. As a writer, she and three other

women co-wrote Harvesting Our Heritage: Bite-Sized Stories from Santa Cruz County History. She’s assisted Jim Denevan, well-known land artist, as project consultant and curator, and raised funds as the senior partnerships and engagement officer at the Organic Farming Research Foundation. If that isn’t enough, Birnbaum has also founded a museum, a college campus farm, and an art gallery. Birnbaum credits her artistic parents, especially her painter father, for her imaginative flare, inquisitive spirit, and drive. “I was raised to believe that I am capable,” Birnbaum says.

“We dig into history, mythology, and the roots of culture itself as we explore, explain, and taste the origins of the foods we eat today.”

– Liz Birnbaum

Birnbaum’s work with the Curated Feast, alongside her other accomplishments, earned her an honoree spot on Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” class of 2017, as well as “Foodie of the Year” at the 2017 Santa Cruz NEXTies. And although her enthusiastic nature means constantly cultivating multiple projects, Birnbaum has no intention of resigning her position as professional hostess. “I cannot exhaust my love of food as a topic,” Birnbaum says. “It’s endlessly fascinating, and it’s a thread that I could pull on and pull on forever.” That’s good news for her followers. Over the endeavor’s two-year span, Birnbaum has attracted a faithful following of like-minded regulars. This collective mentality is best voiced by the Curated Feast website: “Feasters desire conviviality and knowledge of true sustenance—of their food and equally of its roots.… When finally they eat, they do so with history firmly on their side.” C

Winemaker Jeff Emery

J E F F E M E RY Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Vintner and Maker of Spirits ’Tis the season to savor a wedge of Stilton cheese and a glass of port, an intensely flavorful and aromatic wine from Portugal’s Douro Valley. Oenophiles discovered this complex blend of Iberian varietals and distilled spirits in 1678. For centuries, Portuguese field hands have dropped baskets full of grapes into shallow troughs, villagers have crushed the grapes underfoot, and yeast cells have multiplied. Midway through the fermentation, winemakers added brandy to the mix to prevent yeast from converting the remaining sugar to ethanol. The result: an elegant dessert wine with higher concentrations of aroma, flavor, and alcohol than the most robust table wines. As this handcrafted spirit grew in popularity, its purveyors explored ways to accelerate production. For generations, master distillers extracted flavors from wine made with some of the region’s most sought-after grapes. By the 20th century, however, port makers abandoned these barrel-aged brandies for a clear, neutral spirit that tastes more like vodka. Today, many California winemakers produce portstyle wines with syrah, petite sirah, and zinfandel grapes. And like many Portuguese winemakers, they fortify the freshly pressed grapes with a neutral spirit to produce a wine with a residual sugar content of around 8 percent and an alcohol concentration of 18 to 20 percent. “Most California ports are overripe zinfandel and Everclear,” says Jeff Emery, winemaker for Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.

He produced his first bottle of Portuguese-style dessert wine under the Quinta Cruz label in 2005. Measured by Old World standards, Emery’s Rabelo late-bottled vintage dessert wine is the genuine article. He blends tinta roriz, touriga nacional, and tinto cão grapes, three of the five Portuguese varieties that Douro Valley winemakers commonly ferment to create the base wine for traditional port. And like port makers of old, he adds a distilled spirit made from an Iberian varietal. Emery prefers brandy made from tinta roriz—or tempranillo grapes, as they are known outside Portugal and Spain. The variety yields dark fruit that, once distilled, adds black cherry, plum, blood orange, and lavender flavors and aromas to the blend. “We arrest the fermentation with alambic brandy,” he adds, “the same way Portuguese vintners arrested fermentation hundreds of years ago.”

Written by Thomas Ulrich Photography by Daniel Garcia

Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard 334-A Ingalls Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Instagram santacruzmountainvineyard

THE DISTILLERY Emery joined the staff of Osocalis distillery in 2003. Together, he and Dan Farber produce alambic, XO, and Heritage from colombard, chenin blanc, pinot noir, sémillon, and viognier grapes and apple brandy from more than a dozen apple varieties. From tempranillo grapes, they make the brandy that Emery uses to fortify his Portuguesestyle dessert wine.


“We strive to produce spirits that have the length, elegance, and finesse of Old World brandy but the intensity and structure of California wines.” – Dan Farber


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Farber learned how to turn juice into brandy in Armagnac, Cognac, and Normandy and collaborated with Hubert Germain-Robin from the Germain-Robin distillery in Ukiah. He founded his Soquel, California, distillery in 1990. “We strive to produce spirits that have the length, elegance, and finesse of Old World brandy but the intensity and structure of California wines,” he says. Come October, Farber fires up a 330-gallon Frenchmade Charentais still. Vapors flow through a copper tube called a swan’s neck, into a condenser, and through water-cooled serpentine tubes. He collects a 60-proof condensate from the initial distillation and then redistills it. “We are looking for a light, delicate wine that expresses itself well after concentration,” he says. Ultimately, the pot still produces an eau de vie (or “water of life”) that concentrates the character of the tempranillo tenfold. For every 1,000 gallons of wine he distills, the Charentais still produces 100 gallons of 140-proof eau de vie. “The alambic brandy adds a fruitiness, richness, and roundness to the port,” Farber comments. THE VINEYARD Emery makes his 2009 Rabelo late-bottled vintage Portuguese-style dessert wine from three varietals that grow in the San Antonio Valley American Viticultural Area. Located in southern Monterey County, Pierce Ranch Vineyards combines Old World grapes with a New World climate and soil to produce a port that’s true to its roots. Tinta roriz, touriga nacional, tinto cão, and touriga franca, four of the five most common varieties for making traditional port, bear fruit from alluvial soil. “At 1,100 feet above sea level and without a cooling wind, the San Antonio Valley is similar to the Douro Valley,” Josh Pierce, co-owner of the vineyards, says. “These varieties need a warm climate for the grapes to fully express themselves.”

Tinta roriz—tempranillo—is a hearty, early ripening grape that thrives in the California sunshine and mineral-laden earth. “We grow tempranillo in soil that goes from decomposed granite to sand to clay,” Pierce says. “Low vigor soils and a warm climate allow us to cultivate the character of each Iberian variety.” Pierce harvests grapes early to ensure that the port will deliver crisp, fresh fruit flavors and aromas. “We harvest tempranillo early,” Farber adds, “so that we can distill the brandy in time to arrest fermentation.” THE WINERY After harvest, Emery extracts color and flavor from the grape skins, keeping the fruit cool until fermentation. When the wine reaches 6 to 8 percent residual sugar, he presses the grapes and then adds brandy. Once he blends the high-proof alambic brandy into the wine, his Portuguese-style dessert wine continues along the same path as many other fine red wines. “We experiment with French, Hungarian, and American oak barrels,” he says. “And we bottle late—six-and-a-half to seven years from harvest.” Emery makes his late-bottled vintage port from grapes harvested in a single year. And unlike vintage port makers, who bottle and release their wine two years after harvest (which then ages for decades in the bottle), he ages his port in barrels for seven years.

According to European Union guidelines, only wineries that produce fortified wines in the Douro Valley region of Northern Portugal can label them as Porto or port. Winemakers from Argentina, Australia, Canada, India, South Africa, and the United States, for example, make port-style wines. Genuine article or not, here is a list of four types of port and the meaning behind each label. VINTAGE PORT is made from a single vintage that winemakers age for two years in the barrel, bottle, and then release. This port can age for decades in the bottle. LATE-BOTTLED VINTAGE PORT is made from a single vintage that winemakers age for four to seven years in the barrel and then bottle. Once bottled, this style of port should be ready to drink. TAWNY PORT is made from more than one vintage. After fermentation, winemakers age it in barrels for several years before bottling. RUBY PORT is made from more than one vintage. After fermentation, winemakers store it in tanks to prevent oxidation and preserve color before bottling. Generally, it does not improve with age.

With balanced sugar and acidity, the 2009 Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard Rabelo late-bottled vintage Portuguese-style dessert wine has aged well. Savor this carefully crafted, intensely flavored after-dinner drink with your favorite dessert. With the onset of winter weather, it will warm your soul. C



Photographer: Daniel Garcia / Assistant Photographer: Arabela Espinoza / Stylist: Mariana Kishimoto / Producer: Elle Mitchell / Hair Stylists: KC Benson and Helen Yoo for Bedlam Beauty and Barber / Makeup Artist: Zenia Marie / Talent: Ivy for Scout Model Agency / Horse Trainer: Crysta Causin of Morgan Hill Riding Academy / Wardrobe: Christina Morgan Cree, Rachel Riot Designs, CRIV, K. Michael Jewelry, Black Cat Hats / Location: Coyote Lake Harvey Bear Ranch, Spade & Plow

Sheer gold dress, Christina Morgan Cree; black sweater, CRIV; black felt hat, Black Cat Hats

Black military jacket, Rachel Riot Designs; black and gold harness, Rachel Riot Designs; black skirt, Christina Morgan Cree; black and gold earrings, K. Michael Jewelry

Black dress with chain detail, Christina Morgan Cree; pink and gold statement necklace, CRIV; gold choker, K. Michael Jewelry

Sheer white dress, Christina Morgan Cree; black and white bow hat, Black Cat Hats; white and gold earrings, K. Michael Jewelry; gold choker, K. Michael Jewelry


Written by Kerry Adams Hapner San Jose’s “Minister of Culture” Photography by Stephanie Slama Instagram sjculture

PARIS FASHION WEEK CONTENT Fashion Winter 2017 An international event showcasing the best of the fashion industry and seasonal trends, Paris Fashion Week is a convergence of creative muses. I had the pleasure of covering the week on behalf of CONTENT with Paris-based journalist Stephanie Slama and Bay Area designer/stylist Atousa G. Through runway shows, showroom openings, and previews in Paris’s renowned cultural spaces, such as the Musee de Louvre, Palais de Tokyo, Palais Royal, and Palais Garnier (opera house), the fall events feature spring and summer collections. Paris Fashion Week exemplifies that fashion is not only an art form with historical cultural influences, but a thriving creative economy. Spring 2018 collections on view offered a glimpse into trends that blend historical and cultural references, reassembling them in new, exciting ways. A common theme that runs through the season’s collections is that rules are meant to be broken. Look out for the mash-up trend, a blend of old and new, where street meets haute couture and blends with festival design. Expect royal and sacred iconography combined with edgy laces, shiny appliqués, and text. People are encouraged to live boldly through color—with a world cultural influence, with tribal colors and patterns. Street sneakers are huge, and designers are mixing them with gym socks and finer fabrics. It’s a contemporary pastiche, mixing high design and street couture.

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Paris Fashion Week is also a tempest of creative entrepreneurship. Fashion is an industry that supports arts-based businesses and skills, from the designers, textile makers, stylists, models, choreographers, graphic designers, manufacturers, buyers, retailers, writers, photographers, videographers, retailers, and on and on and on. The global apparel market is valued at $3 trillion and accounts for 2 percent of the world’s gross domestic product. Women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s wear, sportswear, shoes, and luxury goods comprise a few of its subindustries. Here in the Silicon Valley, fashion is also an important part of our creative economy and visual culture. Our region boasts innovative designers with unique styles and influences. Recognizing that artists and commercial arts-based businesses are critical elements of our cultural ecosystem, the San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) seeks to support creative entrepreneurs in the fashion industry, in addition to other disciplines. Through the Creative Entrepreneur Program, OCA offers grants to artists, arts administrators, and artsbased businesses to advance, grow, and stabilize their commerce. The Creative Capacity Fund and the Creative Industry Incentive Fund are two grant programs aimed at supporting San Jose’s entrepreneurs working in the creative economy. For more information, check out C

Each x Other

Heaven Gaia



MUSIC Written by Caroline Beleno

As it goes, couldn’t help could be as relthe end of the day, lar business, a conexperience, all of which struggling to comprehend. this industry isn’t moving any it’s tougher now than ever.

the theme of this issue is Seek, and I but think of how no other word evant to music as a whole. At music is a multi-billion dolsumable product and I still find myself Because slower, Instagram

For the past three and a half years, I have been g rateful to be steeped in the business of music and event promotions. I learned how to speak fancy contracts and the grueling process of approving marketing assets with booking and management. I realized the importance of live sound and the village it takes to ensure that it is the last compromise in any show. I’ve amused myself with the peculiarity of requests from artists’ greenroom riders and lived off unopened fruit and veggie trays after large events. I’ve had the privilege to get to know many artists, some of whom I consider dear friends to this day. They were keen to offer their perspectives as artists and have shared their stories of gratitude for our audience. I’ve spoken with their managers, absorbed their feedback, and as a result, our team has become better at what we do. Having stepped into the new role of artist management just a few months ago, I’m still learning, still piecing the parts together, still seeking—what exactly? I’m still not entirely sure. This job has been a fulfilling prospect, a firsthand look at the revolving door of talent and breaking acts that San Jose has had the graciousness to support. For this I am grateful. As our team at UNGRAMR continues to seek new acts to debut in San Jose, I am absolutely certain that none of this would or could be sustained—all the moving parts: the live music, the local culture, the promoters, the venues, the designers, the artists, their managers, even this magazine— without an audience who sought. To seek is necessary. It is what keeps our local music and arts community alive. From our team at UNGRAMR, thank you for continuing to seek and support the live and local arts. C


ALBUM PICKS Curated by UNGRAMR Instagram: ungramr



Cheryl Chow is best known by the unique stylization of her name, “cehryl.” Originally from Hong Kong, she now resides in Los Angeles and has made a name for herself through the online music platform SoundCloud. After creating ample buzz on last year’s Delusions EP, cehryl dropped a new collection of sultry, cinematic slow jams in Wherever It May Be. Smitten with breathlessness, the songs on Wherever It May Be are full of gentle longing and unforgettable memories.

Shigeto (Zach Saginaw) brings in new layers to his instrumentation and explores his dance music identity further with The New Monday. Drawing upon the resonances of the Bay Area and his ever-expanding sonic palette, Shigeto contemplates the merging influences of contemporary jazz and today’s evolving electronic sound.

Wherever It May Be (Fete Records) Release Date: October 13, 2017

In “Side Effects,” cehryl breaks down a perfect love affair that doesn’t warp the feelings of those affected. Instead of turning away from the world, this romance pulls the intended audience close, like a healing drug, leaving listeners addicted to their newfound prescription. “Judgment Day” lays down the final days of a relationship approaching its end. Haunting and cautious, cehryl’s voice creates a finality that is beautifully absolute in its gentle resolution. The standout track from the EP, “Where We Marked Forever,” is the parting of a single flame from the fire, brightening and flickering alone until it is gone. The closing track, “Napalm,” feels like a personal confession that’s trying to find acceptance in an endless fray of unfamiliarity. With lyrics and melodies that stay with you long after the tracks end, Wherever It May Be will find relatable ground between slow drives home and certain unshakable goodbyes. One thing is for sure: you won’t forget its effects on your soul. Favorite Track: Where We Marked Forever

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The New Monday (Ghostly International) Release Date: October 6, 2017

“Detroit, Pt. II” continues Shigeto’s homage to the regional culture that has bred him. Infusing deep house rhythms with a perforation of keys and slick bass lines, this certified club hit will find itself played at parties everywhere. “Ice Breaker” starts off with the sparseness that has made techno such a signature sound in the world of dance music. Taking time to pause and reflect, “In Case You Forgot” is a reminder of the roots of black music and the spaces where these sounds belong. Tracks like “Barry White” and “A2D” expand on Shigeto’s versatility as a producer, molding his beats to singers and rappers without much difficulty. My favorite track, “Wit Da Cup,” takes influences grasped from Ghetto Tech to Chicago Footwork, kicking up unique drum patterns for dance-ready warriors. This new album is definitely for the progressive listener, in sound and in content. Shigeto is quickly becoming an artist that needs to be seen live. Whether he is DJ’ing or playing live, the sounds he exhibits on these songs are new gospels from the soul of the drum machine. Highly recommended. Favorite Track: Wit Da Cup Written by Danny Thien Le Instagram: dandiggity

Gucci Mane

Lil B

Barely two years ago, a slim Radrick Davis (aka Gucci Mane) was released from prison, and the world was presented with a new man. He was a stranger to the public eye. Fans speculated that he was a clone— an imposter miming the Atlantan potbellied goon whom many knew so well (much thanks to DatPiff ). Since his release, Gucci Mane has produced projects such as Droptopwop and Woptober, both of which have been consistently safe for his image and have maintained a careful distance from the deep end of mainstream rap.

It has been seven years since Lil B promised his cult followers a first official mixtape upon his departure from Bay Area rap group The Pack. And after a long line of unofficial (some questionable) mixtapes and a bit of online character building—it’s finally here. The 27-track mixtape, Black Ken, is an extended three-part journey, self-produced and designed to represent Bay Area hip-hop through Lil B’s hazy, kaleidoscope lens. For phase one, he presents eight tracks instilled with a hard-hitting ’80s gangster rap sound, to which Lil B delivers a surprisingly rhythmic freestyle flow. “Bad Mf ” sounds like a resurrected rap song from the ’80s, but eccentric lines like “I sleep with the lights on / We don’t like broke b*tches where I’m from” and “You can’t see me / Even with glasses” are ironic and trollish, a feeling Lil B is too famous for evoking.

Mr. Davis (Atlantic Records) Release Date: October 13, 2017

Mr. Davis is his latest body of work and showcases a newly developed charisma that is engaging and transparent but still true to his grimy Burrprint days. Like many of his albums, Gucci sets the tone with “Work in Progress (Intro),” with stylized stories of his darker days—and how he has finally mastered his hardships. While the album is embellished with features such as Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, and Ty Dolla $ign, context-wise, the album could possibly stand on its own without. Though considered his highest charting single to date, “I Get the Bag,” featuring Migos, sounds like prolonged small talk and is undoubtedly hyped and forgettable. “Stunting Ain’t Nuthin,” featuring Slim Jimmy and Young Dolph, lacks a bit of substance as well, even though Slim Jimmy’s delivery is impeccable and could arguably be the strongest of the three. With a scatter of great tracks, Mr. Davis is a decent project and is transparent and engaging in context. While his musical comeback was a bit lackluster in comparison to his personal life turnaround, Mr. Davis is an album that helps casual listeners and longtime followers find common ground between the old Gucci and the new. Favorite Track: Work In Progress (Intro)

Black Ken (BasedWorld Records) Release Date: August 17, 2017

Mid-album, we are immersed in phase two—a fivetrack-long hyphy section. Songs like “Getting Hot” (in which he does a decent impression of Keak Da Sneak) and “Global,” featuring ILoveMakonnen, are reminiscent of his days with The Pack. However, by “Mexico Skit,” we enter the final phase, which Lil B uses to channel his “BasedGod” persona—sparse, strange, but well-meaning and positive nonetheless. “Zam Bose (In San Jose)” is a fun track that unexpectedly brings Latin flavor but barely any context. Whether we would like to admit it or not, Lil B is the unconventional rap artist/internet meme who has paved the way for many hipster abstract rappers today. Seven years in the making, Black Ken is a hip-hop study—an album of true self-expression and exploration. Lil B is a rapper who chooses to color outside of the lines and in the end is still something to talk about. Favorite Tracks: Wasup JoJo, Global, DJ BasedGod Written by Maygan Abude Instagram: maygantista


JAN/FEB #ContentPick


ShakesBEERience’s Henry IV, Part 1


Content Skate Night


ShakesBEERience combines beer, food, and a staged reading. Professional actors will unpack the language of this Shakespeare classic in a unique and accessible way. 1/8 Cafe Stritch

The Content Magazine team invites their readers to come together for Snowman Hot Chocolate and skating around the rink to a specially curated mix of music. 1/9 Downtown Ice

Grant Writing Workshop with Audrey Wong


Artists and arts administrators will learn grant writing basics and more in this three-hour workshop. 1/12 San Jose City Hall

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Alabama Story


The Laramie Project

Inspired by true events in 1959 Alabama, a fight over a controversial children’s book— one in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit—pits a librarian against a senator. 1/18–2/18 City Lights Theater

This production revisits Matthew Shepard’s story on the 20th anniversary of his death and explores how the residents of Laramie reacted to the anti-gay hate crime. 1/19–2/4 Lucie Stern Theatre


Without a Net


Financial Planning & Budget Development Workshop

Fabric sculptor Susan Else integrates sound, light, and motors with stitched figures in her solo exhibition exploring the theatrical awe and dark underbelly of the circus. 1/20–4/15 SJ Museum of Quilts & Textiles

Creatives will learn the ins and outs of developing a nonprofit budget in this workshop led by Fiscal Management Associates. 1/23 School of Arts & Culture @ MHP


Rent: The 20th Anniversary Tour

A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, this show follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. 1/23–1/28 San Jose CPA

SUN 10AM–2PM SoFA Brunch Each participating eatery at this downtown San Jose food hall offers its own special brunch menu items. SoFA Market

MON 7PM–9:30PM Red Rock Open Mic Night A family-friendly open mic experience that welcomes people of all talents to share and perform their art. Red Rock Coffee

WED 9PM The Caravan Lounge Comedy Show Comics from all over the Bay Area and the world perform, hosted by Ato Walker. The Caravan Lounge

SUN 7PM–11PM The Eulipions Jazz Jam Session The house band led by saxophonist Tim Lin plays a set followed by an open jazz jam. Cafe Stritch

WED 7:15PM–11:45PM Wednesday Night Hop This swing dance party is preceded by a choice of classes, introductory to advanced. First United Methodist Church (Palo Alto)

THURS 9PM The Changing Same This excursion keeps time with the future of soul, R&B, and jazz through guest DJ sets and live performances. The Continental Bar



Pop-Up Folk Art Fair


Jazz Greats


Art of Sound: Bernstein at 100


Tommy Castro & The Painkillers


San Jose Jazz Winter Fest


Silicon Valley Reads 2018 Kick-Off



Xavier Jara





At this pop-up, emerging artists present folk art. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative, characterized by a style free from traditional rules. 1/25–1/28 JCO’S Art Haus

The Jazz Greats: Classic Photographs from the Bank of America Collection exhibition features intimate portraits of jazz legends from Billie Holiday to Miles Davis. 1/26–6/16 de Saisset Museum

Over the course of his career, Tommy Castro’s San Jose DNA has always inspired his music, whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or the funkiest soul grooves. 1/28 Moe’s Alley

Everyone in Santa Clara County is invited to read selected books and explore the year’s topic through author talks, art exhibitions, film screenings, and more. 2/1 VPAC at De Anza College

South Bay Guitar Society presents a concert by American classical guitarist Xavier Jara, the 2016 winner of the prestigious GFA International Concert Artist Competition. 2/3 Foothill Presbyterian Church

Latin Standards

Marga Gomez’s new solo piece revisits the triumphs and demons of her father, Willy Chevalier—comedian, producer, songwriter, and prominent figure in Latino culture. 2/9–2/11 MACLA

The Choral Project joins the worldwide centennial celebration of Leonard Bernstein with a concert featuring Chichester Psalms with organ, harp, and percussion. 2/10 Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Every year, Winter Fest brings established stars, as well as emerging artists pushing the boundaries of jazz, and presents them in intimate settings in the South Bay. 2/14–2/28 San Jose & Palo Alto Venues

Disguised as a man, a woman works to free her husband and other political prisoners. Beethoven’s only opera is an ode to freedom and a condemnation of tyrannical power. 2/16–2/25 Lucie Stern Theatre

A showcase of film, technology, and renowned and emerging artists, this festival empowers connections between creators, innovators, and audiences. 2/27–3/11 San Jose & Redwood City Venues

2ND TUES 7PM Well-RED Reading Series Poetry Center San José hosts different featured readers each month, followed by an open reading. Works/San José

1ST THURS 7PM Ladies’ Night Out At this fun craft night, women can enjoy wine, conversation, and a different art-making activity every month. School of Visual Philosophy

3RD FRI 8PM San Jose Bike Party This themed ride is a place to make friends and have a good time. Riders without lights can get free lights installed. Announced 24 hours prior

3RD TUES 7PM–10PM Two-Buck Tuesday The gallery hosts $2 art sales, along with a combination of performances, live painting, and/or art-making activities. KALEID Gallery

1ST FRI 6PM–9PM First Friday @ Hapa’s Billy James Blue brings a lively mix of blues, soul, and rock and roll to this pairing of music and craft beer. Hapa’s Brewing Company

3RD SAT 9PM San José Spelling Bee/r Host Mighty Mike McGee will challenge spellers and delight spectators at a night of language and libations. Local Color

Events are subject to change. Please confirm event details with the presenting organization or venue. 97

CONTRIBUTORS The production of CONTENT MAGAZINE would not be possible without the talented writers, editors, graphic artists, and photographers who contribute to each issue. We thank you and are proud to provide a publication to display your work. We are also thankful for the sponsors and readers who have supported this magazine through advertisements and subscriptions.

Contact us at:

ROBERT SCHULTZE Robert is a commercial and editorial portrait photographer. His work has appeared in various national publications and has been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions across the country. instagram: rjs.studio_

TRACY LEE Tracy is an SJSU alum, entrepreneur, Google Developer Expert, and co-founder of This Dot Labs, a company that helps teams grow their front end expertise through mentoring and consulting. She is the organizer of Modern Web and a keynote speaker at international tech conferences. twitter: ladyleet

KERRY ADAMS HAPNER Kerry Adams Hapner is Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Jose, overseeing the lead agency that champions the arts, culture, and creativity. Kerry regularly writes and speaks about the creative economy and cultural development. She is pursuing a master of liberal arts at Stanford University. instagram: kerryadamshapner

JACOB MARTINEZ A Bay Area native, Jacob is an analog photographer with a wide-ranging knowledge of different photographic mediums. Currently studying at Chabot Community College, he focuses much of his attention on conceptual portrait series designed to inspire unity within our communities. instagram: jacob.alxndr

GILLIAN CLAUS Gillian is a freelance writer and editor, based in the Bay Area. She is also the director of Sunday Assembly Silicon Valley. When not behind a laptop or podium, she also works as a celebrant–designing rituals and ceremonies to celebrate life’s most significant moments. twitter: gillianclaus

ELIZABETH SULLIVAN Elizabeth is a copyeditor and poet with an MFA from the University of Washington. She lives with her husband and numerous bees, chickens, and goats and is fond of making and eating cheese washed down with a moderate amount of mead.

STEPHANIE SLAMA Stephanie is an American fashion, portrait, and lifestyle photographer living in Paris and working for magazines such as Paris Capitale, Le Figaro, and Gala. She also works on the other side of the camera as an actress in film and television. She is currently filming a documentary in Paris and Hawaii about the new big Kahuna. instagram: stephanie.slama

DANIEL CODELLA Daniel is a writer and marketer with a passion for clever content. When he’s not helping people and brands share their stories, he enjoys traveling, writing music, and playing bocce ball. twitter: mrcodella

Be a part of the CONTENT community.

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C CONTENT magazine

Discovering and Displaying the Innovative and Creative Culture of the South Bay


Published by SVCREATES, a 501(c)3 organization.

works is your community art and performance center, a welcoming space where you can experience and create exhibits and events.

works is a creative laboratory where artists, audience, and ideas interact to expand the scope of cultural experience.

coming in 2018: call for art: the anti-valentine show art deadline january 21, opens february 2 curated exhibitions: eco/echo: unnatural imbalance opens march 2 experiments in animation opens may 4 unity in diversity: design perspectives opens june 1 non-juried exhibit: works member exhibition opens august 3 see how you can participate! works/san josĂŠ 365 south market street exhibits and exhibit guidelines: facebook, twitter, instagram: workssanjose

wgi o r c





bike c l



n jose, ca


Banking with your best interests at heart.


Professional courier service promoting sustainability and empowering women through cycling in the heart of Silicon Valley.


ŠTechnology Credit Union. Federally insured by NCUA.

Lodge and Camp 2001 Rossi Rd at Hwy 1 Pescadero, CA 650-879-1100

Text is the new email TextRecruit is a San Jose-born HR technology company that’s helping the world’s best employers use text messaging and artificial intelligence to attract, recruit, and engage employees.

Text “Recruit” to 48421 to learn more

Performances that connect art, technology, and/or multi-media. FEB


ElevenPlay 7:00 PM

Japanese dance troupe that fuses technology within their performances, such as drones and projection mapping. APR


TeatroCinema 7:00 PM

Multi-disciplinary Chilean theater company specializing in mixing theatre, film, and comic book elements in their work. MAY


Bella Gaia 7:00 PM

“Beautiful Earth” celebrates the connection between nature, history, modern culture, and technology through music and dance.

For Tickets and More Information Visit us at: Box Office: 408-924-8501 101 Paseo de San Antonio San José, CA 95113

Use promo code “HamTechS18” for 10% off Art Tech tickets at


The right environment connects ideas and sparks innovation.

Next-level meeting spaces at San Jose McEnery Convention Center The historic California Theatre The historic City National Civic The historic Center for the Performing Arts The historic Montgomery Theater and more



Photography by Adrien Le Biavant

Sonic Runway

Artists Rob Jensen and Warren Trezevant 440’ long dynamic sound and light installation Located at San José City Hall Plaza, 200 E. Santa Clara Street 5 pm to Midnight daily through January The City of San José Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with Burning Man Project present Sonic Runway as the first installation of Playa to Paseo, an innovative program that presents art from Burning Man to downtown San José.

silicon valley’S


CULTURE made in san jose, ca


Tech 10.1 SAN JOSE 2018

WWW.CONTENT-MAGAZINE.COM social media: contentmag



Seek 10.0 (Digtial)  
Seek 10.0 (Digtial)  

We are all “seekers” in some way. Seeking to improve, grow, help, or even innovate. Groping for ways to move forward, sometimes unaware that...