Sunday, March 13, 2005

San "Ho" sucks.

You should know, that San Jose sucks.

(I mean the one in California, not San Jose, Costa Rica. That one may suck too, but I wouldn't know.)

Last Saturday, despite my previous knowledge of the suckiness of San Ho, my friends and I decided to give it a chance because I heard about some interesting events taking place there, including:

1. Blobjects
2. Cinequest
3. Ramen Life

"Blobjects" is a new exhibit on various designed objects that have a blob-like or organic shape to them. This started last week at the San Jose Museum of Art, and I think this is really the main reason to ever visit downtown San Jose.

Most of the products in the exhibit were in happy imac cartoon colors. Of course this included a lot of Karim Rashid, Marc Newsom, Frog Design, and Apple-designed products. I'm surprised I didn't see more Alessi products. Basically if you make something look rounded, cuddly, and cartoony, it resonates more with people. Is this just human nature to revert to childhood simplicity? or sexy curves? Either way, I like it. Besides, I think these days people fear color too much.

It made me wonder though, what made the blob thing a design theme vs. an art movement or a design fad.

Even the other exhibits were fun, including one called, "Girl Power," which included photographs of enacted Nancy Drew scenes. My favorite though, was what I think was part of the permanent collection, which was this crazy long couch, shaped like a caterpillar. Even the multiple legs were bent like a caterpillar legs, and the end of it was reared up, curled against the wall, biting on a chair. You could see from its bulging shape that it had eaten a tv and lamp too.

(Side note: Oddly enough, I think one of the gallery monitors was my ballroom dance instructor from Arthur Murray. I took intro lessons there 2 or 3 years ago.)

Cinequest is a film festival. We meant to see a Jeff Buckley documentary, but the timing didn't work out, so we missed it.

So then we walked a couple blocks to our next destination. On our way there, we passed a group of tattooed folks with sports jerseys. I actually didn't think much of this, except that after they passed, one of our friends said, "Uh, that guy was carrying a 9mm. gun."

We continued our merry way to a club called Zoe's, which was hosting a ticketed event to "Ramen Life." This event was forwarded to me from a friend, and apparently there were posters for it all over the local Japanese groceries (Mitsuwa), ramen houses, and bookstores (Kinokinuya). It definitely sounded a little odd, but I was intrigued. Plus I love noodles.

Well, in the end it sucked. The promoter/organizer for this event was an idiot. Despite that they sold out of presale tix, they still let people pay to come in, and there was only seating for like, maybe 40 people at most. I think there were maybe 300-400 people in there. I don't know. It was packed. I waited in a line for maybe 40 minutes, only to find that the table that I previously saw heaping with appetizers was now left with 10 pieces of shui mai, a vat of salad, and 6 pieces of mochi ice cream. The announcer came on and meekly said that they had run out of appetizers. Later they came on again to say that someone was going to do a grocery run to get more food.

A GROCERY run!? I can go to Mitsuwa by myself and buy the food that I want, without these obnoxious crowds and styrofoam, thank you very much!

There was a brief taiko drum performance, but I've seen better ones, where it's outside and the sound isn't drowned out by the crowds of people impatiently waiting for their $25 grocery food. And they showed a short film about the art of slurping noodles. Who decided this film was necessary? World-acclaimed director Juzo Itami already covered this topic masterfully in his ramen-meets-Rocky film, Tampopo. I never saw so many Japanese people (except in Japan). Every Japanese girl had some combination of a cute purse or cute hat or cute shoes.

Luckily my boyfriend snagged me a somewhat decent bowl of ramen from another packed line. We were so annoyed, that I just slurped up the last of my ramen and left so we could all go get a real dinner at E & O's up the street.

I suppose San Jose has its good little eateries. We saw a tasty-looking Vietnamese sandwich shop called Dakao, which I've heard is very good. And I always like Original Joe's for its mafioso servers and atmosphere and jumbo meatball spaghetti.

But other than that, the museum, the Camera Theaters (for indie films), and the IMAX theater, San Jose is not a lot of fun.

Still not convinced? Take a look at the map for Santa Clara county on this sex offender search, thanks to Megan's Law (which I found on Cosmic Onion). See where all the sex offenders hang out? Not a good sign.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what worries me more about this sex offender map are the little lone "dots" out in the middle of nowhere. Like, out in the mountains somewhere. Note to self: make sure that car does not break down outside city limits. -BK

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also interesting that the SO density is very high in poor areas, and nearly zero in wealthy ones. I suspect the folks in Atherton just have more cash to beat the rap, IMHO.

Hey, Ms. Shieh, others of us like indie films at the Camera N's. If you are orging any group viewings, let us know. Your contact link is busted, or I would have emailed you.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tried to post this before, but screwed up.
1) offender density appears to scale inversely with affluence. Not likely that rich people are any less prone, just better equipped to beat the rap.

2) Ms. Shieh, some of your readers enjoy indie films at the Camera N's as well. Do you org any group
viewings? Your contact link is busted, or I would have emailed.

7:25 PM  

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