Monthly Archives: May 2017

US Memorial Day!

Memorial Day honors Americans who died serving their country. Instead of making it a somber reflection, people celebrate by enjoying the many freedoms that American servicemen and women perished protecting, such as freedom of speech, trial by jury, and protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

It is an excellent day for a backyard barbeque, a picnic or a chance to travel. All of these celebratory staples speak to the holiday’s true spirit.

Memorial Day Celebrations:

As on July 4th, more than 75% of American families plan to celebrate Memorial Day with a BBQ or picnic. It is a special time to spend with family and loved ones. Numerous sporting events also occur during this holiday. Since it’s a three-day weekend, many families go on short vacations visiting their relatives, camping in woods, partying on a beach or just heading to a National Park.

Memorial Day parades honoring those who served the battle are held in towns. The president holds a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C., and a national moment of remembrance occurs at 3pm Eastern Time.

Thousands of parade goers will wave small American flags, sing the National Anthem, and salute the soldiers as they march by. Old veterans will stand in the back with a tear in their eyes, remembering the ones they left behind.

Memorial Day also marks the unofficial first day of summer. Men and women wear their best summer whites. The smell of barbecue fills the air, as red, white, and blue drinks and foods are arranged on picnic tables. Fresh vegetables are grilled and hot dogs are a dime a dozen.

Memorial Day Party Theme Tips:

Enhance your Memorial Day celebration with these themes:

  • Kick off your Memorial Day BBQ with red, white and blue homemade party favors.
  • Instantly transform your backyard space into a festive scene by stringing dollar store streamers overhead. Your guests will love the airy, whimsical vibe. You can also use string lights to add some sparkle at twilight!
  • Set your picnic table with red place mats and blue and white tableware or you can also use dollar store streamers to make an incredibly cute tabletop design which goes apt with the festive mood!
  • Add festive fresh floral centerpieces.
  • Wrap your candles and party cups and make them patriotic.
  • Red, white and blue Popsicle or Cocktails blends perfectly with the patriotic spirit.

On this day show your American pride by waving flags, thanking those who have served, and remembering those who never made it home.

Taste For The Space Competitor Videos

Eastridge’s Taste For The Space is only a few days away and the competitors are getting ready to show San Jose their signature dish and why their taste should win the space. Before you head off to the competition take some time to get to know a few of the food trucks, local restaurateurs and chefs who are competing in the competition.








Taste For The Space @ Eastridge Center on May 13, 2017

Eastridge Center in San Jose is getting some attention in the food scene this coming weekend on May 13, 2017 with a culinary competition to determine who will win an eatery space inside the mall.

Entries from local food trucks and restaurateurs were collected in March and finalists were announced on April 10. The fourteen finalists will convene on May 13 to show off their signature dishes to event attendees. Tickets for admission (they were free) are no longer available, but if you managed to snag a ticket, make sure to bring your appetite so you can try each dish in the competition. Guests will have a chance to influence the outcome of the competition by voting for their favorite dish. See the full list of finalists on the HERE. The winner will be announced on May 19.

The winner of the competition will receive a blank canvas dining eatery space with a fully-equipped kitchen and digital signage, a $50,000 investment, and six months of free rent! That’s a pretty big deal for a first-time brick and mortar owner or small business looking to expand its presence.

I met with Ed of Big Ed’s Buzzard BBQ last week and got a sneak peek of his signature dishes — the smoked tri-tip and beef brisket sliders. Don’t these look mouthwatering? They’re the perfect bite!

Smoked tri-tip slider with housemade au jus & beef brisket slider

Beef brisket slider

While at the event, make sure to take a walk around on the sides of the mall stretching from the 24 Hour Fitness to Sears; there’s also a mural on the AMC theater. The new murals by local artists are worth a look and are perfect for a photo shoot. I love that the mall is now a bit more vibrant and showcases local talent. Check out the short film on the murals on Youtube.

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Eastridge Center in San Jose Completes World’s Largest Outdoor Murals on a Shopping Center

First-of-its-Kind, 20,000 Square Foot Public Art Installation Features Four Curated California Muralists

San Jose, Calif. (May 4, 2017) – Pacific Retail Capital Partners has completed the world’s largest collection of outdoor murals on a shopping center, and the only public art project of its kind at Eastridge, in San Jose. The 20,000 square feet of murals features four carefully curated California artists – CYRCLE, Brendan Monroe, Lila Gemellos and Aaron De La Cruz.

“The opportunity to partner with four talented muralists to create an unparalleled public art series is very special, says Najla Kayyem, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Pacific Retail Capital Partners, parent to the San Jose Center. “Immediately the energy and excitement around Eastridge has changed and we’re reminded how art can transform perceptions, fuel urban revitalization and become an economic stimulus.”

Gensler, a global architectural, design and planning firm, came up with the concept to reimagine previously blank exterior brick, stucco and tiled walls around the center with the expansive murals as well as nearly 16,000 square feet of super graphics to transform more than 36,000 square feet of Eastridge’s exteriors facade.

“Most enclosed malls are the ultimate expression of the blank wall,” says Annmarie Brintnall, Retail Centers Practice Area Leader and Principal at Gensler. “The idea was to transform the lifeless façades of Eastridge into a celebrated collection of public art for everyone in the community to enjoy”.

All four muralists are California based, an important component when creating an art installation designed to reflect and celebrate the best of San Jose. Their work ranges from the geometric and colorful, to creative story telling, and has attracted positive attention from the community while adding vibrancy and excitement to a previously uninteresting façade.

“We carefully selected burgeoning artists that could create timeless pieces that offer new perspective each time they’re viewed,” explained Aaron Lloyd Barr, Senior Agent at B&A in New York that curated two of the artists. “While each artist has a distinct style and approach to transforming the space, together they create a cohesive, very modern and approachable art installation that vibrantly flows across a previously non-descript, industrialized canvas.”

Featured Artists

CYRCLE is a two-man collective comprised of David Leavitt (Davey Detail) and David Torres (Rabi) – both born in L.A. Their works can be seen all over the world and are in public and private collections including that of Shepard Fairey, Ari Emanuel, Sean Combs, and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

“CYRCLE loves layering and colors and half-tone patterns, mixing monotone with bright colors that come alive on Eastridge Center’s brick walls utlizing sprayers and spray paint on a 70-foot by 100-foot canvas,” explains Barr.

Brendan Monroe was born in Santa Barbara and studied at Art Center in Pasadena. A sculptor and painter, Brendan’s work is available in California, at Galerie L.J. in Paris, and has been exhibited in Asia, Europe and North America.

“Brendan used brushes for his piece at Eastridge Center to create something very distinct, black and white, with an almost techy feel,” Kayyem explained.

Lila Gemellos has been painting across the Silicon Valley for several years and has been an artist since age five. She brings her strong San Jose roots and passion to her artwork through her visual narratives.
Gemmellos utilized paint sprayers and spray paint cans to transform two sections of exterior wall and share a colorful story.

Aaron De La Cruz is based in San Francisco, CA. His work, though minimal and direct at first, tends to overcome barriers of separation and freely steps in and out of the realms of painting and design.
“De La Cruz filled the blank Eastridge Center walls in a way no one else could, with a hand-painted black and white design utilizing scissor lifts and brushes,” explained Barr.

The groundbreaking murals are part of a major redevelopment occurring at Eastridge including interior and exterior design, new exterior entrance enhancements – including the additional 16,000 square feet of super graphics through Gensler – installation of a 30-foot interior digital wall, the four large-scale exterior artist murals and other community-centric art projects that pay homage to the best of San Jose. Later this spring, local children will be invited to create an imaginative art installation of hand painted tiles that will become part of the permanent redesign.

“The real beauty of their work is how it has been embraced by such a variety of people that live in this community,” added Anthony Campo, Eastridge’s Marketing Manager. “Regardless of age or level of art education, these pieces create a powerful response in everyone that has experienced them by bringing the best of San Jose together and transforming people’s perceptions of Eastridge and our larger community.”

To view videos of the art installation visit or through social media at:
Twitter: @EastridgeCenter

About Eastridge

Owned and operated by Pacific Retail Capital Partners, Eastridge is Silicon Valley’s second largest retail destination with 1.4 million square feet of abundant shopping, dining and entertainment. 2017 marks a milestone as the property undergoes redevelopment to re-invent Eastridge Center and embrace the best San Jose has to offer. Featuring Macy’s, JC Penney, Sears, Round 1 Bowling and Amusement, Barnes & Noble, Red Robin, and Chili’s, the well-known San Jose center showcases 150 stores, an impressive 15-screen AMC IMAX Theatre, 24 Hour Fitness, H&M, Hollister Co., Tilly’s, Victoria’s Secret, crazy 8, Forever 21, a spacious eatery and multiple restaurants. The Grand Center Court offers two levels of shopping with superior store accessibility and visibility in San Jose’s Evergreen neighborhood. For more information, visit

The Eastridge Murals Celebrates Art and Community


The Eastridge Murals aim to celebrate the best of San Jose through art, culture and community. A call for local artists was announced earlier this year for a chance to have their art painted on the exterior of Eastridge Center. Four artists were chosen each with their own artistic style and story. Eastridge welcomed Aaron De La Cruz, Brendan Monroe, Lila Gemellos and Cyrcle to shape the look of the Eastridge Murals. The goal of The Mural Project is to create a piece of public art for an outdoor environment that reflects the spirit of the Bay Area and engages our community.

The Eastridge Murals kicked off on March 13th with Artist, Aaron De La Cruz. His mural took over 59 hours over a span of seven days. As a way to bring our community into the Mural Project, De La Cruz partnered with Empire Seven Studios with an art scavenger hunt. Signed prints were hidden all over Eastridge while Empire Seven Studios provided clues on their Instagram.



Mural by Cyrcle

Not only has the Eastridge Murals attracted local residents, but has also created a buzz on a global scale. The mural project garnered thousands of views on social media. Brendan Monroe’s video feature by Chop Em Down Films was noticed by global artist network, Pow! Wow! Hawaii creating over 7,000 views. We hope to reach out to our communities as we embrace art, culture and the next generation retail experience.


Mural by Aaron De La Cruz

The murals are a perfect photo op for visitors and an opportunity for people to meet the artists. Lila Gemellos colorful mural “Heart of Silicon Valley” was visited by many who took selfies with Lila, prom photos, family photos and other creative shots from our visitors. One of the last murals to be completed is by Cyrcle which was close to 20,000 sq feet of space. From blank walls to work of arts, these artists did an amazing job at capturing San Jose’s spirit.


Mural by Lila Gemellos


Mural by Brendan Monroe


The Eastridge Murals are just the start of the redevelopment at the center as we continue to celebrate  San Jose. We would like to thank California Arts Council for their support, Chop Em Down Films for documenting the Mural Project, Pacific Retail and Gensler for making the vision of this project come to life.

Follow Eastridge and the artists on Instagram.

  • Eastridge @eastridgecenter
  • Aaron De La Cruz @aarondelacruz
  • Brendan Monroe @brendantheblob
  • Lila Gemellos @gemellosmurals
  • Cyrcle @cyrcle

Want to share your awesome photos of the murals? Hashtag #eastridgemurals We’d love to see them!

To see more video, check out the Eastridge YouTube Channel HERE