San Jose City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

USflagIMAGE200San Jose is the third biggest City in California, after Los Angeles and San Diego.  It lies in the Santa Clara Valley, between the Santa Cruz Mountains on the west and the Diablo Range on the east.

Known as the hub of Silicon Valley, electronics manufacturing ranks as San Jose’s leading industry. Products include computers, computer software, semiconductors, and other electronic equipment.  Industry giants like Adobe Systems, eBay, Hewlett-Packard, BEA Systems, IBM, and Hitachi are located in this city. Once a small farming area, it has become a haven for suburban homeowners as housing developments flourished during the 1960s to the 1990s.

Residential Places in San Jose California

If one wishes to move into San Jose, the place offers a number of classy apartments that are well within one’s budget. The city is divided into districts with well-known communities of Downtown San Jose, Japantown, Rose Garden, Sunol-Midtown, Willow Glen, Naglee Park, Central. Burbank, Cambrian Park, West San Jose, and Winchester which are all located to the west. To the north is Alviso and Beryessa while Evergreen, Alum Rock, East Foothilss, King, Little Portugal and Story to the east. Finally, the southern neighborhoods are Almaden Valley, Blossom Valley, Coyote Valley, Santa Teresa, Silver Creek Valley, Edenvale and Seven Trees.

The average apartments cost $1,230 per month, and the median price is $1,200 for a one-bedroom unit. The following are the more popular apartments found in the area:  The Carlyle, Brookdale Apartments, Villa Veneto at Palm Valley, Archstone Monterey Grove, Woodland Meadow, Avalon at River Oaks, Palm Valley Communities, The Pines at North Park, Creekside Apartment Homes, and Willow Lake.

Hospitals and Universities of San Jose, California

Located in downtown San Jose, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, is the oldest public institution of higher learning on the West Coast — the San Jose State University.  Nearby universities include Stanford University near Palo Alto and Santa Clara University in Santa Clara.  Other Universities and Colleges are De Anza College, Evergreen Valley College, Foothill College, National Hispanic University, Mission College, Trinity College, and West Valley College.

As to hospitals, the city has Regional Medical Center of San Jose and O’Connor Hospital, which are non-profit hospitals being ran by religious sectors. One will also find the private proprietary Good Samaritan Hospital, the private non-proprietary Santa Teresa Community Hospital, and the government-owned Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Commercial Places in San Jose, California

Named the Third Most Fun City in America by Cranium Inc. for having a wide variety of nightlife options, San Jose boasts of its “SoFA” (South First Area) districts where it is a hotspot loaded with restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, along First and Second Streets.

Downtown San Jose has a legit food scene.  There are vast numbers of Italian, Mexican, American, Japanese, and Vegetarian restaurants available to sate any palate.  At the high-end spectrum, restaurants like Arcadia offer modern, innovative twists on classic American dishes; then there’s La Pastaia, which serves rustic yet sophisticated Italian food.  Other star attractions you should never miss are Paragon and Vung Tau Restaurants.

For those who are addicted to shopping, Valley Fair, the biggest mall in San Jose, Stanford Shopping Mall in Palo Alto, Pruneyard, Westgate, Westfield and Eastridge are there waiting to provide you a world class shopping experience. You will also find across the road from Valley Fair the Santana Row, a European style mall.

For flea market buffs, there is the San Jose Flea Market, which offers a little of everything. You will surely enjoy exploring its rows and rows of stalls packed with useful and interesting finds.

As for employment, an expat shared their outlook for the San Jose City area in a post at the America Expat Forum last June 30, 2009:

Silicon Valley ( metro San Jose, CA ) is still the best area though there are many other high tech areas around the country. Salaries are higher in Silicon Valley but the cost of living is also higher. If I were you, I would search for places that I want to live and then look for the jobs. Silicon Valley was my favorite place by far.

Service Establishments of San Jose, California

As for the water system in San Jose, the City of San Jose owns and operates the water system, which provides an adequate and safe supply to four (4) different areas: Evergreen, Coyote, Edenvale, and North San Jose/Alviso.  The said water system is located at 3025 Tuers Road, San Jose, CA 95121. The city also has garbage, waster water and recycling services operated by the city. This environmental system allows the city to recycle 64% of its total waste making it one of the greenest cities in the world.

Transportation. San Jose has three commuter rail lines: the Caltrain, which runs up the Peninsula to San Francisco, another is the Amtrak California’s Capitol Corridor line, which runs through the East Bay and then inland to Sacramento, and the Altamount Commuter Express, which runs from Stockton, Livermore, and Pleasanto into San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley in the morning, and then returns in the late afternoon and evening.  All rail lines stop at Diridon Station, which is San Jose’s central train station.  It is located at 65, Cahill Street.

The Valley Transportation Agency (VTA) offers serviceable transit in going downtown — a day pass, entitling you to usage of buses and trolleys.

Cab rides or car rentals in San Jose are readily available, since there is a huge number of taxi and car rental companies doing business here.  Cars can be rented at the San Jose International Airport, as well as at several locations in town.  Among the companies that offer in-town locations are Serendipity and Hertz.  For those who choose to call a cab, Rainbow Taxi and/or United Cab, among others, are accessible.

Information Center. Conveniently located in downtown San José is the San Jose McEnergy Convention Center, the Visitor Information Center.  The said Center will assist you with directions, reservation assistance for hotels and restaurants, a calendar of events, and other general information. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 A.M – 5:30 P.M.

Embassies in San Jose, California

For consular assistance in San Jose, California, one can find the United Kingdom Consulate at 1139 Karlstad Drive, Sunnyvale.  Their telephone numbers are +1-408-7477140 or +1-408-7471200 or + 1-408-7471400, or +1-408-7477198 (fax).  Their e-mail address is [email protected]

You may find the British Embassy at 3100 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008, with telephone number +1-202-588-6500.  For the passport office, it can be reached at 19 Observatory Circle, NW, and Washington, DC 20008.  If you seek consular assistance, the number would be +1-202-588-7800, and if you wish to contact the British council, the telephone number would be +1-202-588-7830.

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