Yesterday, a group of community members + city officials gathered on Sixth St., between Taylor + Jackson St., to watch the groundbreaking ceremony for Japantown’s Heinlenville Park.
The ceremony included remarks from Councilmember Raul Peralez, a historical account from Heinlenville descendant + author Connie Young Yu, and the awarding of a City of San José commendation to Warren Hayashi, a founding member of the Japantown Community Congress.
Heinlenville Park acknowledges the nuanced history of the Japantown neighborhood. | Rendering courtesy of Shea Properties and City of San José PRNS
🌳 What to expect
PRNS representatives present at the groundbreaking say the 0.75-acre park might be completed in the next few months.
It will feature:
Garden space including cherry blossoms
Intricate + creative stone work
A children’s playground with regular activity programming
A historical memory walk featuring stone medallions + signage educating visitors about the neighborhood’s history
The “Sheltering Wing” — an 18-ft tall metal sculpture representing both Chinese + Japanese culture
The Heinlenville Park groundbreaking marks another major moment in Japantown’s development. | Video by SJtoday staff
🌳 What’s in a name
After much debate about a name — “Heinlenville Park” was chosen to honor the vibrant Asian American community that lived in the Japantown neighborhood, even before it was Japantown.
The story began when a German immigrant farmer named John Heinlenleased property in what is now Japantown to those seeking refuge after a 1887 fire destroyed San Jose’s Market St. Chinatown.
Despite public backlash, John continued to protect San Jose’s Chinese community + made Heinlenville — as the neighborhood became known — a safe haven for the broader Asian American community.
The Chinese Historical & Cultural Project led the “Heinlenville” park name campaign to honor both the historic community + their ally. “The site stands for something,” Connie Young Yu explained. “A community that rose out of the ashes, built by a man of integrity and courage, and the brave people who would not be driven out.”
We’re excited that this legacy will live on in Heinlenville Park + we’ll keep you posted on grand opening details.
Share this story with those you know will be excited for this new park.
St. John Vianney Parish Fiesta | Fri., May 20-Sun., May 22 | Times vary | 4600 Hyland Ave. | Free | Fly into fun with face paint, movies, live music, and family fun all weekend long. 🎨
AAPI Heritage Month Celebration | Fri., May 20 | 5-9 p.m. | Garden at the Flea, 1590 Berryessa Rd. | Free entry | The Berryessa Night Market puts a spotlight on Asian American vendors, artists, and food trucks.
Alfa Mist | Fri., May 20 | 8 p.m. | San Jose Jazz Break Room, 310 S. First St. | $25+ | Enjoy contemporary beats from this self-taught pianist + accomplished music producer. 🎶
Screen! | Fri., May 20 | 7 p.m. | 3-Below Theaters, 288 S. Second St. | $10 | Watch the short film “Twists and Turns” as part of Content Magazine’s Short Film Fridays series. 🎬
Back to the 80’s | Fri., May 20 | 9 p.m. | The Brit, 5027 Almaden Expy. | Free entry | Rock out with local band Careless Whisper and enjoy late-night food + drink specials. 🎸
SJMQT Spring Community Day | Sat., May 21 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | SJMQT + SoFA Pocket Park, 520 S. 1st St. | Free | Celebrate the 45th birthday of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles at this outdoors event with galleries from local artists. 🌸
Open Studios | Sat., May 21 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Visual Philosophy Studio, 1065 The Alameda | Free entry | Swing by the art studio + explore unique works by photographers, body painters, moss artists, and more. 🖼️
Silicon Valley Pop-Up | Sun., May 22 | 11 a.m.-4 p.m. | 299 Bassett St. | Free entry | Support the Child Advocates of Silicon Valley at this 70+ vendor fair with music from DJ Maniakal.
Sunday in the Park | Sun., May 22 | 9:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | River Glen Park, 1600 Parkside Ave. | Free | Volunteer with Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood services to make a difference and help keep the city’s outdoor spaces clean. 🌳
PRIDE Night at Quakes vs. Sporting Kansas City | Sun., May 22 | 4:30 p.m. | PayPal Park | $20+ | Celebrate the LGTBQ+ community with flag presentations, murals, performances, and a meet-and-greet withDeja Skye, a contestant in “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” 🏳️🌈
We have amonthly guide filled with events + activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
A new proposal seeks to transform Fry’s Electronics’ former headquarters in North San Jose into seven seven-story towers consisting of 1.9 million sqft of office space. Due to environmental concerns, the project will be subject to a vote of the City Council — and if approved, construction can start as early as October 2023. 🏢 (Silicon Valley Business Journal)
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panettawill speak at an annual Memorial Day commemoration at Oak Hill Memorial Park on Mon., May 30. Organized by the United Veterans Council of Santa Clara, the event will include a WWI display + a flyover by the 129th Air Rescue Squadron. 🇺🇸 (The Mercury News)
We’re kicking it into gear. The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition has begun its “Bike to Wherever Days” celebration, which will continue through this weekend. Bikers can stop at energizer stations in several locations to receive refreshments + a free swag bag. 🚲
Let’s hear it for local journalism. This week, SJSU’s newspaper, The Spartan Daily, was named a “Best Campus Newspaper in California” by the California News Publishing Association. This is the second time in three years that the publication has won this award. 📰
This week, the Silicon Valley Business Journal announced 2022’s Women of Influence honorees. These 100 women were chosen because of their impact on Silicon Valley. Their accomplishments will be recognized at the Signia Hotel on June 16 — tickets are still available. 🏆
Not too cool for school… Several San Jose schools and districtsreceived awards from the state for their innovation and exceptional performance in adjusting to online learning. Recipients include the Berryessa Union + Luther Bank School Districts, Evergreen Valley High School, and more. 🏫
Santa Clara County was ranked the seventh fastest growing county in California. Between 2010 and 2020, the county’s population grew by over 150,000 people, bringing the total population to over 1.9 million residents. (KRON 4)
Go green with these one-of-a-kind delicacies at CA Bakehouse.
This local, family-owned bakery gained popularity as the first business to sell “green waffles” in America. The green hue? It’s pandan, a tropical plant that gives a grassy vanilla flavor, with a hint of coconut.
The bakers at CA Bakehouse have brought new life + creativity to the classic pandan flavor by whipping it into egg tarts, honeycomb cake, and even water.
Check out their menu to find out what other baked goodies they have in store. 💚
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Editor’s pick: I’m really excited for the new Heinlenville Park, especially that art installment. I’m of Chinese + Japanese descent, and it’s neat seeing a monument dedicated to honoring both cultures. If it really does open in a few short months, that’s going to be my new picnicking location.
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