A different crowd, A different ambience, A different experience

By Bahaar Muhar // Mosaic Journalism Workshop 

After returning from a horrible dinner, I put on my walking shoes, slipped on my Mosaic badge, and got ready to walk out the door to explore San Jose’s “nightlife.”

We walked around and had our first stop at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library where Joe told us that it’s a great place to come by some time and check out – it would be one of the few places that we could actually go back to on our own.

Then we crossed the lights to Flames. And I thought, “Wait. Flames? That sounds familiar! That logo even looks familiar!”

Joe told us that this was a originally a breakfast place; one of the many Flames. That’s when it clicked. There’s one right by house – but its known for pancakes, not for a nightlife.

We walked through and we stopped at the middle of the place, in front of the bar when the manager came with a worried face towards us. I guess he got concerned since we were a big group.

We then attempted to check out Fahrenheit but they were having a private party so no entrance for us.

Afterwards, we walked around more lively restaurants that would ultimately become night time hangouts in a couple of hours.

One place in particular was really nice. It had beautiful art, was a nice hang out, and had a great aroma. What was it called? No idea.

We stood at the end of the lane of many different nightlife places, peaking through one that had a huge bouncer blocking the way.

We met a guy who came out and told us that it was a great place. He was the third generation to go to that place and after leaving us with a tad bit of knowledge of past crimes and issues regarding San Jose nightlife and lots of alcohol breath, he strolled off on his bike.

We crossed the streets, dragged our feet around, saw regular restaurants and we ended up at a more modern street with more places to eat and more places to hang out. Joe told us more about the crime that once existed in San Jose regarding its nightlife and it was a bit hard to believe that it was actually like that.

The minute I saw the Old Spaghetti Factory, my eyes brightened up; we had been looking for a good place to eat that was local for so long and I finally found something. Still looking forward to going there soon!

Then I read a poster that the world’s best milkshake was at some restaurant to our left and I thought:

“Wait seriously? So many places? And the world’s best is in my neighborhood..”

I guess I’ll have to go try it to know myself.

We continued on and then I lost my appetite for that milkshake.

A guy in a green shirt was bending over with one hand on a lamppost throwing up. Sucks for him. His friends surrounded him and one looked at me as I saw with an awkward smile.

Will this be life after college? Lol

Then we went to the market. Before we entered Joe said it was one of the greatest things that San Jose had ever created and I thought he was exaggerating. But actually, the place was really cool; there was such a cultural mix and so many great places to eat.

The atmosphere was so lively despite it being crowded and then Joe took us right in front of a pastry stand. And that was my favorite part of the evening.

If there was one thing I really really really REALLY wanted after my trip in India was yummy sweets like macaroons, and Joe put them right in front of me. It sucked we couldn’t get any but at least I knew where to come back.

Then we left the street through the empty Sonoma Chicken Coup and Joe said, “We’re a little over halfway done.” And it was a bittersweet feeling; I wanted to be done with the tour because I was so cold and tired but not at the same time cause it was a totally different experience. We walked back and saw a couple more cool nightlife places and then we walked past one of the most beautiful places in all of San Jose.

Being half-awake I don’t remember the name but it was a Cathedral with beautiful architecture. Joe mentioned that it costed a lot to restore it after the earthquake. San Jose had to hire a guy from Italy for 5 years to fix the murals inside.

Then we walked through the famous Fairmont hotel where Obama had come just a month and a half ago but now it reeked of different types of alcohol.

We saw a couple more places but everyone was tired and ready to go home. We started to finally head back to SJSU.

Luisa opened the dorm door and we went in. I took off my shoes and called my mom and told her about almost everything from the tour. I guess I shouldn’t have told my mom. She thinks Mosaic is kinda crazy now – but she thinks a lot of things are. I’m glad I got to explore things with Mosaic and Joe and the gang that I never would have on my own.



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