San Jose Art City Tour

By Christina

Tonight we planned on doing the “Art City Tour”, where, once a month, all the museums and galleries in San Jose are free. The plans switched approximately 18 times, but since it seemed the rain would hold off (at least for a few hours), we headed out. After meeting up with some of Ines’s friends, we grabbed a program and headed to the first gallery.

I’m not a big art person. I never was. I felt like a huge wannabe while I ate my vegan ice cream and walked around looking at lurid paintings of pigs sitting on chairs. But every guidebook says the only good thing about San Jose is the art, so I figured when in Rome… or, you know.

Next was the Jade Museum. Once again mildly interesting, but I can only stare at green stones for so long. I did enjoy critiquing their Spanish to English translations.

I am trying SO hard to learn Spanish. I’ve downloaded apps to play on my lunch break; they taught me several useful phrases such as “el gato bebe agua” (the cat drinks water). But it’s a start. I can’t wait for the day that I can surprise someone with my language abilities.

Anyways, the group was feeling the art galleries about as much as I was, so we headed to an up-and-coming bar called Stiefel. Muriel directed us there because her friends loved the microbrewed beer and the papas fritas. We had arrived in hipster heaven: everything from the lamps down to the menus was recycled, the wall was a chalkboard, the tables were of the picnic variety and the waiters had shaved heads, tattoos and pierced septums.

But after 20 minutes of waiting, we finally flagged down a waiter, who literally stopped mid-order-taking to ANSWER HIS PHONE. They didn’t have half the beers they advertised and the food portions were itsy-bitsy. But conversation flowed (in three languages, no less), the people we were with kept recognizing more people, and it turned out to be a good night. Overall verdict on Stiefel: terrible service, cool atmosphere. Considering they’ve only been open for a week, they’ve got some serious potential.


Some artwork at Stiefel


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