The date was set, the calls were made and the camera crew from CBS 5's Eye on the Bay rolled into Alum Rock Village to focus on the characters and places that make our neighborhood unique.
As tour guide for this trip around the East Foothills, I wanted to expose Bay Area television viewers to as much as possible. So we started early, at James Lick High School. Principal Bill Rice showed us around the recently renovated campus including the new athletic fields. But the highlight of the trip to the home of the Comets was a sneak peek at the new Media Magnet facilities, which are absolutely top-notch. We saw the state-of-the-art television studio, control room and a non-linear edit suite. We also saw the plans for the media lab which will include approximately 30 more edit suites for film and vido production.
Next it was off to another Village landmark, Peters Bakery. Nancy Peters graciously showed us around the shop offering tastes of their classic items like burnt almond cake, plus their newest specialty, pineapple upsidedown cake (do try it). Then we hit Mario's Barber Shop for a chat with Mario while he cut my son Lucas's hair. As expected, Mario had great stories to tell about the neighborhood and the people who make it special. While in the Village, we also hit YSI Thrift and Gift, Treasure Chest Aquarium and Pets to see the 1,000 gallong shark tank (we were "treated" to a viewing of a shark feeding frenzy!), and the Dr. Roberto Cruz Alum Rock Library. Then it was off to Reynaud Drive for a sequence on what it was like growing up in the area. There, we interviewed my friend and neighbor Dan Gentile, Sr. who showed off his classic Ferarri and Alfa Romeo cars. Dan is also a living piece of Silicon Valley history. He holds 3 patents for chip design during his time at Fairchild Semiconductor, the company that "started it all" in Silicon Valley.
Our next stop was the National Hispanic University where we spoke to Roberto Cruz II about his family's educational contributions to the Alum Rock area. His father, Dr. Roberto Cruz started the NHU 25 years ago and his mother Lupe, teaches at Linda Vista Elementary. We also learned that San Jose and Santa Clara County have special citations in store for the school's award-winning debate team.
Then, it was off to the crown jewel of the neighborhood, Alum Rock park. Suffice it to say,this sequence will be one of the highlights of the show, so you'll just have to watch. Even I was surprised and amazed by what I saw.
With our earlier slices of cake starting to wear off, it was time for lunch at Mark's Hot Dogs. After a quick bite, we trekked off to see an another Alum Rock landmark: Cesar Chavez' home on Scharff Avenue.
We ended the day with a few more shots of neighborhoods and views from Miradero at the top of the East Highlands. Although a bit hazy, we could see Alum Rock and San Jose spread out beneath us, and glistening in the afternoon sunlight.
Overall, we shot over an hour's worth of footage for what will be a 5 minute segment. We don't have an air date yet, but keep watching this space for an update when a date has been set. I would like to thank Marla, her cameraman Scott and her Producer James Reid for coming to Alum Rock and giving our area some positive attention. And finally, thanks to all the readers of The Neighborhood View who wrote and emailed me suggestions on what to see and do. As you will see, we packed a lot of your suggestions in.