Tech + Tastings at The Row
By Genevieve Dee
Images by Chris Miramon
It is not everyday you get to experience 3 of Silicon Valley’s favorites all at once. Tech + Tastings did just that.
Set in luxurious Santana Row, known for its high end shops and outdoor dining, it provided the perfect locale complete with gorgeous summer evening weather, music playing in the background with people strolling, shopping and walking their dogs. Home to 70 shops, 20 restaurants, a boutique hotel and a movie theater, Santana Row is always a pleasure to visit.
The Tech Museum of Innovation provided selected pieces that were scattered among the shops. All the pieces were completely accessible for everyone to touch, feel and play with. Museum Staff Members were also on hand to answer any questions that came to mind.
In between tech stops, other establishments offered wine from local wineries, food and shopping discounts exclusive for event patrons. So, with wine glass on one hand, and a map on the other, we set out to explore, experience, and enjoy.
With wearable data gathering devices becoming more and more popular, the ‘Your Life in Data’ experience was most informative. The much publicized Google glasses and Fitbit were but a couple among several gadgets displayed that could collect all kinds of data ranging from brain waves, pulse, light levels, colors, muscle tension, faces, speech and voice. The amount of information that can be captured and the many different uses for this is amazing! And, that 3D Printer that you’ve wanted to see in action was right in front of our eyes, making a trivet! Just as impressive were the other objects that were products of the printer. There was a shoe, a frog, and even a toy with movable pieces. I could have watched the printer the whole time! For the music minded, “Scribble Scratch” was composed of 2 turntables that allowed seamless music integration, while the Mini Masher allowed you to compose beats using drums, bass and synth sounds. Hacker vs. Hacker gave you a chance to try your hand at picking a lock, jumping wires or cracking a code!
As you follow the map, you realize very quickly that the Tech Walk gives you the perfect opportunity to visit the stores that you’ve always wanted to go to but always run out of time for.
Have you ever noticed the elephant in the room at Jest Jewels? I nearly went crazy trying to decide what to get from their huge selection of accessories. Icebreaker Merino had sweaters and activewear all made in their signature super soft merino wool that comes all the way from New Zealand. Jewelry from Flying Lizard Design and Beau Bijou had you wishing your husband had called and said we could buy anything we wanted. Clothing from Diesel catered to the trendy and edgy, while Tommy Bahama’s signature island lifestyle clothing and accessories or sporting clothes from Orvis and Lululemon’s ever popular athletic wear made certain everyone would be well dressed for any occasion. To complete the outfits were shoes from Kash and Donald Pliner. Gallery 85 offered one-of-a-kind pieces in many different mediums to anyone who appreciated art. We were pleased to see everything about tea at Lisa’s Tea Treasures including their Afternoon High Tea Offerings. Pasta Pomodoro,The Village and Left Bank Brassserie kept hunger at bay while Sleep offered organic Coyuchi products. Everyone offered special discounts for the night that were hard to resist.
Nearby wineries offered tastings. There was Gugliemo Winery from neighboring Santa Clara , Stefania Winery from San Jose, House Family Vineyards from nearby Saratoga and Testa Rossa and Loma Prieta Wineries minutes away in Los Gatos. From over the mountains in Santa Cruz, a mere 35 minute drive from The Row were the Roudon Smith, Cinnabar, Wright’s Station, Burrell School Wineries and the MJA Vineyards. Enoteca 5 also poured and informed us of where their wines were sold. 11 Wineries all together, just minutes away. Who would have known there were so many?
Everything put together made for a most interesting, enjoyable and delicious time savoring an experience that will quickly be a San Jose favorite. I can’t wait for the next one!