My family and I spent an evening strolling around after dinner at Santana Row in San Jose last night. Santana Row is fairly new shopping mall with a “European atmosphere,” a trendsetter in the shopping mall industry. Apparently every recent mall project in California wants to be just like Santana Row. Here’s what it looks like:
Note the interesting elements such as narrow streets, open seating areas, lampposts, strings of hanging lights, building façades, mixed residence and retail, and outdoor dining areas. (That’s Left Bank at the right edge of the picture.)
If you squint a lot, this does kind of feel like you’re in Europe. Especially if you position yourself downwind of somebody smoking.
My wife said this place reminded her of Downtown Disney.
It’s true. If you peek around the corner, there’s the gigantic parking structure, and the intersection of Stevens Creek and Winchester Boulevards, each with six lanes of traffic and massive congestion so typical of California.
More pics below.
The palm trees kind of ruin the Europe-like effect.
I have to say, though, that this was a remarkably pleasant place to spend some time on a late Spring evening in California.