In 2005, the editors of Metro Silicon Valley, San Jose's alternative weekly newspaper, gave Gary Singh his own column, "Silicon Alleys," to explore the underbelly of San Jose from a perspective only a creative native could offer. To this day, he still writes the column every week. Now a selection of Gary's greatest hits, over 250 columns in chronological order, is available in one mammoth volume, hand-picked by the columnist. Following a gnarly foreword by cyberpunk science fiction pioneer Rudy Rucker, a glorious mishmash of humanity emerges. UFO researchers sit right alongside rock stars, repo men and professional wrestlers. Buddhist scholars hold column space with women's drinking clubs. Abandoned strip malls return to life. From punk rock to high art, from dive bars to luxury digs, from literary vibes to forgotten history, no other body of work more aptly sorts out the guts of America's 10th largest city than Gary's weekly column.
About the Author
As a working scribe, Gary Singh's byline has appeared over 1400 times, including newspaper columns, travel essays, art and music criticism, profiles, business journalism, lifestyle articles, poetry and short fiction. He is the author of The San Jose Earthquakes: A Seismic Soccer Legacy (2015, The History Press) and was recently a Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing at San Jose State University. He still lives in San Jose.
To look at San Jose through Gary's eyes is an education. He is to San Jose what Herb Caen was to San Francisco--part of the city, part of its vibe. For years he has walked the streets, enjoyed its hot spots and its dives. He is part of the professional sports scene, part of the music scene, part of the bar scene. He loves and understands the history of San Jose better than anyone I have ever met. In these days of cities changing and losing their identities, I am happy that Gary kept the records.
JOHNNY MOORE, former General Manager, San Jose Earthquakes
Gary Singh belongs to a different age, when journalists had lifelong love-hate affairs with their beloved cities. For San Jose he is like heavenly sandpaper, railing against homogenization, celebrating what is uniquely good, and gently challenging his city to become a place that is creative and humane. I'm glad his columns are collected here so that San Jose can remember the past and, perhaps, build a better future.
TIM RITCHIE, President and CEO, The Tech Museum of Innovation (2011-2020)
Gary's column is the written soundtrack of my life in San Jose. I arrived as a Banda Club kid, a theater kid, a downtown kid, a Could Have Left Town kid, but our Valley of Heart's Delight transformed and kept me. Gary's the one who wrote about all of us growing up. He's the only one who wrote about the Pink Elephant Center-before any need for a "Diversity Column."
TAMARA ALVARADO, Executive Director, Shortino Foundation
Gary Singh knows San Jose. I have been reading him in Metro for many years, sometimes agreeing, occasionally not, yet always entertained-even sometimes amazed. The successes, the mistakes, the dreams that sometimes happened and often failed, are the essence of this book. Each agony here often leads to some ecstasy. It is all on full display here as you go down the illuminated streets and duck into the dark alleys that compose this most amazing city.
TOM McENERY, Mayor of San Jose, 1983-1991