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Potlatch 23 Progress Report #4

A Taste of the Potlatch 23 Restaurant Guide

Our hotel, the Sainte Claire, at Market and San Carlos is right in the middle of downtown San Jose. There’s literally well over a hundred restaurants within easy walking distance. Here’s just the ones actually on the same, not over-large, city block as the hotel and right across the street from that block. All restaurants are open for lunch and dinner seven days, except as noted.
- David Bratman

Il Fornaio, 302 S. Market (at San Carlos)
Opens at 7 AM (8 on weekends), late nights to 11 PM (12 on weekends)
In the hotel. IN it. A good, basic, neo-Italian restaurant absolutely worth dining at if you’re in the area, so you’re in luck. The entrees are relatively light and not too large; the pasta is distinctly al dente, giving weight to the meal. Prices are moderately high for the breed, but commensurate with quality. The breakfast menu dishes are American, though with Italian names, particularly outstanding for their potatoes. Usually uncrowded.

Original Joe’s, 301 S. First (at San Carlos)
Also late nights to 1 AM
Italian steakhouse, so old-school that it makes other old-school places look new. Even the decor is straight out of the 1950s. The typical meal here is a huge hunk of meat, probably full o’ cholesterol, plainly and simply cooked without fancy seasonings or sauces. You know it’s an Italian restaurant because there’s a side of pasta. You have to like this kind of stuff, but it does what it does excellently: good pasta, amazing hamburgers, a classic Joe’s Special, and there are salads and veggies. And the service has sixty years of experience at being fast and efficient, even when the crowds are spilling out the doors.

Caffe Frascati, 315 S. First (btwn San Carlos & San Salvador)
Opens 7:30 AM, 8 on weekends, late nights on weekends to midnight Here’s your neighborhood coffee vendor. Also serves light breakfasts (stuff on a bagel or muffin), and paninis and salads for lunch.

Pho 69, 321 S. First (btwn San Carlos & San Salvador)
Closed Sunday
Gourmet Vietnamese pho restaurant. Cool modern decor, semi-industrial instead of old lunch counter. Small menu, with only one size bowl (large, with a price to match). High-quality meats, nothing fatty, oddly sweet broth. This is pho for yuppies, not Vietnamese street food.

The Blue Chip, 325 S. First #190 (downstairs, between San Carlos & San Salvador)
408-971-2898, no functioning web site
Sports bar that, almost absent-mindedly, serves cheesesteak sandwiches (also burgers, chicken sandwiches, pizza, etc.) from a kitchen in the back. The cheesesteak is large enough, but dull tasting, which it never is in Philly, and the only cheese option is Cheez Whiz. Slow service.
Note: Just outside the entrance is a small place called AJ’s Hot Dogs. Whenever I come by here at lunchtime, the lights are on but nobody’s home.

Cafe Stritch, 374 S. First (between San Carlos & San Salvador)
Dinner only, closed Mon-Tues, late nights to 2 AM Wed-Sat
Jazz club with an extensive menu, pour-over filtered coffee and espresso drinks, and a full bar. It is a good place to go for drinks or a casual dinner. Order food at the counter and it is brought to your table. Live jazz every night. The menu is a mix of comfort food and soul food. Good options for vegetarians and vegans as well as seafood and meat eaters. (review by TB)

Subway Sandwiches, 360 S. Market (between San Carlos and San Salvador)
Opens 7 AM

Arcadia, 100 W. San Carlos (in the Marriott, at Market)
Opens at 6:30 AM, closed Sunday dinner
Modern American steakhouse by celebrity chef Michael Mina. High-end restaurant specializing in classic dishes with a contemporary twist. Best known for the duck fat fries served complimentary at dinner.
The Marriott also has a bar, the Tanq, and a counter serving coffee, pastries, and packaged snacks, the Corner Market Kitchen.

Near the corner of First and San Salvador are several lounges/bars/dance clubs/etc., mostly only open evenings, some of which also serve food, but you’ll have to check them out for yourself:

The Metropolitan, 349 S. First,
The Swinging Hookah, 386 S. First, 408-298-4824,
Motif, 389 S. First, 408-279-1888,
Agenda, 399 S. First, 408-287-3991,
Single Barrel, 43 W. San Salvador, 408-792-7356, Miami Beach Club, 417 S. First, 408-242-9621,
South First Billiards, 420 S. First, 408-294-7800,

Potlatch 23 Progress Report #3


The Potlatch 23 committee is pleased to announce the Book of Honor the members have chosen is The City and the City by China Miéville. This book was nominated by Blackfeather Tanfur.

The results are at


The Potlatch program committee has always depended on members suggesting program ideas and volunteering to be on the program. And we’ve always known that we can count on having a great audience that will add new dimensions to the program. This time, we’re doing direct to the source. The Potlatch 23 Program will be created by the members of the convention. The idea is to combine the best attributes of a conference where everyone has a say in creating the program and a traditional convention with carefully selected topics and well-prepared participants.

Potlatch has a single track of programming. It will run from Friday evening on February 21st through Sunday, February 23rd. There are standard program items: Opening Ceremonies, the Book of Honor panel, the Clarion West Benefit Auction and the Banquet. That leaves only seven or eight program slots that need to be filled.

Right now we are actively soliciting ideas for the program. Please stop by the Program Ideas page and suggest topics. The program needs to be finalized by February 7th, two weeks before the convention, so it can go into the printed Program Book. Please join in!



Con or Bust helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. A Potlatch member generously donated two Potlatch memberships to Con or Bust and another member donated two banquet tickets to go with them. If you are a person of color and could use some help in order to attend Potlatch, please contact Con or Bust ( for assistance. We would really like to see the donated memberships and banquet tickets be used.

If you are a fan of any color who would like to promote diversity, science fiction, and diversity in science fiction, please consider supporting Con or Bust. Hint: They have some really cool t-shirts.


The workshop is open to all speculative fiction writers, regardless of experience. It’s a place to get feedback on your writing and decide what you need to work on next. You’ll have the chance to hear a professional writer critique your work, along with several of your peers. Critiques will be done in a round-robin Clarion West style. This workshop style allows all the participants to read and critique everyone’s work.

Hugo-winner David D. Levine has volunteered to be the guest professional for our workshop.

Please submit a 2,000 to 8,000 word story in .rtf or .doc format to by midnight PST on February 1, 2014. You may send your story ahead of time. Formatting for your story should follow the guidelines at

The stories will be rounded up and emailed to the participants. Please let me know if you would prefer hard copy mailings. Please bring hard copy notes or marked-up manuscripts to the workshop.

The workshop will be held Saturday during the lunch break. Lunch will be provided. Please let me know of any dietary restrictions.

Check the website ( for updates as the convention approaches. To attend the workshop, you must purchase a membership to Potlatch.

While it’s not mandatory, consider getting a ticket to the banquet. You’ll rub elbows with Potlatch’s attending guests, famous (and not-so-famous) writers, and other folk interested in the genre community.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Any questions? Send them to Jude-Marie Green at


The Clarion West Auction will be held on Saturday evening from 8-10 pm. Auction proceeds benefit the Clarion West Scholarship Fund and directly assist in developing the talent of aspiring writers. Your donations help create an amusing and profitable event. Your bids at the silent and voice auction gain you possession of odd, unusual, or entertaining artifacts. If you are attending Potlatch, you may send a photograph and description of your donations via email to Donations may be delivered at the convention. If you are not attending Potlatch but would like to send a donation, you may ship it to:

Dawn Plaskon
1474 Avila Court
Hayward, CA 94544

Potlatch Communities

You can find Potlatch communities on all these fine social networks:

potlatch.convention on Facebook

@potlatch23 on Twitter

potlatchcon on LiveJournal

potlatch-sf on DreamWidth

Potlatch community on Google+ (NEW!)

Potlatch [announce] mailing list

Click on the icon or link to go to the community.

For your convenience, the community icons are in the sidebar on the right of every page on the Potlatch web site.

Con or Bust!

Con or Bust helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions. A Potlatch member generously donated two Potlatch memberships to Con or Bust, and another member donated two banquet tickets to go with them.

If you are a person of color and could use some help in order to attend Potlatch, please contact Con or Bust for assistance. We would really like to see the donated memberships and banquet tickets be used.

If you are a fan of any color who would like to promote diversity, science fiction, and diversity in science fiction, please consider supporting Con or Bust. Hint: They have some really cool T-shirts.

Link: Free memberships: FOGcon, Potlatch, JOFcon

Potlatch Online

Subscribing to the Potlatch [announce] Mailing List

If you are interested in Potlatch and would like to receive announcements, please subscribe to the Potlatch [announce] mailing list.

When I set up Potlatch [announce], I invited everyone on the old Potlatch address list. Some of the addresses were old and bounced. Some people missed the invitation or didn’t accept it, and after 20 days it expired. If you didn’t get on the list, don’t worry. You can subscribe at any time. Simply go to the [announce] list web page and enter your e-mail address. You should receive an invitation message. Confirm by clicking on the link in the message, or by replying.

Why the extra step of confirming the invitation? Why don’t we automatically subscribe you? It makes sure messages can get to the address. If you are trying to sign up and you don’t receive an invitation message, try again. Maybe there was a typo. Also it protects you from spam. If you receive an invitation in error, or if for any reason you do not wish to receive announcements, you can simply ignore the invite and you will not be subscribed.

You can unsubscribe from the Potlatch [announce] list at any time. Simply go to the [announce] list web page and enter your e-mail address in the “unsubscribe” box.

To make it even easier to get to the Potlatch [announce] list, there is a link in the sidebar on every page. Look for the “Mailman” envelope icon.

Registering on

Registering as a user on the web site enables you to comment on the site and to vote on the book of honor and the program.

Note: I relaxed the requirements for commenting and voting so you do not have to be registered as a user. We’re going to see how it goes. It means the site gets a lot more spam comments that have to be deleted by the moderators. But it may be worth it if it makes the site easier for the Potlatch community to use.

To register, click on the Register link here, or in the sidebar on every page.

When you register as a user, you will need to enter an email address and the password you want to use. You should get a confirmation email, which you will need to confirm in order to complete the registration. Registering as a user is completely separate from the [announce] mailing list. You don’t have to use the same address.

You can control how your name is displayed on the site. You can choose to display your email address (which is your user name), your name, or a nickname. Just log in and go to “Edit my profile”.

Why don’t we automatically register you as a user? We would have to make up a password for you, and send it to you in the clear so you could enter it the first time, and require you to change it. It actually ends up being more steps than if you register yourself.

We are hoping at some time to enable logins from social networks such as Facebook and Google+.

Joining as a Member of Potlatch 23

You can join as a member of Potlatch 23 at the registration page. If you haven’t already, please do so!

When you join, we get the email address that you used with PayPal or that you wrote on the registration form. If you want to use a different email address on the web site, no problem. Just let us know.

As a member, you are entitled to vote on the Book of Honor and participate in creating the program, regardless of whether you register as a site user. You may participate via email, poctsarcd, or hand-delivered scraps of paper.

Potlatch 23 Progress Report #2

Memberships Still Available:

Potlatch 23 memberships are still available at the very reasonable rate of $50 for adults, $25 for youths, and $0 for children 6 and under. Get yours now before the holiday rush! You can join on-line at our registration page. We are also happy to accept memberships by mail. You can get the form at the same web address.

Writers Workshop Registration Open:

The Potlatch 23 Writers Workshop is open for registration. It is a Clarion West-style workshop. It will take place on Saturday during the lunch break so you don’t have to miss any of the Potlatch program. If you are interested in participating in the workshop, please contact Jude-Marie Green here.

Book of Honor Nominations Announced:

Twelve books have been nominated as the Book of Honor. Check them out at the Book of Honor page and make your case for your favorite in the comments. Voting is now open.

Potlatch Party at Orycon:

Saturday, November 9: There will be a Potlatch party, co-hosted with Loncon 3, at OryCon 35. We will also be sharing a fan table with Loncon 3. If you can make it to OryCon we’d love to see you. There will be some special treats at the party that will be familiar to previous Potlatch members. We’ll be happy to register you as a member of Potlatch 23, either at the party or the fan table. You will be able to vote on the Book of Honor nominations at OryCon.

Potlatch on Social Media:

Twitter: @potlatch23


Chair: Tom Becker
Registration: Tom Becker
At-Con Registration: Randy Smith
Auction: Dawn Plaskon, Cindy Scott
Hospitality: Sarah Goodman
Publications: Lucy Huntzinger
Logistics: Rich McAllister, Linda McAllister
Local Guide: David Bratman
Writers Workshop: Jude-Marie Green

Add Potlatch 23 to Your Calendar

The text on the main page with the convention date and location is now clickable:

February 21–23, 2014 — Sainte Claire Hotel — San Jose, California

Clicking on the link downloads a little file of calendar information, and allows you to add Potlatch 23 to your calendar. Check it out.

It took me a while to figure out how to do this. I thought it would involve microformats, which are way cool, but in this case they are not the answer. Just create an event in your calendar app, export it, upload the .ics file to the site, and add a link. Old school, simple, and works with the latest smartphones.