Published: Friday, November 15, 1996
Section: Silicon Valley Life
Page: 1E


WE CALL New York the Big Apple, New Orleans the Big Easy. For San Jose, try clicking on this: the Big Icon. Artist Mattison FitzGerald has taken to calling us that and says the reaction has been positive, most recently from some folks at Silicon Graphics. I can see why. In current use icon is a stylized figure displayed on a computer screen, representing available functions or resources. That also sums up S.J.: Silicon Valley's biggest resource and function - the virtual city. FitzGerald figures someone eventually will come up with an actual artistic representation of our Big Icon, a symbol to lead us into the millennium, but the big thing is the name itself and our acceptance of it.

Another name, not quite so new: If you're just hearing rumors that McDonald's will pull a 3Com, become the sponsor of the San Jose Arena and change the building's name - to the Big Mac Arena - you're probably just discovering the dance.

GOOD TURNS: That's a good deal going on inside the arena: the San Jose Sharks' Seats for Students program. If you have tickets for a Sharks' game that you can't use, call Inner-City Express at (800) 560-0400 or (408) 288-4100 at least four business days beforehand. Express picks up the tickets; the Sharks forward them to elementary or middle-school teachers who give them to students as a reward for classroom excellence, and the ticket donor gets a tax write-off.

Three years ago, Amdahl Corp. started its Read to Succeed program - college athletes aiding literacy programs in grade schools - with only eight teachers and 250 kids signed up. Today, there are 243 teachers participating and more than 10,000 Santa Clara County kids.

STAR TURNS: That Bette Midler's a doll. The star donated her doll house - a replica of three rooms in her Bel-Air estate - for auction at Saturday's Albert Schultz Jewish Community Center fund-raiser in Palo Alto. Norma Slavit is taking bids at (415) 493-0563, extension 226.

Nice to see chef Jaime Maciel of Maddalena's leading the cooking demonstration Thursday at Bloomingdale's - and nice to see that the new Palo Alto store recognizes that not all the top chefs are in San Francisco. Likewise, that was good cooperation at Thursday night's opening of the B Hive Kafe in downtown San Jose. Food from the Agenda was expected (its owner, Jacek Rosicki, also owns the B Hive), but the goodies from Steve Borkenhagen's Eulipia were a pleasant addition. Look for more cooperative deals where a dinner at Eulipia or Agenda will get you cover-free entry to the B Hive.

ER OR ESP? Ted Kopulos videotaped last week's episode of ''ER'' and couldn't help focusing on the conversation between two medical assistants. ''What do you think?'' one says. ''Dallas by 3?'' The other answers, ''I don't think, I know.'' And then Dallas does the 49ers, 20-17. Mutters Kopulos, ''Voodoo medicine.'' (After that game I didn't think anyone could generate sympathy for Elvis Grbac. Then along came Willie Brown.)



Copyright 1996, The San Jose Mercury News. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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