As downtown coordinator at San Jose’s Office of Economic Development, Tina Kapoor knows a thing our two about the everyday happenings in downtown San Jose. After recent high-profile visits from India’s Prime Minister and the Golden Gate Warriors, there is plenty more to come with NFL stars in town for Super Bowl 50 and more events.

We caught up with her to discuss her favorite San Jose activities and what she loves most about the city.

Name: Tina Kapoor

Occupation: Downtown Coordinator

Years in San Jose: 15

What do you like most about San Jose?

San Jose possesses a unique balance of being a large global city and the easy feeling of being in a comfortable hometown. From where I am looking, the contrasting elements complement each other beautifully. The growing urban skyline sets against the lovely view of the hills.

What I like most about this region is that people smile a lot more compared to some of the other places I have visited. It’s refreshing to see how quickly strangers can become friends.

Where do you like to spend your time in San Jose when you are not working?

Running around with my two hyper-energetic boys and constantly answering the never-ending question “Why?” and enjoying many events and festivals around San Jose.

I love taking my kids to the Children’s Discovery Museum, Happy Hollow Zoo and the Fairmont fountains during the summer. I had a blast at the SubZero Festival, the Luna Park Chalk Art Festival and experiencing the San Jose Taiko drums performances.

I am also fairly good at henna art, and this summer I spent a lot of my free time doing henna at the VivaParksSJ event at various parks in San Jose.

At what point did you decide to stay in San Jose and pursue your career?

My previous experience partnering with other government agencies highlighted all the great opportunities of innovation happening in San Jose and I wanted to be a part of it. I think the term “glocal” describes San Jose best, which means we are a city that’s both “global” and “local.”

In 2000, while I was working in Downtown Oakland for a transportation agency, I came across a job opening at the City of San Jose. Wanting to pursue my interest in learning about how cities work, and being at the center of all the cool things happening in San Jose, I decided to apply. And the rest is history!

What do you like most about your job and why?

The City of San Jose offers great opportunities for leadership. Although we learn from best practices, we have the freedom to engage in new practices. Everyone is supportive of partnerships, thinking outside the box and the choice to do things that move projects expeditiously.

Every day I have an opportunity to work with tons of wickedly talented people on issues that really matter to the community. To me there is nothing more rewarding than walking around town and seeing all the corners of the City my work has touched.

What recent San Jose news are you most excited about?

That San Jose was selected as a Super Community for Super Bowl 50! The NFC champion team will be staying at the Marriott in Downtown San Jose and practicing all week at San Jose State. The buzz and vibe around downtown will be like never before, with tons of people coming into town and millions more watching on TV. This really puts San Jose on the main stage worldwide.

What are three San Jose destinations that everyone should visit?

The Tech Museum, SoFa district, and Avaya Stadium (with North America’s largest outdoor bar!)

What are your go-to spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner in San Jose?

When I do go out for breakfast, Bill Café is one of my favorite places. I also love the brunch served at the Fairmont. I am eagerly waiting for Deluxe Eatery to open in downtown. For lunch, I have to say Punjab Café—I can eat there 7 days a week!

I wish I could pick one favorite dinner spot—there are too many to count. A few that come to mind are Billy Berk’s, M Lounge, Gordon Biersch, Original Joe’s, Nemea Grill and China Wok.

What are your favorite nightlife spots in San Jose?

Anywhere around San Pedro Square, SP2, or SoFa District in downtown. The Scott’s Seafood rooftop patio also looks amazing.

What’s San Jose’s best kept secret?

San Jose is the most culturally diverse city. We have the largest Vietnamese population outside of Vietnam, the largest Indian population in the Bay Area and one of only three Japantowns in the country.

It’s also the fact that we are the largest city in the Bay Area—a very urban one on that—and yet one can sense a cozy, small-town feel in San Jose. San Jose is comfortable, walkable and familiar.  You can make a friend easily just by walking down the streets.

I also recently discovered the Rosicrucian Museum in San Jose. The museum is adding an Alchemy Exhibit in 2016, which will be the first museum of its kind in the U.S. and will also be the largest Alchemy Museum in the world.

And on the topic of largest, did you know the 30-foot-tall Chuck E. Cheese statue in San Jose is the world’s largest rat?

Who is the most interesting person you know here?

Steve Wozniak of “Woz Way”!