Something To Tear Fresno Apart: Raisins Or Craisins?

There is an issue bubbling underneath the surface of Fresno that is not talked about. Something that needs to be discussed. Something that, if not dealt with properly, could tear apart the very fabric of this great city.

Are craisins better than raisins?

Raisins OR Craisins
Raisins OR Craisins (pic : andnowuknow.com)
To be more specific: Which is better on salad, craisins or raisins?

“Why bring it up now?” you might ask. “There is so much our city has to deal with, why drag this out into the streets at a time like this?”

I’m sorry, but with the pending opening of the new and improved Popolo’s Pizza (with the best salad bar in Fresno), this raisins or craisins debate needs to get settled today! We tried to sort it out in a recent episode of The Perfect Pour, but we got nowhere and only produced more tension.

popolo's is coming

You might think “Well of course it’s raisins! Fresno County is the Raisin Capitol Of The World, for damn sake!” Agreed! Eat local, I say. Why give money to faceless pricks back East? Pricks, who by the way, are probably using way too much water to produce one stupid craisin!

THERE’S A DROUGHT, PEOPLE! READ A CALTRANS ELECTRONIC BILLBOARD SOMETIME!

Debate over, right? Rejoice as Popolo’s new salad bar, the trendsetter for all Fresno salad bars, will finally feature raisins over craisins!

It’s not that easy. 

There are a lot of people that prefer craisins. Especially on their salad. Shocking but true. Take a look next time you’re at a salad bar. There’s a good chance the topping option will be craisins. I blame the millennials.

In these rough times, we must remember what got us here. What is the one fruit that is the soul of our city? For Fresno, the choice is clear: Raisins.

Southern California Is Too Hot? This Pleases Me.

Fresno Life
Fresno Life

Yes I am dangerously close to posting about weather too much. But dammit I need to again. Because something awesome has been happening as a bi-product of the current heat wave…

People in L.A. and San Diego are losing their shit.

Yeah, those same assholios who only think about Fresno to mock it for being SO HOT. Those same douches are filling their social feeds with pictures of their dashboard thermometers and even their Barbecues:
Continue reading “Southern California Is Too Hot? This Pleases Me.”

There Is Hidden Joy Inside The Fresno Airport

Fresno Airport

Maybe this is weird because it’s not a place you might think of, but a favorite Fresno spot of mine is… the waiting area at Fresno Yosemite International Airport:

airport waiting area

No it’s not because of the fake redwood forest, although I do think it’s cool.

redwoods

And it’s not the historic barber shop, but it too is cool. Next time you’re at FYI, peak in the window of the shop and gander at all the pictures of all famous people that have come through that shop, you’ll be surprised.

It’s also not the Starbucks or the sports bar restaurant thing. Oh, since we’re here, I miss the old coffee shop from way back. One of my favorite Lost Fresno memories is staring out the window, waiting for a plane to pull up to the gate.

The reason the airport waiting area is my favorite? All the reunions. The joy of seeing somebody that’s been away too long. The relief and buzz of people getting to their destinations after a tiring trip. There is no other place in Fresno that has that.

If you park in the ‘cell phone waiting area’ when picking up and don’t go inside, you’re missing out on a little bit of Fresno joy.

How To Be OK With The Fresno Heat

Generated by IJG JPEG Library
Le Reina Paletas Photo stolen from VidaEnElvalle.com

You’re not a Fresnan until you’ve suffered through enjoyed a Summer in Fresno and the time has begun to ready yourself for the Fresno Sun.

We’ve gotten through our first heatwave and I’m officially adjusted to. It just takes one solid three day run of upper 90s plus and I’m locked in until the end of September.

“But how can I obtain this ability to get through a Fresno Summer as an asshat such as yourself, Fresnan?” Well, here are my suggestions on how to deal with it and help make it better.

  • Crank your air. Sure, this is a no duh, but good air conditioning is pretty big. If you’re lucky enough to have a good solar system, then crank the crap out of that AC unit, bro, you have won Fresno.
  • Just don’t go outside from 2 to 6. Who wants to be outside from 2 to 6:00 anyway? It’s not like there is anything going on. That is unless you have access to a pool. If you have access to a pool, 2 to 6 can be rather awesome.
  • Paletas. These help a great deal. I am especially found of the ones from La Reina De Michoacana (even though I can’t ever pronounce the name of the shop). Bring cash and be ready to take home a dozen, at least.
  • Beer and water. Fresno has plenty of good beer options now (could always use more though) and we still have… SOME water. Drink both of these things (yep at the same time, hydrate) and the heat goes away. Drink enough beer and everything goes away (except your gut).
  • Patios at night. The Fresno Summer creates a perfect atmosphere for hanging outside at night. Add the previous mentioned swimming pool and beer to that mix, and you’ve got one very magical Fresno evening.
  • Get geeky about temperatures changes. This is a personal nerdy one. Follow, from day-to-day, what time temps change and see if you can tell the difference in a two degree temperature drop or rise the next day. You know when people say “Oh it doesn’t matter once it’s past 100 degrees.” Actually it does. And I’m nerdy and trained enough to tell. I’m trying to develop a skill, don’t laugh, it can be done and soon you WILL have the skill too.
  • Get with some trees. Drive up into the mountains for part of the day. Sure, you can do the same with the beach or The Bay. But it’s a lot easier to just run up the hill and maybe jump into Bass Lake, Shaver or Lewis Creek or push on into Yosemite. Have you had a beer and a lunch at South Gate yet? Do it.
  • The SJ River. Oh yeah, we have a river too. Pretty nice one that is officially in Fresno and stuff. There’s just not enough good spots to access and enjoy it. But wait, cue the San Joaquin River Parkway folks because they have all the spots a Fresnan can use to get in that river thingy that we forget is there.

There you go. It’s a start. Grab a beer and take in that 103 degree day. If it drops to 101 tomorrow you’ll be trained to enjoy it.

 

 

Who Is That Little Weirdo? Nobody Walks In Fresno

walking in fresno

I guess I am a shitty person. When driving around Fresno and I see somebody walking down the sidewalk or waiting at the light, I judge.  I think “What is the story with that dude? Why is he walking?”

Seriously though, where are they going? What has happened to them that they have to walk? You’re in Fresno, DAMMIT! We do NOT walk TO things unless we can’t find a parking spot. We. Suck.

I’m not talking about people who walk their dogs or kids going to school or the person obviously exercising or even a probably homeless guy. The person I am talking about is the regular looking adult just waiting to cross, pretty much, any major intersection in town.

And hey, I’ve walked to or from a thing or two. I’ve bucked the Fresno norms.

Once I walked back home after dropping off my car to get repaired. It was weird. It felt like every car was looking at me and thinking “What a sad little guy. He must not have many friends.”

We gotta change that (or, at least, I have to). We gotta change the way we think of people walking around Fresno. We gotta walk more. No matter how weird it feels.

Related music to listen to while reading this post:

A Lame Guide To Snapchat In Fresno

No. Snapchat is not just teens trading nude pics. Not anymore. Now asshat marketers and old people (you know, people above 30) are on Snapchat.

Mainstream, Snapchat is. The only thing left is your mom having an account. Until then, Snapchat is hot as hell and isn’t going away for a while.

Sadly Snapchat has become another time-suck for me and I hate it for that. But there are a few cool Fresno things. My favorite is finding Geofilters while roaming the city. Such as the three Fresno ones you can use throughout Fresnerd:

In & Out in Fresno
It’s the perfect melding of Fresno drive-thru life and a Fresno Geofilter.

There is also a Fresno ag-themed one and a downtown skyline one. Not terrible, but probably made by somebody not in Fresno.

Location specific Geofilters are a thing too. These will only pop-up as a filter option if you are near the location:

Fresno High Geofilter
Fresno High Geofilter

I haven’t seen any other High Schools or many businesses in town with their own filter, but give it time. We here in Fresno tend to drag our feet while adapting things.

FRESNANS SLOW TO RISE WITH THEIR SNAPCHAT GAME

I really have yet to find a Fresno Snapchatter that is terribly interesting to follow (including me, user: trenchrun22). But there are a couple local businesses that have it figured out. The number one is Dutch Brothers (dutchbrosfresno). They are killing it.

dutchbrosfresno

Others worth mentioning are Fresno State (Fresno_State), Fresno Grizzlies (FresnoGrizzlies) the Bulldog Marching Band (fsbmb) and Tioga Sequoia (tiogasequoia). I’m waiting for somebody cool like Bitwise to be snapping, but the local landscape is a bit snap-sparse at the moment.

GET IN ON THE SNAPCHAT LAND-GRAB

If you have a business or even just a big party, maybe even a real kickass spot on Blackstone to hang out at, you might want to look into getting an on-demand Geofilter. It’s really not that expensive and maybe not as hard as you think (TWSS) to get one. Check this out if you are interested:

FIND THE COOL KIDS AND THE FRESNO DORKS

The big knock on Snapchat is no discovery – you can’t search for anything within the app. And you can’t find anybody unless you know their handle or have their snapcode.

So, of course, there are Snapchat discovery apps popping up. Most notably is Ghost Codes. It makes it a bit easier to find people you want to follow.

DON’T BE AFRAID

As much as it’s unique from the big three (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), there are just as many crappy, unassuming posts (sorry, “snaps”) as any other social media.

There are still all the social media classics: “Here I am going to the gym!” “Here I am at the gym.” “Look at my dog.” “How cute is MY kid!?” “Look at this food I am eating!” “Look at how good I look in my mirror!”

Point is, it’s not as intimidating as you might think. It may just take you a couple of days to figure out what works and how to make a story. Here is a quick tutorial for ya if you need it. And how to make a good Snapchat story:

So get on Snapchat today and enjoy it until your mom & dad get on there and ruin it just like your Facebook.

The River Park Traffic Circle: Fresno’s Lifelong Challenge

River Park Traffic Circle

River Park is 19 years old. Yep, hard to believe. Google said it so it must be true. Love it or hate, it’s a part of us now. All of it.

So River Park is pretty old and we are STILL learning how to maneuver through the damn traffic circle! Really though, when you drive up to it it’s like “Here we go. I wonder what’s going to happen this time.”

PRO TIP #1

Do NOT stop once you are in the traffic circle. Are you in the traffic circle? Good. That’s YOUR traffic circle now. Anybody that tries to come inside it is a trespasser and should yield to your power. They are your bitch.

PRO TIP #2

See pro tip #1. Or in other words: yield to the person already in the traffic circle. Remember, they are your King for the next few seconds and what they say goes.

That’s it. That’s all you need to remember. But if you still need help…

CLASS! Pay attention:

But hey. Don’t feel so dumb, Fresno. We are not the only ones that get confused with traffic circles. At least I’ve yet to see somebody going the wrong way like some dumbass Canadian hoser, ey?:

I’m going to stop there with the traffic circles videos. It can take you down a weird rabbit hold. Like this traffic circle video that’s oddly sensual:

Really I’d like to see everyone just have fun with the River Park Circle. It’s like a ride. Have fun. Just remember to yield when appropriate.

Fresno’s Trader Joe’s Can Sprawl Its Ass To Oakhurst For All I Care

Trader Joe's Fresno
Soon To Be Empty Trader Joe’s Sign
I guess I’ve bought my last bag of dill popcorn, jar of cookie butter and mystery six-pack of beer at Fresno’s Trader Joe’s.

Just when ya think we’ve stopped the “Move North, Young Fresnan!” movement, Trader Joe’s has decided to take its talents to Friant Road.

This blows kale slaw.

Yes they do have a crappyass parking lot, but that’s no reason to abandon central Fresno. And yes, these days I consider Barstow and Blackstone, Central Fresno.

Now that Joe’s only locations will be Northeast Fresno and North Clovis (in the Taint District), I have no use for it. Fuck ’em. I protest, dammit.

I WILL NO LONGER SPEND MONEY IN TRADER JOE’S

You may find it silly. And Trader Joe’s will care nothing about it. But I have placed them on my BANNED list! That’s right, bro. Banned. Won’t spend money at the new place.

I may not be alone in this tom foolery.

There is a petition going around the local internets to stop this move by TRADER Joe’s. I signed it. Yeah, I know, it probably won’t do anything. But I signed it. You can too. Ey, what the hell!?

And here I was just about to get around to listening to the What’s Good At Trader Joe’s podcast. Now? There is no need.

CENTRAL FRESNO CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS

There’s only so many discount grocery stores, Dollar Stores and Walmarts, South of Shaw can handle. 

Downtown and Central Fresno deserves something more.

I think Fresno would and could support both a Central Fresno and NE Fresno location. But, sadly, Trader’s is following the money and cutting ties. There is no heart in business these days, I suppose.

Makes ya wonder, is Whole Foods in Fig Garden Village next? Can’t be. I won’t allow it.

And since Trader Joe’s is spineless, does its copy-cat store, Sprouts, have the balls to open a store South of Shaw? Downtown? I guess we’ll see, but I’m thinking no.

I’LL MISS YOU THE MOST, MYSTERY BEER

Trader Joe's Mystery Six Pack of Beer
Photo from victorcaballero.com
Truth is, I choose to regularly burn my money at Whole Foods and Save Mart and only occasionally go into Trader Joe’s. A little bit more since the Blackstone Avenue Vons closed, but not a lot.

So this nerdy banning of Trader Joe’s won’t be that difficult for me, I admit.

I will miss those cheap mystery six packs of beer though.

Poor River Park Is So Jealous Of Fulton Street Right Now

River Park Stree construction?
River Park Street construction?
Fresnans are getting all giddy about the new Fulton Street… or is it still a mall? …it’s definitely a dirt road of some sort. A dirt road? Well I guess that’s REALLY getting back to what Fulton Street used to be.

Since Fulton is getting the attention it deserves, it’s time to focus on a little known area of Fresno. It’s super indie and hipster, doubt you’ve heard of it. The kids call it: River Park.

Although really they should call it “The Park”. That sounds like just the right amount of douchey.

So yeah, all this mall-street buzz has me feeling all nostalgic for the good old days. The good old days of … THE Park.

I remember my mom bringing me there as a younger person. We used to roam through the old toy store. Remember? Like, the smart kid toy store or whatever, that’s now a Yardhouse?

Or World Sports Cafe? All the drunk times spent in there… drunk off all the Fresno State games I watched, of course. Ahhh, the times.

Oh and that one place on the corner before it became a Vegas style Subway. What the hell was the name of that place? I think it involved elephants or some shit. Yeah. Good memories.

Oh and remember the fountain in front of Edward’s? Ohhhh that fountain:

fountain

Now? It’s just pretty weeds. No water feature at all. So sad. Guess they didn’t want to fix it. No city budget and stuff.

It seems The Park needs a shot of something. Some change. Hell I’m just gonna say it: Open River Park to traffic!

Really though, look at that empty, abandoned store front right in the heart of THE Park:

store front

If only I could drive my car right up to the front, I would SHOP THE FUCK out of that store! No matter what bullshit crap they were selling. But sadly there are those stupid table and chairs getting in my car’s way.

So, Mayor Swear Bear, on your way out, maybe hook The Park up with some of that tasty grant and measure money. If I can’t drive right up to the Five Guys then there is no point in going in and getting their wanna-be In&Out burgers.

And for you old readers of The Fresnan. Yes, I am totally ripping off an old post. But it’s cool because you can call it “re-purposing” and it makes it like, totally, totally fine.

Fresno. The Peaches Are Coming. Send Help.

peaches
Peach Tree Fresno

If you have access to dirt in Fresno and don’t have some sort of fruit tree planted, then you’re a piece of shit.

You live in the most grow-ready soil in the world and you have no fruit? Shame. Shame. Shame.

I have a peach tree. I also have a grapefruit tree but nevermind that now.

I need help with this peach tree. And I’m relying on the knowledge of Fresno, THE GREATEST AG CITY IN THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD, to help me.

I may have too many peaches. The Internet says I need to thin it out. And that’s what I’m doing. It feels like this is going to work. But every year I try things that I “feel are going to work” and I screw it up.

YEAR ONE
I did nothing but buy the house at the right time and inherit the tree during peach season. It was perfect. Lots of gorgeous tasty peaches and all the right size.

YEAR TWO
I pruned back the branches in February and ended up getting big peaches but not even enough to even fill a Save Mart grocery bag.

YEAR THREE
I pruned back half the branches. I got a ton of peaches but they were small and kind of lame. Only good for tossing at school children passing by.

YEAR FOUR
That’s this year. I left the old tree alone and there are a grip (I’m trying to bring back “grip” as a unit of measurement) of peaches. Too many. I suspect I will get another batch of throwing size peaches. So I’m thinning in hopes this will help. And I’ll be watering more. IN A VERY RESPONSIBLE WAY, CITY OF FRESNO, if you’re reading this.

I think I need a “peach tree guy”. I just wish I knew a Masumoto:

Isn’t David the fucking cutest? The Masumotos are the local Peach Whispers. Help me Masumoto. You’re my only hope.

Now about that grapefruit tree…

grapefruit tree

Is a grapefruit still good if it’s been hanging on the tree for a couple of years? Dammit. Now I gotta get a “grapefruit guy”.