An Open Fulton Street Allows Fresno To Move On

I didn’t want this. The Fulton Mall open to traffic.

I wanted the mall to be cleaned up. I wanted the art refurbished. I wanted the fountains to be working. But I didn’t want cars. That wasn’t possible.

It became “street or the same”. The same was a bad option. Same was an ignored Fulton Mall with little to no working fountains, forgotten art and too many people not comfortable with parking in garages and lots where they can’t see their car.

So I then begrudgingly became a supporter of traffic returning to Fulton. Better a shiny new sidewalk with working fountains and freshly polished art, than overgrown trees and neglect with no end in sight.

Saturday is the big thing-a-ma-jig to celebrate Fulton Street opening. For me, it will be more of a wake for Fulton Mall. But, it will be one of those fun wakes. The kind where you have a couple drinks and celebrate the life the person lived. Just, in this case, the person is a concrete open-air mall.

At Least Fresno and Downtown Can Move On To Other Things

We have debated what to do with the Fulton Mall for over a decade on Flowing With Famous. It’s going to be weird no longer needing to talk about it. Sure we still need to watch how the shops and restaurants will do now that there’s traffic. But we all get to move on now.

What is next? What should Fresno tackle now? Chinatown maybe? It will (fingers crossed) get a Hi-Speed Rail Station. That could be the push Chinatown needs to start getting some much-needed attention and renovation. It’s my pick anyway. Leave a comment on what you think the next project Fresno needs to tackle.

In the meantime, we have a wake to attend. I’ll see you out there. I hear they’ll have beer and it’s a safe bet it will be tough to get a parking spot.

Shameless Harrison Ford Tangent Ahead!

BTW, the Draggin’ the Main theme gives me yet another chance to use one of my favorite clips from American Graffiti, a movie about life growing up in the Central Valley in the 50’s (Modesto to be exact), so it’s relevant to Fulton Street, mmka?

A movie with, none other than Mr. Harrison Ford. Please tell me Bob Falfa dragged Fulton once:

*Pic was stolen from here.

I May Have Ruined Fresno’s Chance At A Fieldwork Taproom


I’ve been trolling Fieldwork Brewing’s Twitter account.
Occasionally when they announce a new beer being released at one of their taprooms, I re-tweet and add something like “And soon our Fresno Taproom”.

You see, California allows breweries to open up a certain amount of “remote” or satellite taprooms. Remote being a taproom not on the grounds of the brewery or in their home city. Fieldwork has one in Berkley (main brewery) and four remote taprooms: Napa, San Mateo, Sacramento and soon to be Monterey. State law allows five remote taprooms.

Fieldwork has only one left to give. I want it to be Fresno.

Berkeley’s Fieldwork Brewing is arguably the hottest brewery in the state. They make damn fine beer. It would be a real kickass thing to have them open up their taproom here. We are on the look out for coolass things for Fresno after all.

Hell, maybe a rooftop Fieldwork taproom in Downtown Fresno? Sounds pretty freaking sweet to me and you can add it to the Ale Trail, bro.

But don’t get excited, Fresnan. I may have been trying too hard and messed it all up – the story of my life. 

At first, a recent Twitter troll looked promising.

SUCCESS! They want to take a tour! I’m The Fresnan and on a craft beer podcast, I can show them some cool junk! Let’s do this!

But then they started researching shit.

“Wait until the fall”? That is basically “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” DAMMIT!

But as long as there is still a chance for the one remaining taproom to come to Fresno, I’ll keep trying. I don’t care how many beers I have to drink while waiting. I will not do it for me, I will do it for Fresno!

*pic stolen from thebrewermagazine.com

 

How Are We Going To Make Fresno “Cool”, Yo?

We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.

What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?

If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.

How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.

First. The Immovable Object.

We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.

So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.

The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better?  And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.

Booze May Be An Answer.

Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:

Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”

That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.

Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:

We’re just spitballing here.

The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.

We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.

There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.

So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:

  • Agriculture.
  • Craft Beer – even more breweries.
  • Bitwise and tech.
  • Tacos.
  • Sports – including soccer.
  • Diversity.
  • Leader In Clean Air.
  • Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.

This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.

What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.

Cool? Cool.

 

Finally. A Guide To Help Us Be Like The Palm Avenue Bikers


I have a bike (pictured). It can get dusty. But I have one. It’s just a fixie. Which means I was cool 6 years ago. And now? Well, I have a bike only good for beer & Redbox runs. And I can only stop Flintstones style.

I need a new bike. A road bike. I may even want to be like one of those people with the bike outfits, riding down Palm Ave. But it looks like a whole thing, ya know? Like work or something.

Well thanks to IFHT, there is an entertaining step by step guide to show me and you how we can be like a Palm Ave Biker:

I definitely need a Recovery Beer just watching that.

If you’re ready to start adding road bikes and putting “yourself” on display riding Palm Avenue, make sure to hit up local places like Steven’s, Sunnyside, Fresno Schwinn, Rubber SoulHerb BauerCyle Path, and get riding.

Places In Fresno That Need Better Beer!

One of the problems with being a beer geek (me) is, you get spoiled with good beer. So spoiled that it becomes almost impossible to drink mainstream beer.

Plus it gets very tiring looking down your nose at people drinking pisswater. [insert laughing emoji here]

A beer geek tends to push eating-out choices to places that serve good beer. But you can’t do that every time. Compromises must be made. Food wins out over good beer. On occasion.

So here are some Fresno spots I often wish had better beer.

Edo-Ya. It’s hard not to make this all about Japanese and Mexican restaurants because they are kind of the worst when it comes to beer choices.  Unless you are at Kuni Sama. That is actually a legit beer geek place AND it’s in the Taint District!

Casa Corona – Bullard & West. I kinda love the bar there (even though it skews old). It has not changed since I was a kid (not that I drank there when I was a kid, just saying). And it didn’t even change when it switched from El Torro. But DAMMIT their beer selection sucks a King Burrito.

Sequoia’s – Tower District. KIDDING! Totally kidding. It’s fine, it’s fine, the beer is fine. It’s fine. Totally fine.

Maroo. Same problem Edo-Ya has. But they do have Hite beer, which is fun to say and order. “Hite! I’ll have a HITE!”

Heroes Comics and Mossette’s Baseball Cards.  All my nerd things in one place. I know they don’t have a liquor license, just wishful thinking. To be able to hang out in these places with a bar and a good beer? Dream fulfillment.

Doghouse Grill. Any chance I have to rip that place, I take it. I have not been there in some time, but I’m guessing their crappyass selection has not changed.

Home Depot. Okay, again I am including a place that doesn’t serve alcohol but I really hate going to this place. Having a beer while I’m trying to find the proper dishwasher hose clamp, would really lessen the hate. Plus, when I have to come back for the inevitable 2nd or 3rd time (because I did not get the right size of clamp the first time), I’ll enjoy that 2nd beer even more.

Please leave your choice in the comments because I would love to hear them.

Speaking of beer, there has been a lot of local beer talk lately by the Fresno Bee. You may want to check out their dedicated beer section. We even had them on The Perfect Pour, a couple weeks back, to talk about it.

Let your ears have a listen. Cheers!:

 

At Least One Reason To Start Heading To NE Fresno, Right Now!


Let’s face it. There is not much substance to NE Fresno.

It’s just houses. Churches. Schools that should be in Fresno Unified but are somehow in Clovis Unified. And strip malls – sortaish nice strip malls, but still strip malls.

But there is one cool thing the NE has that all Fresnans can enjoy: Trails.


Trails that are fed by Woodward Park, in fact. River trails. Park trails. Trails along avenues. NE is totally bogarting Fresno’s trails!

I strolled down one, last weekend, and I advise you to get down there right now because it’s pretty and Portland-y and green. It’s all green.

Yo, did you know there is a legit river running along the city limits? Yeah? Well, there is. And things are flowing:


Go check it out. Or just stay in your house and talk about how Fresno sucks.

Alright. I admit it. The NE has one more thing, outside of trails: Fresno’s most elegant bottle shop: The Fort:

Ohhh shit, an Oscar Blues “Pinner IPA” sixer for $4.99. Gotta go find a beer trail.