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.

 

Would Mild Summers Really Make Fresno A Popular West Coast City?


Sunday had some pretty amazing weather, for a June day in Fresno. It was perfect… well until the windstorm later that evening. But BEFORE that, perfect.

This brought a much overdue thought into my head: Would the removal of consistent hot Summers make Fresno a truly desirable city? Is it the one thing that is holding us back?

Fresno heat-haters would say “Duh, dude!” But is it that simple?

Yes, bro, I know that Fresno has more problems than hot Summers. We got the gangs (although I’m pretty sure Oakland, SF, San Jose, Sactown, L.A. and San Diego all have those), a lot of stucco and a shitty looking Highway 99 corridor.

But I really don’t think people are truly looking down at Fresno for that.

Plus, Fresno has all the things you could want in your standard city: A diverse and creative culture, a rising Downtown, plenty of things to do on the weekend, three world class National Parks in the backyard, etc.

So it comes back to one thing: The heat.

You Have Heard Of This New Technology Called “Air Conditioning” and “Shade”, Right?

People afraid of the heat forget about the benefits. The perfect Summer evenings on a patio with a beer in one hand and a taco in another. Or the nights when it’s perfectly comfortable to swim and… have more beer.

Maybe Sactown is the only other West Coast city that can brag about that. Sorry, Portland & Seattle, we got ya on something.

Paying Triple To Not Experience A Hot Summer Is Crazy!

When a nice house in Fresno that costs $250,000 is going to cost $1,000,000 on the coast, I think “I’m good here, thanks.”

I admit, this past weekend of “coastal” weather was nice and I appreciated it. Enjoyed it. But I’ll go ahead and continue enduring hot Summers, for now, and not feel like an idiot when my mortgage bill comes. You can enjoy your 70s.

Top Fresno Street Names


Yep. This is a real post. The best Fresno street names according to me. Oh, and you will not find “Palmdon” on this list because there is no way that can be a legal name.

So. Take a cool name and add a little city importance, you get this:

  • Van Ness Extension. Like hell if we’re going to think up a new name. Let’s just slap “extension” on it, even though it’s over a mile away.
  • West. Because it actually goes North & South.
  • Ivy League School Series. Yale. Harvard and the other ones and stuff.
  • Bullard. When you drive through Fresno State’s fields you can go all fast and there is the slight danger of a tractor crossing your path.
  • Palm. Premier bike lanes in the city – suck it, Brandau.
  • Shaw. It sounds like something Wayne or Garth says, in place of “AS if!” “ShaWW right.”

via GIPHY

  • Fulton. Part of the lazy “just use San Fransico street names” series.
  • Blackstone. It has all the things; even HOOKERS! Wait. Blackstone still has hookers, right?
  • Fresno. Duh.
  • Friant. It’s also a dam. It’s dangerous. It totally flooded by Woodward Park the other day.
  • Weldon. Fun to say. Wel Don. Weldon. Weldadadon.
  • Fruit. Because fruit is what makes the cash around these parts and I have a totally “legally purchased” Fruit sign on my work bench.

Not making the list is Ashlan, Tuolumne and McKinley, because they are hard to spell.

This Is Not A Local Music Blog

I miss Audie’s Olympic. Barely seen a band in Fresno since the place begrudgingly closed. I blame Audie’s closing on my lack of seeing local bands play lately, but that is a copout. Still, I miss it.

Yes. Strummer’s is there and still scheduling bands. So is Fulton 55. Frank’s Place does a thing or two, I think. Cool, cool.

There are new local venue things too. Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden has a lot of music. Goldstein’s has music. These are places that were not much of a factor musically when Audie’s was still operating.

And none of these places match up to the true rock club vibe of Audie’s. Nor can they regularly bring to town the kind of shows that Audie’s brought in. Not the touring, fresh, rock bands or mid-level local kind of shows anyway.

What the Fresno Grizzlies are to a professional baseball player, trying to get into the major league’s, Audie’s was to rising touring or local bands.

And, you could just hang out in Audie’s – as long as the style of music was not too grading to you, that is. Just hang and have a beer, sit on a stool, occasionally stop and look to the stage to enjoy a nice set. Didn’t even need to be there with anybody.

NOT THAT THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH A LOCAL MUSIC BLOG

I hesitate to write this post because it personally concerns me. I don’t want to do what I did before and turn the Fresnan into a music blog that is not supposed to be a music blog.

That is what it was when I previously put this blog on ice. Just posts about local shows. Which is fine if you brand yourself a music blog. The Fresnan was not branded as a music blog. I got lazy and complacent.

If you want a local music blog, check out Spanspek or read Joshua Tehee stuff. Do it.

SPEAKING OF LOCAL MUSIC

So Josh Tehee and I just posted a new Flowing With Famous podcast and in it we picked out favorite Fresno music acts of 2016. My pick was The Light Thieves:

Josh picked two. Beastmaker

…and Sagey. Now Sagey was a new one to me. Josh talked about how these guys have the local buzz right now and I think I get why:

I will keep listening to what Josh has to say about the Fresno music scene because he will find out first when (or maybe if) Audie’s opens again as a new music club.

I might finally be motivated to get back into the local music scene. Maybe see a Sagey show. Sit on a stool.

*I am finally starting up a newsletter. It will augment what you see on The Fresnan with a bent toward local life in general. Sign up below!:

I Have Fresno Blogging Block. Send Help.

I have nothing to write for my regular Fresnan Tuesday post.

So, here I am writing to fill the white space in my WordPress editor. Have you noticed yet this is about nothing? Dammit.

Now I’m just going to take random letters and form into fake words in hopes that it will shake loose an idea in my head that I can write a post about: kriskc mastrony lwffeo offing icluse mqwue, tieongon.

Fuck. Nothing.

Maybe if I just start saying “Fresno” some cool Fresno related idea for a post will come to mind. “Fresno. Fresno. Fresno. Fresno. Fresno. Clovis. Fresno. Fres. No. Fresno. Pinedale. Fresno Fresno FresNOOOO!”

Nope. Still nothing.

I was almost going to do a post around this picture of the old Courthouse in front of the then “new” Courthouse (from Historical Perspectives) because I thought it was cool:

Fresno County Courthouse construction, Nov. 1965
Fresno County Courthouse construction, Nov. 1965

But then it felt kind of boring. So I trashed it.

Welp, still have nothing. This sucks. Doesn’t suck as bad as Clovis, but it still sucks.

The FUSD hotshot guy is bailing or some mess and said “Fresno was a place nobody wanted to be…” He also used the word “damn” when answering a question from the Bee. I’D LIKE TO SEE THE CLOVIS UNIFIED SUPER GET RAW LIKE THAT, DAMMIT!

Oh dude, speaking of the Bee, voting has begun for Peoples Choice Awards. Damn straight I will write a post that rips-off is inspired by these awards. But that will be next Tuesday or the Tuesday after I’ll write that post. Too much work right now.

But really, how can my brain function properly for Fresno posts when a new Star Wars movie comes out Thursday night?! It seems there are tickets left at all the Fresno spots. Still trying to decide what theater will I be taking in my first viewing of Rogue One at. I’m leaning towards Broadway Faire.

This post idea block is getting a bit serious, I’m still wandering here.

Maybe leave a comment about an idea for a post you’ve always wanted to see on The Fresnan. No NO! That makes me look like a hack. Asking people for ideas? What have I become?

How ’bout you just comment on what local theater you’re seeing Rogue One at. Or, what Fresno theater is your favorite to see the big ‘tent pole’ films at?

Wait. There is an idea for a post!: What Fresno theater is your favorite to see event films at? … ahhhhh crap, too late now, have to save that idea for another time.

Welp. Time to go get drunk. I have Dust Bowl “Therapist” triple IPA waiting for me in the fridge and it’s not going to drink itself.

How To Never Make Money Blogging

keyboard

The luxurious world of blogging is real. The rumors are true. All the money and fame you assume happens to bloggers? I’m here to tell you it happens. Girls. Free shit. Best tables at restaurants. Passes to all the cool shows.

Of course I’m lying. None of those things are true.

Being a blogger is the lowest rung of the cool person pole. And that’s OK. That’s why I like it. Apparently I love spending hours of personal time trying to think of something to blog about and then doing it and then getting zero dollars for it and 40 people to look at it. It’s neat.

I have a lot of experience in blogging for nothing. Since 2002. Here is my “how to” for making sure you never get paid for blogging. Especially blogging about Fresno.

  • Never guest blog. That blog about puppy enthusiast culture doesn’t need your traffic and you don’t need theirs.
  • Don’t communicate with people. Never engage with humans. Especially influential bloggers or readers. This may cause them to notice you and hire you for things and subscribe to your blog.
  • If people compliment you, ignore them. If they like your stuff, they likely suck and their opinion is stupid.
  • Don’t do sponsored posts. If someone offers you money to write about their product, tell them “No I’m too punk rock for that.”
  • Don’t ask for help. Never ever ask people “Could you share my blog with all your cool friends? Thanks.” This could drive traffic to your blog and maybe prompt people to hire you for something.
  • Never take yourself seriously. Don’t convince yourself that you’re good at blogging. Just keep telling yourself it’s impossible to make ANY sort of living doing something that’s totally cool and rad.

There. You have been let into the world of not making money blogging. I’ve been following this advice for years and I have no money in the bank from blogging to show for it.

Keep this information to yourself for it is highly valuable. Next time I’ll conduct a seminar on “How To Not Make Money Podcasting” – it’s pretty much the same course.

*In case you noticed this is an odd post for The Fresnan, I’m taking part in a seven-day “blogging challenge”. One writing prompt a day for seven days straight. This one is day 5: write a “how to” post.

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