The Year In Posts – 2018

I always worry these kinds of posts are too hacky, but I am doing it anyway. It’s actually kind of fun going through the posts from this year because some of them I had already totally forgotten about.

Rather than boring you and posting each one, please let me just remind you of the ones that you, the reader of The Fresnan, thought were the most popular.

I pulled the nine buzziest, starting from January and ending now. These might not have been read the most but had the most “action” (sharing/reading/comments).

9. What to know before going to Fresno’s new Chicken Shack.

One of the more significant things to happen on Fulton Street this year. I have yet to set foot in the place but that didn’t stop me from posting about it.

8. Modern Times needs to open up a taproom in Fresno.

I have been lobby two of California’s best indie breweries (that are building remote taprooms), Modern Times and Fieldwork, to come to Fresno. If they want to truly make some noise, they should. Now that Zack’s Brewing is open Downtown, this is less relevant. Still would like to see it happen though.

7. Ranch or Salsa: Which is the condiment of Fresno?

If I did this post today, I would choose Salsa. I did a poll on my Instagram and Salsa won. I personally use salsa as much as I use ranch but at the time I was ranching more so I went with it. This is a forever debate. Salsa now wins.

5. Don’t camp at popular Fresno restaurants!

There are many Fresno eatin’ holes that you have to wait to get seated. Too often, people get a table at these places and then linger while you wait impatiently, staring at these yahoos. Ya done eating? Then get the hell out.

6. I rode my bike to Pine & Palm and nobody flipped me off.

Biking needs to be more of a thing for me in 2019. I did some of it this year but not enough to talk about it, this time being the exception. I even found a “hidden” bike path.

4. How to place your garbage bins in a passive aggressive way.

It’s official. I became an old man this year. When the scavengers became too messy and started dumping my recyclables into my trash bin and on the street, I decided to take passive aggressive action.

3. The one restaurant to take someone to in Fresno.

I understand that Cuca’s was an odd choice but I hope the post explains it well enough.

2. I’m voting yes on Measure P.

While it’s true I live in the middle of Fresno. But I also live in a county island so I couldn’t actually vote for Measure P. That did not stop me from ranting about it though.

1.Dead Lot: NW Shaw & West.

Hey, I am surprised too how much play this post got. More posts to come for this series. It even prompted a response from Brandau.

Setting up the blog for 2019

No drastic changes planned to the blog. My goal is to have a new post every week, at least, usually by Wednesday mornings. But I did not follow through on that for much of the year. Hopefully, I can do that all the way in 2019.

The one change you might see involves monetizing the blog.

I have never seen cash in my hand or in my checking account, because of this blog. You would think after blogging so many damn years I would have figured out how to make money at it.

I have tinkered with being an Amazon affiliate but it doesn’t work well for the posts I write and the traffic I get. Plus, Amazon is a pretty shitty employer, so I feel dirty working with them anyway. I will likey be backing away from that.

Target has approved me to be an affiliate but I have not started messing with that yet. Yeah, I guess Target has a slightly better conscience than Amazon so I feel …okay? using them

You might see me give that a try on a post or two or a banner ad. Oh look, there is one now!:


Google Adwords is a thing but throwing a bunch of banners around to make $20 a month does not sound worth it to me.

I’m thinking hard about starting a Patreon

If you have not heard of the website called Patreon and you are a creative, you might want to check it out. It enables people that like what you produce to donate money to you.

The cool part is, the creator has the opportunity to give extra content to the person willing to give them a few bucks a month.

We do it on the Perfect Pour and it has worked out pretty well. It at least is enough that the show pays for itself, which is a victory to me.

Anyway, man, thank you for reading the Fresnan this past year and whatever year you have read it. I’ll keep posting if you keep giving a damn.

Cheers to Fresno and blogging in 2019!

Setting Fresno Goals: 2018 Edition

There is still time to set your goals for the year. There is always time. As corny as it sounds, I am definitely the kind of person that needs to write goals down or they will not happen, and dammit, I have goals I need to write down.

In this case, goals to post on the Internet. Fresno and creative goals.

GOAL: GO TO ARTHOP AGAIN!

Very sad to say but I did not go to one damn ArtHop last year. Thought about it all the time. Every month I’d say “I gotta go to ArtHop this month!” and never did. I even have a 9-year-old that is a budding young artist that needs to see all the talent we have in Fresno (and hang out at the Culture Arts District Park, pictured above [stolen from here]) and I still didn’t go.
PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 80%.

GOAL: SEE MORE LOCAL MUSIC!

I think I went to two, maybe three, local music shows last year and that was mainly because of Tioga Beer Garden and Goldstiens. I know I saw, Farooq, Light Thieves, Cockamamie Jamie and some other people. I used to go to shows all the damn time. Weak effort on my part. Hopefully, the old Club Fred/Audie’s Olympic location will manage to open this year and motivate me to see more shows.
PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 72%

GOAL: SEE A FRESNO STATE BASKETBALL GAME!

Certainly, I have gone to these games in the past but I have not been for the past couple seasons. Save Mart Center is such an annoying place to sit and watch things. But the team is good this year and worth our attention, this needs to happen.
PROBABiLITY OF HAPPENING: 65%

GOAL: EAT LESS AT CHAINS!

You know, it feels like I go to more local places than the average Fresnan. But necessity calls for the occasional chain.

Hey, you try to keep a finicky 9-year-old happy by not using Red Robin and Chilli’s and then talk to me about chains, brah! I think if I just cut back on Taco Bell, I will be fine.
PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 90%.

GOAL: POST MORE & SEND A NEWSLETTER!

There are a lot of creative projects I have going on.  But the most important of all is trying my best to be a good Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Friend and employee at my day job. So finding the time to create posts here (something I fucking love doing) and sending out my newsletter, don’t get the attention I would like.

Plus, currently running in the background, I am trying to train myself/figure out how to become a professional freelance blogger, in case one day my day job decides it no longer needs my services. So there is that.

If I get better at time managing, this will become doable.
PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 88%

Well, now that I have sent these goals to the Internet, they are more likely to happen, RIGHT!? Keep me accountable this year!

If you have Fresno or creative goals for 2018, I would love to read them in the comment section!

Cheers!



 

Places I Ate and Drank At In Fresno A Lot This Year

Year-end lists are the most unoriginal thing in blogging. But dammit, they are popular and fun.

So here I am, listing some places I regularly went to eat and/or drink at in Fresno this year so maybe you can go there too and keep them open for me so I can continue to enjoy. Cool? Cool.

EATING

I have a goal to learn how to cook more things in 2018. Until this happens, there’s take out. Lots of take out.

TOP FIVE TAKEOUT:

  • Berrock Shop. The obvious thing to have here are the berrocks and chicken pot pies, but don’t forget the burgers and tri-tip sandwiches.
  • Jack’s Urban Eats. Yep, it was exciting when they installed taps. Yep, they have good tri-tip sandwiches too – regular AND BBcue style.
  • Formally Maria’s Taco Shop. No fuss. Just straight, fast, solid Mexican food. Plus I still have memories of it being a Taco Bell.
  • China Bistro. The SW corner of Bullard & West, tucked back behind a fountain. Good soup. Good everything. Sweet people.
  • Mama Mia’s – Palm & Bullard. All the things are good. Especially fond of the gnocchi. A little greasy but I think it’s supposed to be, yeah?

Almost making the list are Habit Burger and sadly: Chipotle. By the way, these are all places you can sit and eat, I just primarily use them for takeout. Speaking of…

TOP FIVE SITDOWN:

  • Casa Corona – Bullard & West. One of the better bar atmospheres in NW Fresno, and they finally got a decent IPA on tap (Luponic Distortion), food is not bad either.
  • Eureka Burger. This is my go-to place. Usually a good beer selection and always good food, I usually have the Fresno Burger or chicken nachos when it’s “hoppy” hour.
  • Popolo’s Pizza. I will forever miss the old location and salad bar. But the new place still gives me enough to keep coming back. I’m partial to the baked sandwiches.
  • Edo-Ya. At times, the best sushi in town and the teppanyaki is great too. We all know about EdoYa, come on, just go. L.A. Roll is amaze.
  • Pismo’s. I’m not fond of fish dishes and I still like this place. On point with atmosphere, food and service. Can’t really afford to go very much but always enjoy when I do.

Honorable Mention to Yardhouse, Benadiction (best breakfast) and to South Gate Brewing for being the best out-of-town but not THAT out-of-town place.

DRINKING!

I love craft beer so you won’t find a place here that doesn’t have it.

  • Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden. It is THE Fresno brewery hangout/event space/beer release place. Great beer and Downtown views.
  • Goldstein’s. Always a great selection of beer, nice atmosphere. Only wish I could go more when it’s not so packed and hard to order beers. (Bar pictured at top)
  • Spokeasy’s. Maybe the most genuine beer bar in town. Favorite thing is to wait for a keg to “blow” so you can see what new beer comes on while you sit there – they have a small tap system so it enables them to run through kegs rather quickly, keeping the draft list always fresh.
  • HOP PK. It’s brand new and I have only been once but this one has been so long in coming and so needed that I am including it. Looking forward to more visits in 2018.
  • Pine & Palm Brewing. It is so tiny but still fun if you are a beer geek. Good news is they are expanding very soon, excited to see what’s next.

Honorable mention to Full Circle Brewing. I wish they could magically move their building over by Tioga and Zack’s, I’d be there all the time.

So that was 2017. The number one Fresno food & drink thing I am looking forward to in 2018 is Zack’s Brewing opening their taproom on Fulton. There is a rumor it could possibly maybe open by May, fingers crossed.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my posts on The Fresnan this year!

Only Super Rad Skate Tricks Are Allowed On Fulton Street Mall Now

The Fulton Mall is gone. I know. It’s tough to hear. But it’s true. It’s gone.

I already miss the debating.”What are we going to do with the Fulton Mall!?” “Maybe if a Starbucks opens that will save it!” “A Starbucks? Fuck you. All local businesses, asshole!” “They just need to get the fountains working!” “No. They need to have more signage for parking and educate North Fresno about…”

All that is over.

Traffic has returned to Fulton Mall Street… wait, I can’t even include “mall” anymore. Traffic has returned to Fulton Street, for the first time and whateverhowmany years. Even though the Grand Opening is not until next month, you can already drive down parts of Fulton Street. Rev up them Clovis dually trucks and have at it.

Speaking of having at it, skaters are already having a go at the functioning again fountains on Fulton Street.

https://twitter.com/MarekTheBee/status/911687432793288704

Nice move, bro. So, fun, right? WRONG! The skateboards are fucking up the new cement! At least that’s what I’m told.

There was a big battle on a local Facebook group this past weekend. The battle involved a person not real pleased with the skateboarders and BMX bikers already using Fulton as a skate park. And the skaters/bikers getting a bit saucy in their response to the “Get off my damn lawn, you lousy kids!” attacks.

Should Skaters Be Allowed On Fulton Street?

This is actually a damn good debate, both sides have a good point.

PROS FOR SKATERS ON FULTON!

  • Skater tricks are fun to watch.
  • Sometimes they fall and it’s funny.
  • I feel young a cool watching skaters do skaters things and imagine what it’s like to be awesome and stuff and think “Yeah, I could totally do that if I wanted and stuff, but I don’t so whatever.”

CONS FOR SKATERS ON FULTON

  • They damage (over time and inadvertently) the new cement with their boards, and could hurt their butts trying to perform a trick. Nobody likes to have a hurt butt.
  • They seem pretty cool and I’m afraid I’ll feel old and lame as I walk by them.

So what to do, what to do… well, the City of Fresno is apparently working on how to deal with the skateboarders:

https://twitter.com/MarkStandriff/status/912380453595660289

This sounds like skaters will be on their way out.

But enforcement would be tough. Fulton Street is not River Park. River Park has security roaming around all the time. Fulton does not. The skaters are free to do whatever. That is until a random Fresno Police Person comes by or a concerned Facebook Group Citizen…person suggests that maybe they could possibly stop.

I say let the skaters stay for now. There was a time when skaters were the only people using the mall after the sun went down. I remember walking down the mall at night, 10 years ago, and recording video of skaters doing tricks on the Fulton Mall because it was literally the only cool thing I had seen on the mall at night.

But if they suck at skating? You know, like, they only perform boring tricks and fall down and break off cement and look totally not cool?… done.

*Pic stolen from a ABC 30 Insider.

Where To Park At Whole Foods Fresno – The Most Important Blog Post You’ll Read In The Next Five Minutes

Since Amazon bought Whole Foods, people are a little worried about Amazon taking over all the things. I would be worried too except Wal Mart already did it, so let’s stop freaking out. Maybe focus on stopping Wal Mart and not worry so much about Whole Foods until they are dealt with.

Anywayyyy, the Fresno Whole Foods, located in Fig Garden Village, may not have a top ranking parking lot, but it is an interesting one.

I know what you’re thinking “Holy shit, this asshole is going to do another parking related post. What the hell is this site and why am I still here!?”

LOOK, BRO! People like this stuff. It’s like, everyday life and crap. It’s fun.

PARKING LOT BREAK DOWN

I’ll get to my favorite parking spot in a second. But first, the worst place to park? The Main Lot. You could also call this the Western Lot:

Oh sure, it looks benign now. But it’s tight and super annoying. You know how many Prius you have to avoid in this area? Look, I can see one in that picture already. I never park in this area.

As an extension to this lot, there is the area next to Habit Burger’s patio. I do sometimes park here, but only when going to Habit and not when I am just shopping at Whole Foods.

BETTER SPOTS

I’m not sure I would walk THIS far (even though I am a big advocate of walking instead of driving around searching for the closest spot), but if you’re feeling adventurous and really don’t want to park next to anyone, get out to the North side as it gets closer to the Wassabbi’s parking. No drama out here (except for a dude that can’t park straight):

This one has chargers. And hey, there is even a car getting charged up as we speak. Way to save some air, dude:

While not all of us can park in those particular stalls, I do like that lot to park in. The area closer to the apartments is a good one because it’s not busy.

But it’s not my favorite area to park. In fact, my favorite is not even an area. It’s one parking stall in particular. It even has its own restroom… Continue reading “Where To Park At Whole Foods Fresno – The Most Important Blog Post You’ll Read In The Next Five Minutes”

Catching Up On Fresno

Sorry, loyal Fresnan reader! I missed my self-imposed Tuesday night deadline for a new post. I was deep in the Oregon woods with no Internet. It was relaxing and annoying all at once.

So, come with me as I try to find some Fresno that I missed.

Tacos!
The now nationally famous, Taco Truck Throwdown, happened. It can be considered the tent-pole event that proves we are the Taco Capital of the United States. Joey Chestnut ate many, others dropped a lot of salsa on the ground.

High-Speed Rail!
Will Fresno become a bedroom community for the Silicon Valley? We shall see starting in 2025. I foresee a mix of our own organic tech community (see: Bitwise) and San Jose commuters. Personally, I will just use it to see shows at Shoreline. (pic above a rendering of Fresno’s station)

Booze In All The Wrong Places!
With the City Council wasting time being overly concerned about legal pot dispensaries, they conveniently forget about the real problem in Fresno. That problem is too many liquor stores South of Shaw.

The last thing a rough neighborhood needs is a liquor store. Please work on this problem, City Of Fresno, and don’t waste time with scaring people into thinking a few pot dispensaries would EVEN COME REMOTELY CLOSE to being as bad as an ugly liquor store on every corner.

River Park Became The Red Waste!
A fire plane “malfunctioned” and dumped fire retardant all over NE Fresno, including River Park. This bit of news somehow made it past my lack of Internet while on vacation because funny always makes it through.

Alright, I guess this isn’t funny if your business or car got messed up, so I am truly sorry for those folk. But when I heard that a fire plane dumped red junk on River Park, I did laugh.

Gary Bredefeld Embarrassing Fresno Again!
Northeast Fresno truly has the Councilman it deserves. Determined to do and say as many dumb things that he can within a year, Breders believes all City workers with a weapons permit should bring their gun to work with them. WHAT A FUN WORK ENVIRONMENT!

So now the sketchy dude we were already worried about coming into work wanting to shoot the place up one day can constantly walk around the office ready to mow me down at the first sign of stress and it’s perfectly legal!

This idea made national news, if you somehow think Breitbart is actually news. Sadly? for Gary B, Fresno already allows select vetted workers to carry their penis enlargements guns, which is a little uncomfortable to just now learn. Research much, Gary?

That Is Enough For Now.
If I missed something you think I’d find interesting, feel free to leave it in the comments. Thanks for being here!