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.

The Bay Has Way More Goats Than Fresno

That is a map of every goat in the country. How they were able to count them, you’d have to ask the Wonk Blog.

What is most interesting to me is the amount of goats the Bay Area has. Like, WAY more than Fresno and the Valley does.

And I don’t think it’s a hipster “goats are a natural lawnmower that cuts back on greenhouse gases” kind of thing. San Francisco just likes goats.

Whatcha all doing over there? …With the goats. Mark this as a day San Fransisco is more hick than Fresno.

Fresno. Are We Total Assholes For Loving Our Drive-Thrus? Maybe…

Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Future Starbucks Drive-Thu
Pictured above is the new drive-thru being built for a new-old Starbucks opening soonish at Herndon & Marks. Remember way back when there was one there and there was a campaign to save it but it closed anyway?

Yeah, well, it seems it closed because there wasn’t a drive-thru. Now there will be one and I’m sure it will be filled with cars soon. They are even tearing apart the property to do it. You’ll be able to spy on the people across the street in the Taco Bell and McDonald’s drive-thru from your Starbucks spot.

More drive-thus tainting the Valley air? That’s fine. Best to forget the Sierras are there. Out of sight out of mind. Now I don’t feel as guilty about not going up there as much as I should.

Fuck you, clean air! And while we’re at it: Fuck you, Sierras! I can kinda see an outline of the mountains, so I’m sure it’s cool. Can’t be that bad. Drive-thru it is! Dude I am not getting out of this vehicle right now, the new Green Day just came on New Rock!

Honestly, I will walk into a place more than use the drive-thru. I tell myself that it’s because I’m saving the air, but really it’s when the drive-thru is too busy. Plus, sometimes I don’t like the person working the drive-thru looking into my truck and seeing what a mess it is.

Not using the drive-thru and having the discipline to walk inside is kinda like when you’re thinking you should go on a diet but eat all you want anyway. Tomorrow I’ll stop going through the drive-thru, today I feast on convenience.

But wait a damn idling second here. How bad is it really for the air when we use the drive-thru as compared to parking and walking inside? Well, the best thing I could find was a study they did up in Canada at a Tim Hortons (a sorta Canadian version of Dunkin Donuts/Starbucks). This blew my mind:

“The study concluded that a Tim Hortons restaurant with no drive-thru actually produces higher emissions per vehicle than one with a drive-thru, because of emissions from starting up vehicles, traveling to and from parking spaces, and congestion that occurs in the parking lot.”

WHAAAAAAAAAAAT?! Mind. Blow. I couldn’t find a local study on this so we’ll have to accept a Canadian one. Crazy.

Really, it points out that we should be walking or biking to our Taco Bells and Dutch Bros. But eh.

So if you must MUST drive your truck with sexy rims to Robertito’s at 2 in the morning, don’t feel as bad about idling in line. Just feel bad about that California burrito and two adobada tacos you’re about to put down.

The Portals Into Fresno: Which Is Best?

Fresno Sign by David Husted

What are the best entry points to Fresno?

Let’s say you are escorting a person into Fresno that has never been here before and you want to make the most Fresno-y impression. Where are you getting off the freeway? What do you want them seeing first?

Many things to consider here. Do you go for the cleanest? The most representative? Most relevant? Most interesting?

Simply, what entry point would you use?

Shaw and 99. You’ve got the Forestiere Underground Gardens, the convenience of getting off Highway 99 and In & Out. But it looks like shit. Weeds and fast food. Could be a decent spot if they cleaned up the area around Underground Gardens and made it more of a park and light touristy area. But they aren’t.

Blackstone and Friant/Nees (AKA River Park). For some this would be impressive. If you’re going South on Blackstone from Nees it looks sorta nice. And there are those that just like new stuff. They like shopping. They like chain stores. This Fresno portal has all of that.

Herndon and 99. There is a bunch of new businesses there on the other side of the tracks. Northernmost entrance. Rademacher even plays a song about it, so that’s something – one of my favorite all-time songs by a local band, btw:

Shaw and 41. Well the Silver Dollar is no longer there so that’s all screwed. But there is Heroes Comics and Rocket Dog and that’s a rad representation of Fresno, in this nerd’s mind. Plus right there is Shaw & Blackstone which is considered the cross-streets of the Valley.

The Airport. I guess if somebody is flying in you don’t have much of a choice. I don’t see too many United flights landing at Sierra Sky Park. As it has been written, I am fond of Fresno Yosemite International (yep, flying to Mexico counts as “International”, look it up, bro). Plus Swear Bear greets travelers over the PA, touting Fresno’s awesomeness.

Herndon and 41. No chance for me here. It’s just an excuse to wedge in an old “Cross Streets” video from Dumb Drum:

The Amtrak Station. I kinda like this one. Nice area of Downtown. You can pop onto a freeway and get anywhere in the city in 15 minutes.

Tulare and 41. Maybe when the Farmers Market food court was there but I don’t want a Starbucks and Office Depot representing the entrance to my city.

Highway 99 and Fresno Street. It has Fresno street in the name. Center of Downtown and about where Fresno literally started. The Chuk is right there. The Downtown Fresno skyline is staring back at you. But it’s kinda sketch.

Shaw and 168. Fresno State. Doghouse Grill. Save Mart Center. The new Campus Point thingamathing. Looking kinda good here. WAIT! Clovis is on the other side of the freeway. Fuck. That. Way too close.

TOO DAMN MANY CHOICES

I wanna go with the Airport. But I think a place where you drive into Fresno would be a more accurate way to figure this out. Hummmmmm.

Screw it: Shaw & 41. Not the nicest for sure but best represents the City as a whole. I guess. Not real excited about that.

What do you think? What was missed? I’m expecting some comments on this one. Don’t make me look like a douche and leave me with no comments on this post, Fresnan.

(Fresno Sign photo by David Husted)

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.

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.