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.

 

It’s Time To Let Northeast Fresno and Fresno Proper Go Their Separate Ways


First, they felt it necessary to uselessly and embarrassingly insert God into the Fresno Council Chambers. Now, Northeast Fresno has managed to stop California law and the will of the rest of Fresno (well, most of) by getting spineless Fresno City Councilmen to vote no on legal pot.

It’s time we let NE Fresno go, guys.

They don’t really like Fresno and the rest of Fresno doesn’t really like them. It’s like we’re in a relationship that neither wants to be in but both of us are too nice to dump one another. I’ll be the asshole here. “Sorry, Northeast Fresno, it’s not us, it’s you. Can you please find a place to stay tonight?”

Go away, NE. You have way too much power for a bunch of track houses and strip malls.

We don’t need ya and you don’t like going into the Tower District or Downtown anyway. Plus, you don’t even know where Sunnyside is anymore, nor do you even know what we’re up to over in NW Fresno because I see you taking Avenue 9 to go out to Highway 99 and not taking Herndon like you used to.

It’s cool. Just take your stuff and leave.

You can have River Park and Yosemite Ranch. That one Vons. The boring Sequoia’s. The shitty Wassabi’s. We’re good. Except you can NOT have Woodward Park, that has to stay neutral territory.

But What Should We Name NE Fresno?

If you’re no longer going to carry the Fresno name, we have to think up something new for you.

Wishingitwasthefiftiesville? Mostlywhite? Oldpine? Texas?

No, those are terrible. THINK, Fresnan, think…

Ohhhhhh. I know. It’s been hiding there all along: Clovis West. The prominent high school in the area is already named it. It’s all Clovis School District. You all wish you were in Clovis anyway. Let’s do it, it has been decided. The town of Clovis West.

So, take care of yourself, Clovis West. I’m sure we can still be friends. Just don’t stalk us on Instagram, ok?

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!:

What Will Be The First Chain on Fulton Mall-Street?

I don’t really want any chain/corporate places on the Fulton Mall Fulton Street. But it’s coming. You damn well know it. Hell, to some, it’s kinda the point of the whole thing.

And what with Fulton Street asphalting as quick as it can…

…it’s time to talk about this.

There are those that would say, having a Starbucks and a Chipotle open on Fulton Street will signal it is back. To others, the thought makes the stomach turn.

But really, will the first be a Starbucks? Chipotle? Habit? Pieology? Maybe an Apple Store (that actually would be kinda rad):

marcblakeapplestore

Maybe, David Pismos Westwood Yosemite Ranch Tahoe Joe Fansler, could prove he is the Fresno Restaurant Master and open a place on Fulton.

Could Fulton (no CVS doesn’t count) stay all local and no chains? I’m interested in finding out.

(Apple Store graphic by Marc Blake)

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.

 

 

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.