Fresno Is An Outdoor Retailer Trade Show City, Just Like Denver and Portland!

Bears Ears Buttes by Tim Peterson
There is a grand opportunity for the city of Fresno right now. A chance for Fresno to get a major trade show and to build a reputation for being an “outdoor city”.

Salt Lake City just lost the Outdoor Retailer trade show. This is a trade show for businesses like REI, Patagonia, North Face… hell, basically every retailer that does anything in outdoor retail. It’s sorta the everything in the industry.

What San Diego Comi-Con is for nerddom, this is for outdoor nerds.

The OR show has always been held in Utah. Since the 90s. But they are looking for a new city to move to by 2019 because Utah has been naughty.

Utah’s Governor, and other Republican peeps in Utah, lobbied President Trump to roll back the Bears Ears National Monument, a 1.35-million-acre conservation area in Southern Utah that Native Americans and other people who like Earth, have held sacred for years. Trump listened and rolled it on back.

Fuck off, Earth! Cattle and mines are more important.

So the Outdoor Retailers, people that were warning Utah not to do this, said they are packing up their back…packs and looking for a new city to dump all that trade show money into. The show dumps 32 million into SLC every year.

Denver and Portland (OR) are leading contenders at the moment. I say we make sure Fresno is in that mix too because Fresno is an outdoor city. Maybe we don’t act like it enough, maybe we don’t even know it, but we are.

We totally qualify to have the Outdoor Retailer trade show. Fresno is within a morning drive to all outdoor activities. ALL THE ACTIVITIES! So we got that as a qualification.

But do we have the kind of convention space to handle this?:

Hell, I think so.

Oh but wait, does Fresno have enough hotel rooms (or Air BnBs) to handle this? I don’t know, that is for city officials to figure out – I don’t create and maintain the trails, I just walk through and comment on them.

So I hope there is enough time for Fresno to get consideration. I don’t think anybody is threating to roll back National Park status for Yosemite, Kings Canyon or Sequoia anytime soon. *knock on wood*

Let’s do it! Let’s blaze a trail to Fresno for Outdoor Retailer!
Photo: Bears Ears, Utah | Credit: Tim Peterson

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.

I Did Not Know This: Fresno Has AirBnBs.


I found myself asking…myself the other day “Does Fresno have Airbnbs?” Well of course they do, silly. But, you see, I’ve never stayed in one. Don’t really know what it’s about outside of the obvious: people renting out their house or a room in their house to random people for a couple nights.

Sure, tourist areas have them. SF has them because they can charge a shit-ton of money. But Fresno? Hey, why the hell not!? We are close to all the cool National Parks like the National Park Formally Named Yosemite. Plus we have viral burritos.

Some Interesting Fresno Airbnbs

This one is called a “Temptation in the Tower“: A “temptation” in the Tower, eh? Sounds like my horizons might be broadened if I stay there. And for only $37 a night? That’s a bargain.

Also, I saw there is one for $865 a night. What is that all about? Sadly it dropped off and I can’t find it now. Damn curious to know where I could stay in Fresno that would cost me $865. A night at Bubba’s house where you get to play Chief Gillespie and Mayor Autry plays, well, Bubba? Worth it.

Christmas Tree Lane’s first walk night is Saturday night. You might want to look into this one. Good place to party from.

Jordan’s Loft (pictured at the top of this post) is in the old Security Bank Building. Nice views of Fulton Mall Street construction. Might be kinda cool to stay in for a couple nights if you’re looking to try out loft living.

One local Airbnb I think I’ll pass on: the “spacious” couch in CLOVIS with the table cloth for a blanket. No matter how cheap or nice the renter is, there is no damn way I am paying to sleep on a couch in Clovis…in fact, you should pay ME to sleep on your Clovis couch!

Truth: I Probably Will Never Stay In One

Although it feels kinda safer testing the Airbnb waters in your hometown, I can’t see me doing this.

For one, I definitely don’t want to have to talk to the owner or hang out with them in the house. Having to manage some small talk or run into them while trying to find the bathroom in my Star Wars underwear. Sounds too damn weird.

But hey, maybe if I’m outta cash and out of town, I could stay in an Airbnb someday. But put a room up in my house? Hell na. Hell. NO! I don’t want one of these nightmares:

A dude walking around your living room, wearing a ponytail? Fuuuuuuck that man. Scary.

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)

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.

 

 

Let California High Speed Rail Build Those Underpasses, Fresno

High Speed Rail construction at Herndon
High Speed Rail Construction at Herndon & 99
Thinking differently about California High Speed Rail might be in order if you are in Fresno and don’t want it.

It’s pretty damn confirmed that at all the major intersections the High Speed Rail crosses in Fresno, they will be building an underpass or overpass for cars (geez I’ve been really car posting lately). Those overpasses include the Union Pacific tracks it twinsies with through Fresno.

That’s right. No more trying to beat the train at Herndon. Or being super dorky and complaining about a stopped Union Pacific train at Shaw Ave:

Dork Twitter Rage

So if you’re in Fresno and think the California High Speed Rail is dumb, shut your damn face about it until the suckers build those sweet overpasses and underpasses. Yeah I may sound weird but underpasses are nice. I hear that’s what the Herndon one will be.

I’m thankful every time I go under the Sante Fe tracks at Marks & Shaw. Yes, children, there used to be a train crossing at Shaw and Marks and Marks didn’t even go through. You had to do this weird little road back out to Shaw then around and then… *SMH* it…it was a whole thing, okay?!

If you’re still not convinced every Fresnan needs to get behind High Speed Rail (at least until they are done with Fresno section) let’s think about this: They are already moving Highway 99 over 100′ to make room the those quick-ass trains. If you haven’t driven through that section of 99 lately, this is what’s happening:

Yep that’s some serious shit. Guys, we really don’t want California to figure out that this whole High Speed Rail thing is a BOONDOGGLE and say to themselves “Fuck this is crazy. Are we really going to spend this much money and move all this crap just to put the train tracks in? Meh. Forget this noise. HEY GUYS! PACK IT UP, WE’RE HEADING HOME!”

If they did that we would have a bunch of half-built things and torn down buildings. Fresno doesn’t need more of these.

Too much earth has been moved. It’s time to get fully behind High Speed Rail in in the Valley, even if it’s just Madera to Fresno and doesn’t make us a commuter city for the Silicon Valley.

Let them build it. I want that sweet underpass action.