Fresno’s Place To Be Thanksgiving Weekend!

Welcome back to Fresno, person that moved away and only returns on big days. If you are looking for Livingstone’s to be open so you can run into some girl from High School you haven’t seen in 15-years, sorry it’s still closed – making bathrooms compliant for the 21st Century is not easy. But Stones will be back for you next year *knock on wood*.

So if Livingstone’s is not an option for you, where should you go to find your Fresno people to run into and to brag about how great your life is going in L.A. or Portland?  (Even though we both totally know that L.A. sucks and it was a mistake and you should have just stayed.)

I recommend going to Goldsteins.

Gold’s is the new Audie’s Olympic/Livingstone’s hang out until we can get those two back up and running. I am especially recommending it because they are having a very special Modern Times tap-takeover! This takeover includes kegs of MT beer that you can normally only get in the taproom in San Diego. #stoked

Being a beer geek, I’m pretty pumped and it is actually enough to get me out of my NW Fresno cave.

If you have been away from Fresno for a while, there are a couple other beer places I’d check out: Spokeasy’s, Pine & Palm, Full Circle and for sure, Tioga Sequoia Beer Garden!

While you’re at Tioga you can drive down newly asphalted Fulton Street and roam around trying all the coffee and things. So yes, my recommendation for Thanksgiving weekend is drinking things. Just make sure to get a Lyft and have fun.

Being as it is a thankful time, I’d like to thank you for reading my blog and say sorry for the inconsistency over the past few months. I love Fresno and blogging and I’m glad you are here, so thank you!

The Best Coffee Places In Fresno I Don’t Go To

I get most of my coffee from the machine you see above. I’m no longer cool enough to live or work Downtown or in the Tower where a greater concentration of Fresno coffee places are.

You might be cool enough though. These are some of the spots I hear people talking about as being good to decent local coffee places.

LANNA COFFEE CO.

I can actually say I have had their coffee because you can buy bags of it for your coffee maker at Save Mart. I remember it being tasty. There is also a high probability of me actually going to their location as it’s down the street from Tioga’s Beer Garden.

VALPARAISO COFFEE.

Automatically cool because they’re inside the Bitwise building on Van Ness. They are also close to beer place. Watch video.

BREW FIX.

These guys can boast that they are on Fulton Street and in the Mural District. They also have a very rad chalkboard map of the United States:

HI TOP REVIEW.

Super new, in the Tower District, they make Vans references, old Cafe Corazon spot and are across the street from beer (Goldstein’s). So, worth checking out then.

DALE BROS.

This is historic Fresno coffee. Yet it’s also new. And on Warehouse Row. These are reasons I find them interesting.

(Picture by Emily Redondo)

KUPPA JOY.

Across from Fresno High? Cool. Doors down from Ampersand and Tower District Records. Also cool. Coffee? I hear it’s good.

I GROW TIRED OF WRITING. NEED CAFFEINE.

If you’re thinking “Hey idiot! You forgot Dutch Bros and The Revue and Blah Blah Blah’s!” Please leave a comment on your favorite Fresno coffee.

If you want to hear some of these being discussed, check the 30:40 mark of this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast.

Who Drove Fulton Street Best: Swear Bear or Lee Brand?

Yep, amazing. The turnout for the Fulton Street opening was amazing. It was like a Christmas Tree Lane walk night on steroids.

It was a fun and crazy night with so many people it could speak volumes to what the future of Downtown Fresno and bla bla bla blaaaa… let’s talk about the important issue.

Which Mayor of Fresno did the best on their inaugural ride down Fulton Street?

Was it current Mayor, Lee Brand? Or former Mayor, Ashley Swearengin? Watch a brief video of them riding down Fulton (complete with asshat blogger commentary) and lets decide together:

Winner: Swear Bear! It was the pointing to the crowd moment that puts it over the top.

To Finish Up On Fulton Street Day

Keep in mind I am a very odd, introverted person, but I would like to share my favorite little moment of Fulton Street Day, as it shall now be named.

It was not the tacos or the popups (although they were all rad in their own way). It was not the fancy cars or the Ale Trail Festival (although all of our future and current Downtown breweries are making excellent beer). It was Grizzlies Stadium. The Chuk.

Because of this:

They had the gate open to let people in to watch the Astros game on the Jumbotron and to use the facilities. Only four people (outside of the workers) were taking advantage. It was a little slice of relaxing heaven given the crazy amount of people on Fulton. A nice place to recharge the batteries. So thanks for that, whoever decided to do that.

Looking forward to seeing what happens to the spaces on Fulton. If you have a favorite takeaway from Fulton Street Day, please feel free to leave it in the comments.

An Open Fulton Street Allows Fresno To Move On

I didn’t want this. The Fulton Mall open to traffic.

I wanted the mall to be cleaned up. I wanted the art refurbished. I wanted the fountains to be working. But I didn’t want cars. That wasn’t possible.

It became “street or the same”. The same was a bad option. Same was an ignored Fulton Mall with little to no working fountains, forgotten art and too many people not comfortable with parking in garages and lots where they can’t see their car.

So I then begrudgingly became a supporter of traffic returning to Fulton. Better a shiny new sidewalk with working fountains and freshly polished art, than overgrown trees and neglect with no end in sight.

Saturday is the big thing-a-ma-jig to celebrate Fulton Street opening. For me, it will be more of a wake for Fulton Mall. But, it will be one of those fun wakes. The kind where you have a couple drinks and celebrate the life the person lived. Just, in this case, the person is a concrete open-air mall.

At Least Fresno and Downtown Can Move On To Other Things

We have debated what to do with the Fulton Mall for over a decade on Flowing With Famous. It’s going to be weird no longer needing to talk about it. Sure we still need to watch how the shops and restaurants will do now that there’s traffic. But we all get to move on now.

What is next? What should Fresno tackle now? Chinatown maybe? It will (fingers crossed) get a Hi-Speed Rail Station. That could be the push Chinatown needs to start getting some much-needed attention and renovation. It’s my pick anyway. Leave a comment on what you think the next project Fresno needs to tackle.

In the meantime, we have a wake to attend. I’ll see you out there. I hear they’ll have beer and it’s a safe bet it will be tough to get a parking spot.

Shameless Harrison Ford Tangent Ahead!

BTW, the Draggin’ the Main theme gives me yet another chance to use one of my favorite clips from American Graffiti, a movie about life growing up in the Central Valley in the 50’s (Modesto to be exact), so it’s relevant to Fulton Street, mmka?

A movie with, none other than Mr. Harrison Ford. Please tell me Bob Falfa dragged Fulton once:

*Pic was stolen from here.

Fresno’s Backbone Is Its Creativity

I’ve driven this blog right into a ditch. Twice.

The past few weeks I have only managed one post. One. I have not been creating shit. I feel damn terrible I have not been myself. There is no excuse.

No excuse because Fresno is an easy place to be creative. It begs for you to do something. I don’t mean Fresno is so shitty that there is nothing else to do but be creative – I know you were thinking that but that’s not what I’m saying.

Fresno is made for being creative. And I don’t just mean dopy blogs and podcasts about Fresno. I mean everything. You don’t have to write, or play in a band, be a board member of Creative Fresno (awesome group), or have a showing at Art Hop, to be considered creative, in my mind or in Fresno’s.

You could do something like start a local VW club and hold a big event every year. You could create hilarious Fresno themed clothing, start a soccer club that helps bring pro-style soccer to Fresno. Maybe start a music festival that becomes the biggest in Central California or sell Fresno things I can casually sleep with (pic above).

You know what I consider to be creative? A badass tailgate party at a Fresno State football game. Yep, that tri-tip and lager beer fueled party can be creative too… if it is, indeed, badass.

Hell, man, you could even start your own film festival that is unique to Fresno. BTW, you can now submit your entry to Swedefest happening December 10th at Tower Theatre with the final submission date of December 4th.

You should super go because it is a good time and an even better time if you have a film entry. It’s, like, creative and stuff.

So what is your favorite thing in Fresno you would consider to be creative?

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.