You Lie About Not Going Downtown Because Of Having To Pay To Park.

When talking to North Fresno person, a common statement made is, ”I won’t go down there because you have to pay to park!” I call bullshit. You just don’t want to go.

You don’t want to meet that friend. Don’t want to go to that Grizzlies game. Don’t want to have a beer at HOP PK or Tioga. Admit it. Admit it so we can all go on with our Fresno lives.

So, you really would go to Downtown Fresno if all the parking was free? Interesting. Um, yeah, so if Target or Walmart had parking meters or you had to pay to park in their lot, you wouldn’t go there? Bullshit.

If Pismo’s made you pay for parking you would not go there? Bullshit.

If you had to pay to park at Edwards you would stop going to the movies? Bullshit.

If Save Mart made you… Okay, you get the idea. Bullshit. We are all bullshit. Parking is bullshit. Downtown meter complaints are bullshit. Bull. Shit.

It is just what you do when you live in a city. Can you name a city bigger than Fresno that doesn’t have areas of their downtown pay-to-park? I’ll wait.

And hey, parking in Downtown Clovis is free and it sucks ass trying to find a good space. I usually have to park well away from the dumb Clovis business I am being forced to go to.

Suck it up and feed the meter and shutup about it. #endrant

If you would like to change your North Fresnan Afraid Of Downtown Parking ways, might I suggest having a look at Joshua Tehee’s Downtown Fresno Parking Primer?

Fresyes Fest: Seven Things I’ll Do

Fresyes Fest! Saturday! I’m totally probably going! Gotta go, right? It’s North America’s best, real estate company festival! Gotta be top eight, at least.

The only problem with the event in the past is that it’s too awesome and successful. Fresno loves things to be free and bumping.

Organizers listened to whiny bloggers and doubled the size this year. There will be more room for activities!!

Alright. So, it’s cool, we’re going. But what time?

I base the time I go on two factors:

  1. Avoiding people.
  2. Set times for the bands I want to see.

Getting there at the beginning is the key to avoiding people. And there are two bands I definitely want to see: Sparklejet and Sharks Of Dance.

Unfortunately they play at totally different times. Here are the set times:

Sharks at 1:15 is excellent! Take in the set, have a couple beers, do an Irish Exit around 2:30 and go about the rest of my day in Fresno.

But wait. Sparklejet does not play until 5:30. That is a long time between shows. Too long when there is beer around. I can’t commit a whole fucking day to one place, I’m not 22.

Damn.

Not sure how to go about this. I guess I could leave and come back at 5:30 but that is unlikely. Once I return to my NW Fresno life, motivating to go back Downtown will be tough.

I dunno. Guess I’ll figure it out the day of. In the meantime.

Here are the seven things!

In addition to the Sparklejet set at 5:30 and/or maybe the Sharks Of Dance set, here is some other stuff I plan to do:

  1. Several times, badly joke to someone “Screw this FresYES Fest, I’m starting a FresNO Fest! As in, a NO Clovis people festival!”
  2. Find a corner to hide. I’d prefer one with fellow nerdy blogger/media or beer geek types, but I’m fine by myself too.
  3. Examine a Fresno inspired vendor booth. My go-to is Casual Glitz.
  4. Make eye contact with someone I know and wonder if I should stop and talk. Or do I just politely nod ”Sup” because they probably want to talk to me less than I want to talk to them.
  5. Try to figure out who are all these people. A lot of folks show up and you are like “Wait. Who is THAT guy? That guy lives in Fresno? And he is with THAT girl? She can’t be from here. What the hell is going on!?!”
  6. Eat tacos. I may even stave off tacos on Friday to make it extra special.
  7. Drink beer. The special release beer for this year’s festival that Tioga made is a hazy IPA called ”Pride of the Valley: Workd Champ IPA” in honor of local boxer and Champion, Jose Ramirez. I am definitely going to have that one. Then maybe I’ll have one more. Then stop, if I drove, or keep drinking if I take a Lyft. Be safe, Future Mikey.

So, no matter what time I figure out, I’ll be there. I’m sure you and half of Fresno will be too. Maybe we can buy each other a beer.

After all, it’s double the free. Double the beer stations. Double the places to hide.

*Great info that answers every question you might have about this year’s event can be found here.

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.