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.

Flowing Into Fresno Districts – Flowing With Famous Podcast #R62

Fulton Street Fresno
Fulton Street Fresno

CLICK AND LISTENBieberStreetFlowing.mp3

Fresnans. This is your culture podcast. It is called Flowing With Famous. Mr. Joshua Tehee of the Fresno Bee and I have been doing this for many years, mostly talking Downtown Fresno and interesting Fresno culture and music stories. This month’s episode is no different.

We revisit the Fulton Mall groundbreaking and our feelings for that day. We stay in Downtown Fresno and talk about the Culture Arts District and if South Stadium is a good name for that area of Downtown.

The Audie’s Olympic era has closed and we reminisce about the historic Tower District music club which leads us into the Band Of The Episode: Let’s Go Bowling.

The playing of Let’s Go Bowling sparks yet another version of the game: What’s The Greatest Music Act In Fresno History?

We then talk about last month’s Fresyes Fest at Tioga and how we may be getting too old and if there a culture shift in Fresno nightlife. Plus Josh saw Justin Beiber… so that happened.

Thanks for listening!
Show feed. Subscribe on iTunes.
Hosted: Joshua Tehee and The Fresnan.

This Popolo’s Pizza problem needs to get sorted out, Fresno

popolo's pizza front

UPDATE: Consider this sorted out; statement from Popolo’s:

We’re excited to announce, that Popolo’s Pizza & More! will be relocating to 7835 N. Palm Ave. #106, off of Palm & Nees in Fresno!

As saddened as we are leaving our Blackstone & Herndon location that we have occupied for almost 31 years, we feel that the matters we’ve been faced with these last couple of months, has forced us as a family to make this decision.

Our new location will have a large banquet room, patio, arcade and a beer & wine bar. With relocating to Park Place, we will be able to keep our existing delivery area & expand it, and also still be close to our previous location where our customers who live or/and work close to the area or travel from across town can find us a short drive up the street.

We want to say “THANK YOU!” to all of our amazing family, friends and customers for all of your support & patience during this difficult time. We will keep everyone updated as much as possible for all of the new & exciting things to come!

Thank you,
The Greene Family!
Popolo’s Pizza & More!
New location coming June 2016!!!!!!!!!!

[ORIGINAL POST]:
You are not going to take this lying down in your soft, sinking booth, are you, Fresnans? Popolo’s Pizza is temporarily closed. My breadstick craving gizzard is weeping. No salad bar. No pizza. No tube televisions to watch. No booth dividers to remove. Checking the taps in the waiting area is pointless. POINTLESS! *drops to knees* WHY, GOD, WHY!?!

It apparently has something to do with the building’s foundation. The floor of Popolo’s currently looks like this:

Popolo's Pizza floor

Did you see that!? The gap between the floor and earth? What is there like a hidden creek running beneath Pop’s? There is not supposed to be a crawl space in that building. So yeah, I can see why it might not be wise to be open with that lurking underneath.

Luckily they don’t own the building so it’s not on them to fix it. But they are not making any money right now and I’m am sitting around waiting to give them mine in exchange for a Van Ness Extension (hold the peppers).

This. This is serious guys. Oh these sad lonely booths:

empty popolo's pizza booth

I would look damn good sitting in one of them. Proudly making a plate of potato skins disappear and ordering another Tioga Sequoia XPA #DrinkLocalBro.

So what’s the update on the place? Let’s get this figured out, dammit! Well I got this from Popolo’s Pizza themselves:
Continue reading “This Popolo’s Pizza problem needs to get sorted out, Fresno”

9 Cool Ass Things I [Will] Remember About Audie’s Olympic

Audie's Olympic
Audie’s Olympic – photo by David Prasad

I dunno if you heard about this but Audie will soon no longer be running Audie’s Olympic club in the Tower District. Crazy, right?

Hey, don’t ask me what happened, I’m sure Josh over at Fresno Beehive has something up about it or soon will. Rumor has it that the Audie Camp is saying the owners of the building want to do their own thing there and are pushing him out. The Owners Camp (total rumor, bro, ok?) say they would like him to stay if he met with the obligations of the lease.

Totally not my business. All I know is I have spent a lot of time in Audie’s Olympic. Not as much as of late but I think maybe I’ve gone to… 90? 100 shows there? Yeah, sounds kinda right.

So with that, here are my Ten 9 Cool Ass Things [I Will Remember] About Audie’s Olympic:

  • The Tub Of Beer: Not every place in town has a horse water trough full of ice and cheap beer cans. Even if you are not hipster enough to like PBR (I apparently am not), you had to order one, just so you don’t stand out too much.
  • The Chalk Event Board: I am a real nerd about chalk boards. No self respecting craft beer tap room doesn’t have one. Audie’s has one. Checking out the board during band breaks is a classic past-time for me.
  • The Bathroom Door Sticker Art: I can only assume the girls bathroom is the same but I KNOW the boys has always been covered in band stickers. I really haven’t checked it out close enough to see if they are ever peeled off or if there are years and years of layers.
  • Audie Chilling In the Corner of the Bar: If you look real close, behind the soundboard, you just might catch a glimpse. Always felt like I was looking behind the curtain at the Wizard of Oz.
  • The Wall Carpet! Zanny I say (and probably helps with the sound). And all the stuff above the bar. ZANNY!
  • Pool Table/Merch Table: Of all the years going there, including when it was Club Fred, I think I saw the pool table actually functioning as a pool table, twice. Love picking up merch there so that is ok. Always bring cash for band merch, people, it seriously helps the bands survive.
  • The Sidewalk Scene: In between bands, more than half the club spills out onto the sidewalk in front of Audie’s. And most aren’t smoking, just getting some air and catching up with folks. Because have you tried having a conversation inside a rock club?
  • The Couches: It was super rare that I would get the couch in the center of the dance floor. I would occasionally get the one under the control booth. This was always a mistake because you never got up again.
  • Seeing Rising Bands: Whether it was a Fresno act or a touring act just trying to get noticed. There is no greater pretentious dude joy than to be able to say “I saw that band play at a small club in Fresno before they hit big.” Really this is [was] my favorite thing. And you get to talk to the bands outside during the sidewalk sessions.

Seriously, much love and respect to Audie and what he has done for the music scene in Fresno, it can’t be said enough. Safe travels on his next adventure.

Hopefully the space continues as a rock club. It just has too. Even if the wall carpet has to go.

[photo from David Prasad]

The End Of A Fresno Nerd Era

Hi Fresnans. Welcome to the last official post on The Fresnan.

We…alright, it’s time to drop the “we” bullshit. I will no longer write new posts on The Fresnan. A little local blog journey, that never felt like it got out of beta mode, has come to an end.

[Actually this little Fresno blog is back, but let’s see where this goes…]

I feel douchey doing a closing post but I always hate it when things I like (blogs, TV and radio shows, whatever) just end without a goodbye or a series finale. So this is for that little group of readers that happen to have liked this blog through the years.

WHY IS IT ENDING?
There are several reasons I feel it’s time to stop The Fresnan. The biggest reason is I’ve blogged myself into a corner, so to speak.

The main content for the blog has evolved, over time, into posts about the music scene. Mostly posts about what show is happening that particular night. This requires me to be writing on a near nightly basis (Friday and Saturday usually being an exception). That kind of blogging schedule is no longer sustainable for me. With work and family, the only time I have to write is late at night. I simply can’t keep up with it any more.

Now maybe changing the format back to the way The Fresnan was in the begining (more posts about general Fresno culture and media) would free up some nights here and there. Problem solved, right? Not really. I seemed to have lost the ability, or energy, or drive, to write about that stuff. Just lost it.

Facebook and Twitter have robbed a lot of that spark blogging once had as well. And that’s a factor. But really that’s a cop-out. Good blog content can still trump social media, I just can’t come up with enough good content to be relevant anymore.

I’ve always wanted to write more things like profiles of Fresno bands and bands that were coming to town. More journalistic style local content of stories that don’t ever reach the media. But lack of skill and time always prevented me from that.

STATS
To those that don’t know, asking a blogger about their exact stats is kind of frowned upon. It is sorta of an un-written rule amongst bloggers.

But since we’re done, I’ll tell you that there are currently 152 subscribers to The Fresnan and the blog averages 156 unique views a day.

I’ve never actually turned a profit doing this. There have been a couple years when links or banner ads have paid for the site, but I have never earned a dollar in my pocket.

The biggest post ever on the Fresnan was when I (in a tounge-in-cheek way) said that we should open up River Park to traffic. It was an attempt to make the argument for opening up the Fulton Mall to traffic, look silly. It got about 750 hits in 12 hours. One of the few things that went locally viral on this blog.

BLOGGER RESPECT
Over the years many blogs have come and gone. I’m not proud to admit it but, I always enjoy it when new blogs come out strong then fade out just as quickly.

I know what it’s like, you get that early little bit of success and recognition, think you’re hot shit, then realize it takes a lot of grinding, day after day, to keep a blog relevant. Then you give up. I guess that’s what I’m doing now, I just grinded it out a lot longer than most.

Much respect should be given to local bloggers Mike Oz, Joshua Tehee and Heather McLane. Through the years they (and some others) have motivated me to be a better blogger. Not so sure the “better” part worked, but they motivated me. They’ve been doing it for as long as me and GET what blogging is. It’s not an article, it’s not a column, it is its own thing. Glad to know they are still out there fighting the good fight.

Bryan Harley needs to be recognised too. He did The Fresnan logo for free and was also part of the Dumb Drum blog that was a motivator as well. Old timer bloggers like Ed Stewart also pushed me. Incredible people and commentors, Blake Jones and Dale Stewart, I really have to stop and say thanks to as well.

In the early years, the biggest motivator and influence for local blogging, for me and for most everybody else, was Jarah Euston and Fresno Famous. This was the beginning of blogging for Fresno and I can still remember her writing a “how to blog” post that I used to teach myself how to actually do this.

BANDGEEK
If there will be a gap left by The Fresnan not posting anymore it’s the end of the Friday “Bandgeek” posts. This one I feel the most guilty about abandoning. It was personally rewarding but took two to four hours to write every Thursday night. It was tough. I remember some times too when I would lose the post (delete it accidentally or have it freeze up and go away) after writing for two or three hours straight, then have to do it all over again.

If you want sources to find out what’s happening in music on the weekends, make sure to check:

There’s more but that will get you started. By the way: SUPPORT FRESNO’S MUSIC SCENE! There is a lot of talent around here, especially for a small city, get out there and see it.

OTHER PROJECTS
Sorry but I will not be off the indie media radar totally. I still love doing the long runing podcast I’m a part of: Dorktown. I will be recording shows like always and posting Dorktown and podcasting related material on the blog.

This is easier for me to do because it can be done when time allows rather than having to make time for it on a nightly basis. Plus, I get to podcast with two of my best friends in the world (Producer Becky and “Bells”) so it’s easy to motivate myself to do it.

I also plan to still use my spot on Fresno Famous (I use the handle “Wiffle”) to post stuff when inspired to and have re-booted Flowing With Famous podcast with Josh Tehee. Additionally I will keep the Fresnan Twitter account active (ironically) by RT-ing and linking to relevant Fresno stuff.

I will keep The Fresnan going in ‘archive mode’ for a while too and try to keep the links updated.

So please support that stuff and Dorktown Podcast if you’re a supporter of The Fresnan. Support for Dorktown especially would mean a lot! I hope that not posting on this blog will force more creative content on Dorktown. Time will tell.

FRESNAN OUT
So thank you so much for reading this. Fresno is a good city that has potential to be amazing and that’s what I love about it. Support things like Creative Fresno and anything and everything creative in Fresno.

Thank you thank you, thank you.

-Mikey “The Fresnan”

FUSE Fest ‘Post Takeover’: Dorktown Podcast #122 with Werebear

Dorktown122

Musician and festival organizer, Cristobal, from animal-punk band Werebear and Spanspek Music & Arts Festival, visits Dorktown and helps the gang talk about stuff like:

  • Dove season in Fresno.
  • Is it okay for Dorktown to drink something other than Tioga Sequoia beer?
  • The whats and whys of Spanspek.
  • Growing up Orosi.
  • What is wrong with Clovis?
  • Mikey gets Dorktown involved with some podcast beef with Podawful and Ear Candy and it's awesome!
  • MUSIC BREAK: Collecto.
  • Werebear is also playing FUSE Fest 2012 dontcha know.
  • Mikey almost dies for Becky.
  • What the hell is a Werebear?
  • MUSIC BREAK: Werebear.
  • Fonzy Eyyys!

Please go out and have a nice craft beer from our friends at Tioga Sequoia!

Check out Dorktown's home, leave a kickass review on iTunes, like their Face and Tweet'um… you know… if you have the time or whatever.