Where Does Fresno Need A Pedestrian/Bike Bridge?

This week I saw Bike Portland talking about a bike bridge that is up for city approval (that’s so Portland). It got me to thinking…

Where could Fresno use a bike/pedestrian bridge?

  • Blackstone & Nees. You saw the AMAZING rendition at the top of the post (big thanks to the Fresnan Art Department), so I don’t have to explain the location on this one. Easily crossing over from Barnes & Noble to REI sounds cool, yeah?
  • Cedar & Barstow. Thinking somewhere on Cedar, between Barstow and Bulldog Lane. Ya got all the Fresno State students living West of Cedar, then you got everyone going to the football and baseball games. Seems like a no-brainer.
  • Mama Mia’s & My House. It would make it so much easier to pick up my gnocchi if there was a bridge from my driveway that went directly to Mama’s.
  • Blackstone & Shields. People are jaywalking here all the time. This fixes it. Probably. Plus there is a new Chipotle or something, you need to get to.
  • Fulton & Inyo. I hear there is going to be so much fucking traffic going down this new look Fulton Street that you, nor your Fulton Mall business, is going to be able to handle it. Money will be falling out of the sky, people will be parking like crazy and having the time of their damn lives. Fresno Grizzlies’ “Parker” will finally get laid. The few people that will be brave enough to walk amongst the major thoroughfare of newly imagined Fulton Street, will need a bridge over the insane traffic that Fulton Street Mall will definitely totally have. And Clovis Girl will be able to walk in safety.
  • Friant & Fresno Street. You have the new shopping center on the East side of Friant and Downtown North on the West Side. Feels logical.

We are a big enough city, guys. Making it safer to bike and walk around is a major factor in making us a cool city. I’m having some fun here, but really, let’s bridge.

Where else would you like to see a bridge in Fresno?

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?

Foo Fighters! Foo Fighters Show In Fresno! Foosnooooo!

It’s the kind of news that turns a bad day into a good one. The Foo Fighter’s lifelong dream of coming to Fresno is finally a real thing!

They will be here December 1st. That’s a Friday night show, brotha! Foo on Friday! #FooFriday. Tickets on sale, June 29th, at the old classic time of 10 AM. Check out their website for pre-sale.

The super important question already being asked. Will Dave use the tired “I think this town should be called FresYES not FresNO!” joke?

But isn’t Dave Grohl too cool for such a joke? I hope so. I think so.

I will accept an “I don’t call this place FresNO, I call it FOOno!” joke. But if Dave does the tired and corny “I don’t say FresNO, I say FresYES!” joke, I will boycott the next song by sitting down in my seat, folding my arms and staring Dave down with a very disappointed smirk.

I’m getting away from the fact that it’s so freaking awesome that the Foo is finally coming to Fresno. This news will make the summer so much easier, having this to look forward too in December.

So, good job Fresno. And we didn’t even have to gather all the town’s musicians to convince them to come.

*Pic stolen from here.

Would Mild Summers Really Make Fresno A Popular West Coast City?


Sunday had some pretty amazing weather, for a June day in Fresno. It was perfect… well until the windstorm later that evening. But BEFORE that, perfect.

This brought a much overdue thought into my head: Would the removal of consistent hot Summers make Fresno a truly desirable city? Is it the one thing that is holding us back?

Fresno heat-haters would say “Duh, dude!” But is it that simple?

Yes, bro, I know that Fresno has more problems than hot Summers. We got the gangs (although I’m pretty sure Oakland, SF, San Jose, Sactown, L.A. and San Diego all have those), a lot of stucco and a shitty looking Highway 99 corridor.

But I really don’t think people are truly looking down at Fresno for that.

Plus, Fresno has all the things you could want in your standard city: A diverse and creative culture, a rising Downtown, plenty of things to do on the weekend, three world class National Parks in the backyard, etc.

So it comes back to one thing: The heat.

You Have Heard Of This New Technology Called “Air Conditioning” and “Shade”, Right?

People afraid of the heat forget about the benefits. The perfect Summer evenings on a patio with a beer in one hand and a taco in another. Or the nights when it’s perfectly comfortable to swim and… have more beer.

Maybe Sactown is the only other West Coast city that can brag about that. Sorry, Portland & Seattle, we got ya on something.

Paying Triple To Not Experience A Hot Summer Is Crazy!

When a nice house in Fresno that costs $250,000 is going to cost $1,000,000 on the coast, I think “I’m good here, thanks.”

I admit, this past weekend of “coastal” weather was nice and I appreciated it. Enjoyed it. But I’ll go ahead and continue enduring hot Summers, for now, and not feel like an idiot when my mortgage bill comes. You can enjoy your 70s.

Where Is THE Place To Pull Off Highway 99 In Fresno?

I have a lot of thoughts about the 99 corridor in Fresno. Most of them are bad. It ain’t exactly a pretty way to see Fresno. It ain’t pretty and very little has been done since it was built, to change that.

There is a big rabbit pot hole I could go down about how bad a first impression Highway 99 gives people traveling through. But that is a post for another day.

Today we figure out the best place to exit off the 99 in Fresno. The best place for you, the person traveling through, that only has time for one stop and likely won’t visit Fresno again.

DOWNTOWN FRESNO

I imagine you are coming from Los Angeles (but it doesn’t really matter) and there is nothing South of the Highway 41 interchange. Nothing. So we’re going to head slightly North and try Downtown.

If you’re a beer geek, get off at Ventura and head East add you’ll see Full Circle Brewing. Go. Enjoy. Head a block & a half more and visit the regional beer king, Tioga Sequoia. Maybe pop into Bitwise, get a glimpse of Fresno’s rising tech scene. Did you see the baseball stadium? Yeah, that’s where the Fresno Grizzlies (aka the AAA Astros) play.

The rest of Downtown? There’s a lot going on, there really is, but you don’t have time for that today, you need to get back on the road.

BELMONT AVENUE

We have a food element and a fun element here. The fun is Roeding Park with the renowned and newly expanded Fresno Chaffee Zoo. Not to mention Storyland and Playland.

Then go across 99 on Belmont and have a good-ass burger at Triangle Drive In.

HERNDON AVENUE 

Once it could only boast the throw-back truck stop called Kline’s. Now (if you go West over the tracks) you have a Five Guys burger that was SOME FREAKING HOW voted better than In & Out for best burger place in the country. Five Guys just copied In & Out, how the hell could!?…. nevermind. One day it will have a Crackle Barrel, if you’re into that. For now, there is an Olive Garden and High Speed Rail construction. Oh and there’s a rad song:

SHAW AVENUE 

Speaking of In & Out, here is your 99 spot to get your Double Double and “animal style” fries. But the best thing about Shaw & 99 is also THE unique place in Fresno: Forestiere Underground Gardens.

A unique view into our Trinity Courtyard #undergroundgardensfresno #thingstodoinfresno #visitfresno #realizefresno

A post shared by Underground Gardens (@forestiereundergroundgardens) on


And it is this wonderous and unique place that makes me choose Shaw, with a visit underground, as the place to get off Highway 99 in Fresno. Have fun. Let me know what you thought. Tell your little L.A. friends all about it.

*Highway 99 photo by Raymond YU. Downtown photo credit: Blogspot.com