If You Can Spot What Is Wrong In This Fresno Traffic Pic, You Are Not The Problem

There are some things we need to work on before Fresno can be considered a “smart driver” city.  Some would say a lot of things.

I would say there are two key ones to start with.

  1. Leave space. Yes, create a space for people leaving a driveway or street that deserve a chance to be on your street or to be able to turn into a parking lot. Don’t block shit. Where are you going that is so fucking important that you can’t afford to let one car in?! Admittedly, I will still do this on occasion. Hey, I don’t really mean to, but it happens. Then, of course, when the other driver is staring me down wondering why I had to block his way, I sit and pretend he is not there as I beg for the light to change.
  2. Leave the right lane open. You are at the intersection of a two lane street without a dedicated right turn lane. You move to the right lane to go straight. You are now blocking the person behind you from turning right. If you spotted this as the problem in the above photo, you already know this and are cool. I know it’s not always practical to leave that lane open, but it should be thought of more.
We Know Some Stuff

One thing I do like that we do right? Not honking at the person at the front who is waiting two seconds after the light turns green before he/she goes. This is a big tip to maybe help you not get into an accident. Wait two seconds before heading out into the intersection.

If you have a tip to help Fresnans drive smarter (and I’m pretty damn sure you do), please comment.

20 Years Of Pining After Fresno’s “Sparkle Jet”

I go back and forth when it comes to my favorite all-time Fresno band. Some days it’s the Light Thieves. Other days it’s Strange Vine. On days I’m feeling hardass metal it’s Farooq. Punk days it’s It’ll Grow Back. If you’d have asked me 20 [something] years ago, I would have said Neanderthals.

But the band I consistently go back to? Sparklejet.

The 20th Anniversary of Sparklejet has arrived and to celebrate, the band went back to the studio to record a new song. It’s called “UR A Dope” and they are letting you download it for free here. Check it:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 track=3817776400 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

If you’re like me, this may send you down the Sparklejet rabbit hole. To help guide you, here are nine Sparkle Jet songs that totally still stand out:

I love that the guys are still around and care enough to take the time to make new stuff. They always sound warm and familiar when I listen to them. Important sounding. Very Fresno, but somehow more sophisticated.

If you’re a fellow Sparklejet fan, I’d love to see your favorite songs and/or memories in the comments.

Fresno Inspired: Or Game

Shall we? Play a game? Let’s.

I call it an “Or Game” – stolen from Dorktown. A matchup of similar choices. This one is inspired by Fresno life. Or life in “Landland”. Here we go.

Downtown or Tower District?

It used to be no contest; Tower District. But now with all the things happening Downtown and the shinny newness of it all and the kinda stagnant vibe in the Tower… makes ya think Downtown. But I just may not be paying enough attention to Tower recently. Downtown is the fun choice but there is still more to do in Tower.

Winner: Tower District.

Blackstone Or Shaw?

Which one did you cruise on most? Which one used to take you to Yosemite? Yep, Blackstone. Plus it has Manchester and River Park. But Shaw does have Fashion Fair and Fig Garden Village, Fresno State and Forestiere Underground Gardens. But Shaw can take you into Clovis, if you are not paying attention, and that’s bad.

Winner: Blackstone.

Tacos or Tri-tip?

Fresno has been going nuts with tacos the past couple years and this year we seem to have solidified ourselves as the Taco Capital of the United States. Thanks in large part to Fresno Tacos and all the things. I think tri-tip can come back but it seems the magic of the Grizzlies marketing team would need to get behind it if it’s going to happen.

Winner: Tacos.

Fulton Mall or Fulton Street?

It may be time to stop looking at the construction of Fulton Street “Mall” and stop taking pictures and wait for it to be done. Fulton Street right now appears like it’s going to look cheap as fuck when it’s done. But it’s under construction still so I gotta give it a chance. And the crazyass crosswalk looks kinda cool:

But I am still, standing smugly at Inyo & Fulton with arms folded, looking down Fulton Mall Street, and waiting to be impressed.

Winner: Fulton Mall.

Tioga Sequoia or Full Circle Brewing?

This is not a fair fight. Tioga has been working at a higher level longer (and doing a good job at it) than Full Circle. And I’m excited for the future of Fresno beer with Pine & Palm in the NW, plus the soon to be coming Downtown, House Of Pendragon, Zack’s, 411 Ales and Border Hop.

Winner: Tioga.

Day Trip: Yosemite or Pismo Beach?

Dude. Yosemite is one of the wonders of Planet Earth. Nuff said. No strip of sand with small waves and cold water is going to beat that. But Pismo does have The Boardroom.


Winner: Yosemite.

Colorado Grill or Triangle?

I confess it has been too long since I’ve sat down for a burger at Colorado so this may not be completely accurate. I have gone to both Triangle locations recently and enjoyed the burgers and such. Dammit, now I’m hungry!

Winner: Triangle.

FSU Football Games or Grizzly Games?

Oh man. Kinda tough here. The suckness of Fresno State football since Derek Carr left really hurts. The Grizzlies have a nice relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful Downtown Fresno skyline, baseball and a swimming pool. But beer is coming back to Bulldog Stadium and tailgating rules.

Winner: Fresno Grizzlies.

I could do more but let’s save them for a future post. Comment and let me know what ya think. Go FresNO!

Well We’re Not Getting Over That Pass Today, Let’s Drink!

I was going to write a post today about Tioga Pass still being super buried under snow. But then the Bee did one and I was like, “DAMMIT! THAT WAS ALL I HAVE!”

So I guess I will move onto writing about local beer. And not Mammoth Brewing beer because you can’t get over there to Mammoth because of the aforementioned Tioga being buried. 

I’m talking about drinking beer in a library. The Woodward Library to be exact. Thursday you can go to a fundraiser there that will have plenty of Fresno beer and food too. 

I plan to actually leave the comfort of my couch and attend. Hope to see you out there. I don’t especially like going into N.E. Fresno but at least you don’t need a snow plow to get in.

Speaking of, if you have not seen it, here is how the work is progressing getting Tioga Pass clear:

Uncle Harry’s Closing Will Not Stop Me Going To Fig Garden Village. Not Yet.

Maybe you heard that Uncle Harry’s Fig Garden Village location has closed. Not because the location wasn’t doing well or because Uncle Harry’s didn’t want to renew their lease. They did.

But the owners of Fig Garden, based in New York, wanted them out in favor of some national high-end paper store (wedding invites and such). Uncle Harry’s was not shy in posting about this in their window:

This Is Not The First Time

A very similar thing happened to the Ripe Tomato (you remember that place?) when Pieology wanted their spot, their local ass was encouraged to leave by the owners.

This has got some people fired up about these big city folk chipping away at the local charm of Fig Garden Village. I’m not real happy with it either.

But I am not at a point where I will protest by not shopping or eating at Fig Garden. Not yet. Hell, Jack’s Urban Eats just got taps, bro!! How can I give up on it now?!

But there is a tipping point somewhere. A line of demarcation. A point at which they push out one too many local shops in favor of a national chain.

Will it be Wassabi’s? The Elbow Room? Hungry Bear? Patio Cafe? Yeah, maybe it would be Patio Cafe. I’m really not sure. But they are starting to piss me off and a lot of other people too.

What would the tipping point be for you? Is there one?

Joshua Tehee (of the Fresno Bee) and I have a discussion about this on this month’s Flowing With Famous podcast. Listen in here.