What would Fresno’s defining feature be? What would look cool enough and speaks to you enough to be illustrated? What jumps out at you when you look at a map of Fresno or think about Fresno in a map inspired way?
I recently came upon a website called barelymaps.com. On it are map inspired graphics (like the one above using Buffalo intersections) of a city feature, illustrated in a creative way.
There isn’t a Fresno one, as you might expect. I would love to see one though. I have some simple ideas as to what Fresno’s could be:
The Railroad Tracks (active and abandoned). That might look cool pulled off a map and featured. The Union Pacific and Santa Fe tracks (and maybe one day High-Speed Rail tracks) are very Fresno. Also, there is a track that spurs off into Southwest Fresno that I think still may be active, but I have never seen one pass through to confirm as I am only occasionally in that part of town.
Ponding Basins. I know every town has ponding basins but Fresno’s seem to be more defining. Might look cool pulled out as well.
Canals. Some of our more featured canals have been converted over into a pipe system and covered over but many remain. Enough to make a graphic with or you could include the ones covered over as if they still remain. Canals are a big reason Fresno became a city so that is defining for sure.
Swimming Pools. That would be a lot of swimming pools to feature, for sure. I have always been curious as to Fresno’s pool ratio. I would bet we have the highest pools-per-capita rate of any city outside of Phoenix, Tuscon and Las Vegas.
Freeways. We “only” have four. A well-designed poster of them could look rad.
The San Joaquin River. Our largely overlooked NW border would look sweet with everything within range of its Fresno side, featured.
Save Marts. Really, what is consistent throughout Fresno and is local? Actually, there is no Save Mart downtown or in the Edison High area or… in Southwest… well, unless you consider Sunnyside Southwest. You know what, screw those cowards.
The Grid. Nothing says Fresno more than a map grid. In fact, we could be the poster child of grids.
This one we actually can see an example of because I found a website that will let you search for a city and it will pull up a map of it the city you search for but it only features the streets, everything else is stripped away.
If you use the website and your smartphone, it will let you zoom into specific areas of the map (I couldn’t get it to do it on my laptop but I could on my phone).
I’d love it if a Fresno graphic artist made something up inspired by Fresno and the Barely Maps. Please share it if you do.
While we’re here, a friend sent me this drawing of Fig Garden Village at a time when Rock Bottom Brewing was still there ALONG with the movie theater. I had recently been really wishing the movie theater was still there, so this made me pause:
There is still time to set your goals for the year. There is always time. As corny as it sounds, I am definitely the kind of person that needs to write goals down or they will not happen, and dammit, I have goals I need to write down.
In this case, goals to post on the Internet. Fresno and creative goals.
GOAL: GO TO ARTHOP AGAIN!
Very sad to say but I did not go to one damn ArtHop last year. Thought about it all the time. Every month I’d say “I gotta go to ArtHop this month!” and never did. I even have a 9-year-old that is a budding young artist that needs to see all the talent we have in Fresno (and hang out at the Culture Arts District Park, pictured above [stolen from here]) and I still didn’t go. PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 80%.
GOAL: SEE MORE LOCAL MUSIC!
I think I went to two, maybe three, local music shows last year and that was mainly because of Tioga Beer Garden and Goldstiens. I know I saw, Farooq, Light Thieves, Cockamamie Jamie and some other people. I used to go to shows all the damn time. Weak effort on my part. Hopefully, the old Club Fred/Audie’s Olympic location will manage to open this year and motivate me to see more shows. PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 72%
GOAL: SEE A FRESNO STATE BASKETBALL GAME!
Certainly, I have gone to these games in the past but I have not been for the past couple seasons. Save Mart Center is such an annoying place to sit and watch things. But the team is good this year and worth our attention, this needs to happen. PROBABiLITY OF HAPPENING: 65%
GOAL: EAT LESS AT CHAINS!
You know, it feels like I go to more local places than the average Fresnan. But necessity calls for the occasional chain.
You put chain restaurants on this list? Jesus. THAT is the most Fresno thing you’ve ever done.
Hey, you try to keep a finicky 9-year-old happy by not using Red Robin and Chilli’s and then talk to me about chains, brah! I think if I just cut back on Taco Bell, I will be fine. PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 90%.
GOAL: POST MORE & SEND A NEWSLETTER!
There are a lot of creative projects I have going on. But the most important of all is trying my best to be a good Husband, Dad, Son, Brother, Friend and employee at my day job. So finding the time to create posts here (something I fucking love doing) and sending out my newsletter, don’t get the attention I would like.
Plus, currently running in the background, I am trying to train myself/figure out how to become a professional freelance blogger, in case one day my day job decides it no longer needs my services. So there is that.
If I get better at time managing, this will become doable. PROBABILITY OF HAPPENING: 88%
Well, now that I have sent these goals to the Internet, they are more likely to happen, RIGHT!? Keep me accountable this year!
If you have Fresno or creative goals for 2018, I would love to read them in the comment section!
Okay. So yeah, I know I’ve been away for a while, not blogging about Fresno and stuff. And yes, this Fulton Mall becoming Fulton Street is the big cool thing in Fresno right now. And I am sorry to write such a negative post, right off the bat.
But I am not feeling Fulton Street:
I know the project was short two million but I think they could have done better than that.
Sure it’s nice fresh asphalt. Fresh new asphalt is super pleasing. I can smell this new Fulton Street and be transported back to the 1950s. I can almost see Bob Falfa’s 55 Chevy looking for somebody to race.
And, okay, the art and the fountains all seem to still be in place, so that’s cool. But gosh, I was expecting a little more.
While I’m here, would it really cost that much to at least clean up the construction mess? I was totally stoked to go cruising down Fulton Street like my grandpa and stuff but there’s all the things in the way:
HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DRIVE THROUGH THIS, SWEAR BEAR?! PICK UP THE SHIZZ! Maybe get Mayor Swear’s church group out there to clean it up or something?