I Already Miss ‘Quiet Fresno’

Fresno is about to “open up” because…[really I’m just too exhausted to get into it and you probably are too].

Above is a picture I took yesterday of the cantina from Casa Corona (no relation) at Bullard & West. In the times before COVID 19, it was always packed (even with its crap beer selection – OHHH sick burn).

It is a fun and lively bar, even with the lack of craft beer (burn #2), and it will be nice to see it return… I guess. You won’t see me sitting down inside a bar or restaurant any time soon, but if you need this in your life right now, have at it. Enjoy that freedom to acquire the COVID.

But yeah, anyway, I will miss it. The quiet.

I will miss sitting outside and not hearing much traffic at night. I will miss riding and walking around the neighborhood with few vehicles to contend with.

Empty parking lots. Less smog. More people walking. Enjoying their front porch. Bikers. Runners. I will miss it. I will miss the quiet.

No Place Like Home Fest: What To Look For

Fresno’s Bitwise Industries has a virtual festival happening Saturday called No Place Like Home. It starts at 9 am and goes till 10 pm.

Go here to sign up. I “bought” three tickets. They’re free but you still need to sign up. If you want to go all the way with it, you can buy a box that has swag to maximize the festival experience.

I might be more interested in the box Tioga has put together for it with the new and exclusive Valley Sunrise:

How the hell is this gonna work?

I assume there will be a constant Main Stage channel to watch and maybe some Stage B and C action to look at if you feel like flipping back & forth, I don’t really know dude.

They are going to stream stuff to the Internets and we’ll watch, nuff said.

I plan on having it in on the background on a screen somewhere in the house, all day, with focused stops to watch some of the more interesting acts.

I’ll be looking out for the music acts for sure:

  • SAGEY. Everything I have seen from these guys have been creative so I am willing to bet they have something cool planned.
  • PATRICK CONTRERAS: He has been keeping his chops up with his driveway concerts, he’s gotta be ready for this.
  • OMAR NARE & JASIMIN LA CARIS.
  • MERLINDA ESPINOSA.
  • ZEE WILL.
  • EDWARD HERNANDEZ.
  • HOPE GARCIA.
  • RAY’S BOOM BOOM ROOM. With a name like that there is no way his feed won’t be interesting.

How the hell is there food availible for this?

Organizers have teamed with Fresno Street Eats to have festival vendor food sent to your safe place. Not real sure how all that will work, but I guess we’ll find out Saturday.

I hope I don’t run into any people I don’t want to talk to. Or end up kicking myself for not remembering their name, or die of lameness for making bad awkward comments to people, or get drunk and… oh wait, virtual, I almost forgot. I’ll only be embarrassing myself at my own house like I do every day. Neat.

I’m sure Fresnans will still complain about parking though. And not enough bathrooms, which, actually, I have a complaint about… oh dammit, VIRTUAL, *bangs forehead* Mike, virtual festival.

In fact, if Bitwise wants to make it feel like a real festival, it will start an hour late and fall further behind schedule as the day goes.

Seriously, props to Bitwise and everyone involved in putting it together. I’m actually slightly pumped to see this thing. And thanks for giving me something to drink beer to while staring at stuff.

I’ll leave you with some Sagey to pump you up. Please mosh at home responsibly.

Fresno Bands On Bandcamp To Support, Play and Download

Bandcamp is the definitive place on the Internet for small and local acts to release their albums to. Bands are even able to make a little bit from this, at least enough to generate some operating cash, if nothing else.

Normally Bandcamp takes a fee from the band when someone buys a song or album. Lately, with everything being shutdown and bands not able to generate any revenue besides the selling of merch, Bandcamp has been choosing certain days to wave their fees so bands can get as much cash as possible.

So, I guess, watch Bandcamp to know when those days are or just buy as much as you want when you want.

Speaking of, as a way to support Fresno area bands, I have compiled SOME of the local acts with albums on Bandcamp. It’s a mix of my own suggestions and Fresno Twitter suggestions.

That’s Cloudship:

Brian Kenny Fresno (also suggested by Matt Hackney):

and of freaking course, Fashwan:

Okay, Josh, *acts like he doesn’t know* let’s check out I’ll Grow Back :

and The Strikingly Originals :

Short King aka @JohnnyAppeal from Numbskull Shows has a perfect suggestion as you can spend some time with this page because it has a bunch of classic Fresno hardcore albums, including one from Most Inspirational:

Fresno music royalty, Dale Stewart, has a new track to download:

He also has a great site for lovers of old Fresno Punk, it’s a must for music explorers.

Continue reading “Fresno Bands On Bandcamp To Support, Play and Download”

This Is Not A Guide For Walking In Fresno

Thank you banner on Fruit Ave found during a walk

Does Fresno have a Walking Guide? Spoiler: No.

Since (like maybe most of the world now) there are so many people out walking (sometimes just to get the hell away from the house), I feel the need for a walking in Fresno… post.

I’d really like this to be a definitive Walking Guide To Fresno, but that is too daunting. Consider this post… *strokes beard and thinks about it* … consider it a walking prompt.

I was inspired by a post from Claire Downs about walking in Los Angles, some stairs that kicked her ass and a book about walks in L.A.

Fresno doesn’t have many places that will kick your ass. Pretty damn flat. There is one good place within the city limits though. You can go out to Woodward Park and use all the hills there if you would like a good ass-kicking of a walk.

Of interest to me are the hidden ones. There is a website in Los Angeles that features some hidden stairs to walk.

I don’t imagine Fresno has many hidden stairs. I rode my bike down a “hidden” path once. Okay, not hidden, but one that not that many people know about.

The only thing close to a hidden one on my usual route is a path behind some oleander bushes that people use instead of going out on the street;

So okay, maybe this post isn’t an official walking guide for Fresno but that doesn’t mean you can’t make one up on your own. You can start by mapping your walks and giving them names.

I use Cyclemeter for my walks or bike rides, save the route and name it something nerdy. There is also a cool trail-based app that even shows topography in Fresno called Topo Maps. Apparently the hill on Palm Ave (near Clinton) is 305 feet in elevation, btw.

If your neighborhood walks have turned boring, here is a nerdy suggestion: Do a themed walk. What the hell is a themed walk? Choose something specific to look for or think about. Like:

  • Cats. How many cats you see.
  • A color. Look for things in blue or something.
  • Trucks with lightbars (I’m joking…sorta).
  • Fruit trees. “Today is lemon tree day, brats!”
  • How many different kinds of birds are in your neighborhood – don’t mess with the crows, they’ll murder you.
  • Basketball Hoops.

I can count one putting green on my walks.

I have been passing by this house for years, always looking at the putting green in the front yard. I have seen the dude out there using it only twice. Still, it seems like a real nice place to lockdown at.

Speaking of, we’re going to be in near lockdown mode all Summer, despite what Clovis Unified thinks. Gotta start making longterm adjustments, like taking regular nerd walks.

So get the hell out there and do some walking stuff!

Fresno’s Most Map Worthy Feature Is…

Illustration of the intersections of Buffalo (Fresno’s would be too boring, I imagine)

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.

In fact, the website and the newsletter Snakes & Ladders is the inspiration behind this post. Check it out:

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:

Stay safe out there mapping.

-Mikey

Best Mexican Food Breakfasts In Fresno

Fresno breakfast places can get pretty damn busy, time to expand the options. So I asked Fresno Twitter to fill in a gap in my knowledge. Hopefully, this helps you too.

I trust my Fresno Twitter folks on this. Much more than Yelp and Google anyway.

Let’s begin with the multiple vote winners. Some have a quick item reco from voters, some don’t. This is nothing definitive, just a helpful guide from Fresnans that know the best Mexican food breakfast in Fresno:

Top Four Recommends:

  • TOLEDITO’S (1704 Van Ness Ave). The breakfast burritos and Spanish omelet especially.
  • ZAMORA (850 N. Fresno St). Homemade tortillas and great chilaquiles.
  • CASTILLO’S (3659 E.Ventura). I dunno, everything?
  • LAS MANANITAS (1329 S. Hazelwood Blvd). Amazing owners. Good chilaquiles.

Next Tier Of Recos:

Other Fresno spots folks felt needed mentioning. Might be just as good as any of the above spots, just happened to be not mentioned as much:

Mi Amigo. That’s a lot of places to check out. Well done, Fresno Twitter.

A dumb guy thought: What is Chilaquiles?

Zamora’s chilaquiles – photo by Amy on Yelp.

I did not know this. Sorry, I suck. People kept bringing it up and my dumb ass is like “Should I know what the heck this is? I should, right? Do I eat this and not know what it’s even called?”

Chilaquiles is this:

Chilaquiles (pronounced “chee-lah-KEE-lays”) is a traditional dish found throughout Mexico. At its most basic, chilaquiles consists of fried tortilla strips simmered in red or green salsa or mole to soften the strips. This dish is great for using up leftovers because stale (or store-bought) tortillas can be used. It’s often served with a side of refried beans.

TripSavvy.com

Ok cool. Now my dumbass knows. Good for hangovers? I like that.

Yelp Reviews To Be Taken With Many Grains Of Salt

Just something I noticed, I don’t know if this is true, but it seems that if you go by what Yelp says, Castillo’s is the place that people from out-of-town think is the best “locals” Mexican breakfast spot to check out. Not sure if some food show came through town once and told them or if this is actually the case.

Anyway, glad to have this list now that you and I can come back to reference when looking for a good Mexican food breakfast in Fresno.

We have a lot of eating to do. Time to get out there and start trying some dishes of chilaquiles!