Where Is The Fig Garden Area Of Fresno?

Fig Garden is where exactly?

I have been wanting to do a series of posts about the areas and districts of Fresno for probably 14 years now. It’s about time I get started.

I’ll start with my area: Fig Garden/Bullard/NW Fresno.

I live near Bullard High so I often refer to it (to those that ask) as the “Bullard Area.”

Am I in Fig Garden? Yes. Am I in NW Fresno? Yes. But within those two, I am in Bullard. Hey, Instagram recognizes it in their location option, so why not?

But who the hell am I to say? So I put it out there to Fresno Twitter:

Obviously in NW Fresno. Maybe in Bullard. Definitely in (with Fresno Twitter’s backing) Fig Garden.

Me too. I never say Fig Garden either, as accurate as it may be.

Where Does Fig Garden End?

Well, to the East is easy: Blackstone. To the South: Shaw. To the North: the SJR. But where is the Western border?

Ok so things start becoming just NW Fresno at some point. But the border is?

My first thought is Marks. But I have seen some maps that have Fig Garden centered at Bullard and Valentine. So we should pick something different.

The Loop. The FIG GARDEN loop. You live East of The Loop (Fig Garden Drive to Shaw), you are Fig Garden. West? You are another thing. Then use Brawley up to Locust as a border to the North.

There we are. Fig Garden broadly defined. Maybe I will start saying I live in Fig Garden now?

I still want to work on the little districts within NW Fresno and then build out the rest of Fresno. But we have a start here.

COVID Is Not The First Thing That Scares Me About Thanksgiving Eve At Livingstone’s

Classic Livingstone’s

For the sake of this post, I will put aside the debate about if it is safe enough to go to a packed bar in the final (we hope) throws of a pandemic.

That said…

Tonight is Thanksgiving Eve. Traditionally a big night in the Tower District, where Fresno Natives (now living out-of-town) come back and mix with current Fresnans.

Those current ones have to listen to old friends pump up their post-Fresno lives, like they’re trying to sell us on bitcoin.

Livingstone’s traditionally has been the epicenter for these meetups. At this point, I am afraid to go.

Not because I am worried I’ll run into some weird person from my past. It’s because I likely would not run into anybody.

Like, not one person I know.

Been away from the Tower scene too long. And any old friends I might see hardly go out anymore either.

I might be too old for Livingstone’s. (ouch that stings)

Enjoy yourselves, younger Tower people. Enjoy Livingstone’s and Strummers and Goldstein’s and Vini’s and Fresbrew and Spokeasy’s and whatever.

Enjoy it while it lasts, kids.

Fresno Letting The Past Die Again

Gut wrenching stuff for Fresno architecture this past week.

We first learned that a different group of assholes (different from the Tower Theatre assholes) have taken over the Liberty Theater (Fresno’s oldest) and gutted it:

Before:

Then the gutting:

Like [takes deep breath] THEY REMOVED A WHOLE DAMN BALCONY WITHOUT PERMISSION!

The Fresno Bee’s Marek Warszawski does some great follow up work to find out how they were able to get away with this.

Basically, the city approved them to do SOME demolition inside but not all of what they did and then city never really came out to make sure they were taking care in what they were ripping out, so the contractor had carte blanche to keep ripping.

Fine them. stop construction. do what you can, City of Fresno, but it’s too late now. It’s gone. Can’t get it back. 

Is Kylo Ren overseeing renovations?

NEVER, KYLO! 

I’ll never join the Dark Side nor will I abide the Liberty being gutted to become a church. It’s NOT what it was meant to be.

It makes me sick. I mean, William Saroyan used to hang out in that balcony – Bill would definitely have been a Jedi, btw.

When I was part of Creative Fresno we helped put on some shows in the Liberty. It gave me the chance to explore all around that theater and I was amazed at how everything appeared to be original.

In fact, the projector room was still there with the old projector equipment, looking like someone just quit one day, in like 1952, and nothing had been touched since.

Now it’s just fucking gone.

The Dumb Drum dudes put together a great video around that time, exploring the theater with (ironically) a focus on the now fucking gone, balcony:

I used to think that a business or church taking over an old unused building, even for some different purpose than the building was intended, was better than it sitting there and rotting away. Not anymore.

Better to sit and rot in faint hope that it one day will be restored, than to be gutted.

As an example, Hotel Fresno sat FOREVER, rotting away. There was a lot of talk that it would be better to just tear it down. But now, people will be staying/living there again WITH as much of the original architecture retained or restored.

So, we can do things properly here, sadly it takes people that respect Fresno. It seems there are a lot of churches around that don’t.

*Pics stolen from Vintage Fresno’s Instagram feedand Miguel Arias.

Fresno Needs A Damn Beer Hall!

German Beer Hall – by thorquabbin on Flicker

We do. We need one – you know, when the COVID is gone (someday I hope to delete that statement from this post).

Just a straight up fucking BEER HALL!

Take one large hall. Then add…

  • A bunch of long-ass tables.
  • A solid list of beers on tap.
  • Pitchers (You remember pitchers, right!?)
  • One simple food – likey tacos. All the meat variants and veggie variants – BUT THATS IT! Don’t fuck with a bunch a different things!
  • Lots of water around.
  • A safe, open, welcoming, friendly environment.
  • A large bathroom for all peoples.
  • A large wait staff that comes to your table very regularly so you never have to get up and try to wedge yourself into a busy bar to hopefully get a bartender’s attention.

It’s actually really simple. Not that fucking hard to do and nobody is doing it exactly like that. IT WOULD RAKE!!

And it wouldn’t matter where you put it. How about one of you assholes with money just fucking do it already!?!!

The Cool As Hell Bart Simpson Fresno Mural Is Already Gone

I thought Floydy photoshop it. When I realized it was real it was like “Oh wow, how cool.”

You don’t always see cool stuff like that just come out of nowhere.

In case you didn’t recognize the Downtown Club that was Bart Simpson on that old parking garage at Inyo coming up on Van Ness.

And then it was gone.

Lame, dude.

At least some of us got to enjoy it for a weekend.

I Need KFSR To Do A Damn Thing

(KFSR Studio – picture source here)

Somebody needs to get on KFSR and make some noise. A DJ during Evening Eclectic is what I am specifically requesting.

Evening Eclectic used to have actual DJs and shifts and they’d tell you about who was being played.

Now it’s all pretty boring. No DJ (that I have heard in a while) and it’s just some programmed music with no backbone or thru line.

The Jazz-all-day format is fine. I understand it pays the bills and it’s a nice palate cleanse for the head during the day.

I haven’t come for that today.

Organic energy. It’s hard for me to articulate but there is something special that you get from a person in the studio LIVE as you listen. It feels like you’re hanging out with someone.

Radio has lost so much of that. Even most of the DJs that are in the studio on the regular stations are five minutes ahead of everything and are barely given a chance to talk. So when they are speaking it’s slightly delayed and for just a moment.

Or it has already been recorded like a podcast.

One of the few things radio has over podcasts (live energy where you are not exactly sure what will happen), they have mostly dropped – KFSR’s Evening Eclectic included.

Spotify algorithms, podcasts, and music blogs have taken some of the use for the kind of shows KFSR used to have, I guess. Still sucks.

Every semester a new crop of DJs would come through, all with their radio name and own music theme. Some bad, some good, some you hear on Fresno radio today (I can remember hearing 95.7 The Fox’s “Carter” on her KFSR show back in the day).

KFSR does have shows on the weekend to listen to but nothing for new music or current students, it seems.

I don’t know what happened over there. Why are there are no DJs during Evening Eclectic? Just random-ass music plays. It’s worse than an algorithm. It has no information. No guts.

And hey, I am a podcaster. I am not suppose to be begging radio to be better. I am supposed to be taking advantage of its weaknesses. I like to think I do. But it still doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear a healthy college station kicking ass on Fresno’s airwaves.

Be better, KFSR. Save Evening Eclectic. Save college radio in Fresno. Stop being boring.