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.

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.

The Guilt of Corona

I had not sat down inside or outside a Fresno business for nine months. Until…

Yep. I broke down and went to the new (still improving) beer garden setup at Zack’s Brewing in Downtown Fresno.

I had a couple beers along with some tri-tip.

It’s looking good, the beer is still awesome, food was great and it all felt weird.

I sat outside and away from everyone. Wore a mask except to drink and eat. I felt safe enough.

But I didn’t have to go. I could have stayed home. This is what I have done this whole Pandemic: Getting takeout & delivery. No inside or even parking lot seating, for me.

But I broke, had some beers and got some flack for it on Facebook with a reminder of how things are going out there:

I can’t say disagree with the flack. But I wanted to support a friend’s business and have a Birthday Beer.

Zack’s and Tioga are making things as safe as possible and I was thirsty for an hour of normalcy.

We have all made our Corona choices somewhere. A tasty beverage on a nice Sunday afternoon broke me.

Now I gotta re-focus, a long Winter lies ahead.

Fresno Fashion Isn’t Fair: Famous People – Joshua Tehee

One of the byproducts of the pandemic and sheltering-in-place is getting nostalgic for things. When you are an odd person like me, apparently the nostalgia rabbit hole goes down to old Fresno websites.

I randomly ran into my friend and podcast co-host, Joshua Tehee, while picking up beer at Zack’s Brewing in Downtown Fresno. I had to take a picture as I have not seen the dude in-person in a while and certainly not with his mask on.

It reminded me of a segment on the old Fresno Famous website called “Famous People”. A Fresnan is asked a series of fashion-related questions. Those questions would be turned into a blog post.

So I reenacted this segment on my Instagram page and Josh was nice enough to play along. These are exactly how the questions used to go:

Name: Famous Whitewater.
Spotted: Zack's Brewing.
Occupation: Writer at the Fresno Bee. Instructor at Aikido of Fresno. Local musician, It'll Grow Back, Strikingly Originals and more. Podcast host.
The Ensemble: Mask from Take Care Supply. Shirt from $crap$ Shoppe. Pants from Chrome Industries. Helmet from Explore Thousand. Watch by Timex and Engineered Garments.
Fashion Philosophy: Don't buy cheap clothes. Buy one thing that will last forever.
Place To Shop: (See shops above).
How Much Would You Pay For Shoes?: I haven't tested my upper limit but it would be a lot, I'm sure.

Thanks for playing along, Josh. And if I can revive any other old Fresno Famous things, I’ll let you guys know.

Fulton Street Party Is All Fresno Music Goodness!

Fulton Street Party set list 2018

Fulton Street Party! Glad that Tioga is around, otherwise this might not have happened.

The Fulton Street Party is Saturday, celebrating one year of traffic returning to Fulton. It won’t be the hullabaloo that was last year’s party.

But thankfully, Tioga Sequoia Brewing pushes for something to happen and is making a day out of it, highlighted by the Battle of the Bands style competition happening all day with all local acts.

The two “best” bands will win slots at next year’s Grizzly Fest.

This will be a great snapshot of the state of Fresno’s music scene and it’s free to check out. Gaze at the flyer above for set times. I definitely have a couple picked out already.

Tioga will also have super fresh Fulton Street IPA (nice and hazy) flowing all day along, with other things going on within the block surrounding Tioga’s Beer Garden. Including the main stage for bands in the lot across the street from TS.

Sounds like a damn fine day to me. Hope I see ya there!

Maybe I’ll finally check out Chicken Shack.

Summer Sweat 2018: The Fresno Thing To Do This Weekend

It’s time for Summer Sweat again!

My favorite music-related event of the year (well, since FUSE Fest is tucked away hiding in a Downtown basement somewhere).

I love Fresno events that fucking own that they are a Fresno event! That’s right, an outdoor event, during the hottest time of the year. Call it Summer Sweat. Bring the damn sweat!

SUMMER SWEAT DETAILS

TIOGA SEQUOIA STAGE

TEZZY RADIO STAGE

I will check in on this in between sets on the Tioga Stage and getting Fulton Street IPAs. But I would be lying if I told you I knew what the hell was going on there.

DJ Burns will be there. I sure hope it’s my friend Doug from 3rd Grade whom we all still call “Burns” and he has secretly been DJ-ing for years. Probably not.

OTHER THINGS TOO

There will be food and vendors of various sorts, check the flyer above for the list. All I need to know is there will be food and I’m cool. I am here for the music and beer.

I’ll try to update this post when I know the set times and if there are any special beer releases Tioga has up its sleeve.

Oh wait, here are the set times:

I am definitely centering things around Pinkeye’s set with an eye on Macondo’s.

The thing I like about Summer Sweat above all the other music related events and festivals in Fresno is that it doesn’t get uncomfortably packed with Fresbros or anybody else, it’s about the music, it’s approachable, there is the good beer. Enough said.

See ya out there, sweating and breathing heavy.