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.

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Don’t You People Have Homes To Go To?


I just came back from Fig Garden Village and there are a ton of freaking Fresnans out there!

Wassaaaabi’s? Packed. The patio was full and there were, like, eight people waiting for a table. THIS IS AT 2:45 on a Saturday!

Whole Foods? Packed. Long line to get in and very busy in the store. Like, so busy they might as well have not had a line to get in. It was near impossible to distance from people in there and I don’t think the line outside would have made it much worse. Fuck it, let all in.

I had not been inside Whole Foods since March and I was surprised to find it just as busy (if not more so) than Save Mart. At least Save Mart has more space to keep away from yahoos.

Jack’s Urban Eats? Busy too. wasn’t completely packed but busy and junk. Again, this is 2:45 in the afternoon.

To top it all off, it is smokey as hell. It wasn’t so bad in the morning, but the winds shifted or something and things got nasty.

BUT YOU ALL JUST PACKED OUT THE PARKING LOT PATIO AT OUT OF THE BARREL LIKE NOT A DAMN THING IS GOING ON!

Dude. All the tables at Out Of The Barrel were full. Mostly full of people that are not in a “bubble” together. You could not have fit more people out there. Since everyone is drinking, no masks.

I suppose that’s cool when it’s a handful of people, but this was too much for me brain to bare.

I was going to pick up some beer there but decided to skip it after seeing that.

Maybe a little part of me has respect for people saying, “Fuck it. I don’t care if it’s a Pandemic. I don’t care that the air is shit. I’m going to live my life and if I die, I die!”

But the rest of me? People. Is eating and drinking in a parking lot or smokey patio really all that?

We are never going to get out of this, are we?

Just go home, Fresno.

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This Old Fresno Der Wienerschnitzel Needs To Be The New Normal

Yep. I shopped a Google Street View pic of Blackstone & Gettysburg Wienerschnitzel because I’m too lazy to go take the picture myself.

The walk-up window style like the old (still going) Der Wienerschnitzel on Blackstone & Gettysburg, needs to be a forever trend in Fresno.

Nobody truly knows when this COVID-19 will end. We need to assume … another year? Two? One month. Fuck, I don’t know. Eating outside is less dangerous, this we know.

Virus or no, Fresno needs more permanent outdoor eating options. Sorry, Fansler, spend the money on a real patio at your restaurants next time. (Ohhhhhhh owwwww, burrrn!)

We should have had walkup windows and patios everywhere the whole damn time, dude.

I don’t know if you have walked around outside much lately, but the sun is out there. Like, a lot. Not much rain to contend with (Suck on that, hard, Portland!). Fresnans are very familiar with sunshine. We are made for outdoor eating.

Do we need lots of canopies and umbrellas and coverings of all kinds? Crap yeah we do.

Block that sun. It needs to be blocked, it’s kind of a jerk sometimes. Put up a mister. Some plants. Whatever.

Fresno, needs more outdoor everything. More walk-up windows would be a start.

Side note: Here is an old picture (I think I found on a Fresno Facebook group) of the above location. I assume it’s the original Der Wienerschnitzel in Fresno. Not much has changed:

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I Have Door Dash Guilt. Help?

It’s has been talked about during this Pandemic, as we use food delivery service up the ying-yang, that Door Dash, Grub Hub and maybe Postmates too, kinda suck as employers. That and restaurants make little to nothing using them.

There was even this post about how Door Dash will deliver food from places that don’t deliver, lose an ass-load of money doing it, just to later convince a restaurant to use them as a delivery service.

My personal morals tell me to not use these delivery services, but I still do… sometimes.

I don’t feel good about it. Makes me uncomfortable every time I do. Not only because I know the restaurant isn’t making nearly as much as it should, but because having a third party handling my food slightly skeezes me out.

The thing I tell myself to make me feel slightly better is that I only use these delivery services for places I would have never ordered from anyway. I still go and pickup takeout from my normal places.

This week, we ordered some Quesadilla Gorilla using GrubHub. I only eat there when I happen to be around Fresno High, it’s slightly outside of my takeout routes.

It was freaking delicious as always. I would not have ordered it otherwise. So why do I feel guilty still?

Would it be better not to use these delivery services at all, or does it make it ok if I’m buying from a local place that I would not have otherwise?

I still don’t know.

(pic taken from here)

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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.

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Fresno On Lockdown

So this is life now, eh? Battling Fresnans at Save Mart (or for you crazy people, Costco) for bread.

Actually, I have been surprised by how nice everyone has been out there in Fresno. I guess when you go through a shared experience like this, people get nicer.

As a homebody, an introverted and awkward person, that has to push and motivate themselves to even meet up with friends that I want to be around, you would think this new world of being socially distant, not meeting up with people and staying away from groups, would be kinda awesome.

Honestly, for me, it sort of is.

WAIT WAIT, don’t hate me. If everyone else’s life was the same; healthy, their business was untouched, jobs secure, THEN this would be the life I dream of.

Stay at home with my family? Play video games? Wander around my backyard, look up at the clouds, write, binge Star Wars content, develop a playlist on Spotify, trick-out my patio? Do all the things I always want to do but never make the time for? Yes, I’m here for that content.

All while feeling like I’m “doing good” (even if I don’t actually do any of those things and put them off like I always do).

Feeling good about myself instead of my normal feeling of dread and guilt that I’m not meeting friends for a thing, or going Downtown for ArtHop or an event, or going to get my tires rotated or some crap thing that I beat myself up for not doing ALL THE FUCKING TIME.

*deep breath*

Getting takeout now feels… good? As long as places stay up and running.

I hope everyone can weather this. The number of businesses that are affected are too many to count. It’s not just the food-related industry. But what the hell am I talking about here, you don’t need me to tell you this.

Most of the places I use for beer have delivery or pickup now. I used Pine & Palm’s “drive-thru” service this week and picked up some crowlers. I’ll be trying out Tioga’s delivery service this weekend. Hopefully, Zack’s Brewing will be able to do the same soon. Most of my craft beer places are at least setting up pickup options. I plan on taking full advantage.

Here are tips on how to keep it clean and still get local takeout.

This is all we can do, right? Takeout and tip higher than normal. Save up money to hella support when we are on the other side of this. No matter if it’s a food-related business or not.

I am fortunate to have a job that is not affected by this (income-wise), at least not yet. Unfortunate that I still have to go out and do it. Props to all my new brothers and sisters in the Essential Services Industry.

Staying at home sounds better than ever, but even I will be glad to be amongst groups of Fresnans again, someday… on occasion.

For now, all we can do is support the places we use (in the safest way we can) and hope they will be there when this is over. Keep your head up gaze at the clouds and stay safe, Fresno.

-Mikey

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