Fresno As A ‘Basecamp’ For Stuff, Put To The Test

Downtown Fresno shots by Nick Pisano at the Road Goes On Forever

I have always said that Fresno is a great basecamp for visiting the Sierras, most notably our three nearby National Parks: Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia. But I had never really known of someone that actually did it – someone not from here anyway.

A dude named Nick Pisano is spending a year traveling (sounds like a sweet gig if you can get it) with his partner and recently spent a couple weeks using Fresno as a basecamp.

This long blog post by Nick documents his use of Fresno as a base for visiting our nearby parks and … Bakersfield 🤷‍♀️ -that is actually a cool part to me, but anyway.

It is a overall good blog post illustrating how a tourist can use Fresno as a basecamp, I want to make that clear. 


He gave us several shots throughout the post. He tried to be nice about it, but definitely didn’t pass up on chance to deal in digs:

“Not a lot going on here”

“I’ve gone out in search of Fresno, as it were, multiple times here and come up relatively empty each time.”

“relatively sleepy”

“The key to enjoying this city is lowering your expectations”

“a kinda bad city next to some very good things”

“I say this with the utmost respect, but there’s just not a terrible lot going on here. In some ways, it’s the least-happening place we’ve been.”

Woah. Pretty rough.

I will give him credit for going to a Fresno Grizzlies game, the Tower District, and bonus points for visiting the Underground Gardens. He seemed to enjoy those, as he should.

He certainly didn’t do all the things though.

In fact, one major mistake: He did not seem to have much (if any) Mexican food – most notably no mention of tacos:

Yep, you KNOW Mike Oz is taking that dude on the taco tour of his life next time.

Speaking of food, going out to eat is a feature for Fresnans. Part of our culture is eating out. When someone visits us, we plan on eating places. It is a “thing to do”. 

You can make fun of that if you like but I think it’s cool. It’s a Fresno feature that is underrated. 

Also, this guy seemed to not be familiar with the concept of a small city. A working class city. A city for living a life.

Not every town is built to give a shit about tourists. Fresno is one of them.

We don’t have a beach. We don’t have Disneyland. There are no longer any cable cars. A Hollywood sign doesn’t loom over the town. We don’t have a Vegas Strip. We have no plan for someone hanging out for two weeks.

What our “sleepy town” has is people working their ass off and living a life.

THE Bands You Will Regret Missing At Grizzly Fest

I won’t be at Grizzly Fest on Saturday. Probably. But YOU should totally go because you are way cooler than me and deserve to treat yourself to the best music festival in Fresno. Well, best since F.U.S.E. Fest went on hiatus.

Yeah, I probably won’t make it because it’s Saturday and that means I’ll be making one worthless trip to the hardware store and a second trip to get the thing forgotten on the first trip.

I’m going to miss a lot of badassness. Fresno’s own Fashawn will be there, along with plenty of other national acts. I kinda don’t give a shit about those. I like the Fresno bands.

Some of the Fresno music will include Slow Season, Amoret, White Glove Service and one of the biggest Fresno bands of all time: 40 Watt Hype. They have a new video out, btw:

There are more Fresno acts but the two I will miss out on the most are Sagey and Wee Beasties:

Make sure you go and report back to me on social media (@thefresnan on Twitter and Instagram. trenchrun22 on Snap) and tell me all the badass sets I missed.  I think I’ll be busy getting drunk while watching house paint dry.

Now please watch the most genius use of Fresno landmarks ever:

Eat These Tonight: Tacos

Taco throwdown

Wanna bet Colorado Springs doesn’t know how to do a Taco Throwdown? Yeah, these are the kind of things that make Fresno cool. Fresno knows how to do tacos. It’s Taco Truck Throwdown #2, happening again at The Chuk. The Beehive has all the details cabbage on the event.

Basically, you go to a Grizzlies game and a taco truck fight breaks out. It was wildly successful last year so getting there at 5:30 might not be a bad plan – plus you get to see batting practice…if you’re into that sorta thing.


Tonight @ Fresno: An Excessive Amount Of Things

Fresno's really showing off now. It's Spring and there's too damn much going on, especially for one shitty blogger to keep up with. ArtHop is tonight with dumps of stuff (artists love it when you refer to their pieces as "dumps of stuff") all over at places like this:

Biz works

Also, that blog that has never stopped believing that blogs are popular, the Fresno Beehive, are putting on another Tweetup with the Grizzlies, poolside:


Downtown Fresno is all into doing stuff on Thursday nights now:


Arthop is so popular it produces bi-product events:

Bike hop

Oh yes, there's the normal during Arthop live music like the Light Theives playing…

Light thieves

…And post-Arthop live music as well:

Adventure galley

There's probably a buncha other junk happening too…after all it is Fresno: lot's of stuff happens here.