No, those were not UFOs over Fresno’s evening sky. We now know (thanks to this ABC 30 post) they were Internet Balloons or whatever.
I noticed them last evening (the two bright dots in the top right of my picture above) while staring at stuff. I first thought “Am I seeing something cool finally?”
Then thought “Nope. There is no way YOU, Mikey, are seeing something cool. There must be an explanation.” Last night I figured I was seeing a couple of stars shining through the atmosphere brighter than normal because of …. space reasons.
But now we know they were something called Project Loon (click it to find out more). This was the flight path of one of the balloons:
I’ll keep looking up. Maybe one day it will be something cooler than a balloon. Here is a video about Loon:
We have a problem here. A problem I bounce around in a post from time to time but never take on directly.
What will it take for Fresno to be considered a cool city?
If you’re thinking “Hey, but wait, I already think it’s cool!” I don’t disagree with you, but we both have to acknowledge that we are in the minority, chief.
How do we make Fresno appear cool to an outsider? This is what I’m talking about. To a Fresno State grad, we lost to brain drain? What can we do to win that person back? It’s a question that Fresno creatives have been wrestling with for many years.
First. The Immovable Object.
We are land locked, no getting around that. Except that we are not as landlocked as Denver, or Boise, or Dallas, or Every City Not On The Ocean. We can go to the beach for a morning surf session and be back in town for a late lunch.
So while this is tough, we have workarounds, it could be a lot worse.
The air sucks. It does. But, the past couple years, it feeeeels like it has gotten better? And if California can (continue?) to lead in clean air…stuff and things? Maybe I’m being naive but I feel like future technology and regulations will make the terrible air a thing of the past. But we definitely need to be a lead-city on clean air initiatives.
Booze May Be An Answer.
Here might be a cool city suggestion we can work on:
I'm totally with you on NE Fresno aka Clovis West. Rooftop Whiskey bars S of Fulton would liven up the place like they did in DT Denver
Rooftop whiskey bars, eh? I definitely like the idea of rooftop things – like the pic at the top of the post from a Phoenix rooftop bar. And adding a niche element like whiskey is the kind of thing that pushes something from being “Oh that, you can find that in every city.” To “Oh that is rad, I wish we had one of those in our city.”
That unique, “can’t put my finger on it why it’s cool but I just know it’s cool” thing is really what we need to get at here in Fresno.
Touting our agriculture backbone. Being sunny almost every damn day. Embracing our sports, like the soccer community that gets bigger every year:
We’re just spitballing here.
The Cool Roots Are Taking Hold.
We have things already going for us. Not many cities can boast that they are a “basecamp city” to three National Parks. One of which, Yosemite, is considered by many to hold the most beautiful place in the world, Yosemite Valley – and I am in complete agreement with that.
There are other signs of coolness brewing as well. Bitwise pushing Fresno into the tech and startup scene is a big one. The rising craft beer and coffee scene. Branding ourselves as the Capitol of Tacos. These are the kind of things to ride into the cool town sunset.
So let’s tally up some of the cool stuff we got and the stuff we can do more of:
Craft Beer – even more breweries.
Bitwise and tech.
Sports – including soccer.
Leader In Clean Air.
Outdoor city – more trails, parks, and owning the Sierra Nevada closeness.
This is but a humble start of a list by a blogger that only went as far as Fresno City College – a great community college, btw. I know only bits and pieces of things. So I choose you to comment and help.
What are some of your suggestions? Leave a comment! On the August episode of Flowing With Famous, myself and Joshua Tehee will parse them out and talk about them on the podcast.
Sunday had some pretty amazing weather, for a June day in Fresno. It was perfect… well until the windstorm later that evening. But BEFORE that, perfect.
This brought a much overdue thought into my head: Would the removal of consistent hot Summers make Fresno a truly desirable city? Is it the one thing that is holding us back?
Fresno heat-haters would say “Duh, dude!” But is it that simple?
Yes, bro, I know that Fresno has more problems than hot Summers. We got the gangs (although I’m pretty sure Oakland, SF, San Jose, Sactown, L.A. and San Diego all have those), a lot of stucco and a shitty looking Highway 99 corridor.
But I really don’t think people are truly looking down at Fresno for that.
Plus, Fresno has all the things you could want in your standard city: A diverse and creative culture, a rising Downtown, plenty of things to do on the weekend, three world class National Parks in the backyard, etc.
So it comes back to one thing: The heat.
You Have Heard Of This New Technology Called “Air Conditioning” and “Shade”, Right?
People afraid of the heat forget about the benefits. The perfect Summer evenings on a patio with a beer in one hand and a taco in another. Or the nights when it’s perfectly comfortable to swim and… have more beer.
Maybe Sactown is the only other West Coast city that can brag about that. Sorry, Portland & Seattle, we got ya on something.
Paying Triple To Not Experience A Hot Summer Is Crazy!
When a nice house in Fresno that costs $250,000 is going to cost $1,000,000 on the coast, I think “I’m good here, thanks.”
I admit, this past weekend of “coastal” weather was nice and I appreciated it. Enjoyed it. But I’ll go ahead and continue enduring hot Summers, for now, and not feel like an idiot when my mortgage bill comes. You can enjoy your 70s.
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: