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

Fresno’s Most Map Worthy Feature Is…

Illustration of the intersections of Buffalo (Fresno’s would be too boring, I imagine)

What would Fresno’s defining feature be? What would look cool enough and speaks to you enough to be illustrated? What jumps out at you when you look at a map of Fresno or think about Fresno in a map inspired way?

I recently came upon a website called barelymaps.com. On it are map inspired graphics (like the one above using Buffalo intersections) of a city feature, illustrated in a creative way.

There isn’t a Fresno one, as you might expect. I would love to see one though. I have some simple ideas as to what Fresno’s could be:

The Railroad Tracks (active and abandoned). That might look cool pulled off a map and featured. The Union Pacific and Santa Fe tracks (and maybe one day High-Speed Rail tracks) are very Fresno. Also, there is a track that spurs off into Southwest Fresno that I think still may be active, but I have never seen one pass through to confirm as I am only occasionally in that part of town.

Ponding Basins. I know every town has ponding basins but Fresno’s seem to be more defining. Might look cool pulled out as well.

Canals. Some of our more featured canals have been converted over into a pipe system and covered over but many remain. Enough to make a graphic with or you could include the ones covered over as if they still remain. Canals are a big reason Fresno became a city so that is defining for sure.

Swimming Pools. That would be a lot of swimming pools to feature, for sure. I have always been curious as to Fresno’s pool ratio. I would bet we have the highest pools-per-capita rate of any city outside of Phoenix, Tuscon and Las Vegas.

Freeways. We “only” have four. A well-designed poster of them could look rad.

The San Joaquin River. Our largely overlooked NW border would look sweet with everything within range of its Fresno side, featured.

Save Marts. Really, what is consistent throughout Fresno and is local? Actually, there is no Save Mart downtown or in the Edison High area or… in Southwest… well, unless you consider Sunnyside Southwest. You know what, screw those cowards.

The Grid. Nothing says Fresno more than a map grid. In fact, we could be the poster child of grids.

This one we actually can see an example of because I found a website that will let you search for a city and it will pull up a map of it the city you search for but it only features the streets, everything else is stripped away.

In fact, the website and the newsletter Snakes & Ladders is the inspiration behind this post. Check it out:

If you use the website and your smartphone, it will let you zoom into specific areas of the map (I couldn’t get it to do it on my laptop but I could on my phone).

I’d love it if a Fresno graphic artist made something up inspired by Fresno and the Barely Maps. Please share it if you do.

While we’re here, a friend sent me this drawing of Fig Garden Village at a time when Rock Bottom Brewing was still there ALONG with the movie theater. I had recently been really wishing the movie theater was still there, so this made me pause:

Stay safe out there mapping.

-Mikey

Best Mexican Food Breakfasts In Fresno

Fresno breakfast places can get pretty damn busy, time to expand the options. So I asked Fresno Twitter to fill in a gap in my knowledge. Hopefully, this helps you too.

I trust my Fresno Twitter folks on this. Much more than Yelp and Google anyway.

Let’s begin with the multiple vote winners. Some have a quick item reco from voters, some don’t. This is nothing definitive, just a helpful guide from Fresnans that know the best Mexican food breakfast in Fresno:

Top Four Recommends:

  • TOLEDITO’S (1704 Van Ness Ave). The breakfast burritos and Spanish omelet especially.
  • ZAMORA (850 N. Fresno St). Homemade tortillas and great chilaquiles.
  • CASTILLO’S (3659 E.Ventura). I dunno, everything?
  • LAS MANANITAS (1329 S. Hazelwood Blvd). Amazing owners. Good chilaquiles.

Next Tier Of Recos:

Other Fresno spots folks felt needed mentioning. Might be just as good as any of the above spots, just happened to be not mentioned as much:

Mi Amigo. That’s a lot of places to check out. Well done, Fresno Twitter.

A dumb guy thought: What is Chilaquiles?

Zamora’s chilaquiles – photo by Amy on Yelp.

I did not know this. Sorry, I suck. People kept bringing it up and my dumb ass is like “Should I know what the heck this is? I should, right? Do I eat this and not know what it’s even called?”

Chilaquiles is this:

Chilaquiles (pronounced “chee-lah-KEE-lays”) is a traditional dish found throughout Mexico. At its most basic, chilaquiles consists of fried tortilla strips simmered in red or green salsa or mole to soften the strips. This dish is great for using up leftovers because stale (or store-bought) tortillas can be used. It’s often served with a side of refried beans.

TripSavvy.com

Ok cool. Now my dumbass knows. Good for hangovers? I like that.

Yelp Reviews To Be Taken With Many Grains Of Salt

Just something I noticed, I don’t know if this is true, but it seems that if you go by what Yelp says, Castillo’s is the place that people from out-of-town think is the best “locals” Mexican breakfast spot to check out. Not sure if some food show came through town once and told them or if this is actually the case.

Anyway, glad to have this list now that you and I can come back to reference when looking for a good Mexican food breakfast in Fresno.

We have a lot of eating to do. Time to get out there and start trying some dishes of chilaquiles!

New Fresno Music: Ultra Diamonds “Sightseer”

Trying to play catchup on some posting here on the blog and I missed posting about the new Ultra Diamond EP “Sightseer”.

If it sounds familiar, everyone in this band has been out there in Fresno’s scene for some time. From Fierce Creatures to Light Thieves to The Eighteen Hundreds, to name just a few.

I love everything about this EP. My favorite track being “Dial Tones”.

Well. I almost love everything.

My only wonder is why the vocals are buried in the mix, lending to an unfinished and disconnected feel. But I think that is the point… maybe? Part of the Ghost Surf sound coming out of Fresno, I guess.

Have a listen for yourself. Go see a show. Buy some stuff. Find them on Spotify too.

They are working on new music and will be in Boise for Treefort Music Fest coming up. Enjoy them here and now:

Joe Rogan Called Fresno Sketchy. Why Didn’t It Go As Crazy As the ‘Firestone Flap’?

You saw last week or more when Joe Rogan gushed about Chef Paul’s and called Fresno Sketchy, right? A bro in L.A. wanted to make sure we knew:

Fresnans did, in fact, ‘cancel Joe’ if getting upset is canceling. But Rogan did not respond to anything on Twitter or wherever else, because he is JOE FUCKING ROGAN! Why would he? And he’s a comedian MMA guy turned huge podcaster, who cares?

So there was nobody fighting, impossible for it to go viral. But who really totally knows why things go freaking viral!? It’s a bunch of little things, IMO.

Speaking of a bunch of little things turning into something…

Why did Fresno get so mad at Firestone Walker Brewing?

The Firestone Walker fight (the ‘Firestone Flap’ as I like to call it and nobody else cares enough to call it that and be nerdy like me, and that’s ok [sadness]) blew up so big, bigger than Joe Rogan’s brief backhanded compliment to a Fresno restaurant, because….

BACKSTORY TIME!:

Fresno is drowning in Firestone beer. It’s everywhere. EVERYWHERE!

Hell, it’s bigger than White Claw and has been for years.

Any damn place in Fresno that might even THINK of having craft beer, has Firestone. Fresno and the 559 are almost forced to spend a lot of money on 805, Luponic Distortion 1 thru infinity, and whatever mixed-pack is taking up an end or a full island, at Save Mart.

I do not have the stats but I would guess that half the tanks in Paso are paid for with 559 money. We might even drink more Firestone Walker beer than people living in the 805.

Now, add to this, we have always suspected the Central Coast does not like us Central Valley folks. Every once in awhile there will be a racist or pretentious comment lobbed our way from the coast. Sometimes we ignore it sometimes we don’t.

So that’s just a LITTLE bit of our Paso Robles history.

Cut to a lazy Sunday morning in Fresno. Fresno Twitter is relaxing, fat and happy from a John Legend visit, and a subsequent positive Fresno Tweet, enjoying breakfast burritos & coffee, scrolling Twitter and the webs and such.

Then it happened. 

Someone responds to John Legend’s Tweet with a negative Fresno bash. Who cares, right!?!

Except, the person bashing Fresno works at Firestone Walker. The person lives in Paso (How is that better than being from Fresno?). And, most importantly, this person is the Communications Manager for Firestone Walker Brewing.

Don’t they know? Don’t they know Fresno loves Firestone? Don’t they know how much beer we buy from them? Don’t they talk about us? Don’t they respect us at all? Don’t they think we’re super cool!? Don’t they know their restaurant/taproom is our first stop on our way to a fun and relaxing coastal weekend!?

All this love and money Fresno gives and it turns out Paso Robles thinks we’re a shithole and is not even classy enough to NOT say it publicly.?!?

Continue reading “Joe Rogan Called Fresno Sketchy. Why Didn’t It Go As Crazy As the ‘Firestone Flap’?”

Top Five Hardest Fresno Street Names To Spell

Spelling is hard. Hard for me, anyway. This blog would be a disaster without spellcheck.

Not only are regular words tough, sometimes, so are Fresno street names. Here are five common Fresno streets that I always mess up spelling.

5. Ashlan. I always want to say “Ashland”.

4. Maroa. The o & a combo throws me.

3. Divisadero. It seems like the “a” should be an “i”.

2. Stanislaus. A lot of s to deal with.

1.Tuolumne. Where the hell did you even come from, “n”?!

I’m not the only Fresnan in town that sucks at spelling. Just a few of the replies on Twitter:

Continue reading “Top Five Hardest Fresno Street Names To Spell”