October 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
One of our first Fan Friday posts was Anthony Taylor. Well guess what boys and girls, Ashley is his beautiful wife! They are a great couple, involved in many things “Fresno.” I love them and so should you. Enough talking on my part…take the mic, Ashley…
My birthday was last week, and when my husband went to get the cake, I said, “Wait wait!! Isn’t anyone going to sing?”
I was met with a tiny sighs from the group, and a couple of nose crinkles. To which I replied, “Just so we’re clear– we literally have some of the best voices in Fresno in this room right now, and I can’t get any of you to sing “Happy Birthday?”
They sang to me. In harmony, and even more miraculously, with everyone in the same key. I love my friends.
I’m a Fresno transplant, so I don’t have that same level of disdain and apathy that comes from having to spend your formative years in a place. I don’t have the gross memories of high school, for instance. The Fresno I know is a place filled with people I love, amazing food, and a ridiculous amount of talent.
I see a live performance at least once a week. I can’t remember the last movie I saw in theaters– I think it was “Inception.” (Super-good movie, by the way). I should be clear– I’m not anti-movie at all. I just know that nothing on a screen can hold a candle to seeing something live in front of you– provided that something live is actually good. Here’s the good news, kids– most of the stuff here really is.
There’s a subculture in Fresno I like to call “my people.” We’re actors, musicians and dancers. We can tell you which cough drops are the best when you’re losing your voice, where to find the best food at 11:30 at night, and the best way to survive when you sleep in shifts. The majority of us have “real-world” careers that we love. But then we take our evenings and work as a team to create something. This week, for instance, I had two nights of 4-hour music rehearsal. Then last night, my friend was kind enough to give me some one-on-one tap dance instruction, because this show is going to feature some tapping and I don’t want to suck. I have a friend I haven’t seen all week because he’s painstakingly constructing a fierce Alexander McQueen-inspired cloak for a show that opens in a week. Some of my friends will have performed two shows this week by the time you read this. And this weekend, I’m trekking up to Oakhurst to see my husband play 10 different characters (some of them women) and make some absolute magic on stage.
I love talking to someone after they see a show– especially if they don’t see shows very often. But I have to be honest, I’m getting a little tired of people saying, “Wow! I didn’t expect it to be that good.” Why didn’t you? Because we’re “just Fresno?” Here’s a secret– the famous people in the movies and on “the Broadway” started out doing exactly this. It’s not like they move to New York and LA and are suddenly flooded with talent just because they moved. They’re here now, and that talent is real.
(Okay, to be fair, not everything live performance in this area is great, but that’s the way art is. A lot of movies are crap. And a lot of professional shows are icky. You run the risk everywhere– the risk is just a lot cheaper here).
I fully expect at least a couple people I know to be famous one day. I actually carry a piece of paper a group of us made one person sign that says, “I <insert name here>, promise that when I become incredibly famous, I will do really cool stuff for my friends, especially <insert name here>. It’s signed, dated and witnessed. And I’m holding her to it.
The Fresno I live in is incredibly talented. Do yourself a favor and experience it for yourself. 🙂
❤ Ashley Taylor
PS That friend making the cloak? I got a text from him as I wrote this– he’s on his way over so I can help him with the beading. This is my life.
September 24, 2010 § Leave a comment
Fall in the valley is my favorite time of year. The cool weather is a welcomed friend, especially after the choking heat of summer. In fall there is a special scent in the air that energizes me all day long. I tend to invite people over to my house more often. I love making soups and stews. The girl in me is thrilled because I get to wear my favorite boots, sport a cardigan, or fun striped tights and mary janes. I get out and about more, hit up the thrift stores and antique shops. I love going on mini road trips and seeing the landscape change. Things get greener. The sky grows bluer and cloudier. The whole valley becomes magical. Here are some places around Fresno that I love to hit up before the cold and fog take over. I’d love to share them with you:
1. 41 North, Mini Road Trip
If you have a little time, get in the car, take 41 North and keep going until the city ends and the lovely fields and orchards begin. There is nothing more beautiful than the October sky over the fields at the corner of Highway 41 and Avenue 15. Unfortunately there is really no place to stop and relax. You can pull your car over for a moment, take out your camera and snap away. There is also a great place to get fresh produce called the Summer Peck Ranch Fruit Stand around there, but the view is covered by a gas station. If you feel like a little more driving, take Avenue 15 west until you get to Madera. This is the way I’d drive home from Fresno State for many years. It’s lovely.
2. The Corn Maze at Cobb Ranch
Take the 41 North and in only a few minutes from River Park you’ll be in one of the most charming places in all of Fresno, Cobb Ranch. They really know how to celebrate the fall season. You can choose your very own pumpkin from in their huge pumpkin patch. There are adorable farm animals that you can feed. You can take a hay ride and see the beautiful ranch property. My favorite thing to do is get lost in the spectacular corn maze. Last year my son, husband and I trekked through the muddy trails in a light rain. It was quite an adventure. The hightlight was finding one of the tall wooden staircases in the middle of the maze that allows you to climb up and see the corn and ranch spread out before you.
3. Cedar Lanes, 3131 N. Cedar
Cocktails and vintage style bowling…what’s a better combination? This bowling alley is a hidden gem in one of the most unique parts of town. They have really awesome deals on games everyday of the week, but the best time to go is on the weekdays before 5pm. My family and I like to go for an hour or two before dinner. Not only is it empty, but you pay only $2.50 a game! . Early weekend on Friday anyone? That sounds like a long and happy Happy Hour to me.
Don’t forget that our beloved Fresno Fair is approaching quickly. I can’t wait to get pics of all the crazy rides and colorful booths. Here is one I took of the Ferris Wheel out at the little Caruther’s Fair, last year.
Have a great weekend my Fresno friends. Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather. 🙂
For more from Silvia, make sure you check out her blog: www.silviachenault.com
September 22, 2010 § 1 Comment
We are seriously overwhelmed by the LOVE we’ve been shown by all of you. Can you believe Dominique and I have only been at this for a few weeks! We love your comments, tips and fan friday posts. Keep them coming! We’re extremely grateful for all of our fans and excited to see there are so many out there who love our city.
WE HEART YOU!
September 17, 2010 § 1 Comment
And again, here we are for another Fan Friday. We are so grateful to our followers and we hope that you guys keep submitting your posts about “Hearting” Fresno. If you would like to be considered to be a guest blogger please submit your post (anytime beforeThursday, 11:59pm each week) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is going to sound negative, but stay with me.
There are a lot of cities out there with quite a bit of swagger. I mean cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle…and so on and so on; those cities know they are badass. There is no question. Most of us dream of living in one such city. Sure, we say we want to live somewhere quaint…but we really want to be where the culture is. Well anyway…I do. I’d LOVE to live in New York or San Francisco. I love theater, good food, delivered food at all hours of the night, public transportation and a bustling night life. But when I talk about LOVING a city, I don’t just mean it’s environment.
I LOVE feeling like I can affect that environment. That community. SF, NYC, CHI and SEA are all great cities. No doubt. And if I lived there I’d love it…for a time. But then I’d want to start my own theater company. Or become the editor of a magazine. Or write commercials. Or meet local bands. Or connect with other creative professionals in a real cool way. I want a place that lets me real affect change on my community. A place where I have access to the cultural, intellectual and social players in town. So that’s why I love Fresno.
I love that Fresno has such a low self-esteem…right now. I don’t want her to always be such a battered girlfriend, but for right now I enjoy being her one guy friend who really “sees her” and tells her she deserves better. Except the cool part about Fresno is that I can start to change the behavior that makes Fresno so insecure. I can help create a theater company and I can be the editor of a magazine here. I can use that voice to bring awareness to my favorite parts of town. See, the fact that so many Fresnans loathe Fresno is what makes me love her so damn much. She’s a great girl, Fresno. So get out there and walk all over her. Buy her fresh fruit and partake of her local business (if you know what I mean.)
September 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
Thanks so much for sending in your blog Adam and telling us what you heart about Fresno. Here’s Adam…
People. The people I am around are easily one of the things I heart most about Fresno. Now you might think I’m referring to my family or those I call friends. WRONG! Fresno is one unique melting pot of people, lifestyles, and personality types. Hands down we (Fresno) are a great place to people watch!! From belt buckles big enough to have their own zip code to diamond studded Gucci BMW licenses plate covers to make Lauren from The Hills a tad jealous and everything between, we’ve got it all. Spend 45min in front of the Riverpark Edwards theater on a Saturday evening or walk the farmers market in Clovis on Friday nights and you’ll see a collection of people no airport this side of DFW can offer. If you want to take your people watching to the next level head the Tower District after 10pm on the weekend. What you’ll see is a sight no cable package can match!! Every walk of life comes out of the woodwork for a night out in Tower. A quick glance around Livingstones or Vinnie’s on a Friday night and you’ll see all the major reality shows represented. Jersey Shore, Millionaire Matchmaker, Cheers, Survivor (you’d assume some people just walked off whichever island they’re on this year), The Real Housewives of Fresno (see what I did there), America’s Next Top Model, and a few people that would be voted off of Dancing With The Stars quicker than you can say tango! It’s amazing that some people still decide to watch television when the real life version of Blind Date is happening at the booth next to us! There is so much to take in you won’t possibly be able to catch it all in one night. The people of Fresno, and surrounding areas, are amazing. The diversity I see here on a daily basis is why I didn’t opt for the Uverse 300 package at home. With over 900,000 people in Fresno County (2009 population estimate) there will never be any shortage of real life reality shows to watch and that is one of the many reason I Heat Fresno!
Adam is seriously so much fun to follow. You can keep up with him by following his blog. Click here.
Thank you so much Adam! We really do want to post guest bloggers every friday. To Submit yours email email@example.com.
September 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
In fact, we heart you so much, we’d like to feature you on our blog! Every week we will be selecting one blog submitted by our fans to be featured on We Heart Fresno. Check out the “Fan Friday” section (to your left) for details… We can’t wait to hear what you heart about our city!
❤ Dominique & Cambria
September 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
Do you want to become more involved in the community?? Are you creative??
It’s ok, because you don’t have to be creative to join Creative Fresno!
Creative Fresno is an organization that started in 2004 in hopes to bring people of the community together to help bring positive change to Fresno concerning the arts, civics and business. They host blenders for the community (anyone is welcome) the first Friday of every month.
Chance and I checked out Creative Fresno’s latest blender this past Friday. It was held at Shepherd’s Inn located downtown. The age range was about mid-twenties to early sixties. Everyone there was happy to be mixing and meeting new people and it was seriously fun. There’s so much going on in Fresno that I really had NO IDEA about. We are making great strides here, people! Fresno is a cool city, gosh darn it!
Wanna join the conversation?? Make sure you stay up to date with their twitter to find out where the next blender will be.
Go team, Fresno!
Gooooooooooo team, go team, GO!