Thursday, February 5, 2009

tvlgfhf february undercurrent article

Another year has started, and as usual Fresno is spending a lot of time under gray skies and the wet, misty blanket of fog. Sometimes you've got to just shake up your routine and do something to ditch the dulldrums of the season. We're here to help you do that. We have our suggestions for the best local change of pace on an afternoon, best distance to hit in a short drive, and some other random suggestions to help you enjoy life right now in the San Joaquin valley.

Ed: It's unusual, but sometimes you get an afternoon off. You could go home and watch some tv, or maybe hit up a movie theater, but where's the joy in that? When I get those unexpected breaks in my schedule I want to be out in the crisp air. If I can, I'm headed down to the Fulton Mall. I've got no actual destination on the mall, but I enjoy just walking down the mall, looking at people, hearing the sounds and just taking it all in. If I'm feeling peckish I may stop in for a slice at Milano's or maybe buy something from one of the vendor carts near the south end of the mall. If I'm not feeling like a trip to the Fulton, then I think I may go and enjoy either Roeding or Woodward Park. Both are nice to leisurely drive through and find a spot to just sit and enjoy the nature. What about you, Adam, what do you want to do in Fresno when you have an afternoon off?

Adam: If I have a free afternoon, I really enjoy spending a bit of time in my neighborhood. I won't deny that sitting for a spell at Revue with a crossword in hand and a cuppa joe to keep the neurons firing and synapses from failing is one of my favorites. In fact, I've just come from there. A couple I've never met sat at the table next to me and we shared some answers to today's puzzle in a bit of friendly exasperation. Maybe you're not into crosswords. It's still a great place to sit and people watch or read a book or set up the laptop and browse the clickyweb with the quiet din of clinking glasses, conversation, and jazz gently rolling over the top. And for all you people that despise the cold, they keep the heat up inside, so you'll be toasty while you gaze through the big windows in front.

Ed: That's a good point. On a good day there you can also do quite a bit of people watching. Or, if you're not a coffee person you can do much the same across the street at Teazers. Okay, let's say you've got a little more time on your hands and want to take a drive from Fresno. In my opinion, the best spot that I can get to relatively quickly for an enjoyable time would be Shaver Lake. I love the idea that it can be totally fog soup down here and that as you get about 30 minutes out of town it's crystal clear. It's fun to slide down the hills around the lake, assuming there is snow. And of course, I'm going to try and bean a friend with a snowball. If not Shaver, I might also drive up to Yosemite and enjoy the iconic views from there. Where's your day trip destination?

Adam: What? You don't want to slide down the hills without any snow? You're missing out! As far as day trip destinations go, if it isn't the mountains, then it's gotta be the coast. Granted, it's a bit longer of a day than hitting up the low lakes in the Sierra Nevada, but Pismo, Morro Bay, Cayucos, San Simeon, Monterey, and even the Bay Area all come to mind. The first three are good for wandering the beach, hitting the shops, or in the case of San Simeon, checking out nearby Hearst Castle. If you want to catch 580 W into the B.A., there's all manner of sweet things to check out in Oakland. My favorite though, is getting a pitcher of beer, ordering a pizza, and sitting down in comfy chairs or couches for a big screen flick at the Parkway Speakeasy Theater near Lake Merritt. Any of you readers with extra capital in these rough times are more than welcome to set one of those up in Fresno. I'll tell everyone I know about it.

Ed: Good stuff. Okay, other than listening to our podcast, let’s wrap this up by recommending one other random thing. I want to recommend going to at least two Rogue shows. It’s @ the end of February, so you’ve got time. In fact, I recommend you check out my Rogue art show & speaking engagement.

Adam: I recommend that you check out on of the many live shows over at Audie’s Olympic or Tokyo Garden. You’re supporting local musicians and local bartenders.

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