A sage once opined that one should know where he is from before venturing out to explore new lands. I, for one, take that to heart. I want my sons to know where they live. I want to give them that before they leave my nest. That my friends is right here, right now!
Before I go into all that let me just get this out. There's a funny little myth floating around against Fresno. People are always Fresno-bashing. I know what you are thinking...and you're right. I bash as well. However I don't perpetrate Fresno's nothingness. I don't like the heat...okay I hate the heat. I think a huge majority of the architecture is shameful. True, true I could, and often do say much more. However it must be said that although I would never choose to live here, I do like several aspects of Fresno. There I've said it, and I feel good about it.
Now that we've gotten that business out of the way, we can move on. We were in downtown Fresno three times this week. Three days in a row. Although I could extol the many virtues of downtown... I'll limit myself to sharing our three days with you.
Let's start with Tuesday. Ricky, along with the rest of the PSCA choirs preformed in Courthouse Park. They were at the always touching, annual Police Memorial Service. I told my kids for the umpteenth time about my Grandma working in a bank downtown, how they tore down the beautiful courthouse and built this funky thing etc.... all as we sat under the delightful canopy of trees waiting for the service to begin. Afterward we walked across the street for the luncheon provided for the performers. Extraordinary kindness at its best, making you question everything you thought you knew. We had a simple meal and visited with lots of friends while inviting trees were swaying in the breeze all around us. The pavilions, courtyards and outdoor dining areas really are quite lovely.
Now on to Wednesday. We parked our car and walked the Fulton Mall. We were exploring the historic art sculpture collection. These are dotted all throughout the six blocks or so of the outdoor mall. Then we hoped in the car and drove all around taking photos of downtown's great buildings of yesteryear. We were saddened that a few had been red-xed. I told my boys many other stories as we drove from location to location.
Our next stop brought us to the Tower district. This is another great Fresno area, yet still downtown. Here we had the finest pot pies I've ever had the good fortune to taste. We were at the famous Chicken PieShop . They're good. I mean really, really good. Jeff asked for a menu so we could call ahead and order a dozen sometime soon. Billy and Ricky got a kick out of the swanky restaurant. As we were leaving the building we turned to get a great shot of the Tower theater lit up at night. I , of course told my boys story after story. We showed them where my Dad used to live, the Mexican restaurant where my sisters and I sat on stools and visited with the little old couple who ran the joint etc...
Thursday, as in today...was a day of touring galleries/studios. We were traversing through the downtown section of Fresno's Art Hop. This is the time when artists open their doors for free. It occurs on the first Thursday of each month in Downtown. There are other areas in Fresno doing the same thing on the third Thursday of the month. We toured six smile inducing spots. The favorite of the night was Kliszewski Glass hands down. The boys were positively giddy watching the craftsmen work with the fiery hot glass. I was thrilled for them, they loved the demonstration.We ended our evening with a quick stop to grab some yummy ice cream.
Three fun-filled, basically free days. Most of these stops were for our Spanish, Photography and Art classes. With these particular destinations we got more intimate with downtown Fresno. We were on an old building/art genre scavenger hunt of sorts. Fresno...you're alright.