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Get Out and Explore Downtown
If you’re like me you have probably heard the sayings “Downtown is dead” and “There is nothing to do in Fresno” more times than you care to hear. Until recently I had the same outlook. But in January of 2011 I was challenged to step outside of my own little world and experience the downtown urban life that Fresno had to offer. Since that moment I have indulged myself in everything downtown. And as I sit in front of my computer and write this short column, almost exactly three months later, I can say with confidence that my perception of Fresno, and its infamous downtown, has changed dramatically and I will never look at Fresno as a dead spot on a map again.
It started when I first attended an Art Hop event. For those of you who have never been to this once a month event it consists of art, wine, live bands, great venues, and a lot of socializing. Also, it is an event that is held at more than 80 locations throughout the city and is a chance for a normal person like myself to meet and greet with local artists as well as other art lovers and creative professionals. And if you’re an avid cyclist, there is a group who ride from venue to venue in appreciation of the arts.
If you’re more into the performance arts then there are many new venues in which to indulge yourself in a night of live musical performances. One of the newest and most popular is Fulton 55 which is located on the corner of Fulton and Divisadero Streets. It is an event venue that is booked with live performers every Thursday through Sunday night. The shows they bring in range from jazz bands to rock bands and every once in a while you can even catch a comedy act.
For food lovers there are many places from which to choose. For the Sports fan, I suggest Hero’s, which boasts state of the multiple television screens as well as a new and improved menu. If you are a steak and potatoes kind of person then take a trip to the Old West and step into Joe’s Steakhouse and grill which is located right across the street on Van Ness Ave. There are numerous other restaurants that are worthy of your service as well as new establishments opening their doors every month. So get downtown and explore! Find your own favorite restaurant, concert venue, art piece, or just introduce yourself to a new experience. Whatever you decided to do and wherever you decide to go, look at it as an opportunity. I did, and it changed my whole perception of a city.