In my very first blog for FresYes, I talked a little bit about my love for Fresno. I supposed you can’t be a blogger for FresYes without loving this city. I’ve lived here since I was four. As it says in my bio, I sometimes forget that I wasn’t actually born here.
I spent three years living and working in San Luis Obispo after graduating from Fresno State. It is a lovely city, and I had many adventures, but I was pretty much homesick every moment. I worked four days a week, and commuted back to the Valley every single weekend in between, until I finally decided to call it a day and come home.
Even now, three years after my return, I find myself feeling blessed all the time to be back here. I don’t understand people who complain about this town. I feel like they are working under some misapprehension that we are still the sleepy little farm community of days gone by. I once wrote an impassioned letter to the editor of Marie Claire after one of their writers followed Taylor Swift here for a concert and then portrayed us as hicks. (They never responded, haha.)
So this Thanksgiving, I’m making it a point to focus on all the things I love about Fresno. And I also polled some of my FresYes colleagues to find out what they are thankful for in our city!
I am thankful for our Central Valley location. As a girl who wants to road trip constantly, I’m glad that we are only three hours from San Francisco and four hours from LA, a couple hours from Yosemite and the Central Coast. Those cheesy California commercials are true! We really could ski and surf all in one day!
I am thankful for our growing local restaurant scene. As a big foodie, the one thing I’ve really missed about SLO is unique dining experiences. Things finally seem to be taking off around here in the past few years, from CArtHop and even a mobile teppanyaki business to favorites like Mad Duck and Grilled Chz, and everything in between.
I am thankful for Fresno Chaffee Zoo. The zoo is obviously a local gem and an amazing place for families, but I recently spent a few hours at the zoo with two other adults and no children, and we had a blast! I don’t think people realize how special it is for us to have a zoo like this in our city, and it’s only going to get better when the new Africa exhibit opens next year!
I am thankful for the Fresno Grizzlies, of course. I’m not going to beat this one to death. You can read about it here!
I am thankful for local shopping. As I said in last week’s blog, writing about fashion for FresYes has opened my eyes to all the great, locally-owned stores in Fresno. You can read about them in my archives, and look forward to more in the months to come!
Those are at the top of my list. Here’s what some of my fellow FresYesans said:
Alisa Manjarrez: “I’m thankful that we get to live in a place where the cost of living isn’t sky high and where local businesses and entrepreneurs are supported!”
Julian Lozano: “I’m thankful for the reconstruction of the 180.” (Oh, I’m thankful for this one, too!)
Tiffiny Reta: “I’m thankful for the zoo. I love all the events it puts on. Some of my favorites: Ice Cream Zoofari, Zoolights, Breakfast with the Animals and ZooBoo. I also love Storyland/Playland. All 3 places bring back memories from my childhood, and I love taking my kids there.”
Natali Carrera: “I am thankful for Oso de Oro Park and its diverse offerings of activities, the neighborhood between Sierra & Bullard and Fruit and West that lines every street with luminaries on Christmas Eve night, Dutch Bros Coffee, and Starr Elementary School.”
Jason Farris: “Recently I have found myself passively observing and being thankful for the little things in life. That we live in a community where some people still hold open doors for one another, that a waiter doesn’t charge you for another glass of milk when your child spills his full glass, the driver that stops in traffic to allow you time to pull out from the store, the mom having a tickle war with her kids at the park on Sunday afternoon, the little girls you witness stopping to smell the flowers outside of a store. I’m thankful for life – that we have the chance to experience and take it all in.”
Mark Sasser: “My favorite is the river basin just north of Woodward Park, along the trail.” (Yes! You must visit this area if you’ve never been!)
Kendra Gilbert: “I’m thankful for: Misc. Trading Co. downtown; all the people I’ve gotten to interview for FresYes People; the childhood friends who still call Fresno/Clovis home whom I’ve been able to reconnect with since moving back; the best dive bar in town, the Brig; and tri-tip sandwiches from Doghouse.”
Tamera Shoemaker: “After spending the weekend at my husband’s 20th college reunion in San Diego, I can say with full confidence that I love Fresno! (Although I never had too many complaints prior to that). All of the couples with children are both working full time just to afford the housing. I feel very blessed that I can work if I want to, but have never felt forced to because our housing was so expensive. It is so much more fulfilling to work because you love what you do than to pay for a mortgage. #onlyinFresno“
So those are some of our favorite things about Fresno! I hope you’ll take the time over the holidays to think about what you’re thankful for in our amazing city!
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