Month: December 2011

Review: Cozy Thai (foods) and The Lamp Post (bar)

Tried two new places downtown tonight, here are my short reviews:

Cozy Thai

Opened this summer in what used to be a ribs place. Large restaurant space, with lots of booths. We went because of a Groupon and had no expectations. Our last attempt to eat there failed when we arrived at 8:15pm to find out they close every day at 8pm. Sort of early, so take note of that (Wednesdays they remain open later, but I wouldn’t expect their kitchen to serve you past 8).

Arrived tonight to find a full parking lot, quite surprising. Entering the restaurant, we were greeted by a live band playing sing-along country music. Not what we expected, but apparently Wednesday is open mic night, and at least for today, all the performers were of the country variety, cowboy hats and all. Click to read more!

Mexico City Periférico construction in pictures

Besides expanding their transit system, via the Metrobus system and a brand new subway line which is currently in the final stages of construction, Mexico City has embarked on some highway expansion, but on a vertical scale.

Known as the second floor of the Periférico (ring road), this new structure towers above the existing 6 lane freeway. Access points are limited, giving the new highway an express characteristic. Supposedly, once it’s all done, the upper level may be tolled.

Here are pictures from last week of the extension of the 2nd level.

We started in the far south of the city, heading north. You can see how progress is completed in stages.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Mexico City Metrobús in pictures

I will have a full blog post about Mexico City’s impressive Bus Rapid Transit system called Metrobús.

Until then, here is a load of pictures I took last week, from a car (I sadly did not have the opportunity to ride the system for myself).

The pictures are mostly from line 1, which I saw almost from end to end.

System Map:
Photobucket

Where line 1 is in relation to the Metro system (line 2 and 3 are not shown by Google)
Photobucket

Enjoy.

Exclusive lanes, cars kept out by barriers that still allow emergency vehicles access
Photobucket Click to read more!

Review of Fresno/Clovis Christmas light displays

I’ve previously talked about how a few streets in the Fresno area have a long running tradition in which the entire street, or neighborhood, tries to outdo each other by lighting up every home with an explosion of holiday lighting and decorations.

On Christmas Day, I did a last minute visit to the three areas described in this Fresno Bee article at 8:30pm.

Cindy Lane / Wawona Estates

Not to be confused with Candy Lane, which apparently is not worth visiting anymore.

This is the most modern development, so property sizes are small, even with large homes. This means that homes are closer together, so the lighting displays appear more continuous. Further, homes are closer to the street. I’d estimate that over 80% of homes had decorated and lit up, and most went all out, with thousands of lights, figures, signs and more. It helps that the homes are in a very affluent area. Click to read more!

20 year old arrested for hit-and-run killing of pedestrian

I recently posted a news story about how a pedestrian in a wheelchair was killed in Fresno after being hit by not one, but two cars who fled the seen. Fortunately, because it was a busy time, there were sufficient witnesses.

I lamented that stories like that rarely get a follow up…there are dozens of pedestrian deaths every year and Fresno, and most get less news coverage than a house fire (with no injuries or deaths). I’ve yet to see an article along the lines of “12 hit and run murderers still at large.” Click to read more!

Wouldn’t it be nice if media followed up on hit and runs?

It’s sad to say it, but I feel like a read a story very similar to the following every couple of weeks.

A man in a wheelchair was killed after he was struck by two vehicles while crossing Blackstone Avenue in his wheelchair Saturday evening, Fresno police Lt. Anthony Martinez said.

The man was crossing the street when he was struck by one vehicle that witnesses described as a compact car, Martinez said.

He was thrown from his wheelchair and was hit a second time by another vehicle that witnesses described as a tan-colored SUV, possibly a Chevy Tahoe. Click to read more!

Road diets: safety vs moving cars faster

I’ve talked about road diets a few times in this blog, most recently when I attended a meeting held by a councilman in Fresno concerning a proposed diet in his district. He wanted to give residents the opportunity to express their concerns about taking a 4 lane road (+undefined parking space) into a 3 lane road, 1 each way, and 1 for turning, and a couple of bike lanes.

Today I got to see a real world example of the enormous safety benefits a road diet provides….or really, the consequences of keeping the dangerous road design of the past. Click to read more!

Time Magazine video short: The New Poor of Fresno

In this blog, I frequently discuss effort to revitalize downtown and south Fresno. While I focus on the new residential buildings and such, it’s important to look at the people who currently call the area home, even as they live without a home.

Time Magazine recently released this short (~5min) documentary about homelessness and poverty in downtown Fresno.

http://www.time.com/time/video/player/0,32068,1288182424001_2099978,00.html

Interested in exploring the shantytowns shown in the video? Thanks to Google, you can. Google maps offers four (well, five) snapshots in time of the area. Click to read more!

Fresno’s downtown parade draws 30,000

A few months ago, the city of Fresno announced that they would cancel the annual Christmas parade because of financial problems. The parade has been held downtown for 82 years, and has always been successful, but this year the city said they couldn’t afford it.

Fortunately, the downtown PBID (Property Business Improvement District) stepped forward to save the parade, redirecting it to the Fulton Mall (a pedestrian street). Along with the parade, there was a tree lighting ceremony at city hall, extreme sports presentations hosted by the downtown casino, and many activities for children and families (face painting and such). Click to read more!