To Fresno


There is no good time to drive out of the Bay Area on a weekday. This afternoon, well before rush hour, it took me as long to drive the 60 miles from SF to Tracy as it did to drive the 120 miles from Tracy to Fresno. Fortunately, this was (once I left Tracy) to be one of those trips where everything worked out the way it was supposed to, from arriving on the one night the history room at the library was open late to actually enjoying the company of the rather compelling stranger I was coming to meet…


And gas was $1.17/gallon. Did I mention that?

I gambled and won. The history room in the Fresno library just happens to be open late on Thusdays. The only downside was that the pre-1960 city directories are on microfilm. I hate microfilm. Microfilm is evil.

It was actually warmer in SF than in Fresno today. That’s a good sign…

The Day That Changed Everything

I kept the room today for a home base and potential nap spot (thanks to a coupon from my mom) as I wandered about visiting thrift stores, taking pictures, and looking for ghosts of supermarkets past. There was no nap and there weren’t many pictures, but I was pleased with my day (and the cooler than average temperature) all the same.

It’s a little odd realizing that I’m in a city where the mayor is Bubba, by the way…

Tonight I met Mark at Club Fred. Even that was easy, as I stepped upto the bar to get a drink and he happened to be the guy in line ahead of me. We went to a low-key but pleasant enough Hallowe’en party for a while and then had a nice, big artery-clogging dinner at Denny’s before going back to Mark’s apartment so he could show me his iBook.


Eventually, I went back to the Motel 6, fantasizing that my second night in the same strange bed might result in more sleep than the first had. It didn’t.

Chicken Pie Omelettes, Finally…


Despite lack of sleep, I wasn’t feeling too miserable for breakfast with Mark at the Chicken Pie Shop this morining, something I’d been trying to do since my first visit way back in 1993. And it was indeed everything I’d dreamed it would be. In shades of green.


We walked around the Tower District for a while and I dumped all my stuff and my car at Mark’s. Then we toured Fresno. I’ve toured Fresno many times before, but it was extra fun (a) being in the passenger seat and (b) actually being with someone who lived there and knew exactly where to take me. We covered most of the strips and walked around downtown for while. And we didn’t go to the ninth-floor bar at some hotel whose name I’ve forgotten, because it was closed.

I got a prescription filled, as I cursed both the fact that it was five bucks cheaper at the Walgreens in Fresno and the fact that it causes me certain annoying physiological issues. We were amused (horrified?) by the singing James Brown doll. Then we went back to apartment for a while, before heading back out to the pizza place.


Afterward, we watched the South Park movie (sort of), avoided the Hallowe’en block party down the street, and eventually went to sleep. I actually slept pretty well, if not for quite long enough.

Sunday in Fresno


On Sunday morning, we spent a few hours trying to figure out what time it was, among other things. Then we had breakfast at a good Mexican place before driving around and taking even more pictures (many of which will be here at some unspecified point in the future).


Then it was time for me to make my obligatory stops by the cheap cigarette store, the cheap supermarket, and the cheap gas station, and to be on my way. I was home by 7:30 and only flipped off three people (all of them after I crossed I-680). I slept. It was good.

Funny, for my best Fresno visit ever, it doesn’t read very well. But I liked it anyway…