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Jarah Talks Famously about Fresno
Native Fresnan Jarah Euston boomeranged to Fresno from New York. Upon her Fresno return, she realized how difficult it was to find out what was happening culturally in Fresno. So she started the website Fresno Famous. It was a wild success. So much so, she was able to sell it and move on to Wharton Business School in Philadephia, where she currently resides.
The Fresnan caught up with her during a winter visit to Fresno. This is what went down:
The Fresnan: You live in Philadelphia now. Have you had any encounters with any Fresnans at all?
Jarah: I will tell you that right now there are four Fresno natives enrolled at the Wharton School [in Phili].
Did you know any of them prior?
No, I didn't. There are more [Fresnans] at Wharton than the state of Colorado. [laughing] I'm not kidding. Which is pretty crazy out of sixteen-hundred people.
How do you find these Fresnans?
We find each other. It's weird, I don't know how it happens. It was like going to these welcome events and someone would be like There's another guy here from Fresno. And I would be like No there isn't. And then there was they come out of the woodwork.
Did they look like a classic Fresnan?
Is there such a thing as a classic Fresnan? I don't think so no, we're so diverse that anyone could look like a Fresnan.
Does Philadelphia have an inferiority complex like Fresno does?
It sure does. That's why I think I feel at home there.
From New York or?
From New York, Boston. A lot of people leave Phili to go to New York. They don't get the historical props like Boston does, even though it was the nation's first capitol, so they're a little disgruntled about the lack of respect they get [Phili peeps].
Like Fresno is with LA and SF.
Exactly like that, except we weren't the nation's first capitol or don't really have any other claim to fame like Philadelphia. But it makes for good salty characters.
In Philadelphia, can you make the same kind of cultural impact as you can in Fresno? Is it easier or harder?
You know, I think it's pretty easy in Phili, to be honest. There's a pretty good community and neighborhoods called Fish Town and Northern Liberties where it's still relatively inexpensive and it's pretty easy for bands to get shows, or artists to have shows. There's definitely a scene. I don't know if it's easier than in Fresno, but it's not insurmountable, it's pretty welcoming actually.
You haven't been blogging since you left. Have you cut yourself off from blogging?
No. It's not a conscious decision. I started off really ambitious and I was doing some blogging at school and stuff, but then I just got really busy you know studying, all this business stuff. And I just don't have time. It's not an easy thing, to blog. And you don't want to say something dumb, or worse: unfunny. It's tough, I haven't had the time to do it and I do miss it.
Is there a thick blogging scene in Philidelphia, more so than Fresno?
Definitely yeah, there's a lot of local blogs in Phili. Like any big city. A lot of city blogs, a lot more activity than in Fresno.
Have you thought up any cool business opportunities while in business school?
Yes, but I can't tell them. They're in stealth mode.
Are these businesses you might actually do one day?
So you may come back [to Fresno] one day?
One day one day I MIGHT. I wouldn't take it off the table.
You've been a ghost on Fresno Famous. Is that on purpose or is that due to the non-time thing too?
It's a combination. Definitely there's the non-time thing. Also, I don't feel like I have as much to contribute because I'm not here and I don't really know what's going on. I don't feel like I have any juicy things to add.
Are you happy with Fresno Famous right now, the way it's going?
Yes and no. I'm sad that the activity has decreased a little bit. I'm disappointed the Bee is not playing with it more or trying out more things. I think there's a lot of things that could be done and I'm not sure why or how it is happened that really it hasn't changed at all since it's changed ownership. I'd like to see it progress and grow and new features and stuff like that. But I think Josh [Famous Whitewater] is doing a good job, and the other regulars on there. I just wish it had a better corporate champion, I guess.
Do you think the design should be changed at all? Would there be a major uprising if they came in and totally revamped Famous' look?
Probably, but if it were better, then I'd be all for it. Anything you change, it's going to take people a month, a week to get used to it. But if it's a good change, people will be supportive.
You moved from Fresno to get more of a big city life. Are you happy? Is Philadelphia providing the big city life you craved?
I love Philadelphia. It's a great place to go to school. It has a really great bar pub scene. With these really great old bars that have lots of local microbrews on tap and really cheap good bar food and really friendly atmosphere. I feel like the locals in Phili are just really good people and really fun to hangout with, so I'm really enjoying it. I don't like the snow. But, other than that it's great. It's walkable. It's historic. It has brownstone, cobblestone streets. It's quaint. I like it.
Do you have a list of Fresno places to hit when you come back to town?
Oh yeah. Lets see, there's Luby's. But I heard a rumor that Luby's is closing, I don't know if that's true or not
Do you have two sources?
No, I do not [laughing]. I have half a source. So I have to eat at Luby's, I have to have the Veggie Kunpow Chicken. I have to go to Tokyo Garden. I have to go now to Café Corazon on the Fulton Mall. Delicious coffee, I've been there a few times, big Famous user. Gotta support them, it really is the best coffee in town now, I think. Those are probably the three. I gotta eat at the Elbow Room with my dad
It's a Fresno thing, especially a Bullard Kid thing.
Yeah definitely. So those are kinda the high points.