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A YEAR IN FAMOUS
Fresno Famous launched on April 1st, 2004 to absolutely no fanfare and a bottle of Charles Shaw by way of celebration. The first issue featured a whopping five articles covering the Broadway Row project, our favorite store, the downtown Art Hop guide, a review of Richard's steakhouse, and a narrative about our neighborhood- downtown.
"Life Below Belmont" happened when we moved into the Pearl Building, but Fresno Famous was conceived in a small bedroom in Astoria, Queens, within earshot of the 30th Ave N stop and 3,000 miles away from the Central Valley. It was cold outside, and the idea of mild winters, craftsman homes with green lawns, and foggy day schedules was a pleasing one.
"Fresno would be more fun if it had a Village Voice or a Time Out," we thought. That would change everything. It would connect the disparate groups, the fragmented scenes, and give legitimacy and validation to local entertainment. If people knew about shows, they would surely go to them! Then there will be more art, more music, more fun! Fresno could be the next Portland, the next Austin, the next- The Next!
Putting together the first issue was a challenge. Fights over whether to be a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly were intense. Our first issue received somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 visits. Still, the response was largely positive and our two-person team plugged on.
Week three of Famous saw the debut of the Famous Flyer and Famous People. Week four saw our output drop from five to three articles a week, where it remains. The fifth week an angel named Think Inkless descended upon us and created the holy events calendar. And then on the sixth week, there was blog.
While the design has improved by leaps and bounds, our stories and features remain largely the same. Our goal in publishing Fresno Famous is that this town of 450,000 can become more connected. It's hard to tell if that is happening or not; enthusiasm for downtown has reached a fever pitch, but the Great White North continues to expand unabated.
We've had more highlights and hangovers than we care to recount, from last summer's Famous Festival to this year's Rogue.
Fresno Famous now receives 5,000 visits a week. It's still not much, but we hope our readers benefit, in some small way, from the content we produce and the information we provide. We hope that those who happen upon Famous might learn something new about their town- check out a bar or restaurant they've never been to, or see a show they wouldn't have otherwise heard about.
Sincere, heartfelt thanks goes out to all of our friends, writers, and other contributors who make this whole endeavor possible. And of course, there wouldn't be a Fresno Famous without the artists, musicians, and innovators who give us something to write about. There's a great conversation going on in Fresno, and we're lucky to have been a part of it. Thank you for reading.