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And the award goes to ...
I've never been much for popularity contests. Yes, in high school I was voted “most unique,” but that was just another way of saying “you'd probably be cool if you weren't so darn weird.”
Likewise, the Famous Choice Awards were never meant to be about mass appeal. They were mostly envisioned as a way to give voice to the Famous community — online as it may be. These are the places we eat/drink/live. This is who we are, what we're thinking, and we're glad you bought in. And we tried to keep that authenticity intact with these awards.
Still, it was nice to see so many so eager to take the top spot this year. You know who you are.
Winner: Corridor 2122, 2122 Mono St, 441-0012, www.corridor2122.com
There's not much to say here. The studio is one of several on the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Mono St. — the true hub for ArtHop downtown.
Winner: Suppressors, www.myspace.com/suppressors
Fresno has been a ska town from way back. The story we heard about the Suppressors is this: The band used to be called Hobo Erotic, but that sounded too much like something else and people kept getting confused. So they changed the name and bingo! ... Here they are. Props to these guys for knowing how to get out the vote.
Our mention: Rademacher, www.radradrad.com
Because they're totally underappreciated on the Web.
Blog (or blogger)
Winner: The Dumb, www.brodiemash.blogspot.com
This is the place to go for intel on the latest film/comics/and video games. We'll let them sum it up. “The Dumb Are Mostly Intrigued By The Drum — the culture of subculture: film, video games, comics and a bunch of other cool stuff ... straight outta Fresno.”
Our mention: The Fresnan, www.thefresnan.typepad.com
There's no arguing he's the hardest-working un-paid blogger in town.
Celebrity (or pseudo celebrity as the case may be)
Winner: Pat Hill
The man who put Fresno State football on the map.
Real winner: Matthew Fashion, www.myspace.com/matthewfashion
Fashion, with his reality-TV-cred and run-ins with the law, is true nouveau celebrity at its best. He was on “America's Next Top Model” for God's sake.
Winner: Cafe Corozon, 1145 Fulton Mall, 485-3494, www.cafecorazonfresno.com
If you've been there, you know how good the coffee is. If not, feel free to continue slurping it up in ignorant bliss.
Winner (TIE): Warnors Theatre, 1400 Fulton St., 264-6863, www.warnors.org
The theater, opened in 1928 as the Pantages, is downtown Fresno at its iconic best, with a mix of Moorish, Spanish and Italian renaissance architecture. The named changed in 1929, when the theater was bought by Warner Brothers. It changed again — dropping the E and adding an O — in 1973.
The Chuck (Chukchansi Park), 1800 Tulare St., 320-4487, www.chukchansipark.net
As the city's big crack at downtown revitalization, Chukchansi Park — hereto known as “the Chuck”— probably brought some attention to the Fulton Mall and downtown's Kern Street. It definitely brought in some parking-ticket revenue. The 12,500 sports stadium is home to the Grizzlies and the Fresno Fuego minor-league soccer team.
Winner: Bistro Rustico, 5789 N. Palm Ave., 440-9603
Bistro Rustico is a quaint little bistro (so says reviews on Chowhound.com) from chef Varouj Kachichian. But can you drink there? In February, they added a lounge area. So, apparently, yes.
Winner: Whole Foods, Fig Garden Village, 241-0300, www.wholefoodsmarket.com
This seems a bit obvious, but who are we to judge? The store gets credit for telling plastic-bag users to get bent.
Our mention: OK Produce, 1762 G St., 445-8600, www.okproduce.com
OK Produce is totally green. Like, award-winningly so. The company operates at close to zero-waste and relies heavily on solar power. Its headquarters was just remodeled to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Its fleet of cars for management and sales staff are all hybrids and it is working to convert its trucks to “clean fuels.”
Aka Abe Lopez. He loves downtown.
Our mention: Out of the Void
OOTV has to be mentioned on sheer word count alone. Plus, he's been with us a long time and tends to have some good insight.
Winner: Tom Boyajian, www.votetom08.com
Boyajian has history in Fresno. He was born and raised here, graduated from Fresno High School, Fresno City College and Fresno State. He's got close ties with, and deep support from, long-time Tower-ites. Plus, he's on Myspace. Friend him at: www.myspace.com/tomboyajian
Winner: The DUmb, www.brodiemash.blogspot.com
This is a new edition to the Fresno podcast community, from the guys blogging under the same name. Again, movies, video games and technology —with a Fresno twist.
Our mention: Dorktown, www.mikeseay.blogspot.com
Let's give credit to the OGs.
Best place to take your north-ender friends
Winner: Bistro Rustico
We're pretty sure there was some kind of voter fraud going on here. Either that or people didn't get the category, because Bistro Rustico is totally in NORTH FRESNO. So, we're gonna go ahead and call this one for Veni Vidi Vici's in the Tower.
Winner: Aaron Gomes
Aaron Gomes is the guy who brought The Black Heart Procession, Thurston Moore and Kimya Dawson — to Visalia. But we won't hold that against him.
Thing about Fresno
Winner: The Fresno Grizzlies, www.fresnogrizzlies.com
We guess Triple-A baseball is pretty cool.
Our take: Untapped potential
We've said it before, we'll say it again: Fresno is the new frontier. Giddy-up!
Winner: Yoshi Now!, 648 Broadway, 485-8142, www.myspace.com/yoshinow
Duh! The place is a warehouse, quite literally, packed full of vintage-chic clothes/furniture/bric-a-bric that's been hand-collected by Yosh and the crew. The new mural on the side of the building is worth the trip downtown.
Winner: Bistro Rustico
We're sure the place is good. It may even have vegetarian dishes. But the best? Really? When there are places like New Star Vegetarian, which has veggie right there in the name?
Our mention: Luby Chinese, 1075 E Bullard Ave., Suite 103, 439-8357
Say what you will, the man is a genius with tofu.
Winner: Ikea, www.ikea.com
This national retailer is home to relatively inexpensive modern style. It's Swedish. Put it downtown and watch the people pour in.