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Music, the MET and an Iron Bird: Looking back on my 2010 predictions
Around this time last year, I put forth some predictions for 2010. As the sun sets on the final days of the year, I’d like to look back and see how well I did.
Spoiler alert: Nostradamus I am not.
The prediction: We will find out what becomes of The Bee building.
Last year, I predicted we would find out what would become of the abandoned Fresno Bee Building. In my future, the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame moved into the space, creating a sports-themed anchor for that entire section of downtown. Boy was I wrong. Not only did the Hall of Fame not move into the MET building (it moved into the RiverView shopping center at Friant and Ft. Washington avenues), the city has been unable to line up a single tennant for the building.
Outcome: An optimist’s fail. UPDATE: Word from the blogospere is there are at least two signed tennants, though they have yet to move into the building.
The prediction: I will get coffee around the corner from my house.
As I imagined it, Iron Bird Café would open to big crowds, with a combination of good service, great coffee and free Wi-Fi, thus establishing itself as downtown’s third space. It has. On any given day — weekends included— you will see any number of artists/musicians/politicians/downtown dwellers/coffee lovers Interneting/studying/chatting/hanging out in and around the cafe (which sits at Fulton and Divisadero streets). The sense of community within those blocks ballooned in 2010 thanks in large part to the cafe and it’s brilliantly wonderful coffee drinks — seriously, the foam on the cappichino makes me swoon.
Outcome: Pretty spot on.
The prediction: More people will move downtown.
Twenty-ten was set up to be a good year for downtown residency. People were moving into the Iron Bird Lofts at a nice clip, and work was happening at Granville’s Fulton Village, Reza Assemi’s Broadway Lofts and Terance Frazier’s Fultonia. Which is pretty much where it all stands one year later. Now there is foundation poured and framing up at the Fulton Village and the Broadway Lofts are close (I’m told) to being move-in ready. Also added this year: the old Mayflower hotel, which will become the Mayflower Lofts.
Outcome: In limbo. Maybe next year.
The prediction: Somebody (everybody) makes it big.
I'm sure this has been predicted every time a Fresno band has been on the cusp of almost making it. There was probably a similar sentiment during the ska outbreak of the '90s when Let's Go Bowling was poised to own the world. I predicted 2010 would be a good year for Hip-Hop in Fresno, with Fashawn exploding on to the world stage in a big way. He did. Dude was featured on the cover of XXL as part of their Freshman 10 line-up along with the likes of Donnis, Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa and J. Cole. How'd this play out for other artists in Fresno? Yet to be seen.
Outcome: Yet to be seen.
The prediction: Fresno gets ranked last (or first, or whatever) on some list of the most (or least, or whatever) desirable attributes in a city. And no one cares.
This prediction was written on the tail of a host of surveys that pretty much trashed Fresno and the backlash (especially in the blogosphere) that ensued. This year we seemed to have a thicker skin when people said bad (and sometimes true) things about our city, though Jay Leno could still get us riled with a good (lame, actually) Fresno jab. Of course, this also means Fresno is good at rallying support for good causes too, like Walmart's Fighting Hunger program. If you haven't been to the site to help you should.
The outcome: Things are getting better?