Why Fresno's Art Hop Is The City's Most Popular Scene

Why Fresno's Art Hop Is The City's Most Popular Scene

It's one of the biggest culminations of art, music, and food culture that Fresno has to offer.
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Every first Thursday of the month a cultural event happens in Fresno. Art and culture lovers from all over the valley and beyond gather to see what local artists and venues have to display. Downtown Fresno and the Tower District come to life as cultural centers for people to gather and mingle over artwork from local talent.

Art Hop brings the city to life because many San Joaquin Valley natives count it as the most valuable event to go to on their night out. Venues often have great food and live music together with their art to create a bigger draw for the community and to give their guests a fantastic experience. Art Hop is Fresno's top cultural movement that has a powerful and positive impact on the local community.

When a local visits an Art Hop venue for the first time, they will notice that the gallery, shop, or pub they are at is taking in art from multiple sources. At a single gallery, an individual can find artwork displays from artists who are undergrads in college right next to displays from artists who would be considered a master in his or her form.

An artist's display can often range from art created out of mediums such as; oil paintings on canvas, molded clay sculptures, or junk that has been re-purposed into something beautiful. Fresno's Art Hop is unique because it displays a variety of mediums from diverse artists in a single gallery. An individual can enter into a gallery to see a familiar scene from Fresno's Highway 180 overlooking the buildings from downtown; but, when that individual starts to explore the gallery - they will see art from an artist who grew up in South Africa and who gained inspiration from the indigenous culture there.

All of these art pieces mean something different to both their creators and to those who appreciate them during Art Hop. When visiting many galleries and gaining exposure to many different pieces of artwork, Art Hop attendees will gain a feeling of enriched cultural awareness from the art of Fresno locals and artists from beyond the valley.

What a gallery can give to someone is greater than the art shown and the cultural understanding that comes with it. Someone attending an Art Hop can experience art being created firsthand.

One example of this is something called a paint around. In a paint around, artists circle canvases that they will paint on so that a group can gather and see their different pieces of artwork. These artists were given a specific amount of time to sketch in the start of their paintings, and when the time was up - they had to go to the canvass next to them and continue where the first artist left off on the painting.

A paint around has the circle of artists that go from painting to painting until every artist has worked on each others' painting, and the artist who created the painting gets to put the finishing touches on what they started. When the time is completely up and artists put their brushes down, the paintings are auctioned off for charity and the artists gain recognition for their skills. Whoever views a paint around gets to see the fast-paced creation of art by an artist skilled enough to jump between different styles of paintings. This art in motion is entertaining and enriching for anyone viewing it.

The best thing for someone attending Art Hop does not have to be the art. Many galleries and venues use live music to draw crowds. Live music pleases the crowds, and it helps the artist promote their brand to locals and sell merchandise if they want to. This music also makes the experience of gaining cultural knowledge from art that much more fun because the music stimulates the attendee's ears while the artwork causes the person to stop and think about what they saw.

The extra experiences do not stop with the addition of food because many Art Hop venues also provide food or have great local restaurants within walking distance. Guests at venues with live music and food get the full experience of all three and have a fantastic time taking in all of the local foods and the culture aspect. They also have the ability to take in the artists, chefs, and musicians that all gain from showcasing their products and profiting from their trades.

When it is the first Thursday evening of the month in Fresno, it is important to know that the city is at its busiest. So many people set out to give attendees of Art Hop the best experience possible and profit from the trades that they have spent countless hours perfecting.

A trip out into the Tower District and Downtown Fresno during Art Hop is guaranteed to make those seeking culture and a good time have the best possible experience and teach them about what their city has to offer. Art Hop is a phenomenal meeting of the minds and native Fresno people (Fresnans, Fresnonians, and Fresnites) should take advantage of the experience and get out of their town the best it has to offer.

Cover Image Credit: Umar R.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The 7 Best Food Places Near UCLA You Need to Try ASAP

We have great dining food AND restaurants around us? Wow, we are #blessed.

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Westwood is the home to UCLA and offers plenty of interesting and diverse dining options for students and locals alike. Since the area is firmly Bruin territory, you will find lots of on-the-go, affordable eats along with a mix of more modern and upscale restaurants.

Though I definitely haven't had all the food Westwood occurs, being here two years now (omg already!?), I think I can safely recommend certain places to eat.

1. Shamshiri Grill

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South Westwood Boulevard is often referred to as Little Tehran, so most of that area is just Persian restaurants. Shamshiri Grill just makes the best meat and whenever I go there, I always order my meal with their special hot sauce, that is to DIE for. A must try.

2. Gushi

I can not tell you how many times I've been to this place. Located near Fat Sal's, you may be tempted to just miss it but let me tell you that is a mistake. I always get their Gushi Bowl which is just heavenly and the right amount to make me feel satisfied without being too filling. Be generous with the Teriyaki and Sriracha sauces on your meat and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

3. Pinches Tacos

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I know Mexican food is very common wherever you go but Pinches Tacos is aesthetically pleasing and their food? Even more so. It just tastes so good! I definitely recommend the Asada fries and any tacos.

4. Saffron and Rose

Saffron and Rose is a Persian ice cream parlor like 10 minutes away from Shamshiri Grill and the quality and variety of ice cream is truly impressive. I would not have known my weakness for Jasmine ice cream if I hadn't tried this place and as always, the Saffron and Rose (it's namesake) deserves to be the name of the restaurant because of how rich in flavor it is.

5. Maharaja

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I am very particular about my Indian food but the buffets in the afternoons at Maharaja definitely passes my checklist. I actually went there for my birthday so that just tells you how the food doesn't disappoint.

6. Nekter Juice Bar

I found out about this place very recently and I'm so glad I did because their bowls are so good. They also serve smoothies which I haven't had the pleasure to taste yet but I expect the same kind of quality. I am very partial to the Bruin Bowl and the Dragonfruit Bowl.

7. BJs

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They have $3 Pizookies on Tuesday.

I am always there on Tuesday.

Are these two facts connected? Maybe.

What can I say? I just love the restaurants here.

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