A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
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Strolling The Town

by Tom Sims



Downtown Fresno and the Tower District are homes to some of the most serious “foodies” in the country, especially when it comes to healthy, natural, wholesome organic food. Among those who inhabit her byways are leaders in the new food culture of wellness and health through good eating. That is why it was not surprising that several weeks ago, the brightest and best caravanned to the country for a “get-out-of-town” event in the country, where mouths were watering and minds were being fed. It was the 6th Annual Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee.

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by Tom Sims


“It is not acceptable.”
“We are not OK with this.”
“Think of him as your son.”
These are some of the words we heard as we gathered in a parking lot across the street from the scene of violence to
honor the life of Eric Catlapp Sunday night.

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by Tom Sims



“CArtHop is a series of weekly events that highlight local eats, local music, and local art. We’ll have some of the best food trucks in the Valley out at locations all around Fresno, all serving food made with local ingredients.”

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by Tom Sims


Tom Sims has been covering the Tower District and Downtown Fresno for KRL for the past couple of years so we have decided to turn this into a monthly column which will go up every second weekend of the month. We are also adding to the mix articles on Old Town Clovis. We feel these are three areas in this Valley that are filled with history, culture and interesting stories. So join us each month as Tom goes Strolling Through Town!

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by Tom Sims


I had no idea what to expect from Irene’s Café. I’ve driven by and walked by it for years, but have never gone in. It always seemed clean and busy from the outside with an attractive and compelling presence. I just never had a need to try it out when I was in the neighborhood. Assignments such as these open a world of possibilities. I went for the purpose of writing about another Tower District experience. I will return for the atmosphere and for the flavor as well as for the sense of community.

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Teazer is No Tease

IN THE January 12 ISSUE

FROM THE 2013 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andStrolling The Town,
andTom Sims
SECTIONS

by Tom Sims


It was a bitter cold and gray rainy day in the Tower District. Fortunately, I found a parking place in front of my location. When I stepped through the first opening, it was an enclosed patio with tables and chairs. It looked like a great place to sit and sip in a few months and with a few degrees of rising temperature.

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by Tom Sims


Nestled between Café Corazon and The Hashtag in Fresno’s Tower District is The Succulent Shack. It sounds like a nice place to eat or drink. In fact, as you enter the door, it looks and feels like a nice place to eat or drink. It has all the rustic charm and simple elegance of a corner café.

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Scoops of Sweetness in the Tower

IN THE November 10 ISSUE

FROM THE 2012 Articles,
andFood Fun,
andStrolling The Town,
andTom Sims
SECTIONS

by Tom Sims


I like ice cream. It is a vice I retain. I am not sure I’ll ever get over it entirely. I try to moderate my enthusiasm and consumption, but it is not entirely suppressed. I like it creamy, flavorful, sweet, and cold. A little will do. It has to do.

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by Tom Sims



Halloween comes early to the Tower District. In fact, the entire month of October is a frenzy of activity beginning with October Fest.
When it gets closer to All Hallows Eve, the costumes are not on the people, but on their dogs. It is time for Whitie’s Pets Pooch Parade, Canine Carnival & Costume Contest.

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by Tom Sims


I was doing one of my strolls through the Tower District the other day. Keep in mind, I do not live, work, or do much business there. I am no expert. I am a casual and enthusiastic admirer. I am also a hunter-gatherer, looking for fruits and seeds to glean transferable knowledge. I was strolling and observing. My mind went back to my first impressions. Please, do not throw tomatoes. I am being honest.

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by Tom Sims


Reza Assemi has been keeping an urban diary for 12 years. At age 17, he left Fresno and pursued business, hiking national parks, and a philosophy degree. When he returned to the Valley, he brought curiosity, creativity, and imagination and began to invest those qualities in creating something entirely new out of old things in the city. He has made a mark and is continuing to make a mark.

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by Tom Sims



At the corner of Olive and Wishon in Fresno’s Tower District, there is an institution dating back to 1956. Family and community legend date it back even earlier to the Great Depression when Mary Richardson made chicken pies and put them in the window to cool. The undisputed truth is Grandmother, Mary Ross (AKA Grandmarie) did provide the influence and flavor that still lives on this corner. The Chicken Pie Shop is one of the few institutions in Fresno with continuity of ownership and management that dates back well over 50 years.

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by Tom Sims



Each week we’d hear the same tune through the 80s—-the theme song for the TV show Cheers, set in a Boston neighborhood bar that functioned as a “third place” for its regulars, a home-away-from-home and a place away from work where they could hang out and be accepted. A place where they are known.

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by Tom Sims




One of the first things you notice when you meet Ta-Raw Hamilton, otherwise known as “Chef Hamilton,” is passion. Ta-Raw is passionate about food, health, and life! She is passionate about ideas and building dreams. That is evident in her approach to everything she and her family do. The culinary team of Tara, Rachel, Kyal, and Ariana Hamilton are at the heart of Revive Cafe and Organic Fresno.

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by Tom Sims



If you are in the Fresno Tower District between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday and you get that familiar craving for a cup of coffee with atmosphere, you really owe it to yourself to discover Café Corazón.

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by Tom Sims



Caroline Wade is first an artist and then a pastry chef. After that, she is part of a new breed of entrepreneurs who incorporate social networking in real time and online to create relationships and buzz to build their businesses. She describes herself as “Owner, Artist, and Pastry Chef of Caroline’s Creations.”

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by Tom Sims & Lorie Lewis Ham



Anthony “Ap” Armour, Bryan Feil, and Garth Richards cannot tell you who “runs” Neighborhood Thrift. What runs the organization is a sense of mission and a vision for what the ministry can and does accomplish in people’s lives. They describe themselves as a “triumvirate,” formed around a common purpose to launch a bold venture in the heart of the Tower District of Fresno.

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by Tom Sims



Expect bright, happy, cheerful food served by a bright, happy, cheerful host when you visit Raspados California in Fresno. Ricardo Aceves loves what he does and he loves the food he makes.

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