The Tower District once was described by one of my friends as "the only place in Fresno that has a scene." While I don't completely agree that its the only place, that has stayed with me through many years- well, at least long enough that I've forgotten who said it. The truth to that statement is that Tower really does have its own flavor, attitude and feeling. Driving down Olive you can perceptibly feel the atmosphere change as you get closer and closer to the Tower Theater- that beacon of what I would consider to be Fresno's live entertainment district.
I wanted to save Tower for later in the month because it really is just such a big undertaking to do it justice, however, here at day 20 I'm no more prepared to gush about all of the great things Tower has to offer than I was on the first. With no clue which direction to take first- art, food, music, people, events.... I'll begin with the strongest statement I can make about the Tower District and how I feel about it in relation to Fresno: If a friend were visiting Fresno for the first time, I would take them to Tower first.
I would like people who have never seen Fresno to at least leave with thoughts of a street lined with (mostly) locally owned businesses, beautiful public art and fun people in their mind.
Tower has everything that I look for in places I go to visit. I realized this while my family was vacationing in Morro Bay last weekend. All of the places we all go nuts for over by the coast are here in Tower, but better and less tourist-generic. No seriously, just for one example; my dad will go to the coast, not to see the waves but to buy as many cheap albums on vinyl as he can convince my mom that he needs, never mind that we have an awesome record shop here as well as all kinds of thrift shops to check out.
I am very proud of the Tower District. I love when there are parades and people line the streets to watch and celebrate whatever the occasion is together. I love the sit down dinners and the on-the-go options. I love that, in the rare event that my husband and I get a date night, we can always find something to do- sometimes its hard to choose between the venues. I love that there are always a handful of people that I've never actually seen sober, but can be counted on to be in the Livingstones patio. I really love that I can get a yummy coffee drink or a delicious tea- or both, one in each hand if my mood dictates. The Tower may not be the only place with a scene, but the scene there is definitely exciting and unique and one that I wish I could spend more time in.
What do you love about the Tower District?
(Photo credit to the absolutely awesome Joe Osejo. Who rules? Joe rules. For realz.)
(I hope all of the places I linked to are still open, its hard to tell with the way places keep closing thanks to the economy. Makes me sad!)