Thursday, September 1, 2011

The first hints of fall in Bakersfield and time for another First Friday in downtown Bako

 * ... READY FOR FALL? Don't let the early morning chill fool you. As every local will tell you, a Bakersfield summer is never really over until the Kern County Fair ends. But it has been a terrific summer here, mild and blessed with a river full of water, and I'm sad to see it coming to an end. Still, fall brings high school and Bakersfield College football and a fall farmer's market full of fresh vegetables.

 * ... FIRST FRIDAY: And speaking of the end of summer, don't forget to check out the First Friday activities in the downtown arts district. Remember First Friday is not a street fair, but rather an occasion to support our local businesses by strolling through our growing number of art galleries, antique shops and other businesses and picking up a bite to eat at one of our many downtown restaurants: Uricchio's Trattoria, Mama Roomba, Chef's Choice noodle bar, Mexicali, La Costa Mariscos and the Padre Hotel to name a few. Also make sure to swing by The Metro Galleries on 19th Street, which is featuring an impressive show dedicated to Latino artists and culture. This is a juried show and the winners will be announced. Metro will also have music by Mento Buru and Velorio and a no host bar.

 * ... REITER: A relatively new business called the Reiter Gallery Art Parlor is featuring the paintings of Betty Leonor. The opening reception is Friday and it's worth stopping by on your First Friday tour. The gallery is located at 1914 Chester Avenue.

 * ... OVERHEARD: A 20-something blonde is overheard telling a friend: "I was going crazy because I misplaced the book I was reading. I spent three days looking for it until I realized I had downloaded it on my iPad!"

 * ... SPOTTED: From local Realtor Coleen Peters: "A 1990s dark blue Toyota Camry with middle aged male left a cat lying on the head rest in 100 degree heat in Costco Rosedale parking lot with two windows only rolled down one inch. It must have been 120 degrees in that car. I called 911 and they sent animal control to try to find the car. Thank goodness his shopping list was short. Please remember our furry friends."

 * ... IRENE: Realtor Patsy Sadler wrote with this observation of Hurricane Irene: "I haven't heard one person yell' help me, help me' and no looting reported and people actually trying to clean up their mess and not waiting for help!"

 * ... SERVICE: Some more reader nominations for local retailers who provide great customer service: Snead's men's store near Trader Joe's, White Forest Nursery and Guarantee Shoe Center.

 * ... BAKERSFIELDISM: Margaret Lemucchi provided this gem about growing up in Shafter. "You know you're an old-timer from Shafter if you remember picking up your metal canister containing a movie at Stringham's Drug Store. You selected your movies from a catalogue in a shop - near the Nile Theater, I think. Your weekly movie would go to Shafter on the Orange Belt Stage which parked at  Stringham's. You showed your movie to a neighborhood crowd on a screen in your living room with popcorn breaks and when the film broke, the lights went on, and your dad 'spliced it' with Scotch tape. The next day you returned the movie to Stringham's which put it on the bus back to Bakersfield. Great fun."   

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