Friday, February 17, 2023

The daily struggle of some businesses against crime and vagrancy, Pyrenees Cafe promotes its breakfast fare and catch up with the Greens and a place called Yoga Culture

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed. Our mission is to celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this community such a special place. The views expressed here are strictly my own and do not represent any other company or publication.

 * ... THE WOES OF WARD 2: If you think it's tough running a business these days, try doing it downtown where homelessness, vagrancy, crime, graffiti and trash are among the costs of doing business. Is it better since the city has thrown millions into building homeless centers and and hiring contractors to pick up

trash and patrol the streets? Yes, but the sad truth is it is still a mess and no amount of lipstick can make it look better. Just ask the owners of Blue Oak Coffee Roasting downtown who have been broken into twice this week - back to back days. Or ask the residents downtown who call 911 when vagrants are pounding on doors at 3 a.m. only to be told no officer is available. Or try keeping up with the number of vacant buildings that have burned to the ground because of vagrants? The twin issues of crime and homelessness seem to be beyond our control, and yet Ward 2 City Councilman Andrae Gonzales continues to push the idea of pumping millions into the old Southern Pacific Depot on Baker Street, which unfortunately is near the Ground Zero of lost causes in Bakersfield. So is Andrae a visionary or just loose with someone else's money? Time will tell, and if a private investor wants to plow the money into the Depot, have at it. But let's stabilize life in Ward 2 before we dump tax dollars into a potential bad investment. Just take a look at the old Noriega's storefront to see how time can be cruel for businesses near Baker Street.

 * ... BREAKFAST IN BAKO: So where is the best breakfast in Bakersfield? The 24th Street Cafe? Arizona Cafe? Both terrific iconic businesses, but what about the Pyrenees Cafe, a place more well known for its stiff drinks, live music and classic Basque lunch and dinner entrees? Pyrenees owners Rod and Julie Crawford are rightfully proud of their breakfast menu and have taken to advertising it on billboards around town.

 * ... STRAY DOGS: This Facebook post from the Bakersfield SPCA says it all about this adorable pup seen here: "When will it ever end?? A Good Samaritan just brought in this little abandoned puppy they found out all alone. This is happening way too much all around town. The little girl is only about 4 weeks old. We have her now safely tucked away in her bed in the nursery where she will be taken care of for about another month before she is old enough to be put up for adoption. I know the City and County shelters see this daily as well. STOP the breeding, Spay/Neuter your pets!"

 * ... YOGA CULTURE: Some people are just born entrepreneurs, blessed with a vision of their community and surroundings that sees only possibilities. Two such creatures are Ryan and Natalie Green, publishers of a downtown magazine called Stroll, an affirmational look our town and the world that focuses on what is right in the world, not wrong. And now the Greens have announced they are working on their own yoga study on 18th Street called Yoga Culture. Stay tuned for the opening and what the Greens have in store next.

 * ... MEMORIES: And while we are speaking of the old depot, I turned to the Facebook group Kern County History Fans to find a marvelous old photo or two of the depot back in its heyday.

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