It’s often the mantra of interior decorators: A few improvements can make a big impression. I think it’s true for cities too. I know my drive to work (Hwy 168 to 180 to Fulton St.) is much nicer because of few changes in Fresno along the way.
I used to get aggravated along the 168 because of the rows of rotting trees left for dead in the fields of Granite Park. Several weeks ago the city cleaned up the area (photo below) and it really made a difference. Now, I see groomed fields in front of the former Cabo Wabo when I drive by. It’s not perfect — I know the buildings are abandoned — but at least there’s a sense that something can be made of the development. There are even a couple new businesses there. These fixes changed my impression. I no longer think decay. I think hope.
I feel the same way driving down Fulton Street. It’s amazing how much change has occurred in this little section of downtown. The Iron Bird Lofts have really given the area a new feel. Before it was built, I would drive by and hardly see anyone out and about. The building looked cold, unwelcoming. Now, there are lines of cars parked in front of the lofts. People sitting at benches outside enjoying their coffee. It’s easier to park and for people to get around. With the recent groundbreaking of Fulton Village down the block, I again feel a sense of hope for this part of downtown.
Sometimes we think it’s the big things that make a difference. But really, a few changes here and there can change impressions. That’s important. Has anyone else noticed changes like these around town? Share them here.