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The Diamond Divas bring roller derby to Bakersfield

10 Jun

The Diamond Divas practice for their next roller derby bout.

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Indoor kart racing is a cool way to beat the heat

19 May
Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

Everyone who has grown up in Bakersfield during the summer knows how hot it can get. This summer is no exception, with temperatures reaching the 90s in spring. With the blazing heat of Bakersfield weather it can be hard to leave the cooling comfort of your AC.

But JAM Raceway is Bakersfield’s only indoor karting facility, so it keeps participants out of the heat and focused on racing to victory. JAM is newly located on 6901 District Boulevard and is open Monday through Sunday. Specific times can be seen here.

These electric karts are capable of speeds of about 50 mph, and with speeds like that it should keep you relatively cool. JAM charges about $20 for a non-member and $15 if you are a member, these prices are for a 14-lap race. And of course you must be able to provide a valid drivers license in order to race. Complete list of prices can be seen here.

JAM welcomes anyone from professional racers to a novice just looking to race their family or friends. Each person who races is given a score sheet after every race which breaks down their performance and their state of the art timing system allows each competitor to view their lap time and race position in real time on a giant projection screen.

Racers can even go online to check past race results. Each one of these races last about 10 minutes and can go longer depending on the type of race.  JAM is very dedicated to making racing fun and making it very competitive.

If you’ve never been to JAM Raceway, why not try it out this summer and get out of that summer heat for a bit and race your friends and family.

Hand woven baskets bring culture to Brimhall Farmers Market

13 May

Photo of Carrie Sandles selling the baskets she buys from South African women.

Photo of Carrie Sandles selling the baskets she buys from South African women.

On my recent trip to the Brimhall Farmers Market I interviewed a woman who sells hand woven baskets made in South Africa.

Open Mic Poetry Night gives Bakersfield a voice

11 May
Portia Choi reads one of her poems. Choi also helps with Open Mic Poetry Night.

Portia Choi reads one of her poems in front of a small audience at Russo’s Books on May 9. Choi also helps with Open Mic Poetry Night.

I’m sure everyone remembers having to write poems in junior high and up. I know I remember this. It wasn’t something I hated or liked, but I couldn’t imagine having to read those poems in front of an audience.

But for some Bakersfield poets this is something they look forward to every second Thursday of the month. These poem readings are known as Open Mic Poetry Night and are held at Russo’s Books in the Marketplace. The most recent one took place May 9, 2013 from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

For those who enjoy writing poems, then this event is perfect, giving poets an outlet to get their work heard from fellow poets in Bakersfield.

Though the crowd is small the audience the is their to listen to others express their emotions using their writing. The small audience also helps to make it more personal, so everyone can feel relaxed and just listen to the words that are being spoken.

Russo’s even features local poets, for the month of May Estella Aguilar is being featured. Aguilar read many of her poems from her book, “My Absolute Fragile Essence.” This book contains—according to the book description, “50 poems exploring different aspects concerning love, heartbreak, relationships, pain, forgiveness, beauty, and happiness.”

If poetry is something of interest and it’s something that you take part in regularly, why not share it with a supportive audience that can offer feedback. This event helps to give people of Bakersfield a voice.

For more information click here.

Skydive Taft gives Kern County a “sky high” personality

4 May
Taken from Skydive Taft's web site.

Taken from Skydive Taft’s website

 

Bakersfield’s entertainment value is very minimal when we compare it to cities like Los Angeles or New York. It has a lot to offer its more than 350,000 residents, such as food, shopping and rich culture. But what if you want to do something extreme or adrenaline filled?

Those seeking out thrill and excitement in Bakersfield will be sadly out of luck. However, by venturing to Bakersfield’s neighbor, Taft, Calif., you’ll find Skydive Taft, which opened on April 1, 1998.

A tandem skydive costs $189 per person. A discount is given to students, firefighters, police, and people in the military or on birthdays, for whom the cost is $169 per person. Skydivers must be 18 years or older.

Along with those prices skydivers can choose from group jumps that are $179 per person or groups of 10+ for $169 per person.

“It’s pretty affordable considering the type of sport that it is. We offer a lot of different prices and different price points to help people get excited about skydiving,” said Dave Crouch owner, of Skydive Taft.

“We get a couple hundred people each month, a lot of college students from different colleges around and different people from out of town,” Crouch said.

Skydive Taft has professional instructors and pilots committed to keeping skydivers safe from danger. Though Skydive Taft’s web site doesn’t state the type of experience they have however, Skydive is USPA Certified. Which stands for United States Parachute Association and they make sure that skydiving facilities and equipment are held to a certain standard.

For the inexperienced skydiver, they offer tandem skydiving. This is where people are connected to an experienced skydiver. Together they jump, and pull the chute and land safely on the ground.

“We offer a lot of options for different levels of skydiving experience. Of course, if you’ve never done it before, doing a tandem skydive in California will just about beat any other first-time experience,” states Skydive Taft’s Facebook page. “As you progress in diving levels, you can try more complex dives, learning new skills and keeping safety in mind as you improve.”

Skydive Taft offers many events that help promote the business and get people who would never think about skydiving up in a plane. One upcoming event on June 1 and 2 is the Grumpy, Gimpy, Old Farts Boogie. The fifth annual event will feature a live band, food, beer and a raffle for a free jump ticket. This event is not just for “old farts” younger individuals are invited as well.

With it being close to Bakersfield and offering prices that can tempt even the cheapest thrill seeker, everyone can enjoy this activity. Skydive Taft helps prove that Bakersfield isn’t just an oil town and neither is Taft, both of these small towns have hidden gems among them.

Taken from Skydive Taft's website

Taken from Skydive Taft’s website

Passport to Pangea

28 Apr

On Apr 13, 2013 the International Dinner titled Passport to Pangea took place at the Runner Cafe. Tickets were $13 pre sale and $15 at the door, after buying a ticket students and people of Bakersfield had access to food from different parts of the world and also a lot of entertainment including an reenactment of a battle from the renaissance era and dances from India, Cambodia and Africa, just to name a few.

Passport to Pangea took place at Runner Cafe on April 12, 2013 at 6 pm.

Passport to Pangea took place at Runner Cafe on April 12, 2013 at 6 pm.

It was a packed house at the Passport to Pangea event put together by the International Club.

It was a packed house at the Passport to Pangea event put together by the International Club.

This is just one of the many performers at Passport to Pangea the event was filled with traditional dances and food as well.

This is just one of the many performers at Passport to Pangea the event was filled with traditional dances and food as well.

A close up of some of the dishes given away for students and people of Bakersfield to try.

A close up of some of the dishes given away for students and people of Bakersfield to try.

Another performer at Passport to Pangea.  A traditional Indian dance performed by students of CSUB.

A traditional Indian dance performed by students of CSUB.

 

 

A burger place is always around the corner

26 Apr

Recently Bakersfield has seen a surge of burger places ranging in different prices. I don’t know about you but I’ve seen a new burger restaurant pop up in Bakersfield almost every month. Many of these burger joints are scattered around Bako but offer different but similar ways to enjoy an old classic. I’d like to go over some of the many burger restaurants around Bakersfield and something that sets them apart from each other.

  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers– this burger restaurant is fairly new, having its grand opening on January 22, 2013 and is located on Calloway. Like the name implies they offer steak burgers along with custard. Custard is similar to ice cream however, it uses more yolks and ice crystals to make it more dense and rich. Freddy’s offers more then just burgers, other things they sell are chicken burgers and for the vegetarians out there they have veggie burgers as well. Another thing that sets Freddy’s apart from other burger restaurants are what they call LTO’s, which stand for limited time only. For example they have a Philly steak this month for customers who want that but when the time period ends they can only be sold again this month next year. Freddy’s is a nice place when it isn’t hectic and crowded with people, they offer good food, the staff is nice and the prices aren’t that bad as well.
Photo taken from Freddysusa.com

Photo taken from Freddysusa.com

 

  • Juicy Burger– This burger place is relatively new to Bakersfield, growing from one to two in a matter of a year. The first Juicy Burger to open in Bakersfield is located downtown on 24th Street, like I mentioned before the restaurant doubled in size and expanded to a modest location on Hageman. This burger place is rather pricey but they offer “fresh never frozen 100% Harris Ranch beef,” states their website. Harris Ranch is located just alongside interstate 5 and is the largest beef producer in Calif. Juicy Burger sets itself apart from other burger restaurants by offering fresh beef, freshly cut fries, milkshakes, hot dogs and even lettuce wraps. As soon as you walk in you can grab a piece of paper with a list of different burger combinations and you can make your own burger to your liking. With two convenient locations Juicy Burger is quickly making a name for itself in Bakerfield.
  • Eureka Burger– This burger restaurant is located on Stockdale Highway and is probably the most upscale burger restaurant in Bakersfield. This burger place is set up more like a restaurant where customers can go and order burgers, a nice craft beer or other menu items and enjoy the atmosphere. What sets Eureka apart from the other burger joints on this list, is that chefs make the food and Eureka even offer ultra premium craft beer and whiskey, other burger restaurants in Bakersfield don’t offer this. Eureka is the perfect place to go if you want a good burger, beer, and even local music.
  • Moo Creamery– This place is located on Truxtun Ave and is pretty new to Bakersfield as well, and is probably my favorite burger place on this list and rightfully so. With burgers being the dominant thing on the menu they do offer them along with different shakes and other menu items like sandwiches, soups and salads. Depending on the day you go they offer many specials and even Sunday brunch. This place is my favorite burger place in Bakersfield because they have a lot of different selection of food and give customers a lot to choose from and they have milkshakes that will knock your socks off, I recommend the whiskey caramel malt, this shake is a favorite among me and my friends. Moo has a nice and welcoming environment, the staff is nice and the food is amazing and so are their prices.
Photo taken from Moocreamery.com

Photo taken from Moocreamery.com

 

So to conclude Bakersfield has a lot of burger places that are very different from one another. Depending on what you want to spend and how far you want to travel a burger place is always right around corner in Bako.