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Skating in Bakersfield

12 Jun

A photo of rollerama. Photo provided by their website.

A photo of rollerama. Photo provided by their website.

Roller skating is a fun way to beat the heat, especially if you’re going to be here in Bakersfield during the summer.

If you watched my video on Skateland https://playingbakersfield.wordpress.com/2013/06/11/skateland/ you’ll see that roller skating is fun and a great way to be active without having to be outside.

But there’s more than one skating rink in Bakersfield. There are seven skating rinks in Bakersfield, to be exact. If you’re looking for one near your area, just go to yahoo and type skating rinks bakersfield in the search engine and it should provide you with the skating rinks, as well as the locations.

The skating rink I’m going to talk about in this post is Rollerama http://www.rollerama.com/34th.html on 34th street. There are two Rolleramas in town, owned by the same people, except that the other Rollerama is located on Brimhall Road.

Rollerama on 34th street has a bargain night every thursday, where it costs only $3.00 from 6:30-8:30 pm to skate.

The price to skate varies from day to day; it costs $6.00 to skate on saturdays and sundays, $5.00 on wednesdays and $7.00 on fridays.

As you can see the prices are reasonable, but if you want to save that extra three dollars, then wednesday is your best bet to go with friends or family members.

Aside from skating, Rollerama also has children and adult hockey leagues and throwing birthday parties are their speciality, according to their website, which I linked on this post.

Rollerama also offers skating lessons for those who don’t know how to skate but want to learn how; more information is available on their website.

So if you’re bored at home and want to go out and have some fun without baking outside in the heat, check out Rollerama and let me know how it goes!

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Video

Skateland

11 Jun

Skateland’s manager Natalie Dunn Fries and longtime skater Julie share why you should come to Bakersfield Skateland.

Trout’s and The Blackboard Stages

20 May

The sign outside the entrance to Trout's Nightclub. Photo provided by Yelp.com

The sign outside the entrance to Trout’s Nightclub. Photo provided by Yelp.com

Do you enjoy dancing? Do you love karaoke? Do you like listening to love music? If you’ve answered yes to one or all of these questions, then you’ll love Trout’s Nightclub.

Trout’s and The Blackboard Stages (the official name of the club) has been a staple in Bakersfield nightlife since it opened its doors in November of 1931.

An interesting fact about Trout’s is that, according to their website, http://therockwellopry.com/, their club “has become Americas leading institution for building and preserving the iconic genre of music known as the “Bakersfield Sound.”’

Trout’s has become a leader in Bakersfield nightclubs by providing a combination of dancing, karaoke and live music. Karaoke is offered seven nights a week, so everybody who loves to sing (whether it’s on-key or off) should come check this out.

Moreover, Trout’s offers two dance floors and dual dance halls that have some form of live music every day of the week.
For the music history buffs, Trout’s is definitely worth checking out. The club has digital archives that contain thousands of photographs, thousands of hours’ worth of video and historical memorabilia captured during its 80-plus years.

Trout’s also offers line dancing from 7-9 pm every day. Cost is $5.00 but if you enjoy line dancing, then it might be worth it.

For those who don’t know what line dancing is, it’s people moving in lines to a repeated sequence of steps. Line dancers do not dance with each other, although they might face each other. And it doesn’t matter if both genders are in one line when dancing. They do execute the dance moves at the same time though.

Another tidbit about Trouts is that they have space for you to throw a party or a banquet. So if you want to celebrate a special event or just have a fun night out, head on over to Trout’s. You’ll have a night you won’t forget.

For more information about Trout’s, go to link I’ve attached and visit this website http://www.yelp.com/biz/trouts-and-the-blackboard-stages-bakersfield to read some of the reviews people have given Trout’s.

Zaika and its Deliciousness

17 May

Interview with Henry Bhullar, manager of Indian restaurant Zaika Bar and Cuisine.

*Photo provided by Zaika Bar and Cuisine Restaurant http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com/

Monster In The Garage

4 May

Not too many plays produced in the Bakersfield community are suitable for children, as they deal with adult themes. That rules out many plays that parents and their kids can watch together.

“The Imaginators” is a children’s play put on by the California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) Theatre for Young Audiences. It is both kid-friendly and entertaining.

“The Imaginators” is a story of three children and the power of imagination. Anne, played by Melissa Larios, and her brother Tim, played by Jonathan Frigillana, have just moved to a new town, and Tim has a very active imagination.

Tim enjoys playing superheroes and has a penchant for making up stories, especially the one about Pete the deer, whom Tim says he found as a baby, claiming that they were “like best friends, even though he was a deer.” This tale turns out to be false, as Anne calls out Tim for making this story up.

Anne refuses to play with Tim, afraid that the new kids at school will make fun of her if they see what her brother is up to.

The girl next door, Nina Frances Elizabeth Vanderhelden comes over to Tim’s garage and joins him in the world of make-believe by playing a princess. Nina is played by Miriam Y. Rodriguez.

Anne is upset at this, but is persuaded by Nina to join them in the fantasy world. Together the three of them take on the child-eating monster, the Mooklecratz, played by puppeteers Courtney Hoover and Monica Martinez.

This all takes place in a garage, where a dust ruffler is used as flowers, a hula hoop is used as a crystal ball, and a clock and Frisbee are used as shields against the Mooklecratz, whom they defeat in the end.

The play encourages children and adults to use their imagination and that they can be anything they want to be. It also has tidbits of wisdom mixed in.

When Anne asks Nina why she doesn’t put on a façade so that the kids at school will like her (Nina had admitted that she was unpopular with her peers), Nina offers these sage words:

“If I had to act like someone else to be popular, I’d rather be unpopular and me.”

Nina’s real name is revealed to be Nina Lynn Fleck when her brother William, played by Joaquin Calderon, calls out for Nina, using her full name.

Nina admits to not liking her real name, hence the change when she meets new people, such as Tim and Anne.

The play frightened some children and young adults alike, when the puppeteers playing the Mooklecratz made loud scary noises as Anne, Tim and Nina were fighting it. Other scary effects include the props rattling all over the “garage” and flashing red lights that glowed in the wall.

Of the children were scared, one ran over to his parents, one had his hands over his ears and two brothers were huddled together.

But the majority of kids were not scared at all, as they were focused on the stage.

One CSUB student who was in the audience was even a little afraid.

“I thought it was a good play and [the actors] portrayed children well and believab[ly],” CSUB student Alex Traynham said. “I was scared a couple of times, especially by the loud noises”.

Fellow CSUB student Kendle Bullman had a similar reaction.

“I did freak out a few times, but it [the play] was cute,” Bullman said. “If I could bring my nephew, I would.” Unfortunately, she wouldn’t be able to, as the play’s run was ending shortly.

The play, which was directed by CSUB theater professor Kamala Kruszka, is near and dear to her heart.

“I lead a tour show every year and I always have something that appeals to little kids,” Kruszka said. “I always try to put on a show upper-elementary kids could like.”

Kruszka notes that the play might be a little scary for lower-level elementary kids (the kids that were mentioned earlier in the review), so it might not be appropriate for them.

Kruszka describes directing the play as a pleasure, because “the cast makes the show fun,” referring to them as “really talented” and “willing to be playful.”

Kruszka describes children’s theater as a joy, saying that, “In today’s world there is nothing like live theater.”

“It’s important to know it’s vital to introduce children to theater when they’re young,” Kruszka said. “It’s fun for families to find out that there’s things to do together.”

Although the play will be put on mostly at schools in the Kern County area for the rest of the week, “The Imaginators” final tour stop will be at the CSUB campus Arena Theatre on April 23 at 10 a.m.

The play’s final stop will be where the tour first began.

For more information or reservations call 661-654-3150.

Dancing for the Kids…All Night Long

28 Apr

On Friday April 19, California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) held a Dance Marathon that supported the Lauren Small Children’s Medical Center at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.The 12 hour event (which lasted from 7 pm April 19 to 7 am April 20) included dancing,video games and so much more.

The Dance marathon was held at CSUB Bakersfield. The two ladies on stage were giving a speech before the dance marathon began

The Dance marathon was held at CSUB Bakersfield. The two ladies on stage were giving a speech before the dance marathon began.

Amrutha Hebbala, Stephanie Campos Zepeda and Adriana Garcia made goofy faces for the camera. The Dance Marathon was being held at CSUB's Student Union.

Amrutha Hebbala, Stephanie Campos Zepeda and Adriana Garcia made goofy faces for the camera. The Dance Marathon was being held at CSUB’s Student Union.

Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sisters Elizabeth Ascencio and Andrea Rodriguez posed for the camera. They, along with their other sisters, danced all night long.

Phi Sigma Sigma sorority sisters Elizabeth Ascencio and Andrea Rodriguez posed for the camera. They, along with their other sisters, danced all night long.

The dancers on stage performed to the music played by the DJ. Students on the dance floor followed the on stage dancers' lead.

The dancers on stage performed to the music played by the DJ. Students on the dance floor followed the on stage dancers’ lead.

Adriana Garcia, left, showed off her moves on the dance floor and having fun doing so.

Adriana Garcia, left, showed off her moves on the dance floor and having fun doing so.

Members of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority are in the middle of a fun dance.

Members of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority are in the middle of a fun dance.

Affordable and Full of Flavor

28 Apr
Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy chicken dish that's rich and full of flavor.Photo provided by Melissa C., courtesy of yelp.com.

Chicken Tikka Masala, a creamy chicken dish that’s rich and full of flavor.Photo provided by Melissa C., courtesy of yelp.com.

If you’re like me, you get tired of going to chain restaurants and fast-food joints. How many times can one go to Applebee’s or McDonald’s before you’ve  finally had enough?

As much as I like the aforementioned restaurants, I also love  trying different types of cuisine, and I’m not talking about Chinese or Mexican food. Restaurants that serve that sort of food are a dime-a-dozen in Bakersfield. I’m talking about greek food, italian food and my all-time favorite, indian cuisine.

When I moved to Bakersfield to attend California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), I made it my mission to find Indian restaurants and chow down on my favorite kind of food. Of course, when I moved to Bakersfield, I didn’t have a car so I was not able to go to any restaurants until several months later after getting one.

I’ve been to three different Indian restaurants here in Bakersfield  and have enjoyed each one of them!

So what is it about Indian food that I like so much? I love eating naan, which is an oven-baked flatbread that’s served with your food; samosas, which are crispy turnovers containing peas, potatoes and spices and of course, curry, which is a spicy type of sauce that’s mixed with whatever you order (whether it be a veggie or meat dish).

Not many people like curry, as it can be very spicy depending on how hot you want your order to be. Restaurants can customize though, which is good because not everyone can handle the heat from eating dishes containing curry. But to me, it’s worth it because Indian food is that good.

That being said, here are the three Indian restaurants you should check out:

  • Cafe India has an amazing lunch buffet with various chicken dishes, as well as vegetarian dishes. I would recommend trying the tofu masala (tofu cooked in a rich tomatoey sauce)  and the chicken curry. Both of those dishes are excellent and full of flavor. The chicken curry might be a little spicy, but nothing that would make you feel like you’ll breathe fire if you eat it. For more information about Cafe India and the lunch buffet hours, visit http://www.cafeindiabakersfield.com/
Restaurant Taj-Mahal, another fine indian restaurant here in Bakersfield. Photo provided by Tony L., courtesy of yelp.com

Restaurant Taj-Mahal, another fine indian restaurant here in Bakersfield. Photo provided by Tony L., courtesy of yelp.com

  • Taj Mahal Cuisine of India is another top-notch indian restaurant that offers a lunch buffet on the weekdays from 11 am-3 pm. Taj Mahal has mostly vegetarian dishes during the buffet hours, but they also have two or three chicken dishes as well. I love the Chickpea curry they make. It’s rich and full of flavor and they also have pakora, which are vegetables coated in a batter of gram flour and are then deep fried. Unfortunately, Taj Mahal does not have a website, but the restaurant is located at 5416 California Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93309. They can be reached at 661-633-2222 if you have questions about their menu, how spicy their food is, etc.
Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls cooked in honey. Photo provided by http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com

Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls cooked in honey. Photo provided by http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com

  • And finally, there’s Zaika Indian Cuisine and Bar. As much as I enjoy eating at the other two restaurants, Zaika is, without a doubt, the best indian restaurant in Bakersfield. They also have a lunch buffet, but unlike the former two restaurants, Zaika offers their buffet EVERYDAY from 11 am-3 pm. On the weekends though, they offer champagne with the buffet. So for all of you over the age of 21 and like drinking champagne, this is a win win combination: Top quality food and champagne. I would recommend trying their Samosas and their Gulab Jamun, which are cheese balls dipped in honey. Sweet and tasty. For more information, visit their website http://www.zaikaindiancuisine.com.

If you’re looking to try something new and something that’s mouth watering, I would highly encourage you to dine at one (or all three at some point) of these restuarants. You won’t be sorry, and even better, you get your money’s worth.