2019 Goin Chico

Page 1

A guide to this beautiful and fun city

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Goin’ Chico 2 0 1 9

An intro to fun and adventure in your new home

Welcome to Chico!

You may be a newcomer, but we’re not! Each year, the Chico News & Review puts its years of experience covering this vibrant and beautiful little city—situated on the border between the California Central Valley and the foothills of the Sierra Nevada—to work in putting together this handy introduction to your new home. These days, Chico is more active than is typical as we’ve absorbed thousands of neighbors A SCHOOL IN THE MIDDLE.......... 8 from Paradise and other Butte County communities THE BIDWELL JUNGLE ............... 11 affected by the Camp Fire. MUSIC PLAYLIST ..................... 16 We’re all still getting used to the change, but one NEIGHBORHOODS .................... 24 thing is for sure: There’s LOCAL FOOD .......................... 26 more opportunity than ever before for community ART SCENE ............................ 30 and sharing the bounty of what Chico has to A RESILIENT COMMUNITY — VOLUNTEERING ....................... 34 offer—including active music and arts scenes, CHICO CHECKLIST ................... 38 great restaurants and big, beautiful Bidwell Park. We packed as much of that bounty as we could into this guide. As the school year progresses, be sure to pick up the free Chico News & Review every Thursday to stay on top of the rest of the town’s news, entertainment and culture.

GOIN’ CHICO EDITOR: Jason Cassidy CN&R EDITOR: Melissa Daugherty WRITERS: Jason Cassidy, Meredith J. Cooper DESIGN: Tina Flynn ADVERTISING MANAGER: Jamie DeGarmo ADVERTISING STAFF: Ruth Alderson, Brian Corbit, Laura Golino, Adam Lew, Jordan Vernau








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: SPECIAL REPORT destructive Camp Fire, the most blaze in state history

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On the booze trail in south Chico page








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pictur ene, in IDY usic sc N CASS local m BY MICHELLE CAMY & JASO namic PAGE 16 The dy

Copyright ©2019 Chico Community Publishing




Goin’ Chico is published every summer by the Chico News & Review 353 E. Second St., Chico, CA 95928 530-894-2300 newsreview.com/chico facebook.com/ChicoNewsandReview Twitter: @ChicoNR


FREE NmeNt ChiCo’s& eNtertai News Ekly e 37 WE 42, issu Volume , thursday 2019 Com may 9, sreView. www.New


On the cover: Image by Michelle Camy. Model: Sophia Rogers-Davidson




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A school in the middle

Chico State is the hub of the city


his is a Chico guide, and the university is obviously a huge part of our little city. But since most students have already gotten a basic orientation to Chico State, we’ve highlighted a few of the more interesting and fun features of your new campus. Wildcat athletics: If you didn’t come here to play sports, you might not realize that Chico State has one of the best Division II athletic programs in the country. Not only has the program received the California Collegiate Athletic Association Commissioner’s Cup (presented to the school with best overall athletics performance in the state) five of eight years between 2011-18, it also regularly finishes in the top 10 percent of all athletic programs in the country. Watching games is fun (and free for Chico State students), whether rooting in the stands of Acker Gym for the exciting men’s and women’s basketball teams, or enjoying a day in the sun at Nettleton Stadium with the nationally recognized men’s baseball team that’s made the NCAA tournament 18 of the last 24 seasons and won the Division II World Series twice. chicowildcats.com

8 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Left: Chico State designated hitter, Alex DeVito. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO STATE ATHLETICS

University Farm: Chico State’s College of Agriculture has a whole other campus all to itself. The University Farm—aka the Paul L. Byrne Agricultural Teaching and Research Center— is an 800-acre facility on the southern edge of Chico. It’s a fully functioning farm/ranch that serves even non-ag students via community supported agriculture (CSA) memberships from the Organic Vegetable Project; the Meats Lab butchering unit and retail counter; and the U-Pick

Peaches event (mid-August). Monthly tours also are offered. 11 Nicholas C. Shouten Lane, 898-6343, csuchico.edu/ag/ university-farm Art galleries: There are enough galleries at Chico State to enjoy an art walk without even leaving the campus. Associated Students hosts the Third Floor Art Gallery (for student works) in the Bell Memorial Union; and the Department of Art & Art History operates an additional four spaces in two buildings: the B-SO Space in Ayres 105, and three next to each other in the Arts & Humanities Building—Jacki Headley University Art Gallery,

Masters of Fine Arts Gallery and Janet Turner Print Museum. csuchico.edu/art Associated Students: The A.S. is owned by the students and is there to “enrich the quality of campus life” for you. You’re no doubt already familiar with the bookstore and the Marketplace Cafe in the BMU, but the A.S. also offers many opportunities for direct involvement, including student government, DJ-ing for the college radio station (KCSC), Sustainability Program, Community Action Volunteers in Education (CAVE), Adventure Outings and more. 898-6411, as.csuchico.edu

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In the jungle

Adventures in Bidwell Park T

here is no shame in sticking to the main path. If your exploration of Bidwell Park during the time you spend in Chico ends up being limited to following the paved roads through Lower Park, you will have had a rich experience. The

10 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

heavily shaded roadways call to dog-walkers, runners and casual bikers, who take advantage of the fact that Chico’s municipal park extends all the way into downtown, offering convenient refuge at a moment’s notice. And

with Big Chico Creek and its Sycamore Pool—plus, the Chico Creek Nature Center (1968 E. Eighth St., ccnaturecenter.org), Sycamore Field, Caper Acres playground and tons of picnic spots, barbecues and shade all readily available from the main roads—the rewards of even the most superficial visit are still great. Of course, if you want more adventure, there is a lot to discover. Bidwell Park runs 11 miles in length, has a total area of 3,670 acres, and features some 70 miles of trails to explore. There is something new to find around every bend.

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Hiking Yahi Trail.

For park maps, information on trail closures and other updates, visit the city of Chico website at chico.ca.us and choose “Bidwell Park” from the drop-down menu.

Middle Park Most people, even many longtime locals, couldn’t tell you where Middle Park is—if they’ve even heard of it. To be fair, it’s not marked distinctively. The boundaries are Manzanita Avenue on the west and Horseshoe Lake to the east, an area most locals would call Upper Park. But this buffer between the mostly shaded, heavily trafficked Lower Park on the flatlands and the largely wild Upper Park in the foothills, is distinct from both. With a handful of dirt parking lots and several trailheads, it serves as a kind of base camp for Upper Park adventures. It also comprises some of the park’s most visited features: Five-Mile Recreation Area (with huge, shady picnic areas along both shores of Big Chico Creek), the man-made Horseshoe Lake, Chico Community Observatory, Bidwell Park Golf Course, and a couple of city-run parks, Hooker Oak and Wildwood.

Upper Park trails North Rim The most convenient trailheads for the paths of the north rim of Big Chico Creek Canyon are parking area A and parking area B (aka Easter Cross—nicknamed for the large white metal cross on the hillside above). Parking area A is where the North Rim Trim Trail starts, and as its name implies, it runs across the very top of the canyon, along the northern border of the park, winding up for 4.3 miles and gradually gaining about 1,000 feet of elevation. Along the way there are many very steep trails back down into the canyon, including the gnarly Red Bud and Live Oak descents and the mountain-biker fave, B Trail. Parking area A is also the beginning of Middle Trail, one of three paths that run along the face of the north canyon, with the other two being, naturally, Upper Trail and Lower Trail. The latter two pick up at parking area E, next to Horseshoe Lake, and as they wind through the star thistle and oaks, the difficulty levels of the three align with their names—with Upper being the rockiest and most winding, and Lower being a fairly flat path that runs alongside the main Upper Park Road. At more than 4 1/2 miles,

12 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Middle is by far the longest of the three, ending at the southern end of B Trail. South rim It’s hard to imagine today that, before 1995, the south rim wasn’t even part of Bidwell Park. That’s the year the city purchased 1,417 acres on the south side of the creek up to Highway 32 and brought the two sides of Big Chico Creek Canyon together. There are several trails that traverse the canyon on the south side, and the trail heads on either end are at Centennial Avenue (just past Five-Mile Recreation Area) to the west and 10 Mile House Road to the east. From the west you can take Annie Bidwell Trail (which officially begins near Horseshoe Lake at the old pistol range), which runs along the lower canyon wall—dipping down to Big Chico Creek in spots— for nearly the entire length of Upper Park, 4.7 miles, just short of the east boundary (where it meets 10 Mile House Road). Splitting off from Annie Bidwell after about a mile are Guardian and South Rim trails. The former is a favorite of mountain bikers and offers incredible views and many lookout points high up the canyon wall as it runs parallel to Annie Bidwell below, while the latter veers

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ExPAndEd LEArnIng dEPArtMEnt up even higher and comes to an end at the Peregrine Point disc-golf course. (To drive to the course, take Highway 32 about 1 mile past Humboldt Road to a dirt turnoff on the left side of the highway.) From the east, 10 Mile House Road starts at Highway 32 and picks up Guardians after about a quarter mile and Annie Bidwell a mile after that. You also can continue down just a little farther and cross the creek to catch Yahi Trail on the north side. Note: As of press time, some of the outer trails on the south rim were still closed due to the 2018 Stoney Fire. The 18-hole Peregrine Point disc-golf course was scheduled to re-open before summer. Check the city’s website for updates. Yahi Trail As the lone pedestrian-only trail in Upper Park, Yahi is probably the best introduction to hiking the park. The trail starts at parking area E next to Horseshoe Lake and continues for 4 miles along the floor of the canyon to nearly the end of the park. Well, sort of. It starts out on the canyon floor, but about halfway down, the Yahi stays along the top of high cliffs that rise suddenly from the creekbed. The first half of the trail sticks by the creek and boasts plenty of shade. If you commit to at least a 2-mile hike out, you’ll get two big payoffs: a stop at the famed Bear Hole swimming pool/Diversion Dam diving spot (at about 1.5 miles) and, another half-mile out, one of the best vantage points in the park—a cliffside view of a bend in the creek and the canyon, and the blue waters of Salmon Hole below.


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A sampling of the bands, venues and scenes that make up the local soundtrack The never-ending jam For a college town that is also a longtime hippie haven, Chico has a surprising lack of venues catering to live original dance music. In fact, the only spot where the beat is consistently groovy is Lost on Main. The downtown hotspot offers a steady stream of some of the hottest touring funk, R&B, jam and other dance-friendly bands on the national club circuit—everyone from the New Orleans legends Rebirth Brass Band to L.A. discosoul party band Orgone.

16 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Of course, the lack of dance-devoted venues doesn’t stop Chicoans from groovin’. The jam scene has a long and deeply carved groove in the soul of the town, and any bar, stage or community gathering featuring a band with a beat will have a committed circle getting lost in the music. Close your eyes and twirl along. Lost on Main, 319 Main St., facebook.com/ lostonmain

Cookie Monster in your face! Metal band checklist: 1. Design a kickass band logo decorated with flames, thorns, bones or


blood with lettering that is completely illegible. 2. Breakfast of coffee and broken glass. Chico and the greater Butte County area have had a healthy metal scene for more than a decade, but a consistent venue has been difficult to maintain. If you’re looking for high-volume growls and screams in your face, you’ll have to move around. Keep an eye out for fliers with some of the key local band names (if you can read them), like Amarok, Aberrance, Lyfecoach and Burial Grounds. Horns up!

The mic is open If you needed any proof that Chico is a music town, just look at the local open-mic calendar. There are no fewer than 10 regular open mics that draw an eclectic roster of acoustic and electric musicians, as well as poets and comedians. And newbies are welcome. If you have an act, sign up! Check with venues for current info (details may have changed):

•Blackbird (1431 Park Ave.): Open Mic hosted by Mr. Bang, first Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. (sign-ups 5:30 p.m.)

•Butte County Library (1108

Mic, Fridays, 8-11 p.m. (sign-ups 7:30 p.m.; all-ages until 10 p.m.).

•Maltese (1600 Park Ave.): Open

Mic Comedy, Sundays, 9 p.m. (signups 8 p.m.)

•Tackle Box (379 E. Park Ave.):

Lefty’s Blues Jam, last Thursdays, 7 p.m.-midnight (sign-ups 6:30 p.m.)

•Tender Loving Coffee: TLC Open Mic, second and fourth Tuesdays, 7-10 p.m. (sign-ups 6 p.m.); Jazz Jam, third Mondays, 7:30 p.m. (house band), 8:15-10 p.m. (open jam)

•Studio Inn Lounge: Thumpin’

Thursdays Jam, Thursdays, 7 p.m.; Open Mic Comedy, Wednesdays, 8 p.m.

•Woodstock’s Pizza (166 E. Second

St.): Open Mic, Thursdays (except fourth Thursday), 7:30-10 p.m. (signups, 6:30 p.m.)

Something big happens here, and here, too Over the past year, the Big Room at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has been living up to its name, hosting an impressively busy schedule of

Sherman Ave.): Open Mic at the Library (poetry, acoustic songs, etc.), third Wednesdays, 7-9 p.m.

big-name touring acts from across a wide range of genres, from San Diego math-pop trio Pinback to blues guitar lege nd Jimmy Vaughan, and from songwriting genius Neko Case to local faves The Mother Hips. Downtown, JMax Productions manages the historic Senator Theatre, and continues to bring big rock, hip-hop, reggae and country acts throughout the school year. Recent shows have featured S.F. rapper Andre Nickatina, country star Eli Young and rockabilly legend the Reverend Horton Heat. Sierra Nevada Big Room, 1075 E. 20th St., 892-4647, sierranevada. com; Senator Theatre, 517 Main St., jmaxproductions.net

Surrogate: best band anywhere? Wherever your hometown is, there’s probably a band about which you’ve said, “These guys should be famous!” Chico has a few local bands that fit that outsized expectation, and one that probably exceeds it. Surrogate should be bigger—way bigger— than Chico. Singer/guitarist/songwriter/

•The DownLo (319 Main St.): Open

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engineer/producer Chris Keane and company’s propulsive brand of tuneful rock deserves a spot somewhere between Death Cab for Cutie and Arcade Fire on the indie-rock spectrum. The good news for Chico is, thanks to the fact that several of the dudes have careers and kids and mortgages, we can still catch them live on some patio or in a bar here in town. surrogatemusic.bandcamp.com

Five bands you can dance to In no particular order …

•Smokey the Groove: A freewheel-

ing good-time jam monster playing that psychedelic, horn-heavy party music that Chico loves to groove to.

•Lo & Behold: Young funk with

R&B/soul tendencies and the powerhouse pipes of Lorna Such out front.

•XDS: “Synth damaged psychedelic disco punk.” Yeah, what they said.

•Black Fong: Fun, funny, groovy

original “butt funk” for young and old.

•Astronaut Ice Cream: That new

disco sound with a guitar, a drum machine and the fun, sweet vocals of Heather Ellison (of Uni and Her Ukelele).

“I.D., please” Sorry, kids, you’re going to miss a lot of good stuff before you turn 21. Some of the best rock shows featuring touring and local acts go down on the tiny stages of our local watering holes. South of downtown, there’s the Tackle Box, featuring the occasional original rock, rap or country act. Meanwhile, The Maltese takes the cake for most varied and colorful schedule in Chico— everything from indie, funk, punk and rock bands to burlesque and drag shows.

Lo & Behold at Argus Bar + Patio.

The band (Pervert) behind the window at Ike’s Place.

Downtown, Argus Bar + Patio hosts rock, folk and indie acts both inside and on its beautiful back patio, and the favorite local dive, Duffy’s Tavern, does Celtic Music Happy Hour every Friday in the early evening, and then switches gears for powerhouse garage-rock, punk, indie and just-plain-rock bands, usually on weekend nights. Tackle Box, 379 E. Park Ave., 345-7498, tackleboxchico.com (21+ after 9 p.m.); The Maltese, 1600 Park Ave., 343-4915, facebook.com/ themaltese; Argus Bar + Patio, 212 W. Second St., facebook.com/argus

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Underage parties In a college town like Chico, beer specials often take top billing, and all-ages shows are relegated to happening wherever they can happen. It changes year by year, and for now the main outlets where the kids can enjoy original rock, punk, indie and metal music are an art gallery and a sandwich shop. The 1078 Gallery has long counted music as an art form alongside the gallery’s more static offerings, and in the last couple of years, Ike’s Place sandwich shop has hosted touring and local bands several times a month. In addition to the venues’ own curated calendars of music, the Chico Area Punks (facebook.com/chicoareapunks)—those promoters of punk and everything else noisy and/or fun—also hosts frequent shows in both locations. 1078 Gallery, 1710 Park Ave., 1078gallery.org; Ike’s Place, 648 W. Fifth St., facebook.com/IkesChico

Boots ’n’ pants ’n’ boots ’n’ pants ... Guitar-based rock bands will never go away, but they no longer rule the music world. Don’t believe us? Go to one of the regular electronic dance music nights hosted at the historic El Rey Theater and compare the thousand or so young, energetic party people to

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the fraction of a crowd to be found banging heads at any other local venue. EDM will be the worldwide ruler for the forseeable future, and the El Rey’s sold-out shows when the big visiting acts—e.g., Chris Lake (London), DATSIK (Canada)—come through every couple of months are proof. Also, across the street, in the underground bar of Peking Chinese Restaurant, there’s the smallerscale, but still lively BassMint shows going down every Friday, starting at 9:30 p.m., featuring a handful of local and visiting bass-music DJs and producers each week. El Rey Theater, 230 W. Second St., elreychico.com; BassMint, 243 W. Second St., facebook.com/ ChicoBassMint

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Tender loving jazz A swinging jazz combo in one corner, a wood-fired oven in another: This is the epitome of an intimate musical experience. Tender Loving Coffee is the newest venue in town, and between the pizzas, house-roasted coffees and music at arm’s length, the tiny neighborhood cafe is the ideal spot to hear low- to mid-volume jazz, folk, blues and rock. The calendar is curated by local jazz dude and all-around musical impresario Josh Hegg, who also heads up the Uncle Dad’s Art Collective (a group of fun-makers worth keeping an eye on as well: uncledad.co). 365 E. Sixth St., 433-0414, tenderlovingcoffee.com

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Know your hoods Get your Chico bearings with this handy map and guide C

hico is small and, with a few tips, the areas that college students typically traverse are easy to navigate by bike or car. First, a few words on the streets. For traveling north and south, there are four main arteries: Nord Avenue/Walnut Street; The Esplanade to Main/Broadway streets to Park Avenue; Mangrove Avenue to Cohasset Road; and Highway 99. The roads traveling east to west are easy; the streets are numbered, with avenues north of downtown, and the streets south of downtown. And don’t forget the one-ways—Main, Broadway, Third, Fourth, Eighth, Ninth, Pine and Cypress streets. As for the neighborhoods, here’s a map and a rundown of some of the main areas and a little on the basic personality of each:

■ Nord/Walnut

The corridor west of the campus is lined with apartment complexes and cheap eats and is the gateway to both the Sacramento River (head west on West Sacramento Avenue) and Bay Area road trips.

■ The Avenues

Known historically as Chico Vecino (the name of city founder John Bidwell’s former farmland), “The Aves” comprise student housing near the university and Warner Street, family homes north and east of there, plus Enloe Medical Center, Chico High School and the wide tree-lined promenade known as The Esplanade (seriously, don’t forget to say “the” in front of Esplanade— pronounced “es-plan-aid”).

■ Mansion Park

Behind Bidwell Mansion is a small hood with other sweet big houses, including the Chico State President’s Mansion, which is now the Albert E. Warrens Reception Center, no longer a residence.

24 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

■ Downtown

Tons of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, live music and the City Plaza; this is where most things happen.

■ East Streets

One of the sweetest hoods in town, with cool homes, big trees, and instant access to both Bidwell Park and downtown.

■ South Campus

This one-time residential neighborhood is now mostly student housing, a lively area with bars, Greeks and a huge Catholic church.

■ Barber

A mix of working-class longtime locals and students live in the cool houses in this area originally built for employees of the old Diamond Match Co.

■ Chapman-Mulberry neighborhood

Our most diverse area is in the process of getting annexed into the city, and this little pocket of county in Chico’s backyard is a working-class hood where dogs and chickens run free.



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Enloe Medical Center



Children’s Park

Lower Bidwell Park

One-Mile Recreation Sycamore Swimming Area




Pool (1 Mile)


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Little Chico Creek

Chico Police Dept.





Community Park





Chico Mall







Silver Dollar Fairgrounds





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Bidwell Mansion


Bus & Train Depot

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City Plaza


















YW CHICO 2019 25 C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w • GOIN’ AY

r o v a l f Local Just a taste of what Chico has to offer B Street Public House’s Trashy Fried Chicken Tacos.

their cheese skirts—and they’re truly a thing of beauty. 1444 Park Ave., 342-2285.


f course you’re familiar with the chain restaurants in Chico. Trust us, the food’s exactly the same here as it is back home. To truly gain an appreciation for this—or any—town’s flavor, you have to take a bite out of the local scene. Considering the average student’s budget, here are a few must-tries for those basic cravings.

Burger time There’s no shortage of juicy, piled-high-with-ingredients burgers in this fair town, but we’ve picked three places that bring a portion of personality to the table as well. Madison Bear Garden (simply known as The Bear) is practically on campus—some professors even hold office hours there!—so there’s no excuse not to wander the cavernous bar/restaurant, gaze at

the massive amount of kitsch on the walls and enjoy a burger on the large, casual patio out back. (Try the Jiffy burger. Yes, it has peanut butter on it. And, yes, it totally works.) 316 W. Second St., 891-1639, madisonbeargarden.com Not far from campus, in the heart of downtown, is a popular bar and grill with its staple menu items in the name: Burgers & Brew. The patio is the place to be in spring and fall, when the weather is nice and the people-watching even nicer. With more than 25 different burgers on the menu (including ones made with lamb and bison meat), there’s something for every taste. The beef is Niman Ranch, and if you want it medium-rare, they cook ’em to order. Plus, there’s a vegan menu! 301 Broadway, 879-9100, burgersandbrew.com. No Chico burger survey would be complete without a drive to the south side of town and the little shack on the corner called Nobby’s. The burgers here are famous for

26 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Taco Tuesday Chico is a taco town, with a food truck or restaurant serving tacos seemingly on every block. Some have specials for Taco Tuesday, and some serve ’em up with nontraditional ingredients. Besides the inexpensive and incredible choices at dozens of taco trucks around town (there’s one within walking distance of where you are right now, probably), here are a few must-tries: The grilled shrimp taco at Gordo Burrito is addictive—it’ll keep you coming back. We’re referring specifically to the Gordo Burrito inside the Valero gas station (the truck down the street doesn’t serve ’em grilled), which has been a longtime favorite in the local Mexican food scene. 1295 E Eighth St., 809-1211. B Street Public House is the home of a guilty pleasure unlike any other: the Trashy Fried Chicken Taco. Picture it: a house-battered and fried chicken strip, slaw, cilantro and pickled onions, all drizzled with cilantro ranch and thrown on the

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grill for its own version of the cheese skirt (are you catching a theme here?). Trashiness at its finest. 117 Broadway St., 899-8203, bstreetpub.com. When one thinks of tacos, one doesn’t normally think of Asian food. But there are a few unique takes on the Mexican staple worth trying. Izakaya Ichiban, a bustling sushi restaurant with two spacious dining rooms, a bar and outdoor patio, serves the scrumptious Japanese Taco: spicy tuna or snow crab in a tempura eggplant shell. Downtown, at Rawbar, the Korean taco with kalbi short-rib meat, cabbage and kimchi sauce is a happy hour must-try (3-5 p.m., daily). And, at iFish Poke Bar & Thai Kitchen, you can order a poke taco—your choice of ahi, salmon or cooked salmon in a crispy shell with

g yin

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green and fried onions, spicy mayo and avocado. Izakaya Ichiban, 2000 Notre Dame Blvd., 342-8500; Rawbar, 346 Broadway St., 897-0626, rawbarchico.com; iFish Poke Bar & Thai Kitchen, 1008 W. Sacramento Ave.

Burgers and Brew

28 GOIN’ ChICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

College wouldn’t be college without shoving a few dozen slices into your pie hole (pun intended). Chico has all the chains ready to deliver to the dorms, but thankfully there are many delicious options for staying local. To start with, here are three close to campus that won’t break the bank. Chico State’s go-to is Celestino’s New York Pizza, literally across the street from campus and serving up fresh New York-style thin-crust slices and pies to the masses for decades. The place is certainly student-friendly, with quick service for between-class meals and discounts with a student I.D. You also can order online for pickup or delivery. 101 Salem St., 896-1234, celestinosnypizza.com. There are a couple more local spots downtown that meet a very important need—offering slices and whole pies for absorbing liquids after a night downtown. Main Street Pizza is a late-night-only joint on— you guessed it—Main Street, amid a strip of busy bars. Woodstock’s Pizza is a long-time student fave with a huge dining room for large groups. Main Street Pizza, 331 Main St., 566-9337, mainstreetpizzachico.com; Woodstock’s Pizza, 116 E. Second St., 893-1500, woodstocks chico.com

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Seven easy ways to get connected A night at the museum Don’t let the word “museum” deter you. The Museum of Northern California Art (MONCA) is not a stuffy building where everyone stays quiet. The board and volunteers take the museum’s “We make art accessible” mission to heart and put a remarkable amount of energy into programming a wide range of community-engaging exhibits and activities. Each week, MONCA’s calendar is packed with ways to

interact with the huge space (in the remodeled Veterans Memorial Hall) and the community via art talks, lectures by historians and scholars, classical and folk music performances, street fairs, festive receptions and huge gala parties. Oh, and the art is pretty fantastic, too, ranging from immersive themed shows (street art, women’s group show, trans art, etc.) to solo and group exhibitions featuring some of the most celebrated Northern California artists. 900 Esplanade, 487-7272, monca.org

Take an improv class Don’t worry, you can just make it up as you go along. Really, unlike your statistics or physics classes, in improv you just make stuff up! Chico Live Improv Comedy is new on the scene, but it’s already one of the most active arts groups in

30 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Hand to God at the Blue Room Theatre.

town—offering multiple improv classes and presenting regular short- and long-form improv shows each week at its studio. The company also has been busy putting on bigger events at various venues around town, with themed comedy and improv shows such as the Shakespeare-themed Much Ado About Improv, and the Star Warsinspired May the Fourth Be With You show. 561 E. Lindo Ave., 828-7558, facebook.com/chicoliveimprov

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Theater Thursdays Add this to your local discount tip sheet: Thursday showings at the Blue Room Theatre are pay-what-you-can nights, so you have no excuse for not getting cultured. Bonus: getting your culture at the Blue Room is way more fun than your average night out at a play. For 25 years, the little blackbox theater in downtown Chico has been presenting daring, often wild productions of works by modern, contemporary and local playwrights. Recent showings have included an all-female re-imagining of Lord of the Flies, Robert Askins’ raunchy puppet play, Hand to God, and a powerful update to Mamet’s classic Glengarry Glen Ross. 139 W. First St., 895-3749, blueroomtheatre.com

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Get to work in the lab The Shopbot Zone is the money zone. The Shopbot is the name of the CNC router at the Idea Fab Labs (IFL), and it’s a big woodcarving machine that, via “computer numerical control,” takes digital 3-D designs and transfers them onto large pieces of wood, creating furniture, a guitar, or any number

presenting an eclectic calendar of shows in all mediums: exhibitions by contemporary local and visiting visual artists; poetry/literature readings; and performances by a wide-range of underground rock, folk, indie, punk and experimental musicians. Become a member, or a volunteer, or just show up to a reception and rub elbows with the scene … and eat some free cheese. 1710 Park Ave., 433-1043, 1078gallery.org

1078 Gallery

of intricately detailed works of art. It’s an impressive piece of equipment at the IFL makerspace, and it’s available for anyone who becomes a lab member—and gets the requisite training. Other privileges of membership ($30, $75 or $100 per month) include being able to work in the other zones in the warehouse (3-D printing, wood shop, electronics, digital embroidery, etc.), access to tools, being around a bunch of hip creative types and sometimes partying until the early morning to the pulse of some sick EDM bass. 603 Orange St., 592.0609, chico. ideafablabs.com

Join the 1078

With its mission of offering “exciting exhibitions of contemporary and experimental artworks” for more than 38 years, the 1078 Gallery has become a cornerstone of the Chico art scene. The gallery has cultivated a devoted multigenerational following of artists and arts-lovers by

Tour the arts district Nearly all of the art on campus can be found where Chico State meets downtown Chico. The so-called “arts district” is in the “L” of buildings formed by Laxson Auditorium and Ayres Hall on one side, and the Arts & Humanities Building and Performing Arts Center (PAC) on the other. The concentration of art along the promenade that runs through the area is impressive. At the top of the food chain is the programming of Chico Performances. The university’s public-events arm brings the best performing artists in the world to Laxson, everyone from folk legend Joan Baez to writer/comedian David Sedaris. Also happening on the Laxson stage are the impressive productions of the North State Symphony, as well as the giant spring musicals presented by the School of the Arts, which organizes all of the student- and

32 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

faculty-produced art, including theater and music (mostly in the performance spaces of the PAC) and visual art (in the many galleries of the A&H Building and Ayres). Pro tip: keep an eye out for the openstudios tours (one per semester) for a chance to see all of the student art works at once. csuchico.edu/soa; chicoperfor mances.com

Find the weirdos It’s not hard to find the local freaks. They are responsible for some of the most popular events in Chico. And the three most vital and creative groups not only organize their events, they also make the art being presented: Chikoko is a collective of four local artists/performers/ fashion designers that, in additon to producing a handful of smaller events, puts on an annual fall fashion show gala that lures thousands out to a giant warehouse at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds to witness an epic freak show of original clothing designs. Slow Theatre’s signature event is the Butcher Shop theater festival, a massive avant-garde happening every Labor Day Weekend in an orchard on the edge of town—with original plays, live music, art shows and food trucks. Uncle Dad’s Art Collective is a highly organized collection of some of the best musicians in the area that stages multiple productions featuring performers of all kinds. Signature events include the annual Small Town Big Sound show, featuring the Uncle Dad’s orchestra’s interpretations of the music of the works of local singer/songwriters at the Sierra Nevada Big Room, and large-scale multimedia tributes at Laxson Auditorium to various musical artists or classic recordings— such as Queen’s A Night at the Opera and a tribute to Madonna. chikoko.com; uncledad.co; slowtheatre.weebly.com

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In the wake of the Camp Fire, volunteers in demand


ne of the most fulfilling ways to make a connection with the community is to work with one of Chico’s volunteer organizations, many of which are especially in need of help in the wake of the 2018 Camp Fire. The disaster recovery process stands to be a long one for our fellow Butte County residents, and most of the providers listed here will be involved either directly or indirectly in the efforts. Volunteer and help our region.

Shelter for all Even before the influx of residents displaced by the Camp Fire, Chico was experiencing a housing crunch. The elected leaders of both the city and the county had already declared a shelter crisis, and they’re now

Safe Space Winter Shelter

grappling with a significantly compounded shortage of housing. There are many local organizations working to aid those experiencing homelessness, and each is in need of volunteer help. Torres Community Shelter provides 140 beds a night, plus dinners, showers, toiletries, clothing and assistance with attaining specialized services. 101 Silver

34 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Dollar Way, 891-9048, chicoshelter. org/volunteer The Jesus Center is a home base for services in Chico, including housing, meals, vocational training and job placement. 1297 Park Avenue, 345-2640, jesuscenter. org/volunteer Safe Space Winter Shelter organizes an emergency shelter

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A Camp Fire Pet Rescue and Reunification refugee.

that rotates among various churches in Chico during the cold months. Safe Space has thus far been an all-volunteer group. Visit the website or find Safe Space Winter Shelter on Facebook. safespacechico.org The 6th Street Center for Youth offers educational and employment support in addition to shower and laundry facilities, afternoon meals, activities and more to homeless and at-risk youth. 130 W. Sixth St., 894-8008, facebook. com/6thStreetCenter.org Chico Housing Action Team’s mission is to get people housed via its Housing Now program and its new tiny-home development, Simplicity Village. 520.6412, chico housingactionteam.net/volunteer

Pet refugees There are many groups run by big-hearted people working on behalf of the animals—rescuing refugees and trying to reunite them with families or get them into new homes. And they all need help, whether it’s volunteers or fosters.

•Camp Fire Pet Rescue and Reunification: Rescue and reunification of Camp Fire pets in Butte County. campfirepetrescue.org

•FieldHaven Feline Center: A Placer County organization working with national cat advocacy group Alley Cat Allies, as well as local organizations to operate a cat-recovery center. 434-6022, fieldhaven.com

•Friends of Camp Fire

Cats: Helping Camp Fire cats and their owners. 413-7955, friendsof campfirecats.com

•Butte Humane Society:

Its mission is “Saving Lives. Finding Homes. Inspiring Compassion.” Chico’s shelter has always been on the front lines of advocating for our furry friends. 2580 Fair St., 343-7917, buttehumane.org

Kids, homes, environment & more •Boys & Girls Clubs of the North

Valley: There are many volunteer opportunities for the Boys & Girls Clubs’ various programs and activities, both at its centers in Oroville in Chico—including the new Phoenix Club, created for fire-displaced youth—and at the Paradise center once it reopens. 899-0335, bgcnv.org

Habitat for Humanity: Volunteers needed to help with the Butte County chapter’s building projects related to Camp Fire recovery efforts. buttehabitat.org/ be-a-volunteer

•Butte Environmental Council:

Butte County land, air and water advocates provide many volunteer and intern opportunities. 891-6424 becnet.org/volunteer

•Community Action

Volunteers in Education (CAVE): “Where campus meets community” is the slogan for the Associated Students’ nonprofit that places students in volunteer positions for a wide range of organizations. BMU 309, Chico State, 898-5817, as.csuchico. edu

Butte County 211: The Help Central website connects providers with those in need. Visit the site for updates on volunteer opportunities. helpcentral.org

Community Action Volunteers in Education.

C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w • GOIN’ CHICO 2019 37

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Chico c

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Diversion dam swimming hole, Big Chico Creek, Upper Bidwell Park.

38 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

Choose your favorite taco truck or taqueria … How can you tell the difference between a tourist and a townie in Chico? A tourist will recommend his or her favorite taco truck or taqueria. A townie will tell you which one has the most amazing carne asada; which one has the best tortas; what chef puts just the perfect amount of cinnamon in the pastor marinade; and how they will drive halfway across town for lunch on Saturday because the cook who makes the carnitas exactly right—double-frying the pork until the ends are crispy but the meat remains tender—only works on the weekends. Stop by the Chico News & Review office and pick up a copy of Savor for a guide to locations, and get started on your taco homework.

… and your favorite swimming hole If you’re new to the North Valley, you are probably already asking, “When the hell does summer end around here?!” The answer: Not until midway through fall. That’s no exaggeration. It is not unusual to have 90-plus degree days in Chico into October. And when it’s really hot in the late-afternoon and your little window A/C is barely keeping up, it’s best to just plunge yourself into a cool water source and put your body on ice. A backyard kiddie pool and a garden hose is a quick and easy solution, but the pro move is to find a sweet bend in Big Chico Creek where the water pools and life slows way down to Chico’s natural lazy rhythm.

The market is your pantry You are living on very fertile ground here in the North State, and the fruits—and vegetables, nuts, meats, cheeses, breads, etc.—of the labors of our local farmers, ranchers and artisanal

Thursday Night Market

C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w • GOIN’ CHICO 2019 39

food-makers are available in the one-stop shop of the city’s outdoor markets. The three main ones are the year-round Saturday morning farmers’ market in the parking lot at Second and Wall streets downtown; the year-round Wednesday morning market in the North Valley Plaza parking lot; and the Thursday Night Market (AprilSeptember) in downtown Chico. chicofarmersmarket.com

Commune with the locals The best way to feel the vibe of Chico is to get outside on a sunny day and join the crowd at one of the many annual community events. The bulk of them occur in the spring or the fall, when the heat doesn’t reach punishing levels. The Downtown Chico Business Association takes over the city center for some of the most-loved local traditions—including Taste of Chico (Sept. 22), Christmas Preview (Dec. 8), the Thursday Night Market (Thursday evenings, April-September) and Friday Night Concerts (Fridays, May-August). Other highlights include Chico Pride Downtown Festival

at the City Plaza (late August); Butcher Shop theater/arts festival at the End of Normal (Labor Day weekend); Open Studios Art Tour (Oct. 18-27); Art at the Matador arts market in early May on the grounds of the Matador Motel; and the Chico Bicycle Music Festival (early June). Check the CN&R’s calendar of events every Thursday for the latest.

Enjoy a local scoop For the better part of its 80-plus years in Chico, Shubert’s Ice Cream & Candy was the only game in town for locally made ice cream, but in recent years a new player in the frozen-dessert game has emerged alongside the longtime local favorite. La Flor de Michoacán Paletería y Nevería opened its first shop in the Safeway shopping center at Nord and West Sacramento avenues, and since then has expanded into the other two Safeway centers in town. As

La Flor de Michoacán Paletería y Nevería

40 GOIN’ CHICO 2019 • C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w

the name suggests, it specializes in both ice creams and popsicles (in some wild flavors, including avocado, strawberry-kiwi and mango-chamoy), as well as a variety of both sweet and savory traditional Mexican snacks. It’s a new tradition to go with old, expanding Chico’s palate to a wider range of flavors. Shubert’s (two locations): 178 E. Seventh St.; 1950 E. 20th St. (in Chico Mall) La Flor de Michoacán (three locations): 1008 W. Sacramento Ave., Ste. C; 1354 East Ave., Ste. K; 668 Mangrove Ave.

Conquer Monkey Face Like some ancient sculpture honoring a simian deity, Monkey Face looks over the city of Chico from its perch high above the entrance to Upper Bidwell Park. The rock outcropping along the north rim of Big Chico Creek Canyon does look like a monkey’s face as you approach from Parking Lot E (next to Horseshoe Lake). And the hike to

Chico Parks are

Smoke Free!

WELCOME Visitors and Students! Here’s something you should know: all Chico parks are smoke and vape free. That means no smoking and no vaping of anything in any Chico park. This includes Bidwell Park, Downtown Plaza, Children’s Park, Depot Park, and any city owned open space or greenway. All CARD Parks are included too: Hooker Oak Park, Dorothy Johnson Park, Wildwood Park, Martin Luther King Park and all neighborhood parks. All parks in Chico! Please enjoy all our parks, but please obey the law too! Paid for by Prop. 99 under contract #15-10215 C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w • GOIN’ Ch ICO 2019 41


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the top is a moderate 1.1-mile loop (approach from either direction: Maidu Trail on the left, or Monkey Face Trail on the right)—with the payoff a bird’seye view of the canyon that runs through the middle of the park as well as the canopy of trees that shades the city in which you live.

contemporary foreign and independent films and documentaries, plus special showings of cult classics and midnight movies. Pro tips: Go on Mondays for cheap skate night ($4 tickets), and get there early for the cozy couches in the front row. 351 E. Sixth St., 343-0663, pageantchico.com

Sit on the couch, cheap skate

Post up in a community living room

There are worlds to discover inside one unassuming little building in the middle of a quiet Chico neighborhood. The Pageant Theatre has been the home of art-house movies in Chico since the mid-1970s, and its cuttingedge reputation is alive and well with a busy, eclectic schedule of

These two places are more than places to just drink coffee and do homework. They are extensions of the home where the greater Chico family comes to check in, collaborate, chill and get things done.

The Naked Lounge is an obvious destination for students, professors and townies alike. It’s downtown, the coffee is great, there’s art and music, and the décor is funky yet comfortable. The place even looks like a series of connected living rooms, with couches and coffee tables inviting you to stay awhile And down on the south side of town is Blackbird, a true locals gathering spot in a charming restored Victorian home filled with art, cozy nooks, and shelves stacked with D.I.Y., skill-sharing and anarchist literature. This is where an eclectic array of musicians perform, community workshops are presented, and activist plans are hatched. Naked Lounge, 118 W. Second St., facebook.com/NLCHICO. Blackbird, 1431 Park Ave., face book.com/blackbirdchico.

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Visit the mothership A little-known perk to living in Chico: On your 21st birthday, a liquid-services technician will come to your home and install a second faucet on your sink that’s hooked up to the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s citywide Pale Ale delivery network … OK, that’s a joke. But it is true that the world-famous brewery is a big deal around here, and one of the first things you should do upon arriving is to take a tour and see where and how the magic happens. There’s the standard complimentary Chico Brewery Tour, which gives a great overall

picture of the place, as well as a post-tour sampling of the product for those 21-over. There also are specialized excursions—Heritage Tour, Sustainability Tour, Beer Geek Tour—available, some for all-ages, some 12-over and some 21-over. Email the tour desk to make a reservation. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., 1075 E. 20th St., chicotours@sierranevada. com, 899-4776, sierranevada.com.

Just tube We realize that we don’t need to tell you to do this one, but we can’t

leave it off a top-10, must-do list because tubing down the Sac River with your crew is probably the most Chico thing you can do. For the classic trip, launch at Irvine Finch River Access in Hamilton City and disembark at Scotty’s Landing, where something fried and salty and delicious awaits in the restaurant. Alcohol is not allowed on the river during the classic Labor Day weekend floats, but it’s better to head out on a less-crowded day anyway. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, and don’t be that drunk person puking along Beer Can Beach and then trying to stay afloat on a powerless vessel on a cold, rushing body of water. Save it for the celebratory meal at the end of the journey.

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Insightful Nurturing Self Courageous Empowering Self-Acceptance Triumphant STOP THE CYCLE & START THE HEALING


BUTTE/GLENN: 530.891.1331 TEHAMA: 530.529.3980 ALL VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT WILL RECEIVE A FREE FORENSIC MEDICAL EXAMINATION, regardless of whether or not they choose to participate in the criminal justice process.


If you or someone you know has been sexually violated, contact Rape Crisis Intervention & Prevention. C h i c o N e w s & R e v i e w • GOIN’ Ch ICO 2019 47

Map your in Real-Time!



This program provides real-time bus information, allowing passengers to track the location of their bus AND find its actual arrival time at their stop.

The information can be accessed three different ways

1) On a computer at the B-Line website, blinetransit.com

The map is customizable so you can display only the routes you want to see and save your favorite bus stops. It also remembers your routes the next time you open the app.

3) Text message by texting the Bus Stop ID# to 5309245533

2) On your mobile device by downloading the DoubleMap app for free and selecting “Butte Regional Transit”

Chico State Students ride the B-Line for FREE with a valid CSUC ID card! Simply swipe your valid Wildcat ID Card on the farebox.

Get rider alerts and more info on facebook.com/blinetransit For more information, including complete time schedules and bus stop locations, pick up a brochure on the bus, call 530-342-0221 or visit our website www.blinetransit.com

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