Bakersfield living: good or bad?

Elizabeth Castillo, Editor in Chief



When the most scenic view in town is a bunch of blinking oilfield lights, residents can tell that Bakersfield is still lacking that city feel, regardless of population size. The frustrating absence of city nightlife in town is felt nearly every evening when looking for something fun to do and you come up pretty empty.

Let’s start with movies. Sure there are several movie theaters in town that offer a fine selection of blockbusters or movies created by major film studios, but what about the indies? Yeah, Maya Cinemas infrequently shows an indie movie here and there, and every once in a while the Fox Theater may show a cool flick, but if you can’t make those very limited showings then moviegoers are just out of luck. This can be especially obnoxious for those who are fans of the Oscars, yet can’t even watch many of the nominated films because Bakersfield’s theaters don’t feel the need to frequently show them.

OK, so Bakersfield can’t keep up in the movie department, well there are music venues. A very few amount of music venues that are still disappointing to many music fans. Rabobank Arena typically hosts Sesame Street and Disney on Ice but if you’re looking for a show to watch that isn’t filled with Elmo or Disney princesses, than a drive to L.A. is in your future.

A few big name musical acts may breeze through Bakersfield but this town only has two major genres: country and Spanish music. For listeners who don’t always appreciate Miranda Lambert or want something a little different from Juanes, Bakersfield’s arena just isn’t the place for you. Even smaller venues have trouble finding national acts. B Ryder’s tries to bring in different types of musicians but typically just appeases the masses and presents musicians who fall into country or cheesy classic rock tribute bands.

For those lucky residents who find something to do in town on a Thursday night, good luck finding a place to eat once it’s over. Sure Bakersfield has a nice amount of eateries in different cuisines, but thanks to “Faith and Family” operational hours, if a diner is looking for some grub past 11 p.m., have fun with Denny’s or fast food. Even Zingo’s has changed their hours, are closed more frequently, and no longer serve great breakfast and burgers 24/7.

Bakersfield residents who want to dance the night away, try not to get shot or stabbed after a fun night out. Many of the clubs in town may offer a decent selection in DJ’s, hot hits, and even want you to dress your best but once the evening ends, there is typically some sort of gang fight or drunken fool wanting to cause unnecessary trouble. The limited nightlife that is available in Bakersfield typically isn’t even worth all of the hazards.

Whether residents have lived here their whole life or moved here from somewhere else, unless you’re a huge fan of out-of-town day trips, good luck finding something fun to do in your spare time.