I spent part of Saturday at the ElDorado BBQ, Brews and Blues Festival here in Reno.
Nice to have good barbecue in Reno. Made me miss home.
If there’s anything I’ve learned in the last four weeks, it’s that Reno knows how to throw a party. It seems like every weekend the city finds a way to get thousands of people to show up downtown for a special event.
This one blocked off a section of Virginia street, where most of the casinos are in town.
You could pay $20 and get a mug and about 10 beer tokens. Each token got you a 4 ounce taste of beer from one of the two dozen or so microbreweries with booths.
After spending a few hours out in the sun, I went with a group of my fellow fellows here at the Maynard Institute multimedia editing institute to the Truckee River, which cuts through downtown. It’s in the Reno Riverwalk District.
We blew up a few tubes and headed down the river a few times. No major injuries but my baseball cap is likely in Sparks, Nev., by now. It was lost as I went under.
But, I’m doing more here in Reno than just floating down rivers and eating barbecue. During the week, I’m in a classroom daily, learning how to provide multimedia content for the readers back home.
At the same time I’m doing that, there’s a group a couple buildings over at the University of Nevada, Reno, that is building a stage for a huge Shakespeare festival they have in the area in July. The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival begins July 11. Unfortunately, that’s one day after scheduled to leave.
But I did speak a bit with some of the people putting the stages together.
I’ll keep updating this. I’m looking for a new video story to do and will post it here as soon as I get to it.
OK, so it’s been a while since I blogged. I was down with a cold for a bit and then returned to Oklahoma for a weekend to see my family.
But, I’m back in Reno now and wanted to share my thoughts of a visit I had the other day to the Nevada Museum of Art.
To begin with, the building is really cool. The natural light in the galleries makes for really nice viewing of the art work. Designed by Will Bruder, the new museum opened in May 2003. The roof-top deck has a tremendous view of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
On the outside, the building is surrounded by sculptures.
There is also some pretty cool art on the inside. If you’re in to industrial photography, you should certainly check out the exhibit by Bernd and Hilla Becher.
There’s also a cool media exhibit by Jennifer Steinkamp called “Fly to Mars.” The exhibit is a computer-animation of a tree as it cycles through the four seasons.
I’m in class at the Maynard Institute multimedia editing fellowship for most of the week, but I’ll be sure and update my blog as soon as something fun comes up. Maybe I’ll find a nice golf course this weekend. Anybody know of any in the area?
Or maybe I’ll take a trip to Carson City.
I’ve been learning so much here in Reno at the Maynard Institute fellowship that a trip to the clear blue water of Lake Tahoe was exactly what was needed to relax.
On Saturday, the group headed to over the pass to Lake Tahoe. On the way we stopped at a park that had beautiful views of Reno. It was a bit hazy in the morning, but still a relaxing view.
We then headed up into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the temperature began to drop. It was winter coat weather at 8,000 feet. Once we started heading down we caught our first glance of Lake Tahoe.
At 1,645 feet deep, Lake Tahoe is the third deepest lake in North America. It measures about 22 miles long and 12 miles wide.
Along the shore, were boulders that were formed over the last 10 million years. Active volcanoes, fault lines and glaciers chiseled the granite into boulders.
After a relaxing time of looking out over the lake and listening to the water splash against the boulders, the group headed to lunch.
I will highly recommend a place called Jake’s on the Lake in Tahoe. It’s one of the more relaxing lunches I’ve had in a long time. The food was excellent, with a nice selection of fresh water fish and seafood, and the view overlooking the lake was special.
It was just the sort of trip the group attending the fellowship needed to decompress and relax a bit.
Back to learning tomorrow.
Well I’ve written a bit about the casinos and nightlife in Reno.
But, that’s not why I’m here. I’m here to learn all these nifty multimedia tools — twitter, Facebook, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Soundslides, video and even Flash. If you don’t know what all those are about, don’t worry. I’m not all that clear on some of the concepts either.
I did do a a Soundslide project on the University of Nevada, Reno. That’s where I’m taking classes to teach me how to do all these multimedia/Internet things.
Make sure you use the captions so you can follow along.
Hope you like it. Reno is a nice place, but it’s no place like home.
–Michael Baker, Local Editor
Saturday, I headed to EuroFest at the Sands Regency Casino & Hotel in downtown Reno.
The event was free, the food (I had an egg, cheese and ham crepe, $6) and the drink (a masskrug filled with a nice European beer, $27), was not. But it went to a good cause, as proceeds benefit the Shriner’s Hospitals.
Early in the evening, I met a really nice couple. They take their dancing seriously. Louis Ettlin, 86, of Lockeford, Calif., and Mary Reichmuth, 79, of Freemont, Calif., have been dancing together for about a year in a half. Louis has been dancing at events such as EuroFest for about 12 years.
Louis, a retired truck driver, said he’ll travel more than 8,000 miles during September and October to attend Oktoberfest events all over the country.
Louis began dancing with Mary after a previous ”lady friend” died. Louis had his former partner’s old-European style dresses and he just needed someone to fill them out.
“I make sure I get the girl with the right size,” he said.
Louis and Mary plan to keep dancing for a long time. He’s already hired the band for his 90th birthday party — the Al Gruber Band.
When the sun set, a younger crowd came out to hear the headlining band. The Young Dubliners play a energizing celtic rock and roll that had the audience jumping.
It was a great evening in Reno.
–Michael Baker, Local Editor
It’s been a long but good first week in Reno at the Maynard Institute’s multimedia editing fellowship. I’ve learned to do some tweeting on Twitter and create my own Facebook account. Click on the links given if you’d like to follow along. I’m @mjbakereditor on Twitter.
But tonight — actually last night — it was time to have a little fun. So, along with my roommate here, I decided to experience a bit of the after hours fun in downtown Reno on Virginia Street.
Just how big was this little city?
First, we headed to Circus Circus to find out. Too bad, happy hour was over, but there was still plenty to do, if you gamble. I’m not a big gambler. Just don’t ever seem to get the cards. The deck is definitely stacked against me. Nevertheless, plenty of people do and the craps table was certainly hopping.
From one casino to another, but first a walk down Virginia Street. Gambling wasn’t the only thing possible in downtown Reno. It’s nearly one stop shopping for a lot of things. If marriage isn’t commitment enough, feel free to stop next door and get a tattoo.
There are several casinos to check out. We tackled Harrah’s next. The games are the same, especially for a novice. But I will say the dealers were awfully friendly.
It was a break-even sort of night.
Up next, a trip to Tahoe.
– Michael Baker, Local Editor
It’s about time I got around to it. So here it is, “The Reno photo.”
I doubt if there has been but a few visitors that didn’t snap the same shot from some angle or at least bought a postcard with the image.
I took a brief look at downtown Reno today, as my roommate and I stopped by a bar and grill for a beer and dinner after our Maynard Institute class at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Here’s a couple of quick observations about the Reno tourist and the hard-core gambler. The tourist smiles. The gambler has deep lines etched into their pale face. At a bar/restaurant, the tourist has dinner and chats. The gambler feeds money into the video poker machine inset into the bar. All this probably proves the wisdom of moderation.
But as I stated in my last post, I’m here to learn and discuss issues of journalism. Today, the fellows in the program heard from Dori Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism. Her presentation diverted a bit from the multimedia editing program, but was certainly no less important. She spoke about adding diversity to newspaper coverage and viewing stories and coverage through the prisms of race, class, gender, generation and geography. In short, it’s a way of trying to get complete coverage that touches on many viewpoints.
So to those that have read this post, I ask these questions: How’s The Oklahoman doing with this? Does our coverage seem complete? Do we ever offer a perspective maybe you weren’t aware of?
– Michael Baker, Local Editor
It’s time to see how much attention you’ve been paying to the news in the past week or so. From The Oklahoman’s news copy editors and designers, here’s a quiz.
1. Boys State camps, which teach teenagers about politics and democracy, started:
a) In Oklahoma, 1921.
b) In Illinois, 1935.
c) In Wyoming, 1957.
2. 18 U.S. soldiers recovered from the swine flu in what country?
3. Which team scored 11 runs in one inning to win the Big 12 Baseball Tournament championship game?
4. For every $100 Oklahoma spends on substance abuse, how much goes toward prevention?
c) 30 cents.
5. In comparison to some cities in the Rust Belt, home vacancy rates in the Oklahoma City area are what?
c) The same.
6. A Broken Arrow couple sell candles featuring which of the following scents?
a) Muscadine grape, mistletoe and rose rock.
b) Wet dog, puppy breath and kibble.
c) Pot roast, fishing dock and motor oil.
7. Who among Oklahoma’s delegation opposed Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the federal bench in 1998?
a) Jim Inhofe.
b) Tom Coburn.
c) Tom Cole.
8. The Oklahoma Legislature approved plans for a high school with what type of focus in Tulsa?
a) Energy industry careers.
b) Math and science.
c) The arts.
9. Wichita State baseball coach Gene Stephenson once backed out of coaching what Oklahoma team?
a) University of Central Oklahoma.
b) University of Oklahoma.
c) Oklahoma State University.
10. What animal do Coweta residents Vickie and Larry Smith own that officials say was violating a city ordinance?
How did you do on the quiz? Here are the correct answers:
1-B, 2-C, 3-C, 4-A, 5-A, 6-C, 7-A, 8-C, 9-B, 10-C.
I arrived in Reno, Nev., Sunday afternoon and here’s what I’ve learned:
You can play the slots in the airport.
Taxi drivers are the same in every city.
And the views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains are spectacular.
But that’s not the point. I’m here to learn.
I’m one of 14 fellows at the Maynard Institute’s Multimedia Editing Program. It’s a six-week immersion program that promises to teach me everything from blogging, social networking strategies to video. I’m hoping it will allow me to bring better content to the readers.
But I’m also hoping to have some fun along the way.
I’ll be posting updates on things I learn, see, taste, drink and experience while in “The Biggest Little City in the World.”
– Michael Baker, Local Editor