December 2017 Around Town

Bakersfield Most Affordable Large Housing Market in California

Bakersfield is the most affordable housing market among California’s largest cities, according to a study released by SmartAsset. SmartAsset looked at the total cost over five years of closing costs, taxes, insurance and mortgage payments for the average home in every city in the U.S. with a population greater than 200,000. Then, that five-year cost was viewed as a proportion of median household income in each city to determine affordability. The most affordable cities were those in which total housing costs on an average house accounted for the smallest proportion of the median income. Bakersfield was the most affordable among California’s largest cities. Nationally, Bakersfield ranked 38th.

Bakersfield 32nd Fastest Growing Large City in U.S.

Of the 64 largest cities in the nation, Bakersfield is the 32nd fastest growing, according to a study by WalletHub. To determine where the fastest local economic growth has occurred in the U.S., analysts from WalletHub compared 515 cities of varying population sizes based on 15 key measures of both growth and decline over a period of seven years. When all 515 cities are compared, Bakersfield ranks 201st. WalletHub considered only the “city proper” in each case and excluded cities in the surrounding metro area.

Visit California Spotlights the 
Bakersfield Arts District

The three-story Fox Theater, with its art deco tower, has reigned as Bakersfield’s glitziest landmark since its terrazzo was first polished for opening day in 1930. Today, it’s the centerpiece of Bakersfield’s gallery-and-theater-filled Downtown Arts District, clustered around 19th and H Streets. Thanks to its 1990s refurbishments, the interior of the Fox gleams with gilded ceilings and gold-leaf walls, which can steal your attention away from the stage where big-name live bands perform. Come on Friday nights to watch foreign flicks or cult films like “Rocky Horror Picture Show” on the 80-foot silver screen.

Meet the chef and Food Network champion who’s shaking up the 
California’s Central Valley

From The Grapevine 

Bakersfield has fallen in love with Cafe Med and its chef/owner, Meir Brown. For the other 364 days of the year, Meir Brown is just a humble restaurateur serving up steaks, pasta and hummus in California’s San Joaquin Valley. But for one day, he was a jet-setting, hobnobbing culinary champion.

The 61-year-old Israel native is fresh off his cable TV debut with an appearance on season 5 of the Food Network series “Cooks vs. Cons,” a competition designed to blur the lines between professional chefs and culinary amateurs. Of the four contestants, two were real cooks and two were cons. The fun part—for the celebrity panel of judges, at least, and hopefully for viewers at home—was guessing who was who.

So who was who? And who won? Brown won! He beat one other actual cook, the head chef of a cooking school, and two amateurs who had unrelated careers but love to cook at home. The Grapevine reported that he bested four other contestants who were probably half his age and walked away with a $10,000 prize. And, from where we sat, “it looked like he had a ton of fun doing it.”