Beautiful Bakersfield

5 Feb

The former Route 99 in Bakersfield is littered with decaying 1950s-era motels and salvage yards (you can even watch as your car gets wrecked into pieces). It’s a strange city. Driving around, you can feel its former glory, and experience it in the many restaurants and businesses that have been open continuously for over 50 years. But it’s empty. KC’s Steak House bustles with the evening dinner service, yet the only other thing open on its block is a gigantic Pep Boys. Mariachi’s, a Mexican restaurant that first opened in 1940, is one of the few places to eat near the convention center. It feels like a hard place to live, yet plenty of people seem to stay there, generation after generation, thriving to the degree they can.

Three out of the four restaurants I ate in during this trip to Bakersfield (for the Supergrass bluegrass festival) have been open (or seem to have been open) for over 50 years.

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