By September 28, 2011 Read More →

Why Modesto USA is a Classic American City

There is no more important voice in Modesto than that people that live here and make things happen. Our people make Modesto, USA a Classic American City.   Our people deliver the way of life we call ModestoCana.  Our people own our local restaurants, create our local music, start our businesses, create our art and culture and give back in ways that very few communities can boast.  Part of celebrating is growing and evolving.  We can do better and there are a million awesome idea out there to make Modesto even better.  So we asked a wide range of people two questions and asked them for a Twitter length response.    1)   What do you love about Modesto and what makes us “A Classic American City” and 2) What can we do to make Modesto even better.   Do you have a story to tell?  Email us at and we will post your story on

Kim Callizo

I love Modesto for the very small town feel of it yet with all the culture!  A great summer night is hitting an early dinner on an outside patio at one of the downtown restaurants and then off to CIP where you can run into so many people you know and that you don’t always see. I always think of the Cheers song, Sometime you want to go where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came.  The older you get there’s something to be said about that and to me that is a Classic American City!

The most important thing that needs to be done for Modesto is for our teenage population!  Everyone talks about what a great place it is to come back to raise a family, but we need more activities and places for our teens to go!  We have got the 21 and over scene covered.   No cruising for them like we did, which are some of my favorite teen memories in Modesto as I am sure for others, or heading to ski beach at Turlock Lake on the weekends

Deborah Steinberg
I love Modesto, because there is a strong sense of community spirit here.  In the Bay Area your friends are spread out over many towns, and it is likely you live in one town but commute to another, so you never have time to enjoy where you live.  In Modesto people know their neighbors, and you can hardly go to a community event like “Concerts in the Park”  without running into everyone you know.

To make our community even better we need to focus on education and encouraging others into making better lifestyle choices.  More exercise opportunities, and less fast food!  Stay in school and learn a skill or go to college.

Chris Ricci
Modesto has the best people on earth, it’s the community itself that makes it special.

Improve public education.  Reduce drop out rate to 15% by 2016.  Increase college grad rate to 20% by 2020.

Victoria Kripner
I’m a Modesto native and have always loved this city. A city of amazing people and contrasts…where small town village charm meets city chic hipster. Where agriculture, philanthropic hearts and youth sports harmonize with arts, entertainment and tattoos! You will always discover something new going on!

What can we do to make it better? Come together and work with our elected leaders, volunteer to help your neighbor, buy local and promote, promote, promote this great classic American city!

Todd Aaronson
I love the attitude of Modestans! Look at all we physically (not just financially) support –  Airport Collaborative, Virginia Corridor, LoveModesto, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army Breakfast, Amgen Tour and much more. We thrive on volunteerism!

Stop worrying about what others think of us or lists we are not at the top of and concentrate on all that makes us good… then make those things GREAT! Then we’ll tell the world!

Mandy Walsh –
I grew up in a similar size town in Tx – Beaumont – which is on the humid, hurricane-struck coast of East Texas so what I LOVE IS THE WEATHER!  Modesto actually has seasons and wonderful temperatures.  I love the friendly people and family values of Modesto.  I rarely go anywhere in Modesto where I don’t see someone I know and all the regular stores and restaurants that I visit know me and provide great customer service.  Modesto is “All American”, because we have awesome outdoor events like concert in the park, downtown art walks and festivals and parades but the Gallo Center for the Arts has really provided a venue and gathering place to celebrate the arts and inspire our kids – I’m so grateful!

We need jobs and education!  This city cannot reach its full potential until we can provide opportunities for young people to return here and find a career locally.  Additionally, we have to offer jobs that provide security and chances for advancement for all young people – college bound or not!  We need industry and business to want to locate here and hire our citizens.  We have amazing farmland in the valley that needs to be protected, but we also have many hard working people who just need a chance to have a good job and provide for their families!

I think it would also be wonderful if Modesto could overhaul the parks and bike trails.  There is so many beautiful spots in this town that need attention and care.  I want our city to be attractive, landscaped, pedestrian and bike friendly!  We should feel safe and proud in our parks and in downtown.  Modestans need to take pride in their city.

Jeremiah Williams
The one thing about I love about Modesto is that history still can be made here and there are still unwritten chapters that will be written by our children & grandchildren. Modesto has a bright future.  Modesto’s like Coca-Cola “the real American classic”

The way we make Modesto better is do what we’ve done best, see a problem fit it. Believe the unbelievable and never say it can’t be done,created,changed or done better……….Jeremiah Williams

Jessica Smart
Raise a family, play/recreate year-round, beautiful trees everywhere, unique dining downtown, yummy local and fresh produce and travel anywhere you want.

Get involved.  If you have an issue with something, then take action.  Modesto is only as great as its residents make it – own it, make it better, no excuses.

Roman Wagner
The vibrant local music scene!  Modesto is home to many great local bands and artists that are available to enjoy on a nightly basis.  Modesto is also a fun-loving town, filled with people who are genuinely friendly, and happy to toast one another on every occasion!  We have a vibrant night-life that has something to offer for everyone!

I believe Modesto has many great traditions that are already an intrinsic part of the community. Expanding on these, and helping to create others, can bring the community rewards both economically and culturally.  Civic and City Pride needs to be fostered and nurtured, so people’s from all around will understand what a great city Modesto is!

Blake Steward
Great weather, farming, a vibrant downtown, The State Theater, baseball, awesome people, and all the cool cars…it reminds me of my Midwest roots.

Incentives to develop business, reduce government regulation and taxes, and get people back to work; double-digit unemployment is not acceptable.

Mike Moradian
What do you love about Modesto, Why are we a Classic American City? I love the friendliness of Modestan’s, MoBand at Graceada Park, 4 of July Parade…

What is the most important thing we need to do to make Modesto even better? Coordinate efforts between groups that help Modesto become better, like Love Modesto and taking it to the streets has done with beautifying Modesto

Debra Brady
Modestans know that they do not make the sun rise. When a late spring rain knocks the almond blossoms off the tree, they do not look for someone to blame. They persevere.

Debra Brady
Diverse, excellent music is heard everywhere. Two degrees of separation: generations of families have planted and invested themselves here. Community!

How could Modesto even be better? The true measure of a city is how the most vulnerable citizens fair: Compassionate healing for mental illness. Unemployed find productive, sustaining work.

Dave Lopez
It is the people that I love. From the man who offered me mustard for my hot dog at concert in the park, to Mitch, at Tresetti’s, who remembers everybody’s name, to the woman at the supermarket who patiently waits while my wife processes her coupons. This community has been celebrating fourth of July for 137 years together.  We stick together and we stick to it. And let’s not forget American graffiti the only place in the world that truly knows how to show off car history. Let’s just call that “Modestocana”. For me and my family we will always call Modesto home.

Lloyd Gomez
Tweet #1: Modesto’s community continues to embrace a well known heritage; American Graffiti, which brings a positive perception to our city.

Tweet #2: I’m being biased here but I’d love to see a platform that highlights Modesto’s ‘creative culture’ An institute for architects, designers etc



About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.