Mulvaney’s B&L Rewarded – Justly

My affection and admiration for Mulvaney’s B&L is no secret.  I’d give it the Best-in-Sac title and happily battle anyone championing other venues.  I now have new ammo for my side: the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce awarded it Small Business of the Year.  Even if you’re not a foodie and don’t care much about sustainable or local eating, it’s hard not to appreciate Mulvaney’s vision:

Small business awardee Mulvaney fit the bill on several counts, said Mahood, adding that Mulvaney’s was a unanimous selection.

“Mulvaney’s Building & Loan built a business in a very difficult climate,” Mahood said. “He considers sustainability and local sourcing and he’s given back to the community.”

The New York-born Mulvaney has called the Sacramento area home since the early 1990s. At his midtown restaurant he’s carved out a reputation on dishes that spotlight the area’s abundance of fresh food, culled from fields and farmers markets just miles from the eatery’s doors.

“We’re so blessed. It’s mid-November and I’m looking at the lettuce we’re going to have in three or four days,” Mulvaney said. “What farmers bring through the door will be on the plate that night. I can stand in the field and still see the skyline of Sacramento. It’s a valuable thing.”

And he helps feed the poor.  That’s the kind of business person we need in Sacramento.

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Sacramento parking free between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Well, some Sacramento street parking will be free – but it’s still not a bad deal.  Starting the day after Thanksgiving, metered spots between I and L and from Front Street to 29th Street will be free after 4:30pm and all day Saturday and Sunday (but still pay attention to time limits and curb colors, etc).  Even some garages will be free.  Not a bad bonus for keeping your spending money local this holiday season.

Here’s a map of the free parking areas.

By the way, don’t read the comments on the article as your eyes will bleed out of your head.  Do only unhappy people comment on Bee pieces?  Best comment might be that this free parking does nothing to help people who work downtown during normal business hours. Duh. It’s not supposed to. Those people will be down there anyway. I think it’s  a great idea and pretty easy to understand.  I’d love to think people will swarm the Grid to shop and eat now that parking is free (swarm on non-Second Saturdays, that is).  Whatever might help, go for it.

Spring Awakening – Unfocused but Moving Fun

Can something be moving and fun?  Sure, why not.

Full disclosure: I was lucky enough not to pay for my ticket to see Spring Awakening at the Community Theater – though I would be happy to pay for the show.  One of the few new shows on stage these days (it didn’t come from a movie, TV show, another stage show, nor is it a revival – though it is based on a book).

If you watched last season’s 90210 (I only watched the first few episodes, swear), you might be familiar with a few bars of  a Spring Awakening tune.  Having seen the show, however, I am fairly confident you won’t find it produced by too many public high schools.  This show is not suitable for parents.  (Also, there be partial spoilers ahead.) Read more

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Local Theater Post: That girl from Glee; changes for two theaters; time left to catch a good thing

First – a bit of shameless (shameless!) self-promotion: Tonight will be the Sacramento Comedy Spot’s final show at it’s Broadway studio.  Starting next week, the laughs will continue in the MARRS building in midtown (so you should maybe check out Lounge on 20 after all).  We’re doubling capacity and quadrupling the funny. Swear.  Don’t miss the historic close out or the big open.  Get tickets before they are gone! And for the grand opening, two words: confetti cannon.

Also new to that general area of midtown: the Lambda Players now call Lavender Heights home with their new space at L and 21st above Postcards, Etc.  A rising tide of great local theater lifts all troupes!

And: you still have about a week to catch The Maintenance Man over at B Street Theater.

Lastly:  Elle Woods has left the Sacramento Community Theater and that girl from Glee has moved in! Okay, that character originally played by that girl from Glee.  Next week marks the opening of Spring Awakening the next in this season’s Broadway Sacramento series.  Having already been yelled at for having missed Awakening‘s stops in San Francisco previously, I’ll definitely be checking out the Sacramento show and passing on my thoughts to you next week.  It’s teen angst and coming-of-age with singing.  I hear there’s sex too.  So  you know I’m there. Here’s a video of one of the show’s tunes to check out.

More videos on making the show an opportunity to talk about big issues with teens available here.

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NYT spends 36 hours in Sacramento – some of it spent well, some of it not so well-spent

I agree, mostly, with this run down of how to best spend 36 hours in Sacramento.  It’s a mostly up-beat and complimentary piece.  Sadly, they opt for some obvious choices in places, but overall, I suppose the NYT gets it right.

I disagree most fervently with the inclusion of Grange and the exclusion of Mulvaney’s.  Likewise, I wouldn’t hit Lounge on 20 before I’d opt for 58 degrees (can’t hear your companions in the former, and the cheese plate is better and a better value at the latter).

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Burgers and Brew

A tale of two burger joints: Same name, same company – but 2 different cities and 2 totally different dining experiences.

On two separate weekends, I tried out Burgers and Brew in Sacramento and Davis. Both are owned by Crepeville.

Let’s start with the one in Sacramento.

Burgers and Brew in Sacramento

[Burgers and Brew in Sacramento]
Read more

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B Street Gets An A

I’m ashamed to say that, despite being part of the local theater community and despite living in Sac off-and-on for almost 10 years now, I’ve been remiss in actually SEEING any local theater productions.

That changed last Saturday night when I saw the B Street Theater’s production of The Maintenance Man.  Smart, fast-paced, well-acted, funny, and thoughtful, the two-act play illustrated the dangers of being a relationship fixer and the dangers of confusing maintenance with love.  The website describes the show as:

a smart  British comedy about a man who is in the midst of a divorce, while trying to win the love of a new woman in his life.  He woos these women by the art of building them things.  This comedic love triangle is complicated by Bob’s reminiscent love for his ex-wife, and his desire to move on.

Ironically, our night out was in honor of my friend’s upcoming wedding – but I was assured the play didn’t convince her to head for the hills.

I don’t believe any of the 3 actors in the play hails from England and at times their accents wavered a bit (between regions in one case) (and of course, I’ll sound like an idiot of one or all IS British), which was a minor distraction from the language of the play itself.  By the same token, the play is set in England and written by an English playwrite using decidedly English diction and phrasing.  Delivered with an American accent, the language would’ve likely felt artificial and needed to be translate to American or it would’ve proved even MORE distracting.

The play runs through November 8.

Not Too Late To Submit Your Snaps!

Recall, if you will, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s annual photography contest?  We talk about it every year – this year being no exception.

Well, the September 11 deadline has come and gone. But wait! Did you forget to send your entry?!  Julie Beckner of the DSP reports that the deadline has been extended to this Friday, September 18!  You haven’t missed your chance, but you’re officially down to your last, last minute.

Best of luck!

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Forecast Sunny at new, improved Weatherstone

I was never a fan of Java City’s products, nor their employees’ attitudes, so when Old Soul Co. took over the 21st Street storefront, I welcomed the change.

Now, there is even more reason to celebrate as Weatherstone has improved the cafe even more.

New paint, a slightly altered layout and most apparent, the addition of a wine bar (and beer) have expanded the cafe’s offerings and made it even more inviting than before. Don’t worry, however, it still exudes an overwhelmingly neighborhood feel and given the frequently brimming inside and patio, I’d say it’s a hit.

One thing I love that you might not have noticed if you stick to their coffee and tempting baked goods, is the little, unexpected treats that come with sandwiches.  Delicious breakfast muffins arrive with an orange or apple to up your vitamin intake for the day. Today, my grilled cheese lunch (fantastic on foccacia with spinach and two kinds of cheese),  light and perfect side salad with cucumbers and goat cheese.  At a mere $5, I don’t think you’ll find a tastier option in a 4 block radius.

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Second Saturday

We were lucky we found parking in Midtown Sacramento. Several streets were blocked off to traffic and packed with people mingling by tables of art, tchotchkes and fliers for future events.

It was my first Second Saturday and it was delightful.

I enjoyed listening to a DJ mixing Lady Gaga outside of Plum Blossom as another artist spray-paints the final touches on his canvas.
Outside of Plum Blossom

Before the pulsing dance club beats, we heard tabla drumming outside of McMartin Realty on K Street. That’s where we enjoyed a belly dancing performance as others browsed the photography and jewelery booths nearby.

Belly Dancers at Second Saturday

Finally on 21st Street, we watched Art Lessing and the Flower Vato play outside of Time Tested Books.

Art Lessing and the Flower Vato

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The End should end.

So, 107.9 The End began teasing “The End Says Goodbye” with a countdown clock last week. The obviously – and, come on, only assumption made by those seeing the countdown clock was that The End would go the way of 106.5’s alt format.

But oh no – who think their saying goodbye means they are saying goodbye? Sillies:

The End isn’t going anywhere. We wanted to clarify that the promotion “The End is saying Goodbye.” does NOT mean The End is going off the air. Rather than wait until Tuesday, we want to tell you today that we ARE saying goodbye to commercials after 9:30 AM on Tuesday.
We apologize to anyone who may have misunderstood the promotion.

Morons.  Now they just sound stupid.

But here’s the best part: all of this wondering about what the countdown clock meant with nothing to explain it left local news (TV and print) to add another sentence to their story by discussing the radio station’s role in the death of Jennifer Strange, the 31 year old mother who drank water to win a Wii for her kids.  By the way – that trial starts today.

Coincidence?  The station starts a promo to attract listeners the same day they go to trial?  Someone’s PR firm should be fired immediately.

Best advertisment for Sirius/XM ever, however.

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This week, I fell in love with Tiropita.

Sacramento Greek Festival

I couldn’t stop snacking on the savory Greek cheese puffs inside our newsroom. It was all part of our tasty preview of the 46th Annual Greek Festival in Sacramento. It runs today and tomorrow at the Sac Convention Center.

Bop your head to live music, check out some cool trinkets and art booths and bring an appetite because there’s plenty of yummy food – gyros, baklava and more.

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Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

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We sure do like touring homes around here.

Do we tour more than other cities? No clue, but I noticed a yard sign in Boulevard Park today advertising the Sacramento Old City Association’s Boulevard Park  home tour on September 20.    Find more information here.  And check out the houses on the tour here.  Some interesting properties there, however, I’m still waiting for a chance to check out that giant, surely-haunted old beauty at 22nd and H.  Also – one of the units at 2020 H is on the tour. Given than a unit (same? don’t know) has been for sale for about, um, forever, seems like it’s something you can see any day of the week.

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Blue Frog

After a long week in the newsroom, I’m in the mood for a pint or two. We’ve had some hot days in Sacramento. Sipping beer is a nice way to cool down.

A few weeks ago, my hubby and I decided to check out the Blue Frog Grog and Grill in Fairfield.

Blue Frog in Fairfield

We first tasted some of Blue Frog brews at BeerFests in Santa Rosa and Boonville. Those festivals also featured beers by Rubicon and the Sacramento Brewing Company.

Out of this sampler, I enjoyed the hearty Red Ale. Plus, the Hefeweizen tasted quite refreshing on a hot night.

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