Archive for November, 2007

It’s that time of year again, for the 25th time!

racemap.JPG (Click here for the full view of the map at the left) This Sunday marks the 25th running of the California International Marathon – Sacramento’s premiere running event and one of the only marathons I can think of that boasts a nearly uniformly downhill course. Bad for the knees, good for the soul. Though I didn’t train for this year’s event (reason: lazy), the experience I had in last year’s relay was so awesome I can enthusiastically recommend the course to newbies and veterans alike. It’s a far smaller crowd of runners than in larger cities – giving you more room and more access to aid stations. And the aid stations are better, too, stocked with not just water and gatorade, but oranges and pretzels. Love it! Last year’s weather was gorgeous and given what we’ve enjoyed so far this year, my guess is we can look forward to more of the same.

You can still enter, by the way. Those of you not running, might want to check out the road closure schedule so you don’t get trapped across a barrier from your brunch reservations. The horror! Runners and spectators can enjoy a wide variety of roadside entertainment (my favorite last year was a group of bellydancers in East Sac). And if all you can handle is a tenth of the fun – maybe the maraFUNrun’s 2.62 mile course is more your style.

We’ll be out cheering for our friends Nic and Mike who’ve been training hard for the event. The official Metroblogging Spectator Stand can be found at the southeast corner of 22nd and L Street, if anyone is interested. Not enough people come out to cheer on marathoners, so if you live in midtown, you should stagger the few blocks out to see the action. Get up early enough (listen for the sound of news helicopters circling) and you can see the lightening fast Kenyan frontrunners charge past just a couple of hours after the 7:00am start time. The human body is an amazing thing, no?

Happy running! See you on the course!

Ella, Ella, Ella, Eh, Eh, Eh . . . .


I can’t help it. Blame Rhianna. But I can’t even think about Ella, the new K Street restaurant from the brilliant minds that brought us The Kitchen, without humming a bar or two from the song. None of that, however, diminishes from the restaurant a bit. I didn’t take nearly enough photos of the decor (or the food for that matter), but I could have. The interior design can best be described as what happens if a Pottery Barn catalogue and MOMA mated and had a little baby restaurant as a result. Some white, glass, crystal, and gray here; large, staked kitchen tables there. Oh, and don’t forget to look up when you’re at the bar. My friend said those things up there are “Hungarian shutters.” They’re shutters alright – but I haven’t followed up on their origin.

33 on 16

bistro%2033%20food.JPG I’ve commented on Bistro 33 Midtown and its sister 33rd Street Bistro before – but more about their relationship than the food. On a recent Saturday night, the husband and I decided it was time we went out on the town like grown ups, so we hoofed it over to Bistro 33 for some cocktails and dinner. I’ll still say that 33rd Street Bistro has the better overall menu, but for a hipster Midtown night out, the 16th Street location does right by its number. The tiny size still baffles me – that they can turnover enough tables per night to stay open is an accomplishment – and though I appreciated that the West Virginia game was on the flat screen, the hint-o-sports-bar doesn’t seem to jive with the rest of the decor and ambiance.

As you can see, we ordered a super healthy meal of ribs, mini Kobe beef burgers (sublime) and some cheese smothered fries. The food arrived promptly and was every bit as delicious as the probably calorie count would make for. As mentioned, the sublime Kobe beef burgers pack just the right balance of flavors – with the spices and sauces not masking the quality, tasty meat. This is difficult feat for some sauce-happy restaurants in town.

Factor in the prime location and I give Bistro 33 a 4 cocktails out of 5 rating: it’s the perfect start to what can be an enjoyable pub crawl down J Street. Cheers!

Local News: Good point, but bad example

The Bee ran an article today on the trials of a local TV news reporter’s ultimately losing battle to bring the Serious back to local news.

Local news is a handy punching bag, isn’t it? We get angry at them for covering local news – a lot of it fluffy – and skipping the big stories. Nevermind that Big Stories of national or international importance are for, um, like, the national news broadcast – no, we hate you, local TV.

Except, I don’t think Sacramento’s local news is so bad. Ever seen the feed from the Monterey Peninsula’s local stations? Seriously though, even compared to major markets like Los Angeles, Sacramento holds its own just fine. They should after all – since the hometown industry is California’s state government – there’s no excuse for not provided excellent political coverage. Channels 3 and 10 especially provide in-depth, responsible reporting.

So, that sad and jilted reporter’s reporter from the Bee article? He was working at . . . Good Day Sacramento. Hey, that show is great at what it does, but if you want to be The Serious Reporter, shouldn’t you prove you can research enough to know that Good Day Sacramento is NOT for Serious Reporters? It’s for people who want the weather and traffic reports and not much else. It’s all human interest. There’s a place for it alongside the better coverage.

As one of the article’s commentors said (and I HATE comments-enabled news articles, but whatever): this article was fluff about fluff. Which is a shame.

How To Plan A Wedding In Sacramento: The Complete Series

cake%20cutting%20detail.jpg It’s all finished: Eight posts on planning a wedding in Sacramento. Hope it proves useful. Share your own experiences, tips, reviews, or warnings in the comments section – or use the Suggest A Story link on the right. Best wishes!

Day One: The Series
Day Two: The Dress
Day Three: The Photographer
Day Four: The Music
Day Five: The Cake
Day Six: The Flowers
Day Seven: The Legal Stuff
Day Eight: Random Other Stuff

How To Plan A Wedding In Sacramento: Random Other Stuff

Chaircovers – you laugh – but these may become the. single. most. important. part of your day.

There are a million little decisions involved in wedding planning. It’s best to keep a pad of paper on you at all times because you never know when your mom will call to remind you of the million and first decision you need to make.

The series so far has covered some of the bigger, obvious decisions: where, wear, who, etc. What about the other stuff like hair, make-up, chair covers, invitations, registries, and so on? They can drive you mad and there’s even less information available on these items than on the big stuff. Here are some parting pieces of advice:

Seasonal Folly


Breaking news: Santa Claus was spotted at about 5:30 PM tonight crossing W Street at 19th…on foot. Santa appears to have trimmed his frosty white beard short and his matching haircut is Marine-corps length. His cheeks were a slight pink, not the rosy red of his drinking days. Santa, instead of wearing his normally gay red suit, was covered in duffel bags and smaller packed red and white Target (pronounced “tar-zhay”) bags. There were at least 15 bags hanging off of Santa’s person, not to mention the three or four bags in each hand.

All of the above is true, except that there was no miracle on 19th Street. You may say the man crossing the street wasn’t the real Santa. But I would argue this with you. Santa really is a bag man, and this guy had bags. Maybe PETA got those reindeers off the job, and now Santa has to lug his own stuff. Maybe someone stole Santa’s sleigh, and you know how pricey sled insurance is these days. Looks like Santa now has to get a head start on his deliveries. I hope he doesn’t put any coal in my stocking.


Image taken by Michael Grindstaff of Sacramento, CA

Who wants to go first? The lovely Tower Bridge reopens tomorrow. I told a friend of mine this, after reading the news. He turns and tells me, “Better wait a few days before you drive over it…” The unspoken sentiment was that, well, how secure is the bridge? Will it hold? Don’t forget, this bridge actually goes up and down to adjust for river traffic. Will it stay up when a Delta riverboat sails underneath? I guess only time will tell. Meanwhile, I confess. I won’t be among the first to try it out. You might call it a new phobia. Call it want you want, but I’ll be standing on the shoreline for now, thanks.

Think Local, Eat Local


It’s nearly Thanksgiving and I’m thinking about food. Okay, I think about food a lot. I should think about food less and working out more. But food it is, for now.

In the past, I’ve flirted with the idea of joining a CSA primarily because I KNOW I’m not eating enough vegetables and I figure that if they show up at or near my house, I’ll have no choice but to eat them. And if they are shiny, pretty, locally-grown food, perhaps the guilt of letting produce rot in the fridge will finally get me to cook and eat what I’ve purchased.

There’s quite an active locally-grown-food movement out there. A lot of it in the Bay Area, as you can imagine, but we’re not so bad ourselves. If you want to add some excitement to your Thanksgiving, what about trying the 100-mile Thanksgiving Challenge? Can you say for certain where each item on your table comes from? That’s the challenge’s goal.

An old friend of mine is a strong believer in the movement – a tried-and-true “Locavore” (wiki it if you can’t guess from the word itself). She’s got some great tips on how to eat local and why it’s important.

If you want to see how bad-ass the immediate region is when it comes to food production – head over to Mulvaney’s B&L – a fantastic place that prides itself on its committment to locally grown food. Enjoy!

A bargain at twice the price

Capitol Alert is now giving it all away…a ‘Capitol Insider’ blog with regular contributions from the Sacbee’s columnists Dan Walters and Dan Weintraub for the bargain basement price of NOTHING! The blog started as a subscription service to the elite few who had about $500 to spend on the yearly subscription (or had a company willing to spend the $$)…guess it didn’t work since the site started on Monday without the subscription in exhcange for some ads here and there. Registration is required for the site.
Happy reading!

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