Archive for the ‘Midtown Life’ Category

Progress? Really?


I’ve been seeing these yellow Fargo for Mayor signs all over the neighborhood around my office. Today on my lunch I saw this cluster (and there’s even more outside the frame on the left!) and was moved to post

At present, I don’t have a dog in this race, but I have to admit that these signs bug the hell out of me. They’re ugly for one, but… “Progress!” Is that really an advisable slogan for someone aiming at a third term in office? My vote for that would be a No.

Cemetery Bound


One of my favorite places to spend time and take photos is the City Cemetery on Broadway by Riverside. It’s absolutely gorgeous this time of year, and there’s always something unexpected to see there. The photo above was taken there, and there’s a few more after the bump.




I did a quick search of the blog, and I can’t believe no one has mentioned Beers Books before. They’re at 915 S Street, right between 9th & 10th. This puts them across the street from tasty Chinese food at Gam Lei Sig and right by several bars. This was all a big part of me moving into the neighborhood, let me tell you.

In particular I’d like to talk about their “sidewalk sale”. One of the things I love about warmer months is biking past Beers on my way home from work and looking through new $1 hardcovers and 50 cent paperbacks. Just this week I picked up hardcovers, in decent shape, of The Confusion and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell for $1 each.

If you’re in the neighborhood, I recommend checking the place out.

Don’t meth around

If you’re at home tonight at 6:30 PM and you want to watch the local news…you’ll get a healthy dose of Crystal Darkness instead. All local channels will be broadcasting with focus on our area and the “Meth Epidemic.” While I am cynical as to whether it is “just now” an epidemic, or if it has been an ongoing problem, I guess it is just a question of semantics.

Meth is here in Sacramento and the outlying cities, and if you don’t know what it looks like or how to spot the symptoms of someone using it, you might be caught unawares. Meth is involved in a lot of horror stories–and that lady with no teeth outside the Alhambra Safeway? I think she’s taking meth, or was–if she isn’t already dead.

If you live in Lavender Heights (part of Midtown), you should also watch the program…I learned something new today. Evidently meth is a popular choice in the Gay community. I wasn’t aware of that, but if you live in certain areas, your neighbor might be using. Or if you rent, you might want to check out who might have been living in the Victorian walkup before you–they may have left a gift that keeps on giving behind.

Seriously, if you can’t catch the program tonight, TiVo it. Or check out the website. Education, education, education. Education, prevention/treatment, law enforcement.

A poll on the KCRA website shows most people think law enforcement is the best way to handle the meth problem. Look around, people…we’re facing budget cuts and guess who gets hit first? Law enforcement, firefighters, schools.

Besides, if you don’t know what to look for, what it does, how to get help if needed–then when does law enforcement come in? It comes in when things are already out of hand. Law enforcement gets involved when there’s already a serious problem. Law enforcement gets involved when the user is on his/her way to prison or the morgue.

Medical aesthetics in Sacramento

My ringer finger looks like a purple snowman – fat and bulbous between each joint – courtesy of having tripped into my house on Saturday evening.  Taking every opportunity to evaluate aspects of our fair city for you, dear reader, I decided, given the fingers deepening hue and increasing size, to go for x-rays on Sunday afternoon (Happy Easter!).

 I took some reading material with me, expecting a wait, though was pleasantly surprised to wait a comparatively short time (the nurse said always come in after lunch) at Mercy’s urgent care center on Folsom, just east of Alhambra.  I did read this article about the importance of aesthetics in medical facilities: prettier, quieter places speed healing it seems.

Urgent care here fit the ugh-profile well: old furniture, peeling wood veneer, ugly, 80s wallpaper. Though I’m sure it was still clean, the antiquated look felt dirty too, especially where the aged showed in dings, peeling stickers, and tattered posters.

A nicer setting would be amazing and I believe it would make seeking medical help more pleasant and less scary, but I only want facilities to worry about it if it doesn’t increase costs. I don’t want more medi-cal patients going without healthcare because a doctor has to pay for the water feature in the waiting room, instead of covering what the state won’t reimburse.

But the care was speedy and the nurse was nice – I had my x-rays, found out there was no fracture and was sent home to do what I had been doing: ice, advil, and elevation.

By the way, if you’ve never thought about key-strokes per finger, you do, in fact, use your left ring-finger more than you might think in the average blog post. Time for more ice.

Take your life in your hands…

…and try to cross the street in midtown at lunch time on a workday.

I actually had a woman in a white SUV speed up after stopping so she could cross the crosswalk in front of me. She waved as she went by.

I wish I could carry a paintball gun and splat her white car with dark red paint. That’s the color she wants smeared and sticky on her front bumper, the way she’s driving.

In fact, if I had a paintball gun, at least three vehicles would have been splatted today–but hers I would have taken pleasure in splatting, all over the front windshield, all over her smug, rude face.

Perhaps one of the famous 3rd Street crows will splat her for me. Imagining this tribute makes me smile.

Drinking too much of what they’re selling

They say it’s a buyer’s market these days. Kinda. Not as much in the city core as out in the flood plains, but still, there’s some truth to that.

We’ve been flirting with they idea of homeownership, but for now remain faithful to our comparatively cheap rent and primo Midtown location. Of course, checking out some of the more interesting new building developments in Down- and Midtown Sacramento has been quite a hoot. One wonders, first and foremost, how it is that the American Dream has rooted so deeply within our collective minds that houses separated by 36 inches – that’s one yard or slightly less than a meter – are SO much better than condos taking advantage of those available extra 18 inches.

But the best – er – most noteworthy of the new developments? The Whiskey Hill Lofts on S Street, just down from the Big Horse Safeway. No, not the ones at S and 21st (which are not so hot and overpriced as well) – these are several shades of Nevada desert (or is it leftover school district) mustards and adobes. There are several floorplans – some actual lofts and some more traditional condos. There’s only one in MLS right now, and it’s listed at $495k. For 914 square feet. WIth 2 bedrooms and only 1.5 bathrooms. And Ikea bathroom fixtures. Really? Seriously? Plus $300+ in HOA fees? Now I know you’re joking.

Are there real estate reviews? Am I breaking a shopper code? I can’t help but want to let people know there’s better out there. I can’t think of a thing that makes these properties more worthy than, say, Tapestri Square’s intro level 36-inch-spaced home. At least it’s – you know where this is going – detached.

It may still be nothing compared to LA or SF prices, but there are still things that are just too much money in Sacramento. And for Whiskey Hill, you’d have to be drunk to buy what they’re selling.

Suzie Verdict

Okay I admit it. I was one of those folks in line for a free Suzie burger cheeseburger today. They’re handing them out until 1 PM, so you might just get in there if you’re lucky.

Cheeseburger, fries, a small beverage, and also included in the bag of free goodies were pickles and a few cut carrots. I’m not sure why the carrots were there, but I ate mine.

Now, about the burger: moderate size, toasted bun, not excessive on veggies. Good flavor…BUT pink in the middle. I don’t usually like my burgers pink, and so I didn’t finish it, but I’ll give them a try when they open for real on January 3rd. We figured they haven’t gotten all the glitches worked out yet. That’s a glitch they’ll need to fix ASAP.

The fries were good and the ketchup was carefully hand-served by an elderly gentleman. The menu and prices seemed reasonable. The kid cheese steak meal is advertised as $2.25 for sandwich, fires and soda. I don’t think you can beat that around here…I hope I didn’t misread it.

The décor of the place is charming–it still looks like the inside of a garage. The floors are concrete and the seating is black indoor picnic tables along with cheery decorations of a Jetson-like character that I imagine must be Suzie. It’ll be worth a visit with the kids just to see how the kids react to Suzie (Jetson).

I’m actually more interested in trying the cheese steak than the burgers but shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Our own little fire

I got to see the aftermath of our own little midtown fire this morning. It’s on 24th and Q Streets–you can’t miss it. One house (the one that has been balancing precariously on stilts) is now nothing but rubble. The house behind it looks like it was the victim of a bad barbecue. It’s charred where it shouldn’t be.

I’m particularly sad for the painted lady (the house, not a midtown resident) whose roof was eaten by flame. That was one pretty house. Alas, no more.

Just four houses burnt and it makes a big imprint in the psyche–not just visually, but “olfactorily” (i.e. it reeked) as well. I can’t imagine how bad it must be down in Southern California, but I’m really glad I don’t live there anymore.

Out and about in Sactown

Flat bumps in the road: what’s with the new ‘flat’ bumps (aka ‘speed tables’) on 24th Street? They’re not nearly as fun as the old speed bumps. Not only that, but it seems like they’re not slowing any of the SUVs down–just the smaller car drivers, who were probably not speeding on that street, anyway.

Burger Watch: They’ve finally started the construction work over at the future home of Suzie Burger. I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to salivate already.

Traffic girth control: Both 19th and 21st Street are going to be downsized into two-laners with room for bikes. Find another route home, if you dare. Or maybe dust off that Trek and use your own fuel.

Shopping cart man: were BOTH those bikes on your cart yours? How can you ride two bikes, one pink, one yellow, when you’re pushing a full shopping cart? Is anyone out there missing a putrid yellow bike or a shocking fuchsia one? I may have seen them floating down Q Street on the back of a rust-dusted shopping cart.

Oto’s on Freeport:
New incarnation of the Japanese-food-focused grocery store is now open, in a highly visible spot. If you want tiny one-human desserts or to make your own sushi, this is the place to go.

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