Motivations become clearer in tearing down of “world’s nicest projects”

Nice projects, right?

Nice projects, right?

Remember this story from January about a seemingly unmotivated push by developers to knock down a huge swath of public housing in a sleepy part of town and replace it with “mixed-use” buildings? If you don’t, check out the link first, I’ll wait.

Well, it looks like the incentives for completely transforming this rather calm and park-like housing development are coming into focus.  According to the Sacramento Business Journal, a proposed bridge between Sac and West Sac just got a boost in funding:

A much-discussed bridge between Broadway in Sacramento and the Pioneer Bluff area in West Sacramento got a federal funding boost Wednesday — $1.5 million to help start planning the project.

It becomes clear that if the bridge project progresses, land values along the west end of Broadway will shoot up significantly in value, especially as commercial space. And, as is so often the case, if land values are slated to go up, better get the poor folks off the land before they know what’s going on.

I’m perfectly happy with the idea of the bridge going up, as it will help revitalize the Broadway area, which has always been a land of potential. But displacing people from their homes and not being honest about it seems like the worst, old-fashioned, robber-baron behavior.

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Mr. Pickles to star in Cartoon Network show

Although you could make an animated comedy/horror show about this guy

But not the one you’re thinking of. A new “Adult Swim” animated series called “Mr. Pickles” will debut later this fall on Cartoon Network. From the press release:

Mr. Pickles is an original animated series set in the small, old-fashioned world of Old Town that is slowly being taken over by the modern world. The series centers on the lives of the Goodman family and their innocent six-year-old son Tommy, whose best friend is the family’s lovable Border Collie, Mr. Pickles. The two roam around Old Town together getting into classic adventures.

Aww, cute, right?

Unbeknownst to Tommy and everyone else, except Tommy’s Grandpa, Mr. Pickles has an evil streak and frequently wanders off to kill, mutilate and hump his deserving victims.

There’s that Adult Swim angle. No word on whether the horrifying human-pickle hybrid mascot from the Sacramento area sandwich chain will be used in the marketing effort, though he would fit right in.

Sacramentans sought for Stanford speech sampling

Researchers from Stanford University will be in Sacramento from Sept 3-13 for Voices of California, a long term linguistic research project to study regional differences in English as spoken across California. Sacramento probably does have a unique linguistic flavor but those of us who’ve been here long might be hella immune to its nuances. From the press release:

The great environmental diversity of California results in vastly different ways of life across the state. And the diversity of the state’s population brings a variety of linguistic influences to the dialects of California. The Stanford team will be conducting interviews with lifelong Sacramento residents are members of all ethnic communities that have been in Sacramento for several generations.

If you have some time to help with this really interesting study you’re encouraged to call 916-806-6732 or email vocSacramento -at- gmail.com for more info.

Voices of California

Local Redditor has #1 submission

When Redditor “Ransacked,” who you might know as Sac Rag writer “Ransacked,” had a watermelon grow into and through a light fixture in his booming garden, he posted it to Imgur and sent the link to the “MildlyInteresing” forum on Reddit. And then it hit the #1 spot on the entire site. Pic, because it happened:

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I’m actually not sure how rare it is for a Sacramentan to have the #1 post on Reddit, but this is where 275 people in a comment thread should tell me all the times it happened.

Gold Rush Days not worth it without the dirt?


“Because of the drought” is becoming the new
“because of the budget.”

Today came the news that Gold Rush Days are being cancelled due to the drought. Specifically because of the 3000 gallons of water used daily to dampen the dust from the dirt spread on the road during the event, normally held Labor Day weekend by Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

So you can drive your car down the freeway and park next to a mall and when you’re done you can eat at Joe’s Crab Shack, but it’s out of the question to just do away with the dusty roads? This is the major draw? If that was my decision I might have gambled that Gold Rush Days without the dusty streets is better than no event at all.

Maybe it would have felt too much like just any old day in Old Sac? What do folks who usually attend Gold Rush Days think? Would paved roads not suit the occasion?

Update: No so fast, Visitors Bureau.

Roseville’s Susac called up to SF Giants

qmBoSNosFormer Jesuit High School star Andrew Susac, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2011, got the call to the big leagues today. This news is so fresh the kid hasn’t even had time to Tweet it yet, but he’ll be in uniform for tonight’s game against the Dodgers.

Susac unfortunately owes his call up to an injury to Hector Sanchez who took a ball off his grill last night in an 8-1 loss to the Dodgers which was kind of like a “ball off the grill” to the whole team. Sanchez has a mild concussion.

Local in the running for potato chip flavor contest

DUAF_Lay's Wavy Mango SalsaYou can’t make this stuff up. Julia Stanley-Metz from right here in Sacramento dreamed up “Wavy Mango and Salsa Potato Chips” and is subsequently one of just 4 finalists for a $1 million grand prize from Lay’s.

On Tuesday, July 29, Julia Stanley-Metz will be joined by the Mayor of the City of Sacramento Kevin Johnson at World Peace Rose Garden to officially proclaim the date, “Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chip Day in Sacramento.”

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Save 30% on “city pride” tees at therethere

therethere is a new tee-shirt company that specializes in hyperlocal designs. Starting in 2010 with the Oaklandish brand, (which I might add I saw a lot of in a recent visit to the East Bay) they have branched out into other locales where they partner with local artists to create screen printed tees using iconography and slogans that hip locals will appreciate. They came to the Sacramento market in April with about a dozen designs available online and at a few brick and mortar shops like the California Museum, Hot Italian, and Cuffs Boutique. Here is yours truly, sporting the “Sac Gold Nugget” tee at a recent SactoMofo food truck night in Tahoe Park:

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“6 states” initiative could appear on ballot

20140715-073330-27210514.jpgThe group behind the batshit-insane proposal by venture capitalist Thomas Draper to divide California into 6 separate states has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot, according to this article. Sacto would be in “North California” which would run from the Sonoma coast to Lake Tahoe. For some reason Silicon Valley and Jefferson (pictured) would be the only ones without “California” in the name–including Los Angeles which would have the indignity of being called “West California.”

If the Secretary of State’s office approves the signatures, this initiative would be able to appear on the ballot in California in 2016 where real Californians, the kind who have in the past voted for <INSERT YOUR FAVORITE STUPID INITIATIVE HERE> would be able to really vote on it.

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos to open next week

According to Cowtown Eats, which I have been remiss in not re-blogging more often since they give us so much traffic on Twitter, the venerable So Cal chain Wahoo’s Fish Tacos is planning to open in Sacto a week from today.

During the Handle District’s annual Bastille Day Waiter Race on Sunday, they had employees handing out coupons for free entrees. One of their employees freely shared the info.

They also invited me inside to take a look. The space is still unfinished, with at least several days worth of work left on the interior. If I had to guess, even if they open on the 21st, it’ll be several weeks before they get all they move from the “soft launch” phase to the “well-oiled machine” phase.

The location is on L street at 18th–Cowtown says 1818 but Wahoos.com says 1820, but I’m sure there will be fish imagery to lead you to the right place. This just kind of makes me long for Pescado’s though, and that insane salsa they used to make, which I have never seen prepared exactly as well anywhere else.

Link: Cowtown Eats

Death Grips officially break up

20140702-190412-68652960.jpgDeath Grips, the Sacramento-based experimental artcore/hip hop group that I sometimes write about here, and therefore am obligated to write about now, have broken up, notifying the world via Facebook post, as you do.

Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision above and beyond a ‘band.’

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Magazine names Corti Bros. deli one of the best in America

Posted by a fan to Corti Bros. Facebook group

Missed this the other day, but heard about it from a longtime Sacramentan friend. Food & Wine magazine named the deli at Corti Brothers in its list of best American delis. This puts it on a list with the most famous delis in America, and the writeup highlights its meat department which “stocks nearly everything, including kangaroo or antelope meat.” I know what I’m having for lunch.

The Death of Craft: Hard Work Sucks

I received terrible news this morning. My beloved Doughbot will be closing in August.

Unlike most restaurant closings however, this isn’t due to lack of business, or lawsuits, or partnership disputes, or any of the myriad ways small businesses, especially restaurants, can be struck by struck by figurative lightning (including literal lightning).  No, per their Facebook posting today, Doughbot is closing because they have too much business, and catering to all that business is hard work. Too hard to keep doing it.

Do not, I repeat, do not take this post as some type of belittling of the amount of work it takes to keep a small food-service business going. I’m totally on board with Doughbot’s owners in that busting ass is hard, burnout is real, and they do not owe the community their sweat simply because we’ve spent money at their shop. Continue reading

Chando’s nominated for Best Burrito in the USA

Via News & Review, whose readers last year named Chando’s the best burrito in Sacramento, it appears the Arden Way taqueria made Selection Thursday in a new bracket to name America’s Best Burrito. Apparently Chando’s made the list in an effort to reduce L.A.’s footprint on the list.

In an effort to bring in diversity of style and geography, we came to some unexpected choices: Chando’s Tacos in Sacramento, Rosa Maria’s garbage burrito in the Inland Empire, Spencer Makenzie’s (a fish restaurant that also serves tacos and burritos) in Ventura and Dos Chinos in Costa Mesa, an Asian-Latino fusion superstar. None would have made it on VORB score alone, but expert knowledge and an offer of something very different won each establishment a place in the bracket.

Any other Sacramento burritos that you think could have made the list?