We have a bit of a penchant here at the ‘Rag for discussing what makes Sacramento…well, Sacramento. How is it different than other cities? What gives it its unique Sacramentoness? What makes the people constantly run into buildings with their cars?
After traveling the country, talking with its various inhabitants and doing my fair share of research, I’ve found that there are two things that separate Sacramento from the rest: the weather, and the freshness of the avocadoes. That’s about it. Those two factors are, in fact, really the only things that separate any mid-size American city from any other mid-size American city.
There are only about 12-15 truly unique American cities anymore, cities that have unique histories, culture, food, theater, entertainment, music, people, populations. You know all these cities already, New York, New Orleans, Miami, San Francisco-I’ll let you fill in the rest of the list. After you’re done with that list, you’re left with media markets 16-100 and you’ll find that these cities have much more in common than you might have thought. Boise, Omaha, San Antonio, Tempe, Santa Fe, Fresno, Eugene, Spokane, Cincinnati, Harrisburg, Albany, Raleigh, Okalahoma City all have the same issues with rebuilding their downtowns, with increased traffic, with sprawl, with politicians, with too many chain restaurants. They all have “Old Towns,” malls, civil servants, Stan Atkinsons, Heather Fargos and Cap’n Mitches. What really separates these cities is their weather (i.e. I have no idea how to shovel a driveway, salt a road, etc.) and the freshness of the produce (try getting strawberries in Lansing in November). Oh, I forgot one thing, the people, not the big anonymous “people” but the people you know, your friends, family, and everyone that makes your day different. Those people make the city you live in different than any other place on Earth, which is why I love Sacramento more than any other mid-sized American city. So next time you get offered a promotion at work, but the boss tells you you’ll have to move to Columbus, or Minneapolis for a 10% pay raise, think about the weather and the folks that you can’t take with you and see if that doesn’t color your decision. That, and of course the avocadoes.