Family art festival this weekend

Harley White Jr. Orchestra, via MySpace

Saturday afternoon at the MARRS building it’s the Midtown Modern Arts Festival, featuring performances and exhibits from a dozen local arts groups. Pretty much every artistic medium will be represented: visual artists; improv comedy by Sacramento Comedy Spot; Sacramento Ballet and B Street; even creative writing is getting in on it.

I heard about it from my old pal Jeff Musser, a local artist, who will be showing off some of his edgy work. There will be live music and dance, and hopefully wonderful weather as well. I guess Third Saturday afternoon is the new Second Saturday? It sounds fun!

“A bit of ‘Wow'” coming to K Street

'But God is like, holding a guitar'

Via Heckasac (now with image banners! but still no hyperlinks) enjoy this Sac Press article on the choice monuments to douchebaggery coming soon to Midtown:

Pizza Rock, with its red neon sign and laser-cut metal flames, seems to burst from between its two sister venues. Filigreed flowers, hearts, stars and butterflies – designed to look like tattoo art – soften the sign, inspired by tattoos worn by Pizza Rock co-owner Tony Gemignani’s wife. LED backlights will be added to give the flame a shadow.

Continue reading ““A bit of ‘Wow’” coming to K Street”

A very Midtown Christmas!

Swanberg’s, via Yelp

If the rain lets up in the middle of the day this weekend, and you need to head out to fill your stockings this holiday season by patronizing some local shops, the nexus of 24th-26th and Jay Street is your best bet. With shops like University Art, Fleet Feet, Dragatomi, Book Collector, Mixed Bag, and Swanberg’s, there’s bound to be something for everybody. The family and I strolled it over the weekend and it’s a fun time even for the little ones.

As a counterpoint to my own post, I’d like to get something off my chest. I do love University Art but I have to say that shopping there the last few years hasn’t been the same experience as it once was. I can’t quite pin it down but something about their offerings for kids is not doing it for me anymore. All the art supplies for kids lean toward the Crayola/Rose Art side of things — stuff you can get for much, much cheaper at Target. There are lots of kitschy/retro toy items but for some reason it seems disjointed. It seems like what originally made it such a great shop was the odd crafty kits for kids and that seems to be lacking from the current product lineup. Has anyone else had this feeling?

Continue reading “A very Midtown Christmas!”

More festive and stuff

Robbers and Burglars and Assaults, oh my!
Robbers and Burglars and Assaults, oh my!

At least four Midtown businesses have had their Christmas decorations stolen.

“It’s kind of annoying. We are putting them out there just to make our place look more festive and stuff, but people come in and try to ruin it,” said Jared Agee, manager of Buckhorn Grill.

KCRA’s Crime Tracker informs me that 278 crimes have been committed from 12/01 to 12/07 (as reported by the Sacramento County Sheriff).

I do enjoy the crime icons they use on their map. Tracking the decay of civilization has never been so much fun!

Free parking!

The City of Sacramento will be continuing its popular free parking program this year starting with Black Friday. Metered parking is free after 4:30 p.m. weekdays and all day on Saturdays and Sundays from Friday, November 26, through Friday, December 24. There is also free parking at the East End Garage for the first 90 minutes and $1 per hour thereafter, up to a maximum of $5. Free parking at East End is weeknights 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and all day on weekends.

The metered parking is bounded by L and I Streets and Front St. and 29th.

Free parking map (PDF)

Food News and Rumors

A few items have come across my plate recently and I thought I’d share.

Dan Aykroyd in Sacramento selling vodka– Wednesday, Sep 29 at the BevMo on Adren Way, Dan Aykroyd, legendary star of screen and …screen, will be signing bottles of his new vodka called Crystal Head. Creepily bottled in skull-shaped vessels, this very drinkable vodka is a pet project of the man who once shilled for bass blenders and bags of glass as children’s playthings on SNL. Check out the strange and awkward and strangely awkward video below for more info on this product. Feel free to offer your ideas for signature cocktails you can make with Elwood’s daddy juice.

Bistro 33 to undergo popular makeover– Goodbye Bistro 33 Midtown. The Haines brothers’ hippest spot has temporarily shut its doors to become Spin Burger Bar. Taking a hint from Mason Wong, whose transformation of his signature eponymous restaurant to Cafeteria 15L has turned out to be a great business decision, and Rick Mahan, whose One Speed has brought in more business than his upscale Waterboy, the Haines boys will be transforming an underperforming asset into a more casual, more economical eatery with — taking a big cue from Mahan — a cycling theme. In my favorite quote of the decade, Fred Haines said, “the ultra lounge thing is dead and we’re rolling with the changes.” (Kudos to Chris Macias at the Bee for getting that wonderful phrase to be uttered) Continue reading “Food News and Rumors”

St. Francis Elem. School to move to Tahoe Park

Sac Bee reports that earthquake retrofit rules will force the St. Francis of Assisi Elementary School to relocate… to the former site of John Paul II School in Tahoe Park.

[St. Francis Principal Laurie] Power said estimates for the retrofitting have come in between $3 million to $5 million.

“We obviously don’t have that kind of money lying around in our checkbooks,” Power said. “It will take a lot of planning.”

Funny, the only reason there is an empty site is that the diocese didn’t have a dime to save John Paul II. I am happy though that the site in Tahoe Park won’t go unused.

I want to ride my bicycle, part deux

The Sacramento Business Journal reports that Sacramento ranks fourth in the U.S. and first in California for bicycle commuting among the 70 largest cities.

“I think the city has been good about making conditions better for cyclists,” he said, noting a number of changes the city made last year in midtown.

Several streets, including P, Q, 19th and 21st, went from three lanes to two with bike lanes. The city also converted a number of parking meters to bike racks.

Remind me where midtown is again?

At any rate, we are very fortunate to have the American River Parkway (great article here, btw) and other trails that help make bicycling easier and safer in Sacramento. I do think that employers can make it easier to commute by bicycle (many have already, I know) by providing secure bike lockers and storage areas for equipment. A lot of bicycle commuting has to do with the type of job you have, too.

What have your experiences been with bicycle commuting? When HeyMeg wrote about this topic in 2007, safety was a big concern. Still a major issue? Access to trails from outlying cities?

This Second Saturday Help Bring Art to At-Risk Kids

DelgadoThis Second Saturday, enjoy your art and share it, too. Head over to Raphael Delgado Art Studio, 1018 22nd Street, for a unique pairing of art and the spirit of giving. But don’t show up empty-handed! This party is for the giver, not the Grinch. Bring along some art materials to donate to the Stanford Home for Children’s annual Crayons to Canvas art supply drive.

This drive provides materials for the nonprofit’s art therapy program helping teens from at-risk families. They are specifically in need of art supplies for youth ages 10-18.

With art provisions in tow, Continue reading “This Second Saturday Help Bring Art to At-Risk Kids”