Archive for August, 2009

Thanks to Opa! Opa!

Opa! Opa! has generously offered to donate 10% of its take this weekend to the New Era Community Garden. The New Era is an exciting new garden at 26th and C of which I am a member. It used to be a parking lot and we are building it from the ground up. We don’t have many resources yet, and need money for things like a shed, hoses, benches, etc. So, swing by Opa! Opa!, or Sweeties, or the Coffee kiosk things this Saturday and Sunday pretty please! I hear they have three kinds of Metaxa, and everybody loves that.

Desolation Wilderness

hikingThis writer has made no secret of her affinity with anything green and growing, or of her frequent ache for somewhere spacious to sit solitary (critters welcome) beneath our blanket skies. Somehow I managed to wind up settled in the same Sacramentan rat race as you, and certainly its glimmering lights, though representing the proximity of our favorite distractions, start to wear your eyes out sometimes too. So this summer, if the call of the wild beckons and you only have a day to split town, there is just the spot to escape to, lovely as Yosemite yet much closer, and lacking the perpetual busloads of visitors that crawl like ants along its every beaten trail. Read more »

A Last Look at the Bel-Vue?


By Bill Burg

The Bel-Vue Apartment Building, located at 809 L Street, is an understated and long-neglected landmark that faces demolition in the near future. Some of Sacramento’s architectural landmarks are obvious, based on their prominent role in history, association with well-known individuals, or architectural grandeur and scale. Sometimes, buildings become landmarks because of their association with ordinary people, and simply avoided demolition long enough to be recognized as historic. The Bel-Vue, originally known as the American Cash Apartments, is a building of the latter sort. Despite its landmark status, it faces demolition by its owner, the city of Sacramento. Read more »

Mason Wong

wongMason Wong flashes a grin from across the table in the lounge at Mason’s, his popular upscale Midtown eatery, clearly loving the success he’s so notably earned.  His hair, worn long, jets up from his head in places like uncoiled springs.  Clad in tee shirt, jeans and athletic shoes, he is relaxed and at ease but his eyes fix you intently, never leaving your face. Beneath the calm exterior, the man is a bundle of energy, missing nothing, on top of his game. Read more »

Let’s Get Small


We’ve been talking about changing Midtown Monthly to a standard size magazine format pretty much since the day we took over. We inherited the big ‘Superman vs. Muhammad Ali’ size from the original publishers who had designed Midtown Monthly to be about half the size of a newspaper page, newspapers being, not-so-coincidentally, their core business.   As we scrambled to learn the day-in, day-out routine of publishing a magazine we realized that any reformatting plans would have to be put off for another day while we learned the ropes. Over two years later, that day is here.

While the larger format had some benefits (BIG cover photos, and the ability to put way too much information on any given page) it had drawbacks as well- portability, for one. Given that nearly every copy of the Monthly is picked up by someone who is out doing something, the fact that MidMo had to be folded in half to fit anywhere but the back of a large pickup truck was kind of a bummer.  I’ve seen copies of Popular Mechanics that survived the Korean War looking better than an old copy of Midtown Monthly that was carried through Midtown on a bicycle.   Cost was a factor too.  Since we printed a non-standard size, we paid a non-standard price.  Once we crunched the numbers we realized that by making the magazine a little bit smaller we could afford to print more pages- a direct application of the old ‘Less is More’ concept.

Regular readers of this magazine will notice that in addition to the new size, we’ve also introduced a new layout design.   The improved design is cleaner, brighter, and, we think, easier to read.  In response to reader comments, we did away with the colored background pages that sometimes made for challenging reading- especially in the dim light of a café.   Credit for the new design goes to the hardest-working man in graphic design, our new and ambitious Art Director, Aaron Winters.  Some of you may be familiar with Aaron from his excellent art publication, Exit Strategy, and his work with many local bands and arts groups. 

I hope you enjoy the new issue- please let us know what you think.

Happiest Time of Year

Don’t forget that the Sacramento Buddhist Church Bazaar is this weekend. Like you would!

I can’t wait to eat that Somen and buy some plants and then I’ll eat some Udon and check out the games and then I might eat some sushi and look at the arts and crafts and then I’ll probably eat a desert and have a look at the ikebana. At that point it will be time to grab a Kirin and watch some folk dancing and to end the day, I think I will grab some tempura and look at all of the calligraphy displays. After that, I will eat anything that is left. See you there!
This year there is a free parking under the freeway between 7th and 8th, with a free shuttle.
Of course, this all takes palce at the corner of X and Riverside (11th) on August 8th and 9th from noon until 9pm.

Hot August Weekend

Sacto has always been a car nut kinda town.   
Flat streets + military base + nothin’ to do = lots of folks who tinkered with cars, building up either hot rods, customs, sports cars or some amalgamation of the above.
The California Auto Museum (ne Towe Ford Musuem) has tapped into that history and is becoming more active in the local auto hobbyist scene.  This past Saturday they, along with the Midtown Business Assn, sponsored their inaugural California Auto Museum’s Big Event on the Road (C.A.M.B.E.R.) with a car show in the heart of Midtown.  
The next morning was the GIANT ‘Reno’ swap meet at Arco Arena– why ‘Reno’, you may ask? It’s a long story, but the short version is that there was a major pissing match between some factions of Hot August Nights, resulting in the ‘official’ HAN swap meet relocating to Sacto.  Bad for them, good for us!
All in all, a fun weekend for local car nuts  (and non-locals, too- people came from all over for both events).  Some pics from both…

tupperware Cobra and a couple of volks-produkt

circa 1930 Ford Model A

Mopar madness

Very original Ford Model T

Plenty of Hot Rods on hand

Studebaker Starlite Coupe- Raymond Loewy’s finest moment

trailer load of gold at the swap!

1954 Sears Allstate (manufactured by Puch)

August Art Picks

Read more »