Archive for May 5th, 2010

Midtown: the Brand


We were a bit perplexed when we got a press release announcing that the new ‘Brand Identity’ of Midtown Sacramento would be unveiled last week.  We were even more perplexed when we actually saw it.

It’s not that the logo isn’t nice.  It’s well designed, I’d even say it’s visually ‘catchy’, as far as that goes.  The scribble reminds me of ’50s Italian abstract sculpture more than anything, so Hot Italian was probably stoked. 

But I truly can’t imagine the thought process that went into choosing ‘Go Your Own Way’ as a tag line, since A) Fleetwood Mac will probably sue us; B) who thought it was a good idea to associate Midtown with a rock group more famous for cocaine addiction than anything else?  Was this just a tip-of-the-hat to that certain uber-successful Midtown businessman who made his bones as a coke dealer back in the ’70s? 

Whatever.  I’m inclined to ‘roll with it’ as local style-maker and boutique owner Olivia Coelho suggested in her comments on Heckasac.  It’s done, it cost an ass-load of money (don’t even ask, it will make you so angry your teeth will hurt), and it could have been way worse. 

Rob Kerth, quoted in the Business Journal, suggested plenty of uses for the new logo.  “The logo will show up on t-shirts, banners and window stickers the association is making available to businesses. We’ll think of some other clever uses along the way.”

Reader Marion Millin sent us her suggestions for other clever uses.  We thought they were too good not to share:

Hire Ground Chuck to draw the logo in chalk on the sidewalk in front of participating businesses

Hold hop scotch competitions and let kids compete for whose game is craziest

Print the new logo on meal tickets with prices, tax and totals artfully spread on the “grid”

Tell people it’s an old Gold Rush symbol used by miners to hide location of their claim

Hire Midtown Hipsters to get tattooed with the new logo

Encourage use of the cartoon grid as the template for Midtown bar crawls, bike rides and scavenger hunts

Check departing patrons level of inebriation by having them try to trace the logo

Bumperstickers on Humvees and Escalades: “Midtown: Get Out Of My Way”

Require barristas to draw new logo in foam on espresso drinks

Social networking to spread the buzz that we are now “Scribblemento”

T-shirts for locals: “Welcome to Midtown: Now Go Away”

Tell people the real logo will be ready soon

-Marion Millin

Take a Walk on the Wild Side

By Niki Kangas    photos by Scott Duncan

At one point in history, zoos were no better than circuses in terms of wild animal capture and exploitation. After discovering this sad fact as a child, my curiosity about zoos vanished for decades. I became an avid backpacker, often observing wild bobcats, moose, marmots, deer, and other critters on their own terms.  Then, as I had children of my own, I was surprised to find the Sacramento Zoo in our Lazy Susan of haunts; this nearby showcase of biodiversity’s best was just too good to pass up. Read more »

The Life and Times of Ground Chuck

By Dennis Yudt photos by Scott Duncan

Recently, Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and a few associates made a pit stop at the venerable Midtown watering hole, the Rubicon Brewing Company. While there, he was goaded into singing “Happy Birthday” to Charles Adrian Thomas, a Rubicon regular who was celebrating his 41st year on earth. Mayor Johnson, never one to oppose a majority voice, gamely serenaded the birthday boy, muffing up his name only slightly. By all accounts, the mayor did a half-way decent job, adding one more episode in the life and times of Mr. Thomas, or, as every good denizen of Midtown knows him: ‘Ground Chuck.’ Read more »

Cooking With Class

Story and Photos by Becky Grunewald

There are almost as many ways to learn to cook as there are dishes to make.  I came to it by necessity. Read more »

Interview: Shawn Eldredge

By William Burg  photos by Jesse Vasquez

Shawn Eldredge is a house painter, general contractor and neighborhood activist. His first attempt at public office, a bid for Sacramento mayor in 2008, gave him more notoriety for his long hair and Led Zeppelin T-shirts than his policy positions. After shedding the hair for a charity event this spring, and trading the T-shirt for a Kevin Seconds-designed “Shawn Eldredge for District 3” T-shirt (with a zeppelin on it), Shawn explained some of his vision for Sacramento while hanging out at Temple Coffee’s 28th & S Street location. Read more »

Art Picks, May 2010

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Art Ellis Supply

By Jackson Griffith photos by Scott Duncan

“Art is the only way to run away without leaving home,” a sign over the door tells you as you’re leaving Art Ellis Supply, a comfortably funky purveyor of artist’s and bookbinder’s materials that has been a fixture on J Street in Midtown Sacramento since 1948. It’s something Sharon Tanovitz, half of the husband-and-wife team that has owned the shop since 1976, found somewhere and decided to share. The source? “Anonymous,” she says. “The other one I’ve always wanted to do was: ‘Remember – everyone was a beginner once.'” Read more »