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July, 2010 | Midtown Monthly

Archive for July, 2010

There will be ANGER… and weenies.

Mark your calendars for Thee Kenneth Anger Film Fest and Weenie Roast next Thursday, July 22 at 7pm at Thee Hub hosted by Midmo’s own Becky Grunewald and yours truly. Thee Kenneth Anger Film Fest and Weenie Roast will feature plenty of Anger and the $4 admission price comes with a weenie.

To whet your appetite for Anger and weenies I give you the above still from Anger’s 1949 crowd pleaser Puce Moment, one of 6 Anger films we’ll be screening and discussing. In addition to the weenies and films I have it on good authority that there may be a special appearance by Satan himself and if the stars align properly you can expect some janky-ass t-shirts to commemorate the event.

In order to get you in the mood for next week’s festivities I’ll leave you with a link to an MP3 of some rad tunes by Jonathan Halper who’s music replaced Verdi’s I Villis on the soundtrack to Puce Moment in 1966.

Hail satan!

California State Fair: 20th and H in Midtown!

The California State Fair opens tomorrow… but did you know that the State Fair used to be held IN Midtown? Bill Burg’s got the details…

Sneak Peek! August issue cover shoot

Take a look! Intrepid MidMo videographer Becky Grunewald documented this weekend’s cover shoot for the August issue (and loaned us the croc!) The ‘Summer’ issue will be on the stands around August…

Big Weekend!

This is another one of those crazy Second Saturday weekends with almost TOO much going on!  Aside from the usual (Second Saturday art walk, Midtown Bazaar, Second Sunday Antique Faire) there are some great events scheduled… here’s our picks:

Sacramento Japanese Film Festival at the Crest

Summertime is Film Fest time here in Sacramento- we just finished up another great edition of the French Film Festival and July offers the Sacramento Japanese Film Festival, now in its sixth year!   The SJFF has five full-length films lined up this year.  Opening night offers Departures, a wise and funny film that deals with Japanese attitudes about death. We here at MidMo HQ are already making plans to check out Saturday’s flicks: K-20: Legend of the Mask, a parallel history superhero flick set in a 1949 Japan where WWII never happened, and Throne of Blood, Akiro Kurosawa’s 1957 masterpiece.  Sunday offers two very different offerings: the Jacques Tati-esque comedy White on Rice and Memories of Matsuko, a tragic-comic film starring Japanese pop star Miki Nakatani.

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Sacramento History Night at McMartin Realty

McMartin Realty at 21st and K will host a Second Saturday event that will feature photos, artifacts and books on local history. Photo collections on display will include items provided by members of the Sacramento County Historical Society and other local history organizations including the Sacramento Library’s Sacramento Room. Several authors of local history books including Sacramento’s Chinatown, Sacramento’s Southern Pacific Shops, California State Fair, Roseville, Sacramento’s Alkali Flat and Sacramento Postcard History Series, will be present to sign their books. Other exhibits will highlight advertisements and photos from Sacramento’s early real estate development era, including print ads for neighborhoods like Boulevard Park, Oak Park and West Curtis Oaks. Wells Fargo Bank will have a genuine Wells Fargo stagecoach on site!

Favela Rising at Sol Collective

Winner of 36 international film festival awards, Favela Rising is an incredible documentary that tells the story of Anderson Sá, a former drug-trafficker who turns social reformer in Rio de Janeiro’s dangerous hillside slums. The film shows as part of Amnesty International and Sol Collective’s monthly Second Sunday film series focusing on human rights issues.   Through hip-hop music, the rhythms of the street, and Afro-Brazilian dance he rallies his community to counteract the violent oppression of drug gangs and corrupt police. At the dawn of liberation, just as collective mobility is overcoming all odds and Anderson’s grassroots Afro Reggae movement is at the height of its success, a tragic accident threatens to silence the movement forever.

Tonight at 58 Degrees!

Our very own MidMo wine writer, Michele Hebert, is hosting a tasting tonight (Wednesday) at 58 degrees from 5-8 pm.  Here are the delicious  deets:

$10/person

When it gets as hot as it has been this summer, often times the only real relief comes in the form of an appropriately chilled glass of refreshing white wine. In this week’s Wednesday night tasting, we are excited to have special guest, Michele Hebert (be sure to check out her wine recommendations in Midtown Monthly), who will be taking you on a refreshing and, oh so, enjoyable line-up of unique and delicious whites (and one rosé) which will certainly not disappoint. So, we invite you to sit back, relax, as we turn the volume up real high on the delicious and good dials and get ready for an evening of serious appreciation, refreshment, and above all else, enjoyment.

Berger 2009 Gruner Veltliner | Kamptal Kremstal
Weingut Berger is an award-winning family run estate located in the heart of Austria’s famed Kamptal Kremstal winegrowing region. The 2009 Gruner Veltliner was named by the NY Times as “the best
white wine $15 and under.” It is fresh and expressive, with citrus, floral and mineral flavors that linger in the mouth.Charm and value are what typifies this must-try Austrian white.

Mercouri 2009 Kallisto | Peloponnese
Over the years, successive generations of the Mercouri family have rebuilt the winery, replanted the vineyards, all while doing their best to preserve the integrity and storied history of wines hailing from the Peloponnesian Islands. Today, the result is a modern winery producing some of the finest wines from ancient Greek grapes available to us. This wine is a unique blend of Robola and Assyrtiko. Enjoy its enlivening citrus aromas that lead onto a palette full of well-developed and rounded flavors, highlighted by freshly grated lemon zest.

Delaunay 2009 Rosé “Les Cabotines” | Touraine
This salmon-pink rosé made from a combination of Pineau d’Aunis and Gamay grapes is quite the value. Having recently been awarded a Gold Medal from the Concours Agricole in Paris (apparently the only French wine competition that matters), we are looking forward to enjoying lots of this unique and refreshing rosé from Touraine throughout the remainder of the summer. Allow exuberant flavors of fresh lemon, savory herbs and wild redcurrant invigorate your palette, as this wine dials up both the delicious and good factor that is central to the enjoyment of about just any wine.

Gysler 2009 Scheurebe Halbtrocken | Rheingau
Weingut Gysler has been operating in the Rheingau village of Alzey since 1450. Each of the estate’s wines consistently displays gratifying delicacy, firm authority, and certainly made to maximize your interest and enjoyment. Scheurebe, was born from the union between Riesling and a “wild vine” native to the region – though don’t believe those who might tell you its Silvaner. This wine exhibits flavors of wild Concord grapes, a hint of blackcurrants, and a healthy dose of vibrant grapefruit which is all brought together by a suggestion of residual sweetness on-the-finish. We really love this wine: “Scheurebe in my glass, or nothing else!”

Leitz 2008 “Dragonstone” Riesling QbA | Rheingau
Universally regarded as one of the rising stars of the new generation of Rheingau winemakers, Josef Leitz has had his hand in producing extraordinarily aromatic and vigorous wines for quite some time now. This wine contrasts crisp, cool fruit flavors with the earthy, broadly aromatic profile typical of the Rheingau with just a touch of sweetness. It’s focused and cleanly defined, showing an unusual sophistication for an entry-level wine.

City Blows it on K Street – AGAIN

We’ve been following this story for about a year now.

When local boutique Artifacts opened up in the old Toy Room space on K Street, we cheered. Artifacts offers art supplies, clothing, art books and assorted hipster/skateboarder knicknacks. They have also mounted some of the best art shows in the city over the past couple of years.

When the store moved into the space next door to the old Toy Room, they did a great job of remodeling that store- the best part was the sleek wood slat facade that replaced the store’s cheap and crappy ’80s storefront.  While the upgrade wasn’t quite as nice as the Cosmopolitan building at 10th and K, it is the next-best upgrade K Street has seen.

So what does the city do?  Makes them tear it out, of course.  Turns out that the building dates to 1870, and the new facade isn’t within preservation standards.  That would be fine (and in fact we’d be cheering the decision)  IF any part of the original facade was left.  Anyone familiar with K Street knows that the storefront that Artifacts replaced was not even from the 197os, let alone the 1870s.  The damage was done LONG ago.

Did the building owners file the correct permits?  No.   Does that mean that  a blighted strip in the most intensely screwed up region of Downtown should lose one of the most appealing storefronts?   Why is it that the city could not have worked with them to make the best of a bad situation?  When the city is throwing tens of millions of dollars at rehabbing K Street, why is it that they didn’t do what was clearly the best for everyone?

Money.  If we were talking about a multi-million dollar business created by a large developer, the city would not only have worked with them on the permits, they’d have thrown five or ten million city dollars their way to grease the wheels. 

What about the history, you say?  Remember, this is the same city that happily tore down the historic Merriam at 13th and J for a poorly thought out expansion of the convention center, tore down the historic Francesca Building so that the Hyatt would have a view of the Capitol and, best of all, tore down the Gold Rush-era Ebner Building in Old Sac so that a REPLICA could be built in its place.  Why a replica rather than restoring the building?  Because building a replica is cheaper than restoring the real building.  So much for history.

Way to go.

Operation: DAYRAGE!

by Becky Grunewald

On first introduction, the Sacramento tradition known as the dayrage can sound kind of like a pubcrawl, just like a Sac Treat resembles a michelada (see sidebar) – but there are subtle differences.  One is that you take the day off of work.  Two is that you start in the morning.  Three is that it’s not cheesy like a pubcrawl because, well….it just isn’t. Read more »

Midtown State Fair

By William Burg

The California Exposition and State Fairgrounds, site of the California state fair since 1968, seems like a permanent fixture to many Sacramentans. Older generations still remember the old fairgrounds at Stockton and Broadway. But that site was not the original location of the fair either; it was chosen when Sacramento’s urban growth crowded the fairgrounds out of their first permanent home – in Midtown at 20th and H Streets. Read more »

Wine Picks, July 2010

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Musical Chairs

Lee Bob Watson has been kicking out rootsy music in the Sacramento region for over a decade.  He’s best known for his long stint in the band Jackpot, but is focused on his solo work these days. As part of the Western Family Orchestra  (Lee Bob, Gabe Nelson and others) he will be producing a series of radio shows for KVMR, Nevada City. The first live recording will be Friday, July 23 at the historic Nevada Theater in Nevada City, CA, with special guests Aaron Ross, the Moore Brothers and Bart Davenport. Read more »