Archive for May 3rd, 2011

Editor’s Letter, May 2011

When the notion of an Old Sac Issue came up there were grumblings. Sure, everyone on the MM crew had some fond memories of days (or nights) there, but a WHOLE ISSUE? Really?


The interesting thing about Old Sac is that – as Becky discovered while working on her article – the more you look, the more you find. The articles in this issue are a good example. We didn’t even touch on the Railroad Museum, Evangeline’s, the fast-fading murals under the waterfront, the history of the riverboats, the Sacramento Union building, The Marshes of Two Street, the Indo Arch at the entrance on K, or Eleanor McClatchy, the heroine who helped save Old Sac from the wrecking ball. We just ran out of room.

Old Sac is neat. Sure, it’s easy to take for granted, but if you can mentally cut through all the tourist t-shirts, dreamcatchers and James Dean novelties, there is an awful lot of history stuffed in a few close blocks – especially when you compare it to the city east of 3rd Street. Most Sacramentans tend to forget that Old Town even exists until Aunt Petunia from Fargo comes to visit, and then they make a cursory trip, missing most of what the area has to offer in their haste to get out before they get a parking ticket.

I have to admit that I used to be in that category myself. Even though I’d once worked as a DJ in a club in the basement of the Union, I never gave Old Sac much thought after I’d quit. I’d check out the free outdoor Sunday night movies once in a while, or ride through as part of the Thanksgiving Day bike ride, but that was about it. Out of sight, out of mind. Then, six years ago, I had a revelation.

Over the years, the News and Review has experimented with many ways of promoting their Sammies music awards. In 2005 they had the idea of having all the nominated bands perform in venues throughout Old Sac – all on the same night. Having 20+ bands all playing simultaneously in one tiny neighborhood sounds like a crazy idea, but it worked. For once, Old Sac was packed, not with tourists, but with Sacramentans. In a few short blocks you could check out a half dozen different types of music from a huge variety of acts. It reminded me of a mini South by Southwest. For whatever reason, SNR never tried that again. It’s a shame, because for that one night, Old Sacramento seemed like part of Sacramento again. It was wonderful.

The Firehouse

By Sarah Singleton  Photos by Scott Duncan

The Firehouse has long been an oasis of good taste in the kitsch desert that is Old Sac. Read more »

Backdoor Lounge

By Niki Kangas Photos by Scott Duncan

Tucked out of the way in a cobblestone-paved alley in Old Sacramento, a small old worldly sign quietly beckons the passerby: take refuge at the Backdoor Lounge.  Read more »

Mati’s Indian Express

By Liv Moe  Photos by Scott Duncan

About a year ago I found myself working in the culinary wasteland that is Natomas. Most days I bagged my lunch, but on the days I didn’t Read more »

Box Set

By Tim Foster

Bytes of Reality, the Crocker’s new exhibit of work by Daniel Douke showcases 24 exquisite trompe l’oeil creations by the southern California artist.  Read more »

Sacramento History Tours

By William Burg

Until recently, tours of Sacramento were limited to Old Sacramento, in a sort of designated “history petting zoo.” Read more »

Paper Pistols

By Niki Kangas  Photo by Raoul Ortega

Ira Skinner runs a recording studio with local drum pro Matt McCord and mans the sound board at several local venues, including Luigi’s Fun Garden in Midtown. In fact, Skinner has eschewed the day job thing for seven years now, and is making a living hustling in the name of music Read more »

Musical Chairs, May 2011

Bill Hughes

We were stoked to get this submission from local author, poet and well-known Doors groupie William J Hughes. In addition to being an official ‘Midtown character,’ Bill is the author of a new novel, Salud, Read more »

Wine Picks – May 2011

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