Traces of the past

It’s been a while, almost like I skipped a week and pretended I didn’t. Sketchy! I have found some super cool things over the last few weeks. A teeny itsy bitsy bike wreck forced a new parking /walking 14 blocks to work scheme which in turn led me to discover (and rediscover) some cool remnants of the Sac that used to be.  Like this cool stone (I know there is a name for it, read for Bill Burg’s enlightening comment below) near 4th and Q.

Tony Beretta’s. I had a dream of opening a bar here once. Now I have a dream of someone else opening a bar here.

This Southern Pacific marker is white on the other side so I walked by it a million times before I noticed it. Somewhere about 7th and T, maybe?

And finally, try this. Especially near Franklin and Broadway, where it is needed. I saw someone rip a handful of hair out of another person’s head about 8 feet from this sign once.



Phoning it in.

I was completely surprised to find no blog post from me this morning. It’s the other Monday right? I guess I got a little too caught up in Mother’s Day partying and forgot. Or posting slipped my mind because I kept thinking I would come up with a plan. It’s still Monday in my house so here goes nothing.  I present pictures from around town that have little or nothing to do with each other. Above is my favorite graffiti. A friend told me that a few years ago there was a pair of shoes on top of the curb. If you have any extras this would be a good place to leave them.


That “Eyesore dot com” crackpot finally got his way and someone is cleaning up the old gas station on Alhambra & T. I am also stoked, but I wish it was going to be something more exciting than a Subway, like a Beard Papa franchise.  I wonder what his next eyesore will be?


I love the Johnny Broadways’ running rib. The Nikes crack me up. I love Johnny Broadways’ peach cobbler too. LOVE.

Finally, did you know that the fabric on RT buses has little Capitol buildings on it? Adorable.

And there it is. I should be ashamed of myself, but I am not.

Leonidas Taylor Memorial

If you drive on the Old River Road north of Bryte past the old Horse Cow, past several ostentatious mansions on the other side of the river and just a bit past the giant white tires, you will run into an anachronistic statue on the side of the road. The text has softened over time and become difficult to read, but it’s worth a closer look.

You’ll notice that it has broken and been repaired sometime in its history and also that some j-hole tagged it.
It says-
ERECTED to the memory of Leonidas Taylor born in the city of Philadelphia on the 3d of July 1832. He grew to manhood in the city of St. Louis and was killed by the explosion of the Steamer Belle opposite this spot on the 5th of February 1856. His body was never found. Far distant from those who love him. The waters of the Sacramento will roll over him thill that day when the sea shall give up its dead.

Coming home to Samson

A year or so ago, the SNR a man on the street question was something like, “What do you think is the best public art in Sac?” and 4 out of 5 answered the ceramic man on a can in the Downtown Plaza. Given the question was asked in the mall so the outcome was skewed, but that is WRONG! So wrong. Sac has so many pieces of great public art, amongst my favorites are the HEARTHEARTHEART benchs near the Convention Center because of the wordplay, the weird not-a-skateboard ramp thing in the West End project near 15th & Capitol and the classic painted poles on 16th & Q. In semi-public art news, have you seen the Chilhuly in the CAL-EPA building? And don’t get me started on murals. Really. Don’t.

But hands down, seriously abso-friggen-lutely the best public art in Sac, in my opinion, is Samson at the Sacramento International Airport. It was made by Brian Goggin, who I didn’t realize also did the awesome “Defenestration” in SF until just now. Samson is just so joyful and clever, it makes me smile every time I see it. I also love it because I am a vintage crank and while I never want to use an old suitcase again, but I do love looking at them. In conclusion- well done SMF!



And because my editor hasn’t taken away my blog password yet and through the magic of Facebook I can finally spell his name correctly, I now give you the greatest piece of art in my house. Yep, not midtown related at all. Give me a teeny bit of power and I will abuse it within an inch of its life. Anyway, Hands by Sac artist, hand model and awesome guy Patrick Slesicki.



P.S. My house is way cuter than that ugly ceiling fan conveys.

Where the Tiger meets the Dragon

I am always surprised when people don’t know about the tile house in Curtis Park. It’s not like this house is a shirking violet, but it is a block or two off of the main thoroughfare. I could tell you exactly where it is, but what’s the fun in that?

In unrelated news, John Olmsted died earlier this month. Without him, Sacramento and the world would not have the American River Parkway. Rest in Peace, sir. Thanks for everything. His son made a movie about his life, “My Father who Art in Nature.”


Here at Midmo HQ, we have been working hard to catalog all giant’s debris left around Sacramento. They seem content to leave their belongings everywhere! Please note the following examples.

forks half smoked cigars

empty cans

Coke cups

coffee cups

paintbrushes and palettes. 

We are very concerned with this phenomenon and are currently following up on all reports of giant trash. Please comment with any information you have below. We thank you for your time.

Sac Vernac

I have been trying to blog at least every other Monday. What I am interested in may not float everyone’s boat, but I want to focus on Sacramento’s vernacular landscape. Or in other words, the boring shit that people don’t really pay attention to. Your bus benches, your signposts, what have you.  Hands down, the best class I took in college, was taught by Paul Groth, whose main interest was ordinary architecture.  I wrote a 25 page paper on curbs for that class. No joke. Curbs. 25 pages. Unfortunately it was pretty crappy and got and deserved a C. I would love a do-over on that. Since that class I have kept my eyes open and paid attention to the mundane. So that will be the boring-to-some Mondays.  There will be some exciting stuff too. For people who like exciting.

Here is a rad old barn that is in the alley between P & Q and 17th & 18th.

If you happen to be interested in ordinary cultural landscapes as well, you may also want to read some articles by Professor Groth’s mentor J.B. Jackson.

Robert’s Homebrew Academy

By Guphy Gustafson  Photo by Scott Duncan

Robert’s Homebrew Academy is exactly what it sounds like: a guy named Robert teaches people how to brew beer (and make cheese!) for a stipend Read more »

Danny O’Neil’s

Nearly everyone who passes by Alhambra and T notices Danny O’Neils. Currently, the sign only says his name, but it formerly pointed out the nature of his business, furniture restoration. I have always dug his homemade door and windows. I’ll bet they were something back in the day.

But blah, blah, blah right? We have all seen and wondered at Danny O’Neils, but my very favorite part actually takes place 1.5 blocks away on T under the freeway overpass.

It’s not the easiest thing to take a picture of the sidewalk. It reads “Danny O’Neil 1-12-52” if you can’t read it. Kind of sweet, no?

And in the Odds and Ends dept:

I rode around the alley behind Danny’s place to see if I could see more. I couldn’t, but I found this. I call it Kisses and Kale.

And if that isn’t enough Sacto, check out how trippy this town can be in Zach Hill’s latest vid.

Primitives Talk

River City Write

Compiled by William Burg, James Cameron, Tim Foster, Becky Grunewald, Guphy Gustafson, Niki Kangas and Liv Moe

While William T. Vollmann is probably the most respected author to ever intentionally settle down in Sacramento, the River City has had its fair share of bright literary lights over the years Read more »