Category Archives: Culture

Sacramento Welcomes Odd Cookie

Downtown Sacramento is now home to a new – and eccentric – bakery.

Odd Cookie Bakery Cafe and Bar has moved into the old home of the Bar Rouse on 9th Street near J Street. An opening is set for mid-December.

cupcakes topped with crispy bacon

The locally owned business will offer unexpected food and drink combinations: cupcakes topped with fried chicken, deep-fried calzones, sweet and spicy cocktails, and so much more. Traditional treats will also be available for less adventurous eaters. Yum!

The Weird and the Wacky of Sacramento

Over 7,000 new residents moved to Sacramento last year alone, making it the fastest growing Californian city. These newcomers are likely enjoying cheaper rents and warmer temperatures alongside all the funky, good old-fashioned weird stuff Sacramento has to offer.

As the city’s director of tourism, Nick Leonti, says “Sacramento is about 80% weird stuff.” So whether you are on your way in or out of Sacramento, you should definitely check these out:

Home of the Martini– just a few miles out of Sacramento, you’ll hit Martinez, the birthplace of the classic cocktail, the Martini. Cheers.

Jelly Belly Factory– located at 1 Jelly Belly Lane, this place is wall-to-wall jellybeans of the most delicious kind. Once you have donned your paper hat, you can walk along the factory floors to watch the magic happen and hear the fascinating history of the Jelly Belly craze.

Jelly Belly jelly beans

Osaka-Ya has been making manju and mochi since 1963; they are one of the three remaining manju shops in Northern California. But it is also a snowcone heaven. The storefront is a tiny shop tucked away near the freeway on 10th Street. From a small window next to the shop’s entrance, they sell snow cones that run from “extra small” (about as big as your face) to “extra large” (major brainfreeze potential).

Leonti explains that the city’s “history” of weird, stems from the gold rush, when scrappy adventurers from all over the world arrived in droves. Today, that quirk remains alive and well.

Global Local Festival

Keeping it local; going global. That seems to summarize the theme of Sacramento’s Global Local Festival.  Established by Estella Sanchez a few years ago, the event is organized by the non-profit entity she co-founded – Sol Collective.  This was set up to promote “the arts, culture, activism and healthy living.”

The idea of the event – which this year is happening on September 22 – is to bring the community together before the summer is truly over to “enjoy the last bits of sunshine.” There, people will enjoy local musicians who produce “unique sounds [and] socially conscious content.”

This year, live performances include: DJ Nadi, Gingee, and The Philharmonik.

Poor People’s Campaign

The Poor People’s Campaign – a national event established back in 1967 by Martin Luther King Jr. – is on its way to Sacramento.  This is  now 5 decades after King’s assassination and the legacy is living on through the Campaign.  Steering committee member Faye Wilson Kennedy pointed out:

“You may be living a good life now but if your money, if your source of income dries up or your resources dry up, you’re going to have more in common with that person that’s homeless than you realize.”

Fascinatingly – and perhaps somewhat disappointingly – it seems that not much has changed since the project began 50 years ago.  As Northern California National Moral Revival of the Poor People’s Campaign’s Kevin Carter said:

“Back then, it was three pillars which were justice, jobs and equality. Now we have 4 pillars. What we’re talking about now is poverty, systemic racism, the war economy, and we’re talking about ecological devastation. While the local group has been around for several years, this is the first time it has connected with other civil rights groups on a national level.”

Another really important factor of the project is to try to get everyone in the community at large to realize that no-one is immune and everyone has their part to play.


Sacramento: Infused with Culture

It seems a little disproportional that Sacramento is so rarely publicized given that it has the largest population out of the entire state of California.  But thankfully that could be changing with both filmmaking and concerts.

The movie Lady Bird was recently filmed in Sacramento. Taking home two Golden Globe Awards the story of a teenager in her last days of high school. Although in the past famous movies have been filmed in Sacramento (including Memoirs of a Geisha), Sacramento still has not had the attention it deserves. This is especially strange given that it can be used for pretty much any middle-American location.  With the filming of Lady Bird, $50,000 of business each day was generated for Sacramento.

With the concerts, Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center is thriving these days.  Having sold over 473,000 tickets, this made it the 15th busiest concert venue throughout America (and 35th in the world) in 2017. Those numbers have put it on the map – especially throughout America –  as Vivek Ranadive, owner and Chairman of the Sacramento Kings said: “The world’s biggest acts have a new stage to call home.  Golden 1 Center is a must-play for artists of every genre, creating an epicenter of entertainment for the city of Sacramento and Northern California.”

Street Performances

It seems that there has been some controversy on Sacramento’s street performances recently. As such, officials from The City of Sacramento have joined forces with the arts community to try to improve the relationship between the two to eliminate confusion on rights and to enhance mutual respect. One particular complaint given was noise complaints so that is also being addressed now in an overall effort to build a system that is viable for everyone.

The City then decided to give musicians an open opportunity to do what they wanted on a Saturday afternoon. With #BuskingDay2017 partnerships local businesses were subject to way larger crowds than usual, boosting their sales.

In general it’s been found to be good for the local economy too. A local city study found that cultural tourists are spending an average of $30 per person which generates an additional $112 million for the local economy every year. thereafter that is put into the community and Sacramento citizens buy and sell local too.

For the future plans are being considered on how to bolster the economy while making it more diverse and creative, involving the arts, food and technology as well. Local buskers would be most welcome to participate.



Bringing American Values Back

At least in Sacramento, with Amanda Blac. With her ‘Make America Kind Again,’ sign that she’s been using since election night, she is trying to make the country a kind place. And lots of people and companies are getting on board. Companies selling products are getting behind the slogan and those products are being highly sought out. Now Blac is making bags, decals and acrylic tumblers for cups with her sign.

What began initially as a play on Trump’s campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again,’ has now substantially expanded from the initial small community project Blac dreamt up to “snowballing sales [that are] growing exponentially.” Blac has even received an international order, which shocked her that someone in Japan wanted to support the message.

And what is the message exactly? Blac explains that it is not political but rather “a message that kindness is something we can all agree on. It’s not about the winner or loser. It’s about what people of both parties can do to really come together and move forward.”

She added: “Being kind again is about trying to spread awareness of respecting other people’s views and values. It’s about being respectful and acknowledging that we live in a diverse society. It’s okay to be different – that’s what’s great about America. It’s just about respecting everyone’s differences.”

Living History Events

state-parkLater on this month, California State Parks and Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park will be offering the public two Living History events.

For those interested in the history of the area – back in 1846 – visitors to the Park will be able to join docents clad in period attire who will act out what day-to-day life was like back in that time. Between 10.00 and 17.00 during the day the participants will be able to talk to the blacksmith, barter with the trade store clerk and engage in other regular activities that were a part of life back then. Cameras are allowed and pictures can be taken while seated in the covered wagon.

Then, between 18.30 and 20.00, every 10 minutes Candlelight Tours will set off.  There will be no regular lights, just the use of candles to light up the Fort for the guides to direct small groups into the more intimate rooms so that they can see what it was like for those who picked up their families and went to seek out a better life in early California.  The participants get to listen in on discussions typical discussions that took place in homes of Fort inhabitants about their neighbors and comment on 1846 current events.  The last part is partaking of a piece of pie and hot drink while discussing which 1846 story was their particular highlight.

So get ready for this November 21st event.  At $7 per adult and $5 per youth (with kids five years and younger for free) this brings today’s locals in line with how Sacramento living was for people centuries ago.

Sacramento: Bolstering Art and Culture

street-muralWhen Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center opens, it will be home to the “Coloring Book,” a sculpture by Jeff Koons the city bought for $8m. This will certainly put Sacramento on the global art map since it is a sculpture on which pretty much everyone has an opinion.

Another boost to the region’s art scene is the prominence of the Art Hotel installation downtown.  It is hoped that this will drive the arts landscape further into the spotlight since Sacramento has historically not been known for its artistic side.  All this is great news for Sacramento since as Elliot Fouts, a Sacramento gallery owner noted, “anything that gets people thinking about art, gets them excited about art is really great.”

Let’s not forget Sacramento’s Street Art. At the end of August people in Sacramento were privy to the first Sacramento Mural Festival. Midtown Sacramento was transformed by muralists into “urban art masterpieces,” that it is hoped Beau Basse, the curator said, turns into “an annual project [which will] bring in more international artists [putting Sacramento as a city in a bigger map.” This sentiment was echoed by local muralist Jake Castro who pointed out that it will “create new opportunities [putting] sac in a spot line with all the other artists involved.”

Arts and Cultural in Sacramento

museumIn an effort to bolster Sacramento’s arts and cultural industry, two real estate brokers are trying to persuade George Lucas to bring his museum to the neighborhood.

John Turton and John Mudgett (nicknamed “the Johns”) created a petition (The Empire Strikes Sac) to bring the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art to the rail yards that are currently undergoing renovation in the area. They have approached members of council, city leaders and others who have some pull in Sacramento, in order to get this project moving along.

Mind you if all else fails museum lovers could simply choose to join the Pokemon pub crawl, that came up for discussion earlier this week at the Sacramento City Council meeting.