What if I have done most of the items on the bucket list?…

Not listed was the mural walk, or Second Saturday, or the Kondos Gallery at Sac City College

What happens if you read the list of 51 things to do in Sacramento before you die and you discover you’ve done most of them? Sacramento Magazine’s cover story for January 2017 throws down the challenge. So over lunch at Plates2Go I read through the list and realized that I have very little to do before I die.

Of course I have lived here most of my 54 years so it is perhaps not surprising that I have done so much of what is on Anna Quinlan’s list.

So here is what I have done: (using their numbers)

2. Drink a $2 beer with the River Cats… I have been to numerous River Cats games, plus the Assembly vs. Senate ballgame, plus a 107.9 concert with SmashMouth. Great venue on a summer’s eve.

3. Dance on the Patio at The Pheasant Club. I have not danced, but I have dined at the Pheasant Club many, many times, including on the patio. It was former County Supervisor McGowan’s favorite place to meet. I sometimes wonder if they saw a dip in business when he got his Governor’s appointment. Supervisor Oscar Villegas prefers Broderick.

4. Find some food-truck fare. Not hard around the Capitol. But I have also been to Sactomofo.

5. Pack a picnic with items from Corti Brothers. I have shopped at Corti Brothers and it deserves respect for having a wide selection of gourmet items before anyone really appreciated gourmet in Sacramento. But if I am packing a picnic lunch, I am going to Selland’s on H Street.

6. Get a roast beef sandwich at Bud’s Buffet. OMG, get anything there and your delish meter will tilt, as will your fat and carbs meter. Funny how those are related.

7. Don’t walk past Moxie’s front door. It is in my neighborhood so I do walk past the front door, but I have also gone in and enjoyed an amazing dinner or two.

13. Cheer on the dachshund races. I have been to Picnic Day at UC Davis numerous times and I got close to the races, but could not get in. Happily settled for sheepdog trials instead.

14. Milk a cow at the State Fair. I have visited the livestock barns many, many times over the years…as a 4Her, as a cousin of a 4Her, and as a summer employee of the State Fair. I did not milk a cow, but I did get to ride a Budweiser Clydesdale early one morning at the Cavalcade of Horses.

15. Bet on the horses at Cal Expo. I remember when there were trotters.

17. Row a scull at the Port of West Sac. Okay this shouldn’t count but I’m going to try anyway… my daughter rowed one season at Lake Natoma and I watched.

20. Cheer on cyclists at Amgen Tour of California. YES! As a cycling fan I don’t miss this unless I am in Italy watching the Tour d’Italia.

21. Ring a cowbell at a Kings Game. Okay so I’ve sat a quarter at courtside courtesy of Southwest Airlines, and I have sat through many other Kings Games. I may not have rung a cowbell but my basketball days are done, so check.

25. See an indie flick at the Tower Theatre. Too many to count…

26. Take a friend to the drive-in… saw the first Star Wars there.

27. Pregame a show at Crest Theatre with drinks at Empress Tavern. Been to both more than once.

29. Go sledding in Strawberry. Check.

30. Check out the corpse flower at UC Davis Arboretum. I have walked around the arboretum too many times to count and I recommend you do too if you haven’t experienced it yet. My favorite is the oak grove.

31. Take a walking tour of the Christmas lights in the Fab 40s. My P.O. Box is right in the thick of the Christmas light traffic. Walking is a good suggestion. I have walked Dove Court in Orangevale with my family to see the Christmas displays. Counting it.

32. Tour the Old City Cemetery at Halloween. I have gone on a tour with a group of mystery writers. Highly recommend this experience with a knowledgeable docent any time of year.

33. Run to Feed the Hungry. Check.

35. White knuckle white-water rafting trip. I did this with a group of colleagues from the US Bureau of Reclamation as a team building exercise. Got my adrenaline pumping!

36. Take a historic river cruise. Check. Several times. They actually want you to take a cruise where they tell you the history. Technically I have done the river dinner cruise, and I’ve spent several evenings on the Delta King for various fundraisers.

37. Get a foot massage and Thai coffee in Sacramento’s Little Saigon. Thanks to my friend Anita and the Happy Day Spa, I’ve done this. Good times.

43. Tour the Capitol. It is a gem.

44. Pan for gold in Coloma. I was a 4th grader in Sacramento; my two children were 4th graders in Sacramento. Need I say more?

Santa Lucia bringing cookies to the celebrants at St John’s Lutheran 2016

45. Light a candle at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament. I have attended concerts at this beautiful church, but I regularly attend St John’s Lutheran and we have a wonderful tradition of celebrating Santa Lucia Day. At the end we light candles and process to a light supper and dancing round the Christmas Tree.

46. Go on a dive bar pub crawl. I’ve met people at these establishments over the years and I hosted a pub quiz crawl fundraiser one year.

47. Grab a late night sweet at Rick’s Dessert Diner in midtown. Check.

49. Refuse to share a buttermilk bar from Marie’s Donuts. Well not the buttermilk bar per se…

50. Scream for Ice Cream… Yes, I have tried all of these ice cream establishments except Burr’s.

51. Customize a box of chocolate at Ginger Elizabeth. I lived above this shop for a year so I have eaten my fair share of delicious chocolate.

These ideas are worth pursuing:


One. Go to an event at The Barn in West Sacramento. Good idea, I hope to someday soon.

8.Score a ticket to the Tower Bridge Dinner. Want to take me?

9. Eat at The Kitchen. I am probably the only one of my friends who has not eaten there.

11. Get a degree from Cocktail Academy at Hook & Ladder. I don’t drink much but it still sounds like a fun and useful skill to acquire with friends.

18. Take your down dog off leash at Yoga in the Park. I enjoy yoga. I might try this. I did take my dog Radar to McKinley Park for dog training many Saturdays ago–so I’ll watch where I put down my mat!

19. Join the Tower Bridge Battalion at a Sac Republic Game. Really, really want to do this.

24. Dance at the Crocker Ball. I am not an enthusiast for getting all dolled up, but I do love to dance. And I love the Crocker Art Museum. Maybe if the right fella asks me.

38. Dance to the sound of Taiko drums at the Buddhist Church bazaar. I love percussion. I am game for this.

39. Eat a gyro at the Sacramento Greek Festival. Sure why not.



Sorry, I am not into that…

10. Ride the SacBrewBike. Oh, they are ubiquitous on a summer evening in Midtown. I don’t begrudge them their fun, just would rather ride my own bike to Big Stump Brewery for Pub Theology with St John’s Lutheran crew.

12. Book a limo tour of Amador County’s best wineries. Pass.

16. Get your butt kicked at SacTown Fit Crawl. Nope, if I am going to get sweaty it will be a Zumba class with Paco at Sierra II.

22. Let your freak flag fly at SacAnime. Hey, I enjoy seeing you all come into Starbucks when the the various conventions are going on, and I enjoy looking at Bill Reid’s photos of “freaks” but I will stay on the sidelines thank you.

23. Wear white after Labor Day at Diner en Blanc. I don’t enjoy getting dressed up. In fact, I have a friend’s fancy dress birthday party on the Isle of Wight in June and I am already getting stressed about what I’ll wear. Besides I’m sure to spill and then it would be Diner en blanc, and green, and yellow, etc.

28. Go paddle-boarding on the river. They are suggesting paddle-boarding from Discovery Park to Crawdads. Hmmm. I participated in Young Life’s Raft Race back in the day and I’m not sure I’d recommend paddleboarding on the Sacramento River.

34. Get on board the beer train. No thanks.

I’m not a super huge live music enthusiast: 40. Claim a front row picnic blanket at Pops in the Park; 41. Rock out with Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera; 42. Be an audience for One Man Band.  I have enjoyed the Sacramento Gay Men’s Chorus holiday concert.

47. Smoke a hookah and watch the belly dancers at Kasbah Lounge. Allergic to smoke.

Mural Walk: Another Reason to See Sacramento (Part 1)

David Fiveash, #10 – 1025 R Street

I have lived in Sacramento most of my life and I am accustomed to people thinking of my hometown as a place to pass through on the way to San Francisco or Lake Tahoe. Increasingly it is worthy of a stay all its own–especially if you love art or locally sourced food.

Recently the Friends of the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission sponsored the Sacramento Mural Festival. Eleven artists completed new murals over a week from August 20-27, 2016. The best part of the project is the murals remain for everyone to enjoy long into the future.

This week I dedicated 3.5 hours to cycling around downtown and midtown Sacramento to find all of the murals as a kind of scavenger hunt. I stopped along the way to eat lunch at my favorite mediterranean cafe, the Crest Cafe. There are so many choices for excellent food, coffee, beer or wine. The walk with stops could fill a day.

With the map, and my two-part blog post, you can enjoy the murals in several outings or all in one. I’ve divided the murals geographically: first from I-5 to 15th Street or downtown, then from 15th to 24th or midtown.

Alkali Flat Outlier

Number 11. Dog and Pony, behind 1236 C Street, is one of the hardest murals to find. I bumped into another mural watcher, Janna, and she couldn’t find this one at first try. I only found it with help from a security guard. It is a great example of not seeing something because you are expecting something quite different.

Hint: Go to the corner of C Street and 13th Street. Now walk or cycle back toward D Street and turn right into the alley past the junkyard dog behind the fence. The mural is on a big metal fence just ahead on the right.

This neighborhood is also the most sketchy on the mural walk. I don’t call it unsafe in the daytime, but I wouldn’t blame you if you chose to drive to this one. The neighborhood is in transition. Sandwiched between the new railyard development and the new Golden One Arena, this neighborhood is experiencing a building boom. One of my favorite cafes for coffee, a sandwich or a beer is Shine on the corner of E and 14th. There is free 2 hour parking across the street.

Downtown K Street

Another hard to find mural is #1. Kristin Farr, 501 J Street. The Kaiser Permanente building is under construction like almost every other building in the 2 block area. This mural is on the 6th Street side on the brick building.

It is only a few blocks to the Citizens Hotel and the excellent Grange restaurant–one of the first farm to fork menus in Sacramento at 10th and J Streets. From there walk across the street and toward K Street.

Duck down the alley on the left and look up to the right. Up high, on the back of the Crest Theatre is #2. Jake Castro technically at 1013 K Street. Artist Castro definitely drew the short straw. His mural is the hardest to see and his working conditions must have been aromatic above all the dumpsters. There is a bonus mural on the left side of the alley.

There are more than half dozen restaurants on the same block as the Crest Theatre including Mother, a vegetarian cafe, and the Crest Cafe. There are also places nearby for coffee (Ambrosia, Chicory) and ice cream at Cornflower Creamery and delicious cookies at Goodie Tuchews.

K Street is a pleasant way to walk to the next mural #3. Andrew Schoultz at 1530 J Street. You’ll pass the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament and see the Capitol (look right on 11th Street), past the Convention Center and across from the Memorial Auditorium.

R Street Corridor

For many years R Street didn’t have much other than Fox & Goose pub on 10th Street as an anchor of good music and beer. Since then there has been a great revival from 10th Street to 15th Street. There are 2 new murals on this street. You may also notice some clever bicycle racks. (You can find a bicycle rack scavenger hunt game card here.)

#10. David Fiveash is next to my favorite yarn shop, Rumplestiltskin. On the same side of the street as Fox & Goose.

Down one more block you’ll find the WAL development, a kind of artist colony with a restaurant, bar and shopping. #9. Add Fuel mural is easy to spot.

If you continue down R Street toward 15th you’ll find Shady Lady cocktail bar, many great restaurants and the Ace of Spades for live music.

Next up: Mural Walk Part 2