We may honor the life of Congressman John Lewis in a multitude of ways. First and foremost, we shall register to vote and then vote (early, by mail, or in person). There are many other ways as well. I learned about John Lewis when I was in Selma and Birmingham on my Civil Rights Crawl. I have since leaned in to learn more. Now there is new material that is worth taking the time to enjoy–and seldom has a man been more full of joy than John Lewis.
Do you have 15 minutes? Read his call to action that was written towards the end of his life and published posthumously in the New York Times.
Do you have 2.5 hours? Buy a $12 ticket at Crooked.com (Crooked Media/Pod Save America) for a special viewing of the movie John Lewis: Good Trouble with a on-line discussion panel afterward on Thursday August 7, 2020 at 4 p.m. PST/7 p.m. EST. The ticket unlocks the film to view for 72 hours. Five dollars from each ticket will go to PowerPac to support their work.
Do you have 4 hours? Admit it, in this time of COVID you probably do. Then I strongly encourage you to watch John Lewis’ funeral at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve linked to the PBS full coverage on YouTube.com that is without commentary. I found the funeral service uplifting. It was as if I came out of Wonderland and things were right side up again. A good man was called out for being good. A hero was honored for true unselfish heroism. Of course you can get a Readers Digest condensed version by watching just President Obama’s eulogy.
Then go for a walk and ask yourself “What can I do for my democracy?”
I’ve lived in Sacramento most of my life. For the first 25 years everyone was content with being the Capitol and a rapidly growing suburban county. As Sacramento-native Joan Didion called it, people had a more mid-western sensibility about their wealth and well-being. Our problems were either hidden or denied. The community was segregated with waves of white flight out of South Sacramento to the burgeoning suburbs.
Our claim to fame was that we were “close to everything.” It was a great place to stop if you were on your way to Tahoe, or Napa, or San Francisco or Yosemite. Sacramento is at the confluence of two great rivers–the Sacramento and American–and a gateway to the Delta, but it’s attraction for the longest time was it was at the confluence of two great highways–Interstate Highways 5 and 80.
People in the community liked that it was a less expensive, quieter place to raise children. People would complain about “the traffic” that wouldn’t register on the Los Angeles traffic meter. We also don’t have to worry about earthquakes and our floods appear to be managed for now.
The developers who ran local politics began to beat the drum for putting Sacramento on the map and making it a world class city. In the mid-eighties they had a lot of new houses to sell in Natomas, so land speculators and builders began the dubious proposition of making Sacramento famous by bringing a professional sports team to town. The Kansas City Kings basketball team arrived in 1985 to great fanfare and a new stadium in Natomas. It did raise Sacramento’s profile but it also gave other cities opportunity to mock us for being a Cowtown.
Periodically ever since, someone–a mayor or other city booster–declares Sacramento a destination. Self-declaration doesn’t count. In the travel world you have to be anointed a destination by the Conde Nast magazines. Or the New York Times travel editor. Preferably both.
At last, thanks in large part to the spotlight that Sacramento-native Greta Gerwig shone on our fair city, Sacramento is getting the attention that some would say is long overdue. The New York Times recently released “36 Hours in Sacramento“! It is so weird to read about the places you eat or shop regularly as destinations. Lovely too.
Once in my first professional job after grad school, the National Geographic hired our little think tank at UC Davis to review an article they were doing on the Great Central Valley. We looked at their map and shook our heads. They had Gilroy on the west side of the Valley. There were other errors as well and they didn’t correct all of the mistakes we identified for them. It made me skeptically at National Geographic maps ever since.
I love the 36 Hours series, but now having read the writer’s suggestions that would have you crisscrossing all over Sactown, I am going to refer to the 36 Hour recommendations but take the schedules with a grain of salt. Thanks for the shout outs for local favorite restaurants and shopping destinations. We have always had a vibrant arts community and now more people are taking notice.
Sacramento has also been in the news lately because of the police shooting of an unarmed black man. Stephon Clark’s death has tested our community and revealed some problems many would rather ignore. We also have a serious homelessness problem. It appears the city council and county supervisors may finally be ready to deal with the issue. Hopefully we will begin to reform the inequities so we can truly achieve “great” status.
The Great Hall, built in 1235 by Henry III, is the last remaining building from the great Winchester Castle. After his coronation at Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day 1066, William the Conqueror began building the castle. Henry III had a love of architecture and commissioned Elias of Dereham to oversee building of the Hall. Dereham also oversaw the construction of Salisbury Cathedral and is the only commoner to be honored in the stained glass windows.
The Great Hall has been used for many functions: court trials, weddings, and a “round table.” Tournament is Edward I time were called “round tables” where courtiers dressed up from Arthurian legend and participated in jousting and feasting.
“Edward I believed strongly in the myth of King Arthur. He attended many round table feasts. Edward had the table build within the Great Hall, which may have been for a round table tournament in 1290 to celebrate the arranged marriages of his children.” (The Great Hall Where History and Legend Meet, Hampshire County Council)
Henry VIII first visited Winchester as King in 1516, whereupon he ordered the repair of the Great Hall at Winchester and the Round Table. This is when it was first painted in the design you see on display today.
Winchester Castle was largely destroyed by that spoilsport Oliver Cromwell after 1645. Only the Great Hall remains and it is now the responsibility of the County of Hampshire.
The Great Hall makes the most of its sketchy connection to King Arthur. I’ve seen Excalibur and read a bit about it, but I admit my knowledge has some big blanks, so I was excited to read Rosie Schaap’s New York Times travel article, “King Arthur Slept Here (Maybe).” She asserts that the places to visit if you are interested in an Arthurian pilgrimage are Glastonbury, Tintagel, Totnes and Padstow. Her article then goes on to describe the kind of new age and coven-catering shops you can find almost anywhere in California. None of her experiences relate to King Arthur. Perhaps Avalon is best left to the imagination.
My breath caught for a jagged second as I looked across the street at the Traveler’s Bookcase. Like the revelation of peanut butter and chocolate, my two passions are combined in one shop. Travel and books! Books and travel! Fantastic!
I love looking at unconventional formats in travel books. Natalie Campagno spent more than 30 minutes searching the shelves for irresistible maps and guides to share with me. I went a little nuts. I do not know when I will be back in Los Angeles so I indulged.This is the kind of tactile experience Amazon cannot replicate!
Most beautiful design goes to Love Goa by Fiona Caulfield. It comes in its own fabric jacket and is a joy to handle. Most clever book award goes to the Wildsam Field Guide, Detroit. I love my Nashville and this one is just as brilliant. The best new book imparting important information while feeling nostalgic: The New York Time 36 Hours USA & Canada Southwest and Rocky Mountains. I have already used this one to help plan an upcoming adventure with UK Sarah. Another trend that I am not wild about is the “curated guide” to shopping that is a snobby version of the Yellow Pages. They inevitably have to be so exclusive that they are not likely to include my passions. So eat.shop new england and San Francisco the hunt did not float my boat.
Also trending are stylized maps. These often offer a highly selective view of a city. When we think of Berlin is a guide/map with such a high concept geographic map that you could spend most of your time lost if you depended upon it. I will stick to the Railway City Map series. I love my map of Barcelona. It is practical and beautiful.
If you have ever read 84 Charing Cross Road then you know my fantasy: Natalie Compagno and I will become pen pals and I will ask her to look for original or obscure travel books and she will share things she thinks I will like. Only updated to 2015 I will not send $5 bills through the mail. Or send her eggs from Denmark.
If you are anywhere near Los Angeles you have to check out this bookstore because it is fantastic.
For more Travel Theme Fantastic posts: http://wheresmybackpack.com/2015/03/13/travel-theme-fantastic/.