Sacramento drivers seldom honk their horns, either to complain or to alert.
Downtown bus drivers are bored, annoyed, or just plain mean. I was scolded for using my bus app incorrectly, left standing at the bus stop three times, and flung into my seat if I didn’t move quickly.
I was in the front of the bus, sitting on an aisle-facing seat when a very grumpy man in a very wide wheelchair rolled over my feet. When I said, “Ouch”, he said, “Hmphhh. That didn’t hurt, you big baby.” To be honest, he was right.
Without fail, whenever I approached an intersection, cars stopped and waited for me to cross.
Farmers markets are just that: outdoor areas where local growers sell their produce. No music, mimes, hand-made soap, gimcracks, refrigerator magnets, or tie-dye t-shirts—strictly farm business. And the prices—cheaper than the store. I’m not kidding: vine-ripened tomatoes, $1.25/lb., baby bok choy, 8 for $1.00, zucchini, $1.00/lb, cilantro, 2 bunches for $1.00.
Unlike Chicago, in downtown Sacramento, backpacks, children, strollers, and dogs are rare.
City pedestrians follow the rules. Almost no one crosses the street until walking man starts blinking and robot voice says, “Walk sign is on, Walk sign is on.”
Having a 40-acre park in the middle of downtown is a wonderful thing, but the six-block square green space makes bus travel tricky.
Locals seldom brag about their city. They seem to quietly share Joan Didion’s opinion of her hometown:”Anybody who talks about California hedonism has never spent a Christmas in Sacramento.”
Residents are, however, thrilled with Greta Gerwig‘s Oscar-nominated Lady Bird, a coming-of-age drama set and filmed in Sacramento.
Maren Conrad’s mural on 16th & I
People who live and work in Midtown are quick to speak up if you mistake Midtown for Downtown. “Oh this isn’t Downtown, this is Midtown.” Midtown has a mixed use feel—quaint, old wide-porched houses, small retail stores, brownstone townhouses, busy restaurants, coffee shops, and bars. Downtown is the Capitol, tall commercial buildings, at least two Bail Bonds per block, empty “For Lease” stores, Golden1 Stadium, and the Convention Center.
All in all, Sacramento was a lovely place to visit and I would live there.