Posts Tagged ‘California’

The beauty that is

In Life on October 4, 2013 at 4:41 AM

As anyone who knows me will tell you, I think that California is a dump. No longer is it “The Golden State” but rather a shit brown hue has settled in. However, there is one shining nugget of gold, and that is Downtown Sacramento.

Before today, I’ve lived in California all but two years of my life, and I’ve never noticed it before. This shrinking beacon of a bygone era. I have been to the Downtown Plaza many a time in my day, and never cared for a large portion of its contents. However today I had an appointment for a haircut and it was in a part of town that is reserved for the young, so naturally I hated the area. After getting my ears lowered, I decided lunch was in order and figured I’d walk a few blocks up to the Plaza and grab a bit of food. Then I noticed it.

The beauty that I am referring to is the pure beauty of the architecture of Downtown Sacramento. From the Art Deco building on one street to the Masonic Temple on the other, this strip of beauty is the only saving grace of this town, aside from Historic Old Sac which houses modern beauty within the original historic buildings.

I walked around like a tourist just in awe of the beauty. The buildings could tell the stories of the pride the original designers took in erecting them just by looking at them. In fact the rear entrance to the Plaza is buttressed by an original 1900’s building with flourishes that no modern worker nor machine could ever duplicate, and it shows. At one point there was a hotel named “The Saint George Hotel of Sacramento”, but the usual idiots in charge decided to tear it down, only to feel remorse for it, so they decided to erect a granite monument proclaiming where it once stood. It was before the historical society could save it, sadly… Granted the area is flecked with liquor store after liquor store, but they’ve been there so long, that they, too have some beauty in them.

The entire “Kay District” which is just the shops on K Street, is historical. Be it the old hotels that used to house the government officials, or the old stores that once sold everything the settlers would ever need from cattle feed to sewing thread. The Sacramento River used to run right through where the area that my barber shop sits, and it shows. The original homes where three stories because the river would flood and you lived on the second and third stories during the winter. You can always tell the original homes from new by this fact. They pushed the river back to accommodate the new people coming in to seek their fortunes…and ruined the look of the area in my opinion…

The area isn’t without its detractors, however. They, naturally have modern buildings in the area, and while not exactly pleasing to the historical look, they do serve a purpose. They have modern living spaces like the “J. St. Lofts” which provide a fantastic view of the area, while costing upwards of ten grand a month rent…I love the neighborhood, but not the price. They new convention center is there farther on J, and it sort of sticks out like a sore thumb in amongst the classic buildings like the Memorial Auditorium. Not to mention that the Sacramento Government want to put a new sports arena there……..

The Memorial Auditorium has classic beauty in its facade, even after a fire ravaged it. They managed to match most of the original work to the building that wasn’t destroyed by the blaze, and it looks great. Old Sac is beautiful with its pioneer-made buildings and original wood walkways set up from the cobblestone streets and horse carriages, that, for a nominal fee, will carry you from one end of the area to the other, and even stop at the stores you wish to visit. I recall running through the tunnel that literally links new with old as a child. Mama and daddy holding hands and enjoying the area while I ran down and hooked the staircase that marked the end. The first time I saw Old Sac, I was in awe. The original cobblestone street is still in tact, the limited automobile traffic…its just as it was in the pioneer days, with the exception of the new modern businesses that inhabit the shops now. Every year they house the Pioneer Days festival there, and, in keeping the original theme, they don’t allow any modern automobiles down their roads.

The area is also home to various museums also. Places like the California State Military Museum, the State Railroad Museum, The Discovery Museum, among others. All beautiful. Well…..the Railroad Museum is the best, I mean, come on…trains! Even the new stores preserve the original beauty and look by housing in the basements. Of course, they may just be the tattoo parlors, but its still nice to day a walk through there in the cool of the fall or early spring and hear the clatter of your boots walking around the wood floors.

If you are a tourist and considering a visit to the Golden State, I urge you to make Old Sac and Downtown a must-see on your list, you won’t be dissapointed.


Perfect weather

In Uncategorized on March 15, 2013 at 11:33 PM

As I sit outside in my pajamas, it is a fantastic late winter /early spring night. I have been missing my nightly smokes due to the weather being too cold.

Today was the finest smoking weather I’ve had since I left Utah and the desert. The air is still, the temps are moderate. Everything about this night just screamed “GO OUTSIDE AND SMOKE!” So I did. If its the only thing that I love about California, it is hy far the weather; sure as hell isn’t the government…………

I’m smoking what we pipe smokers call the “Parfait bowl” which is to say that two or mike blends have been mixed. The first blend is a bit of Molto Dulche that my brother gave me, with some Brlurley and Black that I sandwich in with a top layer of the MD. The taste is fine, and can only be achieved if the blends are close in terms of smokability. Which means that they complement each other. I.e. two airomatics that mesh or two English blends, etc.

Normally, I would’ve tried this in my old corn cob pipe, but ye olde briar was close at hand. In fact, you should always smoke new or untried blends in a cob before you move on to a wodden or clay pipe, simply because the figs do not absorb the tars and juices that wood does and you wont “ghost” your bowl.

That is going to do it for this entry. Stay tuned for some more random musings

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