Arts & Entertainment
Sparklers, lasers and the evening breeze
Shady Lady Saloon
Hunker down on the Shady Lady front patio and get your people-watching fix and a nice retro buzz. The R Street Corridor saloon is famed for its nostalgic cocktails—sidecar, Harvey Wallbanger, bourbon smash—but don’t forget it also serves up great appetizers (fried green tomatoes!) and a casual patio atmosphere that’s ideal for watching people make their way along the popular Midtown block. Factor in the cool jazz sounds wafting out from the bar’s stage, and you’ve got the makings for a low-key, yet highly sophisticated evening.
1409 R Street, (916) 231-9121, www.shadyladybar.com.
Free spot to gaze at Fourth of July sparkles
28th and B streets
You won’t see the crowd at first, but you’ll hear it, the din of hundreds crowded along the street and railroad tracks. Then, when the first Fourth of July firework erupts in the sky, you’ll finally see the throng atop the hill near B Street Theatre. It’s a free, unobstructed look at Cal Expo’s big show. It’s urban. It’s sorta secret, a perfect spot, like one of those nostalgia moments you experience as a kid but never forget years later. Something about blowing shit up and being American, I guess.
Just north of 28th and B streets, atop the slight hill near the railroad tracks. Trust me, there’ll be a ton of people there on July 4.
Silver screen on the green
Movies in the park
Sacramentans love doing indoor things outside. Case in point: movies in the park, the perfect combination of movie favorites, Sacramento’s evening air and cheap entertainment—because Sacramentans also like free things. Enjoy the Delta breeze while lying on a blanket watching Where the Wild Things Are or Jaws at Arden Park. And if Arden Park isn’t your ’hood, look up Screen on the Green, which will offer several movies in August, including Parent Trap and Bee Movie. Plus, Screen on the Green doesn’t stick in one ’hood. They spread the love to different parks.
Speed, tight turns and danger
Davis Criterium Classic
If the Amgen Tour of California’s recent spin through Sacramento got you in the mood for more, don’t miss local bicycling’s equivalent of the Indy 500. The Davis Criterium Classic, held annually on the Fourth of July, is a race spectator’s dream. Sponsored by the Davis Bike Club, the 0.7-mile race churns bikers in a flat loop around downtown Davis and features plenty of places to set up camp (many viewers bring portable chairs) and watch riders speed and attack. Competitors in this criterium boast solid technical skills and the ability to corner fast, because the short loop contains no less than five 90-degree left turns and one 90-degree right turn. Speed, tight turns, danger (yes, there are crashes)—it all adds up to great bike-race watching.
Downtown Davis, July 4, visit www.davisbikeclub.org for more information.
Where to kick-start a healthy comic-book addiction
Empires Comics Vault
Here’s how it works at Empires, Sacto’s hub for all things graphic novel, superhero and comic book. You’re gonna walk in, and the dudes are going to rake you over, strangely, ’cause you’re no regular. Still, walk in, browse and indulge. Ask the guys for help, a recommendation, and they’ll oblige by quizzing your likes and dislikes, recommending a few choice reads. Summer is the time to channel your inner child, so you might as well get hooked on an unabashedly but acceptably nerdy habit. Empires also prints its own in-house comics, too, and helps put on multiple events year-round. Get hooked.
2357 Arden Way, (916) 924-0775, www.empirescv.com.
Tag, you’re lasered
Lazer X laser tag at Country Club Lanes
This summer, close out at least one night with a laser pack strapped to your chest. Laser tag is basically a sanctioned excuse for adults to run around and act like kids. If you don’t have friends, hide inside the laser tent until unsuspecting groups of friends file in and then take them out with your laser force. Prices are affordable: $6 to $8 for 20 minutes of pure childish fun. Country Club Lanes also has a Midnite Madness special for unlimited tag from midnight to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday for $13, and 1 to 3 a.m. Friday for $18.
2600 Watt Avenue, (916) 971-4040, www.countryclublanes.com.
Sacramento Comedy Spot
Sacramento Comedy Spot is the organization responsible for making every germaphobe’s nightmare a reality and staging the largest make-out session Sacramento has ever seen. Aside from that, they hold really fun comedy shows in an intimate setting that allows for much audience interaction. So intimate, in fact, that they will take a gander through your purse and turn your pockets inside out if you let them during their Anti Cooperation League improv show on Saturday nights. If you find yourself recycling overused lines from Flight of the Conchords or The Office, the Comedy Spot offers classes to help you up your game.
Your favorite thing to do in a Sacramento summer?
SN&R’s Facebook friends respond:
Ashley Soto: Weeknights on the boat in the Delta. Boarding and boozing until 9 p.m. on glass is the perfect treat after work.
Christopher Tricker: Taking advantage of the local disc golf facilities! Concerts in the Park and time on and or around the riverways.