Good-looking-out blogs, lunchboxes, cider and gardens with a hefty hip quotient


Sometimes, we’ll admit, we get bored and complain: There’s nothing new to do, nothing interesting to eat, nowhere intriguing to go, nothing cool to check out.

Oh, but how wrong we are. SN&R recently enlisted a small cadre of writers on a coolhunting trip to discover some of Sacramento’s under-the-radar treasures.

Mod Midtown


Mimomito, which stands for Midcentury Modern Midtown, is the love child of local bloggers Serene Lusano, Joe Mountain and Toni Okamoto. With a feverish passion for mid-century furnishings, the blog highlights prime Craigslist finds from or inspired by mid-20th century developments in modern design. The authors sift through the postings of Sacramento and its surrounding areas so you don’t have to. It’s like having a rad team of personal shoppers and interior designers without the cost. Each post, accompanied by a wealth of photos, embodies the beauty of retro, recycled and spunky goodies for your home. They helped me score my ultra ’60s, gold and green dining room table for a ridiculously cheap $25. (Alia Cruz)

Easy green

Ecolunchbox Oval

Who knew a simple lunchbox could possibly help you make good on those never-ending vows to eat better and save the Earth? The Ecolunchbox Oval is a two-piece stainless-steel set that defies you to ever again store that leftover Thai dinner in a bisphenol A-plagued piece of plastic. The large container is big enough to stow a sandwich, pasta or cut-up veggies and the smaller dish is leakproof—perfect for soups, stews or day-old drunken noodles. Dishwasher safe and available for $16.99 at the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op (1900 Alhambra Boulevard). Or browse the entire Eco line at (Rachel Leibrock)

Highbrow bucks

Time Tested Bucks

Books remain one of the top choices for a gift and, given how personal our reading habits are, gift certificates are the way to go. But here’s an option that lets you be a bit more literary—and local. At Time Tested Books, you don’t get a piece of plastic or a typical paper certificate. Instead, they have Time Tested Bucks, gift certificates in denominations good for any book in the store or for special orders. Even better, local artist Miriam Davis has decorated the Time Tested Bucks with the faces of famous writers—James Joyce, Leo Tolstoy, Toni Morrison, Mark Twain—in denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20 and $50. My favorite is the $20, graced with a drawing of Sacramento native Joan Didion. 1114 21st Street, (Kel Munger)

Word types

So maybe the rumors are true: There’s a rift in the Sacramento poetry community. Perhaps there’s an old guard that feels young poets don’t respect the conventions of classic poetry. And maybe there’s a new group of hip-hop- and spoken-word-loving poets that doesn’t know the anatomy of a poem. Luckily Rebecca Morrison’s blog breaks down all the monthly poetry events in Sacramento—regardless of the poet’s background. Eskimo Pie Girl even lists the “types” of Sacramento poets and features poems from (and about) many of them. This list includes “Beat Poets,” “Monkey Poets” and even “Very Loud Poets.” Classic. (Jonathan Mendick)

Fleathers—for your ears!

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Fleathered Friends


We all know feathers are all the rage these days—they’re hanging from ears, adorning headbands and even being woven into hair—but if you want to get ahead of the trend, I suggest you move on to fleathers. No, that’s not a typo. It’s an accurate description of a pair of earrings I recently scored and, subsequently, have come to love. Created by East Bay-based artist A.J. Reed (who designs under the moniker Reedesign), the earrings are fashioned from leather and shaped to look like feathers—hence fleathers. Reed gets her leather from The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland and sells her creations in numerous shops in the Bay Area. Of course, if you’re in Sacramento, you’ll only find these babies at Fringe (2409 21st Street). For more works by Reed, visit her online at (Erin Sierchio)

Blues Brothers

Leonardo Da Vinci Blues Band

Sacramento has its own version of School of Rock, says Owen Jackman, special-education teacher and one of the leaders of the Leonardo Da Vinci School Blues Band. The band is part the K-8 magnet school’s Very Special Arts program, which includes both mainstream and special-education students. In addition to blues, the school band also plays rock covers on electric guitars, bongos, keyboards and drums. Jackman, one other teacher and a professional musician in residence at the school serve as advisers. So far, gigs have included Dimple Records and the Sam Pannell Meadowview Community Center. Next up is a March 25 performance, 6 p.m. at Comics & Collectibles, 1904 Fruitridge Road. (Hugh Biggar)

Act up

Sacramento Activist School

Every city should have a dedicated activism school where people can learn about social issues that affect us all in one way or another. Sacramento Activist School (SAS), located inside Sol Collective, pairs nicely with the venue’s motto: “Arts. Culture. Activism.” I love looking at local artists’ pieces hanging from its walls—it really gives the place that “urban” feel. SAS hosts workshops and invites community activists to give presentations on topics such as citizen and immigrant rights, becoming an informed consumer of media, police brutality, student organizing; you name it. There is literally something for everyone—even the politically inactive and the socially unaware. You don’t have to be living under an oppressive dictator to fight for social justice—you just need to be available every second and fourth Wednesday of each month! 2574 21st Street, (Laila Barakat)

À la carte

Cheryl Mason’s Garden

Buying a hefty cookbook can be something of a risk—why shell out a bunch of money if you know you’ll only end up using a few of the tome’s recipe’s? Roseville cook Cheryl Mason has the solution: Go à la carte and purchase PDF copies of her vegetarian recipes via her Etsy shop Cheryl Mason’s Garden. The store’s recipe pantry is still a bit on the lean side, but what she does keep stocked looks super yum. For $2.50-$3.50 a pop, Mason will e-mail you recipes for the likes of Vegetarian Nut Balls with Apricot Glaze, Honey Wheat Bread and Mom’s Sticky Buns. (R.L.)

Hard cider that you can drink like a man.

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Hard candy

Crispin Super Premium Hard Apple Cider

I’m responsible for turning many of my loved ones into Crispin fiends. Crispin on ice is a majestic, organic hard apple cider that is naturally fermented and not prepared from concentrate. It’s made from the finest and freshest pressed apples and sweetened with organic honey or maple syrup. I’ve only been able to find it at Tower Liquor on Broadway, but I have a dream that someday I will be able to go to any liquor store on any corner in my neighborhood and walk out with a big smile and a bigger bottle of Crispin. I dream of drinking it all and falling asleep on my couch watching Ice-T’s Surviving the Game and it being the best evening ever. I have a dream. Actually, my love for Crispin is a bit alarming now that I’m writing it down. It runs for about $6 for a 22-ounce bottle with a 6.6 percent alcohol volume content. (A.C.)