Goods & Services

Writers’ picks

Visit the pedal pushers at College Cyclery for all your bicycle needs.

Visit the pedal pushers at College Cyclery for all your bicycle needs.

Photo By Shoka

Best site to make your wardrobe pop

The Sactorialist
Do as you see: That’s the best way to describe Jennifer Traverso Sedda’s blog The Sactorialist. Working as a kind of a National Geographic photographer in the urban jungle, Sedda documents urbanites in their best, fashionable attire. The Sacramento blogger takes fashion, which can prove complicated for many, and strips it down to the most basic explanation: a photograph.
It’s a valuable tool for any fashion neophyte or fashionista on the hunt for new ideas. J.K.

Best means of escape

When you’re crammed in the back seat of your friend’s car with whatever junk wouldn’t fit in the trunk, or flying coach with a not-so-adorable tyke using your chair as a kickball, I’ll bet you wish there was a snack car around. On Amtrak you get a snack car fully stocked with all the essentials, along with plenty of leg space for yourself and the kid behind you. There’s no traffic on the tracks, so you’re sure to get to where you need to be on time.
(800) 872-7245, G.F.

Best way to see Sacramento through paranoid glasses

Are You Safe Sacramento?
There are thousands of iPhone apps out there, but only a few have anything to do with Sacramento. And these mostly suck. For example, the “Sacramento Local News” app completely ignores certain local alternative weekly newspapers. But for 99 cents, the app “Are You Safe Sacramento?” offers at least a bit of a thrill. The answer is no, you aren’t safe. Sitting here in SN&R’s Midtown office, the old iPhone readout reports seven homicides, 48 assaults and 39 car thefts in the immediate vicinity in the last year. The “threat meter” is well into the red, and the “suggested posture” is beyond “on alert” and pushing “full paranoia.” It will be tough to get any work done today. Thanks, Apple!

Best way to lower R.V. Scheide’s rent

Swanberg’s on J
If you’re looking for a nice Hawaiian shirt, there’s no better place to shop in Northern California than Swanberg’s on J. Authentic shirts (vintage and new), shorts, sandals, slack-key guitar music—it’s a compendium of all things Hawaiian. Best of all, owner Lauren Lundsten is my landlord, and if you tell him you read about his store in SN&R, he just might lower my rent. Of course, this is the third time I’ve tried this, and it hasn’t worked yet. At least somebody has integrity in this equation.
2316 J Street, (916) 447-6284, R.V.S.

Best way to read Michael Jackson’s autobiography without paying $200 on eBay

Sacramento Public Library
The Internet and the Sacramento Public Library enjoy a beautiful and democratic marriage. And we reap the benefits of a never-ending honeymoon. Need a book? Some sort of fulfilling Chicken Soup or Whatever for Dummies? Hunt, peck, click. On the shelf! Too bad it’s at that one branch near your crazy ex’s. Oh, but wait—click!—now it’s on its way to that tiny-ass library that never has much of anything, yet is so conveniently close to your place. And there’s no need to check back: You’ll get an e-mail when it’s arrived. Fines paid online, renewals online, waitlist for popular reads online (I’m No. 37 of 52 holds for Moonwalk). Really, the only thing missing is the romantic Hawaiian vacation.
Various locations, (916) 264-2700, K.B.

Best place to uncover something nasty but awesome

Goodwill Outlet Store
This place is not for the fainthearted. Many have been disgusted and uncomfortable during their time at the Goodwill Outlet Store, but others are fascinated by the possibility of a great find and the promise of cheap prices. When heaps of clothes in large bins are sold at $1.39 a pound, digging for a treasure is required. Beware, clothes are not washed or sorted before being put out for sale, so broken items or dirty underwear can be found lurking among the desirables. Gloves are recommended.
6648 Franklin Boulevard, (916) 395-9023, N.V.

Best music store for novice strummers

Northridge Music
I scoured the Sacramento area for my first instrument this summer, and I often felt invisible. Music-store salesmen tended to ignore women shoppers, while customers cranked amps to 11 and played endless electric arpeggios so I couldn’t even hear myself strum. When I walked into the family-owned Northridge Music, everything changed. The helpful staff greeted me immediately, explained the features of their stock and showed me to a quiet practice room for a test run. After weeks of searching, I had what I needed 15 minutes after I walked in the door. If you prefer your music shopping free of rock-star snobbery, no-nonsense Northridge Music won’t let you down.
7871 Greenback Lane, Citrus Heights; (916) 969-4728; B.C.

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Best place to remember why Davis people love it there

Davis Farmers Market
The 33-year-old Davis Farmers Market just won top honors in the “America’s Favorite Farmers Market” contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. The celebrated market actually captured more than 10 percent of total votes cast in the “large market” category. Why? Because the year-round Saturday morning market is a vibrant community hub of farmers and sustainable-food lovers, overflowing with bins of fruits and vegetables, olive oils and honeys, abundant flowers, nuts and natural goodies. What’s not to love?
C and Fourth streets, Davis; (530) 756-1695; M.W.

Best place to get a haircut and a free beer

Anthony’s Barbershop
Anthony “The Barber” Giannotti combines the no-frills charm of an old-school barbershop with a modern twist. If a great $14 haircut isn’t enough to get you running for the door, his summertime Free Beer Fridays will. In fact, Anthony’s Barbershop makes me wish I was a guy (or a really hairy girl), just so I could get one of his famous straight-razor shaves.
2408 21st Street, (916) 457-1120, J.D.

Best vintage eco-friendly rides

College Cyclery
This Sactown bike institution has everything for the bike nut—BMX, fixed gear and sweet racing machines. But for those of us who just like to drift around town in style, the small shop is a vintage cruiser mecca. In business since 1935, College Cyclery is the place to peruse classic rides including an impressive array of Schwinns—both vintage and reproductions. You can buy ’em here or bring yours in for customization or repair. Flowered white wicker basket optional.
2760 21st Street, (916) 456-2042, R.L.

Best DIY pimp cups

The Roseville branch of this Northern California chain of ceramics-painting lounges is a favorite for Girl Scouts and hipster artists alike. For a minor sitting fee and the price of the piece I want to paint, I’ve used all the time and colors in the world to create my masterpieces. Although I lack the tiniest bit of an artsy streak, the laid-back vibe and staff-painted examples inspire even a hack like me to paint up a storm. My crowning achievement was created exactly a year ago, when a ceramic goblet garnered my attention and I aspired to have a radical pimp cup like Lil Jon. The result has become the biggest party accessory since the Solo Cup, and I am forever thankful.
2030 Douglas Boulevard, Roseville; (916) 772-4278; L.H.

Best source of travel superpowers

Travel Med Inc.
Overseas travel can be daunting. Where will you stay? What visas do you need? What if you get sick? Rest assured Travel Med Inc. can handle the last question for you. Their specialists have been all over the world, so they’re absolutely up to date on every scary epidemic and creepy parasite you might encounter in a foreign land. After they frighten you by listing them all during your 45-minute trip consultation, they’ll load you up with the vaccines, repellants and sterilization technology you need to stay healthy. You’ll board your plane feeling invincible—at least until the jet lag hits.
5282 Elvas Avenue; 850 Iron Point Road, Suite 150, Folsom; (916) 254-2100; B.C.

Best free smoking paraphernalia

Mayhem Smoke Shop
For all of you smoke aficionados out there who just happen to be dirt broke, there’s Mayhem. No matter what your choice in herbs—rosemary, thyme or Afghan Kush—Mayhem has a fantastic selection of glassware to suit your needs. I thought they were joking when I stumbled across a flier advertising free pipes, until I went in and picked up my free pipe—no questions asked. Their frequent promotional sales and awesome staff have made them my choice for all things relating to Rastafarianism and skateboarding.
5207 Madison Avenue, (916) 332-8981, J.D.