NYC to 916

An SN&R staffer riffs on his move from Brooklyn to Midtown

Why are you all so afraid of jaywalking?

Honestly. It's a light. You know that, right? You're humans. Sentient beings. You can just cross whenever. Use your judgment. I sure as hell won't stop you.

I'm new to Sacramento. I moved out here about three months ago from Brooklyn, New York. And I like it here.

I like the trees. The elbow room.

I like that I don't spend two hours every day on public transportation and that I don't end up going out and getting drunk six nights a week. I like that I sleep well and exercise and that everyone else does, too.

I even like Sacramento as it compares to the rest of California. I don't understand the town's insecurity issues. You do know that you run the show, right? You're Sacra-fuckin'-mento. The capital of the ninth-largest economy in the world. You should be proud. Hell, I'm proud. And I just got here.

That's why I like your mayor, Kevin Johnson. He's kind of a blowhard, sure, but at least he sees the town's potential. At least he's trying. At least someone's trying.

It's pleasant here. Quiet. Maybe a little too quiet.

Your nights end pretty early. Not much going on after dark. Bars close by 2 a.m. Back in New York, we're just getting out to the bars around midnight, and fully expect to make it home around dawn. I miss that.

And things happen in New York. It's where the people who run the world do business. Where musicians go to be found and movie stars go to blend in. It's where you go to make it.

You don't get so much of that here in Sacramento. San Francisco, maybe. In Lake Tahoe, you might trip over a celebrity or two. I guess Eddie Murphy used to live in Granite Bay.

The air is cleaner in Sacramento. I'll give you that. I like that I can see the stars at night. And that I can hear myself think. I don't miss the piles of trash bags lining the sidewalks at the end of the day. (But I do, inexplicably, miss the rats.)

You're nicer here, too. I'm not sure if that's a compliment. You're just nicer. I'm more likely to offend or scare you than someone I come across in the five boroughs. Nothing is sacred in New York. No one is impressed. I find that the “crazy eye” goes a lot further in Sacramento than in Brooklyn.

Want to know the truth? I think Sacramento is making me nicer.

But, I've still got some Brooklyn in me. Sure. I pronounce “coffee” as “cawfee” and will, as a pedestrian, flip off the occasional bad driver. But I'm nicer, I think. I'll smile when you use the word “gnarly.” I'll talk literature with you at Old Soul Co. If you see me at Round Corner Tavern, you can challenge me to a game of pool. And if you find me out on a hike, taking in the California air and breaking in my new boots, feel free to say hi.

But don't be surprised when I respond, “Fuck you.” I'm walking here.