Sports & Recreation
Best place to get slammed against a wall
Off the Wall
Sacramento has fancy sports venues with thousands of seats, large screens for instant replay and professional sports teams. And then we have Off the Wall, an indoor soccer arena with no air conditioning and a few metal benches for fans. Behind this bland exterior is a local institution that has played a huge role in developing our city’s soccer scene, for children and adults. There are now five indoor soccer arenas in the area, but Off the Wall was the original when it opened 16 years ago. It’s also the best place in town to get rug burns, broken nails and slammed against a wall in one night of competitive fun. 5 Wayne Court, (916) 383-4200, www.offthewallextreme.com.
Best way to sweat your prayers
Zuda Yoga’s 40 Days to a Personal Revolution
Day one: I’ve got my journal, mat and new yoga pants. I’m in it to win it! Day two: What kind of sadist invented power vinyasa yoga? Why is the studio hotter than Africa? Day six: I spend 10 minutes of each class whimpering in child’s pose, but I’m still here. Day 18: Are those triceps? Holy heck! I have triceps! Day 29: Upside-down downward dog? No problem. Three-day fruit fast? No problem. Day 31: I hate fruit. I would kill for a baguette. Day 36: Baguettes aren’t as good as I remembered. Yoga is better. Day 40: Huzzah! Zuda Yoga’s next 40 Days program begins on October 5. 1515 19th Street; (916) 640-9832; www.zudayoga.com.
Best place to break your head
28th and B Skate Park
This indoor park on the outskirts of the city has a halfpipe, rails and a fun box. Its smooth concrete is fairly forgiving on the skin when your body hits it, so it’s not solely for the young. It’s appropriate for the old rippers of yesteryear, if you will. There’s a summer camp open to skaters of all skill levels, where resident pro Matt Rodriguez teaches the basics and the not-so-basics, from ollies to 360 flips. If that’s not enough, there are sometimes hip-hop shows here, like Mistah F.A.B. and the Hieroglyphics. It’s a gem in the city, if you can find it. Wear your pads. 28th and B streets, (916) 808-4066.
Best broadcasting bully
Fox40’s sports director Jim Crandell’s ability to bring character and humor to his nightly newscast is truly a phenomenon. Take his “Cry Baby of the Week” feature, in which Crandell spotlights rich athletes who have tantrums because something doesn’t go their way. Crandell enlivens the latest sports stories with a bit of mockery and commands his six minutes on the tube. KTXL Fox40, www.fox40.com.
Best place to get nude in public
The best place to get naked in Sacramento is my backyard, but that hardly qualifies as a public place. In fact, baring it all in public is a highly unauthorized activity just about anywhere you go in Tomato Town, including the unofficial nude beach east of the Beals Point boat ramp at Folsom Lake. Even though the beach has been used by nudists for decades, state and local laws prohibit public nudity, so behave. Be cool to others, don’t litter, and above all, no public sex, or you’ll ruin it for everybody. For more information on nude beaches in the Sacramento area, go to http://riverdippers.org/dips.html.
Best public green space
Southside Park is really coming up in the world. It used to be one of those places nobody really wanted to go, but lately this green space has been the location for popular Sacramento events, including this year’s Sacramento Earth Day festival and Pride 2008. The 19.9-acre park boasts swimming and wading pools, a lake with fishing piers, a three-quarter-mile jogging trail, a playground with picnic areas and a fitness course with four exercise stations. Be sure to visit at night to see the illuminated spaceship sculpture! Sixth and T streets.
Best reason to break a sweat
The Run for a Safe Haven
For eight years, My Sister’s House has provided a safe haven for Asian and Pacific Islander survivors of domestic violence in Sacramento. This November, the nonprofit organization will sponsor its fifth annual Run for a Safe Haven, a 5-kilometer run/walk through William Land Park. The fundraiser provides much-needed financial support for the organization, which offers a six-bed shelter, a 24-hour crisis hot line, culturally appropriate counseling and a women-to-work program. How could we not love this excuse to break a sweat while helping to break the cycle of violence? 3053 Freeport Boulevard, No. 120; (916) 868-7820; www.my-sisters-house.org.
Best way to be sporty and social
Xoso Sport and Social League
What do you get when you combine sporting events with drink specials at local bars? Xoso, that’s what. This sports and social league brings together young professionals to play awesome classic games, such as kickball, Ultimate Frisbee and dodgeball. Pair these coed games with the classic sports of drinking and socializing and you’ve got the ultimate recreation group. Following each game, the winning team gets free pitchers of beer at On the Y, and there are discounts for drinks, massages, haircuts and gym memberships for all participants. New sign-ups occur regularly, and participants can request a specific sport for future leagues. www.xososports.com.
Best way to commune with the moon
Sunset paddle on Lake Natoma
Picture yourself in a boat on a river with tangerine life vests and marmelade skies. Somebody calls you—the guide at a far buoy—to kayak across the divide. Geese and dragonflies, silver and green, fluttering over your head. Look for the sun as it dips past the trees and it’s gone. Follow your guide to a bridge by a slough, where kayakers paddle through twinkling skies. Duck under branches and look towards the heavens, the moon is just starting to rise. Monthly trips leave on the Friday closest to the full moon from the CSUS Aquatic Center, 1901 Hazel Avenue, Gold River. Reservations recommended. (916) 278-2842, www.csusaquaticcenter.com.
Best way to fix it yourself
Oak Park Bicycle Kitchen
This is how it went: I bought a bike and one of the brakes snapped off. I was going to throw it away—I’m not really a “bike guy"—but five people told me to go immediately to the Bicycle Kitchen. I could not only get my bike fixed for cheap, they said, but I could learn to do it myself! It’s one of those places that’s based on the goodness of mankind. If you doubt such a thing exists, go to the Bicycle Kitchen and be proved wrong. I hear they even help ignorant know-nothings such as myself. If that’s not charitable, I don’t know what is. 2837 36th Street, (916) 731-8167, www.sacbikekitchen.org.
Best thing on eight wheels
Sacred City Derby Girls
We know what you’re thinking. Girls kicking each other’s scantily clad asses—a sort of wrestling match minus the Jell-O, plus a set of skates? Think again. The girls of Sacred City roller derby add legitimate guts and glory to the campy glitz and glamour associated with the amateur sport. Part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, SCDG runs a tight ship, with strict guidelines and serious skating, holding practices several times a week. The women of the team support themselves out of pocket and through community sponsorships, often returning the favor through volunteer work. Now that’s hot. If their matches invoke some images closer to the aforementioned, let’s face it—that’s hot, too. (888) 588-7234; www.myspace.com/sacredcityderbygirls .