Weather or not
Welcome to “Never Seen and Overheard”: hella frizzin’ bitter urbanite edition.
Yes, it’s the time of the year where nobody does anything—except maybe bask in Comcast’s warm glow, perhaps watching the worst Kings team in franchise history hand over their coach to the wolves, or the Knicks, in less than 12 minutes.
Knowing these wintertime habits, I took it upon myself to brave the outdoors these past few days.
First, while at a downtown coffeehouse, a friend mentioned that the recently revamped Citizen Hotel invited its investors to spend the night, rate the service and check out the new digs. And, of course, feedback was overwhelmingly positive—except for one complaint: The neighborhood was too noisy and guests had a difficult time getting shut-eye.
Downtown, the city’s other graveyard, now evidently has a bit o’ night life. And 10th and J streets, home of the new Citizen, apparently is the nexus, which is great, because more people will be discovering Sac landmarks old and new, like the Crest Theatre and Temple Fine Coffee and Tea.
Speaking of which, an Overheard: baristas at Temple debating the correct pronunciation of Jampit, as per their Indonesian coffee beans. My money’s on the silent “T,” the French way, but who knows. I tried Googling the answer, but its pronunciation is un-Googleable. Can you hear their stock dropping?
Now, a Never Seen: Second Saturday was a wash, sort of, but not because of the storm. There were rumors of precipitation, yeah, but long-term meteorological forecasting skills still suck, obviously; it didn’t pour.
Still, the monthly art walk was underattended, so go ahead and blame the Doppler hacks.
It was dry-knuckles cold, I’ll give them that. Starbucks was slammed with frigid types recharging, and the restaurants, like The Waterboy, had nary an empty table, too. But the streets and galleries were quiet. A little chill shouldn’t keep you from bundling up, shopping local and hitting up Midtown. Yes, I’m talking to you, Granite Bayers.
We want your money! All of it.
Sure, earlier that morning when suburbia sets the day’s agenda over cappuccinos and iPhone-ing, there was reason to doubt. On the plateau near Sutter’s Landing, for instance, one could see a vast fleet of storm clouds looming westward, a good three hours away. Carnage was certain.
Even down on the water, the ducks were long gone, hiding in anticipation of a rainout. There weren’t any Tent City residents shuffling the north-south path to the American River, either. Shut. In.
Midtown itself was slumbering, so you can’t blame the ’burbs outright. An orange Karmann Ghia on N Street lay covered in yellow, miniature French horn-looking leaves. Biking the vacant streets on Sunday morning during the downpour was great: bundled up like a colorblind Goodwill shopper, covered in grime shooting from my bald tires.
Midtown this week was like the second half of Sunday’s Raiders-Patriots game. You didn’t miss anything, but it’s one you’ll always remember: empty, for the birds, but with moments.