Day 82 of 365: a year in songs and photos
Song: Vandals, Rico
I’m working backwards here. I’ll fill in all the days eventually, but I wanted to get started with this one first.
I’m sitting here in a freezing cold New York, drinking my Peet’s coffee and going through my pictures from California and I miss that state in a way that’s almost like homesickness. Can you be homesick for a place you’ve only visited?
I fell in love with California, particularly Sacramento. This is my love letter to that city.
It’s a warm, welcoming place that made me feel at home whether I was in the agricultural outskirts or walking the streets of midtown. There’s a pace, a vibe in that city that I’ve never felt in Manhattan. Where New York City is claustrophobic and grimy, Sacramento is wide open and clean. Not clean in a scrub-washed kind of way, more like bright and airy. It doesn’t make me feel like I need a shower when I leave it. Even the parts of the city that are not so nice to live in are still pretty nice to look at.
It’s a colorful place, splattered with art and neon signs and houses dressed in pinks and blues and yellows. Bars and clubs and restaurants dot every street, yet it always feels residential. Maybe it’s the abundance of trees, maybe it’s the way everything is so spread out instead of built upwards. Maybe it’s the laid-back feel of the people. There’s no hustle, bustle, get out of my way or get knocked down feel like there is in New York. There’s no angry, horn blaring gridlock. There’s a softness to Sacramento that embraces you. From the coffee houses to the record stores to the tattoo parlors, from the Farmer’s Market to the greasy spoons, from J Street to Del Paso Blvd., no place seems foreboding or unwelcoming.
We explored every part of Sacramento. I saw all 15 or so places Todd lived, so every bar he drank in and club he played in and every corner he puked on. We drove through towns on the outskirts and within the city, other places he lived like Arden and Fair Oaks. We walked through Old Sacramento and strolled through Old City Cemetery, we hung out with his friends, ate a lot, walked a lot. I had the best guided tour of Sacramento anyone could want.
We did hit other parts of the state, which I’ll write about later, with photos. We spent a day in San Francisco, stopped briefly in Berkeley and spent a lot of time at Todd’s parent’s home in Lincoln, a sprawling land of planned developments where the streets have golf cart lanes. But my favorite part of the trip was the time spent in Sacramento.
We had already made plans to move to California when both the kids are out of high school. I’m sick of New York winters, I’m tired of suburbia and I want to live somewhere in my lifetime besides Long Island.
Three years and counting, and I’ll call Sacramento home. When you are longing for a place you’ve never lived in, when you spend five days in a city and feel like it’s calling you back, you know that place is for you.
The sun and the air
The mountains and sea
Streams and palm trees
That’s for me.
Read Full Post »