Archive for December, 2010
Sacramento is pretty well known for her rivers, and summertime fun includes boating, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, kayaking, fishing, rafting, and all sorts of other sunshine fun. But this is winter (need I remind myself? I’m wearing a woolen hat), and luckily, no one need stay indoors who prefers not.
For some wholesome family fun – especially if you’re a burger fanatic – SUZIE BURGER on the edge of Downtown is hosting an early New Year’s countdown at 9PM. You can watch the live Times Square ball drop with noise makers and party hats under a stream of streamers and balloons… And then not feel so bad about nodding off before the big 12-0. 455-3500, http://www.suzieburger.com
For a somewhat casual but still adventurous New Year’s celebration outdoors, Old Sacramento has its annual double fireworks celebration. NEW YEAR’S EVE SKY SPECTACULAR kicks off with a show at 9 for kids and then another at midnight for the more grown up types. Live music and street vendors will make the experience complete; just don’t forget your mittens. http://www.discovergold.org/nye/
For something more romantic and cozy – I knew I was going somewhere with that river reference…. reserve your space on a HORNBLOWER CRUISE. You can enjoy the Old Sacramento fireworks shows while dining in style and staying warm. 916-446-1185, http://www.hornblower.com
ENJOY & See Ya Next Year!
It must get a little tiring for those not so Christmas-minded to constantly see the focus of our culture on all things Christmas this time of year. Although Christmas has come to mean different things to different people (like it or not, purists), others who may have different beliefs have to live beneath the halo of the Christmas tree all month long. But there are growing branches upon which differing beliefs and celebrations can reside together, and the Crocker Art Museum extends one of them.
On Sunday, Dec. 26, the Crocker will present a free Kwanzaa Family Festival from noon to 4 p.m. The museum-wide festival showcases the Museum’s new collection of African art with music and dance performances, hands-on art making, and storytelling. Sponsored by Target and presented in collaboration with the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum and the Kuumba Collective Art Gallery, the Museum will be FREE from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on this day.
Celebrated worldwide, Kwanzaa is “an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people’s culture.” It is celebrated December 26th through January 1st.
Can’t decide between having a cup of tea or mug of beer? It’s a common conundrum. Luckily, the people at Hoppy Brewing have created the perfect solution: Tea-infused beer. But it’s only available during the holidays, so don’t sleepy-time-tea your way through this one.
Hoppy Claus Holiday Ale is an amber ale with Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice tea in place of the hops. Bengal Spice contains a unique mixture of cinnamon, roasted chicory root, roasted carob, dates, ginger root, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, and nutmeg that obviously adds some interesting character to this holiday brew.
In keeping with the ‘containment’ of the holiday season merriment, however, Hoppy Brewers only brew enough to last through the holidays. So, like I said, don’t wait for your cup of Darjeeling to cool before trying something new. And bring your appetite because Hoppy Brewing has great food too!
6300 Folsom Blvd, East Sacramento
Dark, casual, old…. It’s the kind of place I would normally frequent, so it’s also a little odd that my experiences with Old Ironsides are so limited. I remember someone suggesting going there one night after a party. It was rather late, but I guess we were still in party mode, and we arrived to find Old Ironsides of like mind. Bucho, a popular Sacramento-originated band with an engaging singer, was playing in the back room. The place was lively but there was still room to move around. I liked it.
That’s why it’s odd again that I didn’t return for nearly 4 years. This time: Lunch with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen for over 20 years. I was greeted from afar by the bartender when I walked in. The lunch crowd was much thicker than I expected. I found my friend and proceeded to catch up with her for 2 hours over food that was somehow simple, comforting and vibrant at the same time. We were again bid a farewell from afar as we parted and finally emptied the place out.
I can’t tell you what Old I looks like inside…. maybe perfectly dive-y. I know I have yet to experience this place fully, giving it my full, undivided attention. I know there’s more to discover here, and if it takes a ridiculous amount of time in order for me to do it, well, it’s certainly nothing personal.
Old Ironsides remains anchored at the corner of 10th & S, as it has since 1934. Named after the legendary war ship, “it was the first local establishment to serve liquor after the close of prohibition,” the proprietors say. I’m told by a local historian, however, that it was a speakeasy before that… But maybe that’s still supposed to be a secret?
Be a great gift giver, enjoy the art of gift giving, and feel good about your purchases at the same time! How? By shopping at local museums, finding hidden treasures and holiday gifts, and supporting local history and the parks that preserve it.
When searching for holiday gifts, local shoppers often think of malls and mass retailers. However, hidden treasures and unique items are available at various museums and historic parks throughout the Sacramento area as well. Outlined below is a sampling of some of the unique, quality items waiting to be discovered at a few favorite historic destinations around town.
California State Railroad Museum
California Poppy Necklaces & Earrings — Made exclusively for the Railroad Museum Store, fashion necklaces and earrings are available that showcase an elegant floral design taken from the Santa Fe Railway’s “California Poppy” china pattern. This china pattern was used for decades on many Santa Fe passenger trains traveling to and from California. The necklace comes with a 30″ chain that can be shortened. The earring wires are hypo-allergenic.
Polar Express Merchandise — Of course, the Museum Store sells difficult-to-find and crowd-pleasing Polar Express merchandise, all officially licensed. Gift items include water globes, picture frames, throw blankets, mugs and holiday ornaments.
Gift Memberships — The gift of membership to the California State Railroad Museum makes a wonderful gift with many benefits such as free entrance into the museum, free excursion train rides, special discounts, invitations to members-only events and much, much more!
Huntington & Hopkins Hardward Store (located next to Railroad Museum)
Wooden Toys & Puzzles — Reminiscent of an earlier time, wooden puzzles and time-tested toys spur imagination and hands-on creativity for kids of all ages.
Local History Books — Wonderful and thought-provoking books are available about Sacramento’s role in the Gold Rush and the Pony Express.
Governor’s Mansion State Historic Park
California or State Parks Branded Merchandise — Perfect for California lovers, the Governor’s Mansion SHP store has California branded merchandise such as mini flags, California bear mugs,t-shirts, books, pins and more. Plus, a variety of State Parks branded merchandise is available, too.
Period Popular Jewelry — Affordable yet tasteful costume jewelry (that represents the period of interpretation 1903-1967) is available in the Mansion store and includes necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pins and earrings. Great conversation pieces!
Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park
Books About 19th Century Life — Appropriate for the restored Mansion, two popular books are available at the on-site store, titled “Essential Handbook of Victorian Entertaining” and “Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette.” Both books provide guidance for properly conducting oneself in an era where social norms differed materially from those we are familiar with today.
State Indian Museum
Native American Artwork — Unique and original artwork made by talented Native American artisans from all over California is available in the Museum Store.
Soapstone Kits — Wonderful for children with active imaginations who love to explore and enjoy hands-on activities, soapstone carving kits are available in a variety of figurines such as a bear, wolf, sun disk or dolphin.
Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park
Corn Husk Doll Angels — Traditional corn husk dolls bring the magic of Christmas as charming angel ornaments. Available handmade by the artisans at Sutter’s Fort or as “do-it-yourself” kits.
Hand-Dipped Beeswax Candles & Pine Cones — Made on-site, Sutter’s Fort SHP has its very own line of beeswax candles and pine cones that range in shapes, sizes, scents and prices. Beeswax candles lit the night during the cold winter of 1846. Now everyone can enjoy the beauty and scent of hand-dipped candles.
No admission fee is necessary to browse through the various on-site stores. More information and hours for the various sites is available online at http://www.parks.ca.gov/CapitalDistrict.