Archive for Celebrations
As Sacramento’s Beer Week approaches, I’ve got bubbles on my mind… although not necessarily of the hoppy kind just yet.
Now, I know that not everyone loves – or even likes champagne. At first taste, I didn’t really like it all that much, to be honest. But when I realized champagne reminds me of celebration – and always wanting to see life as a celebration – a whole new world began opening up for me. So I began tasting more deliberately, slowly, methodically… and eventually got hooked on all those tiny bubbles. I also found a few girlfriends (Mom included) who were into the “celebratory” nature of champagne too, and a husband who could certainly appreciate a glass when put in front of him without hogging my bottle (hello, match made in Heaven).
So as we prepare to head out of town for our semiannual Napa/Sonoma/Calistoga/Yountville/St. Helena wine tasting trip, I am tempted to hit the sparkling wine trail (http://www.winecountrygetaways.com/champagne.html) at the expense of all those “flatter”, less-pop-when-you-cork-’em wines. But I’ll probably let my more spontaneous and adventurous nature lead me wherever it will ~ to zins, pinots, chardonnays, sauvignons, and all those varietals I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting.
For Sparkling Sacramento, try:
Sparkling Cocktails at Lounge on 20 – http://www.loungeon20.
Champagne Brunch aboard the Hornblower – http://www.hornblower.com/hce/port/overview/sac+champagne
Or get pampered while sipping champagne (I can only hope) at The Champagne Parlour – http://www.thechampagneparlour.com
What is the New Year all about, really – beyond the glitz, horns, crowds and late night mayhem? Isn’t it really just a symbol for something that humans seem to need? A reason to pause, look back, see where we’ve been… A chance to put it into perspective and take note of our lives so we can live them a little more consciously. Isn’t the beginning of a new year like a fresh start or do-over even?
It is, to me, a reminder to honor the past and envision the future. Sure, I like having a reason to drink tiny bubbles and literally sparkle against the darkness of the night… but how about getting in touch with that inner sparkle and carrying it into the New Year?! I suppose that’s why we have New Year’s resolutions and extended gym hours. But beyond our societal traditions is something deeper; something both universal and highly personal.
If you could literally start over, what would you do, who would you be, how would you approach the dawn of a new day?
Sexy, saucy play ‘OR’ to debut and close out 6-year run at the Delta King Theatre – June 17 – July 17. In addition, the Pilothouse Restaurant will be offering a specially priced $29 three-course dinner for theatre patrons. 916-995-5464, http://www.capstage.org
From Farm to You~
Announcing New Farmers’ Markets Locations:
1)Beautiful east end State Capitol Park, 15th & L Streets, every Thursday, 10AM to 1:30PM
2)St. Rose of Lima Park, 7th & K Street, every Friday, 10AM to 1:30PM (street or mall parking, light rail)
Come One, Come All for a Parade, Mass, Auction, Eats, Live Music & Fresh Air! The Freeport/Clarksburg Portuguese Festa will be held Sunday, June 19th at 54113 S. River Rd. 916-373-9942
100 Years of Making a Difference~
Stop to once again celebrate your rights at the Sacramento History Museum with the unveiling of the ‘We Won the Vote’ exhibit on June 16th. 916-808-7059, http://www.historicoldsac.org
It was Dawn’s 40th birthday. She wanted to get her friends together to celebrate. So adorned with tiara, boa and free drink tickets, she boarded a limo bound for anyplace fun. First stop: The Corner Restaurant & Bar in East Sacramento. It wasn’t crowded, but full enough to be standing room only for eight 40-is-the-new-30-year-old chicks. We ordered a round of drinks to begin the night. Some of the patrons seemed a little uncomfortable about our presence, as if we were going to disturb their quiet, serene atmosphere. While I can’t say I blame them – they probably thought we were a bachelorette party, hell-bent on one last hurrah – it was the first stop, people! How much trouble were we going to get into that early?! Anyway, a few others at the bar were really friendly, just wondering where we were headed next. Before we slipped out the door, however, the bartender bought us all a round of no-named pink shots that tasted a little like a Flintstone vitamin. But better.
Next stop: Bulls. It’s a fairly new place with a catch: a mechanical bull. But it’s a real cow’s head (sad) with a missing eye (sadder). The place is not a country bar, per se. They play all kinds of music and is really just a regular restaurant/bar (minus the one-eyed cow-bull). It wasn’t very crowded yet, but again, we were out early, so most of us took a ride on the wild side. I sort of liked the casual vibe of the place with its glamorous country accents, but the customer service left something big to be desired (saddest of all).
All aboard the limo for one more casual stop before the finale: Shady Lady (You’ve got to pronounce that like you’re woo-ing it… er, her). Now this place was hopping. I’ve been here a couple of times during the day, but nothing beats the nighttime ambiance. With some sultry acoustical music playing in the background, the velvet wallpaper, period lighting and old-fashioned menu, this place was classy and satisfying.
Final destination: MIX Downtown. First off, you’ve always got to mind the time at these places. According to our watches, we arrived in time to get in for free, with 7 minutes to spare. According to the guy at the door, we were 7 minutes too late. Luckily, our limo driver confirmed our clocks and up the stairs we went. Most – if not all – of us had been to the Mix before. We like it because it caters more to 30 and 40-year-olds than the younger crowd and has with a cool, grown-up atmosphere and open-air patio for minglaxing – mingling and relaxing). So we dove right in and pretty much danced the night away, despite there being an unusually-younger crowd on this night and the bartenders being a little too cool for school.
All in all, a bunch of 40-something-year-olds staying up until 1:30 is an amazing feat. But when the company’s good and there’s a reason to celebrate, not much is going to get us down.
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.
The Broiler Steakhouse is celebrating its 60th anniversary, and to reward the rest of us (?), they’re offering this fantastic dining deal. I wish, wish, wish I could say I’m able to give it a go, but it lessens my lament a bit to at least share this opportunity with you. Please go and enjoy yourself heartily. But hurry, the deal ends November 30.
Happy Anniversary to you, Broiler, and lucky, lucky us!
916-444-3444, 1201 Kst Sacramento
A Modern Culture Party
Saturday, October 16, 8PM – 2AM
Multiple performances and “art experiences”, including DJ Shaun Slaughter, Sacramento Ballet, Unmata, body art, photo shoot, extreme poetry, videos and more. If you get what you pay for, you’ll probably have a lot to talk about come Sunday.
Tickets: $75 in advance, $95 at the door.
The term “lightening speed” is certainly relative; what was considered lightening speed in the 1800s can hardly compare to the progress we’ve made today. However, imagine living in a simpler, more rustic time… when travel was always cumbersome and communication across vast lands was painstakingly slow. And then imagine something coming along – say, a horse and man – that changes everything you once knew – practically overnight.
When people moved out west, letters were carried by boat, and it took about six months to send or receive a letter by ship. It was a way to communicate, yes. But as far as efficiency goes, it was obviously far from ideal. So when the Pony Express was imagined to life in 1860, and it only took 10 days across the United States on horseback, imagine how many facets of life were affected by it!
The Pony Express was special because it connected East and West in a manner never done before. For 19 months the Central Overland and California Pikes Peak Express Company carried letters and telegrams through challenging terrain to prove the most central route through Salt Lake was passable year round. That trail is now a federally designated Historic Trail.
2010 marks the 150th Anniversary of inception of the Pony Express. And from June 6th to the 26th, The National Pony Express Association will conduct an anniversary Re-Ride over the 1,966 mile route of the National Historic Trail from California through Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas to Missouri. There will be various checkpoints and exchange stops with operators who will radio information to the public. GPS transmitters will also be carried by the riders, which will transmit location to a satellite.
The men and horses of the Pony Express originally set off on their journey from what is now Old Sacramento. You can see the statue at the corner of 2nd and I streets and see artifacts at the Wells Fargo History Museum.
Sometimes, something comes along that changes what we know, how we live and how we think. And sometimes, we have to look back and honor what was to more thoughtfully and deliberately appreciate what is. As for the period of the Pony Express, while it may have been brief, its existence was far from insignificant. After all, it was a simpler but groundbreaking time, and the Pony Express is a symbol of our love affair with the American West.
Come join the kick-off anniversary ride and festivities: Monday, June 7, 10a.m., Old Sacramento. Visit http://www.xphomestation.com for more up-to-date information and anniversary events across the nation.