Archive for River(s) City
A popular river restaurant, bar, hangout and boat dock, Crawdads is a well-known party place amongst boaters, river rats and restless after-work crowds. Featuring live music during the summer months, Thursdays through Sundays, the often-serene place gets more boisterous as the night progresses. Happy Hours feature good drink specials while weekends feature $2 Bloody Marys and Mimosas (with the former being much better than the latter). The food is hit or miss or just-missed-the-mark, probably just depending on what you order. The service is usually friendly and good, and the beers wet and sloppy. The scenery? The clencher that makes this place continue to draw them in from both land and sea.
The Sacramento and American Rivers run through the Sacramento Valley and converge near Old Sacramento at Discovery Park. Needless to say, river recreation – ranging from boating, jetskiing and fishing to riverfront dining, drinking and sightseeing – is a locals’ favorite. But there’s also biking, running and nature viewing on the beloved American River Parkway, which gets a near 5-star overall rating on Yelp.com. There’s nightlife and live music at various locations along the rivers, from the delta towns of Nicolaus and Clarksburg to the lake-bejeweled city of Folsom. There are beaches, boat docks, riverfront parks and plenty of visitor experiences (complete with river-view hotels) as well, lining certain swatches of land along the lush riverfronts. But if you ask any one local, you’re likely to get a variety of responses, suggestions and impressions of how the rivers help characterize our fair city.
For instance, Swabbies is a rustic restaurant and bar that serves up ultra-fried foods, refreshments for the whole family and live music every weekend. Just a few minutes northwest of the airport off I-5, it’s a bit of a local local’s secret, if you know what I mean. But it’s earthy and welcoming enough for just about anyone. You can putter up and dock there by boat or jetski, roll up on the hog, or pull up in the family station wagon. While it’s a bit of an old school ‘party place’, it’s one place you’re also likely to see a bachelorette party peacefully perched right next to a family birthday celebration.
The only thing I think it’s missing: An old weather-beaten Pirate ship half buried in the sand, along with the ghost of its captain dangling from the upper deck, his “Aaarrrrs” sometimes audible when the Delta breezes gently tousle your hair.
You know those guys standing on the street corner holding pizza signs and waving? Do you ever wave back? When you enter or exit a public place, do you look back to see if anyone could use an open door? How about walking down the street? Do you make eye contact, smile or say ‘Hello’ to passer-bys?
It seems some of our bad (or just nonexistent) manners are just a reflection of our self-involved society: talking on cell phones, listening to Ipods, being distracted or generally just being self-absorbed. I’m pleased to say, however, that there are still plenty of well-mannered people out there. And yet one place, in particular, seems to have maintained its general ongoing goodwill toward people in the midst.
The waterways of Sacramento, which are dominated by the Sacramento and American Rivers, are ever-flowing portals of summer fun. Boaters, rafters, jetski-ers, sunbathers, bird watchers, anglers, joggers, cyclists, campers, picnic-ers and the likes frequent the American River Parkway regularly, which is about 30 miles and 4,000 acres of pure nature and mankind mingling. And there’s one thing I’ve seen consistently on these rivers: basic manners.
Certainly, there are exceptions to every rule (jerks in every city). But we shouldn’t let them get the best of us. At least that’s my motto… Whether it’s older gentlemen in a fishing boat, teenagers crammed into a speedboat or a family floating merrily down river; whether it’s kayakers, wakeboard-ers or beach-goers, acknowledgment of one another is the norm. Whether the rivers are crowded on a holiday weekend or sparse in playmates during the week, one thing usually stands: The standard ‘I-see-you-and-share-a-common-bond-with-you’ wave. That bond being – the love of the rivers that have nourished our land for so long, and continue to elevate our spirits daily. Mother Nature can make a city beautiful, but it’s the people that make it especially grand.
[Above Photo: 'Sacramento River' by Steve Duroncelet]