Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sacramento Stop-Over

Sacramento has its own whimsical charm.  And if you are found of time traveling, this is a city to make a stop in.  It as a two-era divide vibe: one half 1920’s and one have 1800s Old West.  The 20’s feel is found sprinkled in subtle hints in the downtown area and the Old West is found in “Old Town” near the river.  I was only in the city for a day and half (for work), so I had little time to explore the city in its many facets.  However, the city leaves you with a taste of other-eraness, with a dash of swelling patriotism that comes with glimpses of the state Capitol building.

So, if you have found yourself often long having a feeling that you were born in the wrong era, such as myself, a brief stop in Sacramento gives you a sense of escape into a decade you feel more at home in.  This other-era experience is found in the aged architecture throughout the city, giving a small savory sense of “national history” in a nation, and a state, that is relatively young.  Brick, weathered facades, decorative window frames, old trains, wooden structures.

To wrap yourself in the Jazz Age, head to The Citizen Hotel. Stop in for a bite to eat, a cocktail, or a night’s stay…but do stop in.  The exterior is striking, with a drawing and visible presence even from blacks away.  Catch sight of it in late afternoon light for the most captivating visual experience.  The elevators have the charm of an old Hollywood Hotel (or Tower of Terror?): gold lined, antiquated.  Head up from the book-lined lobby, complete with blue and red velvet chairs, to the Scandal Lounge bar.  The Scandal is complete with round red-seated stools, mahogany bar, and a celebrity napkin wall (a sort of Hollywood Stars walk brought indoors).  You feel like you’ve found yourself in the Midnight-in-Paris-Syndrome – you expect to find Hemingway scribbling in a journal at a table tucked away in a back corner.  For a spectacular view of the Capitol building at dusk or in black-sky-glow, make a stop at the 7th Floor Metropolitan Terrace – an excellent venue for a wedding or corporate event.
Old Town Sacramento
Tower Bridge
For a gallop into the Old West, take a brief walk-about in Old Town, near the river’s edge.  Journey across Tower Bridge, walk among old railroad relics, soak in the charm of wooden buildings (touristy, sure) in replication of the old gold mining towns.  You feel a bit of gold fever yourself, or at least get a hint of the excitement of being on the frontier of something, the trill of being a pioneer, venturing into the uncertain.

Although a short stay with little free time to explore, I found my brief sampling of Sacramento to be an escape into other eras, a time in history I wish I could have belonged to.

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