Not so fast, Kev Jo - if it's true that our would-be celebrity mayor thinks Second Saturday is Sacramento's best-kept secret, I wouldn't be trusting our town with any of mine. Second Saturday was GRIDLOCK! The best kind of gridlock, pedestrian!
Seriously, I don't know how many thousands of people were out Saturday, but there were streets you could barely walk down, and near 20th and J - the new de facto epicenter of midtown - you would barely walk down the MIDDLE of the street, not just the sidewalk (which was impassable). 20th Street got so full that two bicycle cops used their bikes to block off the street, while black-and-whites blocked other ways so that the crush of people wasn't crushed by the jam of cars.
And it went that way all the way down J towards Harlow's, and down I towards the Barton Gallery and toward Jack's and The Waterboy and up K and down 19th...it was Sacramento as Real City, and once again, you could see the future, now. The MARRS Building, with the Solomon Dubnick Gallery as one of its anchors - and with Peet's and fabulous Newsbeat and Azul as well - was ground zero, and should prove some sort of model for future dense infill in the area. Especially if they keep putting cool-ass DJs out on the deck...
Old Soul Alley had a virtual block party, as folks stood out in the warm - VERY WARM - summer night and looked up at the blue sky and figured, "I'm sure glad I didn't get out of town THIS weekend." Because honestly, a lot of weekends, this town is absolutely dead, but on that second weekend...wow.
Then there were the jug bands playing on the sidewalk at 19th and Capitol, near L Wine bar and some of the new hoity-toity shops (Ginger Elizabeth chocolates and some new "purveyor" who had closed doors and stiff-looking employees who looked like they were expecting Rodeo Drive customers and were a bit flummoxed by our loveable hoi polloi that is mid-town's default population.
Open the doors, hand out samples, makes some friends, people! And say hello to the Jugg Sisters, one of our newest jug bands!
There were other street performers, including our pal, columnist/songwriter Jackson Griffith, looking all art-directed against the green-gray wall of the lovely (and crowded) yoga spot Deep), though we missed the belly dancing and fire-spinning we were aiming for. Oh well: Next month!
The best of big city vibe extended into Sunday, too. We did a picnic with some friends in McKinley Park, and it was fantastic, people of all varieties enjoying the beautiful weather, watching the seasonal bump in ducks and geese (they're everywhere these days, I saw a huge flock over the levee by Miller Park last night on a bike ride) and enjoying atmospheric conditions that would have had the French Impressionists coming here for a whole different kind of Gold Rush.
In the depths of winter, when the town goes quiet, folks stay home and watch the video or head out of town for somewhere more interesting - and I count myself among the latter - this place can get a bit dull. But Second Saturday is no secret, and this summer it is going to blow up! The future is here. I like it.