What a weekend! What a country. I give "There Will Be Blood" a definite thumbs up. A solid good time. Great performances. No chicks anywhere.
Yesterday I made my second visit to the Alameda marketplace (in Alameda, natch). This place is exactly what sac needs. Good wine shop that has cut and wrap cheese, meat counter, fish counter, bakery, small natural foods grocery, and best of all for me yesterday, and deli that boasts the "ten napkin burger" that you see below.
That's blue cheese, not mayo, and yes, if you look closely you will see that the pink "juices" have soaked into the bun. Those are housemade potato chips, the inclusion of which kinda sold me on this burger that was only 8.50. One of the best burgers I've ever had.
On Mike Dunne's blog, in the midst of a post about what I can only guess is the uber-yuppie, 11 million dollar costing Oxbow market in Napa (from the same guy who developed the ferry building in SF), he buried this little nugget:
Wait, there's more: Carlin is talking with the developers of Sacramento's railyard project to put an even larger version of the public market there. Nothing's been committed to paper, but he's one assured guy who has pulled off a long string of successful projects in unlikely settings. "I'm very confident we'll work it out," he says of his prospects for a similar public market in Sacramento.
Not to be a naysayer, but to me this kind of thinking sums up Sac's image problem in a nutshell. Here you have a city like Alameda, that presumably doesn't suffer from a crippling lack of self-regard due to its close proximity to a real world-class city, that has a one-stop public market that is on a modest scale and serves the community. The Alameda market has upscale and European items, but overall it doesn't feel pretentious or forced, and the building itself is quite modest. Sac has nothing like this, so do we plan to do something along this scale? No, because Sac has this fear of being an eternal cowtown we try to do something grandiose, along the lines of the ferry building, which can only be supported because it is embedded in a dense urban area with a surrounding population of over 7 million people. That would be awesome if we got something that grand, but it will take like 15 years or more to get finished and then due to the large scale would probably limp along subsidized by the city. Maybe not, but I still lament that we couldn't get something like the Alameda marketplace put into the old woolworth's building where the stupid cabaret is going.
Then, later in the day we checked out the Trappist in downtown Oakland. This place rules and it's a real labor of love for the owners. They have weird hours because they are still working their dayjobs. I predict great success, so they can probably quit them soon.