Thursday, March 26, 2009

Lipstuck!

First of all, dudes, The Rubicon has Deschutes "The Abyss" right now.  It's delicious.  It has a very dark brown, creamy head and it tastes like coffee and chocolate and is as smooth as a baby's bottom on the way down, despite being ten percent alcohol.  It's deceptively strong, so one will probably do the trick.

Here's a picture of a proscuitto sandwich from Le Petit Paris to accompany my silly thing in the news and review.  If we're the loftovers, then I thought of a name for the generation that is slightly younger: Lipstuck!
Here's the requested photos of Huey Lewis.  I don't have a good one of ZZ Top.  These aren't so great, either.

Do you know about the Tiffany movie at MOBS this weekend?  It definitely smacks of the genre of freak show documentaries that make me very uncomfortable, especially since one of the subjects is going to be at the screening BUT the seven o'clock show conveniently precedes the show at West Capitol Bowl that I'll be going to, so I'm gonna ride my bike there and check it out!

What show?  Why, only the Mayyors and Eat Skull at West Capitol Bowl.  Starts around nine. Four bands. 

Also, Cap Stage (in the Delta King) is doing a production of David Mamet's American Buffalo.  I really like plays with local actor (and cap stage founder) Peter Mohrman in them, so I'm stoked.

Have you guys been following the monumental developing story that they might reopen K street to traffic?  Sounds like a good idea to me.  See, I'm not a complete naysayer, the city just usually has asinine ideas.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

Niki has some pics of ZZ on her flickr.

Funny tagline on the Nic pic.

gbomb

Anonymous said...

My big concern with opening K Street up to cars is that the street is now book-ended by buildings, so it'll only be like five open blocks. If the idea is to bring traffic, and thus business back to K, I don't really understand who will be going out of their way to drive a few blocks down a dead-end street. I just don't see it leading to any sort of "revitalization". To me it seems like doing something, just for doing something's sake.

-biz

madewell said...

I agree with Biz. I don't see the point, when it's deadended both ways.

I'm not a Loftover, but please tell me I'm not a Lipstuck.

The Armeniac said...

The dead ends make it a wierd idea for sure, but it'll be paying someone to do something and I think that's the idea behind Obama's money, spend it. Also if their was a parking on Kst people may go to Kst to buy things, at least that's the idea.
Madewell yr a Yubster, a variant of the Loftover. A Lipstuck would never go to the Merc. But a Yubster, a Yubster could spend hours at the Merc.

Anonymous said...

Lipstuck's would totally go to the Merc.

My thought on K Street is that nothing will revitalize it to the degree that the city wants. It's essentially a business district & it's really not that uncommon for a business district to pretty much die at night. Look at some of the more succesful recent businesses - DeVeres, 58 Degrees, Zocalo, Bows & Arrows - I don't feel that any of those businesses would be half as sucessful if they were on or around the K St mall. Not just K St either - anywhere west of 15th Street is pretty dead at night. People just don't want to go over there at night & THAT'S NO BIG DEAL. There are a lot of areas downtown that are "dead" at night & that's not unique to Sac.

The things that people want to do over by K St are after work things. Concerts in the Park, Thursday Night Market, stuff like that. Why the city chooses to see this unpopular destination as some challenge is beyond me. Downtown is jammed with people - now more than ever - focus on where those people WANT to go, not where you feel they SHOULD go.

All that stupid mermaid/adult pizza shit isn't my thing - but I'm basically against it because it's almost surely doomed to fail. If you put those things on 19th & J, I probably wouldn't go but at least they would do well.

The street parking is the best reason to open K St to cars. I can see it making a little bit of a positive difference. But if it's gonna cost 8 billion dollars or somthing ridiculous then I don't know if it's such a great idea.

-miller

Anonymous said...

Lipstock!

Verification word: "honadd"

A hodad's gonad????

---Whause

The Armeniac said...

OK I'm out of the Lipstuck loop. They go to the Merc? So Miller, you're saying Madewell is a Lipstuck? Whoa! That's wild.

wburg said...

Okay, let me be a killjoy and do some math. If the main argument for re-opening K Street to cars is to add street parking, how many parking spaces would we gain?

Let's assume that you would be able to fully utilize all of the curbs from 7th Street to 12th Street for on-street parking spaces. That means no red zones, no loading zones, no passenger zones, no disabled zones, no driveway cuts, no bicycle or motorcycle spots. Let's also assume that Light Rail is totally removed, so the ADA access ramps wouldn't be in the way either.

Each downtown Sacramento block is 320 feet long. Parallel-parking spaces require 24 feet. That means 13 spaces per block, on either side of the block, for five blocks.

Grand total, 130 spaces.

According to the City of Sacramento's Central City Parking Master Plan, there are 5,721 street parking spaces in the central business district (of 22,648 in the entire central city.) There are also 28,344 public off-street parking spaces in the central business district (of 31,490 in the central city.)

The parking structures within a block or two of K Street (three Downtown Plaza garages, Capitol, City Hall, Lotds D and W) add up to 5920 parking spaces.

That means those 130 parking spaces represent an increase of, at most, 2%. Considering that a significance chunk of that 130 would have to be red zones, loading zones, passenger drop-off zones, ADA ramps for light rail, and other impediments to parking spaces, you're probably talking 80 spaces at most. And keep in mind that there is no way this would be free parking--it would be metered, so there is little advantage over parking in a parking structure.

The typical argument about street parking is being able to park directly in front of the store you want to visit, but in parts of the central city where there is street parking, how often are you able to park directly in front of the store you are visiting?

I'm just not feeling it, I guess.

Sometimes I think that K Street is subject to a "Winchester Mystery House" type curse, and if we don't constantly knock things down and put them up on K Street the shoggoths and other eldritch creatures under the sidewalks will rise up and take horrifying revenge upon us. That's the only rational explanation I can think of for 50 years of continually picking at the scab of K Street.

Anonymous said...

Plus, what are the cars going to?
Seriously there is nothing fucking on K st. and how will they work the cars and the light rail? The street is basically just a series of lightrail stops. And three blocks of deadend doesn't becaome more attractive with cars.

Its just doing something to be doing something.Miller is right I am downtown every single day, and the reason I leave when work is over isn't because I can't drive on K st, its there there is nothing I want. Including Mermaid bars and musical theatre.

People don't come to K st at night because there is nothing there and the light rail stops scare them. I think part of this is about letting people park right at their destination, instead of making the street itself feel safer.

Natalie.

beckler said...

It's definitely a psychological thing, not a practical thing, but if the city absolutely will not stop trying to revitalize this street, which seems to be true, then I think that this could have a better effect than some of the other dumb shit they have done.

Patrick J. said...

I'm not feeling this at all, if the place is gonna be a nitelife destination, then the carless thing is the best part about it. Anyone whose been here awhile, remembers damn well that there where business's on K street...then the city kicked them out. I go to K-street all the time...I like it car free. Think of all the times the line from the Crest spills into the street. That alone should kill the idea. Maybe open just two blocks of it so people can loop around, like 8th to 9th and then 11th to 12th. That would still leave some carless sections.

Patrick J. said...

or how about opening it to fucking bikes first!!

wburg said...

patrick: opening it to bikes wouldn't require any sweet, sweet contracts to local contractor/developer types. Thus, it's not going to happen.

Opening part but not all would just result in more confusion: not sure how many of you have witnessed the hilarity that ensues when someone hangs a left onto K Street onto the pedestrian mall, but just imagine more of that.

Anonymous said...

I am not a loftover either, I just saw a chance to exploit them for lot of money.

Gmoneybags

Anonymous said...

It won't make a damn bit of difference. Since people love to go on about Austin as a model for Sacramento, go spend some time in their (open to cars) downtown after 5 pm. There's nightlife on 6th Street, but the main drag through downtown (Congress) is dead dead dead after 5p because all the state workers/lobbyists go home after 5p.

But hey - if the city's already thrown a lot of money and time around continually re-developing K Street (and destroying most of the original tunnels), who am I to argue against the next phase in that grand tradition?

beckler said...

I liked the sacbee comment that was like "let's open it just to oldtimey cars on the weekend evenings"

btw, I forgot to ever say thanks to Gbomb for hosting the Halloween show!

Anonymous said...

If they're going to throw money at that area I think something that might succeed (but would be really unpopular & would never happen) would be temporarily subsidizing rents to enable small younger businesses to get started over there. I often hold Temple up as an exapmple of a place that survives in that area - even on weekends & evenings after everyone's gone homw from work - & it survives largely on younger people (aka the dreaded hipsters) who don't blow a gasket if they can't drive over there.

The city is so one-track on nightclubs when those aren't the only places that get people out at night. In fact, I can't be the only person who actively avoids blocks where nightclubs are.

Anyway, it just seems at this point that there has to be a damn good reason for someone to choose that area to start a business & maybe a break on rent might be tempting. BUT, I'm sure there are a million holes that can be made in that idea.

-miller

Anonymous said...

miller -

The subsidizing rents to small younger business is basically what Mohanna (sp?) was doing, except instead of subsidies, he just let the buildings stay in lousy condition with cheap rents. But the city doesn't want small independent businesses, they want big developers to bring in big chains & flashy yuppie joints so we can be more 'upscale.'

word verification: taing - the taste of a taint? (sorry)

Anonymous said...

I avoid blocks with night clubs, but thats because I am always on my bike. Which I guess means I will never bike on K st.

I will never be a person who goes to niteclubs, but I will always be a person who wants to eat and have a beer within biking distance of her downtown home. Seems like there are a lot of us. almost enough that our voice would be valuable. Nope, guess its time to get into mermaids and tubetops.

-Natalie.

wburg said...

A lot depends on what you define as a "nightclub." Is a live music venue a nightclub? A dance club? A bar with no dancefloor or live music? It depends on who you ask, I guess.

Is it not a nightclub if there is live music, and beer, and maybe someone spinning records, but smiller goes there?

Personally I'm kind of hoping that the mermaid bar etc. get built and open, but they fail miserably because even though they got hella subsidies they were dumb ideas in the first place. Then, someone else can take advantage of the freshly-remodeled spaces (in other words, a pre-subsidized improvement) to open something that is not quite so dumb.

My favorite example of this was the original True Love. That space was originally fixed up by an earlier restaurant owner, the "Goddess of Tea," who spent a hatful of money to fix the place up as home to "SereniTea," a horrible idea that lasted a few months before she went broke. Kevin and Allyson moved in, slapped up some paint and some thrifted furniture and bingo, it's the True Love. The fact that it closed due to other shittiness on the city's part is another story: basic idea is (1)someone with a bad idea spends a bunch of money to fix a building and goes broke quickly, then (2)someone else with less money but a better idea takes over the abandoned space.

I suggest that smiller do so. When the mermaid bar closes, tear out the mermaid pool, put a band stage in there, and rename it "Taste of Taint."

Anonymous said...

I think they should open an all ages music club on K Street -- that would get plenty of people down there -- oh wait, they already did that and then the city shut it down so it could be sure to keep almost all businesses between 7th and 8th closed indefinitely (until that guy builds that stupid furniture store which will most definitely close at 5 every evening).

Cars on K Street make no sense to me, parking downtown at night is not the problem, it's that there's not a whole lot worth doing down there at night (with a few glorious exceptions)

Personally I would like to see us accept K Street as the 'skid row' it has alwaysbeen (in spite of decades of official denial) and we centralize homeless/low income services down there -- that would keep things active at night

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant ultralounge. Is that clearer?

-miller

beckler said...

Again, it's the perception of parking being a problem just as much as a reality. Actually, what am I saying, I'm sounding like I want to convince suburbanites to come downtown, when that is actually the opposite of what I want because they will try to drunkenly run me over or yell things at me as I'm walking around. I'm so confused.

What did go down with the True Love? I was suprised it closed.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry I don't think you could ever convince suburbanites to come downtown on a consistent basis -- I think that's partly why they moved out to the suburbs in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I thought suburbanites moved to the burbs because they needed somewhere to drunk drive to when they're finished with Second Saturday.

-miller

wburg said...

Actually the original True Love's closure was due to the owner of the building ending their lease, but I suspect it had something to do with the all-ages live music venue aspect of the place (that was why the city had hassled them earlier.)

Attracting suburbanites to come downtown, get all drunk and then drive home is never a good idea, but many folks at City Hall are convinced that it is the only way to save downtown. In some cases, I assume it is because they consider the entire central city utterly uninhabitable, and those of us who live here are just disgusting scum that oughtta be fumigated.

In other cases, they see how difficult it will be to actually convince builders to build downtown (plenty of people want to move here, but builders can't/won't build at price points that the people who want to move here can afford, and lenders won't lend to those that can/will.) Because bars generate lots of sales tax, and drinking is one of the few things that goes up during economic depressions, they consider bars and entertainment to be the only solution.

miller: Today's ultra lounge is tomorrow's dive bar. Personally I'd rather see more places that don't serve booze but are open late: I miss my late-night coffee spots, dammit.

And yes, we absolutely need more all-ages live music venues, specifically larger ones, for the shows that are too big for Luigi's but too small for the Memorial. Now all we need is someone with money and/or political pull who can convince the city to shower some redevelopment money on it...or, say, a recently-remodeled failed ultra lounge.

word: "coares" as in "nobody coares about your stupid gigantic rants, bill."

Anonymous said...

Screw your late night coffee spots Burg! Just go to bed already!

-miller

Anonymous said...

Downtown will always be trash. It's too close to the capitol for the city to ever open it up to nightclubs, all ages venues, and good places to eat and hang around cause those places attract subversive people (or just good timing dipshits) who will wanna get wasted and "stick it to the man" by pissing on the capitol or some dumb shit in the middle of the night. So the kind of business that the city will always want to bring downtown will be corporate chains serving up corn syrup and cheap shoddy trinkets. Places that close before the sun goes down. Places where boring vacant people toss money out of their hands. Basically if anything good is ever gonna happen in Sac it won't be happening downtown, and it shouldn't either. People should just turn their back on downtown (like the city counsel has on the people there) and start looking elsewhere to make good things happen. I say it's time to revitalize Old Sac. Have you seen that frickin place? Talk about behind the times.
-Dillon

Anonymous said...

I think renaming K Street the "Good Timing Dipshits District" just might work.

-miller

The Armeniac said...

In addition to being the greatest name for any district of all times, "Good Timing Dipshits District" is impossible to say three times in a row;it would really slow down city council meetings.

Anonymous said...

Guess who has a backstage pass to see the dead, bitches? I am so going to make out with Bob Weir!
gbomb

beckler said...

I went to Old Sac to see American Buffalo at Capitol Stage last night. Thumbs up! Old Sac is so weird. There were people there at ten going to funny nightclubs. Tunel 21 had a live band playing.

Anonymous said...

I hear making out with weir is like taking an eighth of shrooms dipped in acid and sprinkled with low grade crank.
-Dillon

Anonymous said...

Plus he has a giant beard these days so you may get some extras.

-miller

Anonymous said...

the best part about the idea of allowing cars back on k street is that it's a first step toward undoing the clusterfucking the city gave K St back in the sixties.

the thing that really screws k street is that many people do not feel safe there after dark. And with good reason- it's often empty, or worse, empty except for a few people who are clearly drunk and/or mentally ill. traffic on the street increases visibility in the area, which makes people feel like they're not alone- hence safer. Allowing people to drive on that street is the first step toward getting them to actually want to be there.

The second part of the equation is housing. We need to get people living on/near K street again. instead of subsidizing these idiotic plans for mermaid bars they should be rehabbing some of those buildings to be mixed-income housing. expensive, yes... but as a long-term solution to the problem it is the single-best answer. Ain't gonna happen in the current housing market.

part 3 is what Miller and others mentioned: encouraging small businesses to start up on K. The city could take that 5.5 million - 11 million (estimates vary wildly) that they're handing to Taylor and make microgrants or loans to small businesses that would then be willing to take a chance on a K Street location. Artifacts moved in at 9th and K, remodeled, did an ass-kicking job of it, and got ZERO city money. of course, the answer to why this isn't happening is because there is no $#@ small business lobbyist giving the city council/mayor/controller a hand job.

-omf

Anonymous said...

I would love to sign that petition that Josh Pane is shopping around. i will even shop it around a bit. I wonder where I can find a copy?
http://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/content?oid=932510

g

wburg said...

I don't buy the idea of traffic on the street making an area feel safer...case in point, just look a block away at J and L Street parallel to the blocks we're talking about on K Street. Three lanes of traffic, but pedestrians are if anything less frequent on those streets than on K.

Housing is critical (fix up the low-income, add more mid-income, and the high-income will take care of itself) but is the hardest part of the equation to actually execute. The easiest way to do that is to fix up the existing buildings, rather than building new buildings. The #1 best candidate is the Bel-Vue. The #2 candidate is the Berry. #3 is the former Flagstone Hotel rooms on the second floor of the 700-800 block. All of those are owned by the city, who has basically no idea what to do with them. Getting them to do anything will be like pulling teeth, but it absolutely has to happen.

And you're all wrong about when K Street went to hell...the decline really happened when they took the streetcars out. So here's the other concept for your consideration: move Light Rail entirely to 7th/8th Street (this can be done by running the Blue Line via a connector on Richards or North B) and put streetcars back on K Street.

darin said...

I'm undecided on the idea of cars on K. It probably won't help people feel much safer because there will be no real through traffic. On the other hand, even if there's not really enough parking for anything, just being able to drive past the mermaid pizza emporium may cause more people to check it out, instead of having to park first & walk to it sight unseen. A limo/taxi zone would be nice, too, although any place that attracts limos will drive me far away.
Logistically it will be a mess, trying to set it up to allow light rail & pedestrians but stopping cars from going "too far" onto the blocks that will not be open to traffic. There's talk of maybe reducing it to one light rail line for both directions which would allow traffic barriers of some sort but, combined with the cars, will seriously screw up the entire light rail schedule.
Housing would be nice but the city only wants high-priced lofts, and small businesses would be nice (maybe an independent record store, a comic books store, a tacqueiria, a clothing store...) but the city only wants big bucks developers and those catering to upscale (3monkey-level) tastes.

Anonymous said...

Bill, comparing J and K on those blocks is unfair: nearly every building between 10th and 11th on J is boarded up. That's a lot different vibe.

Do you have cost comparisons for streetcar vs opening K to car traffic? it seems to me like adding a streetcar line is going to be way expensive, but I don't know the numbers.

-omf

word: boofe = old english word for me after burritos

wburg said...

omf: Streetcars use the same rails and overhead as the existing Light Rail line. So the infrastructure cost is effectively zero.

Alice said...

not like this would ever happen, but in my fantasy world, you'd get more people living close to K street of various income brackets and then put in a supermarket on K. even if it were a Safeway, it would still give people a reason to be down there after 5pm. gauge the amount of foot traffic generated after those two changes and see what other viable businesses could set up shop. i'd love a roller skating rink or a bowling alley but i know those aren't exactly money makers.

wburg said...

No reason why it wouldn't happen, Alice. The last time I was in San Francisco, we took the Caltrain south, and right across the street, in the ground floor of a condo/apartment building was...a Safeway. Plenty of people have been hollering for a decent market downtown, something bigger than the little convenience stores.

And yeah, if we do get more housing built downtown, they will need a place to shop.

In my particular "not like this would ever happen" fantasy, that market would be in the Greyhound station.

word verification: VIENER!

jay said...

I say bring back the Thursday Night Market without the SLO hippy vibe.It should represent Sactoe. Maybe some Stockton Blvd Restuarants could dish out some stuff.Cinco de Mayo,Hmong New Year just throw em` on the K.

Lub--
Jay

Verify Word-- Antichet. The opposite of chet in Weird Science!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm with Soriano who said they really ought to fill the vacancies on J street, since that's the main drag people come into downtown on way before they start fucking with K street.

BTW, saw the Tiffany movie and it *was* extremely creepy.

Ed-who-just-moved-back-from-Vermont