Earlier this month we attended our first real "happening." Sacramento finally got its first appropriately-sized public museum after more than 150 years of cityhood, so the woman and I decided we couldn’t miss it. I hate to admit that I get a total half-assed vibe whenever I see Sacramento’s civic leaders going around proclaiming that something great is on the way. There have been way too many scenes of VIPs wearing shiny chromed hardhats, breaking ground with shiny chromed shovels, only to later hear that investors are pulling out, species are threatened, or not enough money was raised. Sometime, in the late 90s or early 2000s I saw a story on the local news about the old, Victorian-era Crocker Gallery and how it was going to be eclipsed by a modern city museum. The proposed state-of-the-art facility would be large enough to display substantially more of its massive inventory purchased and acquired largely by its benefactors nearly an entire century ago. I was certain that the new museum proposal would only reach the "big empty hole" stage like so many other projects such as: The pit that was supposed to be a stadium next to the Arco Arena project; the Landmark Twin Towers that were supposed to put Sacramento on the map but died three years ago project; and let’s not forget, the rundown K street mall that is truly one of the most depressing places in the world but is really, really gonna get better, you watch project, in development since the start of the Vietnam War. It was only when I saw the new Crocker’s façade start to take shape less than two years ago that I actually believed this thing was really getting built. On Sunday the 10th, the “new” Crocker Museum opened with a plenty of fanfare and Ruth and I joined some lovely friends of ours along with their children and toured the place on its opening with the masses (members and the glitterati attended a special opening the night before). I’m not sure I feel if the new Crocker is great because it’s great or possibly that it’s great because Sacramento has been gliding on autopilot for so long that a large city simply opening a cultural center seems so alien to me. I’m not dwelling on it. As for the art, you decide.
Earlier I broached the subject on direction and how Ruth & I searched for it and came up with a few new projects for the coming season. Clearly this is time of year when folks start getting off the blankets and start getting under them. So the key word is warmth or better yet, comfort. One of best things that Sacramento has going for it is the weather, especially winter, which all of our Sac friends know is not very cold and mostly dry until Spring when the rain comes. But cold enough for a quilt? Hell, yeah! This year the missus and I are planning to keep everyone’s tight budgets in mind and knock out some clean and affordable designs infused with as much thrifty energy as we can muster, for under $200. We are also keeping those of us with sadder, tighter budgets (my people) in mind with more affordable accessories for the home such as potholders, coasters, place mats, runners and throws. Peruse at your leisure.