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I didn't recognize a difference between "downtown" and "midtown" when I originally started this thread. If I do move to Sacramento, is it fair to say that midtown would have the most to offer somone in my situation?
I had not considered Berkley, perhaps I will. I think San Francisco is a little bit too far for my liking, although from what I' heard and seen while visiting I think I'd like living there.
You guys touched on some important points, and I appreciate it. I'm actually flying in this Friday for a long weekend visit. I'll be sure to poke around.
I'm highly enjoying the information between Wburg and Zen. I believe each of us is in our mid 30s and live within the Midtown/East Sac areas. I think I'm the only one with kids though?
I'm in Seattle (a big metro area) and I'm from Los Angeles (another big metro), and I know what is meant by culture or intellectual adult interactions etc. And I still much prefer Sacramento.
But I lived in Midtown in my 20s before kids too. When I first moved to Sac I did have troubles with dating as I wasn't used to the Sac area...but once I got the ball rolling I had plenty (I was quite a looker) SO honestly I don't see a dating problem, but I will say I think there will be more divorsees and single parents (just like you!) This might be great for you.
If you have your daughter each weekend - Sacramento is a great place to be, since it's family friendly. If you don't have her on a weekend - it's easy for you to go to S F yourself.
I guess it just matters what you want out of your life, and then on the weekend it's what your daughter wants, 100% Dad.
I found enough culture for myself in Sac. I adored the B street theatre, and Music Circus or the Broadway Series, I showed my own pieces during the Art Walk (Yes, I was once and artist before becoming a mom), I loved the hiking and trails that the mountains provided, I rode my bike everywhere (I was outdoorsy, not so much in Seattle, much too wet here) ANd I grew up in family that promoted higher education and culture. My parents took me to broadway shows or the MoMa...
Sacramento is definitely a "Get together and have a BBQ with friends and family" kind of place, but I enjoy that more....Hand me a beer.
I'll have the cocktail when I go out before heading over to Memorial Auditorium.
Maybe it's just not zen_klown's cup of tea, but midtown has been exactly that sort of place for many years, for people in their 20s and 30s. Once again, I'm reflecting personal experience, but Midtown doesn't shut down in between Second Saturdays. I met the woman I married here in Midtown (I got married at 29) and the dating scene was fairly active and easy to get to in the mid-nineties, when there were fewer places to go and things to do than there are now. I know quite a few single people who date around here, and while dating seems to be more of a challenge for people in their late thirties, they do seem to be able to do it. I dunno, maybe I just have cute friends.
lacation: Geographically speaking, if you look at a map of Sacramento there is a square located between the Sacramento River, the Union Pacific railroad tracks on the north, Highway 50 and Business 80. This is (approximately) Sacramento's original city limits, and contain what people generally mean by "downtown" and "midtown." Definitions vary, because, as I said, the two neighborhoods blend into each other. Some argue that Midtown begins at 15th Street, east of Capitol Park, others say at 21st Street where the ZIP code changes from 95814 to 95816 (although I think part of it is 95811 now.)
There is a particular chunk of the greater midtown area generally referred to as "Midtown" along Capitol Avenue in the late teens, but there are a bunch of other central city neighborhoods: Boulevard Park, Marshall School, Winn Park, Richmond Grove, Southside Park, Alkali Flat, Capitol Mansions, Poverty Ridge, Mansion Flat, New Era Park, Newton Booth, etcetera. Most of these get referred to as "midtown" except maybe Alkali Flat and Mansion Flat (which are north of downtown and kinda janky) and sometimes Southside Park (which used to just be called "Southside," and is more of an immigrant neighborhood.)
Personally, I consider downtown to be from the river to about 17th Street, between roughly G and R Street, but it's not a consistent line. The defining feature of the various Midtown neighborhoods are historic homes (mostly 1870s to 1920s) and big trees, mixed-use neighborhoods and a generally walkable scale. Downtown is dominated by office buildings, many of which are state-owned, and only a handful of residential, much of which are low-rent SRO hotels or senior housing, and scattered pockets of restaurants and nightlife.
When you come to Sacramento, definitely check out midtown.
But by your mid thirties and especially as you grow older, other areas may end up being better choices. Because there isn't great social infrastructure for singles in there 30's in Sacramento you probably are going to have to create your own.
I met my current girlfriend playing tennis at Rio Del Oro. I know others for whom Arden Hills served the same purpose.
You are more likely to find someone who is educated and who is bright out in one of the health clubs or golf courses out in the burbs than in midtown. Even if you don't believe in God, I know lots of people who rave about the singles group at Bayside Church in Granite Bay.
In your twenties, midtown might not be a bad choice. But as you get older, especially as you hit your mid thirties and beyond, midtown really stops working as an effective place to meet someone because you are just too old for the social scene there.
I think there are more options in the bay area for single folk in there 30's. But if you aren't going to do that, then I would move out to a nice suburb, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Granite Bay or Davis and work on meeting some of the locals out there. Its easier to find someone who is bright and educated in one of the burbs, than what you will likely find in midtown.
But in terms of intellectual life for adults, it is sort of lacking. There really isn't anything like the City Arts and Lectures series. The Tower and the Crest isn't exactly the Pacific Film Archieve.
After reading this last night, I was kind of amused when I read this blog post on the Midtown Monthly website:
It mentions a film showing tonight at the Crest that one might normally have to visit the Pacific Film Archive to see. Now, maybe the fact that the folks who put this on are also the folks who put on the annual "Trash Film Orgy" (trash-film-orgy-home) makes the event somehow less intellectual than it would have been in the Bay Area, but that seems like a recurring theme in Sacramento...just as one example, the same person who puts on the annual French Film Festival is also in a bluegrass band called "The Hell-Outs" who drive around in a pulsejet-equipped art car and sing songs about self-abuse and heavy drinking. We have smart people here, but we aren't wound as tight as most big cities so we don't necesarily come across as a bunch of ivy league pinkies-out types. Maybe we won't make the cut for zen_klown until we have an annual citywide "Summarize Proust" competition.
Incidentally, Midtown Monthly Magazine, in print or online form is a good way to find out about many of Sacramento's hidden treasures, even for those of us over 30.
To me that is the appeal of the area. You have breath and depth of activities. If you have really obscure interests, you can find others who share your passion for it. But if you just want to go to a Giants game, you can do that too. In Sacramento neither option is readily availble. There is no proust group and there is no professional baseball team. There isn't even a good college sports program. You have neither depth nor breath.
I would prefer that I wouldn't have had to drive out to San Francisco to see Witold Rybczynski speak or to have to go to Berkeley to hear Elizabeth Warren.
But when those folks came out to the west coast, they didn't stop in Sacramento. For a lot of stuff, it just never makes it up to Sacramento. On any of her repeated trips to the west coast, Bebel Gilberto has never made it to Sacramento. In music, in culture in athletics, a lot of it never quite makes it to Sacramento.
If you are married or you have kids, you probably don't have as much time nor money to do a lot of this type of stuff, so its probably less important. But the less involved you are with domestic life, the more this type of stuff ads to the quality of your life.
Even Proust put on intellectual airs he didn't actually have. In À la recherche du temps perdu, he claims that the taste of madeleines, a particularly fancy cookie, set off his childhood memories, but in fact it was a far more mundane rusk biscuit, not a madeleine.
Being married but not having kids means I actually have more money to do this type of stuff, and I do, all the dang time. My interests are in fact fairly obscure, but I don't expect Sacramento to supply every interest for every one, and don't mind occasionally leaving town should the local offerings not meet my every need. But for the most part I don't have to.
I'm sure the OP has no interest whatsoever in the kind of annoying whang-measuring
zen_klown and I are doing, and frankly, I'm getting pretty bored with it too. For every example of some interesting cultural thing I can find that actually does make its way to Sacramento, he'll find one that doesn't. Maybe he's actually part of the secret conspiracy of Sacramentans who really want to stop folks from moving to Sacramento and screwing up the rad city we have here by insisting that Sacramento remake itself to resemble San Francisco or Portland or Scranton or whatever crappy burg they are from, and go online bad-mouthing the place to scare people off. Either that or he just can't find a date who enjoys quoting obscure references as much as he does, and blames Sacramento for his lack of nookie.
Now you are accusing me of being a member of a vast hidden conspiracy who can't get laid? Are the ad hominem attacks really necessary?
Think of the people you know who really love Sacramento and the people you know who really don't care for it. The more people are involved in domestic life, the more they like the place. The more they are single and unattached, the less appeal the place holds for them.
My lesbian friends raising kids in Davis, really love Sacramento. The same is true for most of the people raising kids in Sacramento.
But for the single folks straight or gay, the area has a lot less appeal. They are here more because of the attachments of extended family or employment to the region. That is especially true as they get past 30. Especially the people who don't have a group of extended friends to help them meet others. Those people do tend to be really lonely.
You might choose to not acknowledge that, but when you see the same group of people complain about the same things, perhaps they have a point. In terms of social infrastructure, I just don't think Sacramento is a particularly good place to be single in your 30's. The single folks I know in that situation who have left are much happier in there new locals than they were in Sacramento.
I appreciate your nativism. I think its natural to want to root for the home team. But that can also cause you to discount issues faced by real people.
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