Sacramento Through Other’s Eyes

It’s always nice to see home from another perspective, as this article from the Sacramento Bee does.

An excerpt.

“Mirrors reflect, of course, but they also can distort. We see what we wish, try to edit out the rest.

“So even when Sacramento takes a long, hard look at itself, it tends to minimize the blemishes – the crow’s feet of musty Old Sac, the saggy jowls of K Street, the wrinkled brow of homeless dotting the American River Parkway – and emphasize the fine cheekbones of the midtown restaurant scene, the square-jaw visage of the Capitol building, the flowing mane of tree-lined streets, the distinguished gray temples of Old Sac.

“A truer reflection, perhaps, comes from hearing what others think of us, the unvarnished truth we tend to gloss over.

“For too long, it seems, Sacramento’s municipal self-image has at once wallowed in its deficiencies and dreamed big for a makeover into, in Mayor Kevin Johnson’s phrase, a world-class city. We have been needy and insecure, glomming onto any scrap of praise and clutching it dearly to our collective bosom, while stewing amid the swirl of cutting remarks others hurl.

“But in the past five years, outsiders’ views of Sacramento have changed. Most travel writers, from as close as San Francisco to as far-flung as Australia, have weighed in mostly with praise about our city’s charms. We may not be a beauty, but they think we have a great personality. So, yeah, they’d come a callin’.

“The latest kudos tossed our way came a scant few weeks ago, when a writer from the Toronto Star gushed about the Tower Bridge (“glowed golden day and night”), the Delta King (“one of the most unusual hotels we’ve found in the United States”), Old Sac (“captures Western history at its best”), the grounds of the Capitol (“a lovely park to wander in the centre of the city, in any season”) and midtown (“a foodie destination”).

“Lest we get carried away, remember, that praise came from a Canadian, and they love everything.

“Turns out, though, an exhaustive Bee database search of travel articles about our fair city found that the praise far outpaces the pans. They like us, they really really like us!”

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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