Author: Elyssa Lee

Best of the City 2023

Airy French puffs, comforting cupcakes that taste just like Grandma’s, sports legends who go the extra mile, hot hotels that breathe fresh life into historic buildings, rockin’ speakers made from retro lunchboxes, and a whole bunch more. What’s old is new and what’s new is newsworthy in our annual list of the local people, places and things that have caught our eyes and captured our imagination this year.

An Open Invitation

Cities around the world are boosting civic pride by inviting their citizens to peek inside cool spaces not usually accessible to the public. It’s time for us to open our doors too.

Colin Hanks

With a new movie out, a starring role on Broadway and a turn in the director’s chair, Colin Hanks may be the hardest working man in his show biz family—which is saying something, considering this native son of Sacramento also happens to be the son of Tom Hanks. The younger Hanks takes a rare moment between curtain calls to talk to us about being a Broadway baby and an East Sacramento kid, and having his movie-star dad play his movie dad in "The Great Buck Howard."

Q&A with Sam Elliott

With his film "The Golden Compass" coming out on Dec. 7, we take this golden opportunity to chew the fat with Sam Elliott. The Sactown native and Hollywood cowboy tells us about the road from Hollywood Park, remembering the Alhambra, and how he never minds getting back in the saddle again.

Q&A: Actor Chris Sullivan

After “How did Jack die?” the most burning question during the first season of This Is Us might’ve been, “Will Toby live?” Happily, the answer to the latter was yes, and Chris Sullivan will resume his role as Toby Damon, Kate Pearson’s big-hearted boyfriend turned fiancé, when NBC’s breakout hit returns in September. The Gold River-raised actor talks about being part of a TV phenomenon, how he got the theater bug at Jesuit High School, and what it took to look Marvel-ous for his scene-stealing turn as Taserface in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Made in the Shade

In Portugal, a fanciful art project that used little more than everyday umbrellas unfolded into a global tourist attraction. Sacramento should take this idea to the streets and go under cover, too.

Ryan Guzman Q&A

We catch up with actor Ryan Guzman, a former pitching standout at West Campus High School and Sierra College, about taking the field again for Richard Linklater's highly anticipated new baseball movie "Everybody Wants Some."

A Culture of Sculpture

In towns across the globe, sculpture festivals spotlight art and artists, all while adding to a city’s urban fabric. We too should set our artists loose on the streets of Sacramento.

Lester Holt Q&A

Among the ranks of weekend warriors, Lester Holt has few equals. As anchor of Friday evening’s Dateline, as well as Nightly News and the Today show on Saturdays and Sundays, the indefatigable NBC newsman proves why he’s earned the nickname “Iron Pants.” With the 2012 presidential election coming up on Nov. 6, Holt—who grew up in Rancho Cordova and attended Sacramento State—talks about covering politics, cutting his journalistic teeth as a cub reporter for KCRA and KRAK, and kicking butt in bubble soccer.

Actress Analeigh Tipton

Three years after her breakthrough performance in Crazy, Stupid, Love, Analeigh Tipton is revisiting matters of the heart this fall as the star of the new ABC comedy Manhattan Love Story. The 25-year-old actress and America’s Next Top Model alum talks about being in a New York state of mind, bonding with Steve Carell over figure skating, and getting the film bug at St. Francis High School. 

The Mad Man Cometh

As the final season of AMC’s groundbreaking television series "Mad Men" gets underway this spring, co-star Kevin Rahm is just getting started in his new home of Sacramento.

Reality Star Brandi Glanville

So it turns out that you can go home again. On the fourth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which premieres in November, cast member Brandi Glanville does just that and returns for a visit to the capital city, where she was raised and where her family still lives. The outspoken reality star opens up with typical candor and humor about her colorful childhood in South Sacramento, the ex-factor (former husband Eddie Cibrian and his wife LeAnn Rimes), and sex and dating at 40.

Red Hot

A year after starring on The Voice, Sacramento singer-songwriter Lindsey Pavao is back in the spotlight with a new radio gig and her first full-length album. Can we hear you say aah?

Amanda Fuller Q&A

After years of appearing in guest roles on TV shows like Malcolm in the Middle, CSI and, most notably, Grey’s Anatomy (as intern Morgan Peterson), last fall Amanda Fuller landed her biggest gig yet as Tim Allen’s daughter on ABC's Last Man Standing. The Sacramento native talks about her full-circle moment with the Home Improvement star, making her acting debut at age 3, and having pickles and ice cream cravings at Leatherby’s. 

Morning Stars

When the weekend rolls around, we like to play our own version of the hunger games, seeking out our favorite meal of them all—brunch. In our latest quest, we tracked down sweet ’n’ savory chicken and waffles in Davis, a magnificent mango-stuffed French toast in Roseville, perfect pumpkin bacon pancakes in midtown, and a tangy Welsh rarebit omelet downtown, along with dozens of other egg-cellent dishes. So, top of the morning (or afternoon) to you, Sacramento—here’s our region’s best of the brunch. Let the games begin!

A Fork in the River

In Oregon and Idaho, rafting trips combine nature with riverfront farm-to-fork dining. With stunning rivers, great weather and a rich agricultural heritage here at home, why not feed ourselves on the river that feeds our land?

Hope Floats

Hot air balloon festivals are hot. Festivals from Reno to Russia are drawing huge crowds every year, and for good reason. Balloons paint the sky with vibrant shapes and colors, like fireworks during daylight.

LeVar Burton Q&A

We catch up with the Sacramento-raised actor as he celebrates the relaunch of Reading Rainbow, two professional milestones (big anniversaries of both Roots and Star Trek) and one personal pinch-me moment (hello, Oprah!).

Board Chair of the California Museum Dina Eastwood

Each year, Sacramento’s California Museum kicks off its Hall of Fame exhibit with a star-studded induction ceremony. This year, not only will honorees such as The Beach Boys and Magic Johnson be in attendance, but for the first time ever, the A-list affair will be held inside Memorial Auditorium and will be open to the public. We talk to Dina Eastwood, board chair of the museum and wife of Hall of Famer Clint Eastwood, about the big move, her aha moment and being a self-professed science geek. 

Candles in the Wind

In many Asian countries, a centuries-old tradition of releasing lanterns into the sky has captured the imagination of millions, though the concept has been on a slow boat to America. But now San Antonio has given us a roadmap to these man-made stars.

Almond Joy

In Washington, D.C., the National Cherry Blossom Festival draws over a million visitors every March, generating $150 million for the region. In Macon, Georgia, they draw 300,000 people. Here in the City of Trees, we have a nutty idea for a festival of our own.