Author: Hillary Louise Johnson

Paradise Found

After a career that took her from being a style maven at Williams-Sonoma to launching a boutique bowling alley in San Francisco, Fair Oaks native Sommer Peterson has returned home, importing a slice of mid-century Palm Springs along the way. She calls her little piece of heaven Shangri-la. You can call it your new home away from home.

Cast Away

Angling to become an angler? Start with the Japanese tradition of Tenkara fly fishing, where all you need is a simple rod, line and fly. Come on in, the water’s fine and the trout are jumpin’.

Making It All Popp

Call him an an interior designer, a home designer, a furniture maker, a graphic artist, a chef or a classic car collector—or all of the above. Whether he’s crafting the look and feel for a hot new restaurant, a neighborhood taproom, a high-end chocolaterie or someone’s home, Curtis Popp has carved out an eclectic career as one of the city’s most sought-after visual thinkers. Sacramento, meet the modernist Renaissance man.

Mid-Century Makeover

In 1959, two ambitious young architects and one soon-to-be-world-famous artist finished work on a building that caught the eye of the design world and introduced this city to the “International Style” that was sweeping America at the time. Today, that mid-century modern edifice, the original headquarters for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, is about to be born anew after an $86 million face-lift. Turning 60 has never looked so sexy.

Field of Screams

By day, they are nurses, schoolteachers, lawyers, students and auto mechanics. By game night, they are the beating heart of the Sacramento Republic FC. Meet the 800-strong Tower Bridge Battalion, a whomping, stomping, self-organized army of men and women whose bond with their team is uniquely fierce. Fair-weather fans, they are not. With the new soccer season starting in March, the fever pitch is already rising. Hear them roar.

The Ice Blocks Cometh

It is, by all appearances, an urban utopia. Come this spring, more than 500 people will work there, more than 200 will live there, and thousands more will dine and shop there. Its innovative tenant mix ranges from an insanely popular “doughnuterie” to a gourmet dog food shop and an Internet-based boutique where you don’t leave with the clothes you buy. And this bustling village within a city—elevated by art and cutting-edge architecture—all exists within a two-block span in the coolest district in town. Could the Ice Blocks be the new model for modern living in Sacramento?

Special K

After decades of blight, one of Sacramento’s most critical blocks—linking the Golden 1 Center to the rest of K Street—is about to become an instant neighborhood, bursting into existence with hundreds of new residents and the city’s most concentrated collection of local retailers and restaurateurs. Here’s how a small group of visionary developers may have created the blueprint for how to design, build and curate the downtown of our dreams.

The Whole Earth Cataloguer

UC Davis professor Harris Lewin is about to launch one of the most audacious scientific ventures in human history—to map the DNA of every living thing on Earth. The 10-year, $5 billion quest could result in a tsunami of medical cures, solutions for global hunger, and the creation of a new “Silicon Valley of agricultural science and biotechnology” right here in our backyard. Oh, and it might save the planet too.

The Curious Case of William T. Vollmann

He jumps freight trains for fun. The FBI thought he might be the Unabomber. He won the National Book Award the same year as Joan Didion. And some people think he’s a lock to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Acclaimed author William T. Vollmann gives us a peek inside his Sacramento studio (and his head) on the eve of releasing his new books on climate change and the end of the world as we know it. Yes, Bill, we’ll take that scotch right about now, thank you.