Author: Hillary Louise Johnson

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.

A Slice of Life

At 97 years of age, he is unequivocally one of the world’s greatest living artists. But back in 1960, Wayne Thiebaud was still trying to find his way as a young college professor at UC Davis. As a new exhibition explores the decade that defined his signature style, the prolific painter and passionate teacher reflects on his not-so-still life.

Just Add Water

Before you can go from farm to fork, you’ve got to go from land to farm. On a plot in West Sacramento, start-up Farm from a Box is seeding an innovative way forward for new agriculturists.

Now Hear This

Listen up, Sacramento. Whether you’re a beer lover or a political junkie, here are four locally produced, locally focused podcasts worth iTuning into.

Mirror Image

A shiny new object in West Sacramento strives to reflect its evolving surroundings, shifting with the changing elements and combining sculpture with nature along the waterfront.

Eat Drink Play Love

If you think you know Napa and Sonoma, think again. We’ve got the skinny on the region’s newest hot spots (and updates on a few old favorites), just in time to celebrate the harvest season. Discover the movie mogul’s swimming pool where you can make a splash, the glampground where you can sleep in a yurt, the fried chicken shack where you can sample a Michelin-starred chef’s finger-lickin’ fare and, of course, the coolest watering holes, from a bike-themed tasting room to an organic cider house that rules. Scroll down, and get ready to wine and unwind.

Bavarian Rhapsody

Building on the success of their popular Oak Park taqueria La Venadita, Tom and David Schnetz open Oakhaus nearby, serving up German comfort food with a side of nostalgia. Get set to tuck into a Teutonic Thanksgiving (yes, in the middle of summer) with all the fixins.