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Once Upon a Time in Mezcalifornia

For centuries, mezcal—the ancient intoxicant steeped in Mexican tradition—has sprouted almost exclusively from the vast agave farms south of our border. But one Yolo County hobbyist farmer believes that climate change, of all things, has the potential to spur a California version of the storied spirit to take root right here. And despite extraordinary odds, he might just get his day in the sun.

SF Giants Assistant Coach Alyssa Nakken

On the evening of July 20, San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken coolly jogged out to first base in an exhibition game against the Oakland A’s. There were no fans in the stands to cheer her, but the world was watching as she became the first woman to coach on the field in a Major League Baseball matchup. The historic moment was the second, in fact, for the former Sacramento State softball star, who was anointed as the first full-time female coach in the major leagues in January. Here, the Woodland native talks about breaking down barriers, coaching in the age of the coronavirus, and trading the turf for the surf in her off time.

The Sweet Life

On the eve of his 100th birthday, Wayne Thiebaud—the Sacramento painter best known for his evocative portrayals of desserts that look good enough to eat—talks about the new pieces he’s working on (yes, he’s still wielding a brush—and a tennis racket!), his favorite kind of pie, and why, despite his status as one of America’s most important living artists, he still sees himself as “just an old art teacher.”

Alone Together

Through his project “6ft Apart,” Sacramento-based documentary photographer Andri Tambunan shares the stories of households around town, including his own, as they navigate the coronavirus crisis.

Fever Pitch

Are you ready for some major league fútbol? MLS has finally tapped Sacramento to join its very exclusive club. Here’s an in-depth look at the new stadium and how it will raise the game for both soccer fans and our city.

In the Name of the Father

After graduating from UC Davis in 1967, Stephen Kaltenbach headed east and thrived in the heady New York art world, exhibiting alongside future greats like Richard Serra and Bruce Nauman, and inhabiting provocative alter egos à la Sacha Baron Cohen before Sacha Baron Cohen was even born. But it was his return to Davis that resulted in one of Sacramento’s most beloved paintings: a hauntingly evocative portrait of his dying father. With the launch of his first solo American museum show in over 40 years, the artist reflects on the man who inspired his masterwork and his own starring role as both father and son.

The Fisher King

He started by selling sturgeon under the W-X freeway and grew to become a blue-chip name on local menus. But after finding a niche crafting bespoke caviar for top chefs around town and Michelin-starred restaurants from San Francisco to New York, Michael Passmore is now casting a much wider net in the hope of bringing his cult cured roe to the masses. Caviar-topped Tostitos? You might just get hooked.

True West

In his day job, Cornel West is a Harvard professor, a "New York Times" best-selling author, a national authority on race and a passionate advocate for the poor. In his spare time, he’s appeared in two of the three "Matrix" films (because, well, he helped inspire them), recorded three albums, and is taking meetings on the 2020 presidential campaign trail with Bernie Sanders and Cardi B. At a time when the country feels hopelessly divided, this nearly native son of Sacramento—and a “jazzman in the world of ideas”— has a message of love and compassion for all races, religions and political persuasions. And no matter how far he ventures from home, he carries with him a moral compass that unfailingly points west.

The Queen of Happiness

Everyone’s in pursuit of happiness, but how do you capture it? Nearly 11 years after being diagnosed with ALS—the same deadly disease that took the lives of her mother and two brothers—Cathy Speck is alive and kicking butt. Even the more recent news of terminal cancer hasn’t slowed (or brought) her down as she navigates the streets of Davis on her festively festooned trike, spreading her colorful brand of heartfelt cheer and hard-won optimism. Speck shows us all how to live like you were dying, while loving every precious minute of it.

Radio Activation

Over the next year, the visionaries behind a new downtown headquarters for Capital Public Radio will transform a long-empty mid-century building into a living, breathing physical manifestation of the station’s news-and-music format. Behold the ultimate audiovisual room.

On Sale Now!

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