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Ring Leader

He’s one of the toughest fighters in one of the toughest sports known to man—mixed martial arts, aka cage fighting. Now, two years after losing his title, Urijah Faber has a shot to become a champion again on July 2. But until then, he has TV shows to appear on, video games to star in, a clothing line to promote, and a fitness company to build. Can Sacramento’s “California Kid” become the ultimate comeback kid? And more importantly, what is he doing kissing Rosie O’Donnell?

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’.

The Fall & Rise of Hobo Johnson

Frank Lopes Jr.—the “Hobo” of Hobo Johnson & the Lovemakers—has had, by all accounts, an eventful first 24 years. He has already been, in a very particular order: a troubled student, a homeless teen, a viral video sensation, scorned by Black Lives Matter, swooned over by fans, signed to Warner Bros. Records, Instagrammed by Snoop Dogg, and predicted to be “huge” by New York magazine. On the eve of his major-label debut and a tour schedule that will see him sharing the bill with many of the biggest acts in the world, the Sacramento poet-rapper is working hard to stay grounded at a time when he’s so clearly taking flight.

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.

The Boy With the Dragon Tattoo

The list of his regulars reads like a Rolodex of Sacramento’s culinary elite. Randall Selland. Molly Hawks. Ginger Elizabeth. Now, two years after opening the sophisticated expansion of his celebrated restaurant Kru—known for its exquisitely crafted sushi—top chef Billy Ngo is going underground, literally, for a new venture with a concept as unpretentious as he is: a basement ramen bar. How did a Chinese boy born in a Hong Kong refugee camp become a thirtysomething star of Japanese cuisine? The story, it turns out, is written in ink. On his skin. And luckily, for those who haven’t seen him naked, it’s also told in the pages that follow.

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 Big Sick

In 2015, Melinda Welsh was given shattering news. Despite battling cancer for a year and attacking it with chemo, radiation and surgery, the disease had progressed to Stage IV and doctors told her she had six to 12 months to live. But this past December, thanks to the latest advances in immunotherapy, she received equally stunning news: The cancer had disappeared. All of it. The Davis-based journalist chronicles her incredible journey through the “kingdom of the sick” and her new life after near death.

Dolores Huerta

Arguably no woman wielded more influence on 20th-century California history than Dolores Huerta, who transformed state politics and the lives of millions as a community organizer and the co-founder (with Cesar Chavez) of United Farm Workers. The Smithsonian Institution chronicles the activist’s life and work in its new traveling exhibition "Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields/Revolución en los Campos," which makes its debut in March at the California Museum. Huerta, 88, speaks about her early days as a lobbyist in Sacramento, the value of sacrifice, and seeing her legacy among the next wave of American leaders.

On Sale Now!

The cover of Sactown's Best of the City issue

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