A lunchtime at UC Davis, ate at a food truck, sketched the Mondavi Center. In the distance, the empty space that will one day be the brand new Jan & Maria Shrem Museum of Art, an exciting project bringing a proper modern art gallery / museum to the UC Davis campus. I’ll try to sketch its progress as its built.
This is the Grad, or the ‘Davis Graduate’, a long-time bar of these parts. It’s a sports bar with about a million screens to watch all kinds of sports (you can get little portable speakers at the bar tuned into whichever game you’re watching (I was watching Marseille lose to Monaco, but didn’t need the speaker). It’s also a dance hall, though I’ve never actually been in the evening, not my kind of thing. It’s also a place to eat burgers and fries and other similar things. In fact, I hadn’t actually been to the Grad since about 2008, when I came to watch Turkey play the Czech Republic in the Euros. The Grad has never been particularly high on my list of bars to sketch – I’d always remembered it as too awkward a space, too many sports screens, that loudspeaker that announces when someone’s Gradburger is ready, my hands being greasy from eating fries, plus I’d seen Tottenham lose too many matches while there. However I am on a mission to sketch as many Davis bars as possible (for my bar-zine, and maybe a book), so on the Labor Day weekend I came down (I live closer by these days) with the sketchbook, and I honestly have to admit I have been missing out. This was an excellent place to sketch! And I had forgotten they had a pretty large selection of excellent beers on tap. Plus Olympique de Marseille playing on the screen (next to, er, Judge Judy). Oh, this was definitely sketchworthy, and worth coming back to sketch some more. I stuck around for a while and chatted to the bar-staff (cheers Greg for the pint!) and another regular who told me stories about Davis from years back. I’ll probably be telling my own Davis stories in years to come. Various sports happened on screens around me; try to count how many screens are in this sketch alone. Happy with my latest panoramic bar sketch (another one for the zine) and sufficiently full of that very nice Summer Solstice beer, I left, got my Weetabix at Trader Joe’s, and sauntered home.