It’s been a little while since I sketched Midtown Sacramento. My son’s soccer team (the one I used to coach but stepped down from last year because I was knackered) had a tournament in Natomas (I think it was Natomas, the places all blend together some days) but we only stayed for the first game, so afterwards I was dropped off in midtown Sac so I could go to the art store and draw some of the old buildings around there. I started off by drawing this big old Victorian on the corner of I and 27th, a fantastic well-kept old house. There are plenty of old interesting old buildings in that neighbourhood. I went to the university art store, and walked down to Dessert Diner for a delicious hot chocolate and cake (I’ve not been there in years, it’s fantastic). I also found a little record shop that I’ve not been to before, Rocket Records, that I was going to sketch but maybe another time. Last time I sketched a midtown record shop (The Beat), it closed down. I then had lunch at one restaurant/bar by the train tracks which served barbecue food; I won’t say what the place was called, but the food was utterly gross and made me feel sick. I got barbecued chicken with mac and cheese, and it was so bad, for one thing I’m not sure the chicken was cooked too well but it was so drenched in a smoky, woody stench that it made me gag. The mac and cheese may as well have been a rain mac, it had no flavour. So I quit that place and left, the taste being in my mouth for hours afterwards. I did one more sketch though, of the St.Francis of Assisi church which is over near Fort Sutter.
Interestingly enough, the first time I drew this building was sixteen years ago to the day from when I drew it on February 25th. I remember that day. My wife had told me about a record shop – the aforementioned ‘The Beat’, now long gone – so I went and spent a lot of time there, and wandered midtown with my beloved WH Smith sketchbook looking for places to draw. This was one of my favourite of my early California sketches, back at the start of all this.