Sacramento's urban tattoos are a labor of love

This article originally appeared in Sacramento News & Review about 10 years ago. At that time, these murals were raising quite a stir, even at City Hall. The fear? Oh, that people would perceive them as graffiti. Imagine that! And now, well, now murals (urban tattoos) are totally the rage. Wow, why didn't I think of that? I photographed dozens of these urban tattoos before and after the article appeared. Sadly, many of them no longer exist. Painted over in the name of progress or simply a lack of vision. So glad these incredible works of art live on in my photo archives.

Marekt muralSacramento has finally come into its own. The Central City is evolving, and Midtown is emerging as a swish and swanky scene for every age (and not just the 20-something crowd). 

Urban dwellers and visitors ought to note there’s always something new to see. Lately, it’s been a visual cornucopia of what should be viewed as art in public places. Not the usual sort of government-commissioned art, but a collection of 21st-century murals cleverly and appropriately dubbed “urban tattoos” by Bonni Shasky, a local landscape designer.

One has to love this innovative wall art. Its edgy and funky appeal makes less attractive buildings seem born again. And our wonderful City streetscape is taking on a far-out chic appearance that is strangely reminiscent of the ‘70s psychedelic. 

Labor of Love 1 Credit Barbara SteinbergThe first of these urban tattoos appeared on an unsightly corrugated metal garage at 21st & O streets. Entitled, “A Labor of Love,” it pays homage to the nearby Limon’s Barber Salon. The artist, who prefers to be known as 2Hermano, was also working out some love issues of his own which he resolved through his own labor of love – painting. Whether it was timed or planned, this first urban tattoo inspired a collective of artists to get busy adorning structures throughout the city. 

AmerMarket 3 Credit Barbara SteinbergWith the approval of building owners, artists 2Hermano, Shaun, Daniel, Josh, Miguel, Steve, and Max (there may be others) have given everyone a new reason to walk. Not just during the Second Saturday Art Walk, but every day. Retro, free-hand spray-painted images now embellish Two Women & an Armoire and American Market
 & Deli. At Bon Air Market & Deli, their new urban tattoo playfully promotes sandwiches, sodas, and Sacramento’s skyline and includes the likeness of the store owner’s son.

A collaborative-work by Shaun, Daniel, and Miguel, on the 24th Street side of American Market & Deli, a peacock, a woman soulfully singing, and a modish chick – friend of one of the artists – is probably one of the most colorful tattoos. And the market’s shabby interior is enlivened by Shaun’s Frida Kohla 1 Credit Barbara Steinbergfanciful forest of trees with faces, blowing autumn leaves, and a young girl with wind-swept hair. A once less-inviting environment is welcoming and full of life.

Over on Del Paso Boulevard, the half-face of Frida Kahlo bedecks a wall at Sol Collective an arts and cultural center located at 2010. Other examples of this new urban street art can be seen on display inside. To be expected, not everyone embraces this art scene. Someone complained to the City about Frida, but fortunately she lives on. The artists have specifically chosen images to balance this art form so “not to frighten people” – to make it more acceptable. The point isn’t to encourage tagging and unsolicited graffiti. 

   Are You That Woman


Sacramento day-trips to regional secret gardens

Gardens grow everything from edibles and flowers to botanical history and strange works of art. Use leisure time to explore nearby secret gardens – conventional and not. Slow down. Enjoy the landscapes. Getting there is half the fun. To unearth these secrets use GPS, Google Maps, road maps, and age-old technology of calling ahead for directions.

Go Discover! Lotus Valley Nursery & Gardens
Petersen Lane, Lotus, CA 

Lotus Valley Nursery & Garden Credit Barbara L Steinberg3A quick retreat up Highway 50 east to Ponderosa Road, left across the highway and right on North Shingle. Wind your way and stay left at the ‘Y’ onto Lotus Road, left at the Bassi Road stop sign and stay straight onto Petersen Lane. Views of the American River are on your right before turning into Lotus Valley Nursery & Gardens’ secreted entrance.

Owners, Joe and Bob, turned a three-acre old homestead into a heaven of ornamental grasses and demonstration gardens. They invite you to come and discover. Bob’s handcrafted sculptures and water features are cleverly displayed in the “Tin Room Gallery” and throughout the garden. You can spend quiet hours strolling, picnicking, and contemplating. A variety of serene sitting areas beckon. Clearly, they want you to stay.  Plenty of other nearby distractions keep you close, including local wineries. Open Wed-Sun 9am to 5pm through November. Open in the winter by appointment. Lotus Valley is magical.

Continue down Lotus Road to Highway 49 north to the Dave Moore Nature Area along the south fork of the American River; half the trails are wheelchair accessible. If you skipped the picnic, there are plenty of breakfast, lunch and dinner options at Lotus and Coloma. You can loop back to Sacramento along Highway 49 to Interstate 80 – enjoy the scenic route which is about 100 miles round-trip.

Go Explore! Oakwilde Ranch & Sculpture
Oakwilde Ranch & Sculpture Credit Barbara L Steinberg30
South Burson Road, Valley Springs, CA

Take Highway 99 south to Highway 26 east towards Valley Springs. Ready yourself for scenic vistas. Two-lane country roads framed by orchards, vineyards, and small towns are visually soothing. On 52 acres, owners Denise and Kresimir are cultivating art and relationships along groomed trails and undulating hillsides. The winding road delivers sculptures, hospitality, wine tasting, spring wildflowers, and beautiful views. Ranch hikes are an adventure in search of sometimes elusive art installations and views of Calaveras County foothills from the “Top of the World.” Call ahead for an appointment and directions.

If you still have time on your return, Lodi wineries are plentiful and freeway-close.

Go Seek! Regional Parks Botanic Garden
Intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road & South Park Drive, Berkeley, CA

It’s a straight shot down Interstate 80 to urbane and sometimes eccentric Berkeley. Day-trippers overlook that East Bay Regional Park District protects
secret gardens and thousands of acres of open space in the Berkeley hills. The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a charming destination and less than 90 miles from downtown Sacramento. Ten acres of California native plants are organized by geographic regions of the state.  The garden was established by James Roof in the 1940s and contains rare and endangered species such as Presidio Manzanita and Small-leaved Rose. Regional Parks Botanic Garden Credit Barbara L Steinberg3Built along meandering trails and bridges the garden feels primordial. Grassy areas are perfect for running; children are welcome to do so.


The annual April spring plant sale is a rare opportunity to purchase plants propagated from the Garden’s collection. Many of these California native plants are available nowhere else.  All proceeds benefit the Garden. Free public tours are held most rain-free weekends and group tours are available by special arrangement.

Just a few miles away, the stunning University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley is 34 acres of formal gardens and glasshouses, with more than 13,000 different kinds of plants from around the world.

Go Sac! Go Yol! Go Sol! Gardens Galore
Gardens at Sacramento Old City Cemetery Credit Anita Clevenger3Sacramento gardens are many. Don’t be surprised, but none more special than those at the Old City Cemetery! The 3-acre Historic Rose Garden gives life to nearly 500 antique and old garden roses many found in abandoned sites, homesteads, cemeteries, and roadsides throughout northern California. The aroma is heavenly.  Hamilton Square, named after Alexander Hamilton’s youngest son, contains perennials from all five Mediterranean climates of the world.  A California Native Plant Society has created a garden among the headstones. It’s phenomenal in the springtime.

Garden lovers rejoice! The options are many and close-by. In adjacent Yolo County, the 1.5-acre UC Davis Good Life Garden at the Mondavi Center Institute for Wine and Food Science is an edible and ornamental Fairfield Suisun Valley Glashoff Sculpture Credit Are You That Womanlandscape. Learn new gardening concepts and eat healthy, too!

Cross one more county border into Solano. A well-kept secret, Suisun Valley hides the fantastical Phillip Glashoff Sculpture Garden. Williams Road, a country lane off Suisun Valley Road, does not easily give up this secret. Wander the driveway and no farther. Dozens of sculptures along the way and in the field will leave you wide-eyed.  Easier to spot is another small collection on Rockville Road.

 

Are You That Woman

Elk Grove Subaru

If my Subaru can't get me there, that's a good reason not to go!


Morning meditation

The best part of the day. Morning.

Buddha in the garden Credit Are You That WomanAs I take clothes from the line, the moment of simplicity washes over me. Birds sing from hedges. A cool breeze. A plane buzzes overhead. In the distance, even the droning traffic is blissful. Hear the leaves rustle softly. Later in the day, afternoon heat will silence their sweet voices. Bees are humming around blossoms. Parenting scrub jays search for morsels to feed their screeching brood. Pestering cats must be shooed and clapped away. I've already blessed the garden with a morning shower, discovered the first grapes and a smiling Buddha drenched in sunlight.

These peaceful interludes are inspiration. Tapping deep into my soul and pushing me Garden grapes Credit Are You That Womanto write. Sit quiet in this garden temple. Sip tea and watch morning unfold. The raucous mockingbird dances above the power pole. One small voice, a hummingbird. I quickly turn my head to see. To hear. The pack of bees is growing. Blue flowered branches bounce under their persistent explorations. A honey bee wards off a much larger carpenter bee. A thirsty scrub jay sips from the water bowl.

A momentary rest, I lift my head from the notebook. Endlessly entertained, that crazy mockingbird calls and leaps. I stretch. My wayward hand elicits gentle notes from the wind chimes.

IMAG4044Each day, rising almost with the sun, I beg myself to stay nestled in sleep. But morning waits! Zzyzx is already catnapping. Nothing about her 17 years, it's #whatcatsdo! I nuzzle her, scratch under her chin and disturb her daily sabbatical. All parts of this hallowed respite. Then she finds me as I end this post as it began -- meditating on my garden view.

 

Zzyzx napping Credit Are You That Woman


Relax Sacramento Spaaaaahs

Day spas and resorts promise to set you free to release and relax from daily hassles. In our hurried world, close your eyes, breathe, soak, massage and meditate your cares away. Here are some of Sacramento’s best, newest and trending spa escapes. An hour, afternoon, overnight - you deserve it!

My Sacramento – Cori Martinez, Owner
Asha Urban Baths
2 Cori Marinez owner Asha Urban Bath Credit Evan E DuranBathhouses are a rich part of many cultures throughout the world. A place to gather and socialize or peacefully retreat, the Greeks thought tidal waters were blessed by gods for healing. Asha Urban Baths, Sacramento’s first and only bathhouse has created a sanctuary to sooth your cares away and, yes, heal body and spirit. Therapeutic steam or sauna, cold plunge and sea salt waters are healing and invigorating. On a quiet alley off Broadway, the baths and yoga studio raised the bar on relax Sacramento. Cori Martinez, owner, had a dream 20 years in the making. Close your eyes and say, “SPaaaaah!”

After college, we moved to Hawaii and opened a yoga studio. Seven years later, my husband and I returned to Sacramento to be near family. Within a year we opened Asha Yoga. Now there are so many yoga studios, I became interested in creating inspired fresh spaces for community and so Asha Urban Baths was born. It took a lot of years of entrepreneur to build up the courage to do a project this big. It took six months to find the right space.  This building was perfect and gave me a clear indicator to make that leap of faith. My vision was to create the new happy hour. Do something that’s healthy, a place to socialize and have quality time with friends Asha Urban Bath Credit Evan E Duranand feel great the next day. This is not a spa, but another option for self-care. You can get a massage and make a whole day of it. I hope this area stays a little funky, but additional urban and cultural blends would be nice. 

We’re really happy here – the health and food scene has grown and both are things we enjoy.  However, it’s really the gigantic family and friends community that we love best.
2415 – 27th Street, Sacramento, CA

(916) 837-3290
Tuesday-Sunday 10am to 10pm

Spa at Thunder Valley
Spa at Thunder Valley Massage Courtesy of Thunder Valley Casino Resort
AAA four-diamond rated hotel and spa, no detail has been overlooked. Every spa guest is a VIP at this suburban oasis. Wrap yourself in a yummy Boca Terry robe and unwind in the Meditation Room.  Not just traditional luxury treatments, they embrace holistic practices. Aromatherapy, a wellness therapy, is added to all treatments at no charge. Wine-inspired grape seed-crush body scrub restores and leaves skin baby soft. Chocolate is trending in the spa world; ask about decadent Esthechoc – blessed by gods. Spa guests lounge at the resort pool and can reserve cabanas and cabeds. Skip Las Vegas and make Spa at Thunder Valley a weekend escape.
1200 Athens Ave, Lincoln, CA
(916) 408-7777
Open daily 10am to 7pm

Emperia Wellness & Spa
Emperia Wellness & Spa Credit Barbara L Steinberg2This intimate boutique spa provides the perfect retreat for weary travelers. Just steps from Sacramento’s AAA 4-diamond Hyatt Regency Sacramento in the heart of downtown, peace and tranquility reigns at Emperia Wellness & Spa. Don’t be deterred by the fitness center entrance. Swedish massage spoken here – 5-star on the Yelp meter! Experienced therapists tranquilize tight muscles and reduce stress.  Grapeseed oil, aromatherapy and customized massages available. Room service? In-suite massages offered, too!
1109 – 12th Street, Sacramento, CA
(916) 321-3718
By appointment only: Tuesday-Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday-Saturday 9am to 6pm
Sunday 9am to 1pm
Monday, closed.

Spa LaLe
Spa LaLe Meditation Room  Courtesy of Spa LaLeLocated inside the Westin Sacramento, this inspired haven embraces an unwind and recharge mantra. Say “Spaaaa,” at your next corporate event! Go all out with LaLe’s Golden Tao Body Treatment, 110 minutes of bliss. Wellness and hot stone massages or customized spa experiences practiced here. Spa guests access hotel pool and saltwater Jacuzzi to create a full-day of ahhh.  A local’s member discount includes monthly and weekday wellness specials. Enjoy a little retail therapy at Spa LaLe’s boutique and dining at Scott’s Seafood Bar & Grill overlooking the Sacramento River.

4800 Riverside Blvd, Sacramento, CA

(916) 379-5980
Monday-Thursday 10am to 7pm
Friday-Saturday 10am to 8pm
Sunday 9am to 5pm

Heavenly Salt Spa
Heavenly Salt Spa Credit Even E DuranWalls lined with iridescent pink Himalayan salt bricks are relaxing and restorative. Halotherapy (halo is Greek for salt) or salt therapy, lightly disperses a breathable salt mist good for many health issues including respiratory, skin, sleep and stress and remains a top spa trend nationwide. At Sacramento’s first salt spa, you’ll drift off on a pink cloud. Mined from deep within the Himalayan Mountains, the salt is millions of years old. Protected from modern day pollution, it is the purest on Earth. Infrared Sauna and massages are also available.

3325 Folsom Boulevard, Sacramento, CA
(916) 455-1525
Tuesday – Friday 11am to 7pm
Saturday 11am to 6pm
Sunday & Monday, closed

The Spa at Arden Hills
6Arden Hills Credit Barbara L Steinberg2
A suburban retreat, there are many options to relax at award-winning Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa. Sacramento’s only full-service spa is the play-cation for lovers, friends, bachelorette parties or just some personal pampering. Unwind in the sun-drenched Serenity Room. Savor a detoxifying steam or distress in the hydrotherapy whirlpool. Indulge in signature facial and mani-pedi to make this a daylong affair or extend your stay with an overnight at The Villas.

1220 Arden Hills Lane, Sacramento, CA
(916) 480-1150
Tues – Thurs 11am to 7pm
Fri – Sun 9am to 6pm

Happy Day Spa
Foot massage
Chinese foot massage is a centuries-old tradition. Reflexology focused, massages include pressure points in your head and feet. Not a traditional massage by any means, this clothed experience leaves guests stress-free and begging for more. In a communal setting, foot massages are a price you can’t resist.  Located in Little Saigon since 2008, Happy Day Spa has three locations – Little Saigon, Natomas Crossing and Folsom – to keep your feet smiling.
6911 Stockton Boulevard, #500, Sacramento, CA
3890 Truxel Road, #100, Sacramento
1004 Riley Street, Suite 3 & 4, Folsom
10am to 10pm


Sacramento Visitors Guide Summer 2017Originally published in the Visit Sacramento Visitors Guide Summer 2017
Digital version linked above


Sacramento best mani-pedi at The Nails Stop

Finishing touch under Van's gentle care. Yes, happiness on the bracelet was right. Credit Are You That WomanRating: Star! Star! Star! Star! Star!
Yes, 5! Count 'em! Five stars! I'm in love with my (new to me) mani-pedi local The Nails Stop! Thank you Van for the wonderful treatments -- especially the foot massage!  I had been looking for a new manicure-pedicure location for a long time. Something closer to home. So lucky to find you less than two miles away on Stockton Boulevard. My hands and feet are so happy. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everyone was incredibly friendly. The shop is small but that's how I like it. Definitely call for an appointment. Walk ins probably not a good idea but i'm okay with that.


Okay, I shouldn't give away all these fabulous places. Next thing you know, I can't get an appointment. Shop local. 

The Nails Stop
5671 Stockton Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95824
 Get Directions
(916) 452-6986


BeFries are fry perfection

IMAG3586

 5 Star Star Star Star Star

Yes, I finally found them. French fry perfection. Although, in this case, it's Belgian fry perfection. BeFries has stolen my heart. There can be no other fries beyond this moment. So lucky we just happened upon this new (less than one year) establishment while exploring the streets of Brighton. And happier still I had resisted ordering fries at the local pub.

This family of siblings -- Joe, Dash, Chan and Ezda (and friend Harry) have created fry magic. Locally sourced potatoes, fresh-cut and double-fried are crisp on the outside and a melting soft on the inside. Not overcooked crisp -- but a crust like nothing I have ever experienced. Delivered in their paper cone, the BeFries are also a perfect IMAG3590temperature. Slowly making our way through the large order, they were still nicely warm to the very end. 

First timers, we indulged in 10 dipping sauces. Moving from one to another and then back again, I decided Green Peppercorn and the daily special, Jerk Mayo, were my favorites. I have never used ketchup on my fries and the idea of 'mayo' is just something I've never understood. However, at BeFries I broke my fry purist rules with total abandon. 

Open seven days a week, I wish these young fry fiends nothing but success. And who knows maybe franchises down the road will cross the great wide pond and find their way west. I lied when I said, "These might just be the fest fries ever!" No 'might' about it. They are the BEST! Vote for BeFries for Brighton & Hove Food & Drink Awards 2017. I already did!

BeFries
46 West Street
Brighton, England
BN1 2RA

Photos on Facebook


Make Lemonade

Interesting that I wrote this more than 10 years ago, just publishing for the first time today and adding the current year's date. California will remember the winter of 2017.

We've all heard the old adage about when life gives you lemons.

Caples Lake Sierra Nevada Credit Barbara L Steinberg 2017The same can be said about California waters. Dry winters of little rain or snow translate into lackluster springs. The early browning of grasses across mountains and valleys; a mere window of time between the chill of winter and the fire of summer. In other words, no lemonade.

But in winters of plenty: Plenty of snow, plenty of rain and plenty of cold, that's a lemonade year. Hills above Fish Slough Credit David Mazel

While Californians pine and moan about the winter weather, I say, "Go live where they actually have winter weather! Places like South Dakota or Minnesota. Our winters of plenty--such as 2017--translate into a spring exploding with wildflowers from the hottest desert valleys to the coldest mountain peak. Our winters of plenty mean landscapes of wildflower eye candy.

Thank you Mother Nature for a winter abundant with lemons and a spring overflowing with lemonade.

 

 

If my Subaru can't get me there, 
that's a good reason not to go!

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Susan Sipe Rabinovitz a Sacramento Maker

Susan Rabinovitz Little Relics Photo by Evan E. Duran for Submerge MagazineIf less is more, the same is true at Little Relics Art & Jewelry Gallery. Susan Sipe Rabinovitz forges diminutive wearable art – bracelets, earrings, rings, pendants – using 14th-century goldsmith techniques. A bench jeweler, a hammer and torch are the tools of her trade. “My inspiration comes from Jean Miró a pre-cubist, abstract artist, Midtown Little Relics Artisan Jewelry Credit Barbara L Steinberg2architecture and my daughters.” A Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts graduate, Susan put herself through school making earrings for Nordstrom. Now, she sculpts precious metals and jewels into custom-made keepsakes and, also, does repairs.

Little Relics Art & Jewelry Gallery
908 - 21st Street, Sacramento, CA
Monday-Saturday 11am to 6pm
Sunday 11am to 4pm 

More about Little Relics: Socially Respons
ible Bling featured in Submerge magazine


Mecca for Outdoor Enthusiasts Visit Redding and Shasta Cascade

Web sizeThink alfresco!  From small executive retreats to company-wide conferences, the meeting planner team at Visit Redding can help design and implement outdoor fun for any group and offers an array of complimentary services including event planning, site negotiations and familiarization tours.

 “Our team is at the ready to help with all the meeting and event details. We are focused on the needs of your group and offer rejuvenating, educational and inspirational outdoor ideas to make your meeting a memorable one,” explains Jennifer Fontana, Industry Relations /Group Coordinator at Visit Redding. Give them a call, their priorities are in order: kayaking, hiking, boating and more.

Get Wet
Is your corporate retreat all wet? It could be! Trinity River Rafting offers groups tours. Collaboration and On water Yoga Courtesty of On Water Yogacoordination is the name of the game as teams paddle together through white-water rapids.  Redding Jet Boat Tours  depart from the famous Sundial Bridge, taking groups on a scenic ride down the Sacramento River aboard a custom-built 26-foot jet boat. At Headwaters Adventure Company, experienced paddlers demonstrate all the right moves to help you enjoy your kayaking and paddleboarding experience on Whiskeytown Lake.  Shuttle Service is available for groups, nine or fewer. Ranger-led tours are offered for small groups by special request through Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.  Or just breathe with Audrey Delong’s On Water Yoga. The Zen of paddleboarding, outings are tailored for private events.

Lake Shaata Caverns Courtsey of Visit ReddingGo Back in Time
Enjoy a scenic 10-minute catamaran cruise to Lake Shasta Caverns National Natural Landmark and one-hour tour of what some geologists consider one of the most beautiful limestone caves in America. Then there’s the Lava Beds National Monument. This land of turmoil, both geological and historical, will make problem solving back at the office seem like a piece of cake. More than 700 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and campsites, and high desert wilderness experiences await your group.

ManaBall Courtesy of Visit RedgingWild and Crazy
Redding’s newest contact sport revolutionizes team building experiences. ManaBall provides more than 30 customized and coordinated extreme bubble-ball games. An exciting twist on traditional sports, team players are wrapped in a giant, soft inflatable Bubble Ball with shoulder harnesses and handles inside! Bonding has never been more hilarious.

Sundial Bridge Courtesy of Visit ReddingBefore and After Hours
Located at Turtle Bay Exploration Park, the Sundial Bridge is an architectural and artistic marvel and one of the largest working sundials in the world. Silhouetted above the Sacramento River, the glass-decked pedestrian bridge is illuminated at night. A memorable way for groups to gather, the Bridge Amphitheater and North Plaza offer unique settings for outdoor parties, ceremonies, and receptions.

Wildcard Brewing Courtesy of Visit ReddingDowntown Redding is ready to fulfill all your after-hour needs to shop, dine, and enjoy live music and other entertainment. Savor everything from casual to fine dining, as well as wine tasting rooms, craft beer bars, and dance clubs for after-hours merriment. The Redding Civic Auditorium, convention hotels, and local vineyards also welcome groups of all sizes.

Redding Transportation
Redding Municipal Airport provides commercial airline passenger service via United, with direct flights to San Francisco, and Pen Air offers direct flights to Portland. If you prefer to charter your own plane, aviation services and aircraft hangar facilities are available to make your trip memorable. Car rentals, Amtrak and Greyhound service, buses, taxis, limousines, bicycle rentals, and even pedicabs are another way to see the sites and get around. Shuttle service and group ice breaker from Sacramento International sets an upbeat tone. 

Redding is located at the northern end of the Sacramento Valley, two hours north of Sacramento and three hours northeast of San Francisco.  With more than 300 days of sunshine, Redding is truly your year-round outdoor destination. Nearby scenic lakes, rivers, national forests, state and national parks – Shasta State Historic Park, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Lassen Volcanic National Park – make Redding a fantastic base-camp. Redding is conveniently located at the crossroads of Interstate-5 and California state routes 299 and 44.

Roughly the size of Ireland, the Shasta Cascade region is the perfect place to get back to nature, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Comprised of eight rural counties, this majestic Northern California region is dotted with lakes, rivers and mountains and includes three national parks, six national forests and 12 California state parks.

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Benjamin Schwartz a Sacramento Maker

My Sacramento Benjamin Schwartz Credit Alexander TardifStudying film at the prestigious Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, Ben Schwartz returned to Sacramento roots to complete his degree. He started making films and then settled on a 9 to 5 State job. A regular paycheck with benefits seemed like a safer route, but not his destiny.  A chance meeting with British shoemaker was pivotal. Nine years later, his shoes are made for walking.

"I found this book on making shoes, but didn’t act on it for about a year. There were no apprenticeships; it was just a hobby.  A friend suggested having the designs factory made, but we decided to make them ourselves.  In 2014, there Benjamin Shoe Co Credit are You That Woman Barbara L Steinbergwas one prototype when we went online. The idea of work changes when you work for yourself; more hours than you’d ever work otherwise. I sold everything I owned and, with two friends, we “bootstrapped” the business. It’s surprising, in a good way, how much local support we received. We’ve become such a throwaway society, I want to be a model for other small brands being mindful and making things that last."

Benjamins Shoes
1104 R Street, Suite 130
Sacramento, CA 95811
Tues.-Sat. 11am to 7pm
Sunday 11am to 6pm