Monday, April 27, 2015

Five Things I Didn't Know about Sacramento

1. The Sacramento Valley (and the Sacramento River) were given their names in 1808 by the Spanish explorer Gabriel Moraga. The beauty of the place was such that the expedition named the river and the valley for the "Most Holy Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ."  The city we now call Sacramento, built where the Sacramento River and the American River flow together toward the northern end of California's Central Valley, was incorporated on February 27, 1850. It's California's oldest incorporated city.
 
2.  When the city was about 12 years old, its street level was built up about ten feet by building walls on either side of the street and filling the roadways in with dirt. As a result, the ground level of many buildings was below the street grade, so many property owners raised their buildings, as Leland Stanford did. Many of the resulting underground spaces have now been filled or destroyed by later development, but the "Sacramento Underground" is still accessible in some places.

3.  Sacramento is the sunniest location in the world from July through September. In July, the city averages 14 hours and 12 minutes of sunshine per day (98% of what's possible for the location).

4.  The Amtrak station in Sacramento is the second busiest in the state and the seventh busiest in the country. The light rail system is the eleventh busiest in the United States.
5.  The Sacramento River Cats minor league baseball team is hugely popular now that it's affiliated with the San Francisco Giants rather than the Oakland A's, to the extent that the only reasonably priced tickets available at the gate on Saturday night were standing room only. But there are fireworks every Friday and Saturday.

Bonus: In Sacramento, a woman wearing a tutu with running gear on a Sunday morning is involved in a walk for a cause on the grounds of the state capital building, not (as it would more likely be in San Francisco or even, possibly, Los Angeles) making a bold fashion statement.
-- Mindy