I saw a familiar head in line at the BelAir Market on West El Camino. We used to call him Peanut head back in the day. I hadn’t seen Peanut head in more than ten years. We lost contact after my family moved to Sacramento in the nineties. There he was, in living color, in South Natomas. I like a lot of my friends in the Bay, he gave many excuses why he couldn’t visit Sacramento. The number one excuse, was the heat. The number two was, it wasn’t the city and there wasn’t anything to do here. I parked my cart and intercepted him before he left the store.
It seems Peanut head moved to Sacramento four years ago. Family members from Hayward and Fremont soon followed. His younger brother and his partner will arrive this spring.
Peanut head lost his job nearly 30 years and owned a home in the Haight. After an extended visit in Sacramento he sold his home and paid cash for a home near his friend (a refugee from Los Angeles) in South Natomas. Today, he owns several properties in Sacramento and has his sights on Oak Park. He LOVES Sacramento, for more than a half an hour he talked about how much he loved it here. We discovered we enjoy the same restaurants in midtown., he his a major soccer fan and often attends sporting events in the area.
In the last few years, nearly a dozen friends had quietly moves to Sacramento. If your a Millennial its possible to own a home here. If your a baby boomer with children or grandchildren in the state. You can sell you home in Los Angeles and San Francisco and with the savings have an easier retirement.
Sometimes its difficult to find someone who was born and raised here to have a good word about their city. Like the central character in Ladybird, they only dreams to leave the city.
I think the refugees are wining ,as Sacramento is the fastest growing big city in the state. While the local say there isn’t much here, the refugees are amazed by what is here. The initial attraction here is the lower cost of living. Sactown cost are higher than most southern cities. Its much lower than the coastal areas of California and Washington.
Refugees have nothing put praise about the city and they are coming in by the car load.
Wikipedia Says, Sacramento has one of the highest LGBT populations per capita, ranking seventh among major American cities, and third in California behind San Francisco and slightly behind Oakland, with roughly 10% of the city’s total population identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual and Sac is as the most “hipster city” in California.
After twenty years in Sactown, I wish it were a bit more urban. A bit more vertical. However what keeps me planted is the diversity, the people. I travel often and one thing I haven’t heard in Sacramento, “people who look like me isn’t welcome in this part of town”. Something you hear in many cities.. So far, not in Sacramento.
The new refugees don’t share my complaints. Go to a restaurant along 16th Street in one of the new buildings or walk along “R”St corridor and you’ll hear (well, with one very vocal exception from Los Angeles who cant wait to leave this pile of …) I like Sac.