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Sacramento
Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-09-01 20:23:41 | Sacramento, California, United States
Keywords: Capital, Capital, city, Historic
I had briefly visited Sacramento a few years ago and I thought I should take another look at it, plus it was a nice stop to make before reaching San Francisco. But California is in bad shape and it shows in its capital.

Yes, little Sacramento (500 000 proper population) is the capital city of the most populated US state (with over 38 millions, it's even more than Canada!). They finally managed to present a balanced budget a free a decade of deficits. But at enormous cost of drastic cuts in education and public workers' pay. But the hardship experienced by California is visible all over the city. There are vacant stores all over downtown, even two closed hotels. Another sign is the transit system. It barely covers the core of the city, and some lines run only on weekdays. The light rail line deserving the bus station doesn't run on Sundays!

Downtown Sacramento is compact and very easy to walk and navigate with its alphabet and numbered streets grid. But there's not much to see and do in there, everything following the business hours of the politicians and state workers. I even saw a fast-food restaurant close at 6PM on a Saturday, even if they were the only food option around for thousands of teenagers attending an anime convention on the other side of the street!

Old Sacramento although it's a kitsch tourist trap is one place to visit because they did a very good job in preserving and restoring the old West spirit. When I was there, the was a Gold Rush celebration event, reminiscing the glory days of the city funded in 1849, in the midst of one of the largest human migration of history. They had horse-drawn chariots offering rides around the old city, they had replicas of soldier camps, a Pony Express recruiting office, etc.

Will I feel the need to visit it again? No, but it happens to be the gateway airport if I want to visit my California friends again.



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