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Coffee is a growing trend in the United

have created a desire for higher qual-

States and it is not uncommon to see

ity and a more personal touch; coffee

television shows or blogs featuring

has become personal. We also now

coffee shops or coffee culture. Corpora-

demand variety, where coffee used to

tions like Starbucks have introduced

be plain and served one way, now there

words like cappuccino and latte into the

are more choices and varieties than

social conscience by delivering factory

ever. From drip to French press, hot or

line like fare for the masses. Coffee

cold brewing methods, there is variety

or espresso has become the begin-

that is stemming from the demand

ning of many people’s mornings and

of a younger crew of coffee drinkers.

its presence is visible from the home

This legion of multitasking and young

to the workplace. These new habits

creatives, need energy to fuel their lives,




to the point where coffee has gone from

original location off L street has come

morning pick me up, to lifeblood of a

to be called, “The Alley”, and it is still

generation. This brings us to Old Soul

where the coffee beans are roasted

Coffee Roasters. Old Soul Coffee is a

today. After the success of the first loca-

small coffee roaster and baker in the

tion, Tim and Jason have also opened a

capitol area of midtown. Opened in

few other locations, most notably “Old

2006 by Tim Jordan and Jason Griest,

Soul at The Weatherstone”, a coffee

they opened their first location in what

house on 21st Street. This company is

used to be an old warehouse. They

locally owned and operated; Old Soul

renovated the warehouse into a facility

is about community and hospitality.

capable of roasting coffee, as well as

Getting to Old Soul’s downtown loca-

converting part of it into a bakery. The

tion is difficult at first. The entrance is

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located off the street and down the back

well as the tanks used to roast coffee

alley. There are a few signs directing

beans. There are bags of coffee beans in

you to the entrance, but the mystery

the rough burlap bags stacked here and

and vagueness of the location helps to

there as well as bags of flour and other

create an atmosphere of intrigue; the

supplies against the walls. It gives the

journey makes finally finding it, just

feeling of being in a kitchen rather than

that much better. The exterior is rather

are tail space, as if you are a friend or

non descript, but there is a sign on the

family member rather than a customer.

exterior and a few tables for outside

There is plenty of seating, it’s varied

seating when the weather is nice. On

between small and large tables, couches

one side of Old Soul is a bike messen-

and different types of chairs. The dĂŠcor

ger and repair shop, the other side is

is actually very friendly, there are games

open. Inside the facility is industrial with

and even small tables set up for kids.

exposed beams and duct work in the tall

There are different segmented seating

vaulted ceilings, but oddly it feels very

areas inside. There are secluded tables

warm and welcoming. There are large

in the back if you want more privacy.

windows on the front wall, which help

There is communal seating in the form

to project soft light into the space. The

of a comfortable leather couch flanked

space is segmented into a large L shape

by arm chairs. And there are tables

around the counter. There is space a

of different sizes meant for different

small stage for live music. You can see

purposes, some large enough to sprawl

the open kitchen where they bake, as

out books and a laptop, while some bet-




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ter suited for reading a novel. People

coffee to the look of the open kitchen,

play chess,lounge around or work

everything is as it should be. I like to

on laptops. The clientele varies from

judge coffee shops by the smell; when

moms with kids, to college students,

I walk in somewhere new I want to be

to young professionals. Everyone is

inundated by the smell of coffee. The

welcome at Old Soul. Old Soul Coffee

fact that they also make a great cup of

Roasters is a great spot to go for either

coffee certainly doesn’t hurt either.

someone looking for a quick cup of coffee, or someone looking to settle in

By Peter Maloney

for a while. There are many places that you could choose to go for a cup of coffee nowadays, what with Starbucks or Peet’s being on every corner of every street, but it is hard to find a place that is quite as welcoming as Old Soul. The details are what make this place great, from the burlap sacks of


Ginger Elizabeths delicately delicious 1801 L Street, Sacramento Ca



There is always some satisfaction in purchasing a record



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As you listen to your favorite music artist online or on one of your mobile devices, stop and ask yourself: When was the last time I visited a record store? It wasn’t too long ago when the only way you could own a song was through purchasing a hard copy of the record. You couldn’t just go to a computer and download single tracks in mere seconds like many do today. Instead, you had to drive to the record store and purchase the entire album in-person. In some ways this added to the overall musiclistening experience. There is always some satisfaction in purchasing a record in the sense that you went out of your way to purchase something you looked forward to listening to. Nowadays, this sense of nostalgia doesn’t seem to resonate with the modern music lover. Today, many would agree that they don’t visit record stores anymore. Some may even go as far as state that they’ve never even purchased a CD or a record, let alone seen one in person. It seems as though the number of record store “fans” is becoming fewer and fewer over the years. This should come as no surprise. After all, with modern-day advances in technology, music has become so easily accessible to consumers that it isn’t any wonder why record stores are becoming a thing of the past. However, as small as this following may be, there are hopefuls out there looking to keep the spirit of the record store alive and running. Here in Sacramento, there has been of history of record stores closing and others hanging on. One recent example is “The Beat”. The Beat was a popular record store that

had served countless music-lovers for 31 years. Since it’s opening, many considered it a go-to place for both old and new music. Unfortunately, due to declining sales and increased property rent, June became the record store’s last month open despite having loyal customers for years. Another recent example was Tower Records, a retail music chain founded in Sacramento in the 1960’s. It’s rapid success among music consumers led way to international expansion. For years Tower Records was a well-known name in the record store industry. However, in 2004, Tower Records filed for bankruptcy due to an increase in competition from big-name discount retailers and Internet piracy, which soon caused them to cease operations in Sacramento. As the doors closed on record stores such as these mentioned, another door opened for them as an opportunity to continuing selling records in these heavily technology based times. Many record stores such as The Beat and Tower Records have turned to online sales as a way to appeal towards the audiences that prefer to do online purchases rather than in person. This doesn’t just include records stores that have gone out of business; this includes current operating record stores such as Dimple Records, another Sacramento area favorite. In addition to Internet sales, record stores are attempting to generate mass appeal by hosting events such a “Record Store Day”. This idea was created in 2008 as a way for record store owners and employees to promote their store. Record Store Day is celebrated annually


on the third Saturday in April. Local record stores that host this event attract both old and new customers with promotional giveaways, free goodies, and they even will go as far as inviting local music artists to perform live in the store. All this is an excellent and strategic way for record store owners to keep afloat amidst troubled sales periods. As for the state of record stores today, there still is some promise that they will be around for years to come. Promotional events such as Record Store Day, which generated a 60 percent increase in album and vinyl sales this past year, reveal that there are still people out there that are still interested in having record stores around and purchasing music in-person. The next time you plan to purchase your favorite artists new album through iTunes or Amazon, you may want to consider finding it and purchasing at your local record store instead such as local favorites like Dimple Records or lesser known shops like Phono Select, and Esoteric Records. Not only will you be supporting the artist but you will also be supporting local business as well. As members of the Sacramento community, it’s important to preserve this unique culture and simple leisure activity as we shift through a heavily technology and commercially dependent age of music.

By Hector Perez






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BY NATALIA DZYNDRA When you think of a city, wildlife and wilderness don’t seem to fit the mental picture. Surprisingly, the city of Sacramento, also known as the “City of Trees”, is unique for its thriving wildlife in the various amounts of wilderness areas. The American River Parkway is one of those places. It is also home to the American River Bike Trail, which is known to be one of the finest trails in Sacramento. The American River Trail, also known as the Jedediah Smith Memorial Trail was named after Jedediah Smith who was born in Bain Bridge, New York in 1799. Smith is famous for fur trapping and exploring in the early 19th century. His fascination with Lewis and Clark made him want to explore as they had done. Smith explored the American West Coast, the Rocky Mountains, and the Southwest Coast. He was the first white man to travel from the Salt Lake frontier, to the Colorado River, to the Mojave Desert, to his destination in California. He was the first American to explore the Sierra Nevadas and the Great Basin. Smith was also the first one to reach the Oregon Country. In Sacramento, Smith explored between Old Sacramento and Folsom. Then in the late 19th century, the trail was designated by a bicycle group called The Capital City Wheelmen. Soon after that it was abandoned as a heavy commuting route when automobiles became popular in the early 1900s. Then in the 1970s the trail was paved and reviewed as a transportation route for bicyclists. A new section has been added in the last few years that runs from the south side of Lake Natoma right on into Downtown Folsom. The entire trail is 32 miles long and goes from Beal’s Point State Park in Granite Bay to Discovery Park in Old Sacramento. It is open




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year round, although Discovery Park tends

eral places that have a boat launch. Rossmoor

to flood during heavy rainstorms. Every year

Dr. has an area for launches, but it isn’t paved.

approximately five million people travel on the

The Sunrise Recreation area has a paved

American River Trail. It is a two lane, complete-

one right under the old Fair Oaks bridge. The

ly paved trail with line markers to separate

bridge is next to the Sunrise Blvd. bridge, but

ongoing from coming traffic. There are maps

the Fair Oaks one is only for pedestrians

and mile markers along the trail to let you

and cyclists.

know where you’re at. Along the way you will

A unique spot along the trail is the Guy

find restrooms and water fountains to drink

West bridge which is a smaller scale of the

from. Due to the trail being mostly in the city,

Golden Gate bridge. The bridge connects the

it gives you more convenience for stopping to

campus of California State University Sacra-

shop or eat along your way. There are many

mento to the neighborhood campus commons.

parks along the trail that you can take a break

The bridge is named in honor of Guy West,

at to enjoy the scenery around. For the dog

who the first president at Sac State. If you get

lovers, a great stop is the Hagan Off Leash

tired of the trail, stop by the Sac State Aquat-

Dog Park off of Chase Dr. in Rancho Cordova.

ics Center on Hazel Ave, by the Nimbus Dam

River Bend, Ancil Hoffman, Sunrise, Riverfront,

Recreation Area. Here you can rent kayaks,

Sutter’s Landing, Discovery, Nimbus Dam,

paddle boards, canoes, and much more. Also,

Mississippi Bar, Rollingwood Bluffs, and Negro

they have many different classes such as jet

Bar are some additional parks along the trail.

skiing, boating, sailing, windsurfing, rowing

Most have parking, although you won’t find

and more. When you’re feeling hungry, make

free parking along the trail. You could always

sure and stop by Stinger’s Sports Bar off of

park in a shopping center or other free lot and

Howe Avenue. Stinger’s is known to have the

bike to the trail.

best buffalo wings and freshest sandwiches in

Along the trail where the parks are, there

town. In Folsom off of Greenback Lane is Sud-

are picnic sites, golfing, guided natural and

werks Restaurant and Brewery, and then off

historic tours, and river rafting. People usually

of Northrup and Howe Ave you’ll find Panera

bicycle, walk, jog, run, skate, and horseback

Bread, LaBou, and Lemon Grass. On the other

ride on the trail. For those hot summer days,

end of the trail, Old Town Sacramento has

you can spend some time in one of the swim-

many places to stop as well. Just about any

ming areas to cool off, or raft down the river

time you cross the levee you’ll find somewhere

along the trail. American River Raft Rentals in

good to stop and eat.

Rancho Cordova offer raft rentals as well as a

Whatever you enjoy most, whether it is jog-

shuttle bus to pick you up when you’re done

ging or biking, skating or watching the geese,

rafting. For those that prefer a more gentle

there is much to do and much to see along

way to experience the outdoors, gold mining

this trail. So what are you waiting for? Get out

is also an option. If you plan on mining, bring

there and enjoy the scenery!

your own pans and tools. If you enjoy kayaking, boating, or fishing on the river, there are sev-









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A Survey of participants of

No Shave November For those of you who don’t already know. No Shave November is exactly what it sounds like. People abstaining from using a

33% 37%


razor for the entire month of November. Although the majority of participants are male some females have joined in as well. The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing our hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild


and free. Donate the money you usually spend on shaving and grooming for a month to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.












written by Hayley Lyons

< Often if you ask someone where their favorite place to eat is, nine times out of ten you’ll get a different answer. Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Everyone knows a great spot, as there are so many great restaurants in Sacramento that will satisfy your taste buds or set the “mood” for a special someone. From local mom n’ pop’s to mega chains the options can be daunting. So the question is...Where are the best places to eat around us? The best burger, the best omelet, or maybe the best Italian? I set off on a tour of three recommended restaurants that would satisfy all three meals of the day and have rated them based on food quality, selection, atmosphere, price, and location. Now while it is impossible to say the “best” as experiences differ from person to person, this article represents my humble opinion gathered from my dinning adventure.

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offering specialties from around the globe


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tower cafe I started off my journey at a popular local establishment called Tower Cafe. Tucked into a corner attached to the theater of the same name, Tower Cafe gains its appeal right off the bat because of the seclusion that the trees and shrubbery provide the outdoor patio. Due to the popularity of the place it was no surprise that the wait time to get an outdoor table was around twenty minutes. I have to state that one of the things that really stood out to me was the canopy of trees that provided a charming garden style atmosphere and no matter where you sat the sun wouldn’t be able to overwhelm you. As I peered at the menu there were many tasty things to eat. There menu was very diverse offering specialties from across the globe, from French toast, to Greek omelets to a hearty Mexican breakfast of carnitas, refried beans, and eggs with chorizo. Of course I had to choose the award winning, custard French toast, hoping it would live up to its reputation. The menu was decently priced each plate ranging from $10 to $15. The waiter was kind and courteous offering me a morning Mimosa while I waited for my order. When the food arrived I knew I was going to need back up in the form of a to go bag. The portions were quite generous. Simply put the food was amazing.

The French toast definitely lived up to its reputation. I chose the seasonal version, which had a fresh fruit compote and house made whipped cream. The bread was a baguette and the unique custard filling was very rich, which was complicated nicely by the freshness of the fruit. I thoroughly enjoyed my breakfast that morning. The restaurant décor would best be described as relaxing, as there was a fountain that provided the soft sound of spilling water and all the surrounding greenery that really added to the tranquil atmosphere. After I paid my check I went to check out the interior of the restaurant. The inside was decorated with all sorts of international treasures. It had a very eclectic feel, like you were peering into someone’s collections from their travels around the world. Besides the tables there was a small bakery that proudly displayed the day’s creations in a glassed counter. Breakfast was great but I shall be back to see what dinner is like as I saw a piece of chocolate mousse calling my name. I rate this place a must try for everyone as their mission was to create a unique worldly menu and atmosphere that would appeal to Sacramento’s diverse community and have a place that would bring them all under one roof.


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( For lunch I sampled a downtown establishment called “Burgers n’ Brew”. I was immediately excited about this place from the name as who doesn’t like a good burger and beer. Upon reaching this restaurant after having to circle to find parking the first word that came to mind was old style pub. It featured an outdoor patio with tables in addition to the table and barstool seating inside. That atmosphere inside was upbeat with about half the tables filled with customers of all ages. Some had families with children in tow while others were there with friends or their significant other. Something different from the traditional restaurant is was self seating adding to the casual atmosphere. From the moment you walk in, there is a line down the middle to the bar where your order is taken and you are given a number to place at your table of choice. The center of gravity for this place is definitely the bar. The amount of domestic and imported beer on tap is sure to please all but the most diehard beer patrons. There are over seventy-five beers to choose from. The menu consists of as the name suggests. Burgers. Although

over 75 beers to choose from

there are various sandwiches and salads to choose from burgers of all types dominate the menu. If you’ve ever asked yourself how many ways and combinations you can do a burger rest assured. The staff at Burgers n’ Brew have thoroughly examined and answered this issue. There was everything from the standard hamburger and cheeseburger to more exotic flavors such as an omelet burger with avocados and bacon in an egg blanket wrapped around a patty. The pricing was moderate with the average plate and glass of beer being around fifteen dollars. Although many will probably spend more trying the various taps the place has to offer. Service was prompt and we waited for about ten to fifteen minutes for our food to come. The décor was in line with the restaurants theme with various taps and paraphernalia on the walls and shelves surrounding the customers immersing them in the Burgers n’ Brew experience. If you are ever in the downtown area and are looking for a good place to hang out and have good food and beer Burgers n’ Brew is the spot to check out.


For dinner my craving for Italian food took me to the much-acclaimed Paesanos. Once again in the downtown area, parking was not the easiest to find. Upon finding the restaurant, the layout, ambiance, and low talk definitely labeled this place as intimate comfortably resting on romantic. While there were several tables that sat four the vast majority were candle lit two person islands. When we walked in we were immediately met and seated and given a menu and an extensive wine list. There was a bar to our left with various red and white wines on display behind the bartender. The waiter gave us a substantial amount of privacy not to be confused with neglect, as he always remained a head nod or gesture away. The menu was typical with your traditional Italian with some unique twists. Although I did not get the pizza opting instead for the Mushroom Ravioli, the pizza selection was wide ranging with one pizza including chorizo sausage and another with roasted potatoes. The food was delicious. The wait time was from twenty minutes to half an hour, which is typical for this kind of establishment giving us plenty

of time to drink wine, savor the atmosphere and enjoy each other’s company. The decor was very warm and inviting and the tables were softly lit with candles. The employees were prompt to attend to the guests while moving about with food and wine in a discreet manner. The price was again very affordable with plates ranging from $8 to $15. This is the perfect place to take a date or even a group of friends. So ladies and gents enjoy. So back to the question that started it all, where are some of the best places to eat in Sacramento? Although I covered three of my newfound favorites there are many places off the beaten path ready to be explored. I explored the Tower Café and had a satisfying breakfast. I then went to one of the coolest places to get a great burger and beer. And finally, I got my romantic Italian craving satisfied at Paesanos. So I don’t think that there really is a universal answer to that question. However, this author is quite happy with the fact that if asked that very question, I now have an educated opinion to draw from that I didn’t have to break the bank for.

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perfect place to take a date or group of friends

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