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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 9:59 PM
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Well I usually say something like yes but your not stuck out in the burbs where you have to drive everywhere. I talked to a women who just moved here from San Francisco and works downtown. She wants to live in West Midtown because she said she wanted to live in the most urban place in the city where she doesn't have drive to get coffee. Nonetheless she said she would still have drive to her work which is downtown at around 5th Street.

What the nimrods around here do not get YET is that what will spur development more than anything else is an effective public transportation system that primarily serves the very walkable central city. We don't have such a system. Light-rail is mostly for the suburban commuter and not the central city.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 10:15 PM
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ozone: Why can't she walk to work from midtown if she works on 5th Street? I work downtown and live in midtown, and I have my choice of walking, taking the bus or taking light rail if I don't feel like driving--which is turning out to be quite often.

I live in a house. It's not a big house (about 900 sf), it doesn't have a driveway, and it doesn't have a big backyard (and I'm considering turning the backyard into a driveway.) I can walk to work, coffee, supermarket or entertainment, and if my feet hurt I can bike or take public transit most of the time. I take bus or light rail to school because it's easier and cheaper than driving, and a lot less stressful.

For people who don't share my obsession with hundred year old homes, there are new projects like Tapestri Square and the SoCap Lofts and a dozen or so other ones that are selling like hotcakes. Those homes are just as convenient for walking or busing/biking downtown, space-efficient, modern, and a lot of them are pretty good looking.

I don't think the nimrods here don't get it, it's just that they're unwilling or unable to pay for it. The streetcar plan with West Sacramento aims to help address some of those concerns in a cost-effective way, although additional bus, jitney and future streetcar expansion sounds like a swell idea too. We share the desire for better public transit, but midtown is one of the places where it's actually something like adequate.

Living in Midtown is not like living in the suburbs. The people who live in single-family dwellings in Midtown are not looking for the same things as people who live in single-family dwellings in Rocklin. For starters, they often started out as people who lived in multi-family dwellings in Midtown and decided they wanted to own a stake in the neighborhood they fell in love with. This neighborhood was built with public transit and walkability in mind--it wasn't until the streetcar that midtown was fully built out, for example, and it was predominant for decades--but most people who worked downtown and lived in Southside or Midtown still walked to work.

So, I will repeat: What are the arguments in favor of embracing high-rise living in Sacramento?
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 10:58 PM
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wburg I tend to agree with your point of view more than I disagree but I just do not agree when you say: "midtown is one of the places where it's (public transportation) actually something like adequate." How so?

It's the size of the blocks, the density and mix-use development that makes Midtown walkable but there's almost no viable public transportation to support those on foot. When you say public transportation are you mostly talking about a bus right? Light rail only cuts across the southern half of Midtown and therefore for most of Midtown is only good to get out to the burbs. I also think additional buses and jitneys won't do the trick either. We need a rail line that cuts through the center of Midtown and a cross-town link. So, I will repeat: the nimrods here don't get it -Yet. If they really got they'd be talking about it and willing to pay for it.

By your question I take it wburg that don't see the need or appeal of highrise living?
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2007, 11:44 PM
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ozone: Yes, I'm talking about buses. Even with a streetcar system buses are an important part of the system in that they are flexible and have low startup costs. I grew up riding the bus (I didn't have a driver's license until I was 25) so I'm pretty accustomed to it as a way to get around. Although my workplace and my home are both within a couple blocks of light rail, so I use light rail as often as I take the bus.

But walking, at least in decent weather, is the most fun, and the best exercise. There's lots of neat stuff to look at, and plenty of good places to carbo-load or caffeinate on the way!

A streetcar through the northern part of midtown would be very nice indeed, but there are obstacles to overcome--namely, the Union Pacific tracks. The FRA frowns on track diamonds so a crossing at grade is probably out of the question, and a bridge raises other problems. But bus service through the northern part of midtown is all right, at least until evening. I'd like it if they ran all night, but that goes for all transit, and I'm sure you'd agree.

I don't personally feel the need to live in a high-rise. For me, it has more to do with my love of old buildings (and my desire to have a basement to put my model railroad in) than any antipathy towards high-rises in general.

What I'm asking is: what, to you, are the benefits of living in a high-rise condo that can't be obtained any other way? Why is it important to you personally? I recognize that some of those benefits may well be intangible, but I consider that a valid argument, and welcome your input on why it's just cool to live in a high-rise.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 1:02 AM
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The advantages some people find of high rise condo living are:

1) The view is generally unbelievable. Quite often, these kinds of projects have views of water or mountains, and always have distant views of something, simply because you are up high.
2) In many cities, the only viable option to live downtown is in high rise condos (for newer units). Occasionally there are rehabs of existing building, but the land is so expensive that building anything new that doesn't maximize the sites available density won't make money. Consequently, there a more new units in high-rises than there are in remodelled old loft buildings (plus a high rise would have 250+ units while a remodel would have 10%-20% of that).
3) Many older people find downsizing from a large house with the maintenance concerns to a high-rise condo in the city to be beneficial. They are generally very close to symphonies, plays, museums, etc. and can spend half of their year there and the other half travelling.
4) Generally speaking, high rise units are really nice. Sitting in a clean modern living room with a view for miles is pretty amazing. It is quite different than having that same living room in the suburbs.

All that said, the real challenge in Sacramento--and its legit--is:

"Is it worth twice the cost for half the home?"
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 1:40 AM
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the main (selling) point is that your home is NOT half the size. When you
are in a dense, urban environment, your home is the city. Thus, you are
not confined to your personal property and your home becomes the theater,
the bar, the restaurant, the cafe AND the 1,000 sq ft you you rest at night.

it's a tough concept to sell to a populace that has never considered a home
to extend beyond their front door. i think as mentioned above, there are
certain demographics awakening to the concept such as empty nesters...
but the idea of snagging the most square footage for the least amount of
money is a deep seated one that isn't likely to dissapear for a long time.
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 3:25 AM
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^Very Good Point TD. Well said.
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 4:10 AM
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td: On that point, we certainly seem to agree. I like my house, but I sure spend a lot of time tramping around the city doing stuff. Hell, that's what makes walking to work (especially from midtown to downtown) such fun! I do it on my days off, why not do it on a work day too?

awg: Point 1 is taken and appreciated: I used to sneak up into the Darth Vader building (usual excuse was to pick up free tickets won at KWOD) and stare out at the city, the valley and the mountains from an empty office on an upper floor. The point about maintenance concerns is valid, although paying condo fees costs about as much as paying a gardener to take care of your lawn. Or you can do what I do and xeroscape!

Point two is the case in "many cities," but not here, at least not yet. As I have mentioned probably to the point of irritating everyone above, you can get all the cultural and geographical advantages in the existing housing market right now. At some point, probably pretty soon, they will be necessary.

The last point is definitely a question of individual taste: personally I prefer my coved ceilings, hardwood floor and old-school porch, but I can understand the appeal of a modern high-tech interior with a window out on a broad expanse of geography.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 5:54 AM
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Interesting. Good points made by all. I especially like what Tower District had to say.

I like the Victorian I live in. From my second story I can watch the world go by. Plus I live less than a block from a coffeehouse, two blocks from the corner market, a block and 1/2 from work. Only problem is all the noise and my view is limited.

Now if I lived high up I would have A VIEW and I wouldn't have to hear the crazy lady scream all night nor the leaf blowers every morning at 7AM nor the can collectors as they clink,clank,clink,clank down the block, nor that loud pipe motorcycle, nor the ferrell cat in heat, nor... humm.. wouldn't I miss all that..really...come on...admit it...humm..hell no...I'm mov'n on up...I want to get all George Jefferson and get me a "de-lux apartment in the sky"...chumps.
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Last edited by ozone; Sep 29, 2007 at 6:07 AM.
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 6:04 AM
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Well said, TD. You said what I was trying to convey, only much much better.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 10:39 AM
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"Is it worth twice the cost for half the home?"[/QUOTE]

Nope...not for another 10 years probably....DT and MT need a lot more. I have been to every club, restaurant, bar, drink hole, party, museum, etc..it only took a year, and that is just on the weekends, not every weekend either... Its still a small town, not much to offer to pay that much for a condo and or downtown living, or even a dwelling in DT or MT. I may have to drive, but I have my own swimming pool and get to throw sick parties on the hot summer nights in my backyard for a price 1/2 of one of the towers would have been. Oh, and I have 5 bedrooms, 3 baths...for the same price I would maybe have gotten a 2 bedroom condo in the Sac Towers...not worth it.

And do not give me the crap of "Oh, its a lifestyle in Downtown"... I have friends that live downtown, I have lived the "life" in my old apartment on 20th and I, the grid is not that happening..yet.
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TowerDistrict View Post
the main (selling) point is that your home is NOT half the size. When you
are in a dense, urban environment, your home is the city. Thus, you are
not confined to your personal property and your home becomes the theater,
the bar, the restaurant, the cafe AND the 1,000 sq ft you you rest at night.
sounds like something that costs too much money, at least for me.
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 6:48 PM
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It's funny because the sub-urban lifestyle doesn't appeal to me in the least and it never did even when I lived in the burbs. There are urbanites and sub-urbanites. That's OK. Maybe people can't see the value in living in a neighborhood like Midtown. I guess I understand that since I don't see the value in living in a suburban house with 5 bedrooms, 3 bath and swimming pool. I would rather in the country before I ever lived in the burbs again.

I kind of have contempt for all the phonies around here who are so suburban yet think they are so urbane..because they bash Sacramento and say it's 'not a real city'. Very lame. I lived in Bangkok and New York which are both huge cities and while Sacramento is not even close to being what those cities are I'll tell you that it will never become the city we envision with these small-minded people who are always negative. I'll grant you that Sacramento has a ways to go but it's not as bad as some are making out. When Sacramento finally does 'pop' I don't want to see their faces around Midtown or Downtown. Let them stay in the burbs.

When I came back to Sacramento I promised myself that I would not sit around and complain about what we didn't have. Which is use-less. Rather I would work to change things. If you are not working to bring up the level of the city then either move or keep quiet.
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Last edited by ozone; Sep 29, 2007 at 7:14 PM.
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 11:08 PM
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I went to Parlare and Ella last night.... both new to me.

In fact, when i find a place I really like, I have a tough time ever making it
back because there are many places i've yet to experience. As wburg has
said here before, there is never a shortage of things to do in Sacramento..
just not enough time or energy to do them all.

econograd, i'm sure your pool parties are awesome, in fact i spent a lot of
time this summer poolside in the burbs - but each time i did spend a
weekend away from the central city area, i missed something that i would
have equally enjoyed: a band, the art walk, a film festival, etc. i've lived
downtown and on broadway for a combined 5 years now, and i've yet to
even scratch the surface.
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 11:16 PM
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So how was your experience at Parlare and Ella?
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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 11:20 PM
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Reviews so far from Yelp say it's the real deal. Given its the folk at The Kitchen, I would expect nothing less. I'm really looking forward to checking it out. Hopefully they say open late for after show drinks and eats.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/GS1i1OhUWSY7ISmlCnc7Vg
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2007, 11:37 PM
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Parlare was interesting... it seems a bit pretentious on the suface, but it's
actually quite a comfortable place to grab a couple drinks. I didn't stick
around long enough for the band to start playing, but the bar and restaurant
are both decent, and the service was friendly. If you head upstairs, be sure
to notice the cow skin rug (surely a reference to sacramento's favorite
bovine) and the wall sculpture of downtown from an aerial perspective.

Ella blew me away, and they're not even in full swing yet. The restaurant
interior is unparalled. The service was fantastic and the drinks were
absolutely amazing. I'm not usually a fancy pants drink type of person, but
there are a few cocktails that i'll return for... and that's saying a lot for me.

I can't tell you toooo much about the food. We just walked in off the street
and had drinks and sampled items from the cold bar. But we did manage to
ring up two dozen oysters, shrimp and scallop ceviche with yucca chips and
a yellow fin tuna plate. All these dishes were relatively simple, but flawless
in execution. I promise you that there is not a single sushi restaurant in
sacramento that is serving a higher quality tuna than Ella.... and THAT is
saying something too!!

I wish i could delve into more details, but I'm heading to a movie at the
Crest and then it's dinner at Three Monkeys. What's funny about all this, is
that by tomorrow, I'll have filled an entire weekend hanging out in a 3-
block radius... what's even more ironic is that ALL these places are in
downtowns most "troubled" areas.... go figure!!
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 1:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozone View Post
It's funny because the sub-urban lifestyle doesn't appeal to me in the least and it never did even when I lived in the burbs. There are urbanites and sub-urbanites. That's OK. Maybe people can't see the value in living in a neighborhood like Midtown. I guess I understand that since I don't see the value in living in a suburban house with 5 bedrooms, 3 bath and swimming pool. I would rather in the country before I ever lived in the burbs again.

I kind of have contempt for all the phonies around here who are so suburban yet think they are so urbane..because they bash Sacramento and say it's 'not a real city'. Very lame. I lived in Bangkok and New York which are both huge cities and while Sacramento is not even close to being what those cities are I'll tell you that it will never become the city we envision with these small-minded people who are always negative. I'll grant you that Sacramento has a ways to go but it's not as bad as some are making out. When Sacramento finally does 'pop' I don't want to see their faces around Midtown or Downtown. Let them stay in the burbs.

When I came back to Sacramento I promised myself that I would not sit around and complain about what we didn't have. Which is use-less. Rather I would work to change things. If you are not working to bring up the level of the city then either move or keep quiet.
I'll see you downtown Ozone!
We can agree to disagree..Yes Ozone, I have lived in Queens, SF, LA and here. Whooptie doo... That does not make your opinion valid that it is a real city, nor does it make my opinion valid that midtown is kind of boring, and downtown is empty at night. As far as art walks, I can drive to 2nd saturday in 10 minutes, park and walk.. then drive home. Not missing a single thing. The phonies are the ones who continue to praise how great midtown is, and then wonder why no one really wants to spend a ton of money on a 2 bedroom tiny condo. "Live The Grid", give me a break. The only reason midtown is at all happening at night is because people like me (us damn suburbanites) drive to places like Streets of London, or The Park, or 58 degrees, in our cars, and hang out and spend our money. Without us, NONE of those places would even exist because there would be no customers. All this BS about Suburbanites and Urbanites is phony as well. We are all just people who decided what to buy and where to live...All my friends who live in MT, like I once did, sure love to come to my place on a Saturday and use MY pool when it's 100 degrees or more here...maybe I shouldn't let them, stupid Urbanites, I can't believe they even know how to swim.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 3:19 AM
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Cemex concrete silos under construction in W. Sac.



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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2007, 9:41 AM
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Funny shit econgrad.
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