Tango Diva : Travel Stories for Women, by Women

Name: Marc Longwood

Age:
55 years old

Hometown:
Sacramento, California

Occupation:
Advertising / Magazine Photographer, Travel Writer

Status:
Forlorn (maybe just stupefied)

1. Where do you like to flirt?

For the night life crowd, there’s a neat corner next to the fireplace in the bar
courtyard at Riverside Cafe. And, get this, recline on what can best be described as
four-poster beds, with shear curtains, in the courtyard adjoining hip restaurant/nightclub, Masons, with upscale Chinese restaurant, Majongs.

There are a few nightclub venues, complete with ropes and bouncers, but admittedly, I don’t know anything about them.

2. Where’s your favorite table for two?

Oh, there are so many places… outdoor dining is my fave and Sacramento has some
specials for this. Paragary’s and Aioli’s have wonderful courtyards. River City,
Crawdads, and Virgin Sturgeon are at river’s edge on the Sacramento River. Being a city of trees, midtown is loaded with great sidewalk venues with everything from Spanish tapas to nouveau California casual.

3. Where should we stay when we visit (besides your place)?

Sacramento has it’s share of the usual, from Hilton to Hyatt, but there are a few other
venues that offer a more special stay.

I particularly favor the Inn and Spa at Parkside, with it’s upscale style. New to the area is LeRivage Hotel, on the Sacramento River, which is working to garner the prestige of four star rating. Ladies might like the Victorian comfort of the Sterling Hotel and elegant dining onsite at Chanterelle.

You can also sleep “on” the water at the Delta King, an authentic 285-foot riverboat christened in 1927 to run daily river voyages between San Francisco and Sacramento.

4. What qualities do you find irresistible in a woman?

Intelligence, culture, a sense of “self,” appreciates a good laugh, and eyes that look
into your soul.

5. Where can we find you on a free Sunday afternoon? Just roll over?

Oh, where to begin… Sailing on the bay, kayaking down the river, a hike in the Sierras, or just breakfast and the paper in the backyard.

6. What do you love most about your city (besides our arrival)?

I have a lot of friends in the Bay Area who all seem to wonder why I don’t live there. I think they feel Sacramento is too sleepy for them.

Truth is, Sacramento offers a real balance between the good things about big city and small town living. Because it is relatively flat, there aren’t the grand vistas of the Bay, but there are many localized vistas from the Sacramento or American rivers, to the tree-lined streets and avenues. Rolling hills extend beyond the burbs that lie somewhat north and east, while farm and open country surrounds the rest.

Many people, such as myself, like the fact that San Francisco, the Delta region, farming communities, and the Sierra Nevada mountains are all in easy reach.

7. What should we bring when we visit your town? What should we leave with?

During the summer, bring your swimsuit and rent a raft at the Sunrise Bridge for a
6-mile run down a portion of the American River. The truly adventurous can make their
way to Coloma for a Class V raft trip with one of several professional outfitters.

Or bring your bike to explore a paved bike trail system over 33 miles long, connecting Old Sacramento to Folsom Lake, with branches and loops that explore the American River, Lake Natomas, and the city of Folsom.

8. What do we absolutely have to see while we’re there?

It depends greatly on when you come. Art, jazz, wine, and flirty conversation can be
found on Third Thursday’s at the Crocker Art Museum – in the courtyard during warmer
months and the Grand Ballroom when it’s cold.

Summer months have many outdoor music venues, from youthful Friday night concerts at Ceasar Chavez Park, to the family oriented Pops in the Park series. Fourth of July weekend usually means a great fireworks show over the Old Sacramento waterfront.

But for a great time, come to the Second Saturday Art Walk (every month), where all the galleries are open with receptions from about 5:00 to 9:00 or later. About 9-12 square blocks around 20th and J Streets are packed with people strolling the art (party) scene. Live music can be found at as many as six sidewalk locations, adding to the festivities.

9. Any areas of town we should avoid?

It may just be a personal bias, but South Sac has nothing going on to speak of and I
think the crime stats would indicate somewhat more activity there.

10. Any local secrets you want to share?

The whole center of government thing is actually pretty cool. Silicon Valley may be the epicenter of technology and San Francisco is big on finance, but Sacramento is the seat of power for the seventh largest economy in the world.

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