I am now living in Sacramento. Many friends already know, but I’m sure some to not. I took a job with San Juan Unified School District as a Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the eleven K-8 grade schools in Citrus Heights. Citrus Heights is a suburb of Sacramento, and as a place lacking sidewalks and bike lanes in many areas, a place that was designed for cars and not people, it needs my help. I really enjoy the people I work with there, as they are by in large committed to the same objective of creating a more walkable, more human place where children feel welcome to get to school under their own power.
I live in mid-town Sacramento, and I’m very much enjoying being here. There is so much to do: live music, community theatre, coffee shops that have quality bulk teas, restaurants, bars, museums, young people, streets lined with beautiful mature trees, fairly bike-friendly streets and drivers, the American and Sacramento rivers close by. If my income level were higher, I’d get to enjoy more of some of these opportunities, but I’ve decided that half-time work is about the right amount for me, and I’m learning how to survive and thrive on it.
My apartment is on the third floor, up at the crown level of many of the trees, so as I stand on my porch, I feel somewhat like I’m living in a forest.
Living in one place and working in another doesn’t fit my ideal of what people should do, and I wonder about it. But I realized that with a public transit system that starts shutting down at 8:00 and is completely shut down by 10:00 in the evening, I would be more socially and culturally isolated in Citrus Heights than I was in Carson City. As has been said of many places, “there is no there there.” Suburbs where most of the people leave every morning to work in a completely different place and return home at night too tired, from work and driving, to do much, do not create social and cultural opportunities. So, for now, I’ve chosen to be where the opportunities are, not where I work. I get to work every day on a combination of light rail, buses, and biking. At the end of the day, I try to ride at least a little of the American River Parkway bike trail on my way back home.
Today I rode bike trail from home to the beginning at Discovery Park (the confluence of the Sacramento and American rivers), and east to Folsom 32 miles, where I had a beer and ice cream cone (not together!), and took the light rail back home. The light rail station is three blocks from home.
I miss several friends from Carson City, and very much miss being so close to the Sierra Nevada. One can see the Sierra from Sacramento only on clear days, and they are much further away. But I’m happy to be where I am. It is much noisier here, with the busy streets and night life, but that is a reasonable trade off for living in a place where so much happens.