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BEST OF SACRAMENTO     GOODIE BAG      MASTERS CLUB MEMBERS     NEWSLETTERS     WEDDINGS     RESTAURANTS     WINE

Best of Sacramento 2011

(page 4 of 7)

HOME + GARDEN + DESIGN

Best Place To Stock Your Backyard Henhouse
Under a new city ordinance, Sacramento residents are now allowed to keep up to three egg-laying hens in their backyard. Which raises the question: Where exactly do you buy egg-laying hens? Answer: BRADSHAW FEED & PET SUPPLY. Located on a dusty stretch of Bradshaw Road about 15 minutes outside town, this old-fashioned country store carries 35 to 40 chicken varieties, including standard breeds such as Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn and Ameraucana, and so-called “fancy” breeds like Golden Polish, Mottled Houdan and Sumatra. The baby chicks ($1.25 to $5 apiece) are housed by the dozens in deep, glass-fronted drawers. Once you make your selection, a staffer pops your chicks into a brown paper bag, gives you a care sheet and sells you everything you need to get started as an urban chicken keeper: heat lamp, pine shavings, chick waterer, food, etc. The payoff comes five or six months later, when your chickens start laying eggs. 7285 Bradshaw Road, Sacramento; (916) 369-8225

Best Modern Furniture
Interior designer Curtis Popp is not about to tell you what to think of his Soft Side Table, the first offering from his CPOPP WORKSHOP. He will say, however, that the 18-by-18-inch round wooden table with three brightly colored legs is “approachable but not stuffy.” We definitely agree on both counts: The warm walnut or white oak tabletop, with green, blue, orange or yellow legs, illustrates that Popp knows how to put the fun in functional. He sells the tables exclusively through his website, though he’s been approached by retailers wanting to carry the line. There’s also been interest from renowned hotelier Ian Schrager, and the table was featured in the Sunset Idea House this fall. Next up for CPopp Workshop: a coffee table version of the Soft Side Table. (916) 207-9106; cpoppworkshop.com

Best New Florist
Philip Rice was still in high school when he started working for a florist in Colusa. After the shop closed in 2009, he decided it was time to move to “the big city.” Yes, Sacramento—that big city. After purchasing EAST SAC FLORIST earlier this year, he considered changing the name to something “more designery,” then thought better of it. “The name fits the neighborhood. It’s casual but elegant,” he says—a phrase that also nicely describes Rice’s design style. Rice has worked for two governors and the Tournament of Roses parade, and he flies all over the country doing floral design and lighting for special events and destination weddings. Here in Sacramento, he’s especially known for his unique plant combos, such as topiaries underplanted with succulents and decorated with manzanita limbs. “It’s amazing what a dead branch will do,” he quips. 5379 H St., Sacramento; (916) 457-2699; eastsacflorist.com

Best Home Décor
Can’t spare the time (or the money) to fly to Paris for the famed Marché aux Puces
flea market? Then do the next best thing and drive to FLEURI in Carmichael. Owned and operated for the past 13 years by sisters Sonia Moreno and Sylvia Frazier, this charming shop overflows with gorgeous French antiques, linens, garden décor, pillows, vintage ribbon, china, candles and other things for the home too numerous to mention. Frazier goes to Paris on a shopping expedition once a year and brings back all manner of Francophilic treasures: farmhouse tables, chandeliers, iron beds, fireplace screens, hotel silver, antique postcards . . . the list goes on and on. We’ll always have Paris as long as Fleuri is around. 7301 Fair Oaks Blvd., Carmichael; (916) 973-9848   

Best Wine Design
Helwig Winery owners David and Nancy Helwig wanted their new Amador County winery to reflect the history of the area. When they met with SAGE ARCHITECTURE, they immediately knew they’d found the right people for the job. “They had a very creative, subtle approach in capturing the rustic charm we wanted without making it look dated,” says Nancy. Through the use of metal roofing, board-and-batten wood siding and galvanized metal, Paul Almond and Pam Whitehead of Sage designed buildings that stand out from their surroundings yet blend in beautifully. With a nod to sustainability, the architects made use of oak and pine harvested during the clearing of the site in the tasting room and other areas of the property. 11555 Shenandoah Valley Road, Plymouth; (209) 245-5200; helwigwinery.com

 

Next page: People

(page 6 of 7)

ARTS + ENTERTAINMENT

Best Way To Add Sizzle to Your Life
SIZZLING SIRENS, a sensuous all-woman dance troupe, has been bringing va va voom to Sacramento since 2008, performing everywhere from the Crocker Art Museum to Harlow’s. Make a night of it and check out the The Siren Show at RESTAURANT THIR13EN, which features live jazz and blues from the Harley White Jr. Orchestra, themed cocktails and an optional themed dinner. Another option? Fishnet Friday, a burlesque-themed dance party that takes place every first Friday at Marilyn’s on K. Want to get your own sizzle on? Take a class at Burlesque Academy. Private and group lessons are available. sizzlingsirensburlesque.com

Best Way To See Artistsin Their Natural Habitat
To the layperson, art making can be a mysterious process. CAPITOL ARTISTS' STUDIO TOUR gives Sacramentans a chance to see what an artist’s life is like behind the scenes. Held every September by the Center for Contemporary Art, Sacramento, the free, self-guided two-day event allows you to tour 150 working artists’ studios and see for yourself how the magic happens. The art on display covers a wide spectrum, with textiles, furniture and sculpture among the offerings. “There’s something for every style,” says CCAS board member Cheryl Holben. The center encourages attendees to start their art collections by purchasing original works, many of which cost less than framed reproductions at major retailers. (916) 498-9811; ccasac.org

Best Alternative to the Multiplex
Sacramento isn’t a top-tier city when it comes to attracting independent films. So Robert McKeown and his wife, DeeAnn Little, started MOVIES ON A BIG SCREEN to bring documentaries, indie flicks and the occasional cult classic to town. Screenings have been held at different venues over the past five years that MOBS has been in existence, but for now they’re on Sunday nights at Oak Park’s Guild Theater. Tickets to most films are just $5. McKeown cites positive audience feedback as a reason why MOBS endures. “Our tagline is ‘We’re 5 years old and it’s all your fault,’” he says. The pair hope to add a second movie night. moviesonabigscreen.com

Best Band To Watch
When we first heard the name SISTER CRAYON, we thought we’d stumbled upon a children’s band. But one listen to the band’s ethereal, sometimes haunting
music and we were properly schooled. The band—Terra Lopez, Dani Fernandez and Jeffrey LaTour—put heart, soul and sometimes sweat into their live appearances. They have a solid fan base in Sac, and they love their fans back. Sister Crayon posted the following on its Facebook page after one Sacramento appearance this summer: “Thank you, thank you, thank you Sacramento. You never disappoint. Truly humbled and honored for your energy and support tonight. 916 got moves.” The Sammie-award winning band is currently touring, so you might not catch it here until next year. In the meantime, check out Bellow, its first full-length album under the Manimal Vinyl Records label.

Best Splashy New Arts Center
Not too shabby for a theater that was conceived as a gathering ground for students to show off their performance skills. Since its opening in February with A Chorus Line, THREE STAGES AT FOLSOM LAKE COLLEGE has drawn the Joffrey Ballet, Hal Holbrook in Mark Twain Tonight!, Gloria Steinem, Harlem Gospel Choir, Rosanne Cash and other top touring acts. The complex also is a venue for professional groups closer to home, such as the Sacramento Ballet and Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra, and youthful productions such as those of El Dorado Musical Theatre and Northern California Dance Conservatory. With three performance spaces—847-seats, 207-seats and 95-seats—there’s enough room to fulfill the original mission of showcasing college performances. This season, expect to see FLC’s Afro-Cuban Funk Band’s Jazz After Dark (Nov. 18), Monty Python’s Spamalot (Nov. 17 to 19) and Folsom Symphony’s A Joyful Celebration (Dec. 11) among other inspiring shows.

Best High School Touring Company
We’re busting with pride that MIRA LOMA HIGH SCHOOL was invited to perform at the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival this past August. It’s not an easy gig to get: The school was one of 1,500 U.S. schools nominated and, following an arduous audition, one of only 50 nationwide selected to attend the fest. In Scotland, Mira Loma’s thespians performed Almost, Maine by John Cariani, “a romantic comedy with magic realism,” according to the school’s theater instructor Nikki Schallig-Weil. “It’s very American, which is why we decided to bring it.”

Best Usable Art
Fans of TWO ACCORDIONS quilts should be grateful that founders Joe Gallegos and Ruth Hansen met. The duo creates handsome, streamlined designs with a retro, ’60s mod feel, featuring abstract patterns in vivid colors. “Our goal is to keep our quilts simple and original,” says Gallegos, who was inspired by a tattered quilt made years earlier by his grandmother. Once he and Hansen started dating, he shared with her his vision for crafting modern, usable quilts. And these quilts are most definitely usable: Yoga mats and picnic quilts are among the styles they offer. Gallegos performs what he calls the “construction process,” which includes cutting and piecing the fabric, while Hansen sews the pieces together and adds their signature stitch design at the very end. The quilts can be found only at Scout Living on 18th Street while the quilting duo works on building up an inventory. twoaccordions.com

 

Next page: Civic Life

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