Starbucks Cafe, Rancho Cordova, California.
This is a portrait from an overnight trip I made with my fabulous partner to Rancho Cordova, a small community outside of Sacramento. The area felt both rural and suburban, at the same time. I had the feeling it was mostly a community of 9-to-5 working folks, because the sidewalks were empty, and even the Starbucks was mostly deserted. It was nothing like San Francisco, where shops and cafes are full at all hours of the day.
Of the people I did encounter, few of them were Black, and so I felt compelled to draw at least a couple of the Black people I did see. I started my day at Brookfield’s, the kind of classic, old school family restaurants that attracts classic, old school patrons.
Here’s another portrait from Gunther’s Ice Cream, Sacramento. The man in this drawing was sitting across from the man in the previous drawing. Their ice cream cones were long gone, but they showed no sign of leaving. It was the kind of very hot Sacramento afternoon on which the only thing that really made sense was to sit down and move as little as possible, until well after the sun went down.
Outside Gunther’s Ice Cream, Sacramento, California.
Pretty much every place I’ve ever visited has its own required ice cream pilgrimage. Some places have more than one. Are you familiar with this phenomenon? Pretty much every place I’ve ever visited has at least one ice cream store that the local residents regard with the same reverence as a religious shrine. (Actually, for the right person, an ice cream parlor is a religious shrine.)
In Sacramento, one such place is Gunther’s Ice Cream, located in a low-slung, wedge-shaped building at the intersection of Franklin Boulevard, 3rd Avenue, and Castro Way. Like most ice cream shrines in the summertime, Gunther’s had a line of customers that stretched out the door. The lined moved quickly, though, and the customers seemed perfectly willing to tolerate the long queue. Apparently, in their estimation, the ice cream was worth the wait.
While I generally avoid this particular treat, my partner worships ice cream as a god. Whenever we travel, she samples the local offerings; and so I take her opinions on the subject of which parlors are good and which parlors have room for improvement quite seriously. Gunther’s may be pleased to know that my fabulous partner thought their ice cream was delicious. In all honesty, I could easily see her coming up with excuses to go to Sacramento just to try a few more Gunther’s flavors.