10 Year Sacramento-versary

By Amy Thoma

Amy Thoma
Amy Thoma

Ten years ago I packed up my 250-square foot apartment in Monterey and moved to Sacramento. It’s hard to believe I’ve lived here that long. In some ways it was a lifetime ago and in some ways it feels like yesterday. Cliche, but cliches exist for a reason!

When I moved here I had no idea what a strong, loving and smart community I would build. I didn’t realize I’d fall back in love with the outdoors and the farmers markets I loved as a kid. And I didn’t think I’d stay so long. But I’m glad I did.

The city has changed so much in the last ten years. Mostly for the better.

Here are the biggest changes I’ve seen:

  • We are more confident. When I moved here, I often felt sheepish telling people I’d moved to Sacramento. Now, when people, including me, say they’re from Sacramento, they hold their heads high and talk about all the exciting things happening.
  • No one asks me if I know Arnold Schwarzenegger anymore.
  • The city doesn’t revolve around state government as much. The city of Sacramento has a distinct identity and community, particularly in the midtown/downtown communities, that is separate from state politics and government.
  • People don’t characterize Sacramento as a pass-through to other destinations. Previously I’d get the “hour and a half to Napa, Tahoe and SF” line, but now Sacramento feels more like a destination unto itself.
  • So many fun restaurants. So many. I can’t even start naming the awesome places that popped up all over the city in the last 10 years. I love them, their chefs and their creativity. Keep going.
  • Houses were too expensive, and then really cheap, and now expensive again.
  • People stay. Maybe it’s a phase of life thing, but I’ve definitely seen fewer people leave Sacramento for DC, LA and San Francisco. And even better, friends have come back!

What I want to see in the next ten years:

  • A public market that showcases all our farm-to-fork jewels and gives the community a place to gather around food.
  • A continued focus on how to make the city better and welcoming for all; young, old, rich, poor, refugees, the homeless and more.
  • Sacramento should remain a place where clueless 26-year olds like me can buy a house and gain financial stability. Buying a house kept me here and my mortgage remains my biggest commitment to this city.
  • A Kings championship and an MLS team. Both. Let’s be sports dream-greedy.
  • Further refining of our own image and identity. We’re not little Portland or little Austin. We’re Sacramento. Let’s keep sorting out what makes us special and unique and not copy other awesome mid-sized cities. We can and should compete.

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