16th Street Sacramento Beat

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Johnny Cash is 15 stories high.

You don’t have to walk far to see “something” on downtown Sacramento’s 16th Street. These days the iconic Johnny Cash stares down at you from the side of a 15-story building. The mural pays tribute to the late singer’s appearance and album recorded 20 miles away at Folsom Prison in 1968. A few of the characters I passed on 16th were real live grads from some kind of penal institution. “I just need a few bucks for gas, buddy,” said one guy wheeling a bike and a large plastic container. These days a few bucks won’t even buy you a gallon.

In the distance I could see the state capitol. It’s getting hard to see it these days with the rise of office buildings in downtown.

A little further on there was a lizard climbing up the corner of an apartment building. Nice.

The California capitol building in the distance.

Then there was Simon’s, one of these dark inside bars for hard drinkers as well as a restaurant serving really good Chinese food. This place is a holdover from the good old days when almost all the downtown bars were dark 24/7.

Simon’s, a bar for serious drinkers, serving great food.

And the traffic. A endless procession of cars and trucks trying to get through downtown while a few blocks east graffiti laden train cars are holding things up along with construction that never seems to be completed. Those cranes are always on the horizon and down below people are asking for a few more bucks. That’s the 16th Street beat.

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