has written 20 SperlingViews. Currently, Nick is living in Sacramento, CA and has a little something to say:
From California, born in early 1960s.
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Low air quality ranking? Posted On: 8/27/2012 4:42:40 PM
Sperling's Pollock Pines air quality ranking of "1.2" (very poor) surprises me for a place this far into the mountains. Is that an error?
re: Rohnert Park - 8/29/2006 Posted On: 8/18/2012 5:36:50 PM
Yeah, make endless excuses for the scourge of human overpopulation. Let those "useless" snails die off, like so many other species have.
re: No better than most cities, actually worse. - Posted On: 8/18/2012 10:13:15 AM
Good insight vs. the usual comments about "nice weather" that ignore the pollution factor.
re: Political Situation - Disconnected from Realit Posted On: 8/16/2012 11:23:19 PM
I think California's fundamental problem is not a lack of money, but a surplus of people, i.e. overpopulation. And L.A. is simply a microcosm of that.
General pros & cons of Sacramento (former 20-year Posted On: 8/8/2012 11:16:08 AM
This review covers Sacramento itself, but the whole area going east to the foothills is a seamless mass of houses and roads, so you usually can't tell when you've crossed into another city unless you see a sign. Folsom seems more separated from the rest because of Lake Natoma (just a wide part of the American River) but it's mostly one big suburb. I list more cons than pros because those things are what prompted me to move away. Others might like it here just fine for their whole lives.
PROS: There are decent neighborhoods with good people in the mid-town and Land Park areas, especially. The American River Parkway is invaluable to have and the bike trail is generally well maintained. The parkway land was mainly spared development because of the river's floodplain. There really isn't much in the way of nature aside from land along the river and reservoirs to the east. Weather most of the year is very comfortable, with no snow to speak of and plenty of sun. The land is mostly flat, which makes for less complicated driving than some places. Relatively close access to the Sierra Nevada is convenient for escapism.
CONS: South Sacramento is crime-ridden and the trend has extended south to the once-decent town of Elk Grove. This is apparently due in part to "escapees" from bad sections of the Bay Area seeking cheaper housing, or just general overpopulation and a welfare mentality. Sacramento just gets more and more crowded, like the whole state (NPG would be welcome). The Del Paso Heights area north of downtown is similar to the south area but is trying to improve itself. You're likely to run into thuggy people in many parts of the city but it's probably no worse than any large urban area. Traffic can be bad, especially afternoon commutes headed east on 50 & 80 or south on 5, but most big metro areas are similar.
The summer heat can be oppressive at times, but it's more tolerable than places like Redding in terms of cooling down at night. Just don't live here if you like to be outside and can't cope with drawn-out summers. If you have good air-conditioning you'll survive fine indoors. Sacramento's air quality is among the worst in the nation, though I think it might be skewed by stagnant summer air patterns. I'd like to see air quality data by month. What many people call "allergies" might be partly due to smog, not just plant material. I noticed an improvement in my exercise lung capacity not long after leaving Sacramento for the Bay Area.
SUMMARY: Overall, I moved away because of the bad air, heat overload, a general impression of growing crime and thuggyness, plus I just wanted a change of scenery after being laid off from work. Every place has negatives but you can do much worse than Sacramento. It's sort of a reflection on California as a whole. People say they're "fed up" but the so-called greener pastures out of state may be an illusion. There's a reason why California is so crowded!
re: STAY AWAY FROM REDDING - 6/29/2010 Posted On: 8/8/2012 10:19:53 AM
It would help if you stated what neighborhood you lived in. Was it the poorest part of town? Few others are claiming the entire town is on drugs. Your experience may have been tainted by conditions in a certain neighborhood. Context is needed.
re: Austin-Not all its cracked up to be! - 8/28/20 Posted On: 8/7/2012 11:17:20 AM
The whole state of Texas is posed to a global warming nightmare, with governors who are science-deniers and can only pray that it's not Man's fault.
re: More Secerty - 3/28/2007 Posted On: 8/6/2012 2:13:06 PM
I secretly think you should get a spell-checker to spell SECURITY.
re: Best city in America - 2/17/2010 Posted On: 8/6/2012 1:24:01 PM
I wish I could understand the psychology of people like yourself who seem to enjoy what others call "9 months of gloom." If this could be understood from the written word alone, these reviews would be very helpful. But the concept is elusive. My guess is that some people are eternally upbeat, no matter what their surroundings are. Can that attitude be sold in a pill or permanently acquired after a pep talk? I doubt it.
re: Here is the lowdown on Portland.. - 5/22/2011 Posted On: 8/6/2012 12:58:23 PM
There are always two sides to every personal dispute, and you only give your side here. Without more details and context this is of limited use to outside observers. All populated areas have conflicts, so that can't necessarily be pinned on Portland itself. But I would imagine that the gloomy weather makes some people insular and weird. It's just a matter of knowing which cases are intrinsic to the people and/or climate, or random bad luck.
re: PORTLAND DISAPPOINTING IN MAY WAYS - 6/24/2011 Posted On: 8/6/2012 12:48:36 PM
I agree about all the "mild" weather comments, which always seem to be in the context of Minnesota or similar cold places. Everyone needs to be specific about their frame of reference. When it's damp and in the 40s, it takes a certain gumption to go outside and exercise, etc. Those who have the energy may do OK (often in a forced manner) but it takes a lot of wishful thinking for others to pull it off. You can contrive a mental image of how you'd behave in such gloomy weather, "but talkin' about it and bein' it; that's two different things." (Jack Nicholson movie line)
re: HIPPIES - 7/3/2011 Posted On: 8/6/2012 12:38:07 PM
"Conservative" these days is synonymous for lack of respect for the environment, and the environment (aka nature) is the only thing that keeps conservatives (along with decent non-greedy people) ALIVE. Just a priority-check for the next time you sling those mindless labels around and pretend to be morally superior.
Eugene vs. Portland in terms of overcast skies? Posted On: 7/10/2012 1:41:38 PM
Has anyone lived in both cities for several seasons to give a thorough comparison? Weather data alone doesn't seem to tell the story. I'd like to know the difference between Eugene and Portland Oregon in terms of the "gloom" factor, since Eugene gets more total rainfall than Portland, but also seems to have more "sunny" days (partly sunny, mostly likely). Is Eugene's rain more concentrated into fewer total days? How about overcast days with drizzle that lack heavy rain? Thanks for any details.
re: Very Unhappy in Carson City - 9/22/2009 Posted On: 5/31/2012 9:25:19 PM
For Jon: The term "greenest cities" means governments and planners who tend to respect nature and enact conservation measures (i.e. typically not Republican-controlled). It doesn't mean physically green, as in not arid.
Air quality is poor, unfortunately Posted On: 5/31/2012 8:23:29 PM
I think Folsom is ideal in many ways but it shares Sacramento's lousy air quality (1.5 out of 100 per this site). Sometimes it's worse than Sacramento when a smog inversion layer sits at Folsom's higher elevation and/or bad air gets blown eastward, backing up against the hills. This is a big consideration if you're into exercise, especially outdoors. I noticed a difference in lung capacity after moving away from that whole area to the Bay Area. The worst air also tends to coincide with oppressive heat.
re: Allergies? check online, weather.com/outlook/h Posted On: 12/10/2011 7:20:34 PM
Ottoline wrote on 10/31/11: "...but there are no actual museums in Portland..."
A quick map search for Portland museums shows a Maritime museum and at least a few others. It's good to actually research such claims before assuming them - based on a narrow scope of experiences. The particular neighborhood one ends up in can have a big influence on state of mind.
re: Portland is a cool place! - 11/3/2007 Posted On: 8/7/2011 1:54:51 PM
It's ridiculous to label all Californian's like that. You have to take people on an individual basis.
re: Miserable Place to Live 9 months out of the y Posted On: 8/7/2011 1:03:59 PM
To claim that it's "completely dark gray 9 months of the year with not a hint of light" is an obvious exaggeration. Please provide realistic info for people contemplating a move. No hint of light should mean literally that!
re: HIPPIES - 7/3/2011 Posted On: 8/7/2011 1:13:32 AM
You needn't lump environmentalists in with druggies, etc. People who are intelligent enough to understand that nature is LIFE itself, and that Man is pillaging it in the name of "economic growth" are intelligent people. No drugs are required for that basic insight. Conservatives (who don't want to conserve anything but avarice) are the ones ruining America now. They think nature is expendable and money is everything. Completely soulless. I'd rather live in a place with as few nature-hating conservative punks as possible. The weather in Portland is another matter, though.
Slowly succumbing to endless growth Posted On: 6/2/2006 3:41:16 PM
California keeps growing by 500,000 people annually and Sacramento hasn't escaped the bloat. Traffic jams are people problems, not car problems. I've seen gradual negative changes in the past 20 years. There are more jobs but more people are competing for them, so it's a zero sum game. Air quality has deteriorated but it was never great. There are too many criminal types and their numbers keep growing.
On the bright side, Sacramento has the American River Parkway, spared from development by a flood plain. It contains many miles of trails and you can almost pretend you're not in a city. Sacramento is centrally located between the Sierra and the Pacific, which is the main reason I chose it. Summers get hot but humidity is relatively low. The climate in spring and fall is quite nice and winters are mild.
Overall, I'd give Sacramento and its suburbs a 6 out of 10 in quality of life but I don't like big cities in general. It's probably as good as any major metro area and it beats Los Angeles.