Every once in a while, it hits me right smack between the eyes about how lucky my family is to live in Curtis Park. Sometimes it’s a single level of understanding: I’ll be sitting on the front porch and a neighbor will walk by and say hi and I’ll think to myself, “This is really great.”
Other times, it gets a little more convoluted. I’ll be snoozing on a Wednesday morning, and I’ll hear that telltale roar about 6:30 a.m. I’ll think to myself, “Curses! I forgot to put out the recycling last night!” and I’ll drag myself out of the warmth and into the cold and shuffle back inside. And then that second level will kick in and I’ll realize that I’m living in a place where someone else gets paid to haul away my refuse. All I have to do is drag a couple cans a few dozen yards. They’re plastic and on wheels, no less – none of those aluminum behemoths my parents had to deal with. And I’ll think to myself, “This is really great.”
There have been several of these moments over the past month or so, and perhaps they are more common than I think. I could go on, but will limit the scope: Here are my two most recent Curtis Park Problems That Aren’t Really Problems.
I really enjoyed going out in the rain and mucking out the leaf-clogged, inefficient, outdated drainage grates. The street would be two inches deep, with cars leaving rooster tails as they zipped through. I’d get my rake and some gloves and poke around in the debris. All of a sudden I’d break through: There’s be this horrific slurping sucking slippery sound, and I’d get a mini-Charybdis right on the corner of 26th and Fourth Avenue. The water would slide away and kapow! Clear street. Unfortunately, the City has upgraded all those grates, and I haven’t seen a single flooded street this year. No more self-congratulatory sense of civic duty fulfilled…but it’s really great.
Second, let’s talk about the old Sacramento Southern Railroad right of way south of the Sacramento Zoo. I love running there on weekend mornings. It’s dirt, there’s hardly anybody out, and I get to see all the intriguing things people have done to extend their lots into that right-of-way. It gets muddy at times, but I can just hop up on the tracks. Dogs are off-leash, but they’re mostly well-behaved. Depending on where I hang a right, I can go 7 to 13 miles. It’s perfect. And now I hear the city wants to pave my trail! Everyone will be able to have a convenient urban trail from Meadowview all the way to William Land Park! I hate sharing… but it’s really great.
I say it over and over again to anyone who will listen, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in Sacramento. Curtis Park—its people, its atmosphere, its out-of-the-way nooks and crannies—is really, really great.