Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Sacramento, Town of Pioneer Spirit

Sacramento is the capital of California. It makes a foreigner puzzled why large cities are not state capitals in the US. The capital of New York State is Albany, not New York City. Illinois' capital is not Chicago, but Springfield. California's state capital is neither Los Angeles nor San Francisco. It is Sacramento. Some Japanese book was stating that Americans hoped to separate politics from business activities. It makes sense and makes a foreigner envious, since, in many Asian countries such as Japan, the city functions were confused with politics. Tokyo may be a typical example of this confusion. Tokyo is the capital of Japan. At the same time, it is the center of business, culture, academic activities, or almost everything. Japanese have been talking about moving the government to some other city for a long time, but never been realized or even planned partly due to government and business association.

Sacramento is a good size, quiet, and peaceful city. It is about two hours drive from San Francisco to North-North-East. John Sutter founded the city as a colony. Sacramento was expanding as a trading base from the early period. The city was important transportation base in California Gold Rush days. Now Sacramento is the center of politics and administration in California. This city keeps a place which preserves lives of the nineteenth-century. The district is located on the Sacramento River with twenty-five-acre of historic landmark.

A visitor can leave his car in the public parking. One can drive in some part of Old Sacramento, but this is the place one would walk in and walks about, feeling becoming a cowboy or a gunman used to be. The first thing he comes across would be a coach running on a street. Different from carriages in New York City, the carriages in Old Sacramento is totally Western style. Buildings were preserved in their original forms in the nineteenth-century architecture. The most of them looks like appeared from cowboy films. One would not be surprised even he saw Doc Holiday drunk on the front patio or Billy the Kid appears from behind the swinging doors.

Inside of the buildings was also kept like originally built. Some might pay attention to the inside of a building, which looked like, a bar, a restaurant, and a hotel coupled together. Mezzanine came out to the lobby hall. One may imagine Calamity Jane shouting in the Mezzanine. People watched the scene of a western film a shot gunman falls breaking the Mezzanine handrail to the first floor. Behind the door in the second floor, Wyatt Earp tried to take the bullet out of his brother's leg.

What is noteworthy on Old Sacramento is that the city has lots of museums. They include Military Museum, Sacramento History Museum, California Indian Museum, or Railway Museum. Especially, Railway Museum is the one, which one must visit. In addition to all ages steam locomotives, they exhibit history of railroad grew with Sacramento at the time of Gold Rush, Wild West, or Modernization. They do not run any more, unfortunately, but one can ride on many locomotives to see how the people in locomotive days traveled.

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