Saturday June 25th, 2011

These could have been taken on any given day in Sacramento.

On Saturday, June 25th, 2011, while I was driving home from the Downtown Plaza, I decided to drive by and take pictures of everything interesting thing I saw under the “W X” freeway between Front Street and Alhambra.

I also skirted down some side streets in Oak Park that I’ve never driven down before as well. I’ve lived in Sacramento since the day I was born.


Guerrilla art on Broadway and Franklin

Van near 5th and X Streets. Windows were down.

Life under the freeway, near 26th and X Streets.

An abandoned home in Oak Park

Dusty Car near 5th and X Streets

RV parked near 5th and X Streets.

Van near 5th and Broadway

Dodge Van near 17th and Broadway. Windows were down.

Men resting near Broadway and Riverside.

Man panhandling X Street offramp

Men sleeping near X and 29th Streets.

Men congregating near X and 21st Streets.

Woman pushing cart near X and 24th Streets.

Man pushing cart near X and 26th Streets.

Man resting in the shade near Broadway and Franklin.

An RV and a van near 26th and X Streets

Man resting in McClatchy Park

Garbage on the street, Oak Park

Guerrilla art on T and 59th Streets.

I’m not trying to make some kind of enlightened point nor do I claim to be aware of some sort of solution to the human condition. I’ve just driven past this scene for years it seems now but I don’t recall ever talking to anybody about it or seeing pictures of it. This appears to be an acceptable sight in our city. I hope one day it is not.

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June 26, 2011 | 10:14 PM

I think it IS enlightening to slow down once in a while and take a good, long look around.

There is both ‘art’ and ‘heart’ in the snapshots you’ve shared here. Who notices the man pushing his cart at X and 26th, other than to say to themselves in passing, “there goes another one…”? Instead, maybe we should be asking, “what’s his story?”

Same thing with the abandoned house in Oak Park… “what’s it’s story?” Who lived there? Where have they gone? Isn’t there someone out there who will breathe new life into that house -and the neighborhood?

Thanks, Isaac, for giving me something to think about tonight. Very cool.

June 28, 2011 | 9:58 AM

That abandoned house in Oak Park is directly across the street from me. I’ve been interested in buying it and rehabing it for years, but the owners won’t sell and they just let it sit and continue to collect fines and notices from the city. It’s got about a foot of pigeon poo in there and it’ll eventually disintegrate into the ground. Sad.

June 27, 2011 | 7:32 AM

This was not the better side of Sacramento. This city already has enough image problems.

June 27, 2011 | 8:23 AM

I’m going to tell the guy who lives under the freeway that he’s got an “image problem” and see what he says to me.

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June 27, 2011 | 10:07 AM

There’s so man commuters going under the W-X between 16th and Alhambra that it makes you wonder if anyone else has really noticed this.

June 27, 2011 | 10:27 AM

Thanks for the pics. Because I live in Midtown and see a little of this all the time I am surprised to read people’s reaction. Every town on the planet that reaches a certain size will have people and places on the margins of society. As Sacramento scaled up so did those margins. But the “image problem” that Sacramento has isn’t so much about the margins but rather it has to do with what’s between them.

June 27, 2011 | 10:41 AM

Isaac….the solution if fairly simple: Build–or rehab–simple, affordable SRO units and staff the buildings with on site services. Pay for it with an increase in the county’s inclusionary housing ordinance. Elected officials just need to learn to stand up to the housing industry.

June 27, 2011 | 3:26 PM

The city is actually doing that. There will be 150 new SRO units in a new high-rise at 7th and H, and the Hotel Berry is undergoing a renovation.

June 27, 2011 | 4:45 PM

And we wonder why everyone else has to pay so much for their own house? It’s because the city forces developers to build units for extremely-low income households BUT those cost to pay for it are actually passed onto everyone else who wants to buy one at market rate. Once again, screwing the productive class to take care of those who choose not to pull their own weight.

June 27, 2011 | 5:49 PM

@David The County’s IBO is fairly low. I believe it’s 15% It should be 18% for on-site units or 21-25% for off-site units.

@Hunnicutt. Those are the costs of living in a civilized society. At some point we have to stop with all the hand wringing and accept that some folks are incapable of living, full productive lives and that it is our obligation to help those in need. It’s called the social contract. The other part of that contract is that folks in need have to use those services when they are made available to them. No camping along the river or Safe Ground B.S.. Law enforcement should be used to vector the homeless directly into services.

It’s really not that complicated.

June 27, 2011 | 4:53 PM

So Hunnicutt. It appears you’ve got a ‘tude. I’m not sure calling the story writer a “douche bag” adds to the dialogue.

June 27, 2011 | 9:53 PM


June 28, 2011 | 9:27 AM

taking responsibility for these issues is key – people choose to pass things off to others – blame others for the plight that now is before us – when people that have mental or physical challenges can no longer receive proper care or treatment – state hospitals closed etc. they have no place but the streets – this is different then the person who chooses to live this way – hopefully, things will get better and the amount of homeless will decrease – when you have families and mom’s with children homeless, there is a big issue that isn’t being addressed.

Thank you for the pictures – too many times, people travel on by, not out of ignorance, but it is more of an acceptance because there is a feeling that there isn’t anything one can do.

June 28, 2011 | 2:41 PM

Hi Issac .. this corridor is my ‘home turf; – my architectural studio is on it (at the corner of 26th and X) and my new “XLofts” project is taking shape at 2320 X … all these sights are familiar to me … along with the traffic rushing by. I would love to see this street narrowed as there is no way it needs to be three lanes one way – in fact that just encourages drivers to race through. I’ve stopped to ‘smell the roses ‘ along this stretch … and planted a few also!

June 28, 2011 | 3:39 PM

Are you with Unger?

Article Author
June 28, 2011 | 3:46 PM

I would like hear more about XLofts.

June 28, 2011 | 4:11 PM

Nevermind, brainfart. I know where you’re at. Your buiding is the one with the dome, yes? I also have seen the construction at 23rd and X. I like your style. I lived (for a short time) at the lofts across from the crystal ice on Q and 17th. Modern architecture in Sacramento can be really neat when done right.

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