Central city alleys receive names, part two
On Oct. 11, Steve Cohn’s 5-year-old idea to give the alleys of Sacramento their own formal names was finalized, giving them what many residents describe as a new sense of character.
In a continuation of Tuesday’s article, The Sacramento Press has highlighted many local businesses along the alleys and spoke to residents regarding their thoughts on the alleys’ new names.
Khalid Khan’s liquor store, called Don’s Bottle Shop, is located on Fat Alley and 16th Street. Khan, 60, said that naming the alleys won’t do his business any good.
“I don’t have control over what (the city) wants to do,” he said.
He emphasized that the city should be more focused on finding more direct ways to promote local businesses, and that naming the alleys is a distraction from more important issues.
Sacramento is the capital city of California, and Cohn said that Government Alley’s name is an acknowledgement of the city’s importance in state politics.
Midtown attorney Jan Kaworsky said that while he believes that the effort to name the alleys is worthwhile, he would have chosen different names.
“I probably would have named Government Alley ‘Anti-Government Alley,’ ” he said.
As the alleys progress further south into Midtown, businesses begin becoming more prevalent on their corners. Old Soul at Weatherstone, one of Sacramento’s popular coffee bars, is located on the corner of Historic Alley along 21st Street.
Jeramy Robinson, 25, is a manager at the coffee bar and lives right by Historic Alley.
“There’s a lot of activity that would benefit from having a name for this alleyway,” he said, referring to the many homes and businesses within the vicinity.
He said that the name “Historic” is very fitting for the alley, especially since Old Soul at Weatherstone is located in the building that housed Sacramento’s first cafe.
Although supportive of the idea, Robinson voiced some concerns about the alley naming.
“It’s a new idea on the grid system,” he said. “It might confuse people that aren’t necessarily familiar with (it).”
When asked what he would have named the alley, Robinson said that he would have given it a name that relates even more closely to Old Soul at Weatherstone.
Jazz Alley spans several busy areas in Sacramento, cutting through the hearts of Downtown and Midtown. Off of 10th Street is Broadacre Coffee, a new coffee bar owned by Justin Kerr, Jacob Elia, Lucas Elia and Andrew Lopez.
Kerr and Elia, 21 and 23, said they think that while the idea to name the alleys had good motives, the names that were chosen are lackluster and uninteresting.
“I think they could have come up with a better name than Jazz Alley,” Kerr said. “I know the process took a long time, but the names are kind of generic.”
Kerr said jokingly that a more appropriate name for Jazz Alley would have been “Java Alley” because of their store’s location.
Elia said that he can see how naming the alleys would aid police in responding to emergencies more quickly.
“If you can say, ‘I’m on Jazz Alley and 10th St.,’ now they know you’re not just somewhere (in between) Ninth and 10th (streets),” he said.
Bernice Gamino works at Harv’s Carwash, located on 19th Street and Kayak Alley. The 28-year-old resident of Natomas said that she isn’t confident that naming the alleys will produce positive results.
“I think it might confuse people,” she said. “A lot of people don’t even know that they (named) them, and the names are weird.”
She suggested that naming the alleys after things all Sacramentans would recognize would have been better.
“I would have named it Kings Alley,” she said. “It’s the first thing I think of when I think of ‘K’ and Sacramento.”
Watch for tomorrow’s story that will include more of the alleys.
What do you think of the city’s names for the alleys? Leave your thoughts in the conversation below.
John G. Hernandez contributed to this story.