If you were to open a restaurant, say, that made organic caramelized turnips in a spicy pecan sauce, wouldn’t you want to give that place a name to conjure up something in the brain and make everybody want to eat there?
Maybe some of you out there have spent your lives dreaming of opening a business since you were twelve and already had a name in mind for it, right?
Other would-be entrepreneurs agonize and ruminate for months on end creating just the right name.
And then there are those guys who probably discovered themselves at the Articles of Incorporation Office hungover from the night before, not paying attention, filling the form out all wrong mixing up the name with the address and you end up with this: R15. Because it’s at the corner of….yep…R and 15th Streets.
Or maybe they just stumbled out of the building onto the street corner and prayed for a sign. Or two signs.
Ah, but you see. That’s just it. This is Sacramento. In and around “The Grid”, so named because way back during the Gold Rush days, John Sutter or some such nut designed our downtown streets in a waffle-like grid. And all the east-west running streets are named A through Z. In alphabetical order, no less. You know, so we lame-ass sense-of-direction-deprived Sacramentans would be able to find a street without getting lost, as long as we knew our ABCs.
Can you guess what all the north-south running streets in the Grid are named after? That’s right. Our good old friends, the numbers. Who knows what John Sutter was thinking? Maybe he was just showing off the fact that he had the alphabet DOWN, man! That, or he was hungover.
And so that insulting tradition carries on today, that lack of faith in the people who live here that we will be able to find our way around town, so they name restaurants and other venues after the intersection at which they reside.
Take Cafeteria 15L, for example. It’s a nice place and all, but guess where that is.
And need I tell you where F65 is ?
Actually, yes I do, because some nincompoop stole the intersection naming method, took it outside The Grid, and like the devil himself, twisted it to suit his own purposes. Because the F in F65 stands for Folsom Blvd.
I mean, this strip mall has a decapitated head, fer Chirissakes! Couldn’t they call it “The Big Ass Decaptiated Head Plaza” or something?
I don’t want to hear any excuses about how they named this stuff so that people could remember it, no matter how plausible or true that even is. Especially for the likes of me because if I can get lost, I will get lost.
Creative laziness. That’s what it is.
Having said that however, I can understand why our Capitol is on Capitol Ave. I mean, you throw up a building on a street called Capitol Ave., what else are you gonna call it? Plus, there’s lots of important stuff that goes on there and all the important legislators and the governor have to be able to find the place. And they have to be able to locate much needed nearby services in a short period of time. So of course you name everything in the vicinity Capitol This or Capitol That. Like Capitol Garage. Or Capitol Car Wash. Or Capitol Fried Turkey Neck Waffles & Shoe Emporium.
So, if I were to start up my own restaurant, say, and be forced to conform to such naming silliness, here’s what I would call them:
Under The Bridge: A little soup joint tucked away under the Tower Bridge that would become a full-on disco dance club at night. The great thing about this location is it comes with its own “bouncer” that we’d use to allow entry. This bouncer isn’t a huge guy in big black suit and lots of bling checking IDs. No, our bouncer is craggly, has one eye, schleps around barefoot and requires you to solve a riddle to get in.
Random Curbs: A food truck that serves the best tuna melt sandwiches in town. Follow us on Twitter to keep up on our current location at @random_curbs.
Gutters: A competing food truck. Obviously.
Anyway, you get the idea. As you can see you have to be the first one at an intersection to have that name of H6 or B12 or anything else that sounds like something you’d overhear at a Bingo game. Otherwise, you lose out and actually have to use your creative mind to come up with a good name. And then good luck with anybody ever finding you because it’s not like the people of Sacramento are capable of using maps or anything.
By the way, someone just told me about this cool-ass smartphone app called HeyTell. Have you heard of it? It’s just like text messaging only it’s a voice message and it’s free and it supposedly only uses data like an email, so no sudden big cell phone bills. It’s kinda like a delayed walkie-talkie. And those of you breaking the law while driving and texting can at least lessen your chances of killing someone else. Have you guys heard of this?