Sacramento, City of Trees or Farm to Fork Capital?
Just what is Sacramento’s nickname, anyway?
Officially, it’s been “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” since 2017, and the people who run things here put it up on the iconic water tower off Interstate 5.
An article by Michael McGough and Noel Harris (we are currently unaware of their nicknames, but we’ll inquire) in The Sacramento Bee noted that Sacramento has 10 nicknames, according to a Wikipedia page devoted to this subject. What are they?
- Almond Capital of the World
- America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital
- Big Tomato
- Camellia City
- City of Trees
- River City
Hmm. OK. We have to admit that several of these didn’t ring any bells. “Big Tomato” apparently was coined by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer who’s a Sacramento (Sac? Sacto?) native. Never heard it.
We like it, but...what? No “Cowtown?” We say that all the time, too, although we haven’t seen any cows downtown lately.
We’ve also heard “Sack of Tomatoes” as well, but it doesn’t seem to have made the cut. “Camellia City?” Lovely. No one we know has used that in conversation, so it’s a little obscure.
The flap over changing the water tower (where they did a rather poor job on the paint-over-the-slogan job) was met with Official Disdain by many Sacramento (sticking with the given name for editorial purposes) residents, as “City of Trees” actually has factual resonance.
Our late owner, C.K. McClatchy, was a major proponent of that slogan. Furthermore, it happens to have the additional advantage of being true. Downtown Sacramento’s tree canopy is a joy. It keeps the central city cool when the temperatures punch into Dubai-like numbers.
Many of the trees are nearing the end of their natural life, and We Also Officially Urge (our last uppercase urging) you to consider planting more trees and supporting local efforts to replace them.
Our late, brilliant former editorial cartoonist, Rex Babin, once drew a cartoon about the myriad little levies and taxes City Hall enjoys. He sketched the water tower being the slogan, “City of Fees.” Nice.
Snarkiness isn’t where we normally like to tread, but other possible nicknames do come to mind.
Excluding nicknames we have heard and are not permitted in this space to address as a matter of community standards and taste, we should consider others, such as these:
- “Home of Gov. Gavin Newsom, Owner of the Most Expensive House in Town.” We also note, for the record, that the new governor once said of Sacramento, “It’s just so dull. Sadly, I just, ugh, God.” Obviously he got over it, hence the nice pad out in Fair Oaks. Plus, “It’s Just So Dull” isn’t really a slogan everyone can get behind.
- “K Street Runs Through It” is a possibility as well. After all, it’s where the action is in town, and our $3000-Zegna-suited and Jimmy Choo-shod lobbyists would agree that martinis on Chevron’s dime are indeed a pleasant Sacramento pastime.
- CalPersonality!” We’re a company town, people, and we love our state workers, and they love their benefits.
- “Measure U Betcha!” Playing off Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s signature achievement.
- “We’re by Tahoe, Napa and San Francisco” is a sotto voce nickname every single resident has uttered to every single relative or friend who’s unclear about where Sacramento is located.
- “The Kings Are A Young Team” is another often-heard nickname we frequently overhear.
- “Capital of the Fifth or Sixth Largest World Economy, Depending” is a nickname we usually fall back on when someone from back East starts trash talking our state, usually said by people from large, flat states that aren’t California. We won’t name them (“Lone Star”).