Local celebs and hidden gems in Sacramento’s backyard

A local podcaster goes big time, Sacramento’s first Uzbek food truck, Old Tower Records site to transform & more

Back By Vanessa Labi

By: Vanessa Labi

“Everything is copy,” journalist and filmmaker Nora Ephron famously said. And everything has a story. Take, for instance, the unassuming young man typing feverishly in the corner of Temple Coffee for hours on end. What’s his story? That might be Cole Cuchna, the host of the critically acclaimed music podcast “Dissect.” He’s kind of a big deal. (Get to know Cole Cuchna via our speed-round video interview on Instagram here.)

And what’s that old vacant lot, or at least, what did it used to be? It’s the biggest of big deals — the site of the very first Tower Records. The now-defunct retail chain might represent a bygone era, but its global influence — and whatever its former home becomes next — still captures the interest of Capital Region residents, especially its neighbors. And what about that North Highlands food truck with the long line snaking through a strip mall parking lot? Turns out, it’s owned by the descendant of a revolutionary and a renowned Uzbek artist. They are bringing what’s believed to be some of the first tastes of aromatic Uzbek food to our region.

This week’s stories unearth some hidden gems and, as always, provide the color and context to make you more curious, engaged and appreciative of our region.

Here’s the latest Capital Region Rundown:

Senior Editor Jennifer Fergesen visits Sacramento’s first Uzbek food truck for her always aperitive column, Neighborhood Favorite; CalMatters columnist Dan Walters posits that California’s ban on sales of gasoline-powered new cars after 2035 will present significant logistical and economic challenges; we get to know the Sacramento-based host of the Webby award-winning music podcast “Dissect”; a collage artist takes a community-oriented approach to organizing the Warehouse Artist Lofts’ long-standing First Fridays event series; and Broadway’s ongoing development continues with a new project breaking ground at the historic site of the original Tower Records and Books. 

Recommendations from our editors:

In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:

Vanessa: I love pieces of writing that describe a feeling, especially if that feeling centers on a season or even more specifically, a month. The Paris Review published an essay on their website last week called “Against August” that captures the languishing limbo space of a dwindling summer and looming fall. Highly recommend reading whether you’re a summer clinger (like me) or are counting down the days until sweater weather.

Jennifer: I’m back on the East Coast to visit my parents, and this weekend we all went to the city to see “Hadestown” on Broadway. I’ve been wanting to see it since it swept the Tonys back in 2019 and it lived up to the hype. Writer Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin (who also directed my favorite recent musical, “The Great Comet”) reinterpret the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice through a vibrant, dreamlike lens and give more autonomy to Orpheus’ hapless bride. The touring production is scheduled to come to San Francisco in fall 2023. 

Judy: I just finished “Verity” by Colleen Hoover, a thrilling, psychological page turner about two writers whose lives clash. I joined a Facebook group to discuss its ambivalent ending and now I’m down a rabbit hole. 

This coming weekend will be a scorcher, so grab a cold drink and check out the annual “Chalk it Up! Chalk Art & Music Festival” at Fremont Park. Or escape to Lake Tahoe for drone shows over the lake — Friday at Kings Beach and Sunday at Commons Beach. Both start at 9 p.m. 

Odds and ends

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