Field Trip Friday – Sacramento Piñata Festival


Earlier in the month I was invited to the the 3rd annual Piñata Festival at the Southside Park here in Sacramento by a lovely craft-friend, Rain Garcia of Rain’s Embellishments . I attended the event last Saturday, June 16th and took in the vibrant colors of piñatas hanging from booths and trees all around. Being from Hispanic descent and loving art as much as I do, the colors, festival sounds and friendly faces encompassing the park was captivating.

I started my journey through the festival by watching the Maquilli Tonatiuh Aztec Dancers that began the celebration. I stood under a large shaded tree next to families with small children and observed the little faces next to me light up with excitement as they heard the shell horn blow and watch the dancers girate to the chants of fellow performers.

After the dance performance I made my way around the booths. I stopped briefly at a few vendor booths; Chulo Baby had an adorable booth. Their onesies and various accessories with spanish phrases were too cute to pass up.

I met an elderly gentleman that only spoke Spanish, unfortunately my Spanish speaking skills are rusty. However, I did understand that he has been making piñatas since he was a child. All of the introcate and bright piñatas were handmade by him. He is a genuine artist and you can tell by looking at his artwork that he knows his craft in every way.

Another artist I came across was John S. Huerta.  He had some amazingly creative pieces of artwork displayed at his booth. I love the juxtoposition in his artwork of sugar skull design and dias de los muertos art. I especially enjoyed his Lady Gaga piece.

Lastly, I headed over to Rain’s booth and chit-chatted a bit with her about the amazing event. It was full of lively and fun piñatas and happy patrons enjoying the latin celebration. It was comforting to be around similiar ethnicities that were proud of their heritage and wanted to show off their creative works to others. I loved seeing Rain’s new jewlery pieces. She does fantastic work and I thank her for inviting me to such a wonderful gathering of food, fun and craftiness.



Friday Field Trip – Hot Rod’s Burgers


Now that I work part time I have a little more time on my hands until school starts up in August. I am somewhat lacking in the friend department right now so a lot my adventure have been solo. Today I wanted to stomp around Midtown Sacramento and find a place to eat and draw.

While walking down K Street I stumbled across an old eatery that I used to frequent when I vended at a Second Saturday Arts & Crafts event nearby. I had only ever eaten their chicken tenders and I remembered they were pretty good so I decided to enjoy their food for old times sake.

Hot Rod’s Burgers is located at 2007 K Street, Sacramento, CA and they are open Sunday – Thursday 11am to 2am and Friday – Saturday 11am to 3am. Hot Rod’s is burger joint in the heart of Lavender Heights (Midtown’s very own gay district). It is sandwiched between a gay-centric adult store and several gay night clubs and bars. They have a hotdog happy hour daily between 4pm-7pm where you can get hotdogs for $2 and a bottle of beer for $2 as well.

The bright and cheery yellow exterior is complimented by the rich/vibrant red walls inside that are adorned with two flat screen TVs that play music videos from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Amongst the TVs are black frames filled with 90’s pop culture icons and musicians. This place almost seems to be stuck in the year 2000 and it brought me back to my junior high years. It was almost a literal Flashback Friday for me.

I wandered in around 1:30pm this Friday and there were a few patrons seated at the indoor tables enjoying their orders. I ordered a single patty cheeseburger, garlic fries and a small soda for a total of $10.75. A little pricy due to the fact that everything must be ordered individually and there are no combo options. I saddled up to the counters at the front of their dining area and took in the view of the outside. A few moments later the cashier called my name and I retrieved my order.

The fries were a little soggy and limp and besides the garlic were oily and bland. I added salt and ketchup to my hearts content to compensate for the mush texture. The burger was on a buttered and toasted bun (my favorite) and although the patty was thin it had decent flavor. Their “special sauce” was a simple thousand island dressing and did not add anything to the taste other than an excess amount of unnecessary sweetness. The upside to the burger was that it had a couple thick crisp dill pickle slices. I enjoy the tangy crunch of a dill pickle on a burger and not the mushy thin slices that usually accompany a burger.

The food was not that great and certainly not worth the $10 price tag. Not to mention that the soda machine had two syrups out and the ice cream machine had broken so I couldn’t even try their “amazing shakes” they promote in the window. There were a few obviously patched holes in the walls and this did not add to the ambiance.  The actual restaurant could use a little sprucing up and the moody attendants could hold their tongues. I’m not saying I don’t curse like a sailor but when I was a burger slinger at a local eatery you wouldn’t have heard me dropping “f-bombs” within ear shot of a customer.

Overall I would give Hot Rods ★★☆☆☆ 2 out of 5 stars.

You can check out other Yelp reviews here. Better luck next time.

I’m also working on a blogging schedule so we can get some stability up in here.