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A lot changes in a decade…

Before I actually lived in downtown Sacramento I would visit it and just explore as a teenager. Between classes or when I had a night off and nothing to do, I would roam the streets of downtown and just take it all in. Having been dragged off to suburbia as a child and raised in what felt like the middle of nowhere, being downtown was an exciting cultural adventure for me. I remember one afternoon,  while going around and experimenting with my camera, I stumbled upon an empty parking lot that backed up to a cool abandoned warehouse. I took some photos around the empty lot and its building, which probably hadn’t been painted since the 50s, and then took a couple snaps of the top of that beautiful old warehouse.

The Historic Lawrence Warehouse, 11th & R streets, Circa 2004-2005
The Historic Lawrence Warehouse, 11th & R streets, Circa 2004-2005

Its 10 years later and I now live in that warehouse. I knew this warehouse looked familiar the second I saw the rooftop structure for the old water tanks. Somewhere deep in my very unorganized basket of negatives and their photos, I knew I had a photo of this building, which is now called the Warehouse Artists Lofts. I’m not sure if its kismet, coincidence, or just meant to be, but so many things lined up perfectly for me and this move. I literally found out about the opportunity to live here for cheap the night before the applications were due. The logo for the building is almost identical to something I made up for my own name when I was like 9, I used to sign all my art and stuff with that damn logo which was basically inspired by the FILA logo where all the letters were connected. That was the most embarrass thing I’ve ever typed, by the way. The final thing that makes me think this was totally meant to be, is this photo. There is something so weirdly historically awesome about living in a random warehouse I photographed a decade ago. I didn’t know that 10 years later that building would be dedicated to the artists of this town and become a historical landmark. I didn’t know that I would be a part of one of the biggest accomplishments for the Sacramento local arts scene. I am so in love with the history of this town and now I get to be a part of it. I get to experience it. I get to leave my mark on this city in one of the coolest ways ever.

Now my real work begins, I need to live up to what is expected of me here and I am terrified, because success is scary as hell, but I am also seriously excited to challenge myself and see what I come up with.

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Snapshots of History: Sacramento- then & now

One of the reasons I love photography so much is because over time it has captured so much history. I can still remember going to the Sacramento Archives with my dad and grandparents looking over hundreds of photos taken in and around downtown searching for my great grandma Candelaria’s restaurant, La Mariposa that is now some other building. There was something so cool to me about pouring over photographs of decades past, looking at people, cars, dogs, life- frozen in time. I would look at a picture and try to animate it in my head, try to be there, like as if I was looking back on a memory- I was here once.

I think if I had to choose something to do for the rest of my life, it would be to work around these type of archives, they’re just so interesting. Its interesting to me that, sometime ago there were photographers like me who like to just goof around and take pictures of buildings, but now that those buildings are gone those pictures are written into history and are now very important photos. Photographers before me helped to build history. It totally fascinates me, which is probably why I love history so much- the photographs. Sacramento has these little books of photographs of select neighborhoods in their beginning stages, from gold rush era to present and its so interesting to me to actually SEE history. Whats even cooler is seeing those places now, seeing how they’ve changed or just stayed the same.

Somehow this week I stumbled across some old photos of Sac somewhere online (I can’t remember where now) but it got me wanting to flip through these photos again at the archives, but thanks to the digital age a lot of those photos are now online so I was browsing around and grabbed a couple of my favorite pictures, or pictures where I am familiar with the location now. Enjoy this little taste of Sacramento History.

the I street bridge, 1912- Mr. and Mrs. Dick Jewell
Dedication of the Tower Bridge, 1935- the bridge is as old as my grandma :)


me, 2006
looking down M street (Capitol Mall Dr), then
digital, me, 2006


long exposure, me, 2011

What about you? Does your city have a similar online photo archive?
What are your favorite photos from your town history?