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A Stroll On Sutter Street This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Taking an early afternoon walk across Historic Truss Bridge onto Sutter Street in Folsom, California is a scenic experience for locals and visitors alike. The bridge was built in 1893 and runs over the Sacramento River providing a clear view of the oak tree forest growing along the raucous river moving with a rapid, rhythmic pace, but still as smooth as a looking glass clear enough for even the most querulous fading beauty to scrutinize her self with unforgiving clarity. Children’s laughter and squeals can be heard as they jump off the rocks into the crisp, icy water that is so soothing to locals in the squelching heat of a California valley summer. Strolling onwards amblers will enter the heart of Historic Folsom embodied mainly on Sutter Street.

Sutter Street is ridden with hills and may remind visitors of a quaint San Francisco as they exert themselves over a knoll and onto the main street. Looking at photos from 1909 and comparing them to present it is remarkable to note the similarities. The warm brick buildings, the multiple shops that resemble a child’s doll house, the bell tower, the iron workings, and cobblestone are all a refreshing trip back in time. One of the first sights pedestrians will encounter is Folsom Railroad Museum. If they take the time to detour from their walk the cement under their feet will turn to soil and the street will be transformed into a 19th century town. The thundering, cracking sound of hot pieces of iron smashing together and the spewing sparks are like a competition between the ancient Greek gods resounding from the blacksmith’s shop. Next they will encounter a sluice for gold panning splashing and gurgling with water, clanking mining pans hitting one another, and the delighted cheers from those fortunate enough to harvest gold flecks. At the end of the dirt path are old, rust red, train cars open for exploration. As visitors explore they picture the engine coming to life while standing on the platform, smelling the fumes from the smoke stack, and waving a handkerchief in the air to the departing train. Leaving the museum pedestrians most likely have built up a substantial appetite and will head across the street to the locally acclaimed Sutter Street Grill.

As the now hungry visitor approaches Sutter Street Grill they are greeted with pine needle green and white wood paneling and a front patio that contains table and chairs fit for a tea party, the discussion of Russian literature, or simply two friends reconnecting whether it be from two weeks or two years absence. This building not only makes customers feel like Anne Shirley, but also embodies the classic, folksy, idealized, yet not overrated diner. Coffee is served in cups that would be found in anyone’s household because of funny sayings and the fact that they are obviously souvenirs from the owner, Lorna’s last vacation. The restaurant is ever bustling, yet the staff does an excellent job of turning tables efficiently so the wait is never overly burdensome. Part of the charm of this place is the constant stream of friends, family, neighbors, and strangers all coming together talking over the din of the kitchen. The enormous portions have whole tables sharing the luscious and possibly sinful French toast that wafts of cinnamon deliciousness, the warm steaming fresh muffins, and the steak-like pieces of bacon. The inside décor draws customers back in time with portraits of Sutter Street dating back to 1901, and vintage kitchen supplies decorating the walls. If asked 89% of Folsom’s residents would recommend Sutter Street Grill as the best breakfast place in town. Filled with warm, familial sentiments travelers can now continue their stroll up into the shopping district.

Wandering up the street travelers encounter the quaint shop Dorthea’s filled with carvings by Jim Shore in all his colorful mastery of domestic and childish scenery, and other such whimsical sculptures, paintings, and cards. Other shops provide antique jewelry, hats, and prints from different eras with the somewhat faded beauty of a dazzling age that has passed. Trudging up yet another hill will bring travelers to a pink building with lace curtains which holds the store, Mélange. Every inch of the store is covered with signs, vintage ball gowns, and chandeliers that sparkle with an elegance and refinement that cannot be found in modern culture. Instead of being overwhelming and cluttered it is instead comforting and warm. From here they might wander into an art gallery, enjoy a glass of wine at a ritzy wine tasting parlor, or go to Snook’s Candies and soak in the sweet aroma of freshly made peanut brittle, creamy chocolate truffles, rich ice cream, and sticky caramel apples. Finally they may head back down to dip their feet in the Sacramento River. But whatever path the individual visitor takes the warm feeling of old and new mixing together and walking amongst the friendly ghosts of the once bustling railroad town will follow them on any day they should decide to take a stroll on Sutter Street.



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publius said...
Apr. 10, 2011 at 2:59 pm:
This article is very well written with marvelous descriptions. The reader can see a caramel apple and a walk along Sutter  Street in his or her future.    
 
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