Interesting, Creative People
One of the first things Sierra Nevada locals tell you is how long they’ve lived here: “Been here since ’94;” “been here since first grade;” and the coup de grace, “born here.” So I have to come clean: I am a valley girl, since college anyway, and spent several years in an old Craftsman in Midtown Sacramento. And the furthest I’ve moved up the hill is Granite Bay, which is technically Placer County, but I know doesn’t really count.
Fortunately, three years ago, my photographer son began dragging his sister and me around on road trips through the Western United States—part family vacations, mostly photo and film shoots. So this editorial territory is in fact very familiar—Reno, the Sierra, the Gold Country, Yosemite—and it’s a pleasure to load up my GMC and head out into it, occasionally with my son or daughter riding shotgun.
I’ve also met so many Sierra Nevada locals since taking this job—locals who have been willing to write for me, shoot photos, give me tips, invite me to cover the interesting work they do here. I laugh that they are my “bench,” but they are everywhere, like a magazine CIA. Their generosity—when all I had was a verbal claim about a “new magazine”—has been nothing short of remarkable.
I’m noticing new things about this place, too, like how relaxing it is compared to the stress-filled valley. A UNR student—and Granite Bay native—recently said to me, “Where you are, everyone is tied up in knots, being so ‘busy,’ being so ‘successful.’ The further up the hill you come, the more the knots unwind.” And it’s true. I stood in line in Nevada City, in South Lake, in Reno, while customers and servers chatted, laughed at mistakes, took their time—and I could feel my city-head starting to explode a little. “Come on!! I just want this water!” But then, I stopped myself: What’s my hurry? It’s nice seeing people slow down. And something tight unfurled inside me.
Finally, there is so much going on in this area, attracting—as it always has—artists and musicians, farmers and ranchers, chefs and brewmasters, athletes and environmentalists. Add to that a new layer of startups, high-tech companies, and entrepreneurs, and it became clear it would take us issue after issue to even begin to explore it. Although a good start appears this month, of course, in our cover story The Rise of Reno (page 42). It may surprise my valley neighbors, who have all said the same thing, “Reno?!” But as a bona fide local—one of our young reporters—told me early on in this process, “Reno is what happens when you leave interesting, creative people alone for 25 years.”
So welcome to Sierra Living, where we hope to bring you the best of the Sierra Nevada, and a big dose of all those interesting, creative people. And if you are a local, feel free to get in touch.
Thea Marie Rood