By the late 1940s, the world of customized cars was truly in its golden age, so it's not surprising that those enterprising mechanics wanted someplace to show off their hard work. Enter the Sacramento Autorama, which began bringing together the community of custom-car builders in 1951. Now one of the longest-running indoor car shows in the world, the Autorama continues to bolster Sacramento's status as one of the world's custom car capitals. Over the years, the show has showcased hot rods, muscle cars, and chrome creations from master designers ranging from George and Sam Barris to Boyd Coddington. This year's edition will be no different; hundreds of show vehicles will compete for show honors including the coveted Custom d’Elegance and King of Kustoms prizes and the "Big B" awards, which reward engineering ingenuity while honoring the memory of Sacramento customizers from years past.
Oak Tree Lanes pulls in pin snipers with three-dozen lanes and a full slate of bowler-friendly amenities. Take aim at a clustered quarry and send your spheroid down the lane, leaving the alley's electronic scoring system to deal with the arcane rules and complex logarithms that govern the tallying of each frame. Bumpers are available to help kids and adults with childlike motor skills keep pin torpedoes on the right track, and a playroom is also on hand to cater to children (ages 2–7) too frightened by alternative footwear to take part in the lane games. Because bowling, like most rock-throwing activities, is better in the dark, Oak Tree Lanes also offers Thunder Alley, a Friday- and Saturday-night bowling experience filled with black lights, lasers, satellite radio, and fog machines, giving adults a fun alternative to conventional bowling and helping kids prepare for renting DVDs of Pink Floyd laser light shows. Oak Tree Lanes also offers weary lane warriors and pin pacifists a number of options for refueling, including a snack bar and sports bar.
The bride stood under the photographer’s lights, resplendent in her wedding gown, as her family looked on from a distance. As she and her photographer, M. Chen, prepared for the shoot, she was handed a package—a prewedding gift from her soon-to-be husband. When she lifted the lid, she immediately burst into tears. Inside laid a photo of a great dane puppy—the dog she’d always wanted, which her husband planned to give her on their wedding day. As she ran to hug her mother, Mr. Chen ran after, shooting image after image, capturing the exact moment she fell into her mother’s arms. These quick reflexes have been honed through his nearly 30 years as a sports photographer and professional fly swatter, and he draws on photojournalistic techniques to compose a traditional portrait or snap once-in-a-lifetime, candid moments.
Regardless of specific approaches, he consistently draws from the landscape style of Ansel Adams and the dramatic lighting techniques of Monte Zucker. His work as a photojournalist and private portrait photographer has earned him more than 300 publications in the glossy pages of New York Daily News, Popular Photography, ESPN Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America magazine. When not snapping on-location engagement shoots, family portraits, or boudoir sessions, he passes on his technique through traveling photography seminars, hands-on workshops, and by gently tapping the heads of his students. Though formerly designed only for professional-level photographers, these classes instill confidence and camera basics in beginners. As he frequently finds new class examples and takes feedback from his students, Mr. Chen frequently fine-tunes the curriculum after each seminar.
Using experience gleaned over years as a broker and educational consultant, Kartik Subramaniam and Adhi Schools have been guiding students toward real-estate licensure since 2003. With detailed online and in-person courses, Adhi helps prepare each pupil for the California license exam via included textbooks, three preparatory exams, and a guide to garage-door whispering. The school also assists graduates by placing them in contact with brokerages to start their new careers. The Adhi Schools' curriculum is recognized by leaders in the real-estate field, from large brokerages including Century 21 and Prudential to national training companies.
Exhilarating music pulses amid the remains of a downed cargo airliner, its wreckage scattered across 4,000 square feet of fog-filled tropical beach. Two teams navigate through these surroundings—dodging strewn pieces of cargo, abandoned huts, and a miniature volcano. Black lights cause Laser Island's neon hues to burst to life. The red-orange glow of the volcano's lava, the vibrant green of the painted palm fronds, and the cerulean blue of the walls' ocean horizon all shine alongside the green flashes of streaking lasers. After roughly 20 minutes, the guests emerge and discover which team scored the most points.
Beyond laser tag, the family-friendly entertainment center features a number of activities for virtually all ages. A nine-hole tiki-themed miniature-golf course challenges hand-eye coordination, and the CoCo Climb station allows adventurers to scale a 20-foot coconut tree while safely supported by a weight-bearing harness and an invisible force field. The arcade section tempts passersby to spend a few tokens on games such as Ms. Pac-Man or Time Crisis 3, and certain games reward players with tickets that they can redeem for prizes at the Ticket Hut. In between games or laser-tag matches, Laser Island refuels visitors with a snack-bar menu that includes everything from pizzas and toasted sandwiches to salads and buffalo wings.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).