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Modesto, California is a very lovely little city. Its small but well-appointed dining district would be at home in Connecticut if the streets were a bit narrower and the buildings a little older.
The skyline is the Doubletree hotel, it is the only structure that you have to look up at. The bars and restaurants feed off of it, even on the old main drag made famous in the movie “American Graffiti,” directed by Modesto’s own George Lucas.
I grabbed a burger at Ralston’s Goat and the bartender there was a very affable kid planning to become a nurse.
He’s not a fan of Newsom and unlike the cats I chatted with in the Bay area, this guy does think he’s going to be recalled.
“I think he’s gone,” he told me. “Nobody likes him.”
I asked how bad the lockdowns had been in Modesto. He said for a couple of months last year it was bad, but then people just stopped listening and went back to their lives.
This reflects something I have witnessed throughout the pandemic while travelling across America — the urban enclaves have been terrified while