Stockton's an odd town. It has a terrible public image because it always pops up in articles titled "The worst cities for...". A few list that Stockton is part of: "Forbes' Most miserable city in America", "Least educated city in California", and "Highest foreclosure rate in America". And there's more: "Highest crime rate in California", "Highest umemployment rate in California", and "City most resembling Dante's Inferno". I made that last one up, of course, but I'm sure it would be in there also if there was such a list. Like with all lists, it only takes into account big-time economic data and ignoring the data not often used for ranking. Some of the data that easily places Stockton at the top: number of farmers' market per capita, most comfortably sunny weather year round, most culturally diverse collection of hole-in-the-wall restaurants, best collection of thrift stores, and neighborhoods where people know and watch out for each other. That's my defense of this much maligned city/town in the Central Valley. To Forbes, I say "Go fuc* yourself"...this city is still learning and has its problems but it's not that bad. A friend of mine told me that Stockton is a one horse town. It is also quite the melting pot of cultures and colors. For a painter, it is a gift. For now, I am enjoying a good cup of iced tea and hanging out at the front porch, the Delta breeze making music with the wind chimes. Here are a couple of paintings of Stockton: "Stockton's finest" (top), gouache 9"x12" and "Colors of Stockton" (bottom), gouache 20"x14".