Meet Mandy Irvine. Mandy works for the City of West Sacramento and has a photography business, Mandy Noriko Photography. Make sure you follow her Instagram page and contact her for all your photography needs.
I am a Bay Area transplant that has been living in the Sacramento region since 2016. I love West Sacramento because it reminds a lot of my hometown Alameda when I was growing up in the 90s. I bought a house in the Broderick neighborhood in 2019 and I absolutely love my neighborhood. I have the best neighbors and feel lucky to work and live in a place that I enjoy so much.
During the day I work for the City of West Sacramento, helping support a city wide education initiative. In the evenings and at night I run my own photography business- Mandy Noriko Photography. I enjoy shooting with families and capturing major milestones in their life. With over 20 years of experience with young children, I use many of my youth development practices when shooting.
One of my favorite things about West Sacramento is the proximity we have to nature. I enjoy taking long walks and spend a lot of time at the levee, and trails around the city. We are lucky to be central to everything and be a car ride away from whatever our heart desires.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your family.
I live with my boyfriend, Ash. My mother and sister live in Alameda, CA. My father passed away almost three years ago.
Q: Please tell us about your current, past, or future career. What do you love most about what you do?
I currently work for the City of West Sacramento, helping support a city wide education initiative (The West Sacramento Home Run). I have spent the past 15 years of my life working in the field of education, mainly working in neighborhoods with high poverty and high trauma. With the work that I do I feel it is important to elevate and empower the voices of local youth in the community. Some of my most valuable work experiences involved civic engagement and advocacy with youth- helping them identify issues in their community and giving them the skills to find solutions. I believe that our youth are some of the biggest assets our community. They are creative, knowledgeable, and have an important point of view. Empowering students is one of the things that I am most proud of.
Q: What are a couple of your favorite restaurants in our community?
One of the things that makes West Sacramento so special is the history. I love going to places like Broderick’s or Burgers and Brew where you can feel like you a part of history while you eat. Brodericks also has the best chicken wings! Burgers and Brew has great burgers. But my favorite is their variety of french fries. Pooja Indian Grill has an amazing lunch buffet. It’s hard to not completely stuff yourself because the food is so good!
Q: How long have you lived or worked in our community?
I have lived in West Sacramento for one year, and have worked for the city for almost two years.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in our community?
I really enjoyed serving under Mayor Cabaldon. I think that his story is incredible and really inspiring. He did so much for the City of West Sacramento and put our city on the map. Many people don’t understand the time and effort that go into being an elected official for city government. It’s pretty outstanding to see what he and our City Council accomplished, all while working their regular day jobs. I respect those that are true public servants- those that do it because they want to make their community a better place, not for the notoriety or recognition.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I have always dreamed about visiting Petra or Mongolia. I enjoy going to places that are off the beaten path and have a deep history and traditions.
Q: What is one of your favorite movies? TV shows?
I’m not much of a TV watcher, but I enjoy anything Bravo related.
Q: What advice would you give to people?
Identify problems, but put your energy into finding solutions.
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
Visit all 50 states.
Q: What is your go to band when you cant decide what to listen to?
Listening to Al Green always makes me happy and puts me into a great mood.
Q: What current or former local business makes you the most nostalgic about our community?
I love going to Brodericks and wondering what it must have been like back in 1890s when it was first opened.
Q: If you could choose anyone that is alive today and not a relative; with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? And where locally would y’all meet for this lunch?
I’ve love to Doris Matsui to lunch and trade stories about my family’s internment during WWII. Unfortunately this is a tragic part of our history that no one really talks about. I would love to see how we can elevate the voices of Asian Americans in the community and keep these stories alive so we don’t repeat history. I’d probably take her to get a pizza at La Crosta, then for some ice cream at Devil May Care.
Q: What is your favorite thing or something unique about our community?
I think West Sacramento’s long history makes it a really special and unique place to live. We have many people in our community who have lived here for 4 generations, and I think that makes West Sacramento super special.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?
I would love to be a mother, and leading community based programming that is making a difference in the lives of people in my community.
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I am an open book- so there isn’t anything.
Q: What is the most beautiful place you have ever been?
The beaches in the Philippines were some of the most beautiful that I’ve ever experienced.
Q: Favorite month? favorite holiday? and best single day on the calendar?
As much as I love Christmas, I love how everyone in the Bryte/Broderick neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Everyone decorates and the streets are packed with kids. It is so much fun seeing everyone in my neighborhood.
Q: What would you rate a 10 out of 10?
Starting the day walking down the levee, then treating myself to carrot cake ice cream at Devil May Care Ice Cream, then watching a live Rivercats game.
Q: Who inspires you to be better?
My grandparents inspire me to always be positive and gracious. Both of them were put into Japanese Internment Camps during WWII and it had a huge impact on their entire family. Despite that heartache they have never had any hatred towards the country that turned their back on them. They are two of the most positive people I know, and they both worked very hard to overcome racial prejudice and barriers in their life.
Q: What is one or two of your favorite smells?
I love walking up my childhood driveway and smelling fragrant jasmine flowers.
Q: Finally, what 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
Peace, stability, comfort.
Q: What is one business you would like to have in West Sacramento? (which we don’t have one already)
I would love to have some more ethnic food options. Some great options would be Vietnamese or Ethiopian.