salt lake city

Mean Streets of Salt Lake

At work today three cops walked in. I asked if they were in for coffee or if something had happened. The lead man replied they were looking for someone with teal glasses and a brown beanie. I paused and noticed his entourage was smiling. I pointed to my beanie and said: this is yellow. We all laughed. 

It was a reasonable question because it's the first time in 7 months of working there I've seen a police officer. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to live in a police state. You'd think a cop would come in for coffee or food every once in awhile. We have decaf espresso. Since #operationRioGrande dispersed the Pioneer Park population, an influx of drug addicts and people in need of mental health services has saturated the neighborhood. Also a reasonable question because in the last month or so these two things happened, one around the corner from the shop and the other shut down the whole city. I was at work when I heard about the shooting and noticed he was still at large. I also live a direct shot between the U and Main Library, where he was apprehended the following afternoon thanks to a librarian. Turned out he went through the Aves, but it was all a big mystery while it was happening. At least 8 agencies, including the FBI, were on it. It was nuts. 

I joked that I've experienced more crime here in Salt Lake than in New York City. We talked about how the feeling of safety is different here versus there. 

Upon further reflection, it's possible I did experience more crime in New York. 

1. The time the dude bodychecked me on 8th Ave near Penn Station when I was meeting a second date for dinner before going to hear Dark Sisters. (Ironically, an opera about polygamist family) When I arrived at the restaurant and told my date what had happened and that I felt rattled, he said to me: It's not what happens to you, but how you deal with it. Totally agree, but don't ever say that to someone who has experienced a trauma, especially as recently as the last half hour. 

2. The time I was walking home to my apartment in Queens and a strange dude, who was out of place, followed me up the street at 2 in the afternoon. He had just been hanging out, leaning against a chainlink fence when I turned the corner. It seemed like he was on something. I was trying to locate my keys buried in the bottom of my bag the rest of the way up the block. When I got to my front door keys in hand, I turned to look.  There he was on the sidewalk on the end of the walkway to my door staring me down like a wild animal ready to attack. He was definitely on something. I'll never forget the sight. It was horrifying, something out of a zombie movie. I don't know how he ended up on 71st street and 41st avenue. Or why. I'm glad I got away safely. 

3. The time I lost my wallet. Must have dropped it between the bodega and my apartment in PLG. That someone who picked it up bought a $1500 plane ticket to the DR and went on a shopping spree around Union Square. That was the same incident where months later my social security card, license, and health insurance card arrived in the mail via a good samaritan who works for the railroad and my former roommate in Queens.

4. The time I lost my wallet again within a month of the aforementioned loss. Switched trains at Union Square after the OHNY party in Meatpacking, and it was just gone. That was embarrassing. It was the second time in a month John Fontillas paid $30 on behalf of H3 to get me to work. 

5. The time I was walking home from Prospect Park stop and the trio of men called me Snow White among other names. Catcalling isn't a crime. It is harrassment. Thankful the #postWeinsteinEra has finally arrived.

6. The time I served Jury Duty in Kings County. http://nyti.ms/2i1BXAk We watched the video of the double homicide shooting over and over and over again. Even in slow motion. Deliberated for 3 exhausting days. 

In Salt Lake, crime and anything underworld really is hidden. Car break-ins are what I've heard about mostly. My direct experience has been:

1. Someone was hanging out in my car in the middle of the night after I left it unlocked. Thank goodness that person vacated by the time I was getting in my car at 5:30am

2. Watched people getting arrested at different locations around the city

3.  Watched a drug deal go down in parking lot under bright lights

4. First Encampment defensive stabber live news report 5 days after crime (link above)

5. The crazy lockdown manhunt murderer with a multi-state rap sheet (link above)

One of the things I noticed about Salt Lake shortly after I moved here: I rarely see cops. It's sort of nice, but a palpable vibe that nothing is happening and everything is fine. #Utah Perhaps this is why they popped in today. They were canvassing the neighborhood talking to people. Establishing a presence. I tip my hat to that. Take back the streets action. As much as I don't want to live in a police state, it makes sense that a police officer is part of the community they are patrolling. Cheers to Chief Brown for being awesome. 

Anniversary

A year ago my mom and I arrived in Salt Lake after a 4-day trip across I-80 from New York. It's hard to believe it's been a whole year. I'd say it's been a success. It's been wonderful spending time with family, making new friends, creating a new life. It didn't turn out exactly how I'd planned, but I'm happy with the way things have evolved. 

I love this time of year as summer comes to an end and autumn begins. I'm having a party this week to celebrate my anniversary with Salt Lake. Hoping for no rain so we can have a fire in the fire pit. Everyone will have the opportunity to write down something they want to let go on a piece of paper and put into the fire. It's also a wonderful time to celebrate accomplishments and establish new goals.

I'm almost finished with my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. I've just begun the 300-Hour program and plan to continue to receive a certificate for Yoga Therapy. It's been an amazing journey so far. It will be a wonderful compliment to my feng shui practice. 

women's march

the march last monday in salt lake city was really powerful. i took my 79-year old cousin along with me. he has spent so much of his life fighting for wildlife in this state. we wondered how many people would show. I was hoping for 7,000 people. 10,000 people turned out.

gathering at city creek park

gathering at city creek park

inside the capitol

inside the capitol

before reaching capacity (5,000) inside 

before reaching capacity (5,000) inside 

there are no #alternativefacts

there are no #alternativefacts

signs outside capitol

signs outside capitol

what a great day! so much positive energy. i hope the momentum continues. 

#yardwaste

I've mentioned previously that I love that SLC collects yard waste. The city collects it curbside and composts it. 

From SLC Green Blog:

Curbside Compost: Also known as the yard waste program, or the tan can, curbside composting is made easy with a 90 gallon bin picked up weekly. Currently the tan can is “vegan” – meaning it only accepts green waste. The wheels are in motion to expand curbside composting to accept more forms of food waste, so stay tuned! In the meantime, maximize your curbside bin with tea bags and coffee grounds.
 

Many friends asked what would be my next photo series--post-umbrella corpse. I think I've found it in the daily compost collection. It combines things I love--cooking plant based diet, gardening, environmental stewardship, and beautiful imagery. 

garden trimmings

garden trimmings

apple flowers eggs and coffee grounds

apple flowers eggs and coffee grounds

pomegranate cabbage and green onions

pomegranate cabbage and green onions

pistachios and spinach

pistachios and spinach

It was not intentional to carry the discarded theme, but there it is again. It came together organically, no pun intended. 

fav things about SLC

1. Gardens of all kinds everywhere. So much grows here! Tomatoes, zucchini, squash, arugula, cabbage, broccoli, cucumber, grapes. It's wonderful. Also all the fruit trees! Peaches, apricots, plums, apples, pears. 

2. Solar panels. Totally normal and everywhere. 

3. The mountains are right here. 

4. Wildlife. Not just mustangs, but also pronghorns, elk, moose, deer, quail, fish, ducks...

5. Bookstores: Central Book Exchange is my favorite so far. I bought a copy of Heidi Julavits' The Folded Clock: A Diary the other day on my second visit. I hadn't read any of her work before, but remember her name from working in the Graduate Writing Department at Columbia. 

6. Farm to table restaurants, craft beer, coffee shop culture. Still tons of places I want to check out. Hands down my favorite coffee shop is Alchemy. I discovered it while still in Brooklyn, and it has not disappointed. 

7.  So many hiking trails. I've been up Emigration Canyon, but there are other places still to explore. Looking forward to checking out the Jordan River Parkway Trail. There's really not a shortage of outdoor activities here. 

8.  This place: NHMU Rio Tinto Center. Such an amazing cultural space designed by Ennead Architects

9.  Yard Waste. They collect it. When I was living in Queens years ago, it was announced one neighborhood in the City would pilot a compost collecting program. Not sure what happened, but it wasn't implemented in my Brooklyn neighborhood before I departed NYC. 

10. Everyone has dogs! We've been so lucky autumn has been hanging on. Last weekend I went with a cousin and her dogs to Parley's Nature Park. I was told it's a dog park, but it's more like a great place to go walking with off leash dogs. They love it--multiple water features and lots of great smells. Not the same as hiking in the woods, but it's still great. I'd only ever been to dog parks where people sit around while the dogs play. That's boring! It's fun to watch the dogs have a joyful time, but more fun to walk while watching dogs. 

I'm certain this list will grow. It's a wonderful place full of new experiences.