I am as guilty as any about making assumptions of a place. I admit, since the early 1980’s, I have driven through Salt Lake City only on the seemingly never-ending freeway construction projects, looking askance at the endless hillside subdivisions in a narrow strip following I-15 south or north for mile after congested mile. I never really realized that the valley they call Salt Lake is as narrow east-west as it is, for all its burgeoning population. Yes, having never really veered too far from the freeway, I hated this place.
Imagine my surprise upon walking many of its streets during my training that my dislike faded and maybe I’ve even moved on to having an appreciation of its flavor. On the boulevards the traffic is medium to heavy, but not overly burdensome. If one hits the freeways at off hours or early in the a.m. as I do, there is no traffic problem. The older established neighborhoods in the better areas are filled with beautiful and original homes, shaded by very tall mature shade trees, broad lawns and sprawling footprints. Many are one story homes on spacious lots. The streets on these interior subdivisions are quiet; sometimes winding, always tree-shaded, and entirely pleasant to walk. There is topography to the landscape. Walking down certain streets I have often thought this past week: I could live here. I love it how subdivisions used to be built with individual homes, not the cookie cutter four floor plans now offered by builders that create symmetry so boring and bland that it screams “new and homogeneous”. Always looming closely is the magnificent view of the towering Wasatch Mountains; amazing to me too that so many in a large city would enjoy such a fabulous mountain view from their windows. And the shopping! There is virtually every retailer here a person could possibly hope for.
I’m guessing that will be one of the biggest advantages of my new job. A chance to get an up close and personal look at actual neighborhoods in a community and really experience how life there might be. Wonderful! Bring it on! So far, I am really enjoying this.
(I wish I had some pictures to go with this blog. It really isn’t appropriate on my job that I carry my full size digital camera with all the other equipment I must pack so, alas, no pictures. I am considering purchasing a cheap, very small, slim digital which will fit unobtrusively into my pocket so I can provide photos of what I experience out there walking the streets daily. It won’t have the quality of my Olympus for blog work but might be better than nothing.)