Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Introduction is in Order (Salt Lake Culture, Chapter 1)

I think most of you know I moved to the big Salt Lake of City 2-3 yrs ago. What a TrEmEnDoUs experience it's been! There are a plethora of cultures clashing all over the place and holy crap I'm listening to Lykke Li right now and it is just blowing my comedic mood right out of the water! Anyway there was a time when I would blog about Provo Culture. Well friends. I'm moving on.

Salt Lake City Culture, Chapter 1: Provo Refugees

There comes a time when a Provonian wakes up and says to him/herself: "I'm 24. I'm single. I'm fashion forward...Best to head north". Just like that an established Happy Valley Alum packs their bags (and usually all of their friends) and migrates toward Sugarhouse/Holladay/Cottonwood/Downtown (it should be noted that The Avenues are reserved mostly for the marrieds). So what do they do when they get there? Just pick up where they left off? Not so. Like any refugee, adapting to a new city can be difficult and requires an assimilation process. Climate change. Acquiring the taste of the region. Fashion mishaps. It's all part of the journey. On behalf of the Provo Refugees themselves, I present to you the Provo Refugee Survival Guide:

Transportation: Trax. Trax. Trax. Pretend to be immediately familiar with the Front Runner schedule. For your first ride invite a trusted friend, as bus behavior from unruly tweens is generally unsettling and may cause severe anxiety. Bike. Bike. Bike. Get a fancy bike and pretend you ride it everywhere. When you actually need to get somewhere (on time)-just drive, much of Salt Lake City living (actually...any kind of living) is a facade. For your own safety, know that, in SLC, the green turning arrow appears BEFORE the actual green light. Not after.

Diet: There are two parts to a Salt Lake City diet: steady intake of ethnic food, and more importantly, knowledge of every obscure restaurant within a 25 mile radius. This presents a challenge to post-Provo residents, as the Utah County diet consists mostly of Olive Garden, "The Cougar Eat", and now In 'n Out. Adjust in increments. Start one night a week at a Mediterranean place. Branch out from there. Again, if you are in touch with any Scene Kids who have already gone through the process, let them be your guide.

Free Time: Use down time to look up Downtown festival and/or "special screening" dates on your smart phone. Festival attendance is critical to a normal SLC life and will result in your most important friendships.

Fashion: Provo Refugees oftentimes find their sense of fashion questioned in SLC. Some will keep wearing their polos. Some will slightly adapt by purchasing Chacos or other such bohemian items. Provo Scene Kids are like so ahead of the times and have been wearing Salt Lake Street Fashion for years. Trust in them.

Emergency Phone Numbers: Sugarhouse Library. That's all.

Climate Change: Preparing for a Salt Lake City winter presents many obstacles. There is snow in Provo, yes. But. There is NOT an unsettling and ever-present cloud of gloom and pollution that somehow makes your skin go gray and slimy. The only way to avoid Inversion Zombification is to never leave your house ever...unless it's after 6. When it's dark. This is when your inner-Provo resident can come out again, as snowball fights and rambunctious behavior are encouraged during this time period. Once summer hits though, it's back to meditative slack-lining.

Language Barrier: Provo Talk is for kids. Salt Lake Speak is for grown ups. So you'd better get serious. Fast.

Get Colonized: Salt Lake City hereby claims you in the name of...Salt Lake City. Absorb it all. Walk Broadway. Run the Wasatch Back. Stop owning a TV. Vote for the other guy. Because if you don't...well. We all saw what happened to Winston in 1984.


Becca said...

i love you so much for this. Also, I can attest to the Avenues.

Why is it that this post just makes me think of Brian?

Carly said...

Ha ha ha ha. Meditative Slack-Lining... ha ha ha ha.

Leandra said...

I could never make the cut in SLC.

Meggara said...

i've been waiting for this post for years and still talk about the provo all-stars. cat i need you back in my life! too funny.

Brian said...


Bradley Ferreira said...

If this work prevents even one instance of an "outsider" (that's what we call immigrants from Utah county) asking for the nearest Arctic Circle or "The Ream's", this blog post will have been a success.

Jami said...

So this explains your sudden interest in Thai Siam. Well played Catherine, well played.

P.S. When in the hell are we going to dinner next? Plan for 4 hours please. So much to say...

whitney johnson said...

haha i love this! i think i need to have my younger sister & good friend read this :)

Andrea said...

ummm i may be guilty of one or more of these things. thanks for the tips!