Thursday, April 15, 2010

Say what you will about City Weekly, but read what their saying about you!

Best of Utah 2010: Rose Park
By City Weekly Staff

Welcome to beautiful northwest Salt Lake City, one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse stretches of Utah. A true walkable neighborhood, many of the streets in this little burg were designed in the shape of roses. Once a Superfund site, Rose Park is now known for its many green spaces: four parks, a community garden, a golf course and the Jordan River Parkway. Not all of the picks below are within Rose Park’s strict boundaries between 600 North and Davis County and between Interstate 15 and Redwood Road, but collectively, they make up the community’s west-side pride.

Best Cool Cats

Steenblik Park’s “Dairy Cats”
Artist Day Christensen’s four bronze cats sit attentively in small Steenblik Park, as if awaiting a bowl of warm milk. The felines are a nod to the historic Steenblik’s Dairy, a one-time venerable Rose Park family-operated institution. The pocket park pays tribute to Joseph Steenblik, who moved to Rose Park in 1908. Steenblik remains a common Rose Park surname: Today, Scott and Ralph Steenblik help oversee the Rose Park Community Garden at 877 N. Cornell Street (1525 West). 1100 W. 800 North, Salt Lake City

Best Connections
Salt Lake City Day-Riverside Library
Most locals tout the downtown Main Library for its jaw-dropping modern design. But neighborhood branches each have their charm, the Day-Riverside in particular. Like a long wooden ship on a grassy stretch by the river, it’s the opposite of downtown’s glass and concrete edifice. With shady trees, an “eco-garden” and outdoor picnic pavilion, it brings readers and nature together. Inside, thanks to XMission’s free wireless network, patrons flock to computer terminals to connect to the Web while others make connections in the large meeting room via book clubs, classes and workshops. People of diverse ethnic backgrounds find a melting pot here; it’s really the heartbeat of Rose Park. 1575 W. 1000 North, Salt Lake City, 801-594-8632,

Best New Lease on Life
Utah State Fairpark
As far back as 1856, Utah pioneers loved nothing better than trying to one-up their neighbors’ cheese, butter, fruits and veggies, all while cheering on a horse race or two. In 1902, that gathering moved to a “way off” location by the river: the Utah Fairpark. With more than a century of harvest hoopla under its belt, the fairpark still fights to justify its existence. In 2009, the fair drew 314,000 attendees in its 11 days, its historic barns teeming with live chickens, goats, pigs and cows as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The 2010 Legislature, knowing better than to euthanize the fair, voted to extend its lease for 50 years. Now everyone awaits North Temple’s “Grand Boulevard” TRAX line to see if the fairpark will harvest dollar bills. Let’s all sing: “Our state fair is a great state fair! … It’s the best state fair in the state!” 155 N. 1000 West, Salt Lake City, 801-538-8400,

Best Unchained Neighborhood
Rose Park
There’s no Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, Home Depot, Target, Shopco, Macy’s, Dillard’s, JC Penney, Sears, T.J. Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Costco or Sam’s Club. There’s not even a Starbucks. And many residents are rightfully pissed about the effort and distance it takes to go shopping. But, visitors might find relief in exploring the tree-lined streets of Rose Park and its one-off eateries, tiendas and mom & pop businesses. And if you really love chains, there’s always North Temple’s low-end shoe chains, dollar stores and payday lenders.

Best Smothered Burrito
Chubby’s Home-Made Mexican Food
People who eat at Chubby’s are after one thing: Mexican-style comfort food. It comes in many forms, from cheese enchiladas to the Chubbychanga to a sizable burrito stuffed with chicken or beef and onions, swimming in a sea of Mexican chile verde gravy, and covered in cheese. The service is prompt and the chips and salsa while you wait are scrumptious. Also, try Chubby’s hangover-curing huevos rancheros. You won’t hurt anymore. 955 N. 1400 West, 801-596-2070

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dear Salt Lake City,

Welcome to the home of the Rose Park Revival Council. We are a growing community organization of Rose Park residents who, through community involvement, and old fashioned hard work, are ready to make a difference. We are made up of teachers, lawyers, landscape designers, architects, carpenters, engineers, and many other professions. We are mothers, fathers, grandma's, grandpa's, children, pets and most importantly, we are all Rose Park residents.

Since Rose Park was constructed in the 1940's, a less than desirable social stigma has been attached that continues to this day. Our goal at RPR is to get involved, as a community, on such a scale that we can make noticeable strides toward changing that stigma to one of unity, family, and quality of life. For those of us who have lived here for many years, these traits are evident in our community. We intend to involve state and local officials, community representatives, developers, businesses and whomever we can to bring about positive change to our neighborhood.

As a beginning point, we have contacted the Utah Department of Transportation regarding the construction and maintenance of the new 10th north overpass, as well as the neighboring construction on the northern half of our 6th north overpass. Beautification elements for these new bridges, such as rock and terrace landscaping were not adequately lobbied for during the planning stages over 5 years ago and therefore will not be part of the finished project. The state and city have limited funds due to budget cuts and unfortunately, have no intention to contribute to these facilities.

In addition, the amount of roadside litter on the 600 north overpass is astounding. On April 7th, volunteers from a local scout group spent an hour picking up trash on the north bound exit and the south bound on ramp. In that hour, they filled 9 large bags with trash. The area they covered makes up less than one eighth of the greenspace on the overpass.

This area has become our first priority as it provides an overwhelmingly negative first impression to our neighborhood. In conjunction with UDOT, city officials and our community, we want to make the overpass an attractive introduction to our community.

In order to be successful in this process, we first need to communicate this message to all in our community who will listen. Please pass this blog address on to your friends, neighbors, and others in your community who may be willing to help. Sign up as followers and subscribe to the feed provided. As information becomes available, we will post it on RPR. In the month of May we will schedule a meeting to discuss our best course of action. A portion of that meeting will consist of trash clean-up on the 6th North overpass.

Thanks to all of you for your support. We can accomplish this goal together if we are willing to unify ourselves, becoming one voice for the continuing revitalization of Rose Park.