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
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, SLCPL.org
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, Utah-State-Fair.com
Best Unchained Neighborhood
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