Frank Gehry Designed Super-Project in Lehi
World-famous architect Frank Gehry, whose marvels include the Walt Disney Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim in Bibao, Spain, unveiled designs for a development in Lehi that would include Utah’s tallest building, a 12,000-seat arena, wake-boarding lakes and … wait. Lehi? “It’s subtle how culture translates into architecture,” said Gehry, “and there is a culture in Utah.” It’s unclear how “subtle” a 12,000-seat arena could possibly be—but with Gehry attached, at least it will be unique. Now, having that said, you may now resume griping about the City Creek Center.
BEST ALL-AGES REBRANDING
The Children’s Museum of Utah had long been a favored destination for families and schools—but the name alone suggested that anyone who had reached puberty might not find much to entertain them. When it moved to a new location in The Gateway, a new name was also born: “Discovery Gateway.” Not only does it offer a catchy double meaning, but it welcomes the adventure-minded of all ages into its exhibits and activities (provided you’re an adult willing to bring a child along). Now just keep the little rug rats away from me while I create my comic strip … 444 W. 100 South, 456-KIDS. DiscoveryGateway.org
BEST PR BONANZA
Park City Names Official Cocktail
After placing ads to declare the resort town had officially seceded from Utah, Park City’s chamber of commerce and restaurant association decided to adopt a moniker for its new “independent republic.” The groups went with an official cocktail instead of a flag to emphasize that it is possible to get a drink in Utah, at least in Park City. We’re sure that the winner of the contest to become the official drink of the 2007-08 ski season—a “blueberry mojito” created by Deer Valley bartender Bonnie Ulmer—will also catch on.
BEST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT QUESTION
Swift vs. Subway
When the migra raided the Swift plant in Hyrum, hundreds of Hispanics were rounded up and deported, while the Feds patted themselves on the back for a job well done. But walk into any fast-food place in Utah, and the only English spoken by Hispanic staffs are menu items. Question: Were the large numbers the undocumented arrested in Hyrum strictly for show?
BEST LOCAL ECCENTRIC ON THE STREET
Norman Wayne “ Pink Man” Jordonsen
You’ve seen him at Liberty Park. You’ve seen him at the local coffeehouse. And, unless you’re not paying attention while driving around Salt Lake City, you’ve seen him on the street. He’s “The Pink Man,” donned in various combinations of his favorite color, from shoes to socks, shorts to shirt, and dyed hair to hat. Ask Jordonsen himself why he goes to these lengths in ode to his favorite color, and he may offer an explanation like this: “It’s a repeat of answers of questions or issues of other people’s issues that brighten your day.” Whatever, all we really know is the man’s favorite color.
BEST AMBASSADOR FOR A RAINBOW SALT LAKE CITY
It was a huge national news story when former NBA player—including a stint with the Utah Jazz—John Amaechi announced in his autobiography that he was gay. But it caused an even bigger stir locally when Amaechi made the even more surprising observation that Salt Lake City was the “hippest, gayest city east of San Francisco.” And all this time we were worried that businesses might not relocate here because they feared an unwelcoming environment for the differently lifestyled. The state flag might bear the motto “Industry,” but it looks like the city flag should announce “Fabulous.”
BEST RESOURCE FOR LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING
Sustainable living starts with staying as local as possible—shorter transport means less energy consumed, and your purchasing dollar builds the local economy. This program—run by the state of Utah—gives residents information about in-state producers of their favorite foods, allowing them to build a shopping list that stays close to home. Your next trip to your neighborhood supermarket can fill your pantry with great stuff made not so far from your neighborhood. 538-7108, UtahsOwn.utah.gov
BEST ACCORDION INNOVATOR
Not all accordions are created equal, no matter what the casual listener may think when watching old Lawrence Welk shows on KBYU. Salt Lake City resident and Bingham Canyon native, Paul Pasquali designed and created the Concerto, the first ever digital/acoustic accordion and sells them through Accordions International. And when he’s not making custom models for those who need them, he also serves as presenter of the Las Vegas International Accordion Convention. All hail Utah’s king of the squeezebox.
BEST LAST BLAST
You thought you’d heard the last from Super Dell when he shut down his Totally Awesome Computers stores last spring? Like this dude would ever go quietly. When he was finally sentenced to probation in August for making false statements to police after a speeding incident and gun-brandishing confrontation with Draper residents, Dell went on the offensive in a radio interview. “The governor should be fired because he should have stepped in and done something,” quoth a guy who clearly needs a civics lesson in which government officials can be “fired.” “Draper City should lose its ability to be a city because they’re complete bumbling, incompetent idiots,” he continued. And, apparently for the same reason, he lost his ability to be an entrepreneur.
BEST LOCAL LETTER TO A NATIONAL PUBLICATION
Charles Tripp takes Ford down a notch in Time magazine
With the deaths of President Gerald Ford and soul king James Brown—plus Saddam Hussein’s hanging—the early part of 2007 was a short lesson in mortality. The lauding of Ford was especially worrisome for those who remember his regrettable pardoning of Richard Nixon following the Watergate scandal. There to remind the nation in the letters section of Time’s Feb. 5 edition was Salt Laker Charles Tripp. “The pardon blocked application of the rule of law to a President who committed criminal acts while in office and was intended to save Nixon and the Republican Party from further legal scrutiny,” Tripp reminded us. “It will forever sully Ford’s record as President.” Tripp’s letter was a history lesson we’d all be mindful never to forget.
BEST POLITICAL TRIP WORD
Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., caught mighty flak in January for his comments about presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., being, “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean …” One of the lesser-known gaffes by our own Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of June last year, however, was his remark that a constitutional ban on gay marriage was supported by “good, clean, decent Americans.” A reporter for The New Republic took down Hatch’s words verbatim, then noticed the subsequent deletion of the word “clean” in the official Congressional Record. So while homosexuals may not be dirty, exactly, they still don’t qualify as “good, decent Americans.” Nice.