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Best RoadKill Procurement
Not a hunter? Don’t even know how to operate a gun? Want some free meat? No problem. During the winter, Highway 40 is lined with freshly plowed deer for your pickin’ and eatin’. You can eat like your hunter-gatherer ancestors did, without all the work. A sharp knife, a tarp, a cooler and a rudimentary knowledge of how to field dress (look it up online) are all you need. You’ll also need to get a DWR permit (or call the local authorities) before you get started.
Highway 40 (from Heber to Vernal)
Best Savvy Fashion
Suzanne Holifield started her clothing business in 2003 with nothing more than some design ideas and a few patterns. Over the years, she’s built herself up by utilizing craft fairs, online retailers, local models and her persistence to make a career out of her unique creations. Now, Sorry Clementine is a local must-have, with one-of-a-kind creations coming out of the woodwork monthly, only to be snatched up within days (or immediately off the runway after their debut) by the fashion-conscious wishing to stand out from the rest. Sorry shoppers, you gotta be fast to catch Clementine.
Best Solar Cookery
Solar Cooking Class, Wasatch Community Gardens
Baking in the summer can be sweltering. And it’s not always convenient to naked-bake—wearing only an apron—with roommates around. To help with the predicament, Wasatch Community Gardens hosts a workshop every year in July to teach folks how to bake using the sun. Lasagna, winter squash, quiche, pies—the sky is the limit with a handy solar oven. But the professional contraptions are pricey, so facilitators Jonathan Krausert and his wife, Julie Nelson—who have a decade of experience with the things—not only teach students how to use them, but also how to make inexpensive, recycled versions of their own.
Best Haunted Attraction
For years, that rundown cement factory on the way into downtown Salt Lake City served as nothing more than a dumping ground for construction materials and a refuge for the homeless. But throughout 2011, the property saw a transformation from a useless reminder of lost industry to that of a massive haunted attraction. Upon completion, the Fear Factory automatically earned the recognition for being one of the biggest attractions of its kind in the United States, with a grand opening receiving attention from media and horror fans alike. Casting calls have already begun for the 2012 season.
666 W. 900 South, Salt Lake City, FearFactorySLC.com
Best Green Clean
Eco-Star Green Cleaning
Eco-Star is a green cleaning company that is passionate about both the environmentally friendly cleaning products it uses and about doing the dirty work. The company does regular or one-off residential and commercial cleanings so folks can keep their hands, and the Earth, clean.
999 Murray-Holladay Road, Suite 109, Murray, 801-214-9734, EcoStarCleaning.com
Best Cure for Taking Life Too Seriously
Cabin Fever Cards & Gifts
Cabin Fever is 30 years old this year, but it still seems like a young and irreverent prankster—like that crazy co-worker who has quirky wind-up toys in his desk drawer and will pull them out while you’re trying to have a serious conversation with him. Cabin Fever’s eclectic cards and ribald novelties make it a fun and therapeutic stop. It’s a great place to thumb through curious books, squeeze rubber duckies, wind up robots and fantasize about sending an obscene greeting card to a secret crush.
Trolley Square, 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-363-0828, CabinFeverCards.com
Best Recycling of Bad Art
Kat’s Creepy Art
There’s only one way you can truly enjoy a bad painting you’re apt to find in a hotel room or your grandmother’s bathroom: if it’s been repurposed by Kat Martin. For a modest price, she’ll seamlessly add in your favorite characters from all the best geek franchises. No tranquil landscape is safe from Star Wars, Doctor Who and everything in between.
Water Wellness Center
In Masaru Emoto’s Messages from Water, and described in the metaphysical film What the Bleep Do We Know?, there are photos of water crystals that have been changed by attaching a written word to the bottle overnight—from a fractured, ugly design under the phrase “You make me sick, I will kill you” to a beautiful one under “Love and appreciation.” The film poses the question: If our bodies are approximately two-thirds water, how do our thoughts affect us at a molecular level? With the ionized alkaline- and mineral-infused, steam-distilled water sold at the Water Wellness Center, you might not even need to put love labels on your H2O. The center also sells accessories to filter pure, clean water at home. However, they’d probably be happy to write whatever message a customer wanted on their container.
3727 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-904-2042; 3440 S. 5600 West, West Valley City, 801-967-9669; WaterWellnessCenter.com
Best Magic Fingers
Julieta Hernandez, Matrix Spa & Massage
At the end of 2011, Julieta Hernandez celebrated 10 years as founder and owner of Matrix Spa & Massage by throwing open her doors and giving any and all free 10-minute massages. Hernandez understands that for the committed massage client, deep-tissue massage—her specialty—is the route to both a healthier relationship with your body and unknotting those really deep, troublesome muscles. Along with a steam room and massages, she offers a meditation room to escape the stresses of everyday life. For this oasis opposite Trolley Square, we lift our carrot juice in gratitude.
533 S. 700 East, Salt Lake City, 801-799-4999, HotOilMassage.us
Best for Joints
Lamont Alignment Clinic
As we age, the word “joint” ceases to have a positive connotation to a pot cigarette and becomes more grimly associated with body parts whose pain and stiffness sends us hobbling to orthopedic surgeons. Before going under the knife to replace a knee or hip, consider scheduling a series of deep-massage treatments with the Lamont clinic to realign your skeletal frame, reducing pain and possibly even the need for surgery. The professional clinical program, created by Salt Lake visionary Taylor Lamont, is life-changing and every bit as mood-altering as the joints of yesteryear.
420 E. South Temple, Suite 240, Salt Lake City, 801-990-0000, LamontClinic.com
Best Special Delivery
If you find that the bigger your baby bump gets, the less excited you are about going to a hospital to have your baby, then BetterBirth’s focus on natural birth may be for you. This group of local midwives and their students serve Orem, Salt Lake City, West Valley City and Magna. They attend home births, facilitate births at their spa-like Bella Natal Birthing Suites and specialize in water births. If money is an issue, expectant parents can save big by working with well-supervised student midwives. For most moms, birth is a normal, healthy process, and BetterBirths works hard to give parents more control over the birth experience.
Multiple locations, 801-225-5668, BetterBirth.com