“To days of ease, and nights of pleasure.” Ever clinked your glass to that? To some on our staff, that little toast describes the perfect summer day.
In 2010, the City Weekly staff regaled readers with our individual itineraries for maximizing the scorch of a summer day and the black velvet of a summer night. This year, we're kinda over ourselves. We decided to ask the pillars of our community how they make the most of summer. If these folks can’t make it happen, who can? Luckily, we learned that with all the Wasatch Front offers, both indoors and out, the fact is: A perfect day can be any day you choose.
Dial Up Summer
Courtney Blair, KRCL radio host
Courtney Blair is up early for a Saturday morning—8 a.m.—but she and her husband, Jeremy, want to get the best pick of the produce at the Downtown Farmers Market at Pioneer Park (300 W. 300 South, Salt Lake City, DowntownSLC.org/Farmers-Market) for their Sunday-evening dinner. After working up an appetite while making their way through the market, the two head to Gourmandise (250 S. 300 East, Salt Lake City, 801-328-3330, GourmandiseTheBakery.com) for a slice of quiche and a strawberry napoleon to go.
Blair goes home to prepare for her radio show, Afternoon Delight, from 1-4 p.m. on KRCL 90.9 FM (KRCL.org/Afternoon-Delight). Before heading into the studio, she stops at Chunga’s (180 S. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-953-1840) around 12:30 p.m. for al Pastor. After her show, she’s in the mood for some crate-digging, so she visits either Randy’s Records (157 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-532-4413) or Graywhale (Multiple locations, FatFin.com) to pick up the latest releases.
She meets up with her pals Trista, Laurie, Diana and Ryan at 7:30 p.m. for dinner at Pipa: Asian Tapas & Sake Bar (118 N. 900 West, Salt Lake City, 801-326-3639). They order five of their favorite dishes: five-spice wings, aubergine stacks, grilled asparagus and the must-have XoX noodles. When their bellies are full, they hit up Bar X (155 E. 200 South, Salt Lake City, 801-355-2287) for a few Moscow Mules. A perfect summer day isn’t complete without some live music, and The Urban Lounge (241 S. 500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-746-0057, TheUrbanLoungeSLC.com) is the place to hear independent artists from all genres.
Of course, Blair needs a late-night snack to finish off the day, and some fries covered in country gravy at the Bayleaf Bar & Grub (159 S. Main, 801-359-8490, BayleafBarAndGrub.com) hit the spot. (Shelly Guillory)
Word to Your Mommy Blogger
Heather Armstrong, Dooce.com
Utah’s weather is anything but predictable, even in June. So Heather Armstrong, the celebrated Dooce.com blogger, decided to explain what her perfect summer day in July will look like, because she’s almost certain she won’t wake up to a couple inches of snow. That day begins with breakfast on the patio at Blue Plate Diner (2041 S. 2100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-463-1151, TheBluePlateDiner.com) with her husband, John, and daughters Leta and Marlo. It’s one of the only places her oldest, Leta, will eat anything. Heather throws dieting rules out the window and orders biscuits with gravy because it brings back memories of growing up in Memphis, Tenn. They finish the meal with Blue Plate’s legendary malt shakes.
After breakfast, she and John take the kids to Liberty Park (600 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City) to splash around in the water feature. They might even have a picnic. After a morning of soaking up sun and breathing in fresh air, they head back home. Because the kids aren’t big nap-takers, they’ll have to take turns catching some shut-eye.
One quick call to the babysitter, and John and Heather are heading off to the Rio Grande Cafe (270 S. Rio Grande St., Salt Lake City, 801-364-3302) to sit on the porch and drink margaritas. But they save room for dinner at their favorite restaurant, Takashi (18 W. Market St., Salt Lake City, 801-519-9595), where they order ceviche rolls and the TNT roll, which packs the heat and, Heather confirms, “is one of the hottest things on the planet.”
After dinner, even though the night is young, the two head back home because, Heather says, “We’re old and married.” (Shelly Guillory)
A Living Room Snooze
Doug Fabrizio, KUER radio host
The perfect summer day for KUER RadioWest host Doug Fabrizio starts with not waking before the crack of dawn for work. The 10-years-running program’s curious interviewer takes the rare treat of sleeping in when he can. Once up, he reads the paper and sips a cup of joe before breakfast with the family. He fries up bacon and flips pancakes with his wife, Alice, and their kids. “There’s nothing better than that ... and it’s something I can only pull off on a Saturday,” he says.
Once everyone’s scarfed their meals, they head down the street to Tony Caputo’s Deli (1516 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-486-6615, CaputosDeli.com) to pick up picnic provisions—quality bread and cheese, Tartufo Creminelli salamis and truffle-like treats by Chocolatier Blue are on the shopping list. “I love living in a walkable neighborhood because we can also pop into 15th Street Gallery (1519 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-468-1515, 15thStreetGallery.com) or grab a book at The King’s English Bookshop (1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City, 801-484-9100, KingsEnglish.com),” Fabrizio says.
Then he loads everyone up, including Wally the dog, and they head for the hills. They’ll hike (picnic in tow) up above Red Butte Garden (300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, RedButteGarden.org), to the Living Room—a favorite Shoreline Trail destination that has man-made rock chairs and benches. He likes the spot for its casual hike, topped with a stunning vista of downtown and the Salt Lake Valley.
“The perfect day would also include a nap,” Fabrizio says. “Some people have an aversion to them or even look down on them, but I love it.”
Afterward, Fabrizio would take his wife out for a date to The Copper Onion (111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-355-3282, TheCopperOnion.com), where they’d sit at the communal table for the same reason he likes going to the Living Room. “I love the chance circumstance that you just don’t know who you’ll be sitting next to or who you might meet,” he says. The desire to connect and hear people’s stories, even on his downtime, obviously, makes him a perfect fit for his day job.
To end the evening, they’d stroll around East Broadway like they had nowhere in particular to be, eventually, though, walking back to Broadway Centre Cinemas (111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310, SaltLakeFilmSociety.org) to catch an artsy indie flick. (Austen Diamond)