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The Call of the Mall
Cast yourself in your own dazzling shopping montage.

By Rachel Piper

It is a universal truth—in Hollywood, at least—that new stuff makes people happier and more attractive. That's why no uplifting movie is complete without a shopping montage in which the main character and his or her friends run from shop to shop, trying on silly hats or sexy fashions, bursting in and out of dressing rooms, swiping credit cards again and again, and striding through a revolving door with brightly colored shopping bags. It looks so fun—and now you can have the same experience, right here in Salt Lake City. We've highlighted seven shopping districts for you to create your own dazzling shopping montage.

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City Creek
For a couture-level shopping scene that Ryan Gosling's dapper Crazy, Stupid, Love character would revel in, look no further than City Creek Center. No ordinary Utah mall, this giant, outdoor multi-use center, set to open in March 2012, is anchored by Macy's and Nordstrom and features a retractable roof and high-end stores such as Swarovski and Brooks Brothers. Bring your most stylish friends for a romp through the department stores and enjoy being one of the first to parade up and down the dressing-room aisles. Stop at Harmons for a gourmet treat before selecting an exquisitely designed timepiece at Porsche Design and ogling the jewelry and accessories at Tiffany's. Even Carrie Bradshaw would ooze with envy were she to watch you walk across the skybridge with an armful of shopping bags.
City Creek Center: 50 S. Main, Salt Lake City,

The Gateway
If your ideal montage includes your whole family having a great time with no tantrums or teenage meltdowns, head to The Gateway. The outdoor mall stretches across two city blocks and is home to movie theaters, museums, music venues, restaurants and, of course, shopping. The Gateway offers a mix of large stores, like Dick's Sporting Goods, Barnes & Noble and Old Navy. Even if flipping through the racks of Banana Republic, Forever 21, Justice, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret gets old, cut scene to Sur la Table or the Apple Store, where you can examine gleaming blenders and knife sets or get lost in the spell of sleek iPads.
The Gateway: 400 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-456-0000,

Trolley Square
Evoking a bygone era, Trolley Square is the ideal setting for a through-the-years montage with your spouse or partner. Nostalgia aside, 2011 saw the notable additions of longtime Salt Lake City bookstore Sam Weller's (now rebranded as Weller Book Works) and a large Whole Foods. Rediscover favorite novels, then load up your cart with fresh organic cuisine for a romantic evening together. Trolley Square also features home-furnishing favorites Pottery Barn, Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware, so the two of you can spend quality time inspecting linens and testing the cushiness of throw pillows. Browse unique jewelry, accessories and décor at The Hive Gallery (showcasing local artists' works) and Casa Bella (specializing in European-inspired vintage and antique items), then spritz on new cologne at Tabula Rasa Social Stationers. Finally, share hearty laughs over the many humor books at Cabin Fever, a quirky card and gift store.
Trolley Square: 602 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-521-9877,

Foothill Village
Not all shopping scenes have to be high-energy. For a low-key shopping day with your mom, head to Foothill Village, a tightly packed, two-story shopping destination with 20-some eclectic shops. Grab cappuccinos at Starbucks and stroll through small boutiques and home-décor stores for a soothing shopping experience. You're sure to find something to bond over—or at least agree upon—whether the goal of the day is high fashion (bella Forte) or high discounts (Stein Mart). For a change of pace, trot over to The Tutoring Toy or the Sports Den.
Foothill Village: 1400 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-487-6670,

Broadway (300 South)
A first date, with the right person, can be magical. Watch the sparks fly during a spree through Salt Lake City's downtown shopping district. After a matinee at Broadway Centre Cinemas, pop into Frosty Darling/Kayo Gallery, where the sassy and sweet stationery, accessories and gifts will mirror your buoyant mood. Stop next door at The Green Ant to discover a shared appreciation for swanky mid-century furniture. Just around the corner is Ken Sanders Rare Books, packed floor to ceiling with new and used tomes. Even if this montage—you and your date flipping through vintage paperbacks, joyfully uncovering a pristine first edition of a favorite Steinbeck novel—lasts just seconds, you'll want to spend hours among the stacks. Once you tear yourselves away, head east back on Broadway to Retro Rose, a color-coordinated store packed with kitschy vintage dishes and glassware to inspire visions of your fun, funky future together. Just a few doors away is House of Chuckles, a joke/magic shop that's rife with possibilities for shared hilarity. And, if things keep going well, you might find yourself returning in a few months to visit Antoinette's Antique Jewelry for a stunning vintage engagement ring.
Broadway: 300 South, between Main Street and 300 East

9th & 9th
Sometimes the urge to shop strikes with no reason or warning—it's like your credit card is begging to be swiped, and your fingers are itching to pick up and check the prices on whozits and whatzits. When this happens, grab your posse, turn up the peppy pop music and head to 9th and 9th. The Children's Hour will get your shopping off to a cheerful start as you browse the timeless women's fashions, gift products and the carefully curated selection of books for all ages. Nearby, locally owned boutiques like Fresh, Koo De Ker and Apt. 202 will have something in their windows that'll catch your eye and inspire you to sign over part of your paycheck. Make a stop at Cahoots for some raunchy fun in the adult section at the back of the store. Visit The Cosmic Spiral on the next block to make inspirational, helpful discoveries among the New Age gifts and books. Farther east is Hip & Humble, an adorable, pastel-hued shop with, unfortunately, more irresistible kitchen and home-décor do-dads, Fossil watches, bags and jewelry than you'll be able to fit in your car—even if you do bring the convertible.
9th & 9th: 900 South, between 800 East and 1100 East

Sugar House
Whether you're shopping for yourself—maybe as a reward after a successful career/training montage (think Rocky IV)—or are looking to buy a gift for someone else, Salt Lake City's Sugar House neighborhood has a wide selection of shops, allowing you to choose your own shopping adventure. A hip, alternative shopping bender can be had north of 2100 South—flip through the punk, rock and hardcore albums at Raunch Records, then browse the modern and vintage clothes, denim and accessories at Unhinged. South of 2100 is home to big-box stores like Old Navy and Michaels, but deals—and fun—can be found in Nordstrom Rack, Black Cat Comics and even Zurchers Party Supplies. Did someone say comical wig montage?
Sugar House: 1900 South to 2300 South, between 1100 East and 1300 East

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