Dylan Woolf Harris
The discrete sign on Main Street that tells you the air isn't free any more.
When you walk into City Creek next time—assuming that is you have a yen to visit a mall home to Tiffany & Co. and Porsche Design—have a look at the sign that marks the entrance from the street.
It proclaims that you are entering private property. I was reminded of that a few weeks back, while wandering around the mall with the subject of this week's cover story, Maori Mormon Ra Puriri, and a freelance photographer.
Puriri's story is the journey of one Mormon seeking financial transparency from his church as he struggles to save a piece of his past in New Zealand from being run over by values similar to the ones he argues drove the creation of the LDS Church-funded City Creek Center.
We stopped near the fountain—brought to you by the same folks who were part of the Bellagio's renowned waterworks—and the photographer started to set up.
A security guard approached, asked what we were doing, and then contacted "the management." We were informed we could only shoot there if we had permission.
When you realize that you've surrendered your civil rights by entering the mall, the veil, as it were, falls away and you understand that you are there to be part of, or witness to, what City Creeks calls a "first class, family-oriented shopping center" on its code of conduct. Such an experience might more accurately be described as a fortress-like tribute to the materialistic values the LDS Church's hierarchy wants its members to aspire to.
At least, that's how Puriri sees it.
Look out for his story next week—currently titled "Warrior Spirit."