A Word From Our Captain
This time last year, I was asked to write the introduction for City Weekly's City Guide. I was told it was a sort of bible for locals and the ultimate compass for visitors looking for the local experience. I didn't know my West Temple from my South, as I was fresh in town, so I turned the offer down.
I could have faked it, sure, but it would have been disingenuous on my part, given this magazine's history. It first started as an experiment during the buzz of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and it took off from there. The idea was to put together an all-inclusive guide to the city, its people, places of interest and can't-miss recreational spots.
Fifteen months into my stint here, I've now gotten the full SLC experience—one tinged with dispelling rumors to my out-of-town family and friends, getting a late-night tattoo inside a State Street parlor at the hands of an artist known simply as "Buddha," breaking in my hiking boots at Moab's Devil's Garden, tracking state liquor stores' locations and hours of business with chronometric precision and being continuously surprised at what this vibrant city has to offer. So it's with true joy and excitement (oddly not one bit marred by the responsibility of putting this 116-page beast together), that I make my debut during this publication's quinceañera.
After a long spell, I visited Salt Lake City in the summer of 2015, lured by a journalism conference. Several drinks, laughs—and sure, an informative session or two—later, it was time to leave. I looked up at the colossal Wasatch Range and how it engulfed the downtown skyline, and was in awe. The place emitted a distinct on-the-brink feel, and I remember thinking as I was getting on Trax to the airport, "I can't wait to be back." Little did I know what was in store.
Salt Lake City surprises at every turn, and in this guide we celebrate all her quirks, hot spots and burgeoning talent. We also give you a dose of fashion, a sports history lesson, a food section that might tempt you to lick a page or two, and along with a few other surprises, comprehensive museum, live music venue, dining and nightlife directories that'll ensure your time here is well spent.
The city is also a welcoming, multicultural hub. One forged originally by settlers that'd been ousted from everyplace else. Believe it or not, when the passport theme struck me last November on an airplane, it wasn't in any way a political statement. In the time since, it seems to have taken a more poignant feel. Last January, as protests sprung up at airports—from San Diego's Lindbergh Field to New York's JFK—locals flooded Salt Lake City International with a clear and unbiased message. Make no mistake about it: Along with its Pleasantville vibe, SLC is a place of astringent values; one of the most palpable being how we treat our visitors.
So whether you're born and raised or here for a quick conference or ski jaunt, here's hoping that, like me, you leave feeling welcomed to come back and that this guide serves like a good roadmap. Sure, it includes a bevy of destinations, but never forget: It's all about the journey.
Now, buckle your seat belts and get ready for one hell of a trip.