Guest editorial: Confessions of a Park City newcomer
Having moved to Park City from Boston last summer, our family is learning the ropes around here. Closing out this winter has sparked some observations regarding our new community. Like any move, there are pluses and minuses.
Hands down, the most wonderful aspect of life here is the lack of traffic. Sitting on S.R. 224 at a standstill for a few minutes isn’t traffic. Disagree? Fly to Massachusetts and drive south from Boston to Cape Cod along I-93. (To arrive by the Fourth of July, leave Boston no later than mid-June.) We won’t tell our East Coast friends, because they’d all move here too.
Equally delightful is the skiing. I wept with joy each time I exited a lift and encountered actual snow, rather than ice sheets.
We made cool discoveries off the mountain too. Kimball Junction is magical. Its byzantine layout makes each visit a treasure hunt — even if I was just there yesterday. I circle endlessly, searching for which turns and roundabouts lead to Smith’s, which to gymnastics, which to the bank. The kids, with their superior brain plasticity, memorized it all and help when they’re along. But when I’m alone, every time feels like the very first time, to quote Foreigner.
At Basin Rec, exercising next to Olympians and professional athletes is inspiring. Marveling at the things people do while balancing on balls and holding weights and sticks and electronics and who knows what else like The Cat in the Hat has led me to up my exercise game. So I’m getting stronger.
Another benefit of newness: We aren’t emotionally invested in dramas like whether the Kilby Road-Ecker Hill situation is a travesty-disgrace-apocalypse or not. And we probably have two years before we must take a position on the inner lives and property rights of moose.
In the interest of balance I’ll mention some drawbacks.
First, the oyster scene is not optimum. Granted, there’s no ocean from which to pluck them, shuck them and deliver them to diners on beds of crushed ice for $1 each as soon as they’re pulled from the depths, but really, is there nothing to be done about this?
Another taste-bud related problem is Utah liquor laws. We understand weird blue laws; Massachusetts used to prohibit Sunday liquor sales except during the football playoffs if the Patriots were playing. Because God loves the Patriots. That one rolled off the books awhile back. Maybe, with the Jazz in the playoffs, Utah could try something like that? Baby steps.
As we hang up our Epic passes, I’m proud to have successfully navigated the most challenging terrain on the Canyons side of PCMR. No, not 9990; the stairs to the bathroom at Red Pine Lodge.
I slipped twice, but fared better than the teenager I saw awaiting medical help after tumbling down most of the flight in January. “Hope he’s OK, at least they’ll fix that disintegrating non-stick tape,” I thought.
Even avoiding those stairs, the mountain can still gitcha … in the wallet. Food prices are ambitious. After one “fancy” lunch, we decided to pack sandwiches and eat them surreptitiously, using our ski helmets as a Park City-style Zion shield. We would just buy coffee, and we would win. Then we learned coffees cost $6 — each.
That’s pretty much it for negatives. This place is heaven and we are thrilled to call it home. Although even heaven needs occasional updates. I’m thinking liquor law repeal, an oyster farm, and a locals card for 25 percent off everything at the mountain. Maybe 50 percent off for coffee and hot chocolate.
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“[I]f Park City and Summit County love Richardson Flat as much as they claim to, maybe they should demonstrate their love by cleaning it up and leading by example,” writes Micah Kagan in a letter to the editor.