Saturday, June 23, 2007

Suburb girl in the big city

I love big cities -- there's always so much going on. It seems like I always see something of interest. To be honest, I haven't been in a lot of big cities, so I love going to MY big city -- Salt Lake. Over the last few weeks I have found myself in Salt Lake City a lot for various reasons. Here are a couple random things that have left impressions on me.

Hagrid sighting
First let me explain that I love I what I call "fringe people" -- those who live on the fringes of what most consider normal society. Partly it's because I am jealous that they have the courage to buck tradition and live as they choose. Or if it's not by choice, I wonder what it took for them to get there. This ranges from people who have tattoos covering every inch of their body to those who have all of their worldly possessions in a shopping cart.
By taking photos of them, I do not mean to exploit, but to celebrate those who most "normal" people ignore or advert their eyes from on the street.

Recently I saw a dead ringer for Hagrid, from the Harry Potter books. He was crossing State Street by the LDS church buildings. Although I noticed him right away. Those crossing with him didn't even bat an eye.

That brown area in his midsection is not part of his shirt, but due to the fact is his pants are undone and his sun-weathered, street grime covered belly is there for all to see. (Sorry for the spots, but I was taking the photos through my windshield.)
As he got closer to the car, I saw some more details. First his finger nails are really long. I can never get mine that long and I am sure I get more of the recommended daily vitamins for a human. I wondered if they served some sort of a purpose for him, but if he can't be bothered to zip his pants, I am guessing trimming the nails is out of the question.

Next I noticed he seemed to be eating a rice crispy treat. I think most people see others like Hagrid and put him in the "them" category. As in "us and them." Thinking "I would never become one of them."Or "I have nothing in common with them." But most would be surprised by how little separates "us and them." The rice crispy treat is an example of this. Who doesn't love a rice crispy treat or wouldn't love to walk around with their pants comfortably undone, if no one was watching?

That's my street

There is something that people just love about seeing their own name. This would be the reason for all those license plates, pencils and notebooks sold in souvenir shops. *Well I am no different (I probably like it more considering I am a writer).

I recently did an art project for a friend about travel and thought a street sign with her name would be great to for this. I found a web site that locates streets in the United States with whatever name you searched for. If a personalized pencil is cool, a whole street is way cool.

This would explain my frantic U-Turn on 100 South on Friday. That is when I found My Street -- Elizabeth St. (without even using the website). I love that it's right in the middle of downtown Salt Lake. There was even a woman with a dog sitting on the grass nearby, reading something I am sure was very intellectual.

It's a fabulous tree-lined street with Victorian-like houses. It is kind of small, almost like an alley. That doesn't bother me -- what's upsetting is it has a terrible dip in it, which I scraped the undercarriage of the car on. Because I want my street to represent Elizabeth's everywhere well, maybe I will write a letter to the city to see about getting that dip fixed.

*this is NOT a hint to begin buying me things with my name printed or embroidered on them. I don't like it that much.


S said...

Now that is a blog!!! I'm loving every minute of it. Next time you want to hang with the "fringe" Take Greyhound. maybe you can inherit a homeless person too.

editor said...

Its a pretty even contest IMO...Shad's homeless entry bought shots for his birthday, but is no longer homeless (a huge drawback) while your entry looks like a famous character and had unzipped pants. I'd have to give you the edge at this point. I've never come across a street with my first name associated with it. I imagine if I ever did it'd be in the red light district. Start a it online...let's make Elizabeth Street dip free.


beth said...


PJPXthe1st said...

I'm glad that homeless Hagrid at least knows to cross the street when he's supposed to. I wonder if he ate all of his poor little creatures. He doesn't look hungry.

Shad said...

OFF TOPIC--Found this blog as I perused among the next blog buttons and thought of you.