Friday, April 20, 2012

bare bones & parking lot chic

muse music in provo=totally rad & what we used to call punk back in the day for it's minimalist bare bones vibe
one of the cool things about living in provo is how unexploited it is.  whereas in julie's town (which is truly my favorite town in the world--look at the amazing things she gets to do/the amazing fashion she sees in just one day in this post alone), every last inch has already been discovered, gentrified, and jacked through the roof, provo has plenty of space,  and it's cheap.  so what provo artists might miss from a super energetic art scene, we might be able to gain in contemplative space, an unhurried pace, and lack of interruption.

while i do think we need to make the effort get out and about to the bigger cities to guard against isolation and unexamined provincialism, i find living here to be akin to a lifetime artist retreat because of the amount of uninterrupted meditative space the open and relaxed and beautiful environment fosters.

tonight for instance, which is date night even for married couples here in utah valley, for mere pennies, c. and i went to yoga and ate hot dogs and chili cheese fries at tommy's burger.  this bare-bones shack of a restaurant is a provo institution that's been around for decades.  it's new york tiny inside and a one-dude operation (always the same dude).  only about six people at a time can squeeze in to order at the counter, and all eating takes place in a big, empty parking lot full of chipped fire-engine red picnic tables.  unless you want to eat standing up whilst reading today's usa today open under two banks of plexiglass on the wall of the building so you can move from left to right and read the entire paper while consuming a bacon burger or a chili dog, standing up, at a twelve-inch wide red counter. (also, in between the two banks of news papers is a wall-mounted paper towel dispenser like you'd find in a restroom instead of a napkin dispenser.  so by the time the chili's dripping down your arm and you're almost to the sports section, you can grab a paper towel.  how efficient!  how industrial!  love it!)

notice the newspapers, changed daily, on the side of the building
tonight we sat in early evening sun and sweet little breeze, at about 75 degrees, and looked at the beautiful mountains, which is the other thing about this place:  whatever parking lot you're in has the such astoundingly magnificent views of the mountains that you feel like you're living in a resort.

last night we played at muse music with lalage. muse is another example of the kind of unexploited  resource a burgeoning (or even more established) artist might find in provo.

what i love about muse is this:  total bare bones, totally cheap, and totally accessible.  their menu of services includes a six dollar cover charge for four bands, a 25-dollar-an-hour recording studio (would anyone do anything in nyc for 25 bucks an hour, julie?), and 2 bucks for a cup of tea or hot chocolate.

so there it is.

two more reasons for people in a tight place, artists in a tight place, girls in a tight place, to dig downtown provo.

legwear:  first half of the day=nightgown legs, second half=yoga pants

looking forward:  to 80 degrees tomorrow/ spring cleaning and taking a bunch of stuff to DI

inspiration:  cool parking lots

p.s.--GITP supports pete ashdown!


  1. LOVE this post! As much guff as Utah county receives, I adore the "downtown" Provo area for all the reasons listed here. :) That Tommy's Burger is (or at least was) owned by the dad of my best friend in Jr High. Best fries ever!

    Love ya girl! Love your blog!

  2. Omg, I LOVE that photo of you AND that burger stand. Those are a dying breed. Do they do a veggie burger, by chance?

    You make such a good case for Provo. Brilliant, actually. But I agree that you have to leave the bubble from time to time as you will be doing soon. Yeah!!

    1. i can't wait, julie. coming to your town is such an energy/spirit boost.