I've been feeling especially proud of my town lately. Here are ten reason's why:
1. My girl Susan Peterson started Freshly Picked Moccasins a couple years ago, and used to sell them in our art/craft markets downtown. My kids were raised in them. But anyone who knows Susan knows she's got a will like iron, and she grew that company until it was outfitting more than just Provo bloggers, but Hollywood's elite. Last weekend Shark Tank aired the episode where Susan landed a deal with Daymond John. I have to say, when I look at this photo I'm filled with pride for my friend. Nobody works harder, nobody deserves success more than she does.
2. Google Fiber launched city-wide last week. I've been lucky enough to sit on some meetings with our Provo Google Fiber team and they're just as cute and cuddly as that rainbow striped bunny we see hopping around town on their little technician vans. I mean, you pay $30 and you get free internet for seven years! That's so cuddly. So is the mayor in a pirate hat:
3. On Sunday many of us local music loving Provoans watched as Imagine Dragons took home a Grammy AND performed the best mash-up of the night with Kendrick Lamar. Now, I get that the band says it's from Las Vegas, but I have it on pretty good authority that the genesis of the band was in Provo. And it's no secret they built up a sizable following here. It's also no secret that their latest video On Top of the World was co-directed by locals Matt Eastin and Velour owner Corey Fox, featuring Provo people, in Provo. So, I claim them. Anyway, did you see their performance on Sunday? I loved it:
p.s. I.D. will be on SNL this weekend. Go watch the promos here. The third one in made me and Chup laugh. And sing along.
4. Speaking of the Grammys (I'm not done yet) Ryan Raddon of Kaskade was on hand as a nominee for Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album. BUT also nominated with Kaskade were Provo producers and song-writers Finn Bjarnson, Nate Pyfer and McKay Stevens. It was a good night for the Provo Music Scene. Also, didn't Kaskade/Ryan look dashing? I mean, who says Mormon men can't make the Best Dressed lists?
5. In a fully transparent moment, I will admit we've got our own problems here in Provo, specifically the air. Last week we had some of the worst air in the nation. But Provoans are starting to realize the seriousness of the situation. In light of the problem, Mayor Curtis has launched a Clean Air Challenge. If you pledge to do your part to clean up the air (drive less, stop idling your car, keep sidewalks clean etc.) you get a little green pin to say you're in. You can do this at the Mayor's offices in the City Center. Here's me after I signed the pledge with the mayor last week:
6.Speaking of improving air quality, I went to a meeting last night in the city council chambers where we discussed Bus Rapid Transit coming to Provo. There has been a dispute about where it should go, but for the most part, we all agree we need it here. I hope we can move forward with the plans and improve our community, air and take advantage of economic development with the proposed plans for BRT.
7.Young and Divorced is a book about navigating divorce after a short time of marriage written by Samantha Kelly (now married into the terrific Kelly family from east Provo). I had an opportunity to preview the transcript earlier on, and I couldn't help but think about what it would've been like to read this book when I was going through my divorce. The message caters specifically to our Mormon culture and offers help and suggestions on how to use faith in this difficult time. Despite what we hope for in every marriage, divorce happens. Sometimes it happens sooner than later. This book helps remind and assure you that divorce doesn't make you a failed person, and you can get through it.
8. The good news is that I've found the perfect salsa. The even better news is that it's locally made here in the kitchen of Matt Jackson. The best news is that you can now buy it at Good Earth stores and Day's Market (if you can brave their horrid parking lot...). It's called Dr. J's Smart Salsa and it's really fresh cut, chunky, juicy (NOT watery), savory and it's loaded with vegetables. If you find yourself needing some good sauce this Superbowl Sunday, check it out:
9. The other day I got an email from the new owner of Nicolitalia's Pizza asking if I'd like to bring my family by to try their food. I had been to Nicolitalia's before, and I had heard from people in the pizza-know that it was the place for authentic Euro-Bostonian pizza but I had never really taken it seriously. The place was just purchased by Ellen and Marv Slovacek, the two most gregarious humans you can possibly know. When they bought the place it came with all of Nico's secret family recipes which were shared under the most thorough security checks and adhered to with reverence. ANYWAY, it was recommended that I try the margherita and oh my gosh, it was like eating the forbidden fruit--now I have knowledge between good and evil pizza. It was actually so luscious and juicy it was like biting into a ripe, sweet piece of produce. I couldn't believe it. Where have I been? Besides the pizza, we LOVED the bread sticks, the wings, and the secret dipping sauce--so secret and so delicious you think you've uncovered a mystery. While I'm thinking about it, I'll go back today and try the fresh cream cannolis...
They cater and deliver and I think you should indulge. It's award winning. It's here in Provo.
The margherita (credit: yelp):
p.s. This was as we were eating there the other night. I'm only showing you because I think my Anson is like the cutest pizza-eater in the world:
10. Back to the Provo Music Scene, there is going to be an incredible show at Velour this weekend featuring our best bands--Polytype and Mideau. Polytype plays electronica beats and Mideau is sort of electronica folk. I am the worst at coming up with words to describe music. So let me just say, it's going to be a really, really great show and you'll want to go. These two bands have potential to go big, and we all know the importance of "I knew them before they got popular" bragging rights. And plus, Mason Porter's falsetto in Polytype will start the season of romance up in your heart. Yessssssssssss.
p.s. I saw Imagine Dragons at Velour YEARS ago.
This show will likey sell-out so buy tickets now at Tickets at 24tix.com.
So there you have it. I am super pregnant right now and I'm prone to hang out on either side of the emotional spectrum, but don't think my excitement about this list is one bit induced. This stuff is solid.
I'll see you around town, I'll be the one waddling...