City Rivals









Sunny heat combined with a cool spring breeze is an awesome weather combo.

I relished in those very conditions as I sat out by the fountain at The Gateway Mall in downtown Salt Lake one day this week and watched as children splashed around while I ate my tasty take-out from Thaifoon.

What a beautiful day!

In fact, it was so nice I almost forgot I was in town to get my taxes done.

The ladies from the ABC TV show “Good Things Utah” were walking around the area with a camera guy in tow interviewing people about something or other.

I thought about nonchalantly moving closer to the action in case I might be randomly chosen. Then when I dazzled them with my on-camera presence and quick wit they would offer me a position to jam with them on the show.


The commute would bite.

I stayed put and enjoyed the scene from afar.

I did try to figure out what they were interviewing people about.

Maybe it was about whether or not they thought The Gateway was going to survive with the arrival of the flashy new kid down the block – City Creek Center.

There are a lot of vacant stores now, I noticed. It makes me sad.

City Creek is awesome, but I still like the good ol’ Gateway too.

I know what it feels like to be ditched for the new kid. When I was in 6th grade, my friend Dana and I were BFFs. Even though we knew we were too old for dolls, we both asked for “Kimberly” dolls for Christmas that year and spent hours styling their long blonde hair.

Then Heidi moved in.

She was new. She was too cool for dolls, even just to do their hair. Apparently she was too cool for me because she and Dana became thick as thieves within days of her arrival and everyone knows three’s a crowd, especially with girls.

I spent recess alone after that.

I looked at the empty stores at The Gateway and thought of those lonely recesses.

Isn’t there room for the old and the new?

Why couldn’t Dana be friends with both Heidi and me?

Why can’t SLC support both City Creek and Gateway?

Heidi ended up moving again after only a few months. Apparently her dad’s new job didn’t work out how they thought, so they were off again.

Dana sheepishly came crawling back.

By then I’d managed to form a new group of friends. There were four of us, which is a great dynamic because it’s an even number so no one gets left out, but there are combo options.

Dana tried to be a 5th wheel, but it didn’t take.

I felt bad, but I couldn’t just ditch and leave my new group as a doomed threesome.

Dana spent some lonely recesses eating humble pie, but eventually she made some new friends too.

It all works out in the end.

City Creek is new and fancy, but I think The Gateway still has a lot to offer. Winter Olympic 2002 memories alone have got to be worth something right?

I’ll remain loyal.

After all, City Creek doesn’t have “honey walnut shrimp.”

Not yet, anyway.

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