Cinematic Utah: Beyond Cinedome

Previously: Northern Utah Triple Feature

We have driven to both ends of the state over the last few weeks, giving me the opportunity to photograph a few more old theaters along the way. As I progress further into this little odyssey, I am starting to feel pangs of regret that I didn't ever go to see movies at some of these places before they closed, particularly the Cinedome 70 in Riverdale. It is such an unusual structure. I imagine its large, curved screens must have offered a very unique movie going experience. Have any of our readers out there ever seen a movie at the Cinedome?

Cinedome 70 #1 // Riverdale // 5.15.10

Cinedome 70 #2 // Riverdale // 5.15.10

Main Street Theatre #1 // Beaver // 5.17.10

Main Street Theatre #2 // Beaver // 5.17.10

Cedar City Twin Theatre #1 // Cedar City // 5.22.10

Cedar City Twin Theatre #2 // Cedar City // 5.22.10


We Heart More Pizza

As promised, here is a continuation of my pizza ponderings brought on by the Travel Channel a few months back.

New York Pizza Company
8208 Gorgoza Pines Rd, Park City

First off, NYPC is not to be confused with NYPD from my first pizza list. Just take a look at those logos. See? Totally different. Okay, okay, this place is, in fact, pretty much identical to NYPD (not to mention Big Apple and Este). But hey, the more the merrier as far as I'm concerned. So next time you're shopping at the Kimball Junction outlets and start to hanker a floppy, foldable slice of heaven, just remember New York Pizza Company is only a few miles up Parley's Canyon off the Jeremy Ranch exit.

Pizzeria 712
320 S State Street #185, Orem

Taking "local" to the next level, Pizzeria 712 uses locally farmed produce, meats and cheeses whenever possible, and their menu changes regularly based on what's in season. We tried the margherita pizza and speck pizza, both of which were excellent. At one point I had to briefly pause from eating while I held up a slice to marvel at its paper thin center and bubbly, perfectly charred outer crust. Yes, unfortunately it's in Orem. But since readers of a Utah County newspaper once voted Panda Express best Chinese food in the valley, perhaps they need to experience a higher standard of dining. The atmosphere tips toward upscale, so Kristen and I felt slightly embarrassed by Eddie's antics (loudly chanting "pizza!" and repeatedly asking "wazzat?" as he pointed at other patrons). As such, Pizzeria 712 might be better suited as a date night destination while the kiddies stay home.

Settebello Pizzeria Napoletana
260 S 200 W, Salt Lake

Here you can find a brick oven pie similar to Pizzeria 712—charred and bubbly crust topped with sparing yet bold flavor combinations. But Settebello goes beyond the many regional styles of pizza. In fact, they go all the way back to Napoli, Italy where pizza was first created. So says their menu, “Our pizzas adhere to the strict standards set forth by the Verace Pizza Napoletana. The VPN was established by pizza makers in Napoli, Italy to protect the origins and integrity of pizza as it has been made in Napoli for over 200 years.” Translation: this is how pizza was meant to be made.

Sweet Home Chicago
11587 S District Main Dr, South Jordan
1442 Draper Parkway, Draper

When it comes to Chicago-style pizza, most people's first thoughts (mine included) run to deep dish. And Sweet Home Chicago does make a monster deep dish stuffed pizza. The cheese and toppings are situated between two layers of crust while the sauce resides on top. Weighing in at four plus pounds, this is a knife and fork pizza if there ever was one. What I didn't realize until reading their menu is that Chicago also has a popular thin crust pizza, though it is a little different than New York-style. The crust is crispier, flakier, more pastry-like, and the pie is cut into squares instead of slices. But you don't have to choose between deep dish and thin crust. Every Tuesday after 5:00 is Buy 1 Get 1 Free night, so you can get one of each.


What Happened in Vegas, Pt. 2

Eddie doesn't get to see his Andrews cousins very much since they live in Cedar City, so he quite enjoyed getting to spend some quality time with Dax and Riley (and Logann, not pictured).

Let me just tell you, we really struggled finding our way around town. Our convoy of cars made a lot of U-turns over the course of the trip. As we drove around trying to find the Mandalay Bay parking garage so we could visit the Shark Reef Aquarium within, Eddie got so agitated that he ended up being a wreck the whole time we were there. Too bad for him, he missed out on a lot of cool marine life.

He seemed to have more fun in the gift shop.

The condo pool provided a welcome respite from the craziness of The Strip.

In our quest to find family friendly attractions, we heard about a "pirate show" performed regularly in front of Treasure Island. All kids love pirates, right? Plus it was free, so it seemed like a no brainer.

Well, this show was kind of like pirates crossed with the Spice Girls. Words cannot describe how excruciating it was, with poor lip syncing, lousy choreography, and groan-inducing double entendres. At least it was relatively short, only claiming 15 minutes of our lives. Eddie's expression says it all.

Our final activity of the trip was going to see Bodies: The Exhibition at the Luxor. It is similar to other shows like Body Worlds, where preserved human bodies are displayed, highlighting the various bodily systems. Pretty interesting stuff.

What better way to conclude this series than with Mini Elvis cutting in on a Stormtrooper's would be street corner photo-ops. It's not the greatest photo since I snapped it with my camera dangling around my neck while walking, but it sums up Las Vegas nicely. Such a warped place. It was an enjoyable few days, but I can't say we're in a hurry to go back any time soon.


What Happened in Vegas, Pt. 1

The last vacation Kristen's family took together was the summer before we got married. Pretty much every year since then, her parents have talked about taking another trip with everyone, but it has never materialized. All manner of excuses have been presented, from having babies to not having enough money to just not being able to get everyone's schedules to align. I just figured it must be me since they stopped taking them as soon as I joined the family.

Six years later, I guess they finally figured I'm not going anywhere so they might as well start having family vacations again. It was decided that we would all spend a few days together in Las Vegas. We arrived in town late Tuesday afternoon. We didn't do too much the first night other than getting checked in to our condo, driving around in circles searching for some dinner, and taking a dip in the pool.

Wednesday we set out to find the Lied Discovery Children's Museum. After driving in a few more circles, we finally arrived at our destination. The museum featured plenty of hands-on exhibits, and the kids seemed to really enjoy themselves. The adults managed to have a little fun too.

Eddie spent the majority of his time at this exhibit. You place the ball in the tube, it gets sucked upward, then it rolls back down a series of chutes and ramps. Perhaps we need to install something like this at home because I'm pretty sure it could entertain him for hours.

Next we headed to The Strip to check out M&M's World. I was a little disappointed that it turned out to just be a giant store and nothing more, but it did offer us a welcome refuge from the Las Vegas heat.

As we were leaving, in one of those moments that parents would never go for without grandparental encouragement/funding, Eddie and his cousins posed together in an M&M's photo booth. For the low price of $5 we ended up with a washed out print of the kids looking at the booth curtain instead of the camera (but with an M&M's-themed background!). Totally worth it, right Grandma Andrews?

Since it was right next door to M&M's World, we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. The food itself was good, but the visit wasn't made complete until I spotted The Edge's "Mr. The Edge" muscle shirt from U2's PopMart tour on the wall across the restaurant.

The fountains at the Bellagio provided a fitting capper for our first full day, even if they weren't weren't nearly as impressive as what I remember from the end of Ocean's Eleven.

To be continued...


A Very Special Birthday

This past Saturday we had a 90th birthday party for my Grandma Jones. My mom was the principle mastermind of the event, so she recruited me to design a few things for it.

The main project was a book of posterity. Everyone in the family sent me photos, and I laid out pages for all of Grandma and Grandpa's kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.

I am expecting everyone to be able to fill out a four generation pedigree chart of my family after this post.

"Presented to Ellen Gardner Jones in honor of her 90th birthday - May 29, 2010"

After a nice dinner, the Logan Canyon Winds came to perform two pieces of music that my Grandma's brother had commissioned in honor of their mother, or my Great Grandmother.

I designed a program for the performance, which also included a short profile about my Grandma and her mom. Happy birthday, Grandma!


Evolution of the Bat

It's been a while since I have posted anything Batman-related. No, I haven't written 1000+ words about the animated movie Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (yet). My friend Ben sent me this very cool look at the Bat logo over the years. It's pretty amazing how malleable this iconic mark has been, much like the character himself. Which one is your favorite?


Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day I made Kristen waffles for breakfast, grilled chicken sandwiches for dinner, and did my best to wrangle Eddie so she could enjoy a stress-free day. Then we spent a pleasant evening over at Oquirrh Lake.

Mother and child give their best contemplative stare off into the distance.

As we sat out on the dock, I dipped my big toe in the lake to test the temperature (it was very cold). Of course Eddie immediately wanted to follow suit. Kristen looked on nervously as I firmly held him around the waist and he splashed to his heart's content.

We were enjoying a peaceful lakeside stroll, at least until Eddie refused to walk and made us carry him.

Eventually we made our way over to a bridge so we could engage in the grand old tradition of throwing sticks into the water.

Just what is going on in that two year old mind of his? The meaning of life? Gratitude for his loving parents and their willingness to carry him? Searching in vain for some stray "dip dip" on his upper lip?


Six Years and Counting

Kristen and I celebrated our sixth anniversary on Friday. In the afternoon we took Eddie to the zoo (romantic, I know). Meeting us for the trip were my sister Christie and her three boys.

As we were finishing up at the zoo, Eddie went straight for his favorite ball fountain. This photo really captures the frenzy that ensued. After a few minutes of splashing, Eddie had thoroughly soaked himself, just in time for us to hand him off to Christie so we could go to dinner.

We then went a few miles up Emigration Canyon to Ruth's Diner. I find it fascinating that you can live in a certain area for so long and never know about a place like this. It has only been since we have started to become more versed in the local food culture that we have heard about Ruth's. The restaurant itself is a converted trolley car—a great atmosphere to enjoy some quality diner food.

After some deliberation I ordered the Cajun Bacon Bleu Burger. I have noticed that a burger can often be measured by how good the bacon is. In this case it was exceptionally thick and crispy. Likewise, the patty was perfectly charred, and the bun was soft and fresh. I upgraded to onion rings, and was glad I did. Meanwhile, Kristen went for the decidedly not low fat fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and loved every minute of it.

After dinner, we headed down to Temple Square. We shared a few laughs as we overheard a geeky Mormon street band performing outside of Deseret Book on South Temple. We were also sure to admire the flowers, which were much more impressive than the day we got married, having just endured a hail storm.

Finally, we stopped at Maggie Moo's in Sugar House to get some ice cream before picking up Eddie. After Christie raved about how well he had behaved all evening, Eddie serenaded us with screams the whole way home, bringing us swiftly back to reality.


Ten Things...

...I Learned From Bailey's Moving & Storage

Once upon a time I spent my summers between school years as a "professional" mover. This past week Salt City has been moving offices, so I have had to put aside my busy slate of designing sexy vampire candles and return to my manual labor roots. Let's just say a lot of repressed memories have started to surface.

10. The only training necessary to become a bonafide professional mover is to watch a 30 minute video, after which a supervisor will tell you to disregard half of it.

9. It's never good to be the fifth man stuffed into a two man truck cab, especially when the other four are Tongans.

8. If the dispatcher tries to recruit you for a "small" office move at 3:00 on Friday afternoon, run like hades.

7. Avoid eye contact with the 80-year-old curmudgeon who refuses to retire. He's just looking for some young whipper snapper to lecture.

6. Two out of the top three ugliest people in the world are Bailey's employees (Randy Johnson is the third).

5. Sure, smoking might be bad for you, but you get to take twice as many breaks.

4. How to prepare an authentic Tongan meal: Buy a whole rotisserie chicken, a loaf of french bread, and a 12 pack of Mountain Dew. No utensils required. Feeds one.

3. Moving always takes longer than you anticipate.

2. The only way a 17 hour work day can get any worse is the sad realization as you are driving home at 11:30 p.m. that it is also your birthday.

1. The importance of going to college and finding a real career.


Krissy's Crude Cross-Stitchery

A few years ago, when I asked my brother Jason what he wanted for Christmas, he answered (with surprisingly little hesitation) that he wanted a sign to put by the front door of his apartment that said "Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya." He may or may not have been joking, but since that was the only idea he gave us, I decided to take him up on it.

Dave and I put our heads together to make the most awfully awesome sign we could. Cross stitching seemed the natural way to go. I did the type in old english, and we picked out a horrendous gold frame. Dave even came up with a custom illustration.

Jason loved the sign so much that when he bought a house recently he requested another one. This time he wanted a sign that said "Watch where you're going" to go (where else?) over the toilet. Dave didn't do an illustration this time (I'm sure you can understand why), but he did provide a "splashy" flourish.

I think this could turn into a lucrative side business. Send in your requests and I'll see what I can do.