Wednesday, June 17, 2009
There's a neighborhood tucked away in a corner of Salt Lake City that I found by chance one afternoon while biking around. I'm not going to say I discovered it since all the businesses were in the phone book, and it's not like I planted a flag and claimed it for a king. It was a nice little strip of a few small restaurants and a couple bookshops. I asked a friend who lived in that neighborhood about the restaurants the next day at work, and he raved about them. Salt Lake's not a very big town, so I told him I was surprised I'd missed out on that bookshop until now. That's when he told me that the people who lived in that neighborhood had created some kind of zoning coalition that prevented those restaurants and stores from advertising. They wanted to keep the riffraff out and keep their little places to themselves. If I was a business owner on that block, I would have torched my shop and moved out of town with the insurance check. Those people moved to that corner of town partly for the neighborhood shops, and now they're preventing those people from running their businesses? Thank god I didn't work in one of those places, because I would have been frigid to every person who walked through the door. There would have been "locals-only" tax that all my neighbors would have to pay, and I would have started a guerilla marketing campaign to try to get a week-long carnival hosted on our block.