Monday, April 27, 2009

Construction Season

It's been a year round thing here in Salt Lake, the rebuilding of downtown has been an ongoing project for a while now.

They demolished the mall across from South Gate and are in the process of building an even bigger and better one. Or so they tell us. You can take a look at what they have planned here, and judge for yourself.

In the mean time we, along with the thousands of motorists and pedestrians who converge on the downtown area daily, are saddled with the inconvenience, noise and disruption that all the construction entails.

For example, this is the view from where we stage. For almost three years now we've had no streetlights on "our" side of South Temple. This is rather inconvenient for us; it makes filling out a credit card slip at night downright challenging. It also has reduced the amount of foot traffic we used to get from people wandering out of the mall.

Now, to further amp up the chaotic atmosphere, the church has decided to make improvements to the pavement in front of the south entrance to Temple Square. I've been told that this project is scheduled to run until August.

So, may I suggest that the next time you decide to visit you wear a hard hat. I expect Marky-Mark will figure out a way to fashion one for Rex.

I worked Saturday. Ro gave me a wedding at 1:30, the pickup was at West Gate and I was to drop them off at the Cathedral of the Madeline.

Tony looked fabulous, as usual, and the Tulips are in bloom. I left my "good" camera at home because the battery needed charging and grabbed my next best one which is a combo camera/digital recorder.

I would have liked to have gotten more pictures of the tulips but I ran out of memory.


I work Thursday night so I guess I'll get more shots then.

The bride and her father were late, but that's not unusual. They arrive at 1:38 and she said "We're supposed to be there by 2:00."

From West Gates, taking North Temple to avoid the construction, the distance is 6 ½ blocks. Let's see, at an average of five minutes per block…

Sure, my horse and carriage doubles as a rocket car…

I replied "Well, I'll do the best I can, but it's not like they'll start without you."

We did make it, just in time, Not only that but because it wasn't raining I left the top down. And we lucked out— it didn't begin raining until after I dropped the Bride and her father off and was halfway to South Gate. Then it rained on and off all afternoon and evening. Spring in Utah…yay.

I don't mind going out for early appointments— if you're lucky the extra time on the street gives you a slight advantage over the other drivers. In my case, between the wedding and the time the other drivers arrived at SG, I hooked one ride, so my advantage wasn't that huge overall, but I was still barn high because of RPRT.

The biggest disadvantage of being out early is you are almost always alone, which means the support system we rely on, the other drivers, is absent.

What this translates to is this: No potty break for you!

But Kar, also known as "BB, Darwin's Satanic Imp", stopped by before she went to the barn and spotted me for a pee, which was good because I'd gone out drinking Friday night with former slave drivers Wease, ~A~, Bill, and had consumed copious amounts of coffee all morning.

Anyway, what that brings me to is this:

Our little tribe wishing ~A~ a fond farewell at Murphy's Social Club, as she starts her new adventures living la vida loca in Las Vegas.

Obviously, there is a reason why we encourage the tourists to take photos of the horses, not the drivers...


Sagebrusheq said...

Construction obstruction? It couldn't possibly compare to the 5 years leading up to the Olympics. North, south, east, and west, everything was torn up at the same time, including the interstates. Eating my lunch on the roof of the Grand America (under construction) I counted over 20 cranes one day; and that was just the big ones within a few miles of downtown. Still, the carriages were running, or walking that would be.

Wish I were there now. I could use a shot in the arm, job wise. The malls are a pretty good gravy train.

Speaking of cathedrals, if your tours ever take you past the Greek Orthodox cathedral on 4th west, check out the doors. I hung all of them. The refurbished exterior doors weren't so bad, just heavy: they are rectangular and just needed to be refit into the old jambs. But the interior arched doors leading into the chapel were a bear. The jambs had to be built on site and the rixon closers, which are set in the concrete, leave no room for later adjustments. I burned weeks worth of hours on those alone. Just a little item you can add to your spiel.


Lisa Deon said...

How does it compare to B.O.?Couldn't say as I was living in Missouri then. BPA could tell ya, she's been driving carriage since the horse replaced the dinosaur...

I've been past that church. It's a beauty. Next time I'll take a closer look at the doors.

The part I think I most look forward to is this: Right across the street, everything above the
2nd floor is condo. So, the top floors are considered "Temple View" and are priced at around $2 million each. But guess what else they get a view of???

Carriage Drivers.


Belle's personal assistant said...

The biggest problem that I saw during Christmas when I did drive last is that so many fewer people are taking rides. Even in the pre olympic construction era we had more business. the construction has been on going since I started driving carriages in 1995. The JSB was under construction. The south west corner of main and south temple was torn down and rebuilt. Main street was turned into a park. Light rail was built. The South east corner of main and south temple was torn down. The tabernacle was refurbished. The great and spacious building was built. The tornado hit and destroyed the Delta center and the double tree or was it the radisson at the time? The Gateway was built. I am now rambling. But you see my point. IT NEVER ENDS IN UTAH. I don't live there anymore. Is there a correlation, probably not, but it sounds good.

Lisa Deon said...

BPA, we have all discussed this at legnth while standing around SG having much face time together. Used to be on a Thursday night we'd have 7 drivers out and everyone would have at least one ride. Three weeks ago on a Saturday there were 8 of us and I had 1. Very sad indeed, and we are all hoping that with the opening of the new mall business will pick up again as there will be an incentive for people to come downtown. Right now? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

Good post, as usual. And I love the photos. Golly, those are gorgeous fences, gates. I do love wrought iron, or here in Texas, rot arn. Very pretty horses. Mall? Have not been to one in years. I love botanical gardens. I'd come to see flars'n'stuff. Or ride in a splendiferous carriage. I'd feel like Cinderella, maybe Cindy's granny. Oh, go to Travis Irwin's blog and see the Maya Angelou poem for carnivores.

Anonymous said...

Tony makes the construction look so much better LOL.

One day Rex and I were working during the daytime and a helicopter decided to come up and start flying all these huge beams from one building to another. There's always something going on.