Mike Brown: Rose Park Life

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Photo: Andy Fitzgerrell

I recently moved away from the comfort and convenience of living Downtown to the Rose Park area, which is happily located north and west of Downtown. Most of my grown-up friends who aren’t total alcoholics and have managed to maintain a decent credit score and somehow pay off their student loans have bought houses out here. The neighborhood is gentrifying fast and definitely has an eclectic charm to it.

I really like it out here. It’s not like downtown Salt Lake is super noisy, but I used to live on a hospital route, and getting used to sleeping through ambulance sirens was par for the course. It’s quiet in Rose Park— all I hear are dogs a’ barking, lawns a’ mowing, and a creepy ice cream truck that passes my house several times a day.

The first things I noticed about the new neighborhood were the meth houses. Utah is known for excelling at a few things, like religious discrimination, great skiing and the awesome quality and quantity of our crystal meth. Most of the houses in the new hood are nice, but about every 10 houses, you have a dead lawn with a shitty car parked on it. Plus, there are a handful of libertarian left-wing gun-nut guys patrolling the block at night, keeping me safe, like the old guy who lives across the street from me. When the cops approach him, he’s like, “Don’t you see the flag in front of my house? I’m an American! And I have the right to swing this rifle around and protect my property!”—which is pretty awesome.

As far as my other neighbors go, right across the fence in my backyard is a tent with people living in it instead of in the house. I call them Tent People. Apparently, this is a real issue in Rose Park, and I’ve been watching them on my backyard smoke breaks for a bit now, and they are clearly living there. I realized this for sure when I noticed that they were watching Netflix in their tent the other night. That’s not camping at all.

The Tent People living in my neighbor’s yard also have a couple of pit bulls, which is definitely the dog of choice in Rose Bark. Personally, I hate pit bulls—not because of the breed (I know they always say blame the owners, not the breed, when it comes to pit bulls being violent and stupid). I hate most people that own pit bulls, so it’s no surprise to me that the Tent People have a couple. Maybe they are just practicing for Burning Man or something. Either way, I’m just glad that they haven’t come over to my new place with a fruit basket, introducing themselves as my new neighbors … who live in a tent … and watch Netflix. I’ll be interested to see what they do come winter.

One thing I got way too comfortable with by living right Downtown was the abundance of coffee shops. The problem is that there is seriously nowhere in the new hood to get a decent iced Americano. On the bright side, with all the money I’m saving by not hitting a drive-thru coffee shop every day, I’ll have enough dough to buy a pony at the end of the summer. However, there is a little market close to the house— their coffee is shitty, but I’ll take what I can get.

I call it the Quickie Mart because the place doesn’t seem to really have a name. They sell your basic grocery necessities and crack pipes. It’s like a 7-Eleven with a shitty head shop attached to it. Obviously, I love going there. The people-watching in the place is amazing. I once saw a tweaker trying to return his used meth pipe, claiming it didn’t get him high enough. You can’t pay enough for that kind of entertainment while standing in line, buying some cheap beer and a bag of chips. My roommate hates the Quickie Mart, though, because one time the clerk tried to sell him some of those knockoff Viagra boner pills.

After several trips to the Quickie Mart, I realized I probably should figure out what the neutral gang colors are in my new neighborhood. I would hate to get accidentally capped for claiming the wrong set unintentionally. I put out a Facebook post asking if any of my Rose Park friends knew what I should be wearing. The best comment was rose pink. Other suggestions were to wear red and blue at the same time, a soft salmon color—or a Lakers jersey, which would never happen. I’ve opted for all Utah Jazz gear to keep me safe, which is pretty much what I wear all the time anyway.

Despite the lack of coffee or bars within walking distance, I like it here. The neighbors are nice, there’s a bike trail that leads straight to a liquor store by my house, and the tacos are phenomenal. All I have to do is keep an eye on the Tent People, and it’s all good in the hood.

  • Norma R Hernandez

    Welcome to the Park… Rose Park. ?

  • Zyne Mondragon

    Anyone else get annoyed reading this lame ass review? There’s a ton of spelling errors and you can read the white boy privilege in the lines (not between) pretty clearly. Go to Mestizo’s Coffeehouse mike.

  • Zyne Mondragon

    This guy’s review was all based from what he could see from his backyard and his trip to the quicky mart. He didn’t bother to actually go to a community event, or visit the Boys and Girls club, go to the library, the park, nothing. He just made a bunch of simple minded observations without stopping to ask why that might be. Like the people living in the tent in the back yard. Someone who cares about writing and true journalism would have probably talked to them. He could have introduced himself, asked them about there lives, how they got there, if it was temporary, what goals they did have. Most likely he would have gotten to know a nice family struggling to make it, and a damn good story with some actual insight into what might be happening in the community, or just some random ass people who like doing that in the summer. Either way, this guy gave a really dumb, flat, and rude review. Seriously, there are many instances where he comes off condescending, opinionated, and arrogant.
    ” I hate most people that own pit bulls, so it’s no surprise to me that the Tent People have a couple.”
    What the shit is that? Does that belong in a review of a community?
    SLUG, get someone who actually knows something about writing to write your reviews. Or Fuck, who the F is the editor at the Magazine? Another dumb privileged SOB? Sorry FB, just got mad rereading this lame ass review.

  • Dave

    Sounds like a review from a typical superficial Utah native, with no real exposure to the real world.

    • Zyne Mondragon

      I agree!

  • Damita Tovar

    This is a terrible article and I’m surprised to see SLUG release it. This is a bad example of journalism, lots of assumptions made about the things you saw from your backyard or a trip to a quickie mart, or dumb stereotypes you already live by. Did you once talk to the “tent people?” Did you happen to see if it was a meth addict who lived in the run down home? Or could it have been an elderly person who isn’t mobile and cant maintain the yard? Or a family who has to rent a run down home while trying to get back on their feet? You seem to make a lot of assumptions and a good journalist would have looked into it and tried to get to know the neighborhood, not just only go out when necessary and not interact with others in the community. You see poverty and you automatically search for the criminal aspect of stereotypes instead of seeing the tight knit community mindset that also comes with a town or city that has a high level of poverty. They are all sharing the same struggle and trying to aspire to more and they have people like you being crass and judgmental of their journey who could care less about finding out who they are or what they’re about instead, stand at a distance and look upon them with disgust. I’d have to agree with the other commenters and say you seem to be a privileged kid who moved to a diverse neighborhood and can’t deal with the lack of coffee shops.

  • Gina

    Seriously, SLUG? You assign someone to write about one of the most diverse, culturally rich, wonderful areas of the city, and this is the result? Mike Brown writes like an arrogant, wanna be hipster with an eighth grade education. Even if this is interpreted as a satirical piece, it’s complete shit, and not even entertaining to read. At least get a writer with a modicum of talent.

  • Tanya

    I think you should try to return your crackpipe & return to downtown. You obviously are quick to spot a crackhouse so Pioneer park would be a perfect place to live for you.

  • P Larsen

    This isn’t even journalism. This is useless drivel, and it’s not even true. This is obviously a privileged white boy trying to be edgy by moving to another neighborhood and bagging on his neighbors. SLUG, you should be embarrassed by this.

  • UtahLove

    Please leave The RP you are no longer welcome.

  • I grew up in Rose Park. My family moved in 1975 when I was 15. It’s changed a bit since then. The only thing I have a problem with Mike Brown’s article is his backhanded insult to the predominant religion. Cheap shots like that lose my interest and attention and label you as a petty whiner and someone who really should go somewhere that can make you happy.