A Diversity of Vegan Dining in Salt Lake City

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

Salt Lake City offers a diversity of vegan restaurants.  If you ever wondered what a vegan eats, the SLC VegFest would give you some ideas.  The 3rd annual SLC VegFest organized by the Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) was held at Salt Lake City Main Library Plaza on Saturday, September 8.  The event offered a kids’ area, live music, beer garden, cooking demonstration, a film showing, and expert speakers.

Vegan Panini’s, gyros, crepes, ice cream, pastries and much more was available to purchase from food trucks, bakeries and local restaurants.  It was a great opportunity to try many different options all in one place.

 

Diversity-Vegan-Dining-Salt-Lake-City

 

The event is attended by thousands of people each year, and continues to grow.  Many people are interested in learning more about vegan diets, whether for ethical reasons, environmental concerns, or for improving one’s health.

A Vegan Kids Panel featuring children ranging in age from 5 to 17 responded to questions about being vegan and how they handle different situations when eating at school, attending birthday parties, social events, and while traveling.  They also shared their experiences when celebrating holidays, such as Halloween and Thanksgiving.  They offered tips about prepping food for the week, and easy food to take on the go.  One of the panelists stated that a friend asked her if she just ate grass.  Although none of the children ate grass, they did share what their favorite foods were, and several stated that they enjoyed preparing food at home themselves.

Whether you prefer American classics, Italian, Mexican, or Asian dishes, Salt Lake City has many vegan options for dining out.  UARC has a free SLC Veg Dining Guide which can be found at many local businesses, or can be downloaded from their website. Their Dining Guide identifies restaurants that are entirely vegan, vegetarian and those are who UARC partners (providing special offers or discounts to UARC members).

 

 

Posted on September 8, 2018 at 9:14 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Food, Salt Lake City | Tagged , ,

Take a Seat on the Living Room Hiking Trail

Sandstone slabs made into furniture

Sandstone Furniture on the Living Room Trail makes a comfortable seat to relax and enjoy the panoramic views of Salt Lake City.

 

The Living Room Hiking Trail offers a short, but challenging hike for beautiful views overlooking Salt Lake City.  The trail is approximately 2.5 miles roundtrip. The elevation at the start of the trailhead is 5,000 feet with an elevation gain of 967 feet.  Dogs are permitted on this trail.

 

How to get there

From Foothill Drive, turn right onto Wakara Way and then right on to Colorow Road.  The trailhead is on the east side of the street.  Parking is available on both sides of the street.

Trailhead coordinates: 40.759301, – 111.8211300

Living Room coordinates: 40.763196, – 111.811905

 

take-a-seat-living-room-hiking-trail-john-hamilton-homes

 

The start of the trail offers some shade, but most of the trail does not.  Be prepared to bring a hat, protection from the sun and plenty of water.  I also recommend using hiking poles, not only because it is easier on your joints when you are walking; but they can also be used as a splint or crutches in an emergency.

 

Take-a-Seat-on the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

There are multiple hiking and biking trails that split off which can be confusing for some people who are looking for the Living Room Trail.  When you see the pipeline marker 174, you are heading towards George’s Hollow be sure to continue east (towards the mountain).  When you reach the wooden post (photo is taken facing west) you will see two paths.  Take the path on the right and continue heading east.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

The trail varies from dirt, gravel to rocky areas.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

The Living Room is a great spot to relax, eat a snack and take in the view of the city.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

At this point, most people make the return trip back.  However, if you would like a longer adventure there are many other trails to explore.

 

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

Take-a-Seat-on-the-Living-Room-Hiking-Trail

 

You may want to consider beginning your hike an hour before sunset for a stunning view.  Be sure to bring a headlamp or flashlight if you will be hiking down after sunset.  You may want to hike the trail during different seasons for a great display of wildflowers or fall colors.

 

 

Posted on August 13, 2018 at 2:50 am
John Hamilton | Category: Outdoor Living, Places to visit, Salt Lake City

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

From flag raisings, breakfasts, races, parades, games, entertainment and fireworks there are plenty of activities to celebrate from dawn through dark on the 4th of July in and around Salt Lake County.  Here are some of them.  If you know of any others, please add them in the comment section.

Jordan Park – 1060 South 900 West, Salt Lake City.  Fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm at the North end of the park.

Magna Copper Park – 8950 W 2600 S, Magna, UT, Flag Ceremony at 7:00 am, Lions Club Breakfast from 7:00 am–11:00 am.  5K Fun Run at 7:30 am.  Watch the parade at noon on Main Street and return to Magna Copper Park for games and inflatables from 2:30 to 10:00 pm.  Music from 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and fireworks beginning at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

Riverton – 12830 South 1700 West, Riverton, Utah.  July 4, Bike and running races, 10K, 5K, 1-Mile, and the Tour De Riverton bike race.  Chuck Wagon Breakfast from 7 am to 10 am.  Games, food and activities at the Riverton City Park throughout the day.  Fireworks begin at 10:00 pm.

Sandy City Hall – 10000 S. Centennial Parkway, Sandy.  Flag Raising and National Anthem at 6:50 am followed by a 5K.  Games, inflatables, crafts, food, and entertainment from 10 am to 10 pm. Fireworks Sky Concert at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

South Salt Lake Freedom Festival –Wednesday, July 4, the day kicks off with the 5K/Fun Run at 8 am.  At 9:30 am the Parade will make its way to Fitts Park, 3050 South 500 East, South Salt Lake; where the Freedom Festival will run from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Thanksgiving Point’s Electric Park, Wednesday, July 4 from 4:00 pm to Midnight at 3003 Thanksgiving Way, Lehi, Utah.  Music, games, prizes, concessions and vendors.  Fireworks start at 10:00 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

West Jordan – 8000 S. Redwood Road, West Jordan, Utah.  Watch the Grand Parade as it makes its way from City Hall to 7000 South from 10:30 am to noon.   Carnival and park activities including entertainment stage at the Veterans Memorial Park at 8030 S 1825 W from noon to 11:00 pm. Fireworks start at 10:15 pm.

Where to go for 4th of July Celebrations

The noise from fireworks can be frightening to pets

If you have pets – it is best to plan to leave your pet at home.  Fireworks can be very frightening to animals and cause them to run away.  Be sure that their micro chip has been updated with current contact information in the event they do become lost.  Be sure to check your yard and other areas where they walk or play for leftover fireworks debris, which can be dangerous if your pet plays or tries to eat it.

Posted on June 20, 2018 at 10:33 am
John Hamilton | Category: Holidays, Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , , ,

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Whether the Wasatch Front is where you live or if you are planning a visit, there are plenty of activities going on in and around Salt Lake City that are fun and free or low cost to participate in.

This is the Place Heritage Park  2601 E Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.  Hours are from 10 am to 5 pm.  There are over 50 historic homes and buildings to visit.   On Huntsman Day, (scheduled on June 15th this year) admission is free for everyone thanks to a grant from the Huntsman family.  What could be better than free admission?  How about a free ice cream cone?

Salt Lake Gallery Stroll Do you appreciate viewing Art?  Would you enjoy speaking with the artists?  The Gallery Stroll is scheduled on the 3rd Friday of every month; except for in December, when it is held on the 1st Friday of the month.  Here is the list for June’s Gallery Stroll.  It is a free event.

Cool Air Concert Series Plaza Deck, Snowbird Center 9385 S Snowbird Center Dr.  Snowbird, Utah 84092.  Bring your lawn chairs and coolers for a free concert every Saturday beginning June 16 through August 11 and enjoy a free concert with local and national bands.

Mondays in the Park in front of the Chase Home Museum in Liberty Park 600 East 900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84105.  Listen to folk and ethnic music and dance on selected Monday evenings during July and August.  Pack a picnic, blankets or lawnchairs to enjoy the free performances.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Red Butte Garden  300 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 has six scheduled days  for free admission every year.  Take a relaxing walk among the beautiful botanical garden.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

International Peace Gardens 1060 S 900 W (Inside Jordan Park).  The cultural diversity of 28 nations represented through native plantings and garden architecture.  Open year round, free.

Natural History Museum of Utah 301 Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108  has four scheduled days every year for free admission.

Hogle Zoo  2600 E Sunnyside Ave, Salt Lake City, UT 84108.   Military Appreciation Day is on July 4, 2018 free admission for service men and women, their spouses and their children under age 18.

How to Have Fun in Salt Lake City without Busting your Budget

Wheeler Historic Farm 6351 South 900 East, Murray, UT.  Visit this 19th century working farm for free, year round.  Walk through the 40 acres of woods.  There are fees for wagon rides, milking the cows and special events.

See free screening of dramatic, documentary, and independent films at venues including the Salt Lake City Library, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Utah Museum of Fine Arts and other locations throughout the state.  See the Utah Film Center’s schedule for upcoming films.

Children can get a ZAP summer passport at the Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County or Murray city libraries for free and discounted destinations to enjoy throughout the summer.

Posted on June 14, 2018 at 5:39 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , ,

The Jordan River Parkway – a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway is an urban park with a network of non-motorized trails that runs along the Jordan River.  The Jordan River flows north from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake wetlands, through Utah, Salt Lake and Davis counties.  The concept for the Jordan River Parkway was developed in the 1970’s to address flood-control, but also included opportunities for recreational use.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Bicyclists, walkers and runners enjoy the trail.

The mixed-use trail is used by bicyclists, runners, skaters and walkers.  There is also a separate equestrian trail.  Dogs are permitted on-leash.  Picnic areas as well as playgrounds can be found at various points along the trail.  With the beautiful backdrop, it is not unusual to come across artists sketching or painting the scenery.  Whether you prefer early morning, day time, or evening use, it is a perfect way to relax in nature without leaving the city.  There is no charge for day use or parking.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Fishing at the Jordan River Parkway

For some people, the Jordan River Parkway is a perfect place to relax and catch dinner.  If you are fishing  in the Jordan River, be sure to follow the general statewide regulations.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

Hundreds of species of plants and animals can be found along the Jordan River Parkway’s ecosystem.  It is the perfect place for birding.  These are some of the birds that can be commonly found at the Jordan River Parkway.  In addition, you may see a variety of reptiles, amphibians and mammals.

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway - a network of trails

The Jordan River Parkway Trail Bridge

In November, 2017 a 120-foot arch bridge over rail yards was completed to enable existing trails to be connected, providing more than 100 miles of continuous off-street paved trail for bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.  It doesn’t matter at what point you enter the trail, or the path that you take, you are sure to find a fun time.

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 7:33 am
John Hamilton | Category: Outdoor Living, Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Owl About Tracy Aviary

Birds at Tracy Aviary, Sun Conure, Andean Condor, Peacock

The Owl Forest, Treasures of the Rainforest, King of the Andes, and Pelican Pond are among some of the exhibits you will encounter as you stroll through the eight acres of garden paths, groves of trees and streams inside of Tracy Aviary. Don’t be surprised if you see Andy, the Andean Condor, taking a walk around the grounds.  Andy was born in 1959 and is the oldest bird at the aviary and is very popular with the guests. He even has his own Facebook page.

Tracy Aviary landscape, trees, native flowers and streams

Tracy Aviary sits on the southwest corner of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tracy Aviary is celebrating its 80th birthday this year.  In 1938, Russell Lord Tracy, a local banker, donated his collection of 200 birds for the children of Salt Lake City to enjoy.  Currently, the aviary maintains a collection of approximately 400 birds representing 135 species.  Several of the bird species participate in their Species Survival Plan; which is a breeding program to promote genetic diversity in captive animal populations.  A portion of every admission or membership purchased is directed to their conservation fund which supports conservation projects throughout North and South America.

grove of trees at Tracy Aviary

Open year round, and great to visit during any season, I particularly enjoy visiting during the winter when it is less crowded.  There are opportunities for child and adult volunteers to participate in the bird shows. Also, at scheduled times, the bird keepers are available to share facts and stories about birds such as the Guam Kingfishers, Chilean Flamingos, King Vultures, Keas and others.

Sun Conure perched on finger at Tracy Aviary

For an additional fee ($2 for members, $3 for non-members) visitors can feed Sun Conures or Pelicans.  Tickets are limited for the feedings, so be sure to get yours in advance, if you would like to participate.  I held a small container of chopped blueberries for the Sun Conures to eat.  It isn’t unusual to have several perch on your arm to feed from the container.

Pelicans preening under the shade of a tree

When feeding the Pelicans, you will receive a small container of fish.  The price of the ticket is for the container of fish—which you could share the experience with others.  Some of the younger children were a little hesitant to touch the fish, while others were delighted to toss the fish gently underhand and watch the pelicans skillfully catch their meal.

Feed Fish to the Pelicans

If you enjoy an early morning walk, you can meet in front on the Aviary near the gift shop at 8am on Wednesdays to go on a free bird walk around Liberty Park.  Binoculars are not necessary, but be sure to bring them, if you have them, and learn about the birds you might encounter in your own back yard.

Tracy Aviary also offers workshops, volunteer opportunities, Nature in the City programs for families, summer camps and much more.

Posted on March 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Places to visit, Salt Lake City | Tagged , ,

Glass Recycling is Gaining Momentum in Utah

With the rattling and screeching sounds of the L train above, I pulled the red wagon behind me along the streets in my Chicago neighborhood.  I was on a mission to find as many discarded bottles as possible.  At five years old, I was already a seasoned trader.  Trading bottles for cash was the way I funded my stamp collection.  If I was lucky, and found enough bottles, after buying stamps, I would splurge and buy a bar of the finest chocolate from Pennsylvania for a nickel.

Before WWII, refillable glass bottles were expensive to make and beverage industries had incentive to have their bottles returned.  As technology evolved and new containers became cheaper “No Deposit, No Return” was stamped on bottles, and consumers readily embraced the convenience of disposables.

Growing concerns about litter resulted in some states introducing bottle deposit bills, but they have been met by opposition by the beverage industry and grocers.  Currently a handful of states have bottle bills, but most do not.

Utah does not have a bottle bill.  However, there is a company that is diverting glass from the landfill.  Recently I was able to ask a few questions to Rosemary Washington, Momentum Recycling Community Outreach and Master Recycler.

How long has Momentum been recycling glass?

Washington:  Momentum has been recycling glass since 2012.  We service the Wasatch Front from Logan to Provo and from West Jordan to Park City, even as far as Jackson Hole, WY.

How much glass is recycled by Momentum in a year?

Washington:  We currently process about 1,200 TONS of glass per month, so that’s a whopping 14,400 TONS per year!

What kind of glass can be recycled?  Are there any kinds that cannot?   

Washington:  Most of your household glass can be recycled:  bottles, jars, broken windows.  The few exceptions that cannot be recycled include light bulbs, mirrors, automotive windshields, Pyrex, ceramics and porcelain.

Does the glass need to be separated by color?

Washington:  We take all colors of glass, and it does not need to be separated.  Momentum has an Optic Scanner that does all that for you.

Is it necessary to remove labels or wash the glass before recycling?

Washington:  Don’t waste water taking off labels or cleaning out jars.  The recycling process takes care of that.  However, you must remove lids and corks.  Lids can go in your recycling can and Momentum collects corks, so you can bring those in every 6 months or so or as needed.

How do I find locations in the community where I can bring my glass to be recycled?

Washington:  If you go to our website:  momentumrecycling.com , you can find the nearest drop-off location to you.  We have them all throughout the valley.  Our newest drop-off is conveniently located at the Wine Store at 280 Harris Avenue in SLC.

What other options are there for recycling glass for homes, apartment complexes, or businesses?

Washington:  We provide Curbside Pickup for those residential customers who enjoy that convenience.  We currently serve all of SLC, and many areas in Salt Lake County.  We are continually enlarging our service area for curbside pickup.   We now have 6,000 curbside subscribers.

Why is it important to recycle glass rather than throw it away?

Washington:  Besides the jobs that recycling creates, glass is the one recyclable that can be recycled over and over.  It takes so much less energy to recycle a bottle than to make one from raw materials.  It is estimated that recycling one bottle can save enough energy to power a tv set for 1.5 hours.   Not only that, but CO2 is dramatically decreased by recycling.  Given Utah’s notoriously bad air quality, this should be a motivating factor for everybody with lungs.  ANYTHING we can do to increase Utah’s air quality is worthwhile.  Worth noting is that glass does not break down in the landfill, so every glass jar that’s thrown in there is driving the landfill that much closer to capacity.  And, let me tell you… a new landfill, plus all the gas to haul the trash even further west, will not be cheap.  Let’s do what we can to extend the life of the landfill we do have.

Can you describe how you became interested in recycling?

Washington:  I read a book several years ago called Garbology and I have been a recyclopath ever since!  I was excited to get a job with Momentum 5 years ago when it was just getting off the ground.  Partnering with Jason Utgaard, Momentum’s Marketing Manager (and owner of the website thespotteddoor.com which sells products made using recycled materials), we have worked very hard to get the curbside program going.  Like I mentioned earlier, we are up to 6,000 now from the 200 we were at 5 years ago.  I’m proud of the work we’ve done with the help of some dynamic college students.

To find a drop off location near you, or to sign up for the curbside service go to the Momentum Recycling website.

 

 

Posted on March 5, 2018 at 11:16 am
John Hamilton | Category: Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , ,

Granite Legacy Is Breaking Ground with Zero Energy Ready Homes

Ground has been broken for the first three of seventy-six homes to be built in the Granite Legacy development on the south end of property where Granite High School once stood.  The beloved high school opened in 1907 and closed its door following the commencement ceremonies for the class of 2009.  Many notable students graduated during the 102 years that the school was open, including Leigh Harline from the class of 1925 who won an Academy Award in 1940 for Best Song “When You Wish upon a Star”.

Wasatch Developments and Garbett Homes purchased the land after several attempts to preserve the building failed. Garbett Homes, Utah’s premier Zero Energy Ready Home builder has been building homes in the community for over 30 years, but has been working closely with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Homes since 2009 according to Jacob Ballstaedt, the Land Acquisition and Entitlement Director for Garbett Homes.

The HERS index measures a home energy’s efficiency, the lower the score, the better the efficiency. Ballstaedt states Garbett Homes have a HERS score of 40.  The standard new home has a HERS score of 100.   A score of 40 is 85% more efficient than the typical resale home.  A Net Zero home (HERS score of 0) produces as much energy as it uses through the use of renewable resources, such as solar panels.  Other than the mortgage loan; heating, cooling and water heating make up the largest cost of homeownership.

Ballstaedt stated that Garbett Homes is able to achieve the lower HERS score by making the home more air tight, which also provides additional benefits of eliminating outside noise and blocking out drafts, moisture and pests.  The thermal envelope includes the foundation, outer walls, roof, windows and doors.  This prevents heat transfer from the interior to the exterior and vice versa during the change of seasons.

The indoor air is filtered with outside air through the Energy Recovery Ventilation (ERV) technology. This improves the indoor air quality and reduces the energy used by the heating and cooling systems.

The Garbett homes are pre-wired for solar panels, which if the consumer chooses to have installed will convert sunlight into electricity. This will reduce their HERS score even lower, with the potential of being a Net Zero home, producing as much energy as they are consuming.

The South Salt Lake community is close to shopping, golf courses, dining, and entertainment. It is a great place to make your housing dreams come true!

Posted on February 26, 2018 at 7:42 pm
John Hamilton | Category: Buying A Home, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , , ,

For The Love Of Chocolate

 

It was the common interest for the love of chocolate that brought an eclectic group of a dozen people ranging from Millennials to Baby Boomers together in a small room on the second floor of the store where hand crafted chocolate is made and sold.   AJ Wentworth, founder of the Chocolate Conspiracy explained the journey of chocolate from bean-to-bar, punctuated with samplings of a variety of chocolates from around the world throughout the evening.  The flavor of chocolate can vary based on origin, cacao content, if/how the bean is roasted and how the bean is ground and mixed. The chocolate could have fruity, nutty, earthy, or smoky flavors. The flavors unfold and change on your tongue.  The tasting experience involves paying attention to the texture, flavor and the finishing- or how it lingers in your mouth.

Wentworth explained the name, Chocolate Conspiracy, came to him as he was making a career transition.  Trained in Holistic Health Counseling, his interests gradually evolved towards a love of raw cacao beans.  When naming his new business, he thought of the Latin origin of the word “conspire” means “to breathe together”, or to do as one.  The Chocolate Conspiracy opened its doors in 2009.  They do not roast the beans in order to preserve the antioxidants, minerals and nutrients.

Chocolate does grow on trees!  Cacao beans come from the fruit (pods) of the cacao trees.  The pods need to be hand-harvested one at a time, because the pods do not fall off the tree.  After removing and opening up the pods, the cacao beans are fermented.  The beans are then dried before shipping to chocolate manufacturers.  In the manufacturing process, the beans are typically roasted.  The outer shell is removed and the cacao nibs are sorted according to size in a process called “winnowing”.  The nibs are put through a grinding process until it forms a liquid.  Blending in other flavors or ingredients take place before pouring into molds.

Utah currently has nine artisanal chocolate makers.  Wentworth stated that the dry, arid climate and elevation in Utah is ideal for making chocolate.  Bean-to-bar makers source cacao from farmers from across the globe, and create their chocolate from scratch in small batches.  A chocolatier makes confectioneries from premade chocolate.

The Conspiracy Chocolate bars can be found in local retail stores, farmer’s markets and purchased on-line.  www.eatchocolateconspiracy.com

Posted on February 12, 2018 at 9:48 am
John Hamilton | Category: Food, Salt Lake City | Tagged , , ,