Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Another Bookstore? - this must be Salt Lake City

A different city - and I find I get comfortable by finding a favourite bookstore once again. Salt Lake City is beautiful yet wholly weird. Clean cut buildings, many from the early 20th century, and a range of open spaces with mountains massing at the end of long street views. Yet it's a ghost town, almost devoid of people. The streets are largely the terrain of the occasional homeless man.
The bookstore here is one of my favourites in the world - Sam Weller's, two floors and a mezzanine, some new and a wondrous range of secondhand and rare. It's in the downtown area ... and one of the stranger aspects of the city is that it's just about the only store of any kind. You want a Wells Fargo Bank, then you have several huge towering branches. A regular store? Out to the malls, I suppose. I guess the homeless gather outside Sam Wellers just because it's the only place for people to go in and out of.
We've skipped the Mormon sites this time around. Found a restaurant with wine in this dry state - the licensed restaurants are also designated clubs. The available wine was awful - do they practise termperance here because they know no better? Someone should sponsor trips out to the California wine country just so people have a real life choice.


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