Monday, June 22, 2009

Provo 2.0

What a feeling to be back in Provo, Utah! All the memories that have come rushing back to me these last couple of days really have been more of feelings than of places. Provo remains much the same as it ever was - amazingly so, considering that it's been more than seven years since I lived here. Some construction projects that were underway back then are long finished, a few (ok, many) restaurants have come and gone, and they finally got rid of that trailer park on State Street in Orem. But otherwise, it's just the same place, with a fresh crop of BYU students and associated hangers-on to populate it.

I had forgotten, for example, what a meat market this place is. I'm sure this is true of many college towns, but everywhere I look there are men courting women, and men fixing their cars in front of women's apartment complexes, and meticulously fashionable women walking their dogs up and down the same street three times a day, etc. The show never stops.

I had also forgotten how dang friendly everyone is. I went to my beloved Macey's grocery store our first morning here and it was like I could hardly get my shopping done for all the strangers saying hello to me.

There are a couple of things that I remembered being one way that are now another. Monkey bars, for one thing. Monkey bars are the poor man's Creamie, and back in the day, Macey's would put them on sale every once in a while for 17/$1.00. You better believe I stocked up. Now, though, they are far more expensive - and also smaller. The shrinking food package strikes again, I guess.

Also, UVSC is now UVU.

And there is still not a gondola over I-15 like that one apartment complex west of the freeway said there would be approximately nine years ago.

Then there is all the nostalgic stuff - reliving the "glory days," if you will. I graduated from the BYU in 2001. This is where I lived away from home for the first time, where I figured out what I wanted to study, how I wanted to live, who I wanted to be. It's where Jeremy and I met, dated, got engaged, and lived for the first month of being married.

We came back here a few years later for Jeremy to finish up his master's degree, but we lived in American Fork then so my memories from that period aren't quite as potent. Or maybe it's because we're living south of campus again that I remember the undergrad days so well. Part of me just wants to revert back to studying Japanese all day and surviving on stir-fry, smoothies, Marshmallow Mateys, and oven-baked steak fries again.

To complete my walk down memory lane, I will be sure to purchase some ice cream and milk (preferably inspected by Danny) from the BYU creamery, maybe visit the Monte L. Bean Museum, feed the ducks at the Botany pond, and avoid getting hit by a car while walking on 900 East. Anything else?


JackJen said...

I was actually thinking about this very topic this morning when I was reading my alumni magazine.

Provo will always-and-forever be...PROVO. When we visited last summer, it was one of the single-most surreal moments of my life.

And (and I'm going to say this, as offensive as it might sound), the thought I had most deeply-felt was this (I'm not making this up): I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT SINGLE IN PROVO. Been there, done that.

You're right. THe meat market prevails.

Liz Johnson said...

I miss Maceys. Maceys will always be, in my mind, the one true grocery store. I still have those aisles memorized. :)

JackJen said...

Remember getting 25lb bags of flour at Macey's for $2.99?


Natchel said...

I second the Ice cream cones!! I was a UVSC person so most of my memories are Orem stuff but I had lots of Y friends so I spent a lot of time in Provo... bowling at Fat Cats, going to shows at Velour...
But I think being single almost anywhere in Utah is a pain. In our apartment complex at UVSC, we had FHE every Sunday in our clubhouse, and a different apartment was spotlighted to get to know everyone. There were set questions you had to answer, one of which was single or not? Why is that pertinent to getting to know me? It just is.
They closed the trailer park?? That's been there my whole life! Crazy...

The Ensign's said...

Ahhhhh the meat market. I made a lot of guys dreams come true there in Provo Utah. (by simply going out on a date with tham that is) Okay maybe not, but I think Provo is the only place that a 19 year old could actually get tired of the dating scene. I was sooooo tired of the dating games by the time I left provo. How sad huh? Well I guess it worked out so that I was ready to get serious with Chad.

AmandaStretch said...

You can always go tunnel singing. I actually have fond memories of this from freshman year with the then-boyfriend. In fact, it was after one such event that we decided that we were an item.

JackJen, thanks for the reminder that I should check and see if BYU has my new address so I can keep getting my alumni magazine!

Jeremy Palmer said...

This place is so nice in comparison with Arizona. Temperature, landscaping, city planning. I did, however, go through some serious culture shock the first few days. Too many large families. Too many blond haired children running around. Too many large SUVs. Too many people going out to eat (Mormon version of going to a bar). Too many huge rocks on female fingers.

Susanne said...

Oh, I'm so glad Jeremy mentioned this -- "Too many blond haired children running around."-- because I have here lately thought that nearly every Mormon I see has light hair. Is there a reason for that? (Now I see JackJen's picture and see dark hair, but still all Mormons I see on TV or around here as missionaries tend to be blond. :-))

LOL @ the meat market and getting tired of the dating scene there. Sounds like quite a place.

Jeanerbee said...

Oh yes, tunnel singing, and international cinema, and a walk to the bell tower at night, and nachos at Los Hermanos, and a picnic up Provo Canyon at that "one" park... The blonde haired children thing is funny. I've had a lot of people tell me out here "oh, you MUST be from Utah" because of my kids' really blonde hair. Apparently it's not common out here??? Anyway, I hail from AZ, NOT UT, lol.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

Provo/BYU == good memories: Christmas carols wafting from the carillon, picnics by the moat (since covered up), clean campus, clean restrooms, library to get lost in, $1.50 lunch at the drugstore diner on Center St., bananas eternally 9 cents/pound & oranges 5 cents/pound at Storehouse market, 5 cent ice cream cones in the Wilk, & stunning Squaw Peak "on fire" at sunset.

The single scene was intensely annoying but far better than the true 'meat market' at other universities, if you get my drift.

Big negative in Provo was trying to cross 9th East in pre-stop- light days. Had to factor in 15 extra minutes just for that.


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