Tag Archives: blog

An Update, Or, This Is Now The View Out My Window

DSCN9611

The picture above is a view out my current window. So, I have officially moved to Salt Lake City. (If you’re interested, read this earlier post where I explain my new job, which is what precipitated the move.)

It is with difficulty that I write this because, as I’ve written before, I love Provo and consider it my semi-adopted hometown (I was born in Provo but grew up in LA). However, the commute was killing me and I can’t very well write about the evils of driving a lot without practicing what I preach. One of Laura’s and my goals is also to reduce our overall driving and moving allowed us to do that; I now commute on foot to work and only drive when going on assignments and Laura commutes via Frontrunner, bus and bike.

As I wrote earlier, Laura and I hope to come back to Provo to live. In the meantime we’ve been in Provo at least once a week because most of our friends and family are still there. In other words, you’re only slightly less likely to see us on the streets than you were before.

So, you might ask, what does all of this mean for this blog?

For starters, I’m planning to do some sort of relaunch in the near future in which this blog becomes a more pan-Wasatch Front urbanism site. I’ll still write about Provo because I like it, know more about it that other places, and because I think Provo is where most of the exiting developments in Utah are happening.

But I’ll also write about other cities along the Wasatch Front. In reality, I already do that so not much will change, except that maybe I won’t tie everything thought back into Provo’s Center Street, the Joaquin neighborhood, or whatever else. So in terms of content, much of the blog will stay the same.

I’m not totally sure when the relaunch will happen; I have a bunch of posts in the queue right now that I want to publish before doing it and I haven’t settled on exactly how the re-imagined blog will work. But it’s coming and I thought it was only fair to mention it.

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(Pro(vo)cation) Turns One!

Sunday, (Pro(vo)cation) passed the one year mark. Though many readers didn’t find this blog until later, it actually began Nov. 4, 2011. This was the first post that wasn’t originally written for another site, and this was the second post. So it seems time for a brief retrospective.

The 100 Block, a frequent topic on this blog.

First, thank you for reading. When I started this blog, I had no idea where it would go. Now, I’m consistently surprised by the response and I’m flattered, humbled, and a bit intimidated when someone tells me they read along.

When I started writing, I also thought I might write two or three posts a week for six months or so, and then I’d be done. Before long, however, I began writing more and more until I settled on the current format of three posts a day, five days a week.

So far, this blog includes 720 posts. As of Sunday night around 8:30, it had 38,773 all-time page views, most of which have come in the last six to eight months as the blog has gained more momentum.

A view of Los Hermanos, the old Carnegie Library and the Wells Fargo Building.

I think that number is great, but if you’re reading along here it also seems to represent a group of people who care about Provo. We may all have different opinions, but clearly there are a bunch of us who think Provo is worth having an opinion about.

Much to my surprise, these are the three most popular posts ever:

1. The LDS Church Muscles Its Way to Development Nirvana

2. The Interchange Boondoggle Part 1

3. Dawn of a New Era: Muse Music Changes Ownership

And these were the three least-clicked posts:

1. The Difference Between Walking and Walkability

2. Are the Olympics a Bad Investment for Cities?

3. Lingering, Loitering, and Lively Sidewalks

The Provo Library has also been discussed on this blog.

If you were to go back and read all the posts on this blog, you might notice a bit of evolution over time. The way I write these posts has certainly changed over the last year, and moreover I’m constantly learning or being told new things, leading me to revise and alter my positions.

In any case, one of my favorite developments recently on this blog is the addition of guest posts. There haven’t been a lot of them yet, but the posts people have submitted demonstrate that people feel passionately about Provo.

The Knight Building is just one example of Provo’s historic architecture.

They’re thinking about the city and they like it. If you’re reading this, I urge you to consider submitting something yourself; I’d love it if this blog evolved to represent a wide range of views, rather than mostly just the opinion of one guy.

In the meantime, feel free to make suggestions, send me pictures — of Provo or anywhere else that is worth studying — and point out problems. I plan to continue writing this blog for sometime yet, and hopefully it’ll continue getting better and better. And thanks again for reading.

The Rooftop Concert Series has come up repeatedly on this blog.

The conversion of the Provo Tabernacle into an LDS Temple also has come up often on this blog. This picture shows a smoke stack that, sadly, was demolished this year.

Provo’s thriving restaurant scene is one of its greatest assets.

Mountains, trees, and BYU are among Provo’s other assets.

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An Update On the Blog

If you follow this blog very closely — as in, checking it multiple times a day or spending big chunks of time reading everything I put up — you may have noticed that I’ve only published one post per day this week.

That’s because I’m currently doing some traveling — what some might call a “vacation,” though I prefer “research” — and so I’ve had to dial back the posts. The regular posting schedule will be disrupted for roughly two weeks. I have prepared some material for my absence, but unfortunately as the sole author of this blog when I travel (and lose internet access) I also can’t maintain the fairly rigorous posting schedule I’ve given myself. If you read this blog religiously, I apologize. (Also, if you read this blog that much, I love you.)

In any case, I won’t just be lazying around on the beach while I’m gone (or at least not the entire time). In fact, when the two weeks are up I’ll be back to posting regularly and frequently, and some of those posts will come from observations on my travels. I’ve even chosen some destinations for the potential urban lessons they might hold.

Until then, enjoy the posts I have prepared. Also, if you’re so inclined, you can read about my thoughts on travel; earlier this year, I advocated traveling light in the Daily Herald, and three years ago on my other blog I wrote about the difference between “travel” and “vacationing.” Two years ago I also wrote this blog while backpacking through Brazil and Europe. These posts don’t necessarily have a lot to do with urbanism, but I do think traveling is a great way to think about cities and learn new things.

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