Lounge Lessons | CliffsNotes

9/22/2014 |
Renata Stone/Big Bear Photo Co.


A few weeks ago we introduced you to Stephen Goldsmith--beautiful, brilliant Stephen Goldsmith--and you’re a damn fool if you didn’t take full advantage of the opportunity to hear him speak in our COLLECTIVE lounge [at our first ever Lounge Lessons session]. The night was intimate, intriguing, and crazy-inspired, and we feel lucky to have shaken the hand and taken to heart every word he had to say. It started with a “cheers!”, and mostly entailed a crowd of folks sitting around in awe of this man and his golden brain [and equally golden heart]. I can’t say it any other way: if you missed it you missed out. If you didn’t catch our intro to Mr. Goldsmith, I'll give you this: he’s a pioneer of Salt Lake City, and he helped create our urban landscape as we know it. This is the guy responsible for Art Space? He’s a radical radicle [Google the difference], and he’s spent his handful of years doing some good shit for our city. As his new #1 fans, we could probably talk your ear off on his thoughts on SLC’s past, present, and future--but I’ll reign it in for the sake of brevity.

Stephen has always been interested in ruffling feathers for a good cause [in high school, his debate team original oratory was entitled “Why I Want To Be A Black Transexual”...in 1969]. He believes that instilled within all of us in an “evolutionary impulse for change” which may require radical action [or, in some cases, the stopping of an action--back in the day, Stephen nearly single-handedly stopped the construction of a baseball diamond in Pioneer Park.]. Like so many radical radicles in SLC, Stephen struggled with staying. But, after some time away, he discovered [much like yours truly] that he had “sagebrush in his blood”, and couldn’t help but call Salt Lake home. So he fought for her.

One of his passions, and the theme of last week’s discussion, is “making the invisible visible”. That is to say, taking the issues that may make some of us uncomfortable and talking about them--and then doing something about them. In the words of Stephen, “This isn’t about image. It’s about what’s right. It’s about justice.” Along with air quality, the homeless population, and public transit, one of Stephen’s pet causes is that of the Seven Canyons Trust. Did you know: there once was a fantastic hot spring with vapors that “hung like a veil of gauze around the mountains” down on Beck Street? It's right where the refinery is now. Did you know: right now, running under our streets and parking lots are the Seven Creeks of the Salt Lake Valley, including the beautiful Nah-po-pah [or “City Creek” to some]? Do you know where three of the seven creeks terminate into the Jordan River? Behind an automobile repair shop on 1300 South. “What are we doing?” asked Stephen. “What if they were no longer buried?” That’s seven creeks we could have running through our streets. That’s seven opportunities for waterfront dining. We could have our own Salt Lake City Riverwalk. As Stephen says, once you make something visible, people have the opportunity to act. Let’s do Stephen proud. Visit the Seven Canyons Trust site to read about the group's mission, progress, and fight for our city’s future.

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