#1. Pretend You Actually Are a Tourist: Temple Square

Once again, I let MONTHS slip away between posts. My goal of systematically completing my 10 Ways to Tourist in Your Own Town list from my last post through the summer fell way, way, way by the wayside. Between my 9-5 (which usually turns into 8-6) and some long overdue self-care, I just don’t feel much like writing these days. All excuses, but I figure, why turn your fun side project into a chore?

I did item #1 on my list early this summer, but am finally getting around to editing my photos.

Salt Lake City can be a complicated place for a weird single gal such as myself. I’m only 25, but I feel like I can’t go more than 48 hours without being reminded I’m past my expiration date or that my ambition (and occasional bad-assery) is somehow unattractive. Utah is my home, but I feel a little out of place most days. So when I stumble across a part of town that reminds me home is a completely lovable and beautiful place, I’m grateful.

Temple Square in the heart of downtown Salt Lake has been doing that for me lately. It’s also really close to my apartment and a tourist hot-spot with over 3 million visitors a year. I slung my camera over shoulder and donned my big, stupid I’m-from-out-of-town sunglasses. In my clever disguise, I looked the part of tourist.

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And in a lot of ways, I am a tourist. As a non-Mormon who never had to bother to learn about the LDS faith because I spent my entire youth in Catholic school, I know a big part of Temple Square is lost on me.

New goal: investigate Mormon culture and beliefs to be a better, more-informed human. When I’m out of town and visiting a mosque or synagogue, I’m interested in how ideology shows up in the design and how believers interact with the space. It seems arbitrary and biased to not do the same here.

[New goal #2: visit a mosque and a synagogue in Salt Lake City.]

Temple Square is home to the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), the first LDS temple, and is the point of origin for Salt Lake City’s beloved albeit monster grid system

Temple Square is beautiful year-round, but after a rough Utah winter, nothing beats seeing 35 acres brimming with tulips and flowers. The grounds are perfect for an apres-dinner stroll.

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Also perfect for people who like to Instagram flowers. Yes, I am that basic.

Note: Only certain practicing Church members can go inside the actual Temple, but admission to the grounds, informational Visitors’ Centers, and museums are free.


Photo owned by NBC

pretty buildings… Click here for a brochure.

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people-watching…Is there a job that involves taking pictures of non-celebrities? I’m just the perfect level of polite creep. I think people are so interesting and adorable.

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tectonic water features that remind me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Disclaimer: I haven’t actually been to Fallingwater 😉

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well-dressed men who travel….Just kidding. That kid is probably 17. Click here to learn about LDS international missions.


inspiration…I was flooded with ideas–florals, reflections, silhouettes–for a new collection for my Society 6 shop. I’ll update with a link if I ever get around to getting those designs added 😉 Ahhh, the curse of being a lazy creative.

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Stay tuned! I finally listened to the new Twenty One Pilots album and you know you want to hear my uneducated musings on how great it is.










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