Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur

6/26/2009

Moving to Daybreak in South Jordan

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 1:45 pm

Moving to DaybreakIt all happened so quickly that I can’t even believe it. About a month ago, Stacey and Mel introduced me to the Daybreak community down in South Jordan. It looked so much like Sugarhouse, without the added benefits of roaming panhandlers that I became obsessed with it. Mike had been hinting that he’d like a bigger house, so within a month, we find ourselves packing and heading south.

Just for my records, I’m posting some of the blogs and websites I’ve found that have information about my new home:

My biggest regret is that I won’t be living next to NakedJen anymore. Everything else about Daybreak is looking to be wonderful. I’m sure to bore you all with lots of photos of the area and the lake.

7/11/2009

Daybreak Dream a Nightmare?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

There is a woman at Daybreak protesting. She has a sign that says:

Daybreak Dream a Nightmare

Apparently, her complaints are with Kennecott Land and the Daybreak Homeowners Association:

The resident is a long-time Daybreak resident who lives in Founders. She has been an avid proponent of Daybreak but has many examples of KL and HOA failures to live up to their advertising, promises and obligations. A quick conversation with her was enlightening. She does not seem to be one who just has an axe to grind but someone who sees what needs to be fixed to keep our community great and some suggestions about how to fix them.

After living in Sugarhouse for the last six years, all of these complaints seem superfluous.

  • Are you paying $1080 a month for 823 square feet?

  • Is your house so old that the drains don’t drain, the power breakers pop if you run the microwave and the toaster at the same time or the colony of mice living in your basement are impossible to exterminate?

  • Have you had panhandlers knock on your door asking for money?

  • Have you dealt with boarded up windows and waist-high weeds at the two vacant houses on your street?

  • Was your supposedly securely locked bicycle been stolen off your front porch in the middle of the night?

  • Has a stranger been apprehended and arrested by the police in your backyard?

Daybreak is HEAVEN compared to some of the issues in other neighborhoods, even prestigious ones like Sugarhouse. If the Daybreak Dream is a NIGHTMARE, I think you need to learn the correct definition of nightmare and move downtown for a while. You’ll come back to South Jordan with a whole new perspective.

8/7/2009

The Swallows of Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 12:32 pm

An entry on the Daybreak newsletter disturbed me. It read:

You may have noticed swallows that have nested under the bridges on 11400 S. The Association has looked into these particular birds and they are federally protected species of bird and we are not able to tamper with the nests until after they migrate this fall. Once the birds have migrated we will go through the area and clean up their nests.

It surprised me that they didn’t mention the BEST reason to have cliff swallows inhabiting Daybreak. Each swallow eats close to THREE pounds of mosquitoes every day. Rather than trying to get rid of the birds, we should be encouraging them to stay here because there is a lot of water for mosquitoes to breed on Oquirrh Lake. Cliff swallows might make unsightly nests under the bridge, but I’d much rather deal with that and bird droppings than to have to constantly fight swarms of mosquitoes with every walk around the lake.

Almost a week ago, Mike and I took photos and some video of The Swallows of Daybreak. Here’s what we saw.

Here is some video:

After seeing the swallows face to face and knowing what they can do to make Daybreak a better place, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to remove their nests, no matter how they look. If you would like to learn more about cliff swallows, here are a couple of links:

8/12/2009

Replacing the Angel Moroni on the Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 12:19 pm

There was some excitement in the neighborhood yesterday. Hundreds of cars were parked around the Oquirrh Mountain Temple and people were rushing to see the the replacement of the Angel Moroni on the top of the LDS temple.

In case you hadn’t heard, the Mormon temple in Daybreak was hit by lightning back in June:

Nothing had been done to correct the damage done to the Angel Moroni statue. I kind of expected to see scaffolding and crews around the temple day and night as soon as the open house was over, but instead, they brought in a replacement Moroni and just switched them out.

I didn’t see them take the old statue down, but I was there when they were lifting the new one up. You can see the photos here:

After two months, the charring from the lightning had faded, but there is no denying that the new statue looks much better. It was impressive to watch the process and see the crowds of people, eager to see the local church be repaired.

Update 08-13-09: According to 2News, the new statue has TWO lightning rods in it now, one on the trumpet and one on Moroni’s head. Glad to know that they are planning for the future this time since South Jordan gets a lot of lightning and the Oquirrh Mountain Temple is the tallest thing for miles.

12/15/2009

Building A House In Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Jenny Bauman had a house built in Daybreak. It is the same design as the house Mike and I live in, so it feels like a video of OUR house being built.

Our House Being Built from Jenny Bauman on Vimeo.

Our house is the brown color the house was before the painting, so for a bit, it REALLY feels like our house.

Via: Facebook | Daybreak Status

3/19/2010

Bipolar Weather

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

This morning, there are snowflakes on my porch and lawn chair.

Bipolar Weather

It’s the same lawn chair I sat on yesterday in the warm weather, wondering whether I should change my welcome sign from “Winter Greetings” to “Spring Greetings.” I am sick of this bipolar weather. Yesterday it was spring, today it’s winter again. I thought we were through with you, Mr. Snow Miser.

I’m sure I’ll be wishing for warm snow that melts within a day when it’s August and the heat is barreling down on me, but for now, I’m ready to say goodbye to winter.

5/8/2010

What’s With The Laundry Basket Freakshow?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

What's With The Laundry Basket Freakshow

Early every Saturday morning a big diesel truck pulls up to one of the vacant stores in Daybreak. A ton of produce is unloaded and then a few minutes later, a gaggle of people show up with laundry baskets, boxes and rubbermaid storage containers. They wait in line and come out with their baskets full of fruit and veggies.

This was going on even in the cold months of March and April, so there’s no way this is some local farm collective thing. This stuff is being shipped to Utah in big semi-trucks.

By the time I throw on my clothes and run out there to ask someone about it, they’re gone. I really need to wake up earlier on Saturday mornings because I’d love to know what’s up with the laundry basket freakshow.

5/25/2010

Daybreak Outdoor Safety

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:22 am

I received an email the other day from Daybreak telling me how important outdoor safety is. Here is what they sent me:

The outdoor season is rapidly approaching. Here are a couple reminders for safety:

  • Teach your children proper outdoor safety practices
  • Use your common sense when participating in outdoor activities
  • Always be prepared for the unexpected
  • Do not take unnecessary chances
  • Do not be careless
  • Think before you act

Reading it made me roll my eyes in disgust. “Really?!” I thought to myself. They just reworded the phrase, “be safe,” six times. What we need are some REAL safety tips for living in Daybreak. Here are the few that Mike and I were able to ramble off the top of our head.

It Doesn’t Take A Village, Moron

It might take a village to raise a child, but expecting the village to keep your child safe is moronic. WATCH your children when they are playing. Our backyards are too small to hold kids, so they are playing in the front yards together. Honestly, this is a GOOD thing as long as there is a parent nearby reminding them to stay out of the street, watch for cars and stay in the yard. Too many kids are allowed free reign of the streets.

Stay Out Of The Lake

It might be a man-made lake, but you could drown in it just as easily as any bed of water. Don’t swim in the lake. After last year’s ringworm incident, we aren’t even allowed to wade in the water. It’s against the rules because it could kill you or make you sick.

Avoid The Traffic Circles

I know legally you can walk or ride your bike along the traffic circles in Daybreak, but it’s idiotic to do so. We have so many visitors to the neighborhood who are unfamiliar with traffic circles. I have seen too many near accidents because of confused visitors on traffic circles to ever feel safe riding my bike through them. I do everything I can to avoid them by crossing at other areas or taking the trail that leads under the 11400 South traffic circle.

Stay on the Trails

It’s really easy to be lulled into complacency in Daybreak. There is hardly any traffic, so I catch myself ambling my bike down the roads instead of following the sidewalks or trails that were made for my bike. We have cars and city buses that come through our neighborhood, yet I see children sprawling our streets with their bikes every day without a parent in sight. Keep your feet and your bikes on the trails where they belong.

Leave The Animals Alone

EVERY time I take a walk around the lake, I see a child throwing a rock at a duck or goose. Anyone who has ever been bitten by a goose knows that it’s not wise to agitate them, especially if they are nesting. Not to mention the fact that geese, cliff swallows and many of the other animals in this area are protected by FEDERAL law. Teaching children to leave the animals alone not only protects them from avenging animals bent on protecting their young, but keeps you safe from the hefty fines attached to injuring protected species.

Drive With Your Eyes Peeled

There are so many children living in Daybreak that it has a “Lord of the Flies” feel at times. Flocks of children run into the street without a moment’s warning, so whenever you get in your car, keep your eyes on the road and surrounding areas. Additionally, we live so close to the wilds of the Oquirrh Mountains that our neighborhood is rife with wildlife. A deer through your windshield can kill you, so stay alert when you’re driving, especially if you take the back road to Bacchus Highway.

Water Makes Things Slippery

We all know that water makes things slippery, but every time a child falls at the splash park, it’s like we have to learn all over again. Whether you’re wet from the rain, sprinklers on the lawn or an intentional splash through the water feature at SoDa Row, if you are wet, it’s easier to slip and fall. Walk carefully when you’re wet and be mindful of how slippery it can get.

Put Your Toys Away

After living in Sugarhouse for years, I’m shocked at how lax people are with their toys. Adults and children are guilty of leaving expensive toys out in the open and sometimes even in the STREET. We have FAR less crime here than I dealt with downtown, but there is ALWAYS a risk that someone might walk away with your bike, skateboard or barbecue grill. Put your toys away and you won’t have to be the indignant one when a thief hits our neighborhood.

Have A Safe Summer in Daybreak

I have been living in Daybreak for almost a year now and I can honestly say that it’s a utopia compared to Sugarhouse. Even in utopia, however, there are dangers. I’m sure that we would love to have a summer without a single injury at Daybreak, but it won’t happen unless we are vigilant of our own actions.

6/20/2011

Daybreak Lovelies: 4614 Warm Canyon Lane

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:33 am

The best part of living in Daybreak is seeing the lovely homes in the neighborhood. I was particularly struck with this home this morning.

Daybreak Lovelies 06-20-11

Many homes have beautiful red doors, but this homeowner matched the door to their park bench.

Daybreak Lovelies 06-20-11

Few people would think to match the little birdhouse to the color of the door, but it ties everything together.

Daybreak Lovelies 06-20-11

Even the glass left on the table from last night’s picnic matched. I really felt like I was looking at a house featured in Better Homes and Gardens.

Daybreak Lovelies 06-20-11

Thank you, Daybreak Homeowner, for having such a beautiful yard. Your home made my morning walk a joy.

6/27/2011

How to Drive in a Traffic Circle (Roundabout)

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 11:43 am

One of the hazards of living in Daybreak is the tourists. We have MANY visitors to our community because of our fantastic amenities, so there are drivers on the road who are gawking at the homes or lake without paying attention to pedestrians or stop signs.

Even worse, when they come to one of our many traffic circles, they don’t know what to do. I have dodged cars going the wrong way on the traffic circle three times in the last two years I’ve lived here and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

For all you beginners, here is how you should drive in a traffic circle.

  • You don’t need to stop at the traffic circle: If the traffic circle is empty, you don’t need to stop at the intersection unless there is a stop sign posted. If there is a yield sign, it applies to the cars ENTERING the circle, not the cars within it.

  • Traffic circles are ONE WAY: When you enter the circle, you should turn right. If you want to go to the road to your left, you must follow the circle until you reach that road.

  • Stay moving within the circle: Too many times, I’ve seen cars stopped dead in the traffic circle, waiting to for an easy merge out of it when they should continue moving and merge out the next time around. This is especially true in the traffic circle by The District.

  • Pay attention to the lanes: Many of our traffic circles are multiple lanes. On most of them, the outer lane will be required to exit the traffic circle on the next turn, so if you want to exit the circle later, you should be in an inner lane. On four separate occasions, I have nearly been hit by someone in a lane that was supposed to exit and they have suddenly merged into my lane.

Traffic circles are supposed to be better than stoplights because they slow the flow of traffic. I can agree with that idea, but in practice, they have been a hazard every time Daybreak enjoys a flux of visitors, for example, during the Parade of Homes, summer weekends, and even during the recent Extreme Home Makeover we’ve had here.

If you are still confused, here is a driving video explaining traffic circles:

This video explains it with diagrams, but the rules are for India (they drive on the left side of the road), so the rules are different than in Utah, especially the signaling rules.

Rules of the road via: Roundabout – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

6/29/2011

Extreme Home Makeover Comes To Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:51 am

Extreme Home Makeover DaybreakWhen I heard that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was coming to Daybreak, the first thing I thought was, “This is the LAST neighborhood that needs an extreme makeover!” All the homes here are less than ten years old, what could they POSSIBLY makeover?!

Instead of demolishing and fixing an old house, they built a new house from scratch in ONE week! I couldn’t believe it! I really thought they would cheat a little by pouring the foundation early since they take so long to cure, but NO! They didn’t start pouring the foundation until the first day. They used a quick cure concrete that set up in two hours, so they were able to move ahead far quicker than a normal contractor. Heck, my patio took twenty-four hours to firm up and that was on a hot summer day, so two hours is AMAZING!

Extreme Home Makeover DaybreakThe security is high in that area. Mike’s brother, Matt, lives on the same street and he needs to have a special pass just to get home every night. Police are manning it day and night to keep gawkers out. They do, however, have a place where spectators can watch the work that’s going on and the Daybreak Facebook account has been asking for volunteers and snacks.

Holmes Homes is building the house and Rio Tinto donated the land for the project. The family has a son with two rare blood disorders and taking care of him has been a burden. Today, they receive the house after a mere week. And it looks like it’s ready to go!

Extreme Home Makeover Daybreak

I’ve never watched Extreme Home Makeover, but I’m programming my Tivo to record it now. I’m pretty curious to see how they portray my neighborhood!

6/30/2011

Accident at Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 2:26 pm

While Mike and I were taking Nina for a walk this afternoon, we came upon the aftermath of an awe inspiring accident on the corner of Daybreak Parkway and Kestrel Rise Road.

Accident at Daybreak

I talked to Marcie Hennessy, who works at Nine Salon, and had a front row seat to the accident. She said that the gray minivan was crossing Daybreak Parkway and clipped the Blue Tahoe on the rear, flipping it over.

Accident at Daybreak

Considering that the Tahoe flipped TWICE, I asked Marcie if she thought the Tahoe might have been going over the speed limit and she said probably.

Accident at Daybreak

They saw children and the drivers of both cars taken away in the ambulance, so all our thoughts are with them right now, hoping that everyone escaped from the accident without injuries.

Accident at Daybreak

7/6/2011

Fireworks in Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 12:20 pm

You can’t imagine the panic in my throat when I received the email from Daybreak Daily telling me that a home in Daybreak had burned down. Mike and I were in St. George for the Independence Day weekend and we had just seen the news on KUTV showing us a fiery explosion in South Jordan. Daybreak Daily mentioned the specifics about the family, so I knew it wasn’t my house, but we had suffered through nightly fireworks displays of illegal fireworks from our neighbor for the last six months. He had been selling fireworks out of his garage at the Daybreak Community Garage Sale. Was it his house that burned down? He’s so close to us, is our home in danger as well?

Within seconds, Mike found the videos of the burning home on YouTube. The most informative video of the fire has been pulled from YouTube, but has resurfaced here. It showed exactly WHERE the house was (close to Soda Row) and verified that, yes, it WAS our irritating neighbor who set his house on fire. It also proved to us that our home was safe. The fire was horrific, but it didn’t spread to the neighboring homes.

The local bishop and two other ward members discuss the fire as it burns. It’s obvious that the man had a garage full of fireworks. Amazingly, the fire department showed up within three minutes. The homes are so close in this neighborhood that this fire could have been just as devastating as we imagined.

At the 5:45 minute mark, two witnesses talk about it. The speaker in bold saw what happened.

He must have had his garage open.

He did. He had it open.

He did? Well, anyway, I was way over here when that fire hit and this exploded. There was [unintelligible]. And then apparently, some of this must have tipped over or something.

Yeah, one of them hit there, hit over there, hit a guy who was… he went to the hospital.

Oh did he?

Yeah, I don’t know if it was his pants or something caught on fire. He was in bad shape.

Was it one of the guys who was running it?

No, it was one of the guys who was there. There were two: my van and his van. It just deflected off my roof and it hit him on the leg.

According to ABC 4 News, the man who was hit by the fireworks was Ryan Fischer:

“I could hear my wife screaming at me that my pants were on fire, but at the same time I could see the blood going down my legs from my cuts,” Fisher said.

Fragments of the fireworks pierced his legs and was taken to a local hospital.

KSL has yet another video here: ksl.com – Illegal fireworks the cause of 2 Utah fires

FOX 13 actually gave the address to the house: FIRE: Illegal fireworks displays set home ablaze – KSTU That would have been very helpful if we had found it before the YouTube video.

This video was filming the end of the amateur fireworks show when they realize that one of the fireworks had gone into the garage full of fireworks.

Is there anybody in the house?

No.

Fuckin’ kitchen’s on fire. Fuck! Crap!

This next video is the iPhone video that KUTV showed and it has the most coherent explanation of what happened at the 1:23 minute mark:

The guy who was putting on a fireworks show out here, one of ‘em tipped over and shot into the garage [unintelligible] with the rest of ‘em.

At the 1:44 minute mark, you see a grief-stricken woman approach the fire and is pulled away by the firemen.

So, it was just like… and he musta had a lot, I mean, ’cause you can see all these.

At the three minute mark, you can see the fireman approach the house and start to spray it down with water. The fire keeps sparking up over and over with new fireworks igniting despite the gallons of water.

Fireworks are restricted in Daybreak because we have so many dry grass (wild) areas nearby. This guy was doing a fireworks show in a dry field right next to his garage FULL of fireworks. I immediately felt guilty for not calling the police on this guy because people were hurt and an entire home went up in flames, but apparently, had we called the police, we would have gotten the same reception as others did. Here is an excerpt from the discussion on the LiveDaybreak Community Council Facebook Page:

LiveDAYBREAK Community Council This is a solemn reminder of why fireworks aren’t allowed at Daybreak. Our thoughts are with those who were injured and lost their home. Please be safe over the holidays.

Dean Derhak It was a great fireworks show until it went into the garage. Maybe if Daybreak did a community fireworks show residents wouldn’t feel the urge to do this on their own. Sunday at 10:47am

Lonnie Steinke Well then why does DayBreak not enforce their own rules? We have had fireworks going off for 2 days and everyone knows we are not supposed to use it in DayBreak. We will see it through the 24th so just enforce the convenience’s we all agreed to. No reason to have them if you do not have the means to enforce them! Sunday at 11:02am

Lonnie Steinke @Dean…If you want to see fireworks just come to Eastlake and sit on the East hills and you can see the entire valley. Much better show. DayBreak does not even have enough money to enforce their own convenience’s let alone buy fireworks. Sunday at 11:04am

Wendy Memmott That is right Lonnie. I live in the townhomes and had an incident on Friday night. When calling the afterhours line, it is an answering service and they refered me to the police department. I called them, an off duty officer called me back and said, the only reason he was calling me is because he was doing security in daybreak. It is legal to light fireworks in South Jordan and I would need to take it up with my HOA. What good is having so called security if they are not going to enforce Daybreak rules?? Where they were being lit on Friday night, there is NO water sources available so if one of them would have gone awry, more than one family could have been displaced because of one person breaking the rules. Sunday at 11:09am

Wendy Memmott Jo,I tried to alert the HOA office and all I got was an answering service that had no clue. I then called the non emergency police and was told it is not illegal to light fireworks in South Jordan but he wwould go talk to them. I think there needs to be more communication between our HOA and our security. Sunday at 3:12pm

Now, they are talking about taking donations to help this family after the fire and I can’t bring myself to agree with that. Timothy Hood said it best on Daybreak Daily:

Timothy Hood on 03-07-2011 23:48

So, to clarify… The family living in the home where the garage burned:

  1. Was renting

  2. Did not bother to purchase renter’s insurance

  3. Set off fireworks, which is not allowed in Daybreak

  4. Set off fireworks which are illegal in the state of Utah

  5. Set off fireworks in a crowd of homes next to a field of dry grass

Wants others to pay for their irresponsible acts? How do we know they would use the donations/money responsibly if they prioritize purchasing illegal fireworks over renter’s insurance. The amount spent on those fireworks would have paid for more than one year’s worth of insurance.

As a renter, I am incredibly angry at this guy for giving us a bad name. While, I don’t believe that this guy petitioned for donations, I’m not willing to donate.

In the end, I’m incredibly grateful to all the people who posted the videos to YouTube and discussed things on Daybreak Daily and Facebook. Even though we were miles away, we could ascertain what happened that night and verify that our own homes were safe. There was a horrific fire in Daybreak over the Fourth of July weekend and I hope that everyone will take it to heart when they consider lighting fireworks in our neighborhood.

Update 07-06-11 3:01 pm: This is a video of the NYPD destroying 5,000 pounds of fireworks. I wonder how much that guy had in his garage.

Via: Make: Online | Happy Fourth of July!

Update 01-01-2012:

The house has been rebuilt enough that it looks like the family is back in the home. Oh, and did I fail to mention? The idiot was doing fireworks at midnight for New Year’s Eve. It’s legal in Utah to do fireworks, but it’s STILL against Daybreak regulations.

You’d think that a trip to the hospital for both him and his son would have scared him off fireworks for the rest of his life, but apparently, it didn’t. I think we have a pyromaniac on our hands.

8/5/2011

The New TRAX Line in Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:06 am

I am so excited about the new TRAX line that is coming to Daybreak. Mike and I only have one car, and there are times when we need to be in two places at once. Now that the TRAX line is here, I can go almost anywhere in the city without a car.

Here is a video of the new line from the point of view of the driver:

This will also be handy when I have to leave the car at the mechanic’s to get maintenance. I can just take TRAX home and back when they’re done because they are right on the TRAX line.

Every time I feel a little bored with Daybreak, they add something new to the neighborhood to make it better for me. I’m so grateful to be living here.

8/12/2011

Daybreak Lovelies: 11187 Topview Road

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 12:34 pm

Sometimes a house is more lovely for how it smells than how it looks. That’s the case with this month’s Daybreak Lovely Home at 11187 Topview Road.

Daybreak Lovelies: 11187 Topview Road

The scent of the flowers flanking the front of this house drew me from across the street. I was walking Nina and we were both particularly tired, but I eagerly went the few extra feet to enjoy the smell of the flowers in the yard.

I also liked the vinyl lettering on the door:

Daybreak Lovelies: 11187 Topview Road

It reads:

Welcome

No Solicitors

The sign is so beautiful that I want to find out where it came from for my own door. Does anyone have any ideas?

8/16/2011

Daybreak: The Abandoned Shoe Phenomena

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Daybreak: The Abandoned Shoe Phenomena

Walking around Daybreak so often has left me noticing a strange phenomenon. At least once a week, I find a pair of abandoned shoes.

Daybreak: The Abandoned Shoe Phenomena

Once abandoned, they stay there a couple of days until, presumably, they are removed by the lawn care employees.

Daybreak: The Abandoned Shoe Phenomena

When I was a kid, my mom would have made me return to wherever I had lost my shoes and retrieve them that very day, yet these shoes stand unclaimed for two or three days before disappearing. Have shoes lost their value over the years? Are they now disposable?

Abandoned Flip Flops

Just last week, however, I found myself walking Nina in the grassy area of Founders Park. It was so wet that my ballerina slippers were getting soaked, so I took them off, shaking off the droplets of water and letting the cool grass soak between my toes. I set my shoes on the stone seat and let Nina run around the grass for a bit. After a few minutes of looking at the scenery, it was time for us to leave.

I laughed to myself as I realized that I almost left, abandoning my shoes…

Abandoned Slippers

8/19/2011

Daybreak Trail Etiquette

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Oquirrh Lake TrailMy daily walks on the Daybreak trails have found me noticing that others are strangely unaware of simple trail etiquette, so I thought I would make a compilation of the general rules and politenesses of sharing the trails.

Stay on the right and take no more than half the trail

Just like on a road, walk on the right side of the path so that you are not in the way of oncoming traffic and so that others can pass you. If you are pushing a stroller with a friend, it is VERY impolite to walk side by side, taking up the entire trail. If you are walking with a group, taking up more than half the trail is rude as well. If you are bike-riding with friends, you should go single-file so that there is room to get around you.

Pass on the left and announce your presence

You are bound to encounter people who are going slower than you, so a few seconds before it’s time to pass them, announce in a loud voice, “Passing on the left.” That way you won’t surprise them when you come from behind. If you are on a bike or skating, announce yourself earlier and slow down, or, even better, ring your bike bell. If there is more than one person in your group, advise those who are passing how many more people will be passing them soon. i.e. “Passing on the left. There are two others behind me.”

Greet oncoming traffic politely

Look the person in oncoming traffic right in the eye and say, “Good morning (afternoon, or evening).” If the oncoming people are engaged in a conversation and are not polite enough to stop talking to greet you, just look one or the other of them in the eye and nod your head. If the oncoming person is wearing headphones, you can just look at them and mouth the greeting with a smile. The second time you pass an individual, it’s usually polite to say, “Hello, again!” The third time, however, you do not need to greet them again. Just nod politely as you pass.

Watch out for blind turns

There are many turns (especially under the bridges) in which you cannot see ahead of you. Slow down when you approach these turns and announce your presence. If you’re on a bike, ringing a bell before you speed through the turn will warn the people walking that a fast moving traveler is coming. If you are walking, make sure that you only take half the trail, even if your group is big. You cannot see what might be speeding toward your crowd of people, so make sure you don’t get hit.

Watch your kids and pets

The Daybreak trails are not your personal backyard. There are others on the roads, so you must keep your children and pets near you and leashed. There have been so many times when I’ve tried to pass a family on my bike and their toddler has jumped out in front of me. I’ve never hit a child with my bike because I’m notoriously cautious, but relying on others to be cautious around your children or pets is stupidity in action. Additionally, make sure your animals or children are not tormenting the wildlife.

Use the garbage cans and Dogi-Pot stations

Pick up after your kids and pets

If your child throws their milk bottle (cereal, shoes, etc.) on the trail, it is your responsibility to pick it up. The garbage cans are scattered across the trails for a reason. The same goes for your dog excrement. When you pass the Dogi-Pot station, tear off an extra doggie poo bag and tie it to your leash or stuff it in your pocket. There is NO excuse for leaving dog mess on the side of the trails for others to step in. It is your responsibility to have a plan in place to clean up after your children and pets.

Move off the trail when you stop

Whether you need to rest or you’re enjoying the beautiful views Daybreak has to offer, get out of the way. Others are trying to ride, skate, bike, run or walk on the trail and you stopping on it without moving to the side is incredibly rude.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

If your headphones are so loud that you cannot hear a person when they announce that they are passing you, then TURN THEM DOWN. I understand that music is very helpful when exercising, but you have a responsibility to be aware of what is going on around you. Additionally, it is impolite to act as if you’re the only person on the trail. If your family is too large to watch each child, then you need to enlist help from other adults or take walks in smaller groups. If you are riding your bike and find that the walkers on the trail are slowing you down, it’s time to find a different route that is more suited to your fitness level. Speeding past walkers without even a warning is inconsiderate and dangerous.

I compiled this list of etiquette rules from various lists on the Internet. These are general rules that have been recognized over the years and work well in other communities. I love walking on the Daybreak trails every day and, for the most part, people are friendly and considerate. There are only a few people who seem oblivious to general trail etiquette and a little education can go a long way.

8/23/2011

Soda Row at Daybreak

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:00 am

Curlers in my hair at Soda RowI am the mayor of Soda Row on FourSquare because Nina and I walk through it EVERY morning. I see it in the early hours when Swirly Girls is the only shop open, offering coffee and pastries to the Old Biddy Committee who sit outside, judging me every morning.

This morning, I had the audacity to wear curlers in my hair as I walked Nina. I watched one of the old ladies point at me and the other two turned to look. I pretended I didn’t know what they were pointing at and looked behind me as if wearing brightly colored curlers in my hair while walking the dog was the most natural thing to do. They embarrassedly turned away from me, and when I got close enough to them to look them in the eye, I cheerfully said, “Good morning.”

Daybreak: The Abandoned Shoe PhenomenaI’ve seen more shoes abandoned at Soda Row, near the splash fountain than at any other spot in Daybreak. The Abandoned Shoe Phenomena is more understandable there because the fountain is a veritable cry to everyone to throw off their flip flops and take a run in the water. In the early mornings, however, the fountain is quiet and dry. There are no children playing in it because they are in school or maybe even still sleeping.

Lamphead Man at Soda RowLate at night, the music from the outdoor speakers seems very loud without the din of traffic and voices to drown it out. It plays easy listening music all night long, despite the fact that Mike and I are the only wanderers through its abandoned walkways. Lamphead Man, the huge metal sculpture in the middle of Soda Row, creaks and squeaks eerily, keeping his eye on us as we walk past him in a desperate attempt to get Nina to go potty so we can finally go to bed.

This video advertising Soda Row features the noisy and happy times during the day when children splash in the water and San Gelato serves up iced confections. Strangely, it’s missing any reference to Tio’s, my favorite restaurant at the shops.

Watching this video is strange to me because I usually experience Soda Row at its most quiet times. The serene peace that I feel when I walk through it every morning and evening is a stark contrast to the fun activity that I see there at other times of the day. There are two personalities to Soda Row: Outgoing Fun and Serene Peace. I urge you to visit it for the Outgoing Fun, but if you truly want to take a breath of fresh air, come in the early morning or late evening and experience the Serene Peace.

8/26/2011

I’m A Daybreak Train

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

DJ Tim Hood made this awesome video of the first day of the UTA TRAX coming to Daybreak. Very cool!

TRAX from Timothy Hood on Vimeo.

I’ve been using TRAX to get downtown when Mike has the car and it’s quite efficient. Since we are a one-car family, it’s such a blessing to have the train “take me where I’m going and take me home again.”

11/14/2011

Should I Move To Daybreak?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 11:26 am

Sent via the form at lauramoncur.org

we are contemplating a move to daybreak from harvard/yale area. can you provide me with your opinions both good and bad.

our rationale: i am sick of the cost of maintaining a drafty old house. looking for something that feels the same without the expense (time and money). daybreak seems like a good choice, but i know nobody who lives there. plus it seems like a fun neighborhood for kids.

thanks you for your insights,

kendal

oh, and how are the schools?


Oquirrh Lake TrailKendal,

Living in Daybreak is definitely different from Sugarhouse. If you work downtown, your commute will be horrible unless you are able to take Trax. That is the worst part of living here. Sometimes, it takes me thirty minutes just to get from Daybreak to I-15. I thought the 114th South exit would help, but it’s still an ordeal just to get to the freeway. If you can take Trax, it’s awesome because you can read or listen to music, but driving it is miserable.

I LOVE that our house needs no maintenance. We were constantly fixing things in the Lake Street house because it was over a hundred years old. It’s so nice to live in a house that just works. One caveat, building a new house is always a nightmare. It would be better to buy one of the existing homes here than to try to build a new one.

This house takes less money to heat as well. Even though it’s twice the square feet, it’s so energy efficient that we pay less in heating and cooling.

One unexpected plus is there is less smog out here. Since we moved here, Mike’s asthma has improved so much that the doctor has cut down his dosage of all his medications. That saved us money, but more importantly, my husband is much healthier. We will never move back to Sugarhouse for that reason alone. This is our third winter in Daybreak and I am not dreading it like I used to because I know that Mike isn’t going to be struggling for his every breath.

I love the Daybreak activities. They do something every month and I really look forward to them. The summer is the best because they have live music every Friday and Saturday night. If you want the Sugarhouse feel where you can walk to and see the activities, try to get a place near Soda Row or the Community Center. East Lake and the North Shore don’t have as many activities within walking distance as Founders Park does.

I don’t have any children, so I can’t tell you about the schools. It’s nice that there are so many kids here, though. I always found it a little creepy that there were never any children around in Sugarhouse.

Best of all, I haven’t had anything stolen off my porch. I haven’t had anyone arrested in my backyard. And not one panhandler has knocked on my door asking for money. The cops are so bored here that I feel VERY safe. All those things happened to us when we lived in Sugarhouse, so you can imagine we were pretty sick of it by the time we left. I’ve talked about the crime problems in Sugarhouse here:

The one negative that I can say is that the children run positively WILD here. It’s not uncommon to see a three year old child wandering alone with no adult supervision, so drive SLOWLY.

If you’re thinking of moving here, I say go for it. I absolutely adore it here, so I would definitely recommend it.

Best, Laura

1/27/2012

Is Daybreak the Utah DoWiSeTrePla?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 9:44 am

Someone at the Daybreak Daily asked again about the “smell” supposedly from the landfill.

It reminded me of my worst worry when we were first moving here. This “smell” issue was the scariest thing for me. I had learned about it AFTER signing our lease here, so there was no going back. I was so worried that it would be like the DoWiSeTrePla episode of How I Met Your Mother. If you haven’t seen that episode, here’s a full synopsis:

In that episode, Marshall and Lily bought an apartment in New York that they could barely afford in a up and coming neighborhood called DoWiSeTrePla. The real estate agent told them that all the cool new neighborhoods are abbreviations. For example, SoHo is short for South of Houston Street and TriBeCa is short for Triangle Below Canal Street.

At the end of the episode, they are driving in a cab to their new apartment when they smell an ungodly stench. The cab driver informs them that “DoWiSeTrePla” is short for: Downwind of the sewage treatment plant.

Dowisetrepla Animated GIF

We’ve lived in Daybreak over two years now and I’ve smelled it ONCE. It was a pretty minor smell and reminded me of the Great Salt Lake when it gets stinky.

I was SO worried about that smell when we were moving here and the complainers at Daybreak Daily had me convinced that I was about to move into a smelly armpit. Instead, I’ve only caught a whiff of the landfill once and it gave me a kind of nostalgia for my childhood in West Valley City when we smelled the Great Salt Lake every time the wind blew the wrong way.

Is the landfill stinky? It might be, but the residents of Daybreak only smell it about once every two years a month, so stop complaining and stop scaring away people who are thinking of moving here!

Update 06-14-13

I have smelled the Daybreak Stench about once a month, depending on which direction the wind is blowing. I wrote more about it here:

For the record, still don’t hate it. Quite the opposite.

5/18/2012

Geeks Who Drink at The Break in Daybreak: SO FUN!!!

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 5:28 am

Mike and I were taking Nina for a walk a couple of weeks ago when we ambled past The Break, the new sports bar. We’ve avoided it, because they didn’t have Buzztime Trivia and we don’t watch sports. When we walked by, however, we thought pub food sounded good, so we would order some to go and take it home.

Geeks Who Drink We Won!While we waited, we were surprised that there was a trivia game going on. It seemed pretty fun, so we thought we’d come next week. So glad we did, because we WON first place (and a free beer for the Guy Ritchie question)!

You can read about it here:

[Space Monkeys] got all but one questions on round two for 15 points and then they jokered for a massive early 30 point lead that they barely held on to all night.

“Jokered” means you can choose one round where you get double the points you earn on that round. We chose that one because that round was music clips and we were pretty sure we had all of them, except the CCR song. Lucky thing we did that because it really helped.

Geeks Who Drink Fun TimesBeing first timers, I was worried that it would be too complicated to understand what was going on, but the instructions were very clear. I was also worried that I wouldn’t be able to hear the questions, which DID happen a couple of times, but he was careful to repeat any questions for anyone who needed it. I love that he plays music in between the questions, so we can kibitz without people at other tables hearing.

It was the perfectly orchestrated trivia game and the food was DELICIOUS!

Can’t wait until next Wednesday!

6/2/2012

Geeks Who Drink at The Break: The Most Fun You Can Have On A Wednesday

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 8:17 am

We didn’t win. We didn’t get second place. We had a ton of fun!

2012-05-30 The Break Space Monkeys

I think Geeks Who Drink is so much fun because it makes me feel dumb. I know that’s a paradox, but I love it when I find that there is a gap in my knowledge. I’ve learned that I need to be able to name more than three Supreme Court Justices.

Ironically, we would have been tied for first place if we had just trusted our instincts and written Clarence Thomas down, even though it seems like he was just instated yesterday. Now that I think about it, though, I was working at K-Mart putting myself through college when the Anita Hill thing blew up, so he has been on the bench a LONG time.

I think the best part was that our friends came to compete as well.

2012-05-30 The Break My Dixie Wrecked

They held onto the third place spot for most of the game, but in the end, none of us won.

Next week, however, we’ll see…

2/2/2013

Sugarhouse Vs. Daybreak: Where Should I Move?

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in SLC, UT,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

On Jan 31, 2013, at 10:03 PM, a NICE FRIEND wrote:

Hey. I stumbled across your website while trying to find some information about Daybreak. My family is relocating to SLC from ANOTHER CITY this summer. I have been hellbent on moving to Sugar House to be near downtown and in a diverse area of the city. Well, the more I look, the more discouraged I get at the prices and what you get for that price. So, today I started opening the search. Daybreak looks like the kind of place my 3 kids would love. I will hate being that far away from the city but a newer house would be nice with all the amenities it has to offer. Cutting to the chase, I am in-active (hate that word!) Mormon living with a very active husband. I wonder how life would be socially? I want to meet people who enjoy a glass of wine and going out. How is it being a non-mormon in that community? I know in Sugar House it is very diverse with lots of places to go out at night. Thanks for your help!


Dear NICE FRIEND,

Thanks for emailing me about Daybreak. I still live here and I still love it dearly, but it IS different than living in Sugarhouse.

I have ZERO friends in this neighborhood, aside from my sister and her husband, who moved here because we live here and another couple who were our friends before they moved to South Jordan. In Sugarhouse, I knew the people on both sides of our house and across the street. They came to my Halloween parties, which are decidedly non-Mormon parties, and they were great acquaintances. I don’t have that here.

In all honesty, I think it was because we didn’t have children. All the families came over to introduce themselves, but when they saw that we had no children for their kids to play with, they never spoke to us again.

On the other hand, your children will be PAINFULLY lonely in Sugarhouse. There will be NO children within walking distance to play with. I had the hardest time finding kids to shovel my walk or mow my lawn. They just weren’t there and my friends with children who live in Sugarhouse have to drive them to play dates. That is not the case in Daybreak. It’s like Lord of the Flies here and most times, you will wonder where the adults are.

You might have an easier go of it because your husband is LDS. That will provide you with introductions in the neighborhood that I haven’t had. Even if you only go to church with him every other weekend or so, you will have a much larger social life in Daybreak because of that advantage.

More importantly, crime is nonexistent in Daybreak. In Sugarhouse, our bike (and yard ornaments) were stolen, a man was arrested by the police in our backyard and panhandlers KNOCKED on our door asking for money. I haven’t had any problems like that here and I LOVE Daybreak for that.

The drive downtown is arduous, however. If you or your husband are employed downtown, then you will be looking at a 45 minute commute each way. That time estimate is a hopeful one, so if there has been an accident on the freeway or if it snowed the previous night, you’ll have to leave an HOUR before work to get there on time. The same is true if either of you is employed in Provo. If, however, you work in Sandy, West Valley or anywhere else in the central valley, you’ll be just fine.

Daybreak DOES have a wine club and all the people there are very friendly. I’ve only been to a couple of the get togethers, but they were fun every time I went. You can find them here: Daybreak Wine Club. They didn’t have anything like that in Sugarhouse, or if they did, I never found it.

If you had asked me a few years ago why we were so close to our neighbors in Sugarhouse, I would have said because our houses were so close together, but I live in a part of Daybreak where our houses are JUST as close as they were in Sugarhouse. I have NO idea why things were friendlier in Sugarhouse than they are here in Daybreak.

In the end, making friends as an adult is difficult. When we were kids, we were thrown together by school and proximity and sometimes I think the sheer repetition of seeing the same faces made them precious. As adults, it’s difficult to reproduce that experience. I wish I had an answer to problem, but I really don’t.

I DO know that whether you move to Sugarhouse or Daybreak, I’m perfectly willing to meet up with you for lunch. Moving to a new state is difficult, but at least you have one friend here already.

Best,

Laura Moncur

P.S. I’m putting this on my blog for other people who are trying to decide where in the valley to move, but I’m removing your name (and origin city) so that you stay anonymous.

6/14/2013

The Daybreak Stench: Thinking about Smells

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 6:00 am

The wind has been relentless the last few days. Whenever people ask me about Daybreak, they NEVER ask me about the wind.

They ask me about:

  • The crime: it’s nonexistent.
  • The Mormons: they are cliquish and omnipresent.
  • The Daybreak activities: there were more of them a few years ago than now, but that’s not really a bad thing because karaoke night is NEVER a good thing.
  • The commute to downtown SLC: It’s LONG and miserable.
  • The supposed “ghetto” of Daybreak: If that’s a ghetto, then you have lived a very soft life.

But the WIND!

They never ask about the wind that will:

  • Steal your BBQ cover, leaving it a quarter mile away, stuck in a neighbor’s tree.
  • Hit your backyard with hurricane force micro-bursts that leave garbage all over your yard and rip panels out of your vinyl fencing.
  • Knock over your yard umbrella, even though it is fed through your picnic table AND an umbrella stand.
  • Relentlessly wear away at your trees, your hair and your will to live as you try to enjoy the outside, ride your bike or even take a simple walk around the lake.

Sometimes they ask about the Daybreak Stench. The wind DOES bring that smell about once a month. I had a commenter complain about it:

As a recent resident of daybreak I just got my first ‘whiff’ and it is APPALLING!! It is absolutely unacceptable and the public should be told about it so they can make an educated decision about the move here. That landfill needs to be shut down!! It can not be healthy and it is a ridiculous statement that you made to ‘stop whining’. Insist on a higher level of living. Become active on fixing the problem…don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist. That’s just pathetic.

I find it interesting that the rich folk here in Daybreak think that the solution is to “shut down” the landfill. Where do they think their garbage goes? Apparently, they don’t want it to go in the county landfill. Do they think the neighborhood would smell better if each family had to deal with their own garbage? I wonder how they would like to have to burn, compost or bury their own waste in their own backyard.

As I said before, the Daybreak Stench doesn’t smell all that bad to me. It reminds me of a very happy childhood, just like the smell of a dead skunk on the side of the highway. So many people HATE the smell of a skunk, even if the animal died miles away, but at a certain distance, I’ve found that I like that smell.

I know I’m not SUPPOSED to like it.

I know that dead skunks and landfills are supposed to smell bad, but they don’t to me. This morning, the wind brought the Daybreak Stench into my open windows and I felt joyful. It reminded me of spring mornings in West Valley. It brought to my mind skateboarding on my orange, plastic skateboard all day long, around and around my block in Cherrywood. It made me smile.

I believe that ANY smell can be good or bad, depending on the memories that are attached to it. If you live a few years here in Daybreak and they are happy ones, then the Daybreak Stench will be a happy reminder of your time here. It will remind you of your early morning walks around the lake. It will bring to mind your happy bike rides along the trails, saying hi to the people you passed. It will remind you of the morning after a relentless wind when you finally found the right brick to put on your BBQ cover to keep it in place.

It’s like what William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so by William Shakespeare

Should you move to Daybreak? I don’t know. If you are an entitled elitist who believes that landfills should be closed down and insists on “a higher level of living,” then maybe this wonderful neighborhood isn’t for you. Go find another neighborhood and let a NICE person move here instead.

1/14/2014

Daybreak in Winter 2014

Filed under: Living in Daybreak,Living in Utah — Laura Moncur @ 4:01 pm

I have loved living in Daybreak for the last few years and I felt a little silly for never filming any walking videos here, so I filmed one today. It was so sunny and beautiful that I thought it was a perfect day for a walk.

Sometimes the winter blahs get me down, but today was so beautiful that I’m glad I recorded it. I’ll be able to watch it the next time I’m trapped in the house by a storm.

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