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A Love Letter To Salt Lake City, By Ty Burrell

Published: 05/21/2014 --

Dear Salt Lake City,

Ours has been a relatively brief love, but a strong one nonetheless. I met you in 1999 when I did a play at the Pioneer Theatre Company as a way of spending more time near my girlfriend, now wife, Holly. I loved you immediately for your humility and your unassuming nature.

Over the next 10 years my wife and I travelled back and forth to spend time with family and began to fall deeper in love with your incredibly affordable lifestyle and immediate access to the outdoors. We fell so deeply that we didn't feel like we could be apart anymore and we moved from New York in 2008.

I'm sorry but over the past 6 years we've become stalkers. It's your fault. We didn't realize the incredible impact that having the differing viewpoints of both the religious and secular populations of Utah would have on us. So many cities are actually mono-cultures and Salt Lake has an inherent diversity that's not always apparent. We didn't realize that the earnest, good nature of your citizens would lead to a feeling of wanting to pitch in even more, or that it would lead to us investing in this growing community. Nor did we realize that the same qualities of affordability and proximity to nature that brought us here would also bring thousands of creative folks wanting to raise their families in this ridiculously beautiful place.

I'm fairly certain that you're about to explode onto the national scene in the way that some other smaller cities have in the past 10 years. I will try to keep my jealousies at bay as people move here. I'll make you a deal. If, as you grow, you pay attention with great detail to traffic, air quality, conservation, affordable housing, and social justice, then I will work hard to never get so weirdly possessive that you need to take out a restraining order.

With Love, Ty