Gorgeous La Cornue stove in a Park City ski condo

I saw the most beautiful range on open house tour today! It’s so Julia Child. This La Cornue stove is in a ski-in/ski-out condo at Silver Strike Lodge. Heather Humphrey of Alder & Tweed partnered with the listing agent for this open house, so luckily she was on hand to give me a rundown on this gorgeous thing.

Silver Strike Lodge is in the Empire Pass area of Deer Valley Ski Resort in Park City, Utah. The whole listing (while it lasts) can be found here: Silver Strike Lodge #708

Kristina’s Tips for Sundance: The Local’s Guide

dont panic its only sundance

Ah, the Sundance Film Festival. When our quiet mountain town gets its Vegas on for two weeks. I am not being facetious when I say there is no dream too big for Sundance. My office at 625 Main Street this year is turning into a lounge for Merrell shoes*, and according to the plans, they’ll be building some sort of mountain experience hallway with conveyor belts and maybe air jets? Listen, all of Main Street and other random parts of the town become a pop-up art installation. Remember, when you’re here on vacation, everything is fun and exciting. When you finally start living your life and move to paradise and live here full-time, it takes special effort to maneuver and enjoy the big events that put Park City on the map. This is my local’s guide to dealing with Sundance.

dont panic its only sundance
1. Do your research. Spend some serious time on this website: Sundance Film Festival. Know what is happening, when and where. You want to know what people are talking about, where they’re headed, and for logistics purposes, where the crowds will be headed and at what times. The first weekend of Sundance is the craziest. Yes, there are film, music and art celebrities and the star watchers and paparazzi that follow. For instance at Park City Live, on Friday night Skrillex is playing. Yes, that Skrillex. Consider yourself warned.

2. Plans will change. If you want to be a part of the festival–and I recommend it–be cool. Sundance has the inherent potential to dissolve into a crazy melee of scheduling disasters. Don’t get your heart set on anything. Adventures will find you in this space if you are open to them. Pop-up restaurants, musical performances and guerilla art installations literally erupt everywhere. Magical teams of contractors whip up living rooms on sidewalks one day and by the next morning they’re gone. Be open to the adventure. Open your mind and go check things out. Don’t try to understand the point of anything. In some ways, it’s like walking through a modern art museum. If you’re too stodgy there will be a lot of “this is art?” and “what the hell is going on here?” BE COOL. It’s an experience and if you go with the flow you will have an amazing adventure you never dreamed you would and also a great story to tell.

kimball arts center for sundance

3. There will be traffic. So. Much. Traffic. What do you expect? There are movies and events and adventure and food trucks and all kinds of jazz everywhere. If you are going to attend any of the films or events, use public transit. It’s free, and these next two weeks look out for the Sundance Shuttle signs, offering extra stops, routes and drivers. Cabs or Uber are an option, but remember this is a quiet mountain town after all, so there is a limited capacity for the number of cars that can be on the roads. If you’re not headed to any of the events, be mindful of when the scheduled events are beginning and ending and when the lifts close. (Sundance is usually a good time to ski because most of the visitors are here for the festival, not the resorts). Don’t wait to get gasoline until your gas light comes on. Hit the restroom before you leave. Have water and a granola bar in your car so you don’t get hangry on the way home. And politely utilize backroads when you can.

Side note: last year the Waffle Love food truck popped up in Prospector near the Park City Board of Realtors building. Should that happen this year I will diligently report live from the scene.

4. All the purchasing. This is one of the great benefits of having Sundance here: grocery stores, the liquor stores, and restaurants will be packed. Profit for the businesses, revenue for the tax commission. It’s a good thing. However, this means if you’re on your way home and just need one thing at the grocery store, you will probably suffer for it. So plan ahead! Treat this weekend like Thanksgiving: shop early, and maybe go a little out of your way just to save your sanity. The Fresh Market at Pinebrook is a lovely and quiet experience, and for many stores in Salt Lake City it’s business as usual. If you need booze, hit the liquor store right away. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL FRIDAY OH MY GOODNESS SAVE YOURSELVES.

5. Dining out is out. For the most part, dining out will not be in your cards for the next two weeks. Unless you’re eating at Karleen’s Uptown Fare**, at the base of the Star Hotel at the top of Main Street, that famously has a local’s-only policy during Sundance. It’s a good two weeks to cook at home or have friends over. If you do want to venture out, send some love to the restaurants off Main Street and away from the film venues. And if you can’t get those steamed pork buns at Wahso out of your head that’s fine, just don’t be a jerk to the wait staff when you can’t get a table quickly. Stay calm. And tip extremely well.

BoxOffice

Remember, the Sundance Film Festival is an adventure. A big one. A multi-faceted one. There are parts of Sundance that are altruistic and legitimately concerned with giving unknown filmmakers and artists a platform to present their blood, sweat and tears to the world. A celebration of passion. Some truly beautiful works have come out of Sundance. (Like Super Troopers. And American Ham.) There are also parts, the louder and more visible parts of Sundance that seem so commercialized that it’s easy to get disenfranchised. But marketing happens in the most magnanimous of spaces. It’s fine. Seek out the unique experiences. Go looking for something you’d never have planned on.

Be ready for the adventure.

 

2016 UPDATES:

*625 Main will allegedly be the Variety Magazine Lounge.

**Uptown Fare is moving into their new space at 1401 Kearns Blvd with, the Kimball Art Center’s temporary new digs.  The booze rule still applies though, go early and often!

Lucky Lentil Soup for New Year’s Eve

Lentils

New Years Eve is by itself a day filled with excitement and anticipation. Here in the ski town of Park City, it happens at one of the busiest weeks of the year. The whole world visits PC for their holiday vacations, the town is a flurry, and if we’re lucky, the weather hits us with tons of new, gorgeous powder. Tonight, there is a party at every bar and restaurant on Main Street. The resorts are all having events, and you will not be wanting for exciting entertainment. A few ideas from VisitParkCity.com.

For me? I’m all about that hot date with my sofa. No parties for me. But, I review my year and set my intentions for the coming year. And I give in to one particular superstition: Lucky lentil soup. Lentils are healthy, humble, and delicious. And for New Year’s, they cater to the tradition that eating coin-shaped food will bring good fortune for the coming year. I like the reminder that we can make something fabulous out of even the most humble of situations. So tonight, I will be tucking into a beautiful bowl of lentil soup, thinking about my year, and getting ready for 2015 to be my best year yet.

Lentils
Lucky lentils for the new year

Lucky Lentil Soup

2 slices of bacon, diced

1 onion, diced

1 cup vegetables diced, such as carrots, potatoes, celery, etc.

1 clove garlic, pressed

1 bay leaf

1 cup dried lentils, rinsed

3-5 cups of chicken stock

salt and pepper

1. In a heavy pan or dutch oven, cook the bacon until it is crispy, remove and reserve.

2. Cook the onion in the bacon fat until the edges begin to turn golden. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

3. Add 3 cups of the stock, the bay leaf, the lentils, and some pepper. Cover and boil for 20 minutes. Add the vegetables, and add the broth as needed and simmer until lentils are tender and pleasant to eat. (If you like your soup more like a stew like I do, boil for another 15 minutes or so before adding the vegetables so they don’t get too soggy.)

4. Check seasoning for salt and pepper.

Serve with a bubbly beverage, a crusty bread, and of course, sharp dill pickles.

Happy New Year!

Halloween 2014, Park City : The Candy Apocalypse

Parkites love a party, we said. Twelve hundred pieces of candy is plenty, we said. It won’t be much larger than last year, we said.

We were wrong.

At 1 PM, the streets were still.

Halloween in Park City 2014

No sign of the coming bedlam. No whisper of a crowd. Nary a candy wrapper in the breeze. The only things that foretold the coming mania were road signs warning citizens not to park on the street. The city knew. The city knew all along.

We had prepared with light-hearted reverie. Amusing real estate signs and heads on stakes.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Soon, a boy arrived. Dressed as Harry Potter, innocent enough.

Patient Zero.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Children were the first to turn.

Halloween in Park City 2014

The adults presented more slowly, in isolated pockets of hysteria.

Halloween in Park City 2014

The affected banded together, bound to each other by some common theme. A similar strain.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Even the animals started showing signs of the madness.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Halloween in Park City 2014

Scuffles were inevitable.
Halloween in Park City 2014

The people coped as best they could.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Even inanimate objects showed signs of contamination. We were never able to confirm with the Montage at Deer Valley if they indeed were afflicted as their model appeared to show.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Communications were cut off; overtaxed bandwidth struggled, then faltered, then failed. Discarded phones lost in plastic caldrons of chocolate bars and hard candy. And then, they came.

HalloweenParkCity2014-(20)

In droves they came. Wave after wave descended upon Main Street. Masquerading as a “dog parade,” the infected, the spirited, swarmed from one shop to the next.

 

HalloweeninParkCity2014
(Photo taken by our superstar Summit Sotheby’s International Realty photography team)

I, and others, tied balloons to children, hoping the helium-filled beacons might give our young a chance at being found, and fed.

HalloweeninParkCity
(Photo taken by our superstar Summit Sotheby’s International Realty photography team)

 

When supplies had run low at the doorstep of the uprising, the storm began to break. Gently, quietly, an antidote crept in. Some brave soul dared distribute the only product that could possibly tame the epidemic.

Halloween in Park City 2014

Slowly, a calm settled. As the masses began to disburse, even the most active of rioters ran out of steam.

Halloween in Park City 2014

After the Great Outbreak, what came to be called Halloween on Main Street 2014, we gathered. In bars, in restaurants, on front porches and in parlors. Friends and strangers, bonded by our experience. We spoke in revered tones. We sipped cider and pondered the meaning of “fun size.” We watched Jack Nicholson chop through a door on television and boasted about how we might have skied out the window and down the side of that hotel.

And we prepared ourselves for next year.

Solitude Rundown Part Une

On October 2, 2014, Deer Valley Resort announced rather out of the blue that they were going to purchase Solitude Mountain Resort. A small, boutique resort with very limited development potential due to water and sewer availability and infrastructure. I’m scratching my head as to why exactly DV would move on this property when for 30 years they haven’t expanded beyond their own resort.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

The easiest answer is that they wanted to snatch it up before Vail Resorts picked up another resort, a more complicated answer is so DV can vie for Brighton and connect all three, a boring answer is that Solitude really needed a buyer and Deer Valley had the means to step in. Wild speculation aside, the short of it is that what Solitude really needs to grow is more retail and dining, more activities, more summer action, more infrastructure, and more marketing. And Deer Valley has the big guns to make that happen. I’m very interested to see what changes they implement in the coming years.

But boy, is it a beautiful resort.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

And the drive from Park City over Guardsman Pass in the fall is breathtaking.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

A 22 minute drive from the Sotheby’s office in Silver Lake took me an hour and a half because I had to pull over and take pictures every 500 feet.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

I mean really.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

Here are the pics from my drive. Hi, my name is Kristina, and I am a leafer. Solitude, an album on Flickr.

Another thing I’m speculating about is the future of this road from Empire Pass to Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s impassible in the wintertime, which means ski and board enthusiasts have to drive down to Salt Lake and back up the canyon. Mark my words, I bet we’ll see Deer Valley take over maintenance and plowing of that highway from the state soon to encourage quicker traffic to Solitude.

The thing about Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons is that they are blessed with incredible amounts of snow. Thank you Great Salt Lake, for dat lake effect. To put it in perspective, Deer Valley gets an average of 300 inches of snow a year. Solitude, Brighton and Snowbird each average 500 inches a year (Snowbird set a record of 783 in 2011, so sayeth Wikipedia).

Here we have a trail map, looking innocent enough.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

I am 5’6″. And I am standing so far below this trail map sign that I had to hold my phone at my thigh and point it straight up my nose in order to catch the tippy top of my head and the sign in this selfie. For the first time ever, I see the value in that selfie stick. I couldn’t even touch the bottom of the bottom log if I stood on that boulder and jumped.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

Mind you, the point of the trail map is for people to ski up to it and read it, which means the snow at that point of the base is usually, well, PRETTY DARNED DEEP.

Here we are at the lift.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

You all know how ski lifts work, right? You ski or board up to it, the chair comes around, and you sit down on it and are taken up the mountain. Here you see me standing at the chair. I’m even posturing here on tippy toes with my shoulder up high after that sheepish exposure at the trail map. And still. Very very far away from just sitting down on that chair, people.

Guardman Pass to Solitude

Solitude is worth considering now more than ever for real estate purchases. Always a sleeper favorite, studios begin (for now) in the $180s, and are big with Salt Lake residents looking to get out of the inversion for the weekends. Lots of product ready for remodels, and very interesting possibilities for potential. In Solitude Rundown Part Deux I’ll go over the different lodges at the base and what you can get for the money.

In the meantime, Snowbird’s SnowCam is worth making into a bookmark. Solitude, Snowbird, Alta and Brighton all have great snowcams, but the Snowbird one is famous for their giant logo’d snow measuring stick and show timelapses of the tremendous snowfall. Even right now, today, their 24-hour timelapse shows a significant amount of snowfall.

Number of squats since last ski season: 0. Welp.

Tavaci at Big Cottonwood Canyon

Exciting news about the Tavaci project up Big Cottonwood Canyon. Big Cottonwood Canyon is home to Solitude and Brighton ski resorts, and is just the prettiest drive in the fall. The scenic byway that takes you up the canyon and to the resorts in the summer connects to Guardsman Pass, which means you can drive from Park City to Big Cottonwood or back (only in the summer!). The Tavaci project is tucked into the base of the canyon, and has been planned as a gated community with 43 lots, 40+ acres of open space, and a very careful master plan to ensure that the homes built and yards kept all enhance, not detract from the canyon’s natural beauty. With more and more people looking to get out of the inversion in the Salt Lake Valley, gorgeous communities like this make a short commute completely worthwhile: 20 minutes from Tavaci to the Salt Lake International Airport, 30 minutes to Park City. Tavaci had seen some delays but is moving forward at full speed now, featuring Guy Dreier Designs. Guy Dreier is known for contemporary style using organic form, and is famous for his spectacular homes in Palm Springs, Boca Raton, Vail, Salt Lake, and La Jolla.

Click below for the full brochure. We’re not expecting these premium lots to last long, so if you have any questions, call or email me.

Tavaci at Big Cottonwood Canyon
Tavaci at Big Cottonwood Canyon

Christmas Dinner at Wahso

Christmas in a ski town is particularly fun. The snow is Christmas-card snow, cartoon snow, piled up on rooftops and perched on pine boughs and glowing from the lights strung underneath. The town is generally very busy, and the evenings are full of exciting meals and entertainment. My Christmas tradition means going out to dinner. This year, we went to Wahso on Main Street.
Wahso_Menu

Wahso, like many Main Street restaurants, is more on the fine dining side of the spectrum, though the dress code is “mountain casual.” Jeans and a mock turtleneck zip-top sweater are the norm but a suit jacket or heels aren’t at all inappropriate.

This time of year, all the lights at individual shops are lit, plus the town strings multi-colored lights from building to building the whole length of Main. MainStreet
For starters, we had the steamed pork belly buns and potstickers. The buns were chewy and soft, the pork belly irresistibly crispy, and the homemade pickle, well, can you ever go wrong with a pickle? The pot stickers were also fantastic, nicely shaped, perfectly cooked, and an interesting fusion-y sauce of soy and balsamic vinegar.

Wahso_Apps

For entrees, my husband opted for the New York with ginger fried rice. Wahso_Steak

I opted for the seared duck breast and duck confit. We both cleared our plates. Even my pomegranate teriyaki sauce, which is saying something because I’m usually not a fan of pomegranate seeds.
Wahso_Duck

For dessert, we had the coconut creme brulet, which was brulete-d and served in an actual half coconut shell. The tower you see is a beautiful macaroon and chocolate-dipped pokey sticks. We also sipped a whiskey and a sherry, because we are old-timey like that.
Wahso_Dessert

One bottle of wine and two spirits in us, we bid goodbye to our excellent server and walked out onto the cold, crisp air of Main Street in December. People were still out and active, the neighborhood still alive and vibrant.

Wahso_lights
And of course, the Main Street trolley was running (have I mentioned how fabulous our free city bus system is lately? It’s fabulous. Also free.) so we hopped on and rode it for a few blocks to get us closer to our home in the historic district of Old Town.