April 26, 2007
Posted by Gordon Smith

According to Eric Wilson (NYT), "Nature is so in." And:

Nature — or the appearance of embracing nature — is chic these days. Judging by the direction of fashion and home décor and of-the-moment restaurants and shops, you might mistake Manhattan for Montana. The raw concrete floors and white walls of 1990s minimalism have been swept away. In their place, new boutiques and cafes in the city’s glossier neighborhoods resemble overdesigned hunting lodges — dark and moody, with uneven floorboards to trip over and, almost inevitably, a set of antlers hanging from the rafters.

It appears that I really missed an opportunity during my recent house-hunting trip to Utah. When we realized that homes near BYU were priced at a premium, we decided to explore some options further from campus. On one of those trips, my son looked out the window and sighed, "antlers." He had spotted a rack mounted over a garage door.

Not that there's anything wrong with antlers. It's just that I spent most of my childhood with antlers-mounting people (read: my family) in rural Wisconsin, and I run with a different crowd now.

So I told the real estate agent that we could head back toward the campus -- not that Provo and Orem are antler-free -- but she had made appointments at several houses. And doggone it, we were going to see those houses. Well, the first house after the antler sighting featured a large buck's head in the entry way. By the time we stopped laughing about that, we were walking down to the basement, which was organized around a taxidermied bear cub.

So ended our Mapleton adventure.

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