In Magazine Utah Downtown Alliance 2013 : Page 39

“My favorite thing about downtown is how it comes alive each spring and summer. So much goodness kicks into high gear. ” Similar words could be used to describe Jesse Walker, with one pointed exception of course: the place he’s chosen to call home. “While I was growing up, Salt Lake always had this in-credible allure to me,” says Walker, who moved to Utah from his native Idaho Falls when he was just 18. “It had everything I wanted—mu-sic, clubs, dancing—all the culture I didn’t have in my hometown.” Walker is probably best known for his work as a D.J., a passion he pursues two to three nights a week at events ranging from art gallery open-ings and warehouse parties to fundraisers and outdoor festivals. “I like playing big events but the smaller, more intimate venues are still my favorite. Places like Zest,” he says. His style doesn’t fi t easily into any one genre—unless playing nothing you’d hear on the radio is a genre. In a nutshell, however, Walker himself probably describes it best: “an uncompromising blend of intelligent, eclectic music.” Walker muses about one-off design, music, art, fashion and whatever else is moving him at the moment on newcitymovement.com, recently billed as one of the city’s most established and interesting blogs, which he launched in 1995 well before the term blog existed. “It started out as just a website, but I found it was a lot easier to maintain as a blog rather than having to go in and rewrite code all the time,” Walker says. “Looking back I think newcitymovement. com is a journal timeline of how I view life in Salt Lake City,” During the day Walker is a graphic designer at Contact, brander of distinctive Utah-based companies like Hugger Mugger and Grace Carter. He and boyfriend of 15 years Mark Hofeling (Set designer for Utah-made fi lms including “High School Musical.”) recently moved from a converted auto-body garage on the west side to the Rowhaus condos. Now, more than any other time in the 15 years he’s called downtown home, Walker believes Salt Lake City is on the verge of something big. “It started with the food movement and has moved to the live music scene. It feels like the gelled moments are becoming more and more common. People seem to be fi nally start-ing to embrace weirdness and maybe now Salt Lake has a real shot at becoming an oasis in a sea of red similar to Austin,” Walker says. JESSE walKer A new city movement. rbandictionary defines a hipster as “a sub-culture of men and women typically in their 20s and 30s who value independent think-ing, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence and witty banter found living in the Williams-burg, Wicker Park and Mission District neighborhoods in New York, Chicago and San Francisco respectively.” downtownslc.org 39

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