Goodbye, Ogden

ogden water tower

Today is my last day in Ogden. Tomorrow, I’ll start making my way to New York City for my next adventure in life. I’ve been an Ogden resident for just over four and a half years, and as excited as I am for the next phase I’m finding this parting to be very bittersweet. I originally moved to Ogden at the Air Force’s direction, having my first assignment out of college be to Hill AFB. I was less than enthused – I grew up in Colorado, and was hoping to be sent to places new and different rather than a variant on the mountain west that I had known for most of my life. But everyone I talked to that had been stationed here loved it, and after finding a pretty sweet duplex in the central district I kept optimistic.

I moved here, and over the next couple years had some major life events that weren’t necessarily good. I went through a phase of depression, struggling with moving to a new city/trying to make new friends/not feeling like I was making a difference at work. While living in Utah was certainly better than what I had expected, I was still having a hard time calling it “home”.  I separated from the Air Force after a few years and started a new job, which helped quite a bit. I felt like I was contributing more at work, and had started to have a pretty solid group of friends. Eventually I found Indie Ogden, and that started what has become an amazing year and one of the best points in my life (see more about last year on my blog).

And although I’ve started Ogden holds a special place in my heart, I still feel out of place. There’s something I can’t put into words about the culture in Utah that doesn’t mesh well with me. I made a resolution to get a new job I’m passionate about and move to a big city, and tomorrow I’ll start on that journey. Before I leave though, I wanted to follow in the vein of a couple of our posts about the things we love in Ogden:

5 Things About Ogden I’ll Miss

(in no particular order)

Working with Indie Ogden and the Indie Ogden Crew

Working with Indie Ogden has introduced me to some fabulous people and really opened my eyes to all the amazing things going on around town. I never would have found out about Hack Ogden and the local startup community, the sweet radio shows on 88.1, delicious places to eat like Desert Magnolia, fun groups like Hilarity House, and all the really great business owners. I’ll especially miss working with the Indie Ogden Crew. We’ve had some ups and downs, but the last year with Mikaela, Kristin, Jenny, and Lauren has been great and we’ve been able to do some pretty amazing things. It’s also fantastic to see the love and excitement our writing team has for Ogden, and I’ll dearly miss the whole team.

Lucky Slice Pizza

Coincidentally, the review for Lucky Slice was the first article I ever wrote for Indie Ogden, and this place quickly became my favorite hang out (it helped that it was only half a block from my apartment). First off, the pizza is easily some of the best I’ve ever had (including pizza from Naples and Grimaldi’s in NYC). The combinations are all creative and delicious (the Dub All-Star is still my favorite), and the beer selection rocks. Nick, Mike, and Will have made a really fun place to hang out, and they’ve got a great year coming up building off of the sweet events they held last year and the success leading to an outlet up at Powder Mountain.

Historic 25th Street

Moving downtown to 25th Street was the arguably the best choice I made (that or joining Indie Ogden). All the best food, bars, shops, and events are on 25th Street or close to it, and being within walking distance of all that was awesome. I had front row seats to Worldwide on H25, the filming of the Mistletones, Harvest Fest, and more. It took me two minutes to get to my favorite coffee shop/yoga studio, four minutes to my favorite pizza place, six minutes to my favorite bar, and fifteen to the Junction. Downtown Ogden is super hip, and 25th Street is the heart of all that.

Oh god, it’s so beautiful

I’ve taken having mountains surround me for granted. Growing up on the front range in Colorado, going to school in Seattle, and living here – I’ve always had a horizon with mountains. Utah’s natural landscape is especially beautiful – the mountains thrust up to soaring heights immediately, compared to the gradual build-up in Colorado. Snow-capped or not, I always catch myself just staring at the majesty of the Wasatch range. The skyscrapers of NYC capture my attention too, but it’s not the same. Not being able to just drive to the end of 27th street and start hiking, getting up to 7000ft in an hour is something I’ll have a hard time getting used to. And interestingly enough, on my flight out to NYC a couple weeks ago, the plane took a path over Ogden I’d never been on before (see below). I’m assuming fate was doing this just to make a point.

2013-04-10 17.20.10

Hack Ogden

The startup community in Ogden is vibrant, and everyone I’ve met has been fantastic. Going to the weekly meetup was one of the highlights of last year for me, and working through coding problems and helping each other out with business models has been invigorating. I doubt I’d have landed the job that I did in NYC without having met these guys. Special shoutouts to George, Joel, Mitch, Alex, Matt, and Zarin.

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Ogden has changed in remarkable ways since I first moved here, and that’s only going to get better in the next few years. Startup Ogden, Summit’s involvement in the area, the push to make Ogden a college town: all these things are showing that the Ogden today is not the Ogden from 20 years ago. It’s bittersweet to be leaving at such an exciting time, but you can be sure to hear about it all right here at Indie Ogden. It’s been a joy to be involved in such a great group and be able to meet all our awesome fans. I will miss you.

the indie ogden crew

If you’d like to keep in touch, follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, or contact me on my site (you can see my other social networks there too).

Guest bloggers are locals who love Ogden! To become a guest blogger, email Mikaela@indieogdenutah.com.