Saturday, December 1, 2012

Paradise (Gardens) Lost

"Who designed this mad labyrinth?!" I throw my hands in the air, as photographer Dan Dixon and I continue our exasperating search for apartment 1-114 at a student apartment complex in Provo, Utah.

It's Friday and I've been assigned a wacky story about a college student who rents puppies to other college kids.  It is a far cry from the usual tales of sadness upon which I usually find myself reporting.

Jenna, the puppy whisperer, lives in one of a dozens of colossal student warehouses in this college town that includes three universities.  Branbury Gardens, or  Braebury Terrace, or what ever it's called, has a ridiculous footprint.  The complex is plunked down on hundreds of acres.  You can get an idea of its lunacy from this Google satellite picture.  This is just one of 4 groups of buildings on this property.  The mammoth, coiled snake is splayed out like a giant backward letter "S" There are a dozen different numbers sections inside each section of this serpentine thing,  Jenna is in there somewhere.  Jeennnaaaa!!! Where  are you?!

After 10 minutes of this fruitless searching I call her, "Hey Jenna, we're here at your complex.  Where are you exactly?" After a short pause, she utters, "uh."
That's when I realize even this poor girl, who is forced into this chaos probably cant explain the MC Esher world in which she had been sentenced.

After summoning our inner Magellan, and clicking on our GPS, we stumble upon her little house.

"Man," I say as I shake her hand excitedly as if she holds an antidote to some strange disease I carry, "this place is ridiculous."  As if she's met a kindred spirit, she vigorously agrees, "tell me about, it took me 10 minutes to find my door, when I first moved in here."

M.C Esher sketch, or Branbury Gardens, I'm not sure
Unfortunately our tail chasing won't end.  Jenna and a fellow puppy pusher, must deliver Wesley the Maltese, and pick up Toast, a fluffy brown something, and she will have to do this at two equally as large, equally as insane apartment complexes.

The four of us will drift aimlessly, like a group of Nebraska tourist trying to find a comedy club we read about on TripAdvisor, in New York City. "Well if this is building six, then that must be 7."   We will say to one another, as our lost caravan treks, like Ponce De Leon, searching for the Fountain of Youth.  "Eureka!"  Apartment 145!

Dan shoots a few frames of video, I interview one of the puppy renters, thank them for their time and finally we are free of this absurdity.  We say our farewells, and Dan and I lament about our ridiculous hunt, then as we stand in a gargantuan parking lot, Dan turns to me and asks.  "Where did we park?"

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