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Author Topic: Utahns
The Drake
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Any Utahns out here? I just concluded a phone screen with a company near Salt Lake City, and I'll be headed to the area shortly. I've spoken with one helpful person at the Concord Party about the area, but now that my probability of moving has gone up - I'm seeking more sources.

As a Bostonian by way of San Francisco, it seems like there will be some adjustments. Some easy, some hard. I'd especially be interested in hearing from people who have moved to Utah from elsewhere.

Is the GSL really as big as it looks on the map?

Will I be attacked by roving gangs of Mormons? [Smile] , (just in case someone thought that was meant seriously)

How much will I be paying to heat my apartment/home?

Does it snow in the valleys, or just the hills and mountains? Do roads slow down a great deal?

Most important, what do you like/dislike about living there?

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Pete at Home
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Plus: More educated tastes than most other places you'll see. For example, Much Ado About Nothing stayed in the dollar theater for over ten months. Two opera companies for SLC's 1 million people. Probably the greatest number of multilingual people in any state.

Minus: The two party system in Utah means that SLC and park city remain Democratic, while everywhere else remain strongly entrenched in Republican hands. Both parties are effectively unchallenged in most of their elections, leading to some corruption and abuse of power. While there are many voices of disapproval about the federal government, with respect to local government, Utahns IMO show an unhealthy trust of authority.

Find yourself a circle of friends that includes both LDS and non LDS. That will help keep you out of the narrow whiny extremes.

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pickled shuttlecock
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quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
As a Bostonian by way of San Francisco, it seems like there will be some adjustments. Some easy, some hard. I'd especially be interested in hearing from people who have moved to Utah from elsewhere.

Ooh, ooh! (Raises hand.)

Is the GSL really as big as it looks on the map?

Yep. Sometimes it's even bigger.

The year we moved here, it flooded. We've got a picture of a sign sticking up out of the water that says, "20 miles to the Great Salt Lake."

The lake bed is very flat, so a little water goes a long way. You can wade out about a mile into it. In years that the lake is on the small side, if you don't clean your pants afterward, you can lean them against a wall.

Will I be attacked by roving gangs of Mormons? [Smile] , (just in case someone thought that was meant seriously)

Yes. They'll be especially interested in your lime jell-o.

How much will I be paying to heat my apartment/home?

I believe summer is actually more expensive. I'll have to check with my wife, but when we lived in a house (yonks ago), I think we were spending an extra $80/month on air conditioning. Heating was a little less.

Does it snow in the valleys, or just the hills and mountains? Do roads slow down a great deal?

Everywhere, but the hills get this wonderful thing called "lake effect," wherein the Great Salt Lake Gods stuff a few more inches in residents' faces. In the valleys, you can expect a few days of 3-4-inch snowfall, with fewer (but real) possibilities of 9-inch snow. On the benches, you get a few days of 9-inch snow.

Most important, what do you like/dislike about living there?

I hate the weather.

Okay, most of the time I hate the weather. There are eight months out of the year that are either unbearably hot or unbearably cold. The remaining four are split evenly between fall and spring, and the weather is unbearably good. [Smile] Warm sun, pleasant, cool, wind, not much rain, leaves sprouting or turning the color of fire...it's beautiful.

Oh, and the sunsets are spectacular any time of the year. There's a lot of dust in Nevada.

There's a tendency here to conflate conservative ideals with religion, so if that bothers you it's a bad thing. (It bothers me a bit, but it leans my direction.) Of course, religious liberals tend to do the same thing...so it's just an artifact of living in the midwest.

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Pete at Home
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My big minus was the economy. The software industry was dying before 9-11, and the fall of the twin towers massacred my own company and several others. Steel fell about the same time, and nearly half my ward community lost their jobs. I decided that even if I could find a legal job in Utah after law school, that I did not want to raise my boys where they had no economic future.

Big plus: A lot of very generous and honest people. Anecdotes:

  • people get lost wallets mailed to them with all the money inside.
  • Some guy apparently takes it on himself to drive down a few miles of the Salt Lake beach, in his 4-wheel, "just in case" anyone gets stuck, and then tows them, for free. (This is according to a friend of mine from CA that visited SLC as a tourist, and got towed).
  • Some folks in our neighborhood saw my wife and I trying to squeeze our three children into my little Ford Escort, and then GAVE us their old van. (They tried to do it anonymously, through a third party).
Sadly the honesty factor doesn't extend to certain business dealings. There are a lot of investment scams. I guess that a community of naive and overtrusting people, naturally attracts con artists.

I very strongly recommend you watch the movie "BRIGHAM CITY," to get the idea of what sets Utah communities apart from most other US communities. It's a slow-paced but very compelling murder mystery show, and you can find it in any Blockbuster. I think I enjoyed it even more than "Witness," which is the most similar show I've seen to this one. I'll be very surprised if you don't find it interesting.

[ October 20, 2005, 04:42 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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The Drake
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From what I've heard and read, SLC economy in tech is doing well and expanding. Housing prices are rising, but still less than 1/2 of what I'm paying in California. For my personaly specialty, there aren't really other jobs in the area and that is a concern, but at my level of experience it won't be hard to move again in a few years.

I'll probably be a little creeped out by the friendliness if it manifests as you describe it - I know that was true as I made my way across country through similar areas. Very different from New England stoic individualism. The New England demeanor might rub people the wrong way, if they're not used to it. Heck, even if they are used to it.

I had no idea that the Lake was so shallow! That's wild.

3-4 inches of snow is child's play. 3-4 feet, now that's a Man's amount of snow. And as far as unbearable cold, I've been through -20F and stiff wind. The kind of cold that transforms your coat (not jacket) from fabric into drywall.

And if I can live through California politics, I imagine I can tolerate just about anything else.

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Pete at Home
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I tend to think of Utah culture as communal, but not collectivist. They call it the beehive state, but that metaphor implies a collective, while in some respects there's a lot of cultural focus on the individual. The difference to me is that the collective works by expectation and coercion, wheras Utah's communal characteristics seem to come from the individual's sense of having a stake in the community.

Glad to hear the tech economy is recovering.

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Pete at Home
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Yeah, you'll probably have a hard time of it -- easterners often complain about too many smiles and people who say "hi." [Big Grin]
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The Drake
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I once discussed that phenomenon with a guy I met out here in California who was from Philly. He spotted me by my East Coast accent. We got to talking about the random smiles and helpful attitude here in the Bay Area, I can only imagine the jump to Utah communal culture. When somebody you don't know approaches you in the East, you start calculating what their angle is. What does this person want from me? Not universally true, of course, it varies by community.

I have never spoken two words to any of the people that I share a wall with. We're happy to preserve our anonymity. I suppose I'd lose that mutual anonymity culture, because you can't maintain it from one side. You could be the cranky loner in your neighborhood, but that's not the same. [Smile]

Too many smiles... reminds me of that old Star Trek episode where everybody kept grinning and greeting each other with a dreamy "Joy to You, Friend."

And when somebody isn't in their little circle, they are outcast, the natives criticize them by saying, "You are Not of the Body."

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Pete at Home
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Just put up a sign in the yard that says "he's not being rude; he's from New England." Once they get that it's just a cultural thing, I think you'll find things go much more smoothly.

I'm only half joking.

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The Drake
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Heh. I don't s'pose there's a "little New England" neighborhood in SLC? Where you can get clam chowder? Which reminds me, I've never lived that far from an ocean. Is there any good seafood? For that matter, what about food choices?

I've found that California doesn't have the greasy delis and sub shops that I loved from home. (Cheesesteak! It took me months to find the one tiny shop selling Phillies here in the Bay Area) Obviously, no shortage of variety here, or back home. Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Cuban, Thai....

How's Utah rank on the cuisinometer?

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johnson
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speaking of seafood in Utah, are those brine shrimp in the GSL fit for human eating?
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UofUlawguy
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Utah is a great place to live, as long as you don't mind a wide difference in weather from season to season. Utah is one of those places where you get really hot summers and really wintry winters. They also get some really wild winds howling down out of the canyons at certain times of year.

The mountains are the best thing Utah has going for it. You dont' have to be a skier, or hunter, or camper to enjoy the mountains. Just taking a drive or hike up into the canyons is enough to get the effect.

The lake is huge, but strangely it plays almost no role in most people's lives. A surprising number of people haven't even ever been to the lake. Occasionally, though, you can smell it from many miles away. And it does produce lake-effect snow. The brine shrimp aren't edible, or at least aren't eaten; they are harvested for uses such as fish food, however.

There are a number of cultural resources to check out. The Utah Symphony is great. There is also a ballet company and an opera company. There are a number of theaters -- amateur dramatics is popular, and sometimes not so amateur. Sports fans have the Utah Jazz, a couple of minor-league baseball teams (the ball park in Salt Lake City is one of the best minor league parks in the country), a hockey team, and a major-league soccer team, as well as some decent college sports.

Education levels tend to be high, but salaries are kept artificially low because of the high percentage of graduates who refuse to consider moving out of state, and simply accept whatever in-state job they are offered. Politics is, um, entertaining. If you are a Democrat, you will get very frustrated with the state government. If you are Republican, you will get annoyed with the mayor of Salt Lake.

The majority religion does make itself very obvious. For most (non-Mormon) people, it isn't a big problem, just a cause for frequent head-shaking and rueful jokes. You will probably get to know several Mormons, and become quite fond of some, and really mad at others. We apologize for the latter, recognizing that there are definitely jerks in the ranks.

Culinary choices have become quite varied in recent years. In part, it's because of immigration; certain minority groups have grown very rapidly. In part, it's also because so many Utahns have spent considerable time in foreign nations (as Mormon missionaries) and are nostalgic for the food.

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Rimmer
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One cool thing about Utah is that, although active Mormons are a minority, they're a large enough group that if you aren't a Mormon, you'll have a little community of people you can relate to. In my experience, there's a sense of subversive fraternity among Utahns who shop on Sunday or drink the occasional beer, even though the majority of Utahns are in that camp.

Salt Lake has a really great library system. Of course, I've never lived in Chicago or LA. But I just moved from SLC to Albuquerque, and I'm suffering withdrawls. There are six very nice city libraries, and dozens of well-stocked county libraries. The main city library is about five stories high, brand new and absolutely gorgeous. Have a look here to see more. Check out the pictures of the main library, and search the catalogue.

There is loads of good food in Salt Lake City. I highly recommend the Edo korean restaurant on 3300 S 700 E, and the lunch buffet at Shambala, a family-owned tibetan restaurant at 382 4th Ave, which is in "the avenues", by downtown. And there's an excellent second-run theatre/tavern called Brewvies. You can go catch a movie in a couple small theatres that have tables set up in front of all the seats. You can buy full meals and even steins of microbrew beers and eat and drink in the theatre. There are pool tables out front while you wait. And they even have wi-fi, so you can check your email while you watch the movie. Those are my favorites, but the city is packed with excellent restaurants.

One other nice thing is the system of directions in the city. I've never seen any other city that's as easy to find your way around. Everything is numbered in a grid system. For example, a store I used to shop at had the following address: 828 S 800 E. I don't care where you're from, spend 10 minutes in Salt Lake City, and you'll be able to find that store without directions. Even the streets that are named have numbers associated with them. For example, I used to live at the following address: XXXX E. Hollywood Ave (numbers changed to protect the innocent.) Want to know how to get there? All you have to know is that Hollywood Ave is 1950 S, and that's all the directions you'll need. There are a few highways and freeways that are good to learn, but you'll be finding your way around the city in no time.

I must admit I didn't like the snow in the winter. Especially two years ago. But other than that, I'm still homesick, so I'm having a hard time thinking of things I don't like about Salt Lake City. There are several other things I do like, but I'll leave it at this. Good luck and have fun.

[ October 20, 2005, 08:38 PM: Message edited by: Rimmer ]

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pickled shuttlecock
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If you don't go for city life (or you like it, but you'd rather live away from it), the suburbs are great. Probably one of the best places to raise children in the United States.

I love it when people say that, and then follow up with, "If only it weren't for those darn Mormons..."

Anyway, food: I'm not sure about Salt Lake City, but Provo has a pretty good Thai cuisine, of all things. I know of a nice Chinese restaraunt at around 13th South and State Street in SLC called the "Ho-Ho Gourmet" - but don't let the generic name put you off. A Chinese friend of mine took me there once. (He's from mainland China, and I suppose going for Hong Kong food is like us going out for a Texas steak.) Great stuff.

I second what UofUlawguy said about the mountains. They get into you. We live right at the base of one - Squaw Peak, standing like a sentinel and a barrier to the rest of the world. The sun coming up over the mountains is beautiful, and comforting in a way.

They're great for directions, too. You always know where east is - toward the mountains.

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Guilty
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I just barely saw this post ...

Anyway I am a natural-born Utahn and I know the country pretty well if you have any further questions. Of course I have been around the States my fair share so I'm not completely narrowminded ... but yes I am a Mormon and a Utahn born and raised, best part about Salt Lake is the roadsystems. Imagine straight roads that are numbered, instead of named ... that alone is heaven. And with relatively low traffic since its primarily a huge suburban sprawl instead of a towering super-jammed urban city ... its great!

As for the mountains, the tall purple peaks to the east are beautiful for sure! However fartehr west where I live lie the ugly Oquirrh mountains, older and trashier looking mountains, also super chewed up by extensive mining, but hey we have the world's largest man-made hole ... anyway good stuff.

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vulture
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quote:
Originally posted by Guilty:
Imagine straight roads that are numbered, instead of named ... that alone is heaven. And with relatively low traffic since its primarily a huge suburban sprawl instead of a towering super-jammed urban city ... its great!

I thought that that was the general pattern in pretyt much all American cities? Although, to be fair, the only one I've really visited is Minneapolis. But I'm pretty sure that they used a numbered road system there (XX street runs N-S, XX avenue runs E-W or something like that), with very few of them actually having names. And not very much traffic, even in the city center area.

No pedestrians either, which confused the hell out of me until I discovered the skyway system, where you walk around the whole downtown area without ever going outdoors.

Plus, it was a very friendly place to be. SO I just assumed that everywhere in the US was like that (aside from NY, anyway).

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Lisa M.
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Albany and Schenectady both have a lot of round/diagonal/curvy roads running through the city, and the streets aren't numbered. I know they're not shining metropoli, but they're definitely cities.
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philnotfil
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I was very happy to leave Utah. I hated the weather, you needed a jacket first thing in the morning, but by the end of the day you wanted shorts. "But it's a dry heat" may be true, but I'll take a moist sweaty 85 over a dry 100 any day. I had to ride my bike three miles in the snow one day, when I started there were about 4 inches of snow, by the time I got there it was up to a foot.

Great food, all kinds of ethnic foods made by people from those countries. Great entertainment if you are into the arts. Even a pretty decent local music scene. If you are into that stuff get hooked up with SLUG. If you can live someplace accessible by the rail system (Trax?) it will make life so much easier.

The funniest part to the whole mormonish thing is that the church and its members never made a big deal about stuff, it was always the people who felt opressed that were screaming about things. From what I saw the mormons went out of there way to not make religion a big deal, and the non-mormons went out of their way to make it a big deal. Living in Florida I can say that I was blessed to have something good in my life, but in Utah if I wasn't at church or with a group that I knew was LDS I would have to say lucky. There are tons of people that will tell you to have a blessed day, or that they are praying for you, or have some religious item prominently displayed on their home or car or office, in Utah you couldn't get away with that. Wierd.

Home Teaching was a lot easier, but I'm still glad to be out of Utah [Smile]

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The Drake
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Well, I'm going to find out for myself. I'm on a plane Sunday, and interviewing Monday. Starting bright and early at 9am with a 60 minute presentation (that I now have to prepare), and interviews throughout the day until 4-5pm.

I asked them if they'd fly me in Saturday, to give me more time to check out the area, and they prefer to fly me back a second time if we like each other after the interview. That's a little odd, I think. Maybe they just want to keep the pressure on.

And yes, it will be nice to deal with grid roads. East Coast cities don't have grids - especially in New England. Even when you do have a grid, like in Boston's Back Bay, it is not a numbered grid. Much less likely to get lost on my way to the interview.

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Adjudicator
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A couple of comments-

The grid system is indeed very easy to get around, with some notable exceptions. The city of Orem, for example, has coerced the grid into a series of cul-de-sacs which do not connect, so sometimes it can be a pain to get where you are going.

Cuisine in Utah is extraordinary, when you consider where the state is located and how many people live there. Obviously with no oceans close by the seafood isn't as good as say, Maryland or California. On the other hand, you can eat just about every type of food which exists- brazilian, chilean, mongolian etc. Lots of exotic choices which are difficult to find even in huge cities.

As far as how much you spend on utilities- the heat is comparable to southern California in the summer, without the benefit of beaches. How much you spend obviously depends on how comfortable you are in hot weather. We spend maybe 20-30% more on the electricity bill in the summer than we do in the winter. Heating also depends on the same factor- how cold can you live with. It also obviously depends on the size of house, age of house etc. We spend about $10 on natural gas in the summer and about $120 in the winter each month, but i expect that number to go up significantly this year due to Katrina etc.

Spring and Fall in Utah are unbeatable. The mountains are amazing all year round, but especially in these seasons.

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Pete at Home
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It's dry. Very dry. For some folks that's good, and for some, it's bad.
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pickled shuttlecock
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My wife and I have decided that we need to leave Utah eventually just because of that. She gets eczema during the very hot and very cold months.

EDIT: By the way, Utah isn't technically a desert, it's semi-arid.

Also, Utah is a great place because it's the last state left that lacks a tax on hopeless people who are really bad at statistics.

[ October 21, 2005, 01:51 PM: Message edited by: pickled shuttlecock ]

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The Drake
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Dry is ok with me. I'm used to dry summers here in California.

I don't expect to spend a whole lot of time at home during the day, this usually keeps heat and a/c manageable. I don't mind a cold room when I have blankets - the only room that really requires much heat is the bathroom. That's not really negotiable.

I know all about arbitrary cul-de-sacs and "traffic calming" from this area. I hate them so very much. But they really don't affect you on a daily basis.

The company HR rep keeps leaning on cost of living (they are already clear that I won't get to keep my CA salary...) but from what I can tell, apart from housing, things aren't really any cheaper in UT. Taxes are about the same, gas/electricity sounds similar, etc.

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The Drake
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hey, one more question. When techies interview in Utah, what's the dress code? I asked the admin who did my travel, and she was no help. "Business casual. You could wear a suit, or khakis and a polo."

Gee, thanks for eliminating the tuxedo and cutoffs for me.

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Lisa M.
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With that description, I would go with suit pants, a non-white, blue, or black button-up collared shirt, and a tie. It's more professional than khakis and a polo, but more comfortable than a suit. It's going to be in the high 60s, low 70s all week so that should be fine weather-wise.
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Adjudicator
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For interviewing in Utah- I figure you can never go wrong with a conservative suit, but at my company lots of folks show up for an interview in slacks and a collared shirt. I haven't ever heard anyone comment on that as being "under dressed". While a suit is probably at least a bit over dressed for an engineer, I figure it conveys a desire to put your best foot forward and that is never a bad thing.

As far as cost of living- I just moved back here from the Philadelphia area. Taxes are slightly lower and food is a bit cheaper than there, but coming from California with the proximity of the central valley I am betting food will be about the same as what you pay now. That was also my observation when I lived in Northern CA a few years ago- things cost about the same as Utah with the exception of housing, taxes and gas. Also, wages are lower here, so if you like you can afford to pay some kid to cut your lawn for you:)

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Pete at Home
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I'd also avoid the mini-skirt, shorts, and tank top, and you should be OK [Big Grin]
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pickled shuttlecock
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Ditto on the mini-skirt. Don't dress like a drag queen.

Housing depends heavily on how close you want to live to the city. If you're willing to drive an extra 5-10 miles, you can find a 2000 square foot house in the 90-100 range.

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Zyne
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quote:
I would go with suit pants, a non-white, blue, or black button-up collared shirt, and a tie.
Seconded. Around here that's considered "practically a suit." Better than a suit if nobody else is wearing one.

And whatever you do, leave the flip flops at home.

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Adjudicator
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pickled- Are you living in some alternative universe Utah where housing is absurdly cheap?

I work in the Salt Lake valley and live in Utah valley in a 2400ft^2 house. Pretty much the going rate for anything not a "fixer-upper's delight" is in the low 200's, or possibly the upper 180's, depending on location. Even living in the boodocks (eg Saratoga springs, Eagle mountain, Herriman) only drops you into the 180's fo that type of house. Of course, if you are talking townhouse or something then the numbers are lower.

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pickled shuttlecock
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Really? I've been out of the housing market for a few years now. Eagle Mountain, etc., were around the 90-100 range when I was looking five years ago.

Okay, Drake, go with Adjudicator's numbers. [Big Grin]

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The Drake
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Heh, thanks everyone. I have to admit I never thought of wearing a miniskirt. My thighs are way too huge. I was thinking maybe a black mesh half-shirt, though, and a blonde wig.

I did interview once with a completely shaved head and a gold loop earring. I found out after I got hired that one of the management discussions went something like this:

Well, Mr. Clean must be able to back it up, otherwise he wouldn't have the confidence to show up looking like that. I don't think I'll go that route this time, however.

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Guilty
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If you wnat to make a big impression, you could try going completely nude. I promise they won't forget you!

As for Orem roads yes, they are the exception, whoever designed Orem and Provo was an idiot. Worst road systems and addresses I have ever encountered. Just stay out of Utah county and you'll be fine.

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Rimmer
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I don't know if you're going to be anywhere close to downtown, but I forgot another good restaurant recommendation. There's a Salvadorenian restaurant called El Viroleno at 471 W 800 S (see, you already know how to get there now [Smile] ). It looks a little shabby, but it's very authentic and incredibly tasty. Whatever you get, order at least one pupusa with it. If you don't speak Spanish you may feel a bit out of place, but you'll be okay.

Oh, and if you happen to stop into Shambala for lunch (see my previous post), save a bit of room for dessert at the Hatch Family chocolate store next door. They have very good chocolates and ice cream, and it's owned by some of the nicest people you'll ever meet in your life.

It's too bad I don't live there any more, or I'd offer to show you around. Let us know what you think of SLC when you get back.

[ October 21, 2005, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: Rimmer ]

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The Drake
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I had no time to check out many of these recommendations, but I did get to meet a few people while I was down there. First impressions:

The invariable response when I asked somebody about what it was like living in the Salt Lake area: Are you LDS?

Followed by a discussion of how the LDS church affects or doesn't affect the various regions and neighborhoods. Mostly friendly comments, but definitely separate, as though there's not a lot of mingling.

The suburbs that I was in were blindingly white. Having lived in the SF Bay Area for three years, I had forgotten that not everywhere has large population segments from Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Surprisingly, however, food from all of these places IS available, even nearby in the suburbs.

There's a boomtown sensation to the southern reaches of Salt Lake County. Like a rim of construction around the suburbs blooming outward. Makes me think of mining camps in the 1800s.

Utah is hogging all the mountains. Chuck a rock, hit a mountain. It's a good thing they are apparently tearing some of them down west of the city, and shipping them somewhere else.

I think it might be nice to live downtown, and commute out from the city. It might be my only chance to afford a downtown apartment - and downtown might make it easier for me to get out and meet people. Suburbs tend to be very isolating, unless you like talking to random people in the mall.

Utah symphony tickets are dirt cheap! 60% cheaper than BSO or Boston Pops, and you still get Keith Lockhart as a conductor. Sweet!

I felt like the Omega man when I was driving from the airport Sunday at noon. 3-4 lanes of highway in either direction, and about 12 cars in view. It was also 80 mph all the way to the airport at 5:30pm on Monday. Where's the rush hour? Local people describe it as "heavy traffic" - which apparently translates into having to change lanes once or twice to maintain speed.

Apparently, it is requirement that I have to learn to ski. If I had a dollar for everyone who asked me about that activity, I'd have... well only $15, but still.

Are you kidding me? You can get Saturday tickets for the Utah Jazz 20 rows back of courtside at the foul line? For a game 10 days from now?

Interesting place. I think I could probably enjoy living there.

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Kent
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I look forward to you joining the community, hope you get the job.

P.S. I've lived in Utah most of my life and I don't ski and never have, so don't feel bad.

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RickyB
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pickled - a lottery is not a tax. A tax is compulsory. Call it a scam or a trap [Smile]
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Pete at Home
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If the US tax code didn't have options, scams or traps in it, we would not have situations where specialists could sit down and legally shave thousands of dollars off the average taxpayer's bill.

Certainly most tax-paying is compulsory, but a good portion of it is optional, if you know the rules. Just a question of time, expertise, and money.

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The Drake
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Unfortunately, Utah ain't so great when it comes to taxes neither. I'd much rather the "involuntary" taxes be lowered and a "voluntary tax" (or fee) on people who are bad at mathematics be created.

Oh, to live in old New Hampshire again - land of the free from taxation unless you own property.

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UofUlawguy
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The Drake:"I had forgotten that not everywhere has large population segments from Asia, Latin America, and Africa."

Actually, metropolitan Salt Lake does have quite a sizeable hispanic population, and it is growing rapidly. There is also quite a large segment of Pacific islanders (Samoan, etc.) The African-American population remains quite small, but the Asian population is noticeable. Of course, you tend to see more of this diversity in certain neighborhoods rather than others.

The Drake:"Utah symphony tickets are dirt cheap! 60% cheaper than BSO or Boston Pops, and you still get Keith Lockhart as a conductor. Sweet!"

Not only that, but Abravanel Hall is a truly excellent venue.

The Drake:"Are you kidding me? You can get Saturday tickets for the Utah Jazz 20 rows back of courtside at the foul line? For a game 10 days from now?"

Well, it's a lot easier getting tickets since Stockton and Malone left.

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