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Old 08-19-2013, 01:33 PM
16 posts, read 115,740 times
Reputation: 148


Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
Great post and a great response. I'm as white bread as they come, but i've experienced the sidewalk avoidance thing and stupid 'street' racism too - in Japan. I've had taxis speed off when the saw I was a gaijin and people head across the street cause I'm big and WHITE (6'2", 200 lbs, a giant over there). It didn't bother me much, just made me think what narrow, provincial people they were. And so it is in UT I guess. Too bad for the Utards that behave that way. But too bad too for the apologists that seem willing to so quickly segue into a subtle blame-the-victim tone.
It's amazing to find someone unlike yourself to understand because they experienced the same thing. It appears those experiences have molded you into a better person as a result of more understanding...which to me, generates love. The more you understand something, the greater propensity you have to love and appreciate something. Thanks for your positive input!

Old 08-19-2013, 02:08 PM
16 posts, read 115,740 times
Reputation: 148
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
What is friendly for one person might be superficial to others. Everyone's perspective is valid, but it is worth noting that it is one person - and even that may change as the same person my change his/her own mind.

I am a non-white part of an interracial international couple. We moved to SLC last year and our perspective differs a great deal from the OP. I definitely do not consider race to be a key factor in my interactions, though have a very sensitive nose and little tolerance for any signs of racial difference. I have not had a single situation where I felt it to be an issue. Most people I have met are very nice and welcoming. We still do not have close friends, but hopefully that will come with time. We do know at least 5 interracial couples and at least one white couple with an adopted African American child. May be we are simply not as perceptive as the OP, but we definitely do not find diversity and race to be a big issue.

Our impressions are nothing but positive. Like I said, most people are nice; the only poor interactions I have noticed are on the roads. The whole LDS thing is a non-topic for us. As long as people as well-behaved towards each other and the environment, what religion they practice is their business. [BTW, I am an atheist, and have equal indifference towards all religions.] If anything, I am a forever amazed and disappointed that people feel free to bring up the Mormon faith in conversation as a pejorative on these boards when the same people would not say anything so direct about, say, someone's race, or say about a different faith. I wonder why that is...

At the end of the day, I find that what you see in others is in part a reflection of yourself. With age, as I mellow down a bit - I view others more positively.

PS: All the talk about friendliness difference across states, I have yet to find them. On surface interaction level - I have found no real difference between Ithaca - NY, Philadelphia, Northampton-MA, Boston, Cincinnati-OH and now SLC. If anything, I would put SLC high on the friendliness in routine interaction. Making friends is a different proposition - and it means different things to different people.

GREAT POINT about what is friendly to one person may be superficial to someone else!

To clear things up....I have not had any real problems at all. I don't want to miscommunicate. Just a vibe sometimes and maybe a little "glass is half empty" perspective. But I'm very aware and sensitive...so I'm always observing. And my observation glasses are sculpted by my own personal experiences.

To play the devil's advocate :

So you are a family, have been here over a year, you both have jobs, have friends, and think that SLC has the friendliest people...yet you have no close friends? You don't think that's ironic.

This is what I meant when I said, "They could love it, but somebody had to make some sacrifices...whether sacrificing ethnicity, awareness, care or whatever..."

Maybe you lack awareness...which I admittedly and sincerely need a dose of this flavor. Especially if it keeps me as happy as you.

You've never noticed the degree of friendliness across states???

Clearly you lack awareness LOL! I think 9/10 people will agree that friendliness varies geographically in this country. And, I'm just generalizing...on a surface level. Day to day interactions, co-workers, cashiers, servers, receptionists, etc.
Old 08-19-2013, 02:48 PM
20 posts, read 154,951 times
Reputation: 21
You seem to think that SLC is overly hot based on your original posting...wait until January to base your conclusions.

It's been a rough summer--I get it. We had a week or two of straight 100's in July, but you weren't here for snow on May 1st, either! It's not horribly uncommon. We had low snowfall for the past couple of years (prior to this previous winter), but with the ENSO switching, expect snowfall this winter to be more like the last winter rather than '11, when we had record low totals. Anyway, my point is, it's going to become cold and frozen before you know it; I'm sure you figured that out based on the alternate license plates we have--just hold off on labeling SLC as a "HOT" city!

I mean, you're from GA? I spent most of my life in the Northeast, and a few years in FL...All things considered, SLC isn't that bad. We don't get the relief of frequent thunderstorms like the east does, but without the humidity, it's not that bad, and Sept-Oct are (in my opinion) perfect.
Old 08-19-2013, 02:57 PM
Location: The Mid South
304 posts, read 461,804 times
Reputation: 237
You waited a long time to post, then you made up for it. But I agree with your observations about Utah and Salt Lake City.
Give us some more but in small chunks so we can digest it.
Old 08-19-2013, 03:01 PM
Location: SLC
2,691 posts, read 1,893,494 times
Reputation: 7788
To be honest - I did not think the Devil's advocate did much for me except to say that you want to push your idea of friends, friendliness, awareness, etc. without accounting for difference.

Different people have different standards for close friends. For us, it is about substantive dialog, and intellectual as well as personal connection, commonality and difference. Our close friends do not number in thousands but in tens. These things develop over time (or not). May be some that we think are friends will become close friends in time (or not). It is not something that is forced. The 'friendliness' I referred to is that in basic social interaction, and its correlation with the number of close friends we form is rather low. And, no - I do not find it ironic.

May be I lack awareness, or may be you are reflecting your own positions on to others. These impressions are personal, as are yours. The 'friendliness' difference around geographical regions are, I find, superficial and I definitely do not care for one form over the other. If that is lack of awareness - I am glad to be devoid of it.

I have lived in many countries (India, Germany, Belgium) and have worked in at least 10, so am quite aware of differences in how the people interact. At superficial level, they are very different, but I do not consider anyone of them any less friendly at the fundamental level. And, yes - I had much easier time making friends in say, Germany, than in the US (where I consider people to be more friendly in social interaction) as the interactions were often more personal and substantive.
Old 08-19-2013, 04:35 PM
Location: Imaginary Figment
11,447 posts, read 14,279,247 times
Reputation: 4777
Originally Posted by kletter1mann View Post
And to say it more clearly: Unless you're willing to tell us which opinions/experiences your comment isn't very illuminating. I was hoping to learn something.
That's clearly not what you originally said to me (which was really, more about splitting hairs than anything else.)

But for the sake of being clear, I posted exactly what stuck out to me in his original post: The social awkwardness I often came across in Utah.

Perhaps next go around I'll consult with you before I hit the "Submit" button? Hopefully this way you can "learn" something.
Old 08-19-2013, 05:09 PM
Location: Connectucut shore but on a hill
2,611 posts, read 6,843,854 times
Reputation: 3313
Originally Posted by SLCPUNK View Post
That's clearly not what you originally said to me (which was really, more about splitting hairs than anything else.)

But for the sake of being clear, I posted exactly what stuck out to me in his original post: The social awkwardness I often came across in Utah.

Perhaps next go around I'll consult with you before I hit the "Submit" button? Hopefully this way you can "learn" something.
Gimme a break. Of all the issues raised here the only you you agree with is some kind of "social awkwardness"? [Whatever that is - being socially dorky guess.] So the rest you disagree with?
Old 08-19-2013, 05:52 PM
Location: Perry, UT
601 posts, read 1,902,507 times
Reputation: 376
You know if you want to live here just accept the culture and deal with it. You are more than welcome to find another city with a large African American community where you feel accepted.

If I would move to a city or neighborhood with 95% of black people I can guarantee you that they would give me a harder time than anyone here in Utah. People in Utah and especially LDS people are known to be pretty harmless and welcoming. Most are even too naive and nice.
Old 08-19-2013, 06:16 PM
16 posts, read 36,173 times
Reputation: 31
Hello Doc--First question: are you a fan of Bewitched, or is the name an homage to something else?

I think your post has encapsulated several aspects of living in SLC that are spot on. I always likened being in Salt Lake City to that scene at the end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version) where Donald Sutherland's character points and screams at Nancy. I always get the feeling that everyone is acutely aware that I am not a "member," and that they are all just waiting to point at me and scream.

If I may make a suggestion: trips up the 80 to Park City are easy and the vibe there is completely different. Remember, Park City was founded by miners, not Mormons. Even if you don't ski or board, Park City is a great spot to get away from that Bodysnatcher feeling. Plus, if you have a mountain bike or run, you cannot beat the trail system in town and on the mountains. Another plus: Park City is much more ethnically and culturally diverse than SLC (especially on a per capita basis). Moreover, while most places in SLC are shuttered on Sunday, Park City has an open air market that spans for more than 6 blocks, with live music most market days.

Anyway, I hope you find the sweet spot in SLC. I think you will find that the outdoor opportunities are plentiful. Also, try the Kouign Amann (a Breton pastry) at Les Madeleines. That will make you feel happy right away. Take it easy.
Old 08-19-2013, 08:35 PM
Location: The other side of the mountain
2,502 posts, read 6,865,550 times
Reputation: 1301
Originally Posted by slcslc View Post
Hello Doc--First question: are you a fan of Bewitched, or is the name an homage to something else?
THAT'S where I have heard that name before! Thank you. It has been bugging me!
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