come visit!

It was so easy, when I lived in San Francisco. I’d say to friends, to family, to random passersby, Hey, you should come visit me in San Fra–and then there was a knock at the door, and they’d be at my doorstep with bags in hand, and asking when we could go take a peep at the Golden Gate bridge. I was very popular when I lived in San Francisco!

I am slightly less popular, here in Utah, and I can’t imagine why. Okay, it’s not a major tourist destination. It is in the desert, but without the charming, scenic cacti. It’s got a lot of Mormons, some really insane liquor laws, and in magazine display racks, covers with scandalously bare-armed ladies or which have the word “sex” on the cover are censored with black plastic boards designed specifically for censorship. There are no great landmarks or attractions or must-see items of landscape or architecture that spring immediately to mind, its museums are not considered world class, its culture is not particularly magnetic and dynamic enough to really draw big crowds looking for excitement and adventure.



Come on! I cry. Come to Salt Lake! I swear, it’s a great place and we
will do many exciting things that are maybe not entirely as exciting
as, you know, riding a cable car and eating oysters by the bay and
rubbing elbows with real, live gays in the wild, but my state has a
wild beauty that must be seen to be appreciated, and it’s not a very
far plane ride, and we can go look at the salt flats and the giant
talking Jesus, huh? Mountains! Giant sky! Real live Mormons! Hiking!
Trees! Give up a weekend and give it up for Salt Lake!

I really do want to show people this place I am coming to love, and not
just in self-defense, because living somewhere you hate is likely to kill
you. It is worlds away from California, certainly, and there are so
many things I miss, but when I push that aside, the comparisons, the
demands that everything I am used to be exactly the same here, the
feeling that any differences are drawbacks instead of just differences,
I am filled with a deep and abiding fondness. I can live here for
awhile. I’ll probably be living here for awhile. Come visit me and my
fancy mountains!

So far, I haven’t had many takers. Astonishingly. My brother and his
wife are going to try and get out here sometime in the winter; my
mother wistfully says she’d like to come, but maybe I should just come
visit her in New York instead and wouldn’t that be nice? Friends have
said they should visit, and will visit, and I love them for it. I
believe in them and trust in them and if they can come, they will
totally come visit! Except I do not entirely blame them, if things come
up and Utah is scratched off the to-do list. So I try to not get my
hopes up, even as I wave my little flag of brand-spanking new state
pride and hometown loyalty. I will even go get a little foldaway
mattress, and wash all the guest towels every week to make sure they
are always fresh, and stock up on cunning little soaps and write out
imaginary itineraries in my head to make sure my guests get the full
breadth and depth of the Utah Experience. I will provide pastries! Come
visit!

  12 comments for “come visit!

  1. September 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    There’s a giant talking Jesus? That amuses me.

  2. Anne
    September 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm
  3. sonce
    September 12, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I feel you. I lived in central Illinois for 8 years, and received onlt two family visits and one friend visit all that time!

  4. MOM
    September 12, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    Utah and you are 150% on my to-do list for 2009 and will not be scratched off for any reason. Unfortunately, the school year has started and my time is limited until May 2009 but I am coming – yes, I am. So, I am saving my pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters and I will be seeing you in your new beautiful apartment in Utah and will be wanting to see all the attractions – big and small – but most especially E and U.

  5. Liz
    September 12, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Have you found The Bakery for pastries? It’s on 200 East between 2nd & 3rd South and it’s delightful! It smells like a coffee shop, but they make the most divine desserts…AND they are open until 11pm. The raspberry mousse cake is to die for and you can buy it by the slice as well :)

    Great…now add this to the list of things I miss from Utah! lol The Bakery, Greek food everywhere, Sonic, and Cafe Rio salads…

  6. September 12, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Hee! The Talking Jesus! I want to come visit on 11.21.08, and you know exactly why, baby.

  7. anon
    September 12, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Aw, I think it’s so sweet your mom feels compelled to comment and point out that she really DOES want to come see you!

    We know she loves you; she doesn’t have to convince us (hey, she loves you enough to go see a giant talking Jesus, apparently. Which just scares, well, the bejesus out of me…).

    If they love you, they will come!

    But when you do eventually move back to San Fran, give me a call.

    (I kid!)

  8. M.
    September 12, 2008 at 9:57 pm

    So I fenced the junior olympics out in Sandy, Utah one February. It was gorgeous…I couldn’t get over the mountains, the snow, the beauty, and it was freakin’ amazing…

    Until I started fencing.

    The elevation is a BITCH. In the first aid section, they had all their cots full of people with bloody noses, dry heaves and vomiting, nausea, cramping, diarrhea, dizziness, dehydration, etc. because of the 4000 foot elevation. It was a MESS. A lot of coastal dwellers going up 4000 feet does not make for good athletics. I almost passed out, my nose started bleeding, and I kept myself from puking my guts out by sheer force of will. …That, and I knew I’d fence even worse if I did. It was a massacre.

    Dude. Do you have any coast-dwelling uberathlete friends who’d welcome the chance to do some quality x-country skiing to train over the winter? That’s how you gotta rope ’em in.

  9. September 13, 2008 at 2:53 am

    And what does talking Jesus say, “Don’t forget to wear your magic underwear?” Sorry, Mormons bug the crap out of me.

  10. September 13, 2008 at 2:54 am

    And what does talking Jesus say, “Don’t forget to wear your magic underwear?” Sorry, Mormons bug the crap out of me.

  11. September 13, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    My whole family lives in Salt Lake, I love it there!

    Sell them on the great skiing. It really is the greatest snow on earth. Tell them you’ll have a weekend up at Park City or Deer Valley and drink hot chocolate and race down the picture perfect mountains. Who can resist???

    And it IS a real city you know. There’s ballet, and theater, and opera. There’s the Grizzlies and the Jazz. Spend some time at the planetarium or go out to Ft Douglas or float in the lake. It’s not all weird liquor laws and beehives! :)

    Next time I am out there I am SO coming to visit you.

  12. Nicole
    September 14, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I moved to Utah from California and like you I have learned to love it. But getting friends and family out is like pulling teeth, I agree. They are some cool little shows coming to the Weber State University and the Egyptian Theater. I know E and his family by the way and I have been wanting to meet you.

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