31 January 2011

Return to Zion

Yeah, I "got the hell out". And then I got back in. First solid job offer was here, and I've been back for a few weeks now. So if you notice renewed angst and frustration in my posts, it's because I'm back in the land where it often seems like every gay man is either married to a woman (I see oblivious-looking pleasant women with detached-looking husbands every day), in a committed relationship (I suspect the good ones snatch each other up fast), cruising Craig's List (legitimate dating isn't really an option unless you live in certain pockets of Salt Lake and are clearly marked as "non-Mormon" [heathens acting like heathens is tolerated]), is a BYU student (which often includes one of the previous classifications as well), or is an otherwise perma-adolescent, mincing mess. Makes for blog fodder, though, doesn't it?

But there's something about this place, or the people, with which I identify. Despite rampant consumerism, there's a certain simplicity about people here. But dang it if that same simplicity isn't a total frustration in other ways. I think that's what I like about the northwest. People often "get it" up there in ways I appreciate, but they still have souls and appreciate the simpler things in life. I get the feeling many areas of Europe are like that, too. Anywhere else in the U.S. y'all recommend trying? Despite having good friends here, and really enjoying things like Sundance and An Evening With Sondheim and Zion Nat'l Park and the mountains and cheap skiing and...etc, I really am not wanting to put roots down here. Votes for my next stop, judging from what I've described?


Anonymous said...

Palm Springs, CA?
Large gay community, but leans toward a bit older too. Beautiful desert landscape. Tends not to attract the simple folks, though. Film festival, swanky coffee shop type of people.

Dallas, TX?

Larger gay community also, western simplicity...not as beautiful I'd wager but I've never met a Texan who wasn't fully on board with the whole Texas thing themselves.

mandi said...

I can safely say that you should stay as far away from the South as possible.
And congrats on getting a solid job.

MoHoHawaii said...

You might enjoy the heathen areas of Salt Lake. Just pretend you're not in Utah anymore. I had a house on 3rd Ave in SLC for a number of years, and I really liked it.

As far as other cities go, I think Minneapolis has a nice vibe. I've heard Austin is good, but I can't tell you from personal experience because I have a firm no-Texas policy. And, of course, there's always Portland, OR, which as far as cities go is close to perfect.

Bravone said...

I'd say Idaho Falls, but I'm becoming convinced that the 3 months of summer aren't worth the 9 months of hell. My vote - San Diego!

blj1224 said...

Every place will have it's down side.

Salt Lake City has a great deal of ethnic and cultural diversity, great restaurants, lots to do. It seems to be becoming a very attractive place to live for people from all walks of life and all backgrounds.

Seattle -- gorgeous; historical; ethnically, culturally and geographically diverse; energetic and fun-loving; tolerant and friendly; real people. Putting up with the rain and fog in the winter is worth it.

I'm with Bravone -- I'd say Idaho Falls except for the frigid cold, ice and wind in the winter. Getting old, I guess. For those not familiar with I.F., there's far more to it than meets the eye, including a vibrant and healthy gay community, real people with simple needs, tolerant and friendly, great national parks and Salt Lake City/Park City within 2-3hours, an active arts and cultural community, lots of energy and activity.

Portland -- Has many of the same characteristics as Seattle, but it's not on the coast, although it's close to the Oregon Coast (my favorite coastal stretch).

Northeast -- Geographically beautiful, ethnically diverse, but lots of prejudices and a general unwillingness for minds and attitudes to change. NY and NJ folks often display high anxiety/stress levels, snarkiness, pushiness, etc. Don't know much about Massachusettes, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, etc.

Southeast -- Often deep prejudices and strong mind sets. The Bible belt - fundamentalist.

Midwest -- Wonderful people. Geographically flat, less ethnic diversity, harsh weather. Meh.

California -- Great weather, tolerance, gorgeous areas along the coast, but the state of the state speaks for itself.

Southwest -- Mostly arid, and much of it is hot, but has its own beauty. Some beautiful towns. Tucson has a great art and cultural community. The only state I'm really familiar with besides Cali is Colorado, which is my favorite state. Like California, Colorado has LOTS of geographical diversity from Rocky Mountains to SW desert. The Denver-Fort Collins corridor is high tech, exciting, young and energetic with lots of higher ed ops; lots of cultural diversity and tolerance; outdoor recreation abounds. Boulder now has too many yuppies with all the trappings that accompany that demographic, but it also still has it's solid, real, simple-folk aspect.

That gets us back to the Northwest, either Pacific NW or Inland NW. Yup -- my favorite overall region by far.

JonJon said...

MoHoHawaii is a wise man. Portland *is* close to perfect.

Daniel said...

I am shooting you the dirtiest and most disappointed of looks.

You left Seattle for Utah again?!

Original Mohomie said...

Hm...California COULD be good. I did like areas of San Diego quite a lot. Palm Springs, probably not so much. Dallas? Maybe, though I'd say if I were going to live in Texas, I'd probably pick Austin. Never been to Dallas, though.

Yeah, probably going to avoid the south in general. Although I hear Atlanta is decent.

Minnie is supposedly surprisingly livable. Go fig. I've never spent any time there, but I'm interested.

Salt Lake is diverse FOR UTAH, but not nearly as diverse as any other place I've lived, except for Idaho. :-)

Portland is a definite option. I love me some Portland. And the northwest in general. And Seattle/Portland are relatively agnostic-friendly, which is nice.

Dan, I'm ashamed, looking at the floor.

LionHeart said...

The DC area is great!! That's my vote for you.

jimf said...

> Anywhere else in the U.S. y'all recommend trying?
> Votes for my next stop, judging from what I've described?

I'm in Joisey. You can fart all you like here, and nobody
will ever notice.

Luna Schlosser: Do you believe in God?

Miles Monroe: Do I believe in God? I'm what
you call a teleological existential atheist.
I believe there's an intelligence to the
universe. . . with the exception of certain
parts of New Jersey.

Luna: Why is it I never understand what
you're saying?

-- Woody Allen, _Sleeper_