Here’s what we learned on our trip to Salt Lake City…
- About 80% of the population is Caucasian. To give you a little perspective on that, I’m from Florida where the non-Hispanic white population is roughly 60%. So yeah… 80% is a whole lot of white people. Not that I have anything against that, it’s just an interesting factoid. One side effect of this is that there appear to be a lot of blond people. More than what one might normally see elsewhere.
- Roughly 50% of the population of the city is Mormon… more commonly called LDS (Latter Day Saints). For the smart ones out there that means the other half is something else, and while we were there I saw several other denominations and religions. Liz even noted that there were a couple of Buddhist temples. I only bring this up because I had assumed that it would be Mormons as far as the eye can see. Yes, there are plenty, but there is more diversity in religion than I expected.
- That said… Salt Lake City is like an oasis of diversity compared to the rest of Utah. When the rest of Utah is included, Mormons make up 62% of the population.
- There is a great public transit system in Salt Lake City. The local train/trolley service is especially good. Thought it does have an odd way of collecting fares. You pay for your fare at the station. However, there is nothing to stop you from boarding a train without paying a fare. You could, in fact, ride for free. The transit authority simply reserves the right to ask you to show proof of fare purchase if needed. We rode on the train several times, and didn’t see one transit cop the entire time.
- Liquor laws in Utah are weird.
- The counter-culture is alive and well in Salt Lake City. We saw a lot of punks around, especially downtown where the gutter punks seem to congregate. Beyond the punks, we met some folks that may not fit into a pre-defined sub-culture, but are definitely anti-establishment (at least what passes for “the establishment” in Utah. Apparently you have to show some outward sign of your counter-cultureness because by doing so you’re doing more than being trendy… you’re making a political statement against “the man” which in this case is the LDS church.
- There is a sizable LGBT population in Salt Lake City. Definitely larger than one would expect for a city this size. Liz and I went to an anti-Prop 8 rally on Saturday with an estimated crowd of about 3000. That would have been an impressive crowd just about anywhere, but amazing in Salt Lake City.
- The Great Salt Lake is enormous. Antelope Island is pretty darn cool too. Liz kind of dragged me out there. I just wanted to chill in the city, but I’m glad she got me to go. Very beautiful. I recommend it as a fun little side trip.
We took some pictures, but they weren’t all that great. If I get a chance to post them.