(L–R) Princess Ramona and Mike Brown out on the town.

Mike Brown’s Salt Lake City Guide!


Hello, and may I welcome you to Salt Lake City! Once you finish watching movies in Park City while wearing fake animals on your head, allow me to show you around for a bit via Mike Brown’s Salt Lake City guide! I shall be your Sherpa of Salt, even though city guides have been rendered useless by Google and Yelp. But if you are anything like my grandmother, who doesn’t know how to use Google or Yelp, mostly because she’s dead, then this guide may be of some use to you.

While flying into our airport, the first thing you may notice after you put your tray in the upright position is our beautiful mountains. So there, you saw them—the first part of my job as tour guide is done. If the rest of our quaint, charming city bores you to death, feel free to run to our mountains and get permanently lost, since now you know where they are.

Princess Ramona (cat) enjoys Mike Brown’s (human) tours of SLC from the air-conditioned safety of his car. Photo: Scott Frederick
Princess Ramona (cat) enjoys Mike Brown’s (human) tours of SLC from the air-conditioned safety of his car. Photo: Scott Frederick

The next thing you may notice while your magical metal bird is touching down is our terrible, terrible, terrible air quality. I used three terribles in that last sentence to accentuate the point that our air quality this time of year is really fucking shitty. Us locals simply call this black cloud of death that covers the county The Inversion. Please note the irony of our state motto, “Life Elevated,” being displayed on all of the license plates of all the cars that help cause The Inversion. “Life Inverted” is a much more apt state slogan, but probably already spoken for by our local legislature. Either way, if you are planning on moving to Salt Lake, plan on getting used to irony, and not the Alanis Morissette kind.

Don’t expect our bad air quality to change anytime soon. The religious majority here, whom you may have heard of, are quite friendly, but they don’t really like taking care of the environment in any sort of way, mostly because they believe the apocalypse is happening like super soon, so why bother? On the plus side, The Inversion does make us more hospitable toward smokers and master-vapers.

And by smokers, I mean like old-school cigarette smokers—not these neo-hippie potheads who are busy ruining things by strengthening the economies and lowering the crime rates of the two states that sandwich us, Nevada and Colorado, by using a harmless yet permanently-illegal-in–Salt Lake substance that is green and delicious. Way to go, hippies, and sorry, millennial stoners with disposable incomes. Your tourist dollars shall never be welcome here. Instead, we offer a wide variety of easily accessible prescription drugs.

Now, allow me to segue from prescription drugs into our strict and somewhat confusing drinking laws. First off, we have a reputation here for not liking to get as fucked up as the next state, but our prescription drug use simply disproves that audacious stereotype, so quit saying that. And many believe that our drinking laws are due to the local moral majority, again—SO not true. Our alcohol laws are strict due to the simple fact that it’s not safe or smart to mix prescription drugs with booze. It’s that simple.

What is also simple is getting around our strict drinking laws. Forget learning all the rules, like how many appetizers you need to order with your micro-shot of booze. Here’s all you tourists need to know: Drink faster. Yep, that’s it. You can run from your feelings just as far as you need to while visiting our city as you would in your hometown tavern—it just requires you to pound your liquor quicker.

And while you are out and about pounding IPAs at one of our fine local breweries or sipping craft cocktails at one our private clubs for members [Editor’s Note: Private-club licenses are no longer necessary in Utah.], the best way to get around town is by pedi-cab. Due to our insanely bad drivers, whether it be Xanax-infused soccer moms driving their Escalades to their fourth child’s next disappointment or our ample amount of creepy Uber drivers, these modern-day rickshaw heroes are a much safer way to navigate Downtown.

And don’t be stingy with your wallet when riding in these giant, awesome tricycles. The better you tip, the better the trip. They’ll even pedal you to a peddler on Rio Grande Street if that’s how you get down. For you out-of-towners who don’t know, our historic train station now doubles as Salt Lake’s skid row, which is convenient for tourist junkies who prefer traveling by train instead of plane because it’s easier to hide your rig.

OK! Thanks for visiting Salt Lake City with me! If you are looking for more stuff to do, go to our number one PokéStop, Temple Square, and find my favorite attraction there, Space Jesus. Sorry if this guide wasn’t very helpful, but all I do these days is go to Jazz games and hang out with my new cat, Princess Ramona.