I hadn't been to Utah in seven years -- my last visit was long before I took up discussing Mormonism on the Internet -- so I was curious to have a look at this so-called "Main Street Plaza" I'd heard so much about.
(The group blog Main Street Plaza is actually named after the pedestrian passage separating Temple Square from the Church Office Building -- once a public road, it is now owned by the CoJCoL-dS, which prohibits gay people from kissing there.)
I had some fun touring the LDS sites with my brother. There's some interesting stuff in the Church History Museum, including the original golden Moroni statue and this Masonic-seeing-eye beehive quilt:
The Salt Lake Temple is a lot smaller than it looks in pictures (where they like to get close and point the camera up at it), and it doesn't help that they've surrounded it with other large and tall buildings.
Other surprises? Well, I saw a couple of Smarts, which I didn't expect:
I also saw an "erotic bakery" -- which I'd thought was just a joke that was made up for "The Simpsons". I would have gone to get a closer look and a picture, but it was on the other side of the road, and I'd gotten tired of crossing these crazy downtown streets that are eight lanes wide on every single block. (All of the main sites are within a few blocks of one another, but that doesn't mean they're anywhere near each other...)
Then I went to a fabulous party with some of the coolest folks in town:
I'd like to call it an Outer Blogness party, but some of these exmos' blogs aren't on the list yet. (Please leave a comment if you have the URL of any former/cultural Mormon blog that isn't on the "Outer Blogness" list yet.)
This picture illustrates why I sadly missed some of the Sunstone Symposium on Wednesday morning (including the Zelophehad's daughters panel and Margaret Toscano's presentation about God's genitals). I was really embarrassed, thinking, "Great, here I am giving a panel on overcoming stereotypes, and I miss the beginning of the conference because of a party-related headache..."
But that's not a stereotype or misconception -- it's totally accurate! When the exmo atheists come into town, partying is the first order of business. ;^)