Posted By Linda Wang on Mar 22, 2009 |I peered at the snow-covered mountains as my plane approached Salt Lake City this morning. The scenery was breathtaking, just as people had described. What I wasn’t prepared for was the size and scale of the city. I’m used to attending ACS national meetings in big cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston, and for some reason, I thought Salt Lake City would be the same. I even brought my most comfortable pair of shoes. To my surprise, Salt Lake City isn’t very big, and much of it feels like an eclectic neighborhood on the outskirts of a big city. Mom-and-pop establishments abound, the streets are wide and the blocks are long, and the people here are laid back and extremely friendly. The city definitely has charm. At the same time, half the city seems to be under construction, and it may not be long before skyscrapers overshadow the small family-owned businesses. In some places, you already can’t see the mountains that surround the city, or the Mormon Temple that used to be the city’s highest point. Economic growth is a good thing, but how often does it come at a cost?