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View Poll Results: Which US city has the greatest degree of regional domination?
Atlanta (S) 60 32.43%
Austin (S) 0 0%
Baltimore (E) 2 1.08%
Boston (NE) 20 10.81%
Buffalo (NE) 1 0.54%
Charlotte (S) 2 1.08%
Chicago (MW) 79 42.70%
Cincinnati (MW) 1 0.54%
Cleveland (MW) 1 0.54%
Columbus (MW) 1 0.54%
Dallas (S) 23 12.43%
Denver (W) 17 9.19%
Detroit (MW) 2 1.08%
Houston (S) 7 3.78%
Indianapolis (MW) 3 1.62%
Jacksonville (S) 1 0.54%
Kansas City (MW) 3 1.62%
Las Vegas (W) 1 0.54%
Los Angeles (W) 39 21.08%
Louisville (S) 1 0.54%
Memphis (S) 1 0.54%
Miami (S) 8 4.32%
Milwaukee (MW) 2 1.08%
Minneapolis (MW) 2 1.08%
Nashville (S) 4 2.16%
New Orleans (S) 5 2.70%
New York (NE) 63 34.05%
Orlando (S) 2 1.08%
Philadelphia (NE) 4 2.16%
Phoenix (W) 2 1.08%
Pittsburgh (NE) 3 1.62%
Portland (W) 0 0%
Sacramento (W) 1 0.54%
St. Louis (MW) 2 1.08%
Salt Lake (W) 1 0.54%
San Antonio (S) 1 0.54%
San Diego (W) 2 1.08%
San Francisco (W) 14 7.57%
San Jose (W) 3 1.62%
Seattle (W) 11 5.95%
Tampa (S) 1 0.54%
Washington (NE) 6 3.24%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Today, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
3,687 posts, read 1,788,998 times
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I think that part of the problem with this discussion is that, just as there is more than one Midwest, there is more than one South.

I can think of at least three, and maybe four or five, distinct regions in the Southeast and South Central United States.

Let's start with Texas. That state's old tourism ads capture the distinction well: "It's like a whole 'nother country." It may have been part of the Confederacy, but it doesn't have the plantation heritage of much of the rest of the South: sure, there were some, mainly in the east, but the state's agricultural culture is more closely associated with ranching and the raising of cattle. Those are distinctly "Western" rather than "Southern" pursuits, and they set Texas apart, as does oil. Yes, there's oil off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama too, but none of those three states' fortunes (well, Louisiana's may be) are as closely tied to the oil business as Texas'. In addition, its history as part of, and still closely tied to, Mexico - something that applies to no other Southern state - also sets it apart. Oklahoma, which was a territory inhabited exclusively by Native Americans (many of whom had been driven off their lands in the Southeast) during the Civil War, is probably the closest state to Texas culturally of any state in the country.

Then we move to the "Middle South" - Arkansas and Louisiana. Like Texas, Louisiana is like a whole 'nother country thanks to its French heritage (Louisiana has "parishes" rather than counties, and its legal system rests on the Napoleonic Code rather than English common law). In his recent book "American Nations," author Colin Woodard includes coastal Louisiana with Québec as the constituent parts of "New France."

Northern Louisiana and Arkansas have more in common with the largely Appalachian culture of the Upper South (Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas) than with the culture of the Cotton Belt (Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia).

Then there's Tidewater Virginia, which is also distinct from the rest of the South - most of the "Southern gentlemen" I've met hail from that state. (The western part of Virginia, like its pro-Union breakaway section in the northwest, is part of Appalachia.)

Florida south of the Panhandle and Jacksonville arguably no longer belongs in the South at all. Miami is the capital of the Caribbean, and the area to the north of it, including the Tampa Bay area, has been colonized by Northern snowbirds.

Atlanta may be the transportation capital of the entire region save for Texas - there's more than a little truth to the joke that "in the South, when you die, it doesn't matter whether you're going to Heaven or Hell, you'll have to change in Atlanta." But its dominance over the South outside the Cotton Belt in other areas seems to me a little more questionable. Atlanta's cultural production - much of it now rooted in African-American popular culture, something I'll have a little more to say about below - may dwarf that of every other Southern city save Nashville now, and CNN's presence makes it the only national media hub in the South, but Charlotte rivals or even surpasses it in finance. From a culinary standpoint, the city has a great culinary scene, but there are no foods or styles of cooking that are closely identified with the city that I can recall. There's Nashville hot chicken, the Kentucky hot brown, Carolina and Texas barbecue, and Cajun cuisine from coastal Louisiana, but what bears Atlanta's name in this fashion?

I don't think that we can talk about Atlanta without bringing up the black-Mecca stuff. The children of the Second Great Migration, the one that gave most of the cities of the Northeast and Midwest their large black populations, have been heading back to Atlanta for nearly three decades now, and that has a lot to do with the city's reputation for racial tolerance, Lester Maddox notwithstanding: who else here remembers "the city too busy to hate"? That sentence, by the way, includes a word almost never used to describe anyplace in the South, which may also account for the unease with which some Southerners regard Atlanta. It's also that reputation, along with the radically different ways the leaders and elected officials in the two cities responded to the Civil Rights Movement, that caused Atlanta to far outstrip Birmingham in growth since 1960, when the two cities were roughly equal in both population and economic importance.

I've rambled enough; I just jumped in here because I wanted to try to make some sense (as I see it) of this interminable back-and-forth between a Chicagoan and some Southerners, including a few Atlanta partisans.
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Old Today, 12:06 PM
 
27,822 posts, read 24,873,797 times
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Originally Posted by Charlotte485 View Post
I would dispute that in red. Not hating on the south, butttt. I think the south is a little more corn bread, BBQ, grits and NASCAR, bass fishing. Not really sure ATL convey's people's mental image of the south.


I always hear people basically say "The south doesn't suck entirely, it does have Buckhead in Atlanta" .... Of course not literally those words, they try to be nice.




I will say. In NC, VA, DC area's, in my professional experience with the banks and in Real Estate with the GSE's.... By far the #1 area mentioned in the south is Austin, followed by Buckhead and then Charlotte gets a mention here and there. Otherwise, It's mostly the Austin show these days.




I've said it before, but I think the better question would be "What is the economic center of the Southeast" - And that would be ATL.
I think he's saying that Atlanta is basically the go-to when depicting a modern large Southern city, especially in pop culture references. "Southern" isn't what most people think when they think of Austin...can't say the same for Atlanta.
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Old Today, 12:14 PM
 
27,822 posts, read 24,873,797 times
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Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
From a culinary standpoint, the city has a great culinary scene, but there are no foods or styles of cooking that are closely identified with the city that I can recall. There's Nashville hot chicken, the Kentucky hot brown, Carolina and Texas barbecue, and Cajun cuisine from coastal Louisiana, but what bears Atlanta's name in this fashion?
This is true, but people do associate Atlanta with two very popular chains headquartered there--Waffle House and Chick-Fil-A.

Good observations all around though.
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Old Today, 12:29 PM
 
797 posts, read 185,920 times
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Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
I think he's saying that Atlanta is basically the go-to when depicting a modern large Southern city, especially in pop culture references. "Southern" isn't what most people think when they think of Austin...can't say the same for Atlanta.
Exactly what I was saying
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Old Today, 12:33 PM
 
797 posts, read 185,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
This is true, but people do associate Atlanta with two very popular chains headquartered there--Waffle House and Chick-Fil-A.

Good observations all around though.
There is nothing specif to Atlanta culinary speaking,Georgia yes.Georgia Pecan Pie,Brunswick Stew are a couple.
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Old Today, 08:29 PM
 
2,347 posts, read 1,084,969 times
Reputation: 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
I think that part of the problem with this discussion is that, just as there is more than one Midwest, there is more than one South.

I can think of at least three, and maybe four or five, distinct regions in the Southeast and South Central United States.

Let's start with Texas. That state's old tourism ads capture the distinction well: "It's like a whole 'nother country." It may have been part of the Confederacy, but it doesn't have the plantation heritage of much of the rest of the South: sure, there were some, mainly in the east, but the state's agricultural culture is more closely associated with ranching and the raising of cattle. Those are distinctly "Western" rather than "Southern" pursuits, and they set Texas apart, as does oil. Yes, there's oil off Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama too, but none of those three states' fortunes (well, Louisiana's may be) are as closely tied to the oil business as Texas'. In addition, its history as part of, and still closely tied to, Mexico - something that applies to no other Southern state - also sets it apart. Oklahoma, which was a territory inhabited exclusively by Native Americans (many of whom had been driven off their lands in the Southeast) during the Civil War, is probably the closest state to Texas culturally of any state in the country.

Then we move to the "Middle South" - Arkansas and Louisiana. Like Texas, Louisiana is like a whole 'nother country thanks to its French heritage (Louisiana has "parishes" rather than counties, and its legal system rests on the Napoleonic Code rather than English common law). In his recent book "American Nations," author Colin Woodard includes coastal Louisiana with Québec as the constituent parts of "New France."

Northern Louisiana and Arkansas have more in common with the largely Appalachian culture of the Upper South (Kentucky, Tennessee and the Carolinas) than with the culture of the Cotton Belt (Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia).

Then there's Tidewater Virginia, which is also distinct from the rest of the South - most of the "Southern gentlemen" I've met hail from that state. (The western part of Virginia, like its pro-Union breakaway section in the northwest, is part of Appalachia.)

Florida south of the Panhandle and Jacksonville arguably no longer belongs in the South at all. Miami is the capital of the Caribbean, and the area to the north of it, including the Tampa Bay area, has been colonized by Northern snowbirds.

Atlanta may be the transportation capital of the entire region save for Texas - there's more than a little truth to the joke that "in the South, when you die, it doesn't matter whether you're going to Heaven or Hell, you'll have to change in Atlanta." But its dominance over the South outside the Cotton Belt in other areas seems to me a little more questionable. Atlanta's cultural production - much of it now rooted in African-American popular culture, something I'll have a little more to say about below - may dwarf that of every other Southern city save Nashville now, and CNN's presence makes it the only national media hub in the South, but Charlotte rivals or even surpasses it in finance. From a culinary standpoint, the city has a great culinary scene, but there are no foods or styles of cooking that are closely identified with the city that I can recall. There's Nashville hot chicken, the Kentucky hot brown, Carolina and Texas barbecue, and Cajun cuisine from coastal Louisiana, but what bears Atlanta's name in this fashion?

I don't think that we can talk about Atlanta without bringing up the black-Mecca stuff. The children of the Second Great Migration, the one that gave most of the cities of the Northeast and Midwest their large black populations, have been heading back to Atlanta for nearly three decades now, and that has a lot to do with the city's reputation for racial tolerance, Lester Maddox notwithstanding: who else here remembers "the city too busy to hate"? That sentence, by the way, includes a word almost never used to describe anyplace in the South, which may also account for the unease with which some Southerners regard Atlanta. It's also that reputation, along with the radically different ways the leaders and elected officials in the two cities responded to the Civil Rights Movement, that caused Atlanta to far outstrip Birmingham in growth since 1960, when the two cities were roughly equal in both population and economic importance.

I've rambled enough; I just jumped in here because I wanted to try to make some sense (as I see it) of this interminable back-and-forthbetween a Chicagoan and some Southerners, including a few Atlanta partisans.
As usual, a extremely eloquently written post. Just if the reference to - a Chicagoan was me .... ? Thanks, but i haven't been a live there Chicagoan since the 80s. I lived there after high school 6-years. Great era for me. But born and raised in Central PA and lived near my hometown since moving back to PA after my father had a major accident. Otherwise I probably would have stayed in the Midwest. As i said numerous times .... i consider Chicago a adopted second hometown I can visit and still feel like I'm home.
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