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Old 02-09-2019, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,316 posts, read 7,326,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent_Adultman View Post
Not sure where you’re getting the idea that major West Coast cities have more chains and fewer small businesses. San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Oakland, even the “city parts” of LA and San Diego, are dominated by small businesses with very few chains. I also find that people in West Coast cities tend to be less straight-laced and sports-oriented and more counter-culture, which adds an artistic/individualistic/intellectual element to mainstream culture in many West Coast cities that is a bit more under the surface in most major East coast cities. I do like that people on the East Coast are more direct and less pretentious, and they seem to be less self-conscious about letting loose and partying.
Certainly you're right; places like SF/Oakland, Portland, Seattle, LA and San Diego have their share of local establishments, but I'm more referring to the intermediate cities and small towns throughout the East Coast that are chock full of history and robust Main Streets filled with "mom and pop" shops. It's very difficult to find analogues in any part of the West.

I think it's due in no small part to the fact that the average town in the Eastern part of the US tends to be much more historic, with a denser core, greater walkability, and a critical mass of small businesses. The average "Main Street" out West just seems lackluster by comparison, mostly because the built environment is just much more auto-oriented generally.

I also get the sense that the "counter culture" character that is often ascribed to the West is more superficial and super self-conscious (at least in the modern day). The East Coast of course has plenty of counter-culture (and, with all due respect, has long been the intellectual/fine arts epicenter of the US). It's just not as in-your-face, and in some cases perhaps more authentic, than somewhere like, say, Portland.

Last edited by Duderino; 02-09-2019 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 02-10-2019, 01:48 PM
 
668 posts, read 274,885 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
Certainly you're right; places like SF/Oakland, Portland, Seattle, LA and San Diego have their share of local establishments, but I'm more referring to the intermediate cities and small towns throughout the East Coast that are chock full of history and robust Main Streets filled with "mom and pop" shops. It's very difficult to find analogues in any part of the West.

I think it's due in no small part to the fact that the average town in the Eastern part of the US tends to be much more historic, with a denser core, greater walkability, and a critical mass of small businesses. The average "Main Street" out West just seems lackluster by comparison, mostly because the built environment is just much more auto-oriented generally.

I also get the sense that the "counter culture" character that is often ascribed to the West is more superficial and super self-conscious (at least in the modern day). The East Coast of course has plenty of counter-culture (and, with all due respect, has long been the intellectual/fine arts epicenter of the US). It's just not as in-your-face, and in some cases perhaps more authentic, than somewhere like, say, Portland.
In terms of intermediate cities and small towns - yes, the Northeast is definitely second to none in terms of historic architecture and bustling main streets. But the West Coast has plenty of Main Street small towns with largely local small businesses as well - in the Pacific Northwest and Coastal CA. In the PNW you have places like Bellingham, Fairhaven, Olympia, Port Townsend, La Conner, Leavenworth, Winthrop, Walla Walla, Bend, Astoria, The Dallas, Newport, Cannon Beach, Hood River, and many more. In CA you have towns like Eureka, Arcada, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Willits, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Healdsburg, etc. These are places with unique character that thrive off of main streets with local businesses. I feel like there are East Coasters who think the entire West Coast is like San Bernadino County or Arizona. That’s just not the case. Honestly what you’re describing in terms of soul-less chain dominated mid-sized and small towns is more descriptive of the Southwest, Texas and parts of the Southeast and Midwest (as well as swaths of Southern CA)

Also - I agree that the Northeast is the fine arts capital but I wasn’t talking about fine arts. I just meant that the average person you meet in cities like SF, Oakland, Seattle, Portland are more interested in artistic, intellectual pursuits - usually of the more counter-culture, subversive variety. Instead of a fine arts museum you’re more likely to find a cool glass blowing studio or an artists guild. On the East Coast, the average person tends to be more straight-laced and sports-oriented. Historically, West Coast cities have had more creative music scenes that have been more on the forefront. These are all huge generalization - I’m painting with a clumsily large brush - but I think as generalizations they hold true. That said, the tech industry has definitely hurt the creative class in West Coast cities. And the pretensiousness is through the roof and because a lot of these types of things are considered “cool” not everyone is sincere or authentic.
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Old 02-10-2019, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,316 posts, read 7,326,263 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent_Adultman View Post
In terms of intermediate cities and small towns - yes, the Northeast is definitely second to none in terms of historic architecture and bustling main streets. But the West Coast has plenty of Main Street small towns with largely local small businesses as well - in the Pacific Northwest and Coastal CA. In the PNW you have places like Bellingham, Fairhaven, Olympia, Port Townsend, La Conner, Leavenworth, Winthrop, Walla Walla, Bend, Astoria, The Dallas, Newport, Cannon Beach, Hood River, and many more. In CA you have towns like Eureka, Arcada, Nevada City, Grass Valley, Willits, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Santa Barbara, Healdsburg, etc. These are places with unique character that thrive off of main streets with local businesses. I feel like there are East Coasters who think the entire West Coast is like San Bernadino County or Arizona. That’s just not the case. Honestly what you’re describing in terms of soul-less chain dominated mid-sized and small towns is more descriptive of the Southwest, Texas and parts of the Southeast and Midwest (as well as swaths of Southern CA)

Also - I agree that the Northeast is the fine arts capital but I wasn’t talking about fine arts. I just meant that the average person you meet in cities like SF, Oakland, Seattle, Portland are more interested in artistic, intellectual pursuits - usually of the more counter-culture, subversive variety. Instead of a fine arts museum you’re more likely to find a cool glass blowing studio or an artists guild. On the East Coast, the average person tends to be more straight-laced and sports-oriented. Historically, West Coast cities have had more creative music scenes that have been more on the forefront. These are all huge generalization - I’m painting with a clumsily large brush - but I think as generalizations they hold true. That said, the tech industry has definitely hurt the creative class in West Coast cities. And the pretensiousness is through the roof and because a lot of these types of things are considered “cool” not everyone is sincere or authentic.
All fair points, and my generalizations are (likely too) broad as well.

I think one dynamic that's worth mentioning is a nationwide cultural convergence, whereby "hipster" culture, which admittedly did have its true roots on the West Coast has really taken off nationwide, in various forms and with some local variation. In that sense, every city of consequence is now trying to convey and cultivate, to some degree, a "cool" or "weird" or "creative" or "artsy" community to seem culturally relevant.

Again, I'd agree that this type of "scene" has more West Coast roots, but I guess what I'm trying to argue is that what used to be considered more Western traits of rugged individualism, innovation, and eschewing strict social norms have all become "globalized" and are now at least part of the "norm" in every corner of the US, and increasingly, the world. Definitely interesting to ponder for sure.
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Old Yesterday, 10:36 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
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West coasters do tend to think outside the box things like Uber, skateboarding, surfing, Hippies, Starbucks Hipsters, skinny jeans are examples of how West Coasters do things that weren't done before. West Coasters also tend re-define things that were already established like gangsta-rap, grunge rock, California pizza, surf rock, etc. West Coast people do seem more open-minded than other regions hence the liberal politics but lots of west coasters can be conservative and religious as well. Places like Bakersfield CA, Eugene OR and Spokane WA are pretty similar to the southern and mountuan states which in a way makes those cites counter-cultural to their costal counter parts.
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Old Today, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duderino View Post
I think it's due in no small part to the fact that the average town in the Eastern part of the US tends to be much more historic, with a denser core, greater walkability, and a critical mass of small businesses. The average "Main Street" out West just seems lackluster by comparison, mostly because the built environment is just much more auto-oriented generally.
I haven't seen a lot of towns out west, but much of what I have seen in CA reminded me of those small New England "Main Street" towns -- historic, with dense, walkable cores with numerous independent businesses in the core. Not at all "lackluster" -

Sonoma, St. Helena, Calistoga, Healdsburg, Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Monterey, Carmel.... just to name a few.
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Old Today, 07:10 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
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I had a somewhat similar experience living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I grew up in rural Upstate NY and moved to Philly after NM. My life is at least five times more difficult here, but I don't regret it.

In New Mexico, I had:
1) A job I loved (albeit low-paying) with good work-life balance
2) A few friends from the college I attended who coincidentally ended up in New Mexico and friends from my job
3) All the outdoor adventure I could ask for (something important to me)
4) Sunshine (which I loved, especially in the winter)
5) An interesting and very different culture to live experience

Yet as much as I enjoyed my two years there, and knew things would be more stressful for me if I moved back East, I personally had to return. Even though my current job and life is way more stressful, I do not regret it. I like the hustle of East Coast culture. I like the access to so many urban getaways. I like being close to my family and old friends. I like the green and the real springtime and autumn. I like the history and that my families from NY and PA are so apart of that history. Etc.

It makes sense to be homesick. If you return, you will always have fond memories of the time you lived there, and you will be more grateful for the things you missed about living in the East. That is my experience having returned.
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Old Today, 08:39 AM
 
470 posts, read 264,641 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macalan View Post
I haven't seen a lot of towns out west, but much of what I have seen in CA reminded me of those small New England "Main Street" towns -- historic, with dense, walkable cores with numerous independent businesses in the core. Not at all "lackluster" -

Sonoma, St. Helena, Calistoga, Healdsburg, Napa, Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Monterey, Carmel.... just to name a few.
To name a few more in no particular order: Ojai, Mendocino, Yountville, Julian, Arcata, McMinnville, Lodi, Avalon, Ashland, Medford. I forget the name of the old tv series that took place in New England but was filmed in Mendocino due the resemblance.
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Old Today, 08:54 AM
 
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Why of course. Coastal California is way too beautiful in every way-- a lovely place but not a good mirror of the human spirit which tends to joy and gloom equally, much more like the cities and skies of the east coast.
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Old Today, 08:57 AM
 
Location: The City
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The west coast does have some older DTs, some with a lot of character but likely fewer of such


Also the inner suburban areas seem to have less overall though they exist on the WC but not as common


The WC generally has more consistent and denser build in their burbs but fewer DTs if that makes sense. The EC has a lot of dotted DTs with less dense surrounds due to many of the towns existing long before, most predate the automobile


For example look at something like DT Burlingame; its something far more common on the EC I feind based on my experience


There are also further away outposts with great DTs like say a Monterrey compared to New Hope
the EC also has more defined city DTs and more of divergence to their burbs based on my experience


Love both coasts albeit for different reasons my two favorite areas of the country
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