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Old 08-06-2010, 09:23 PM
 
301 posts, read 349,328 times
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One of the things you heard a lot about the Midwest is how life there is simpler and slower. Well, what exactly is simpler and slower?

Most people there don't live in log cabins, there are plenty of dense urban centers and suburbs that don't differ drastically from the East or West Coast.
So is the slower and simpler pace of the Midwest a myth we romanticized about, or is there really something to it? Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I think it's a myth. On the other hand, cost of living is lower than the biggest coast cities, so that could potentially translate to less economic stress. There are some great deals on housing in Chicago right now, for example, and here in Minneapolis it is so nice to be able to live better for less money (than in DC, SF, or LA, in our case). That doesn't make life any slower or not necessarily even simpler, but it certainly makes it less stressful.

I have noticed that in Minnesota people seem to start work really early. It's not uncommon for office jobs to begin as early as 7:00 am, with 8:00 being pretty typical. In my professional life elsewhere the earliest work ever officially started was 9:00. While I realize official hours don't necessarily translate into actual hours, and acknowledge that my impressions are based pretty casually on personal experiences rather than any official statistics (maybe the time difference isn't as pronounced as I think?), I find a 9:00 start time to be simpler and less stressful.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:25 PM
 
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i will attest that it is for the most part a myth. i moved from philadelphia to saint louis two years ago and the day to day lifestyle is essentially the same. the difference is proximity to other major cities. being close to new york, baltimore and dc created a more 'frenzied' atmosphere in phila, however the urban areas of saint louis remind me much of the east. maybe the people are more relaxed, but it doesn't feel like the south or the west. i realize that most cities in the midwest do not exude the same type of atmosphere. i suppose it's something to do with age of the city. saint louis feels like an extension of the northeast to me, with its own flavor to boot.
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee
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Midwestern living is definitely more simple, although north woods areas tend to live a little "slower" than midwestern metros. Seems to me that a slower pace of life is a Southern characteristic.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:08 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,948 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TruthBeautyGoodness View Post
One of the things you heard a lot about the Midwest is how life there is simpler and slower. Well, what exactly is simpler and slower?

Most people there don't live in log cabins, there are plenty of dense urban centers and suburbs that don't differ drastically from the East or West Coast.
So is the slower and simpler pace of the Midwest a myth we romanticized about, or is there really something to it? Thanks!

I moved from the husstle and bustle of NJ the rat race in 04. I too .. thought this way. Let me tell you.. its a"Myth" the people can be just as rude.. they are fast drivers.. and there is soooo much to do here. Its not slow at all. I thought.. it would be behind NJ its actually advanced. The only down side is the health care system stinks and is bar far the worse. There is also a corrupt justice system here.. other then that. Its all good.
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Old 04-16-2011, 01:58 PM
 
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Here is why I think it's slower.

1) Traffic. Now, as these cities continue to grow, traffic gets worse, but it's still generally better than the bigger cities. But the biggest thing to me is there isn't weekend traffic jams. When I'm sitting in constant traffic jams on the weekends here in DC, it's just nuts. I get that traffic is bad during the week, but weekends too? Forget it.

2) Less crowds. When you go to the store, you are not on packed in with a ton of other people and the lines aren't long. In a bigger city, it's just hard to ever relax even on the weekends because there is just constant people everywhere.

3) Less focus on career. People tend to work more in larger cities for those important careers. They also tend to spend more time commuting to and from the job. Less time for family and life in general.

4) Less of the constant big city stress. Less of the city noise, traffic, people. It starts to eat away at a person little-by-little.
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Old 04-16-2011, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
18 posts, read 30,568 times
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The cities seem to be set up for a more easygoing lifestyle compared to the east coast. They're less dense, the streets are wider, and there's less people- which means less rude stressed out people (with angry sounding accents )
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Old 04-16-2011, 03:01 PM
 
674 posts, read 909,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenswake View Post
Here is why I think it's slower.

1) Traffic. Now, as these cities continue to grow, traffic gets worse, but it's still generally better than the bigger cities. But the biggest thing to me is there isn't weekend traffic jams. When I'm sitting in constant traffic jams on the weekends here in DC, it's just nuts. I get that traffic is bad during the week, but weekends too? Forget it.

2) Less crowds. When you go to the store, you are not on packed in with a ton of other people and the lines aren't long. In a bigger city, it's just hard to ever relax even on the weekends because there is just constant people everywhere.

3) Less focus on career. People tend to work more in larger cities for those important careers. They also tend to spend more time commuting to and from the job. Less time for family and life in general.

4) Less of the constant big city stress. Less of the city noise, traffic, people. It starts to eat away at a person little-by-little.
Have you ever been in a traffic jam in Minneapolis or Chicago? Granted, D.C. is one of the worst places to drive in all of America, but congestion is not exclusive to the west or the east coast.

Your crowding, city-stress, and career statements are a generalization as well. That being said, I don't think that traffic jams and a crowded grocery store factors into a "fast paced' lifestyle, no more than make-believe stress from living in a city is. Many people, including myself prefer that scenario.

The Midwest is seen as less active than west/east coast cities are because of the general consensus that the Midwest is full of crops and small towns and very few interesting or busy cities. That being said however, unless you're in L.A. or the surrounding area on the west coast, or NYC on the east coast - you're going to find the same mid-sized cities that you would find in the Midwest as well, along with fields, farms and small towns. Each region has it's "capital" big city, and each has it's farms, small towns and similarities to one another. The Midwest as a whole is not "slower" than anywhere else in the country with respect to a comparable setting, being city vs. city, or town vs. town.
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Old 04-16-2011, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,847 posts, read 11,014,398 times
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I think all the bad drivers are moving from here to the midwest. Traffic has been very easy to navigate in LA/OC lately.

Except some women with Missouri plates told my that I really should be riding my bike on the sidewalk after she cut me off in Huntington Beach.
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Old 04-16-2011, 06:26 PM
 
Location: Near L.A.
4,114 posts, read 9,224,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
I think all the bad drivers are moving from here to the midwest. Traffic has been very easy to navigate in LA/OC lately.

Except some women with Missouri plates told my that I really should be riding my bike on the sidewalk after she cut me off in Huntington Beach.
I don't mean to be derogatory in any way, but you seem to have had some bad luck with Missouri folks. Are the folks in Missouri really that bad? Are/were you just not "for" the Midwest? (You aren't the first one on C-D to write negatively of Missouri, or in your case at least St. Louis.)

For what it's worth, I live near Cincinnati now and, for me, it basically sucks arse. People make a city great. Cincinnati needs a reeeeeal attitude adjustment (as do nearby Louisville, KY and Dayton, OH).

To address the original question of the thread, the pace of life is slower in the Midwest, at least compared the East Coast, Florida, SoCal and the Bay Area, because that's simply the culture. Except in Chicago, people just aren't packed like sardines in the urban cores. Plus, with the weather for 4-5 months of the year, people are more inclined to not get out of the house and enjoy the weather. Some exceptions are Minnesota, Wisconsin and South Dakota which have high human development indexes and where people often (at least more often, anyway) get out and make the most of the winter conditions.
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