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Old 10-25-2012, 01:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
The God/guns/football people exist in OR/WA but they're not really the dominant demographic whatsoever. At least not any more so than they are in rural Canada. The west is an overwhelmingly urban population, well at least outside of the Rocky Mountain region which doesn't really even have any true cities.
You don't have to get very far outside of Portland(or even just in the further reaches of it) to run into the guns and god demographic. Hell, we've got rodeos in the summer within an fourty minute drive of downtown Portland. And no one cares about football here? Geez, you should see the number of people talking about the Ducks and Beavers(or wearing jerseys) at my work on a Friday afternoon. The 10 o'clock news around here spends about ten minutes on high school football rundown...

Ironically everything you mention as being part of your idea of the Northwest--things like not caring about most pro sports, lack of religion or patriotism, and so on--is more the result of transplants to the region--often from the more urban areas of California or the Northeast of Midwest(though often originally from a wealthier suburb back east). Portland and Seattle aren't the whole story of the Northwest though--it just takes a short drive in any direction to realize that. Just as California was much more conservative and traditional in most areas prior to the influx of urban transplants from the East in the last fifty years.

I lived in Southern Oregon for five years---they're as in love with high school football, guns, and America as a town in Texas... The biggest difference is the more libertarian mindset--which is more of a Western thing in a way. The only simlarities between Portland and Seattle and Canada are the regional commonalities with Vancouver--the rest of Canada is different regionally in it's own way--and much different from the Northwest. Ontario has less in common with Portland than it does with Buffalo, New York...

Last edited by Deezus; 10-25-2012 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Deezus View Post
I lived in Southern Oregon for five years---they're as in love with high school football, guns, and America as a town in Texas... The biggest difference is the more libertarian mindset--which is more of a Western thing in a way. The only simlarities between Portland and Seattle and Canada are the regional commonalities with Vancouver--the rest of Canada is different regionally in it's own way--and much different from the Northwest. Ontario has less in common with Portland than it does with Buffalo, New York...
Did you live in Roseburg? That could explain why.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Did you live in Roseburg? That could explain why.
No, I lived on the edge of Ashland--which is a relatively liberal oasis from the rest of the area, but I spent a lot of time in Medford and Grants Pass when I was down there...

Yeah, everyone knows about Roseburg's football team--Thurman Bell's been coaching there since the 1970s.

Last edited by Deezus; 10-25-2012 at 03:41 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:58 PM
 
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How does having BBQs and amusement parks equate to being a "true" American? BBQ is actually quite common in Australia, it’s not just an American cultural aspect. Also, how is Walmart more American than say Target?..They’re both American based companies.

Westerners are nothing like Aussies, I’ve spent six months in Australia. Aussies, in general, are more introverted than Americans from any US region. As for PNW being like Canadians, I agree with what other posters stated, Canada is not homogeneous culture-wise among its people either, e.g. think of comparing Montreal, Ontario, Vancouver, Alberta, and Nova Scotia – all those Canadian cities/regions have differences culturally. Saying the SW is like Mexico, are you kidding? Mexico is a “higher end” developing nation, U.S. is a first world superpower nation, completely different infrastructure there alone. Unless you think the SW is like Mexico because there are a lot of Mexican restaurants, but that’s like saying downstate New York is more like Italy than the US because there are a lot of Italian restaurants. Yeah no.

Unlike most other nations, the US is large in population size and landmass, and it is a melting pot of immigrants from all over the world. Regions and cities are going to vary some ways in terms of culture and how it developed, just look at Miami compared to Kansas City, Dallas compared to Boston, or Minneapolis compared to Atlanta. But having a stronger microculture in the US, doesn't make one city/region less patriotic or less American, it’s just a unique characteristic of the US.

One thing about the West you have to remember is that the weather is generally milder and there is much greater variety in topography than the rest of the mainland US. Therefore, the culture is more outdoorsy and active than many other regions. Active is associated with being healthy. To me that explains why fast food is less popular in the West. As for not having as much variety in fast food joints, CA and AZ have In-and-Out Burger which you don’t find in the rest of the US, so that statement can go either way. Also there are hardly any Chick Fil A and Waffle House in the Northeast either.

Last edited by ThinkingElsewhere; 10-25-2012 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 10-25-2012, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post

I also think in the West especially the Northwest typical American things like barbecue, Walmart, cheerleaders, baseball and football, amusement parks, fast food and so on just aren't quite as popular as they are in the eastern states, especially the Midwest and South. In a lot of ways I feel like the Northwest has more in common with Canada and the Southwest more with Mexico than either region does with say Pennsylvania.

Another thing that makes the West more like Canada is the fact we tend to be more influenced by Asia, don't really have parochial urban accents and are much less religious than our eastern counterparts with the exception of Utah and surrounding Mormon areas. The Midwest and South are both about 80% Christian the West maybe about 55% Christian, that's a huge difference.

The West is still kind of a frontier, we still have a lot of Native Americans and are a resource-based economy and generally people are more individualistic, which means Westerners are more tolerant but paradoxically less friendly, I'm generalizing but it's more or less true on a large scale. If you clustered the social characteristics of Western American people I think they'd come out closer to Canadians or Australians than to people in the eastern United States.

People in the West, again especially the Northwest also seem somewhat less proud of being American, like a lot of people here seem to be not all that patriotic at all compared to people in the Heartland who live and breathe American.

I don't know am I totally off base?
Canadian perspective here. I live in Vancouver, BC and had been reading posts like this from Pacific Northwesterners a long time, about how Seattle was so much like Vancouver and Washington state had so much in common with BC. So I went to visit, and you know what? Seattle, and Washington State, seem VERY American to me. I was surprised by how much Seattle reminded me of other big, American cities like San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia. The old architecture is American rather than British, there's people from all over America there speaking with the accents of the country, there's lots of African Americans with their unique culture, the people speak with American accents, the urban planning and street signs are different, and the place just feels intangibly like America does, when I've been to different parts of it before. I get how people can say it's more like Canada then other places are, indeed, it shares quite a bit in common with BCs lower mainland, but that doesn't feel like that big of a difference. It's absolutely American to me, so much that I couldn't see myself living there because it would be too foreign (not that there's anything wrong with your lovely country, I just don't want to emigrate).
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:29 PM
 
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Bell Town Seattle was modeled after Vancouver BC with all the Highrise resedential. Seattle started looking to its northern neighbor for city planning in the nineties. Seattle is always like 10 years behind Vancouver in urban planning but far ahead of most american cities. So yes I would say PNW in general seems more canadian in the sense of urban planned cities. And I dont think Walmart will ever be in Seattle . Asian is much more popular in Seattle than BBQ Just look how many asian restraunts in Seattle and the metro compared to BBQ . Theres hundreds of Asian Restraunts everywhere on every street corner in the metro area but only a handfull of BBQ .
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
Canadian perspective here. I live in Vancouver, BC and had been reading posts like this from Pacific Northwesterners a long time, about how Seattle was so much like Vancouver and Washington state had so much in common with BC. So I went to visit, and you know what? Seattle, and Washington State, seem VERY American to me. I was surprised by how much Seattle reminded me of other big, American cities like San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia. The old architecture is American rather than British, there's people from all over America there speaking with the accents of the country, there's lots of African Americans with their unique culture, the people speak with American accents, the urban planning and street signs are different, and the place just feels intangibly like America does, when I've been to different parts of it before. I get how people can say it's more like Canada then other places are, indeed, it shares quite a bit in common with BCs lower mainland, but that doesn't feel like that big of a difference. It's absolutely American to me, so much that I couldn't see myself living there because it would be too foreign (not that there's anything wrong with your lovely country, I just don't want to emigrate).
Seattle is sort of a corporate American city, I think you'd probably feel more at home in Portland. One of the reasons I'm not a huge Seattle lover is because the city feels a bit too much like an eastern US city, it's really not typical for the region though. A better comparison would be to compare Spokane to Regina or something like that.

Portland IMO has a lot in common with Calgary and Edmonton or even somewhat like Winnipeg or Hamilton. I think the existence of major corporations and military bases in the Puget Sound area does increase the Americanness of it but I think the people are vastly different from what you'd encounter in Ohio or Alabama. As far as a black culture, yes you'll find it in downtown Seattle and Portland and some of the ethnic neighborhoods but trust me, it's pretty much non-existent in the PNW outside of those two cities. Besides, southern Ontario has a black culture and it's pretty similar to the black culture in Seattle in a lot of ways. The Bible-thumping element exists in the PNW but it's similarly small, the rural people in the Northwest tend to be only slightly more religious than the urban people. Guns? Yes, but it's more because Northwesterners love hunting and being out in the woods, not because we're afraid of our neighbors and dream of exacting vigilante justice if our home is ever broken into. We're not like Texas. Canadians love hunting too.

With that said I will agree there's something intangibly 'Canadian' about BC. As soon as you enter White Rock you can feel it, hell even at the Peace Arch you see Tim Hortons litter lol. I do think the PNW is American it's just not as strongly American as back east or even the Southwest. I feel very 'at home' in Ontario but find states like Indiana and Ohio pretty strange.

Oh yeah another note: Southern Ontario actually reminded me a lot of the Lower Mainland. I'm not sure if that's just superficial things but honestly I didn't notice huge differences between the people in either region and even the architecture, signage etc is very similar.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:54 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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I didn't notice anything Canadian about Portland myself. Vancouver seemed like its own thing, though there were some design similarities with the American PNW.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Originally Posted by ironcouger View Post
And I dont think Walmart will ever be in Seattle . Asian is much more popular in Seattle than BBQ Just look how many asian restraunts in Seattle and the metro compared to BBQ . Theres hundreds of Asian Restraunts everywhere on every street corner in the metro area but only a handfull of BBQ .
well theres no Wal Mart in a few big city-limits incl San Francisco & NYC. Wal Mart has much stronger suburban/ rural links. There are tons of Wal Marts in the suburbs of these areas indeed tons around Seattle.

it's not particularly easy to find bbq in coastal CA either comparatively, so the West Coast in general is more "Pacific rim" and less "All-American" in culinary tastes, agree with that.
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
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Originally Posted by BIMBAM View Post
there's people from all over America there speaking with the accents of the country, there's lots of African Americans with their unique culture, the people speak with American accents)
i think this is an important observation that differentiates Seattle from Vancouver. There are tons of transplants in Seattle, representing all corners of the US. That alone makes it feel very different than just 3 hours north, where it's like a mini Toronto or United Nations. Vancouver seems so much more cosmpolitan and international (Canadian cities tend to have more of that global feeling), whereas Seattle is truly still very American in feeling.
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