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Old 02-13-2013, 08:41 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
The West in a lot of ways is pretty remote. After all, half the American population lives in the eastern quarter of the country, so the people in the westernmost thirteen states tend to be kind of isolated and in many cases left out.

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?
Thirteen states? The census bureau counts 11 and I concur. From west to east, north to south:
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. What other two would you add?
https://www.census.gov/geo/www/us_regdiv.pdf

My gosh, we had a Walmart in Lafayette, CO before they had them in my hometown in Pennsylvania! Barbecue was "invented" in Texas, was it not? Baseball, football, cheerleaders? Try the Rockies, which get good attendance even when they're not doing well (unlike the Pirates in Pittsburgh), the Broncos (ditto, plus the stadium sold out for that bitter cold playoff game against the Ravens, which I attended), cheerleaders are popular in most every high school in the state of CO.

Although New Mexico has a high hispanic population (I think higher than any other state) and there are some communities there that are majority hispanic, it is still in the US and people live the US lifestyle.

People here in CO are very patriotic. Many cities have huge 4th of July celebrations, including oh so sophisticated (they think) Boulder, which is getting its own Walmart!

Elitches Amusement Park is a big attraction in Denver. Plenty of fast food here in metro Denver, and way more chains than you see back east, with a corresponding drop in "Mom and Pop" restaurants.

ETA: I think a big difference is the the west is farther from the "Beltway", e.g. the power centers in DC and NYC, and at least two, if not three, time zones away. California alone has a little more than 10% of the US population, as well.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 02-13-2013 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
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Quote:
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.
I have lived in the Midwest and the West for equal amounts of time and have done some traveling in the Eastern part of the US. I have not seen any significant difference in the tolerance or intolerance for that matter of minorities. I think the same problems exist all over the country only in different settings and with varying minorities but the problems are pretty much the same.

As far as individualism, I think that would be more by small town than region. There is a new show coming out on The Travel Channel called "The Edge of America" with Geoff Edgers. In the show, Edgers goes all over America to find the real individualistic Americans who participate in unusual traditions which include language, diet and celebrations. We are not talking about hipsters or goofy looking people who appear in TV series trying to look cool but real people living a real individulistic life off the grid.

And they are East, West, North and South; all over America.
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Glendale, CA
1,298 posts, read 2,110,718 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Thirteen states? The census bureau counts 11 and I concur. From west to east, north to south:
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. What other two would you add?
https://www.census.gov/geo/www/us_regdiv.pdf

Alaska and Hawaii? They're both pretty far "West"....
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:36 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,848,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Thirteen states? The census bureau counts 11 and I concur. From west to east, north to south:
Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. What other two would you add?
https://www.census.gov/geo/www/us_regdiv.pdf

My gosh, we had a Walmart in Lafayette, CO before they had them in my hometown in Pennsylvania! Barbecue was "invented" in Texas, was it not? Baseball, football, cheerleaders? Try the Rockies, which get good attendance even when they're not doing well (unlike the Pirates in Pittsburgh), the Broncos (ditto, plus the stadium sold out for that bitter cold playoff game against the Ravens, which I attended), cheerleaders are popular in most every high school in the state of CO.

Although New Mexico has a high hispanic population (I think higher than any other state) and there are some communities there that are majority hispanic, it is still in the US and people live the US lifestyle.

People here in CO are very patriotic. Many cities have huge 4th of July celebrations, including oh so sophisticated (they think) Boulder, which is getting its own Walmart!

Elitches Amusement Park is a big attraction in Denver. Plenty of fast food here in metro Denver, and way more chains than you see back east, with a corresponding drop in "Mom and Pop" restaurants.

ETA: I think a big difference is the the west is farther from the "Beltway", e.g. the power centers in DC and NYC, and at least two, if not three, time zones away. California alone has a little more than 10% of the US population, as well.
I wasn't really talking about Colorado, I guess I more meant the west coast itself. California, Oregon, and Washington.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,651,778 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont 22 View Post
I wasn't really talking about Colorado, I guess I more meant the west coast itself. California, Oregon, and Washington.
Well as I stated before; nice big Target going up right in downtown Portland OR replacing shops owned by local entrepreneurs for decades. People are saying they cannot wait until it's done. We now have an H&M as well. And just about every chain clothing and restaurant as anybody else and then some.

It was very different 35 years ago when I first moved to Portland OR. but most places change with the times. Some faster than otfers. Geography may play a part in the transformation of a city but on the whole, I think you will find places and people are more similar than not. They main differences in my opinion is the often hype they get especially in the media.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:16 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,985 posts, read 102,540,351 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by DynamoLA View Post
Alaska and Hawaii? They're both pretty far "West"....
Yes, they are. Forgot about those two. I've been to both, Hawaii twice, and while I'd say they're a little different from say, New York (where I've lived), they do not remind me of Canada or Australia, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I wasn't really talking about Colorado, I guess I more meant the west coast itself. California, Oregon, and Washington.
Well, you referenced 13 states, and the southwest which you think is more like Mexico. I've been in Socal, and it's not like Mexico by a long shot. Neither are AZ or NM, but they are more "southwestern" than Socal. California, as I said, does have a little more than 10% of the nation's population.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:09 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,848,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Well as I stated before; nice big Target going up right in downtown Portland OR replacing shops owned by local entrepreneurs for decades. People are saying they cannot wait until it's done. We now have an H&M as well. And just about every chain clothing and restaurant as anybody else and then some.

It was very different 35 years ago when I first moved to Portland OR. but most places change with the times. Some faster than otfers. Geography may play a part in the transformation of a city but on the whole, I think you will find places and people are more similar than not. They main differences in my opinion is the often hype they get especially in the media.
They're building a Target downtown? What a shame. Even more a shame people are happy about it, whatever happened to Portland being "weird"?

I hope downtown Portland isn't on its way to becoming a cultural desert like say, downtown Columbus Ohio. I remember I had to spend the night in Columbus on the way back to Portland and was forced to get dinner at CVS pharmacy (junk food) because everything closed at 5:30 in the city center. The horror.

Someone mentioned there is a Walmart right within Portland. While that's technically true, I think it's a little misleading, it's on SE 82nd, almost in Clackamas, I mean it's really nowhere near the heart of the city. It's pretty much in the suburbs. There's only about 7 Wal Marts in the Portland metro which is not that many when you consider the density of WalMart in most other parts of the country. Of course Freddies isn't that much better.
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Keizer, OR
1,376 posts, read 2,513,703 times
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OP: You may want to read this.
And FWIW I actually feel that Oregon and Washington are more quintessentially American than any place in Southern California. Beaverton and Tigard are perfect examples of Anytown USA type places (West Linn and Oregon City as well for older towns).
However the truth is no place is really more American than another. If an area is located within the United States then it is by all means American. After all, isn't our country supposed to be all about diversity?
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:22 AM
 
Location: Manhattan
1,168 posts, read 2,533,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I don't know am I totally off base?
I'd say you're totally off base. Is the West different from the Midwest, South, and Northeast? Yea, sure. All 4 regions are pretty distinct from each other. That being said, they all feel equally "American" in my experience through extensive travel. What you seem to be doing is comparing the most cosmopolitan places in the West to the least cosmopolitan places in the East. If you look at comparable places, you'll see that the difference on how "American" these places are is negligible. For example, big metros such as LA, SF, Phoenix, Seattle, and Denver are no less culturally American than say New York, Chicago, Miami, DC, and Boston. Rural areas of the West are just as patriotic, religious, and Americana-filled as rural areas in the East.

I mean, you say that Northwestern US feels more like Canada than it does the East. I'd agree that Washington and Oregon feel more like British Columbia than the East, but at the same time, the Northeast and Upper Midwest feel more like Ontario and Quebec than they do the West. So, like the Northwest, isn't the Northeast and Midwest more "Canadian" than "American" using your logic? As far as being more "Australian", I could see comparing LA, SF, and SD with Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, but one could just as easily compare NYC, Boston, and Philadelphia with London, Dublin, and Glasgow. Does that make the East more "European" than it is "American"? Any intelligent person would agree that it doesn't. Again, parts of the Southwest may identify with Mexico a bit more than other parts of the country, but the same can be said of parts of the Southeast and the Caribbean/South America.

I'd say travel a bit and actually learn about the East (and Canada, for that matter). That way you can compare the West with reality rather than stereotypes.

Last edited by jayp1188; 02-14-2013 at 01:52 AM..
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,371,197 times
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Is the American "ambiance" weaker in the West than the East? My personal opinion is no, and if anything I think the American ambiance is stronger in the West. In most of the West there's a high concentration of European ancestry, there's the continental climate, the Old West history, and cowboys, as well as distinctly American accents. All of these things are deeply associated with America and Americana. The West Coast doesn't exhibit these characteristics nearly as much as the Interior West, but Hollywood, the history of San Francisco, and Silicon Valley all have made major contributions to American culture and history. In closing, some regions exhibit more of an American ambiance than others, but most regions in the United States have a lot to contribute to the "ambiance", and for most intents and purposes can be considered equally "American".
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