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Old 10-24-2012, 07:59 PM
 
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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?
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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It's true to a certain extent, though in California you'll find a lot of the smaller towns/cities still have a very "Americana" flavor, particularly those which had military bases. I found Independence Day celebrations to be just as enthusiastic in Santa Rosa and Alameda as they are in Ohio.
FWIW, I find the Midwestern/Southern "friendliness" somewhat overrated. It is easier to make friends or have a regular conversation in a social setting, but the drawback is also people being up in your business and not always respecting each others' privacy, as well as the expectation of mandatory small-talk in situations where you just need to get things done (business, service, etc).
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:54 PM
 
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You seem to be describing the Northwest more than the West overall. California has timbering areas and an oilpatch, but by and large it is not a resource-based economy. We do a lot of information work--for computers and movies--we grow a lot of crops, we even manufacture some stuff.

Portland, in its effort to reshape the city, has explicitly cited Vancouver, B.C. as a model to emulate. In turn, other Northwestern cities look to Portland for ideas. Oregon and Washington also have a lot more areas that are resource dependent. Oregon has always felt a lot more Canadian to me than California. The whole West does have a different racial mix than the rest of the country, though the Northeast and Chicago are becoming increasingly Latino and Asian.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:34 PM
 
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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.

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?
Yes you are. As a native Northwesterner, I strongly disagree. Most of my family is back east & I have spent time in all regions of the country. You are totally off base.


- BBQ is popular in the NW
- We have Wal Marts galore
- all high schools have cheerleaders, the Seahawks have tons of them
- the Mariners have led Major League Baseball in total attendance multiple times. Oregon State recently won back to back College World Series titles.
- The Seahawks, Huskies, and Ducks are extremely popular and sell out their games
- People in the NW go to Disneyland and other amusement parks. Because our weather isn't conducive to having them located here doesn't make them unpopular.
- We have fast food galore. Just because we also like fine local establishments doesn't diminish our like of fast food.
- The NW is as patriotic as the rest of the country.

So yes, way off base.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Carlite View Post
In turn, other Northwestern cities look to Portland for ideas.
LOL! No, they don't. Portland and Eugene are the NW's wacky sisters.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Both coasts
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I think the op is oversimplifying part of the diversity of 'Americana'...what has been said as differentiating the west from the other areas can also be differentiating factors between the NE and the South/ Midwest

Your definition of 'West' seems more as in 'West Coast'...in a sense, the coast does have more global influences but it's still part of the sheer diversity that is considered 'American' culture and no, the Pacific NW has some clear cultural differences from Canada, just as the SW has very distinct differences from Mexico.

No matter what, being in the same country ties certain commonalities together.

Last edited by f1000; 10-24-2012 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:20 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
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America is a diverse country.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:31 AM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
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So, to sum it up, the West is different than the East?

Not sure about all the OP's stereotypes. Sounds like PNW bohemia conveniently ignoring all the gun owning, truck driving, football loving small town people in OR and WA.

I really don't know why the West and Canada kept getting compared. As a lifelong Westerner, Canada is as exotic as anywhere on the East Coast. Then again, I live close to Mexico so Vancouver BC isn't on my radar. Canadians to me are the hordes of white haired Winnebago drivers who flock to Arizona by the tens of thousands every winter from Alberta and Saskatchewan to get their picture taken by a cactus and wear belt pouches.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:20 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
9,427 posts, read 18,327,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cacto View Post
So, to sum it up, the West is different than the East?

Not sure about all the OP's stereotypes. Sounds like PNW bohemia conveniently ignoring all the gun owning, truck driving, football loving small town people in OR and WA.

I really don't know why the West and Canada kept getting compared. As a lifelong Westerner, Canada is as exotic as anywhere on the East Coast. Then again, I live close to Mexico so Vancouver BC isn't on my radar. Canadians to me are the hordes of white haired Winnebago drivers who flock to Arizona by the tens of thousands every winter from Alberta and Saskatchewan to get their picture taken by a cactus and wear belt pouches.
Western Canada is equally as different if not more than Eastern Canada just as the OP would differentiate the Western US. Quebec City and Montreal are starkly different than Calgary or Saskatchewan.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,348 posts, read 55,157,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
I don't know am I totally off base?
Yes. Your post is full of tired stereotypes both about the West and everywhere else.

You should consider that your position is not really West VS the rest of the country, but Urban Minorities VS Rural and Suburban Whites.
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