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Old 12-19-2012, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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The problem with categorizing the Midwest is that there's so much variation within it. Cincinnati is very different from Chicago, which is very different from Minneapolis, which is very different from Kansas City. There's a sort of "Old Midwest" (think Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis), but that culture comes more from being in the Rust Belt than anything, and the Rust Belt definitely isn't the same as the Midwest, because it extends up through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and New York. The Great Plains have the same problem - that region extends all the way out to Colorado and Wyoming. And even within the "Midwest" part of that region, you've got cities like Rapid City and Wichita that don't have much in common. Then there's all this southern stuff that gets classified as "transitional" - Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, even Cincinnati, but that's not a very good basis for classification at all. Chicago acts like its own region and the Upper Midwest is culturally halfway between the Northeast and the Northwest.
Basically, you could make an argument that any city in the Midwest "isn't really that Midwestern."
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:46 PM
 
Location: IN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel03 View Post
The problem with categorizing the Midwest is that there's so much variation within it. Cincinnati is very different from Chicago, which is very different from Minneapolis, which is very different from Kansas City. There's a sort of "Old Midwest" (think Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis), but that culture comes more from being in the Rust Belt than anything, and the Rust Belt definitely isn't the same as the Midwest, because it extends up through Pennsylvania and West Virginia and New York. The Great Plains have the same problem - that region extends all the way out to Colorado and Wyoming. And even within the "Midwest" part of that region, you've got cities like Rapid City and Wichita that don't have much in common. Then there's all this southern stuff that gets classified as "transitional" - Missouri, southern Illinois, southern Indiana, even Cincinnati, but that's not a very good basis for classification at all. Chicago acts like its own region and the Upper Midwest is culturally halfway between the Northeast and the Northwest.
Basically, you could make an argument that any city in the Midwest "isn't really that Midwestern."
That is true, but a key transition zone exists at around 100 degrees west longitude. Any area along and west of that line is clearly a part of the West and does not have much in common with the Midwest. Even areas well to the east of that line feel much more western to me overall. Climate is a big factor as well. If an area barely gets enough precipitation to grow crops or uses irrigation it is part of the West with a few outlying examples. Plains= cattle ranches more plentiful. Midwest= dairy farms more plentiful. Plains= very drought prone with mediocre climate/precipitation fequency. Midwest= not nearly as drought prone, more evenly distributed precipitation, better agricultural soils.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:38 AM
 
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Culturally - Minneapolis is the only big city in the midwest that feels very liberal, sort of like a PNW city. Midwestern cities in the cultural sense are rather conservative. Having a visible gay population & some hipsters equates super liberal in most midwestern cities.
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