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Old 01-20-2013, 01:26 AM
 
Location: Hollywood, CA
1,576 posts, read 2,542,126 times
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Is it the Asian influence?
The Liberal Politics?
The live,and let live mentality?
The cosmopolitan nature of the cities?
Or is it something different?
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Old 01-20-2013, 02:42 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, VA.
867 posts, read 1,090,960 times
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Being next to the Pacific Ocean.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: The City
22,341 posts, read 32,215,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 757Cities Southsider View Post
Being next to the Pacific Ocean.

Agree as the most pronounced attribute

Is it the Asian influence? Moreso than most of the US but not singularly defining
The Liberal Politics? see above
The live,and let live mentality? Moreso in the Mountain West I would think
The cosmopolitan nature of the cities? Not specific at all to the west coast, yet apparent
Or is it something different? - To me a pioneering and more relaxed spirit, less rooted in history or heritage in many ways. Although not truly defining to me this is vibe I get personally in contrast to the east coast (oh and generally more varied geograpahy and more intense natural beauty, especially if viewed in its stark change of geography)
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Phoenix Arizona
2,032 posts, read 4,043,046 times
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Does it include inland places like Reno, Las Vegas, Sacramento, interior OR/WA? People in the Mountain West always say Phoenix is an extension of the West Coast, people on the coast would usually disagree with that.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Ohio, USA
1,085 posts, read 1,350,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 757Cities Southsider View Post
Being next to the Pacific Ocean.
This.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:44 PM
 
Location: The Circle City. Sometimes NE of Bagdad.
18,618 posts, read 19,583,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hipcat View Post
Is it the Asian influence?
The Liberal Politics?
The live,and let live mentality?
The cosmopolitan nature of the cities?
Or is it something different?
None of the above.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:31 PM
 
2,096 posts, read 3,858,259 times
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Well, Oregon has little in common with Southern California so I'd agree with the being on the west coast thing. I consider California to mostly fit in more with the Southwest.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,959 posts, read 3,828,322 times
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The defining characteristic of the West Coast is simply that the cities here were settled later than most other cities. That means the newer cities evolved catering to newer trends and tastes (i.e. the car culture of Southern California, where strip malls and shopping centers stretch out for an eternity).

I think geography is less important for characterizing a region than the time that region was settled. The time in history that a city was settled and developed in is the biggest factor in the identity of a city.

Just for fun, imagine what the West Coast would be like if the colonials had landed here first instead of the Northeast. Think about how cool NYC would be if it replaced LA's location!
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:59 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,397 posts, read 55,250,153 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 757Cities Southsider View Post
Being next to the Pacific Ocean.
This is the answer.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:45 AM
 
1,015 posts, read 1,544,421 times
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I'm not sure what defines the West Coast. But the coastal region is definitely different from the more inland parts of West Coast states. In California, Oregon, and Washington there's a politically and culturally liberal coastal region, then a more conservative inland region. Puget Sound counts as part of the coast in this definition. Seattle sex columnist Dan Savage would say that he'd be happy if eastern Washington would secede, as it sometimes threatened to do, and leave a progressive state of Western Washington (or Puget perhaps).

There's also some commonality to West Coast urbanism, though there are exceptions. Many West Coast cities--especially Seattle, Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles, and Long Beach--had key periods of formation in the late 19th and early 20th Century. So they developed as something intermediate between the older East Coast cities and the later Sunbelt cities. San Francisco is more like an East Coast city, San Diego, and especially San Jose, are more like newer auto-based cities. This is one reason why West Coast cities have been leaders in the expansion of rail transit. They have a compact enough form to serve by rail, but mostly didn't get the large older transit system of major eastern cities.

The West Coast isn't the only strongly environmentalist region of the country, but it's certainly been one of the great centers of the environmental movement, pretty much up and down the coast.

Vancouver, British Columbia and its region share a lot of traits with the American West Coast.
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