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Old 01-29-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: NY
778 posts, read 827,017 times
Reputation: 417

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
When I was growing up in California, and later when I was a grad student on the East Coast, I didn't think of the midwest much at all. I'm not sure I had even visited, but the midwest's reputation as boring, conservative, flat, corn-fed, and whatnot didn't fare so well in the face of my bicoastal snobbery.

But after grad school I took a job in Columbus, Ohio and loved the city. And after that I took jobs in other interior places like Buffalo, NY and loved those places, too. For the past 10+ years I've been in Milwaukee, and love it here. There's a lot of great stuff in the midwest, but a person like I was has to be willing to explore/travel and be culturally flexible to appreciate it.

One of the great things I'm thankful for is that I've become more attuned to the outdoors, wildlife, etc. There's plenty of it on the coasts, of course, but the midwest is the cradle for John Muir and Aldo Leopold. And don't let cornfields and prairie fool you--there are prairie chickens, longspurs, meadowlarks, and other great creatures within. Outside of the city, you can see the starry expanse that native peoples saw hundreds of years ago. In some places, like parts of Wisconsin, you can see where the retreating glaciers carved the land at the end of the last ice age. The midwest has some of the best-preserved native forest and marshlands on the continent. The beauty is often subtle, but it's there.

The human culture has been great, too. California and the NYC area are definitely more prosperous and upscale. There are things I miss there, like excellent grocery stores, a pervasiveness of the arts, prestigious universities, a deep-rooted book culture, world-class museums. But the larger cities and college towns in the midwest do very well in these areas, and some better than others. Chicago, of course, is marvellous, and the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Madison, Columbus, Cleveland, etc. are vibrant places with a strong sense of history and identity. If midwestern cities do not always have the greatest supermarkets, for example, they at least have a good showing of decades-old sausage-makers, cheese-mongers, taquerías, and other food crafts reflecting the local ethnic history. The midwestern cities were centrally involved in the rise and development of leftist politics and the labor movement, and that legacy lives on in the culture--sometimes an "underdog" artistic culture that is more scrappy and genuine than the more urbane versions on the coasts. There are some downsides, such as relatively weak economic prospects, less ethnic/racial diversity in some areas, and a more subdued gay presence than on the coasts. And yes, the midwest is more socially and culturally conservative (good for some, bad for others), but not uniformly so. But there are downsides to the coasts, too, such as congestion and cost of living.

There's a lot more to the midwest, as well, like the architectural legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright and the park planning of Frederick Law Olmsted. All in all, the midwest is very underrated. I find it funny that many people still consider it "flyover" country, but these are the same people who would prefer a high-speed train from Paris to Barcelona in order to avoid the "boring" stuff in between. Funny thing, though, is that most people who live in non-flyover, "important" places are themselves usually not very important--in their own terminology, they are "flyover" people, but they presume importance because of their surroundings. Ultimately, the problem lies mostly with the traveler, not so much with the place traveled.

O'Hare is a top 3 airport in the world as far as movement and passengers. Sounds to me like people are doing anything but flying over Chicago.


I dont see the more conservative aspect of the Midwest. Upstate NY, PA, New England are/have some pretty small town, traditional and conservative areas. Do people just say this because the Midwest just takes up a larger area? I dont know, but as someone from the Northeast, the liberal/conservative part between the two, theres no difference. Not when the Midwest has liberal strongholds like Chicago, Madison and Minneapolis for starters. Religiously speaking, the Northeast is also heavily religious as well. So any of these "Midwest is more religious and conservative talk" I just dont see, especially in comparison to the Northeast.


Also, as someone from Upstate NY, dont list "NYC and California." Youre pairing a city and an entire state. Just say SF, LA and NYC.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,310,239 times
Reputation: 4270
Quote:
Originally Posted by insane4madonna View Post
Things to do in Los Angeles (the place i live)

-Shopping
-Great places to see
- Different cultures
-All kind of food
-All kind of people from all over the world
-Non-religious freaks
-Liberal

You say you guys go fishing, hunting, going to the lake, etc to have fun. For us, those activities arent real activities, those are things redneck do
I would hate to live in a city where everyone is white and look all the same.
People in the Midwest do the same things you do, and call people who hunt "rednecks" also....you're not unique, you're not offering new ideas, you're trolling. I don't know how you've lasted this long without some kind of "CD timeout" yet...
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,310,239 times
Reputation: 4270
Quote:
Originally Posted by DinsdalePirahna View Post
You are just as crazy and myopic as insane4madonna.

(but thanks for asking, Traffic on the 405 has been pretty light. I was born looking good and plenty of self-esteem, so I have no need for plastic surgeons, and my pickup truck runs on gasoline.)
"Self Esteem": an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself. Webster's Dictionary

Yes...yes you do.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis (St. Louis Park)
5,991 posts, read 8,310,239 times
Reputation: 4270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex?Il? View Post
See, here we go again . . . look I love the midwest too, but why on earth do people insist on throwing around the term materialistic.

Sure, California and New York area certainly have their fair share and there are those that take it over the top than in the midwest, but materialism includes getting a bigger house . . . right? Where can you afford to do that? Thats right . . . in the midwest where the cost of living is lower. No one . . . moves to California to get a huge house, they move their to enjoy and experience all the things that it offers from the ocean to the mountains all times of the year, the different things to do in the city, and are willing to get a small apartment with a roommate.

And blue collar? You just confirmed that California has lots of rednecks!! Not to say the two are synonymous.

I will say that midwest cities and suburbs on average are better for starting a family, because one can get a single family home much more easily than on the coasts, and people are less transient, so you can have a group of family and friends that you grow up with the whole time.

I will also say, that in the midwest too, its easy to feel like you missed the boat in terms of finding a girl to settle down with when you get to about 30. In LA I meet a lot more single people (and good quality people) just because there are so many of them. Even in Chicago, even in the hip, young adult neighborhoods it can feel a little like being a fish out of water, if you don't have the references to Big Ten university life, etc. In LA young single adults live all over the city, and they are from all over the country and world.
"Materialism" <=> the Coasts, as "Red neck/boring/flat" <=> Midwest...............does it make sense now? It's hypocricy, but with a purpose.

Legend: <=> means "synonymous" in this case
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,166 posts, read 4,193,328 times
Reputation: 2707
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heyooooo View Post
O'Hare is a top 3 airport in the world as far as movement and passengers. Sounds to me like people are doing anything but flying over Chicago.


I dont see the more conservative aspect of the Midwest. Upstate NY, PA, New England are/have some pretty small town, traditional and conservative areas. Do people just say this because the Midwest just takes up a larger area? I dont know, but as someone from the Northeast, the liberal/conservative part between the two, theres no difference. Not when the Midwest has liberal strongholds like Chicago, Madison and Minneapolis for starters. Religiously speaking, the Northeast is also heavily religious as well. So any of these "Midwest is more religious and conservative talk" I just dont see, especially in comparison to the Northeast.
There are some significantly conservative parts of the midwest, though I agree they're generally not much more conservative than certain parts of upstate NY, PA, etc., but I wouldn't consider these areas "coastal" anyhow. Many NYCers and Philadelphians would consider Syracuse and Harrisburg as part of flyover country.

The liberal strongholds of the midwest you mention have only so much impact. There are some very politically and socially conservative areas, like parts of suburban Mpls and Milwaukee (Bachman and Sensenbrenner territory, respectively), many smaller cities (like the Appleton-Oshkosh area, home to Joe McCarthy), and some of the more rural areas (such as central Illinois, an agribusiness stronghold).

From maps/data that I've seen, parts of the midwest (overlapping with the Great Plains) have a higher incidence of religious adherence and church attendance than upstate NY, etc. Here's an example from 2000:

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo.../adherents.gif

In the upper midwest to the west of the Great Lakes, Lutheranism and Methodism hold a lot of sway. I don't know that this always translates as religious conservatism per se, but it probably does in many cases, and it likely does correlate to cultural conservatism. In fact, there are some politically liberal swaths of the midwest, such as southwestern Wisconsin, that are also quite culturally conservative/traditional. The map suggests that religious adherence isn't as strong in the Northeast, but clearly there are pockets of strength, including along the coast.


Quote:
Also, as someone from Upstate NY, dont list "NYC and California." Youre pairing a city and an entire state. Just say SF, LA and NYC.
I listed those as such because I was talking primarily about my experience, and I figured my reference to "coastal" made it clear which part of California I was talking about, but to be demographically accurate I would say "SF to LA corridor" (including liberal pockets north of SF as well as between SF and LA) and Boswash.

This page has interesting info and maps regarding liberal politics in California:

http://www.ppic.org/main/publication_quick.asp?i=1007

Last edited by Empidonax; 01-30-2013 at 12:32 AM.. Reason: Inclusion of links
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Bel Air, California
21,319 posts, read 21,867,229 times
Reputation: 33476
Quote:
Originally Posted by gosling View Post
The reason I started this thread is because I came across this The Revolution Will Be: One Woman's Opinion: The Midwest Sucks. ignorant piece about midwestern stereotypes. I am originally from the rust belt but now live elsewhere. While I wasn't really crazy about where I lived this article irked me enough to start this thread to see what others thought. It's the type of thing where I can bash where I came from but if anyone else does it then I become defensive....
that blog was from 5 years ago and the writer has no doubt succumed to an alcohol fueled, unconscious face plant into a back alley dumpster, raped by hobos and eaten by feral cats
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:23 AM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,778,440 times
Reputation: 4427
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
There are some significantly conservative parts of the midwest, though I agree they're generally not much more conservative than certain parts of upstate NY, PA, etc., but I wouldn't consider these areas "coastal" anyhow. Many NYCers and Philadelphians would consider Syracuse and Harrisburg as part of flyover country.

The liberal strongholds of the midwest you mention have only so much impact. There are some very politically and socially conservative areas, like parts of suburban Mpls and Milwaukee (Bachman and Sensenbrenner territory, respectively), many smaller cities (like the Appleton-Oshkosh area, home to Joe McCarthy), and some of the more rural areas (such as central Illinois, an agribusiness stronghold).

From maps/data that I've seen, parts of the midwest (overlapping with the Great Plains) have a higher incidence of religious adherence and church attendance than upstate NY, etc. Here's an example from 2000:

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo.../adherents.gif

In the upper midwest to the west of the Great Lakes, Lutheranism and Methodism hold a lot of sway. I don't know that this always translates as religious conservatism per se, but it probably does in many cases, and it likely does correlate to cultural conservatism. In fact, there are some politically liberal swaths of the midwest, such as southwestern Wisconsin, that are also quite culturally conservative/traditional. The map suggests that religious adherence isn't as strong in the Northeast, but clearly there are pockets of strength, including along the coast.




I listed those as such because I was talking primarily about my experience, and I figured my reference to "coastal" made it clear which part of California I was talking about, but to be demographically accurate I would say "SF to LA corridor" (including liberal pockets north of SF as well as between SF and LA) and Boswash.

This page has interesting info and maps regarding liberal politics in California:

California's Political Geography (PPIC Publication)
But understand however, that although church may be a big part of peoples' life in Wisconsin, etc. its VERY different from the south. The Lutherans and Catholic culture of the midwest is significantly more in dialogue with the secular world compared to the South. There is a liberal tradition in Wisconsin/Minnesota/Iowa that makes life VERY different from the Southern Baptist tradition. There is not the aggressive push of religion into politics the way the South is. There isn't the resistance to scientific understanding of our world and how humans came to be. Remember that Iowa passed a law allowing same sex marriage.

Church in the midwest is more about community, yes actual religion too, but not with the prostelityzing culture of the south. The upper midwest has a had a lot of liberal politicians too, (as did the south).

Now the great plains are a little different. Nebraska, Dakotas, Kansas are a different animal altogether.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:19 PM
 
Location: NY
778 posts, read 827,017 times
Reputation: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Empidonax View Post
There are some significantly conservative parts of the midwest, though I agree they're generally not much more conservative than certain parts of upstate NY, PA, etc., but I wouldn't consider these areas "coastal" anyhow. Many NYCers and Philadelphians would consider Syracuse and Harrisburg as part of flyover country.

The liberal strongholds of the midwest you mention have only so much impact. There are some very politically and socially conservative areas, like parts of suburban Mpls and Milwaukee (Bachman and Sensenbrenner territory, respectively), many smaller cities (like the Appleton-Oshkosh area, home to Joe McCarthy), and some of the more rural areas (such as central Illinois, an agribusiness stronghold).

From maps/data that I've seen, parts of the midwest (overlapping with the Great Plains) have a higher incidence of religious adherence and church attendance than upstate NY, etc. Here's an example from 2000:

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo.../adherents.gif

In the upper midwest to the west of the Great Lakes, Lutheranism and Methodism hold a lot of sway. I don't know that this always translates as religious conservatism per se, but it probably does in many cases, and it likely does correlate to cultural conservatism. In fact, there are some politically liberal swaths of the midwest, such as southwestern Wisconsin, that are also quite culturally conservative/traditional. The map suggests that religious adherence isn't as strong in the Northeast, but clearly there are pockets of strength, including along the coast.




I listed those as such because I was talking primarily about my experience, and I figured my reference to "coastal" made it clear which part of California I was talking about, but to be demographically accurate I would say "SF to LA corridor" (including liberal pockets north of SF as well as between SF and LA) and Boswash.

This page has interesting info and maps regarding liberal politics in California:

California's Political Geography (PPIC Publication)

Which is ****ing hilarious.
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:24 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,463,318 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
People are too routine oriented overall in the Midwest to an extreme, even compared to other regions of the US. You see the same people doing the exact same things at nearly the exact same time every day even though some activities aren't governed by a stringent schedule. Buildings & architecture are often very utilitarian and uninspired in many parts of the Midwest, particularly commercial buildings influenced by mid century designs.
And it's worked just fine for them for generations. Guess that means they should change so they're "progressive," huh?
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Old 01-30-2013, 12:32 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,463,318 times
Reputation: 29071
Quote:
Originally Posted by Min-Chi-Cbus View Post
"Self Esteem": an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself. Webster's Dictionary

Yes...yes you do.
You have to excuse DinsdalePirahna. He was thrown/chased out of Missouri some years ago and has never gotten over it.

I wonder what all those fancy cars in CA would be running on if it wasn't for Midwestern corn.
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