U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-19-2013, 10:35 PM
 
537 posts, read 1,711,200 times
Reputation: 415

Advertisements

I live in Connecticut. I have a friend from Ohio who insists that the only difference between the Northeast and the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, etc) are the accents. I find this laughable. Now I'm not going to show him this thread or anything like that, but honestly I'm pretty sure I'm right - the Midwest and the Northeast are two distinctly different regions. Not the same at all. So am I the crazy one here? Here are some of the differences that jump out at me when comparing someplace like NY/NJ/CT versus Ohio, Michigan, etc.


1) Midwesterners are known for being down-to-earth; on the other hand, people in the Northeast are the most pretentious and snobby people you'll ever meet. At least in this country. Europeans are worse, but then again East Coasters are probably the closest thing we have to snobby Europeans.

2) Climate - the Midwest is generally colder and gets more snow, unless of course we get hit by a Nor'easter. But generally speaking, a lot of Northeast cities average something like 25-35 inches of snow / year. Cleveland gets more than twice that much. Cities like NYC and Philly see 50 degrees quite a few times throughout the winter, though the average is much colder (mid to upper 30s). Midwestern cities seem to stay in the 20s and 30s (if not colder) for the entire winter

3) Built environment - though Midwest cities are certainly more densely populated than southern cities, they generally are not as dense as cities in the Northeast. Even Chicago, though it is a very large and densely populated city, feels "spread out" compared to NYC and Philly, with its wide streets that appear to stretch for miles and miles. NYC, Philly, etc. have a completely different feel. I'm not sure if these cities actually are denser than Chicago or Cleveland, but they definitely *feel* denser.

4) Politically, the Midwest appears to be centrist, but can lean either somewhat to the right or the left depending on what state and what region you're in. Ohio is perhaps the swingiest of the swing states, though Michigan is reliably blue and Indiana is reliably red. In the Northeast, ALL of the states from Massachusetts to Maryland are just about guaranteed to go blue in a presidential election - yes, even Pennsylvania.

That being said, the Midwest is generally not as overwhelmingly conservative as the South, where the only Democratic votes seem to come from minority populations. Then again, it seems that in the Midwest the only reason people vote Democratic is because their pro-union - not because they're pro-gay rights, pro-Obamacare, etc. In the Northeast however, although there are some conservatives (think about filthy rich Wall Street types), it is generally a pretty damn liberal part of the country, and even the conservatives in the Northeast are liberal by southern standards.


Anything else I'm missing, or am I crazy?

Last edited by AQUEMINI331; 08-19-2013 at 10:57 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-19-2013, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,052,118 times
Reputation: 3918
Some of what you say is true but it is more complicated, much of what you say is driven more by the northeastern stereotypes of the Midwest. People in the northeast tend to look at Ohio and Michigan and extrapolate out the rest of the Midwest to be like that, which isn't the case. For example Kansas and Indiana are way more conservative than anything on the east coast or most of the rest of the Midwest, on the other hand places like Madison and Minneapolis are more liberal in many ways. The Midwest has more different versions of what constitute "Midwest" than what you find in the Northeast.

I grew up in upstate New York and spent a lot of time in NYC, Boston and DC; since 1987 I've lived in Minneapolis and St Paul, but I have also spent a lot of time in Ohio, Indiana, Chicago and Wisconsin. If you use Ohio as your reference point a lot of what you say is true, but I am going to use Minneapolis because it is where I live. It is a bit of an outlier but it is also the third largest metro in the Midwest so it has some relevance.

People in the cities of the east coast are much more snobby about education and social class than in Minneapolis. At the same time people in Minneapolis tend to be better educated than those on the coast (besides Boston and parts of New York). This is particularly true about the working class. It is a product of the fact that even the humble towns on the plains have very good public schools, and those people tend to move here once they graduate from high school. The east coast is liberal but its' version of liberalism is very establishment oriented, it is a place full of conventional people. Minneapolis is much more heavily influenced by the counterculture and bohemian notions about how to live, it is much more like Portland or Seattle than anything out east, even a lot of conservatives tend to be a bit idiosyncratic. After living here for 25 years places like Boston seem very stodgy. Out east the arts/bohemian/hipster community (for lack of a better term) exists in significant numbers but is pushed off to the side and generally lives in parallel to the bulk of the rest of society, in Minneapolis the two are more mixed. East coast hipsters often come from rich families and are going through a phase that they eventually grow out of, in the upper Midwest they tend to come from lower middle class families and are often bohemian for life. The northeast is more urban with large areas of common wall buildings where as in the Twin Cities the urban parts of the city are dense streetcar suburbia with lots of old brick walkup apartment buildings that are 15 feet apart from each other in neighborhoods with full tree canopy.

Madison is also a lot like Minneapolis but smaller. Together they form one species of Midwestern city. If you took Chicago and Milwaukee and compared them to east coast cities it would be a different comparison and they form a second type of Midwestern city. St Louis and Cincinnati represent a third species of Midwestern city that would be yet another comparison. Columbus and Indianapolis form a fourth group. Kansas City, Omaha and Des Moines form a fifth group (although I suppose they have a lot in common with Columbus and Indy). Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo can also be grouped together, they tend to have a lot in common with the rust belt parts of the interior northeast (Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, Springfield, Altoona, Scranton, etc.). Usually when people on the coast are trying to be insulting to the cities of the interior northeast by calling them Midwestern that is the comparison they are making because that last category is their idea of the Midwest (and also tends to show off their ignorance of the complexities of both regions).

So, to answer your question, it depends on what part of the Midwest you are using for comparison.

Last edited by Drewcifer; 08-20-2013 at 01:04 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-19-2013, 11:41 PM
 
Location: M I N N E S O T A
14,800 posts, read 17,703,198 times
Reputation: 9029
Midwest is way too large and diverse to be compared to the North East.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 01:46 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
2,331 posts, read 3,052,118 times
Reputation: 3918
I would add that the Midwestern cities that are most like the east coast (in my opinion) are St Louis and Cincinnati. The problem with the comparison though is that the east coast city they are most similar to is Baltimore which is not always a city that people on the east coast like to hold up as an example of what they are like (which is too bad because Baltimore is cool in its' own humble way). But the next John Waters type figure could easily come from St Louis, it would be the sort of thing that would happen.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 07:55 AM
 
56,510 posts, read 80,803,243 times
Reputation: 12480
Quote:
Originally Posted by iNviNciBL3 View Post
Midwest is way too large and diverse to be compared to the North East.
Also, the Northeast varies as well. Interior Northeast areas are more down to earth. So, in a way the Interior Northeast and the eastern portion of the Midwest are similar. There is still a coastal influence in the Interior Northeast, but in terms of attitudes, cost of living and even politically, there is a degree of difference.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 08:26 AM
 
537 posts, read 1,711,200 times
Reputation: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drewcifer View Post
I would add that the Midwestern cities that are most like the east coast (in my opinion) are St Louis and Cincinnati. The problem with the comparison though is that the east coast city they are most similar to is Baltimore which is not always a city that people on the east coast like to hold up as an example of what they are like (which is too bad because Baltimore is cool in its' own humble way). But the next John Waters type figure could easily come from St Louis, it would be the sort of thing that would happen.

I think you made some great points above. Minneapolis is one of my favorite American cities and it definitely has a funky, counterculture vibe to it.

But regarding STL and Cincinnati (especially Cincinnati), I would have to disagree honestly. Especially with Cincinnati. Cincinnati is borderline southern (right across from Kentucky), and people from Cleveland / Northeast Ohio perceive people from Cincinnati as being a bunch of hicks (not saying this is fair or justified, just saying that's the perception). It's right across the river from Kentucky, which is very much a southern state in my opinion, and that influence is there. Whenever I've gone there, I've even heard a twang in people's voice. I think of Louisville as being barely southern and Cincinnati as barely Midwestern. But I can't imagine Cincinnati being comparable to a Northeast city.

I would've imagined that Chicago and Cleveland would be most comparable to an East Coast city (older, established, more densely populated, etc).

St. Louis reminds me of Philly or Baltimore - fairly dense, high crime, but dirt cheap for a major city. Lots of bang for your buck in terms of bars, restaurants, housing, etc.

At the end of the day, if I had to pick one thing that really stands out to me about Northeast vs. the Midwest, it's the attitude. Not just the meanness or roughness, but the snobbery. People in the Northeast are snobby about EVERYTHING. I'm sure there are a few snobs floating around Chicago or Minneapolis, and I'm also sure that every city has its old money (it's "gentry" class if you will) but places like Connecticut and Westchester Co., NY reek of snobbery and pretentiousness in a way that appears to be rivaled only be someplace like San Francisco.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 09:16 AM
 
56,510 posts, read 80,803,243 times
Reputation: 12480
Quote:
Originally Posted by AQUEMINI331 View Post
I think you made some great points above. Minneapolis is one of my favorite American cities and it definitely has a funky, counterculture vibe to it.

But regarding STL and Cincinnati (especially Cincinnati), I would have to disagree honestly. Especially with Cincinnati. Cincinnati is borderline southern (right across from Kentucky), and people from Cleveland / Northeast Ohio perceive people from Cincinnati as being a bunch of hicks (not saying this is fair or justified, just saying that's the perception). It's right across the river from Kentucky, which is very much a southern state in my opinion, and that influence is there. Whenever I've gone there, I've even heard a twang in people's voice. I think of Louisville as being barely southern and Cincinnati as barely Midwestern. But I can't imagine Cincinnati being comparable to a Northeast city.

I would've imagined that Chicago and Cleveland would be most comparable to an East Coast city (older, established, more densely populated, etc).

St. Louis reminds me of Philly or Baltimore - fairly dense, high crime, but dirt cheap for a major city. Lots of bang for your buck in terms of bars, restaurants, housing, etc.

At the end of the day, if I had to pick one thing that really stands out to me about Northeast vs. the Midwest, it's the attitude. Not just the meanness or roughness, but the snobbery. People in the Northeast are snobby about EVERYTHING. I'm sure there are a few snobs floating around Chicago or Minneapolis, and I'm also sure that every city has its old money (it's "gentry" class if you will) but places like Connecticut and Westchester Co., NY reek of snobbery and pretentiousness in a way that appears to be rivaled only be someplace like San Francisco.
Even the snobbery isn't uniform within the Northeast. I think what you are describing is more of a Bos-Wash thing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee
1,314 posts, read 1,736,244 times
Reputation: 946
I agree with some of the OP's points, but here are two that I differ with:

* The differences in weather are fairly minimal. Just like in the Midwest, the further north you go the colder it is, and the further south the warmer. Overall across the region, they are quite similar. Plop a southerner in Chicago or Boston and they wouldn't be able to differentiate - it would just be "cold" in the winter.

* I realize that people on either coast try to poo-poo the "flyover" blue states by saying it's labor or race related, but it's labor and race related everywhere. WI/MN have a long tradition as progressive states. Milwaukee is the only major city in America to ever have a Socialist mayor (multiple terms from different candidates). The Republican Party has its roots in WI, but as a progressive anti-slavery party that doesn't reflect the current one in the least. Earth Day, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, up through Russ Feingold. And that's just Wisconsin: Wisconsin Idea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are 3 rural areas of America that are solidly blue: Much of New England (white), a swath of southern counties across several states (black), and the Driftless (white), which is all of SW Wisconsin, parts of SE Minnesota, parts of NE Iowa and the area around Galena, IL. It's a geographic anomaly (the only area the glaciers missed/went around) that correspondingly votes different from most rural areas across the country. There are no major cities, very little ethnic diversity, and no real factories (labor/unions) of note. They simply vote Democrat: TheMoneyIllusion » Was the Driftless Area Obama’s ace in the hole?

I realize some of this flies in the face of what people are "taught" out east, but that doesn't make it any less real.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 10:06 AM
 
537 posts, read 1,711,200 times
Reputation: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Even the snobbery isn't uniform within the Northeast. I think what you are describing is more of a Bos-Wash thing.

Admittedly, Philly and Baltimore are not very snobby at all. But from North Jersey, up through NYC and Westchester, all the way up through Connecticut into Boston, is snob central. And then of course DC which is a weird cross between the Northeast and the South.

I did not grow up in the Northeast and this was one thing that jumped out at me about this part of the country, is the strong emphasis on where you live, what kind of food / wine / beer you like, the clothes you wear, the movies/music you're into, etc. And I am not just talking about affluent areas either. Even middle class people seem to have this huge amount of snobbery.

But to be fair, the Northeast corridor between Boston and DC is home to the most affluent and most well educated people in the country. Maybe people feel their snobbery is justified. NYC is the financial capital of America (if not the world) and practically all of the Ivy League schools are in this region. Now I know Ohio has Oberlin College, which is SUPER left-wing and very much similar to an East Coast Ivy in terms of the overall snob attitude, but I suspect most Oberlin kids come from places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, or New York.

Last edited by AQUEMINI331; 08-20-2013 at 10:22 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-20-2013, 10:19 AM
 
537 posts, read 1,711,200 times
Reputation: 415
Quote:
Originally Posted by CowsAndBeer View Post
I agree with some of the OP's points, but here are two that I differ with:

* The differences in weather are fairly minimal. Just like in the Midwest, the further north you go the colder it is, and the further south the warmer. Overall across the region, they are quite similar. Plop a southerner in Chicago or Boston and they wouldn't be able to differentiate - it would just be "cold" in the winter.
Aside from this Ohio guy, most of the people who seem to be unable to distinguish the Midwest from the Northeast are southerners who think that NYC and Chicago have the same climate, when truthfully Chicago is considerably colder.

The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf Stream provide a fairly strong moderating effect on the Northeast's big cities. Even Boston, as far north as it is, probably gets as much rain as it does snow in the winter. Maybe even slightly more rain than snow. I'm sure this isn't true for Minneapolis, and maybe not even Chicago.

St. Louis and Washington, D.C. are at about the same latitude (38 N), but daytime highs in St. Louis in the winter average five degrees colder.

Chicago is only slightly further north than NYC (it's about as far north as Connecticut, actually), but NYC on average is 7 degrees warmer in January. Rarely does snow stay on the ground in NYC for more than a week (the winter of 2010-2011 was an exception - we had consistent snow cover for 2 months in NYC and surrounding suburbs). I imagine that in places like Chicago and Milwaukee snow stays on the ground much longer.

Quote:
* I realize that people on either coast try to poo-poo the "flyover" blue states by saying it's labor or race related, but it's labor and race related everywhere. WI/MN have a long tradition as progressive states. Milwaukee is the only major city in America to ever have a Socialist mayor (multiple terms from different candidates). The Republican Party has its roots in WI, but as a progressive anti-slavery party that doesn't reflect the current one in the least. Earth Day, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, up through Russ Feingold. And that's just Wisconsin: Wisconsin Idea - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
No doubt, Minnesota and Wisconsin are different. As i said before, I've visited Minneapolis many times and it's a great city. Those states have a very left-wing political tradition that is probably due to the large number of Scandanavian immigrants, something the Northeast generally didn't have to my knowledge. But I guess that's where differences within the region come into play, because there are plenty of conservatives in Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio.

Quote:
There are 3 rural areas of America that are solidly blue: Much of New England (white), a swath of southern counties across several states (black), and the Driftless (white), which is all of SW Wisconsin, parts of SE Minnesota, parts of NE Iowa and the area around Galena, IL. It's a geographic anomaly (the only area the glaciers missed/went around) that correspondingly votes different from most rural areas across the country. There are no major cities, very little ethnic diversity, and no real factories (labor/unions) of note. They simply vote Democrat: TheMoneyIllusion » Was the Driftless Area Obama’s ace in the hole?

I realize some of this flies in the face of what people are "taught" out east, but that doesn't make it any less real.
I don't think East Coasters are necessarily oblivious to this. Once freaking Iowa legalized gay marriage I think that definitely got the attention of people on the coast.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top