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Old 02-18-2018, 07:04 AM
 
73 posts, read 39,094 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LINative View Post
What I think would be interesting for us to hear is why you find the Midwest and Canada to be more comfortable and familiar to you then parts of the USA. Is it because you find it less then a rat race?
Canada, I think is pretty straightforward - there's just a lot more in common culturally: from government systems and organization (parliamentary democracy) to things as small as spelling. I mean the Queen is still Canada's nominal head of state...

In the Midwest it is something more intangible, but I think it is to do with social customs and behavior. Generalizing wildly, the values of the Midwest, and the behavior they promote, tend to align better with British ways of being and doing things, than anywhere else I've been in the US. So, a friendly reserve - holding back the private parts of your life from others, but having a pleasant surface interaction; also a kind of straightforwardness and lack of showiness; but along with that also a kind of sensible-ness, maybe pragmatism?
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Old 02-18-2018, 09:56 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,137 posts, read 9,913,467 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameMerle View Post
Canada, I think is pretty straightforward - there's just a lot more in common culturally: from government systems and organization (parliamentary democracy) to things as small as spelling. I mean the Queen is still Canada's nominal head of state...

In the Midwest it is something more intangible, but I think it is to do with social customs and behavior. Generalizing wildly, the values of the Midwest, and the behavior they promote, tend to align better with British ways of being and doing things, than anywhere else I've been in the US. So, a friendly reserve - holding back the private parts of your life from others, but having a pleasant surface interaction; also a kind of straightforwardness and lack of showiness; but along with that also a kind of sensible-ness, maybe pragmatism?
Another thing that might be similar between Britain and the Midwest is the large areas of open farmland.

Having not lived like you in Great Britain or the Midwest, I cannot say anything about the cultural similarities you seen. If I had to guess beforehand, given Britain's high population density, in England especially, I would had said there would be more similarities with the Northeast. But that would only be guessing. Maybe Britain is more laid back and less of a rat race then the USA.
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Old 02-18-2018, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
4,214 posts, read 2,835,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameMerle View Post
I'm from the UK, and live in Boston. I find New England very unlike the UK. Parts if northern New England, as someone else mentioned, are somewhat closer. Maine, for instance, has a number of cities that remind me architecturally of Northern Ireland and other northern cities like Liverpool.

But, as also mentioned, Philly is the most architecturally like a British city.

Culturally, I find the Midwest is the most comfortable and familiar to me, as a Brit. But it is also distinctly American in terms of architecture and geography. Even culturally, I guess. But there is some kind of sympathy or resonance especially to do with politeness, I think that makes it seem comfortable for a Brit.

Canada is completely different. As soon as I cross the border I feel this sense of cultural familiarity which I don't get in the US. It is as silly as measuring the temperature on the same scale. I can literally feel myself relax mentally with familiarity when I travel to Canada.

Nowhere I have traveled in the South, including Virginia or Charleston feel anything like British to me. Not at all. DC feels a bit French, Baltimore too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameMerle View Post
I disagree with this. First, New England liberals are not like UK social Democrat Liberal Democrats at all, nor are they anything like our left party- Labour. You would never get a politician like Elizabeth Warren in the UK - she relies mostly on emotional appeals and fiery rhetoric, neither of which would usually work in the UK. Though recent developments are moving a little in that direction with Corbyn - his appeal is really in his difference from the norm.

New England liberalism leaves me thoroughly cold. And, honestly it doesn't strike me as a particularly democratic politics. Dominated by elite, privileged people and the same old families. When you get down to local politics, there are the Marty Walshes of New England, but that kind of local Democratic politics strikes me as extremely American - we don't have that kind of power in local politics in the UK so it doesn't produce people like Marty Walsh.

Union politics are surely stronger in the Midwest/Mid Atlantic than New England? Not saying those places have politics closer to the UK, but I've never been disrupted by a strike while living in Boston and I've been here 7 years....and anyway being more friendly to unions is not necessarily a measure of similarity to UK politics (which have neutered union power since the 80's). If anywhere has union politics a little close to the UK, it's Chicago where the pensions issue is similar, but in the UK they've got little power and have just gone ahead and taken away or seriously reduced pensions in entire sectors. University lecturers are striking right now for this very reason.
You have to excuse we Americans, especially in the City-Data community. We have a tendency to bloviate and exaggerate self-importance, and liken ourselves to things we aren't much similar to. It's this very American thing that we are top of the Top, we have to one-up and be either the originators or the closest thing to the originators--at everything...

I've never been to England, would like to go. I have NEVER been under the impression that anywhere in the United States was very much like UK. I think what people are saying as "most alike" really amounts to nothing more than a few passing similarities. I grew up in Virginia. I can tell you I've never felt a British vibe anywhere there. The extent of which would be city and county names, the architecture in our most historic areas, and of course, the history. That's it...

I'm less familiar with New England, but have spent time in Providence in the past and just spent 22 days in Vermont, in which I visited both Boston and New Hampshire. I felt no British likenesses--to start off, The T in Boston is nothing like anything I can read, watch or learn about The Tube in London. Combine that with the general Americana feel, I don't think it's a stretch at all to say Boston is more like DC and Atlanta (two cities I got very strong resemblances from in Boston) than anywhere in the UK. They are all very, very much American and the general American culture unites all of them, I have to think, to a mucj greater degree than anywhere across the pond...

I appreciate your perspective. I think there are similarities in many places but very, very few areas in this country are actually "like" Britain. This forum has a STRONG affinity for all things Europe, and has been this way for years. Excuse my overconfident and cocksure fellow Americans...

Question unrelated to the topic, but I'd be interested in your response. What are Brits' general impressions of Americans and American cities? To clarify, what are the cities over here that Brits hold in high esteem, and even more specific, do Brits have this self-deprecating nature to which they believe American cities and locales are "better" experiences?

Americans, again moreso online here than real life but I do think they represent a small segment of our population, hold European cities, places, in very high esteem, and there's this consistency with bashing and putting down American cities in favor for anything European. How do Europeans in general regard their cities and attractions in comparison to American ones?

Last edited by murksiderock; 02-18-2018 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 02-18-2018, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,062 posts, read 23,942,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golgi1 View Post
It's more of a western upper-middle to upper class phrase, that vernacular bridging the gap between England and the US.

Anything better than "toilet" being a step up from working class vernacular, and anything below toilet, like "throne" or other cutesie phrases, being lower than middle working class. Per Paul Fussell.

Your English teacher might have also said "lavatory" or "loo" instead of "water closet". The latter phrase almost being so formal that it loses class status as a result. One of the ironies of western class signalling being that seeming conspicuous in doing so often deducts class "points" (my word) as a result. Ie: saying "Pardon"? instead of "What"? is sub-upper class. Per Paul Fussell and other writers on the topic.
My English mother taught me to ask, "Pardon?"
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Old 02-19-2018, 06:44 AM
 
9,385 posts, read 9,548,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murksiderock View Post
You have to excuse we Americans, especially in the City-Data community. We have a tendency to bloviate and exaggerate self-importance, and liken ourselves to things we aren't much similar to. It's this very American thing that we are top of the Top, we have to one-up and be either the originators or the closest thing to the originators--at everything...

I've never been to England, would like to go. I have NEVER been under the impression that anywhere in the United States was very much like UK. I think what people are saying as "most alike" really amounts to nothing more than a few passing similarities. I grew up in Virginia. I can tell you I've never felt a British vibe anywhere there. The extent of which would be city and county names, the architecture in our most historic areas, and of course, the history. That's it...

I'm less familiar with New England, but have spent time in Providence in the past and just spent 22 days in Vermont, in which I visited both Boston and New Hampshire. I felt no British likenesses--to start off, The T in Boston is nothing like anything I can read, watch or learn about The Tube in London. Combine that with the general Americana feel, I don't think it's a stretch at all to say Boston is more like DC and Atlanta (two cities I got very strong resemblances from in Boston) than anywhere in the UK. They are all very, very much American and the general American culture unites all of them, I have to think, to a mucj greater degree than anywhere across the pond...

I appreciate your perspective. I think there are similarities in many places but very, very few areas in this country are actually "like" Britain. This forum has a STRONG affinity for all things Europe, and has been this way for years. Excuse my overconfident and cocksure fellow Americans...

Question unrelated to the topic, but I'd be interested in your response. What are Brits' general impressions of Americans and American cities? To clarify, what are the cities over here that Brits hold in high esteem, and even more specific, do Brits have this self-deprecating nature to which they believe American cities and locales are "better" experiences?

Americans, again moreso online here than real life but I do think they represent a small segment of our population, hold European cities, places, in very high esteem, and there's this consistency with bashing and putting down American cities in favor for anything European. How do Europeans in general regard their cities and attractions in comparison to American ones?
The U.K. Is pseudo-Europe. It's more like Canada or Australia than France or Denmark.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:15 AM
 
Location: New York, N.Y.
225 posts, read 263,447 times
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While NYC is its own thing entirely; there are definitely parts of the city that have a passing resemblance to London. Especially lower Manhattan and parts of brownstone Brooklyn.
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Old 02-19-2018, 08:34 AM
 
29,946 posts, read 27,406,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameMerle View Post
Mount Vernon area feels very French in terms of urban design and architecture. And, yes, DCs urban plan (not sure why you imply that should be discounted?).
I was thinking you may have been including things beyond urban design.
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