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Old 04-20-2015, 08:07 AM
 
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I would say Chicago.

Many other cities have areas within their region that people can identify right away. Northern Virginia or Maryland for DC. Jersey or Long Island for NYC, "The bay area" or east bay, Oakland, San Jose areas for San Fran, Inland Empire, The Valley, etc for LA.

For the most part Chicago's metro area just ramps up from all directions and peaks right in downtown area. The sports teams are deep within city limits, the 550,000 jobs centered downtown, the skyline visible for miles around the flat metro, the lakefront activities, the tourist draws, the Metra lines snaking through the suburbs all pulling together downtown.

Except maybe for Northwest Indiana or the North Shore areas, most people are fairly vague when they talk suburban areas. "northwest suburbs" "southern suburbs". The whole metro area points towards one thing and that's Chicago. It's the main draw for visitors as well as city and suburban residents.

Not saying there's anything wrong with the suburbs or knocking them, but the region functions as one unit, and when you're out visiting you will more likely say you're from "Chicago" than any specific point in the metro.

I think the fact there are 135 fairly small suburbs smashed together means there's relatively few dominant burbs out there. Schaumburg, Naperville, Aurora, there certainly are large suburbs, but then there are 100+ of them that only have maybe 10,000 to 50,000 people.

Last edited by Chicago60614; 04-20-2015 at 08:26 AM..
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicago60614 View Post
I would say Chicago.

Many other cities have areas within their region that people can identify right away. Northern Virginia or Maryland for DC. Jersey or Long Island for NYC, "The bay area" or east bay, Oakland, San Jose areas for San Fran, Inland Empire, The Valley, etc for LA.

For the most part Chicago's metro area just ramps up from all directions and peaks right in downtown area. The sports teams are deep within city limits, the 550,000 jobs centered downtown, the skyline visible for miles around the flat metro, the lakefront activities, the tourist draws, the Metra lines snaking through the suburbs all pulling together downtown.

Except maybe for Northwest Indiana or the North Shore areas, most people are fairly vague when they talk suburban areas. "northwest suburbs" "southern suburbs". The whole metro area points towards one thing and that's Chicago. It's the main draw for visitors as well as city and suburban residents.

Not saying there's anything wrong with the suburbs or knocking them, but the region functions as one unit, and when you're out visiting you will more likely say you're from "Chicago" than any specific point in the metro.

I think the fact there are 135 fairly small suburbs smashed together means there's relatively few dominant burbs out there. Schaumburg, Naperville, Aurora, there certainly are large suburbs, but then there are 100+ of them that only have maybe 10,000 to 50,000 people.
we may be the ultimate wheel and spokes. look at a map of the cat or metro and all lines head into the core. even our highway system offers few intrasuburban connections. like rome, all roads lead to chicago.

for the record, I'd definitely add Evanston to that dominant group you mentioned.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Calera, AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margiela View Post
Strongest: New York City and maybe Washington, DC?

Weakest: San Francisco.

People generally don't say San Francisco anymore, for whatever reason. Everyone here says "Bay Area". In comparison, I've never heard anyone in NYC say they live in the "Tri State area". With a city like New York, Princeton, Stamford and Scarsdale might as well be in different countries. Each have such unique, proud and strong identities. Even distinction of the boroughs within the City of New York seem very stark. Maybe because they're separated by water?

People use the term "LA" pretty loosely, but even in LA, people generally say where they're from exactly. People in Newport Beach say they live in Newport Beach or Orange County not "Greater LA".
I think Vegas blows SF away in that department. People from Paradise don't say they're from Paradise unless it's for mailing purposes, they say they're from Vegas. Unless you've lived there for years, it can be difficult to tell Vegas proper apart from the surrounding communities.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:41 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margiela View Post
Strongest: New York City and maybe Washington, DC?

Weakest: San Francisco.

People generally don't say San Francisco anymore, for whatever reason. Everyone here says "Bay Area". In comparison, I've never heard anyone in NYC say they live in the "Tri State area". With a city like New York, Princeton, Stamford and Scarsdale might as well be in different countries. Each have such unique, proud and strong identities. Even distinction of the boroughs within the City of New York seem very stark. Maybe because they're separated by water?

People use the term "LA" pretty loosely, but even in LA, people generally say where they're from exactly. People in Newport Beach say they live in Newport Beach or Orange County not "Greater LA".
Probably because they aren't actually from the city of SF. Most people don't say they are from SF unless they actually are from my experience. And only around 10% of the Bay Area's population lives in the city so 9 times out of 10 it makes sense for someone to say "Bay Area".
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:09 AM
 
Location: The Springs
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Denver Metro would be a nominee. Around the rest of the state, it doesn't make any difference if your from Aurora, Lakewood, Littleton, or Arvada. It's all referred to as "Denver". The differentiation tends to take place from Boulder north and Castle Rock south.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
Probably because they aren't actually from the city of SF. Most people don't say they are from SF unless they actually are from my experience. And only around 10% of the Bay Area's population lives in the city so 9 times out of 10 it makes sense for someone to say "Bay Area".
Do people from San Francisco (the actual city) say they are from the Bay Area?
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia
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The Philly metro or "Delaware Valley" has a very strong identity to Philly considering where it is located (between NYC and Baltimore/DC metros).

Chicago and Boston seem to have some of the most expansive metros-at least when you consider people that identify with the respective cities
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:26 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Do people from San Francisco (the actual city) say they are from the Bay Area?
I feel like they are more likely to say they are from San Francisco than the Bay Area.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
I feel like they are more likely to say they are from San Francisco than the Bay Area.
Makes sense. I doubt anyone from a city would ever claim a region. That's ordinarily what people from the suburbs do.

New Yorkers often take it a step further. Or at least some New Yorkers do. Many will just say "Brooklyn."



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Old 04-21-2015, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
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Originally Posted by stanley-88888888 View Post
i think bostons borders are nebulously agreed upon as including border cities like cambridge somerville and brookline.
Metro Boston extends from Southern NH into RI and covers most of Eastern MA as well. I think people in this region identify STRONGLY with their local community and not with Boston. We lump places like Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline in with Boston because they're so connected, but most people who live in those towns will identify with that particular town. I work across the hall from a guy from Brookline and another from Somerville. Neither of them refer to where they live as "Boston." Even the guy from Dorchester (actually part of Boston) says he's from Dorchester. All of these little towns would be part of Boston proper if Boston was located somewhere else in the country, so it's really unsurprising that some people refer to those communities as "Boston" (in my experience, it's mostly college students and recent transplants who could be forgiven for not being able to easily make the distinction OR people talking about Boston on this forum or someplace similar). Still, the vast majority of people living in those communities identify strongly with that community.

Once you get even a little further out, the separation from Boston in the minds of the locals is even greater. Someone from Quincy (which is still close enough and connected enough to be a neighborhood of Boston) will almost undoubtedly tell you they're from Quincy. Someone from Melrose will tell you they're from Melrose and someone from Lynn will say they're from Lynn. Even further out in the metro area, people start identifying with smaller cities nearby. I hear "I'm from the Lowell area," "I'm from the Worcester area," or "I'm from the Taunton area" all the time. The parts of the metro area outside of the state line are almost completely disassociated with Boston. Have you ever heard someone from Portsmouth NH or Manchester NH say "I'm from Boston"? How about even "I live in the Boston area"? I haven't. I grew up in Lakeville, MA mostly which is part of Metro Boston and nobody considered our town to be part of the Boston area. We even had a commuter rail stop to the city!

Massachusetts is notorious for relying heavily on arbitrary (and in many cases- obsolete) political boundaries. It's part of where our "insular" reputation comes from. It's strange. I'd say Boston is closer to the weaker end of regional identity than it is to the stronger end. Metro Boston includes too many smaller cities that pull some of the cultural orbit from Boston itself. Worcester, Manchester, Lowell, Brockton, Taunton, etc. are all small urban areas with their own draw. Many people technically living in metro Boston actually identify with the smaller city next door (or close by). beyond that, the inner suburbs are often their own little world. Tell someone from Milton that they're from Boston and they'll laugh at you. Same goes for Needham, Weston, Winchester, Stoneham, Swampscott, etc.

Last edited by lrfox; 04-21-2015 at 10:15 AM..
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