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Old 03-20-2018, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
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Shouldn't this post be moved to the CA thread? Just kidding. Kind of.

California is huge and diverse, both culturally and geographically. And that's great. But I have to snicker a little bit, as some of the attitude displayed on the thread is part of the reason that Californians are viewed so negatively by the rest of the western states. Of course, for many people around the country their experience with Californians is limited to neighbors who move in next door, tear down the old house to build a monstrosity, that certain relative who comes to visit and special orders everything they eat at every restaurant, or the tourist that acts perpetually disappointed with whatever they're visiting compared what they can go see at home. Again, I kid. Kind of. It may be a bit unfair, but telling people in most western states that you're from CA will likely net you an eye roll.

CA is definitely an interesting state, and variety is always cool because you can travel a relatively short distance to see all different kinds of landscapes, but that certainly doesn't mean that there's nothing to see anywhere else, and I don't think anyone outside of the state views the west as an expanded version of it, or would make such a statement.
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:40 PM
 
172 posts, read 91,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
Better question is which state is LEAST like California?

I haven't found a good answer yet but none of the lower 48 states west of the Mississippi seem radically different.
That includes Minnesota down to Louisiana
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Old 03-20-2018, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,083 posts, read 2,118,023 times
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Maybe its the other way around and CA is trying to be all things to all people...
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Old 03-20-2018, 01:33 PM
 
1,110 posts, read 909,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
I guess the real question is - Does any western state hate to be associated with or influenced by California?

I rather doubt there would be any.
None of the Western states enjoy being known as a by product of California. Arizona, Washington, and Colorado especially because of all the transplants.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:00 PM
 
4,486 posts, read 2,670,613 times
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Washington gets a lot of transplants, but they come from the upper midwest and Asia too. We're populated enough and have been for long enough that the effect is smaller. Seattle was a fairly big city a century ago.
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:58 AM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,221 posts, read 17,963,194 times
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Is it common for people to take a dump on the sidewalk in Phoenix, Las Vegas or Salt Lake City? If so, do those cities have an app for your portable screen to help you avoid them?
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:28 PM
 
1,507 posts, read 524,232 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tusco View Post
Is the entire Southern US essentially Texas expanded?
The South has much more cultural variety (accents, food, etc.) than does the West. The "hillbilly" Appalachian mountains and river gorges of East Tennessee is a very different creature, scenery and weather-wise, than the Gulf Coast plains, piney woods, bayous, humidity and sprawl of Houston. Accents, too, are very different. New Orleans is very different from Charleston and even Houston (despite Houston and NOLA being no further from each other than SF and LA).

On the other hand, I could travel from Orange County to Sacramento, and the weather and vegetation is essentially the same. Just cold rainy winters and brutally hot and dry summers. Sacramento winters not even any colder than winters in Rancho Santa Margarita; in fact, Rancho gets snow more than Sacramento. Vegetation? Same old, same old chaparral. Rocky Mountains vs. Sierra Nevadas? Same old, same old pinons and pondeBullBoxer31 and lodgepoles. But Houston vs. Austin? World of difference--Mesquite trees and prickly pear vs. longleaf pine and Spanish moss. Chattanooga? Maple trees and oaks, not too many conifers.

The West is alot more monotonous. Sure, you've got some places with cold winters and skiing and some places with desert and some sunny beaches, but in the end, there ain't much of a difference between SF and LA, culturally and weather-wise. The food is all the same, the accents are the same, the architecture is the same--still Spanish Colonial architecture and that Tuscan imitation style in sprawly suburbs. And there's really no cuisine that is unique to California, or the West for that matter, other than some hipster snack like Avocado Toast which has no character or variation compared to the South: gumbo, red beans and rice, oysters rockefeller in New Orleans, grits and shrimp in Savannah, and don't even get me started on how every state has their own version of BBQ.
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Old 03-22-2018, 12:44 PM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,787,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJester View Post
Well, fine, maybe not Hawaii, or the subpolar areas of Alaska. But my point is, California contains all the climate types, accents, food, etc. you'll find in the (mainland) American West.

Eureka has the Marine West Coast, temperate rainforests of Puget Sound. Lassen Volcanic National Park is a mini-Yellowstone, with its many geothermal features. Tahoe rivals Oregon's Crater Lake. Ski resorts in Tahoe and Mammoth are on the scale (size-wise, and snowfall wise) as any resorts in Colorado.

We have the Mojave desert of Vegas, the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, and the rugged Great Basin of Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. We have the 14,000 mountains that rival anything in the rockies. The Bay Area's tech industry and urban hipsterness is the inspiration behind every other liberal bastion in the West from Seattle to Denver.

The entire Western US from SF to Denver and even El Paso speaks with the same American accent, with very little variation (compared to the many dialects of the South or Northeast).

To sum it up, going to other Western states basically felt like California. Seattle? Basically San Francisco with the cold gloominess of Eureka, California. Salt Lake City? Exactly the same as San Bernardino, what with the semi-arid climate, adjacent desert, and mountains, only difference being SLC was more conservative and winters were colder. Idaho Falls? Again, a colder, more conservative (i.e. Mormon) version of Visalia or Tulare. Flat, barren, with hot, bone dry summers, and "close" to the mountains (i.e. 2 hours to Sequoia from Tulare, 2 hours to Grand Tetons for Idaho Falls.) The Snake River Valley really seemed like a colder version of the Central Valley.
I love California for its natural geographic variety. I generally agree with your post, that California has similar landscapes, climate zones, and ecosystems that can be found in other western states.

I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say that other Western States don't have natural beauty and natural wonders that are one of a kind and unique from what is found in California. The Colorado Plateau of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah and all its national parks and monuments for example, has unequivocally no comparison to anything in California. But like I said - generally agree.

I personally love California having a "little bit of everything" and am willing to work around the downsides of living in California.

Also agree that there is not much of a difference in regional accents.

Agreed that there are similarities between:

Humboldt County = rest of Pacific Northwest
San Francisco = a warmer/sunnier version of Seattle
Lassen Volcanic = mini Yellowstone (though worth a trip to see actual Yellowstone)
Lake Tahoe = Crater Lake
Sierra Nevada mountain peaks and skiing opportunities = Colorado Rockies counterparts.
San Francisco Bay area more people and more expensive = other liberal western cities, only smaller and more affordable.
California has three deserts:

Mojave which extends into Clark County, NV
Sonoran Desert in California is like Sonoran desert of Arizona minus Saguaro cacti
Owens Valley and eastward is an extension of great basin of Nevada which extends into southern Idaho and western Utah.

IE + nearby mountains warmer and more liberal/less religious = Salt Lake Lake City colder and more religious/conservative
Central Valley warmer and less conservative = Snake River Valley, but again colder and more conservative



Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post
Generally speaking, people in California are a lot more open-minded and sociable than people in other Western states.

People in Montana and Wyoming are openly hostile towards transplants, who they perceive as straining their natural resources and threatening their way of life. Those people want you to leave them alone.

Arizona and Nevada are extremely transient in the major metropolitan areas, similar to Florida. Therefore, it is often challenging to befriend others and, more importantly, maintain long-term friendships in those states. It can be very isolating when you befriend someone, and they move away six months later. The extreme summertime heat in Phoenix and, to a lesser extent, Las Vegas and Tucson only compounds the isolation factor, IMO.

Idaho and especially Utah are very Mormon. Because Mormons tend to be very active in their local congregations, and those states tend to be very "homegrown," they only way for you to break into most social circles is to join an LDS church. Also, most Mormons don't drink or smoke, and while I'm not a huge fan of drinking or smoking, those are outlets by which individuals can bond and socialize.

People are quieter and more introverted (i.e., more "bookish") in Oregon and Washington, especially west of the Cascades. Everyone up there seems to be on their own agenda and OK with being alone for a majority of the time. Very different from growing up in Rhode Island or living in Orange County, I'll tell you that much.

I don't know that much about Alaska or New Mexico, but I've met some nice folks from those states. Whites in both states don't seem too radically different from the folks you'd meet on the Plans or in the Upper Midwest.

People in Colorado are very self-absorbed and extremely competitive because it's a very lifestyle-oriented place (more so than California, IMO). They would rather go skiing, snowboarding or mountain-biking than hang out with you. Their sports and hobbies come first, never others.

Finally, people in Hawaii *HATE* white people, and if the Asians in Southern California are any indication, I would venture to guess they're not too crazy about black people, either.

California, FTW.
Wow. Couldn't have said it better myself. 100% agree.

This is what people don't understand. I love the outdoors and love the west, but I lost track of how many times people assume I would like living in any of these other western states better than California. Yes, other western states are less crowded and more affordable, and on the surface initial meeting of strangers may be friendly, but the things you describe are very real challenges to actually living there.

I lived in Laramie, WY for two years for grad school and while I enjoyed my time there, the northern Rocky mountain state culture was one where I felt I would never fit in.

I will also add, that in addition to transient, Arizona and Nevada have a high % of retirees. So, if you are elderly you might have an easier time of meeting people?

I know an Asian-American who lives in LA and grew up in Hawaii, and basically if you are a white male you are basically guilty of being racist, sexist, homophobic until proven otherwise. You must be radical liberal. Worse than any native born Californians.

I love traveling to Utah and Arizona for their natural wonders to visit, but if I were to live in other Western states I would choose Colorado or New Mexico.

I like the culture and heritage of New Mexico. Colorado would be good, because here in California my social groups do revolve around hiking and camping, but it does seem a lot of Coloradans do take it a bit too seriously.

Anyways, great and accurate post.
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:02 PM
 
5,835 posts, read 10,787,505 times
Reputation: 4428
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrJester View Post
The South has much more cultural variety (accents, food, etc.) than does the West. The "hillbilly" Appalachian mountains and river gorges of East Tennessee is a very different creature, scenery and weather-wise, than the Gulf Coast plains, piney woods, bayous, humidity and sprawl of Houston. Accents, too, are very different. New Orleans is very different from Charleston and even Houston (despite Houston and NOLA being no further from each other than SF and LA).

On the other hand, I could travel from Orange County to Sacramento, and the weather and vegetation is essentially the same. Just cold rainy winters and brutally hot and dry summers. Sacramento winters not even any colder than winters in Rancho Santa Margarita; in fact, Rancho gets snow more than Sacramento. Vegetation? Same old, same old chaparral. Rocky Mountains vs. Sierra Nevadas? Same old, same old pinons and pondeBullBoxer31 and lodgepoles. But Houston vs. Austin? World of difference--Mesquite trees and prickly pear vs. longleaf pine and Spanish moss. Chattanooga? Maple trees and oaks, not too many conifers.

The West is alot more monotonous. Sure, you've got some places with cold winters and skiing and some places with desert and some sunny beaches, but in the end, there ain't much of a difference between SF and LA, culturally and weather-wise. The food is all the same, the accents are the same, the architecture is the same--still Spanish Colonial architecture and that Tuscan imitation style in sprawly suburbs. And there's really no cuisine that is unique to California, or the West for that matter, other than some hipster snack like Avocado Toast which has no character or variation compared to the South: gumbo, red beans and rice, oysters rockefeller in New Orleans, grits and shrimp in Savannah, and don't even get me started on how every state has their own version of BBQ.
I agree there is more regional cultural heritage (especially in food and accents) in the south than there is in the west overall. (Though the Native American and Spanish (not Mexican) heritage of Arizona and New Mexico is unlike anywhere else).

But natural/physical geographic diversity? Not a chance.

Yes, Texas does have perhaps more natural geographic diversity than any other state outside California (from the Piney woods and bayous near Houston through post oak woodlands to mesquite and prickly pear west of Austin and San Antonio), but its MUCH more gradual than the western states and there is little public land so that with a few exceptions you can only enjoy it driving through it.

Other than that you have the upper south from the Appalachians through Kentucky and Tennessee to the Ozarks which is basically one continuous monotonous swath of deciduous woods, (with many more types of trees than western forests. And I will grant that the Smokies and the blue ridge mtns are unique and breath-taking). Then you have the endless, flat, monotonous piney woods plains interspersed with swampy bayous/cypress swamps that is the same from South Carolina to Texas. Basically two types of ecosystems/landscapes that cover the entire SE quarter of the country.

Florida is very unique its nature though, as its the only state that has truly tropical climate and vegetation in the south) and has more public land to enjoy and experience it.

Yes, there are common types of landscapes/ecosystems that are commonly found in the west, but so what. Yes, you find the same chaparral in many places from San Diego county up to the Bay Area, and yes throughout the Southwest quarter of the US you find pinon-juniper woodland as a transition from deserts to mountain forests, with ponderosa pines and lodgepole pines being the dominant trees in the montane forests, but the stark contrast between these zones is abrupt and sudden in a way you don't find anywhere in the eastern US.

Last edited by Tex?Il?; 03-22-2018 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 03-22-2018, 01:26 PM
 
934 posts, read 397,300 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bert_from_back_East View Post

People are quieter and more introverted (i.e., more "bookish") in Oregon and Washington, especially west of the Cascades. Everyone up there seems to be on their own agenda and OK with being alone for a majority of the time. Very different from growing up in Rhode Island or living in Orange County, I'll tell you that much.
This may be accurate for Seattle proper, but most of the rest of Western Washington is not really like that at all. Other large cities in Western Washington, like Bremerton, Tacoma, Everett, Longview, etc. - these still have a strong blue collar/almost-redneckish influence and I wouldn't characterize the people there as bookish at all (these make up the majority of ravenous Seahawks fans who you see drunkenly burning jerseys). And there are smaller towns in Western Washington where the logging industry has been decimated, like Aberdeen/Grays Harbor, that wouldn't feel too out of place in West Virginia.

East of the cascades people have far more in common with Idaho than they do with Western Washington.
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