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Old 10-13-2019, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Miami-Dade
534 posts, read 188,977 times
Reputation: 919

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
I mostly agree. Like, people often claim that "California does Mexican the best by far", but good Mexican food can be found pretty much anywhere in the US these days. The Mexican/Chicano population has spread all over.

The geography and architecture are also what stand out to me the most. But I feel like I find the same mixes of people everywhere (though I'm less familiar with rural areas, which hold a relatively small percentage of the US population anyway).
Agreed. There are definitely standard American looks and demeanors that you find all over, but with each city or state I feel you have a certain subgroup of people that appear to be a bit more localized.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,075 posts, read 37,886,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
I was not dismissive of your post, I accept and agree that there is still regional food. However, I find that people (especially among the younger generations) don't vary a whole lot.

And authentic tacos are now mainstream in all 50 states. There are Mexicans everywhere and Mexican food is among the most popular cuisines in the US. Tacos are to us what kebabs are to Germany.

A lot of the things you mention are historical things and not indicative of where American culture is heading. Just look at the pop charts, almost none of the music is regionally discernible like it might have been even in the 90s.
Ever had boiled peanuts from a stand on the side of the road, outside of the south?

If so, please tell me where that was! And if you liked them!

I disagree with you about the tacos though. I mean, sure they're "everywhere" but that doesn't mean they're good or authentic everywhere. Heck, even in states with very high Hispanic ratios, Californians and Texans and New Mexicans and Arizonans all think their tacos are the best!

I'm sorry that you think people don't vary a whole lot. I think that they do. Of course as we become more connected via the internet, travel, etc. we become more homogenous in some ways but even among "younger generations" I continue to see quite a bit of diversity and regional quirks.

I don't look at pop charts by the way and am surprised to hear that anyone does in this age of digital and internet based music. There's so much out there - it's really interesting, and fun to explore all the very DIFFERENT genres.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Miami-Dade
534 posts, read 188,977 times
Reputation: 919
Quote:
Originally Posted by halfandhalfandaquarter View Post
Everything you're talking about is superficial. The look of a place, the look of the buildings, the look of the people.


Maybe you only see the outside of things, and not the core. Like people who define culture and diversity mostly by appearance and food.
I see it all. I just don't find it remarkable enough that it results in the feeling of being in a different "world". Culture shock, to me, is going from America and being dropped in the middle of India somewhere.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
992 posts, read 727,906 times
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Dunno, you have to get pretty macro to say there aren’t many differences. The south felt very different to me from my native California, and the Northeast is the most especially alien to me, to the point where if I were a tabula rasa and you told me it’s a different nation, I could believe it. Plus you have the deserts, the Midwest, and Florida. All of these regions have their own vibe, and can vary state to state within that.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,075 posts, read 37,886,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamposite View Post
I was not dismissive of your post, I accept and agree that there is still regional food. However, I find that people (especially among the younger generations) don't vary a whole lot.

And authentic tacos are now mainstream in all 50 states. There are Mexicans everywhere and Mexican food is among the most popular cuisines in the US. Tacos are to us what kebabs are to Germany.

A lot of the things you mention are historical things and not indicative of where American culture is heading. Just look at the pop charts, almost none of the music is regionally discernible like it might have been even in the 90s.
Another thing - I also said this:
Quote:
But forget about food - what about Texas dance halls? How bout an SEC football game, live - in a football town - on a Saturday afternoon? How 'bout scoping out all the lighthouses along a coast line? What about touring Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where so many poets and writers are buried? Or the bridge where the Revolutionary War started? How 'bout soaking up the ambiance of Jamestown and Yorktown and Williamsburg, VA. - oh and Bruce Hornsby is from there too and his music SOUNDS like that region, just like Gordon Lightfoot's music SOUNDS like Canada, and James Taylor's music SOUNDS like North Carolina? How bout walking in Memphis with your feet ten feet offa Beale? How bout drinking crazy Cajun drinks all afternoon long in a dark dive of a bar in New Orleans, listening to someone next door playing the saxophone? How bout watching whales spout among the huge boulders along the coastline of Oregon or Washington state, and thinking "Meriwether Lewis stood RIGHT HERE and looked out at this same scene!" Or standing beneath a redwood tree in absolute awe? Or clambering around Indian ruins outside of Sedona and thinking "These are just as old as some of the castle ruins in Europe!" Or walking along the street in Springfield Illinois during an art festival and thinking "Wow, is there anyplace anywhere in the US that's quite as quintessentially American as this place is?"

And the answer is yes. Yes, there is. Because it's all America - and it's deliciously varied.
In fact, THIS was the bulk of my post (it wasn't mostly about food in other words).

With the exception of the music I mentioned - because I happen to enjoy those artists but I digress - how is the rest of this "historical and not indicative of where American culture is headed?" I've experienced many of these things recently, and I was surrounded by "the younger generation" at every single site. Clearly they wanted to experience these differences as much as I wanted to, and I think they want these differences to remain. And I believe they WILL remain for the most part. People seek them out. They relish them. They spend lots and lots of time and money experiencing them.

Go to a rodeo in Texas, or a fish market in the northwest, or the Outer Banks in North Carolina, or a coffee shop in Connecticut, or (fill in the blank) and then tell me there's not a TON of diversity out there to experience and enjoy.
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Old 10-13-2019, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,075 posts, read 37,886,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frustratedintelligence View Post
I mostly agree with the OP. Never really experienced culture shock anywhere I went in the U.S. Possibly the one exception would be NYC, and only Manhattan at that. I remember the outer boroughs feeling unbelievably American.

This is not to say regional cultural differences don't exist, but they tend to be overrated in relevance, and they're pretty easy to miss if you're not even looking for them. For example, every area has some type of food that "only they do right", but if the stuff was that good then it would have become a national cuisine by now, the way Tex-Mex and fried chicken have.

When I go to a different part of the country, there are only three things that really catch my attention:

1. The geography. The most outstanding thing about where I live now are the clear, South Atlantic waters and the wide variety of tropical vegetation that I couldn't get back home in Texas. Another example is the appreciable contrast between the Appalachians and the Rockies.

2. The historic architecture. Most post-WW2 construction has that same boring look across the country, but the Federal architecture in Georgia would otherwise make it feel like it's located in a different country than Louisiana with their Spanish Colonial buildings.

3. Lastly, I still notice certain differences in phenotype across the states. Of course some areas are healthier than others, and there are obvious differences between someone descended from Italians vs. Germans, but I can even usually tell the difference between a black person from Houston and one from Atlanta, even if their genetic makeup is nearly identical. Like #2, this may be a result of regional differences that were much more pronounced in generations passed.
I used to be a corporate trainer and therefore traveled extensively all over the US helping open offices for a staffing company. So I would stay in a city in various regions for about a week at a time. I really got to experience many different regions and I really enjoyed it.

I wouldn't say I had "culture shock" anywhere, but wow, I really noticed the differences between regions, and people.

For instance, my husband and I joke all the time that every white guy in Pennsylvania looks like Billy Joel. Hardly anyone in Texas looks like Billy Joel - LOL.

I'm laughing but there's an element of truth to that.

You're saying that cultural differences are overrated but then you go on to name several distinct cultural differences that YOU notice. These are important to you. Other people may notice those things, and/or other things - and they consider their "trigger points" to be just as relevant as you consider yours to be.

Just wanted to point that out.

I actually feel sort of sorry for people who don't notice and relish cultural differences in different regions. Seems like things would begin to feel bland. Oh well. I'm glad that I notice and enjoy them.
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Miami-Dade
534 posts, read 188,977 times
Reputation: 919
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
You're saying that cultural differences are overrated but then you go on to name several distinct cultural differences that YOU notice. These are important to you. Other people may notice those things, and/or other things - and they consider their "trigger points" to be just as relevant as you consider yours to be.

Just wanted to point that out.
Of the things I listed, geography is obviously not dependant on culture, but I already stated that the other two things are the result of America's more distinct regional differences that existed in the past.

My only point is that I feel these differences are increasingly irrelevant in 2019. Keep in mind that I'm speaking from the perspective of a younger Millennial that grew up with the internet. In our tech-driven world, the vast majority of us are far far more alike than we are different, even if they don't want to admit it. Most use the same slang and barely have regional accents if at all.

Quote:
I actually feel sort of sorry for people who don't notice and relish cultural differences in different regions. Seems like things would begin to feel bland. Oh well. I'm glad that I notice and enjoy them.
They'll never be bland as long as the geographical and historical diversities exist.

I honestly love that the U.S. is becoming a more distilled version of itself. I never really cared for the us vs. them attitude that was more pervasive across the states in the past. I've had New Mexico hatch chiles and Pennsylvania scrapple; don't care if I never have the authentic version of these foods again, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to try other unique American things that I haven't already. Still, I'm much more interested in exploring other world cultures that are extremely foreign to my own.

Though I will add that one distinct American culture that's worth preserving is that of South Louisiana. It's the best example of a melting pot that our nation has.

Last edited by Frustratedintelligence; 10-13-2019 at 04:58 PM..
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,075 posts, read 37,886,617 times
Reputation: 66893
Even though I am not a Millennial, like other people my age (and older), I also live in an interconnected world and nation. We're not out of touch, or living in the past, or whatever, even though it's a commonality in any younger generation to think we are (don't worry, I thought my parents and grandparents were out of touch too when I was young).

I can see how someone would reach this conclusion - that we don't have much variation between regions - but I think that's a matter of perspective and life experience. I also think that assuming that people older than oneself are somehow not as aware of changes is a common misconception of youth.

When I was growing up, we only had landlines and my grandmother only had a party line (wow, she was out of touch - NOT - but I digress). We took film to a store and dropped it off and waited several days to get back photos, most of which were crap but we were stuck with them. Now I carry a phone that's smaller than half a peanut butter sandwich but it takes great photos that I can touch up and crop and discard if I want to - and no sitting around waiting for a phone call or missing that important call. I mean, that's just one of many, many, many changes but believe me - we are very aware of changes, and happily embrace most of them. Take banking for instance. Wow, what a lot of changes THAT'S gone through - and for the better overall. I'm not standing in line at the grocery store laboriously writing out a check, or counting out quarters for change.

I teach life skills classes to underprivileged women of all ages and races, with all sorts of backgrounds. I couldn't teach those classes if I wasn't "in touch" with the world today. The classes are about how to navigate the world today for one thing.

I'm not tooting my own horn - I'm no different from the vast majority of my peers. The difference is that we've experienced life with and without a lot of tech advances - but even then, I still say that my great grandmother experienced the most changes over her life time. She went from a horse and buggy to watching man walk on the moon. And she lived those changes. She wasn't sitting in her rocking chair knitting by the light of a kerosene lamp. She was the first woman in her county in fact to have electricity throughout her house and two large bathrooms! Pretty forward thinking woman actually.

I never really noticed the "us against them" mentality you're saying was so common. Maybe that's because I am from a military family, who knows? I mean, I'm sure it existed but I went to school post Civil Rights act and integration and all that and like I said, I grew up in very diverse communities anyway with people from all over the US and actually all over the world, with lots of traveling experiences as well. I'm sure that made some difference and I'm grateful for that.

However, I'm a Saints fan and my husband is a Cowboys fan and believe me, I'm lording it over him so far this year! LOL Us against Them!
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Old 10-13-2019, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Miami-Dade
534 posts, read 188,977 times
Reputation: 919
Quote:
Originally Posted by KathrynAragon View Post
Even though I am not a Millennial, like other people my age (and older), I also live in an interconnected world and nation. We're not out of touch, or living in the past, or whatever, even though it's a commonality in any younger generation to think we are (don't worry, I thought my parents and grandparents were out of touch too when I was young).

I can see how someone would reach this conclusion - that we don't have much variation between regions - but I think that's a matter of perspective and life experience. I also think that assuming that people older than oneself are somehow not as aware of changes is a common misconception of youth.

When I was growing up, we only had landlines and my grandmother only had a party line (wow, she was out of touch - NOT - but I digress). We took film to a store and dropped it off and waited several days to get back photos, most of which were crap but we were stuck with them. Now I carry a phone that's smaller than half a peanut butter sandwich but it takes great photos that I can touch up and crop and discard if I want to - and no sitting around waiting for a phone call or missing that important call. I mean, that's just one of many, many, many changes but believe me - we are very aware of changes, and happily embrace most of them. Take banking for instance. Wow, what a lot of changes THAT'S gone through - and for the better overall. I'm not standing in line at the grocery store laboriously writing out a check, or counting out quarters for change.

I teach life skills classes to underprivileged women of all ages and races, with all sorts of backgrounds. I couldn't teach those classes if I wasn't "in touch" with the world today. The classes are about how to navigate the world today for one thing.

I'm not tooting my own horn - I'm no different from the vast majority of my peers. The difference is that we've experienced life with and without a lot of tech advances - but even then, I still say that my great grandmother experienced the most changes over her life time. She went from a horse and buggy to watching man walk on the moon. And she lived those changes. She wasn't sitting in her rocking chair knitting by the light of a kerosene lamp. She was the first woman in her county in fact to have electricity throughout her house and two large bathrooms! Pretty forward thinking woman actually.
Wow I never used the words out of touch and wasn't suggesting you are. My mom is a Boomer and every time I visit her she's on her phone almost as much as her kids, so I'm not questioning your ability to adapt to modern life at all.

My only point is that most people under 35 did not come of age with as much regional variation as previous generations. And this is only becoming more true as time goes on.

Quote:
I never really noticed the "us against them" mentality you're saying was so common. Maybe that's because I am from a military family, who knows? I mean, I'm sure it existed but I went to school post Civil Rights act and integration and all that and like I said, I grew up in very diverse communities anyway with people from all over the US and actually all over the world, with lots of traveling experiences as well. I'm sure that made some difference and I'm grateful for that.

However, I'm a Saints fan and my husband is a Cowboys fan and believe me, I'm lording it over him so far this year! LOL Us against Them!
Really? It's all over the Texas forum. I'm constantly seeing posts with conservatives crying about Californians or northerners "taking over". Or in the politics forum where people insist that we should divide ourselves into Red and Blue nations. You can be sure that it's always older posters making these gripes, and they certainly seem to resist the idea that we are a united country and that homogeneity isn't a bad thing. Do you hear this kind of talk in everyday life? Not really, but it isn't crazy to assume that many people do harbor these kind of feelings.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Wonderland
47,075 posts, read 37,886,617 times
Reputation: 66893
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frustratedintelligence View Post

Really? It's all over the Texas forum. I'm constantly seeing posts with conservatives crying about Californians or northerners "taking over". Or in the politics forum where people insist that we should divide ourselves into Red and Blue nations. You can be sure that it's always older posters making these gripes, and they certainly seem to resist the idea that we are a united country and that homogeneity isn't a bad thing. Do you hear this kind of talk in everyday life? Not really, but it isn't crazy to assume that many people do harbor these kind of feelings.
Well, in my experience, internet forums don't bring out the best in any age range. I don't consider them to be "real life."
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