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Old 07-01-2009, 09:07 AM
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 24,559,220 times
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Originally Posted by mike0421 View Post
I was shocked when I drove north of San Francisco, into Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, how incredibly rural it was. I've never seen so many cows in one place. Northern California, particularly near the coast, is an entirely different world from the remainder of the state. Every California stereotype needs to be discarded once you travel through this area.
In live in Sonoma County now in a big victorian farm house...this is true, had the same experience... it is definitely "out in the country", "bohemian", lots of farmers, lots of rich people, aging hippies, etc.., but its cool as you can be in SF super urban in a short drive. Very unique lifestyle and area of the country that I'm sure many do not know exists. But yes... it is nothing like California stereotypes, esp LA, San Diego, etc.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:07 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Some of those houses may not have been so close to the road when they were built; roads suitable for horses had to be widened to accomodate cars.

I was surprised the first time I visited Chicago (in the 1970s) by the prevalence of Mexican food. The vending machines in the company lunchroom had burritos and tacos. Mexican food, and Mexican people, were not at all common in the New York area back then.
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Old 07-01-2009, 05:21 PM
Location: Oregon Coast
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I just made a trip around some of the midwest. I have traveled plenty so not too much shocks me. I was surprised at the low costs of some things. It doesn't cost as much to eat out in a resturant there. Gas for the car was cheaper too. Houses were less expensive. All these things were kind of a nice surprise to me. We didn't spend as much money on our trip as we expected.

Last edited by Waterlily; 07-01-2009 at 05:22 PM.. Reason: added a word
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:08 PM
Location: SW Pennsylvania
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This may offend some, but Buffalo, NY and parts of western NY seem to have a huge white underclass. I just wasn't expecting that. I noticed alot of low class behavior (not working class or blue collar, just low class). However, the rest of upstate and points east were alot nicer. But upstate NY cities are defintely in the Rust Belt.
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Old 07-01-2009, 06:58 PM
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No, it's not offensive. There are a lot of poor white people in WNY and many other parts of NY.
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Old 07-01-2009, 07:31 PM
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I think parts of Western New York are technically in the Appalachians. Granted that might be more in the sense of geography than culture. Culturally/Economically it is Rust Belt though isn't it?
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Old 07-01-2009, 08:37 PM
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Yes, the Southern Tier of NY (which extends into WNY a bit) is technically Appalachia, but mainly because it was Federally designated as such for aid purposes. However, while culturally you could not really call it Appalachia - the poverty in some rural places is not too far off. There is also some poverty on the various Indian reservations, some of which are in that part of the state.

"Rust Belt" usually implies cities and industrial towns, which are few and far between in the so-called "Appalachia" part. Usually this term is used, definitely for Buffalo, less so for Rochester and less so for Syracuse; hardly ever eastward of that.

Buffalo is more oriented toward Pittsburgh and Cleveland. Rochester and Syracuse don't have this orientation. When thinking of upstate NY, it's helpful to visualize it going from east to west from the Hudson River toward Lake Erie. The closer you get to the Hudson, the subtly more it gets like New England. The closer you go to Buffalo, the more subtly "Midwestern/Rust Belt" it becomes. The central part of the state (Syracuse/Utica area) is neither here nor there when it comes to a New England vs. Midwest vs. Appalachia orientation. It's the place where all those regions meet.

There is one noticeable cultural dividing line and it shows up somewhere near Rochester. They call it the "soda-pop" line. East of this line, people call a carbonated drink "soda" (as they do in New England). West of the line, people call it "pop" (as they do in the Midwest). Here's a detailed map of the soda-pop thing:


Also, people in WNY have a slightly more Midwestern accent than people in CNY (Central NY). There are other little differences in speech too.

All of this is to say, you're right about Buffalo, western and southwestern NY. It's kind of a Rust Belt/Appalachian flavored mix (without the mountains, of course).

Last edited by Jeromeville; 07-01-2009 at 08:46 PM..
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:10 PM
Location: Tennessee
34,673 posts, read 33,676,768 times
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Originally Posted by Verseau View Post

Los Angeles was an even bigger shock. I was amazed at the sheer vastness and density of the city, with houses and buildings everywhere and very little green space. The housing styles were a shock. The giant multi-lane streets were a shock. The houses with bars on the windows. The smog, the dirtiness...
The last time i was there I was with a few friends and one was from England. It was her first visit. She couldn't get over the aqua colored skies at sunset. We told her yellow smog plus blue skies equal aquamarine sundowns. But, she thought it was beautiful.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:17 AM
Location: Macao
15,945 posts, read 36,149,597 times
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ARIZONA - That Northern Arizona has skiing and mountains and snow. I always thought it was all cactus and desert. Not at all. I also thought the architecture was so cool - the southwestern style look to places.

CALIFORNIA - how magical it seemed...everything. Just crossing into California, and this magical feeling always swept over me during my entire times there. Later I moved to SF, and that feeling was lost, but recall it strongly prior to then.

COLORADO - the mountains! Particularly the horizon of the flat Great Plains and then suddenly seeing the Rocky Mountains in the distance. Also the flatness of Eastern Colorado was amazing.

FLORIDA - I actually thought the tall condos buildings added a cool density near the beaches, but then realized they had no shops and no stores and nothing in them except for rich people...taking out any cool factor to them.

GEORGIA - the rural parts of Georgia seemed so much cooler than other states...didn't expect it.

HAWAII - just amazing.

ILLINOIS - how boring it is...how ugly...

INDIANA - more boringness.

IOWA - cornfields and people who seemed like they drank a lot of milk and ate a lot of beer.

KANSAS - the incredible beauty of the Great Plains...awe-striking and incredible. Drove through it three times, and impressed everytime. Loved the windmills and the horizon spreading out forever.

LOUISANA - New Orleans! Also the roads down near the ocean...and how unique the culture is.

MISSISSIPPI - the trees near the swamp parts...interesting looks.

MISSOURI - just the accents...same with other parts of the South. Ozarks were interesting in MO...as was the crystal rocks...forget their names.

MONTANA - the beauty of the place.

NEBRASKA - just how small-townish and conservative the talk radio seemed to me.

NEVADA - the drive into Las Vegas from the Hoover Dam...coming into the city. Amazing feeling. THe surrealness to Nevada as well, much like California.

NEW MEXICO - the Gallup and large Indian reservations selling many things on the sides of the road.

NEW YORK - upstate NY had so many cool ethnic looking towns...just cool look. NYC of course was amazing, so amazing I ended up living there for a few years.

OKLAHOMA - seeing cowboys and people who actually wore wrangler jeans.

OREGON - that it actually was raining all of the time.

PENNSYLVANIA - first time I left my home state of MI, PA was one of the first and I recall seeing muslims on the express way, and mountains for the first time. My first time out of small town MI, so PA was really a shock at the time.

SOUTH DAKOTA - 'Wall Drug' being advertised for days in advance, and then you get there and its a drug store - with cool tourist stuff.

TENNESSEE - Memphis was weird and not in a good way.

TEXAS - big people, big trucks...

UTAH - beautiful! People were weird...small town Utah and seeing a town and the employees and they ALL looked related! Weird!

WYOMING - the rolling hills on the corner just past SD...really cool. Also surprised that Cheyenne was so dull...it has a cool name and sounds like it could be cool, but simply isn't.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:38 AM
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,790,623 times
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Originally Posted by Tiger Beer View Post
HAWAII - just amazing.

ILLINOIS - how boring it is...how ugly...

INDIANA - more boringness.
Have to concur here. Except Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, and U of I @ Urbana, Purdue, and IU, Illinois and Indiana are pretty boring. It is so flat and the highways are so straight that I remember driving to/from St. Louis when I went there, and also from Chicago to Purdue, sometimes I had to drink coffee or take a rest because I was getting hypnotized.

Hawaii is amazing. There's no other place like it on Earth. Beautiful scenery, big-city feel if you want it, resorts, and beautiful people - except the natives. Many native Hawaiians or Islanders were just very rude, fat, and lacking any sort of drive. Very racist too ... they called Chinatown "ping-pong town" to some Chinese people visiting. The one who could speak english was not amused.

I could understand animosity for taking their permanent vacation and turning it into a world's resort, but please, it's no excuse for racism or bigotry.
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