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Old 07-02-2009, 12:02 PM
2,097 posts, read 5,871,725 times
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Cleveland is not considered Appalachia -- and I don't know how you could label it as such. Pittsburgh falls into that category though.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:25 PM
767 posts, read 1,828,231 times
Reputation: 508
The thing that probably shocked me the most was the first time I went to San Francisco. I left St. Louis and it was around 90 degrees. (it was in June) I got to SF 4 hours later and it was only 60 degrees! I thought it was just an unusual cold front. but I found out that the temp was not that far off average. So much for my image of warm sunny beaches in SF - wrong place definitely! I went to an Oakland As game that night and it was by far the coldest baseball game that I had ever been to. To be fair, I love SF and would like to live there again. But I would not be moving back there for the weather.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:17 PM
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
15,512 posts, read 17,740,343 times
Reputation: 30801
I'm usually amazed at how people react to me being from NY. I'm from the metro area, not upstate but I know how to clean, maintain and fire a rifle, I had a trapline in the woods near the railroad tracks, I can identify most of the major native plant and tree species where I grew up and everywhere I have lived, I can build and repair houses, I cut wood, etc. and these skills were learned in Westchester county of all places.

Yet, people assume that all New Yorkers are adept at little more than eating bagels and navigating NY transit.

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Old 07-02-2009, 01:41 PM
6,046 posts, read 10,051,808 times
Reputation: 2334
I was shocked when I went to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. I was expecting a small, rugged Western city. I was surprised at how upscale the city was with all the boutiques.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:28 PM
Location: Houston
273 posts, read 667,854 times
Reputation: 151
The size of the highway interchanges in Houston - the ramps seem to make huge circles and are elevated extremely high....some of them must be a mile long. Also, the size of the cars. Even in a regular SUV it seems like you have a tiny car, it's all Ford Excursions and F-450s or whatever those trucks are with the double wheels in the back.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:38 AM
Location: Kentucky
6,749 posts, read 19,954,392 times
Reputation: 2129
Originally Posted by OrangeAndBlue View Post
F-450s or whatever those trucks are with the double wheels in the back.
Those are called duallys, regardless of brand
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:01 PM
Location: Maryland
266 posts, read 812,507 times
Reputation: 217
Pittsburgh--grew up there and moved away and have been making visits back recently to visit family. Recently, I was surprised how crazy the roads are there. Twisty-turning, steep, signage not great...it's not like driving in most cities.

Philadelphia--has really beautiful suburbs and great food, much of it reasonably priced.

Pennsylvania overall--now that I've travelled all over the country, I think Pennsylvania is somehow one of the most unique of all the states. I could list many reasons why, but would take too long!

Washington, DC--lived in the area many years. When I first moved there, it seemed big, busy and impersonal. The longer I was there, I realized it did have its own unique sense of community--it's a pretty social city and is less "transient" than people make it out to be, and many people stay there for years and form bonds through work, neighborhoods, churches, schools and numerous activities and organizations. It's a very networking sort of town, which can have negative connotations, but I think the positives outweigh that. Also, having grown up in a bedroom community in Pittsburgh, it seemed strange to me when I first moved to the DC suburbs how you could have so many tall office buildings right around the corner from homes. I was also surprised at how many kids drove themselves to high school and had cars in college; I took the bus all 12 years of school and never needed a car in college (Penn State, State College, which is densely populated, making it very hard to have a car).

New York City--how grimy it was and how much graffiti was on everything; how an area that looks not that nice could be an expensive area. I'm kind of amazed how much people seem to like living there despite its flaws. Not to totally knock the city, though, I do love visiting!

Long Island--went to a wedding there once--I can't remember where exactly, but it was in a small town surrounded by farms--I didn't expect that.

Chicago--amazed at how PRETTY it was and how great its skyline was. Like a cleaner version of New York. Because of the vastness of its lake (Lake Michigan?), it looks more like it's on an ocean than a lake.

Tampa--on a recent visit, surprised at how much traffic was there.

Indianapolis, Tulsa--nicer downtowns than I expected.

San Francisco--first time I went there (late '80s), I was young and naive and thought California = warm. I was freezing and had to go out and buy a sweatshirt. It was my first trip out West and was amazed at the beauty of the city and the great food.

L.A.--not as horrible as everyone makes it out to be. Fun town, some parts of the city were beautiful!

Texas--the native Texans are so loyal to their state--they think no place else could be better!

Albuquerque--lived there for two or three years and was really surprised at how paranoid people were about crime. I think back East, people are just kind of used to crime and don't freak out about it. Thought ABQ would be kind of dusty, small city, but was much bigger and busier than I had imagined. Surprised at how integrated many of the Hispanic people were in ABQ--I ran into more language barriers with Hispanics in DC, and many of the DC-area Hispanics seem to stick together in their own neighborhoods, groups, etc. I expected New Mexico to be beautiful, but I guess I didn't expect such amazing sunsets.

Oklahoma--spent some time there too and was surprised by the openly religious nature of the city, the extremely affordable prices for many things (housing, restaurants), and the friendliness of the people. Was surprised that the culture of the state was so different from that of New Mexico, even though they border each other.

The Plains--my husband loves The Plains. He helped me see the beauty of them.

Very small towns in the middle of the country--I was surprised by the poverty and the ramshackle appearance of many homes and buildings in many of these towns. It surprised me that anyone wanted to live in these very isolated towns at all! But that's just me; I know there must be some people that appreciate them, and I'm not trying to offend anyone.
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:19 AM
Location: Land of Ill Noise
956 posts, read 1,775,158 times
Reputation: 636
Some of mine:

Indianapolis: More things to do in that city than I imagined, and the downtown is greatly improved from when I last traveled there. I was very surprised about their art museum, and saddened I didn't have time to see their outdoor buildings/garden that my parents saw. Broad Ripple is a surprisingly nice neighborhood, too.

Pittsburgh: How dramatic the downtown suddenly appears to be after you go under the Fort Pitt Tunnel on I-279. I've always loved how scenic the mountains you can see surrounding its downtown in all directions appear, and the park at the point where the 3 rivers meet is cool.

New York City: How huge and long some of the apartment buildings are. And of course, how they greatly dwarf the size of any apartment buildings I've ever seen in Chicago, even including our lakefront high-rises. Will also admit some parts of NYC had less graffiti than I was expecting there'd be(i.e. Central Park, the subway).

Western Wisconsin: Very hilly, and some parts of it remind me of the Appalachian mountains to a lesser degree. Residents there must be very happy the glaciers never flattened that part of the state thousands of years ago(and along with northwest Illinois, and other parts of the Midwest near the Mississippi).

Southern Indiana: Less flat than I thought, and was a refreshing change from how incredibly flat and dull northern and central Indiana are. I imagine southern Illinois(which I haven't traveled through as often, and not in many years) is likely similar to this part of Indiana.

Milwaukee: Running into a traffic jam when I was traveling on one of their expressways. It was a good reminder to me that people in smaller Midwest cities still get traffic jams, and aren't totally uncrowded. Course, I probably need reminders like that occasionally, being from Chicago

Nashville: Traffic, as I often tend to have brutal bad luck driving in and out of that city. I wonder if the construction of the I-840 beltway south of the city has done any good in relieving jams on certain Nashville-area expressways....
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Old 07-04-2009, 12:24 AM
Location: Atlanta, GA
296 posts, read 538,431 times
Reputation: 343
That u hear no English in Miami.
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:36 AM
Location: metro ATL
8,190 posts, read 12,331,660 times
Reputation: 2698
Guess I've been shocked thrice in three regions of the country.

When I first visited LA a few years back, I thought I was in another country; everything in SoCal is just so different than in the SE part of the nation. The weather, the landscape, the diversity, etc.--just loved it. I was also a bit surprised at how nice some of the people were which went counter to some things I'd heard.

When I went up to NYC for my great aunt's funeral a few years ago, I was shocked at how flippant the people seemed to be considering the occasion. It didn't have that air of sacredness to it that Southern funerals do, even in our larger cities.

Visited Detroit for the first time in 2003. Had no idea the city was going to look the way it did, and Detroit was on my list of cities to visit. By the time I got downtown, I almost wanted to turn back around. Greektown seems to be a bright, but overall, I wasn't impressed in the least.
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