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View Poll Results: Where should every American spend a year of their life?
New York City 32 46.38%
Los Angeles 3 4.35%
The Deep South 11 15.94%
A very small rural town. 23 33.33%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11-21-2009, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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In order to fully experience America during your lifetime, every person ought to spend a year of their life living in which of these places?
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Way up north :-)
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Interesting topic. I think a year in each of those places, plus hanging out in regional areas away from 'civilization' is the only way to try and capture the 'real' America. It's such a wonderfully diverse (demographically and geographically) country you got yourself there, and no one place will give you the whole picture. It's also good to see how regions differ as you travel around.

I chose the deep south because I think ppl should see there's a lot more to it than stereotypes, good and bad. Certainly in Australia I think the South (and the U.S generally) tends to be misrepresented with whatever convenient 'flashcard' of an image is available. It's not just about media images, it's also how you respond to a place, and everyones experience will be different. YMMV of course, etc.
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Old 11-21-2009, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Metro Atlanta & Savannah, GA - Corpus Christi, TX
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I would say all of the above.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I agree with 'all of the above', however if I had to choose, I'd say NYC. Many ancestors of Americans all over this country originally came through New York, and many of those ancestors settled and lived there for a time even if they moved away later on. My own family background is mostly Irish, and several of my family members lived in New York for a time before moving further west, eventually to rural Missouri.

I think NYC allows people to experience a good cross-section of American life and what it's about. It's a big melting pot (or something like that), as the U.S. is and has been for most of its history. It's also the place many non-Americans think of when they think of the U.S. Again, I believe that ideally people would be well-served to experience more than one region or type of living environment.
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Old 11-21-2009, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Out of those options LA.

The sprawl, traffic, materialism, scenery, layout, proximity to less urbanized areas, type of diversity in LA, city but not metro public transportation, suburbs and many other factors I think make LA more in line with other highly populated parts of the US than NYC.

NYC area and NE is a little slice of America that is not replicated elsewhere in the country. LA, while certainly more varied and developed than other areas, is not far off from Dallas, Houston, san Fran, Denver, Atlanta, Vegas, Miami, Phoenix....etc....in terms of overall layout and "American" experience. The layout of LA is more in line with the rest of the country than NYC is.

The Deep South is a nice area, but it has a strong regional culture that is not similar to the rest of America, and outside Atlanta the cities are pretty small (relatively speaking).

Rural America is not a good experience of America. You can see farms and small towns in any country, no need to come all the way to America to see that.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: The Woods
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Quote:
Rural America is not a good experience of America. You can see farms and small towns in any country, no need to come all the way to America to see that.
Or how about, "urban America is not a good experience of America. You can see ghettoes and crowded, polluted cities in any country, no need to come all the way to America to see that"

Quote:
NYC area and NE is a little slice of America that is not replicated elsewhere in the country. LA, while certainly more varied and developed than other areas, is not far off from Dallas, Houston, san Fran, Denver, Atlanta, Vegas, Miami, Phoenix....etc....in terms of overall layout and "American" experience. The layout of LA is more in line with the rest of the country than NYC is.

The Deep South is a nice area, but it has a strong regional culture that is not similar to the rest of America, and outside Atlanta the cities are pretty small (relatively speaking).
So essentially, you've boiled down this large county to LA?

Sorry, but A) LA is not representative of this country (in fact, I'd say no place in CA is, CA is very different from most other states), B) most of this country is not developed urban areas and C) this country is quite diverse, the presence of widely diverse cultures and areas such as the deep South, Appalachia, New England, the Midwest, Alaska, etc., are what really defines this country.

I'd in fact choose eithe ra rural area or, parts of Alaska for the OP's question. Rural areas because most of the country is still very rural and food is one of our largest exports (along with jobs), parts of Alaska because parts of AK still are very much like a frontier, and the frontier is what formed this country and its culture to begin with.
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Old 11-21-2009, 09:27 PM
 
Location: The Misc
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Some suburb(srs) with a 64-67 mustang fastback in the garage
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:01 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
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I don't know that there is such a place. The idea that you should experience some place to experience "real America" seems slightly weird.

Still going by demographics and voting patterns I would guess Missouri and Ohio are the most typical. Then add New Mexico as I think those two are somewhat low in Hispanic population.

If it's more a matter of learning about a less-known or less-understood part of America than surprisingly enough Michigan would seem to be the place. According to my 2004 Almanac they receive a low rate of tourism dollars per-person. According to Pew Research Michigan has a low percentage of "out of state" residents and also a fairly low-percentage of people born there leaving. Two other possibilities, that likely seem more obvious, are Alabama and West Virginia. West Virginia had the least tourism per-person and Alabama has relatively few out of state residents. Other possibilities are Western New York and the non-military towns of Louisiana as they tend to have few "out of state" residents and may not be tourist draws.
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Old 11-21-2009, 11:14 PM
 
2,097 posts, read 5,875,453 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In order to fully experience America during your lifetime, every person ought to spend a year of their life living in which of these places?
Really a pointless question.

In order to fully experience America in your lifetime, you'd have to do a heck of a lot of traveling. Staying one of the cities for a year hardly constitutes fully experiencing that city.
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
Or how about, "urban America is not a good experience of America. You can see ghettoes and crowded, polluted cities in any country, no need to come all the way to America to see that"



So essentially, you've boiled down this large county to LA?

Sorry, but A) LA is not representative of this country (in fact, I'd say no place in CA is, CA is very different from most other states), B) most of this country is not developed urban areas and C) this country is quite diverse, the presence of widely diverse cultures and areas such as the deep South, Appalachia, New England, the Midwest, Alaska, etc., are what really defines this country.

I'd in fact choose eithe ra rural area or, parts of Alaska for the OP's question. Rural areas because most of the country is still very rural and food is one of our largest exports (along with jobs), parts of Alaska because parts of AK still are very much like a frontier, and the frontier is what formed this country and its culture to begin with.
Perhaps I chose the wrong words about rural America. I mean you can't get a good "American experience" by only visiting a rural town. The OP posed this as an either/or question and I still stand by the statement that LA is more of a uniquely "American experience" than a rural town is. A small farming town in the UK has a lot more in common with a small farming town in the US than LA does with London. The UK tourist would get more of a "unique American experience" in LA than they would in a small rural town.

As to the other part of your response:

A. LA has more in common with a greater part of the country than NYC or the Deep South do. Those were the only other options available. LA is similar to most of the rest of the Sunbelt, only more developed and LA also has more in common with a place like Seattle or Denver than NYC or Jackson, MS does.

B. No, but most of the culture comes from urban areas and most of the people live in urban areas. Empty land is empty land, regardless of what country it's in.

C. Yes this country is hugely diverse. I think LA is more representative of mainstream American culture than any of the other options, and has diversity more in line with a majority of America than the other options do. NYC has too much diversity not found outside NYC to be representative of the rest of America, the Deep South is mostly African American and Caucasian and doesn't have the other races, or transplants from other regions as much as LA does. Rural towns usually aren't that diverse. The most rural states in the Northern half of the country (Maine, Alaska, Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho...etc) are also the least diverse.

You can't seriously be bashing California for being too "different" from the rest of the country and recommending going to Alaska...... Alaska is far more "different" from any other part of the country than any other place is....

Frontier? You can see plenty of the Old West (a frontier that actually was important to the development of this country historically, not some snow and underground oil in Alaska) in California not too far out of LA, certainly drivable.

Now I will give you that LA probably isn't the absolute best place to be representative of the entire country. But it is of the options listed by the OP.
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