U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-08-2009, 04:42 AM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 26,047,082 times
Reputation: 6248

Advertisements

In my lifetime I had the opportunity to live in Chicago, Minneapolis, LA and NOLA. I spent a great deal of quality time in WI, MO, MI, IA, AR, OK and NM, yet I still call Illinois home because it is where I spent my formative years. Large towns, whether it is Minneapolis or Dallas or Albuquerque all have the same kinds of socal conflicts be it traffic, criminals, illegals, racial issues or poverty. I did not live in any state that did not have one great city. The great cities of our country all have some commonality in the large proportion of social issues and attention focused on the great cities when compared to the balance of that state. It is much harder the social ills when 500 communities, of the the same approximate size, are situated near each other in the same area of a state. The uniqueness of each city then becomes a blur of traffic lights, city lights and noise much like the metropolitan area. .

What I think is the midwest is not only overlooked it is misunderstood. IA and IL are the 2 top corn producing states in America. They also raise a great deal of soybeans and livestock. Between the two states there are nearly 170,000 farming families (not ranchers) that are far more interested in crops, community and church than they are in Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee or Minneapolis. Ranchers have the same set of midwsestern values amd weather cpncerns as the hog producer or the commerical apple grower. All Farming/ranching states use the same develpmental model for population spurts. There are few pockets of medium to large size communities and a plethora of 1000 acre farms and smaller ranches, interspersed among dozens of tightly-knit small farm towns. nestled among hills and valleys. Thus the terrain that seems flat and boring from the window of a car on an Interstate road is a view of driver choice. Most states are not flat or boring but one has to drive less busy and less convenient routes to really understand any state. State engineers who plot new routes should really study Texas FTM oads. It is a very efficient method to move sevondary traffic. On the flip side, Texas roads are very good as it does not get pounded from the winter "buckle and heave" as do northern cities.

It one wants to talk about topography WI, MI, MN, IL, MO amd OK look very much alike with rolling hills, dense forested areas and large bodies of water. Illinois is the only inland state that is not wholly landlocked. Two of Illinois borders are great waters; most of the northeast portion is Lake Michigan, and the middle of the state is literally divided in two sections by the Illinois River that begins at the Mississippi at Alton and joins the Des Plains River outside of Chicago. Alton the longest river in the state. But there is still much difference.

The people who live above I-80, excepting Chicago, have a more reserved, conservative countenance whereas below 1-70 it is a more southern conservative that borders on Antebellum in some areas of the United States. The middle of the midwest is a mix of both. Rather than a clash of culture, a third group evolved - which evolved from the Great Western expansion and the the dependence on each other for the survival of communities and its people. Survival and the "can do" spirit still drives the midwestern farming communities today. The town that shriveled and died did not have local support to meet basic needs. Today the only thing left in many of the hamlets and villages are the churches, the occasional gas station, the post office and families who farmed the same ground for 150 years. The towns that survived, grew and thrived, diversified, and learned to reinvented itself as needed. We are watching the rebirth of America today from town to town from sea to shining sea. The towns that did not change to meet the needs of the population withered and died and people moved, as people do to survive after each catastropic event - which is what happened to the "rust belt" when manufacturing changed its face to became a global product. Not all communities in the perceived "rust belt are withering, but the exodus of families to new areas where jobs are available has exaserbated the already grim economic conditions.

River cities that can expand its borders is much different than the land locked cities that are surrounded by farms and ranches and have no place to expand. I see many towns like this. Yes, they have new grocery stores and malls, but they still cling to the habits of old that dictated the town closed at 5pm - presumably as a form of safety. River cities had no such reservations - which is why you can still buy a pizza and beer at 4am.

Chicago is a whole different animal and a whole different attitude. Families live much closer together, houses are closer together which tends to make long time neighborhoods clannish - I use the word for lack of a better one - and resistant to change. Its not a bad thing in a city of 1200 neighborhoods where, if you are lucky and you know where to look, you'll find wonderful authentic food hidden in the back of a neighborhood bar. Chicago is gritty, its blue collar, its upscale, and downtown, its urban, urbane, and inner city. Its also diverse. Forty percent of Illinois millionaires live in Cook County despite the fact it doesn't have Broadway or California sunshine. What Chicago does have is a city that knows how to move a lot of traffic every day in every conceivable direction, plus an airport that safely lands, and clears a plane for take off every 10 seconds, around the clock, every day of the year baring weather.

St. Louis is as different from Chicago as a boat is to a cow from size, to how it moves traffic, to foods and attribudes. Cook County is nearly 1000 square miles in size. Fifty miles west of Saint Louis on 1-44 and you are starting to see signs of the Ozark Mountain Range and the rolling hills and a few treacherous curves. It also has some very good vintners in the St. James area, a 5-Star resort at Lake of the Ozarks, Mark Twain National Forest, and some very quait and awesome hamlets hidden in valleys with gorgeous architectures that rivals Chicago. I don't like St. Louis traffic, but I know I can be in St. Louis by 9 am Sunday morning, do all my necessary shopping, and be headed home in an hour. I cannot say the same for Chicago due to the location of the stores. There is a lot to be said for a well placed loop around a major city. St. Louis has it. Dallas has it. Chicago does not. .

What may be the single thing that St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul have in common in Trader Joe's. Illinois and Iowa both have active Amish/Mennonite communities. Illinois, Arkansas Missouri and Oklahoma share the Ozark Mountain Range.

If you get off the main highways it is easy to find something unique about every state if you look hard enough - whether it is the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the "Little Grand Canyon", or a really great meal. American cities are as unique and wonderful as any other country in the world. The sad news is most Americans don't realize it.

Last edited by linicx; 12-11-2009 at 10:38 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-08-2009, 06:46 AM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,008,329 times
Reputation: 6692
Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
False. MN is more than likely a RED state, however the lefty liberals in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of over 3.5 million makes the state seem like it is Blue. A lot more goes into MN than the Twin Cities, which are the nucleus of our wonderful state.
Minnesota has more conservative areas than is often given credit. They were one of a few Northern states to have counties that trended Republican in the 2008 Election. They also have Michelle Bachman.

President Map - Election Results 2008 - The New York Times

So it's largely true, but you might be overlooking a tiny bit. For example Duluth is in a pretty "Blue" county as well. I think it's in a county that's more consistently Democratic than the twin cities. Rochester looks to be a bit of a "swing" area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-08-2009, 05:11 PM
 
787 posts, read 1,471,588 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
False. MN is more than likely a RED state, however the lefty liberals in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of over 3.5 million makes the state seem like it is Blue. A lot more goes into MN than the Twin Cities, which are the nucleus of our wonderful state.

Misleading. Iron range is very strongly blue as well... the Reservations too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-08-2009, 05:36 PM
 
1,588 posts, read 3,568,059 times
Reputation: 889
I'm pretty sure the last time MN voted Republican was during Nixon's victory back in 1972. With that said, if MN was so close to being a red state, one would think the Republicans could do a little better.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-08-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 23,008,329 times
Reputation: 6692
They do have a Republican governor. Going by maps I've seen I'd say it's probably mixed like most states outside New England.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,159,096 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
How much time have you spent in LA? How much time have you spent in MPLS?

I actually puked when I was in LA. Yes, I have been to LA. Yes, I have lived in LA. Yes, I have friends that still live in LA. Yes, I have spent significant time in LA. Yes, I have lived in MPLS. Yes, MPLS>LA. LA is pure garbage. I'd pick SD to live over any part of CA except norCAL, maybe. Pretentious A_holes, with a 10-1 guy to gal ratio filled with a bunch of underappreciating, underworked, and materialistic d bags. I came to find that EVERYBODY I met and liked in LA were from ANYWHERE BUT CA.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by knke0204 View Post
False. MN is more than likely a RED state, however the lefty liberals in the Twin Cities metropolitan area of over 3.5 million makes the state seem like it is Blue. A lot more goes into MN than the Twin Cities, which are the nucleus of our wonderful state.
False? What's false, my opinion?

As far as there being more to Minnesota than the Twin Cities, that's a laugh since 80% of the state lives in the metro area.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2009, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
2,945 posts, read 4,159,096 times
Reputation: 1113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas R. View Post
They do have a Republican governor. Going by maps I've seen I'd say it's probably mixed like most states outside New England.
Huh? Olympia Snow, Susan Collins, and Judd Gregg are all Republicans Senators from New England.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2009, 10:26 AM
 
11,194 posts, read 22,419,385 times
Reputation: 10947
Quote:
Originally Posted by linicx View Post
I've lived in the Twin Cities, spent many happy hours in WI, lived in Florida, IL MO, NM..AZ and CA

What I think is the midwest is not only overlooked it is misunderstood. IA and IL are the 2 top corn producing states in America. They also raise a great deal of soybeans and livestorck. Between the two states there are nearly 180,000 farming families that are far more interested in crops, community and church than they are in metropolitan areas. Ranchers have the same set of weather problems. Farming states have few pockets of large communities and a plethora of 1000 farms, plus dozens of tightly knit small farm towns. The terrain seems flat and boring from the window of a car because of the Interstate roads being the prefered route. It really isn't but one has to drive secondary roads to really see any state.
I think this is actually where a lot of the misconceptions about the states come from though.

Yes, Iowa and Illinois are the top two corn producing states, soybeans and livestock - and because of this you get a sterotype that most people in the state must focus around farming and agriculture because it physically takes up so much room and is all you hear about.

If you look at the stats though, 5.4% of people in Iowa actually live on a farm, and 2.1% of people in Illinois actually live on a farm. There are a lot of farms and a lot of farmland - but that tends to hide the fact that a VAST majority of the population isn't directly connected to actual farming. Many people work for agricultural corporations, and while that's certainly connected to the industry, the people I know who work for John Deere, etc. all live in larger metro areas and physically have no knowledge of farming.

About 66% of Iowans live in an urban area, and something like 85% of Illinoisans. Agriculture means a lot to the state, and supoprts a lot of people, but just the Des Moines area alone contains almost FOUR TIMES as many people as all the farmers in Iowa combined. Throw in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City with 400,000 people, Quad Cities, Sioux City, Waterloo/Dubuque, Ames, etc. and the true "Iowan" changes a lot from the sterotypes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2009, 06:23 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,595,210 times
Reputation: 363
Interesting graphic. Could be a sales strategy for St Louis. Men move to STL, there are more women!!!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2009, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
5,847 posts, read 11,042,401 times
Reputation: 3830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
Interesting graphic. Could be a sales strategy for St Louis. Men move to STL, there are more women!!!
And most of them are married by the time they are 21. Usually to their High School Sweetheart
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S.
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top