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View Poll Results: What is Kansas City?
Midwestern 94 61.44%
Transitional from Midwest to West 53 34.64%
Western 6 3.92%
Voters: 153. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-11-2017, 07:33 PM
 
Location: Washington State desert
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I tend to agree. Transitional. Though you really can't break down a metro area between west and east...or can you? (ie Dallas/Ft. Worth)

As you drive west from KCK, it does tend to feel more Western, Topeka somewhat, but by the time you get to Salina, definitely. And Dodge City, the "traditional" western town, is only a hop, skip and a jump from Salina!
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:40 PM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by Nafster View Post
I know, right. It's not the 1800's anymore when anything West of Chicago was barely settled.

This is just crazy. I've never heard anything remotely like this before, and just texted my friend from Nebraska asking if anything about the state is anything but Midwestern and he said 'NO'.
I would say the 100th meridian is a solid dividing line between the agrarian areas of the Midwest from the semi-arid ranching areas of the West that are occasionally mixed in with irrigation agriculture. Central and western Nebraska are certainly more like the West than the Midwest, whilst eastern Nebraska is solidly Midwest.
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Old 01-11-2017, 07:43 PM
 
Location: IN
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Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
I tend to agree. Transitional. Though you really can't break down a metro area between west and east...or can you? (ie Dallas/Ft. Worth)

As you drive west from KCK, it does tend to feel more Western, Topeka somewhat, but by the time you get to Salina, definitely. And Dodge City, the "traditional" western town, is only a hop, skip and a jump from Salina!
The Flint Hills region, one of the few remaining Tallgrass Prairie ecosystems, marks your entrance away from the more heavily settled agrarian Midwest to the far more sparsely settled, ranching West with expansive horizons-(with frontier level population densities of fewer than six people per square mile).
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:03 PM
 
Location: First Hill, Seattle
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As someone who grew up in the heart of the Midwest (Northwest Indiana) KC is definitely Midwestern, but it isn't quite the same Midwestern as what I grew up in. There is agriculture here but not as much as where I'm from, at least not as much of the major staples like corn, soybeans, etc. I've met a lot more people from nearby southern and western states (AR, OK, CO, TX, etc) than I did in Indiana. A lot of the housing stock is similar to other Midwestern cities though I see a great deal more stucco here. My parents visited last year from Indiana and my mom remarked that "the sky looked bigger" than in Indiana. I had never really noticed before but I realized she was right. I don't know if it has to do with it being closer to the plains or just the regional topography being hillier but you do tend to have more expansive vistas at least compared to states I've spent considerable amounts of time in (Illinois, Indiana). Like when you are downtown on I-35 overlooking the West Bottoms you can see all the way to Kansas. It's pretty cool looking at night and reminds me of some western cities I've driven through. Of course, I haven't visited every single city in the Midwest so the topography may not be something unique to KC.

I don't think KC is any more western than it is southern though... there are little hints of it here and there but it still feels overwhelmingly Midwestern. Then again, the OP never defined what they think Western or Midwestern is so I'm just going off my own impressions.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
Indiana has tons more farmland than say Massachusetts and Maine whose rural areas are much more wooded.
Ok. I don't see how that makes Kansas City Western.
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Old 01-12-2017, 05:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
As someone who grew up in the heart of the Midwest (Northwest Indiana) KC is definitely Midwestern, but it isn't quite the same Midwestern as what I grew up in. There is agriculture here but not as much as where I'm from, at least not as much of the major staples like corn, soybeans, etc. I've met a lot more people from nearby southern and western states (AR, OK, CO, TX, etc) than I did in Indiana. A lot of the housing stock is similar to other Midwestern cities though I see a great deal more stucco here. My parents visited last year from Indiana and my mom remarked that "the sky looked bigger" than in Indiana. I had never really noticed before but I realized she was right. I don't know if it has to do with it being closer to the plains or just the regional topography being hillier but you do tend to have more expansive vistas at least compared to states I've spent considerable amounts of time in (Illinois, Indiana). Like when you are downtown on I-35 overlooking the West Bottoms you can see all the way to Kansas. It's pretty cool looking at night and reminds me of some western cities I've driven through. Of course, I haven't visited every single city in the Midwest so the topography may not be something unique to KC.

I don't think KC is any more western than it is southern though... there are little hints of it here and there but it still feels overwhelmingly Midwestern. Then again, the OP never defined what they think Western or Midwestern is so I'm just going off my own impressions.
Well part of the discussion lies in having people explain themselves in what they mean by "Western" .

I mean driving from St. Joe to KC seems rather Midwestern. Sure it's slightly hilly (I can tell you haven't seen much of your own state let alone Ohio if you think Midwest = flat). But it also has that agricultural Midwest look along Highway 169.

To me, Western means a combo of things. Usually all of the West has arid to semi arid climates in the Steppes and Mediterranean style climates in the coastline. Cattle ranching, cowboy culture, a heritage or free spirits and their descendants with more carefree, live and let live politics without the social conservatism of the South and with less religious adherence among the White population* (see footnote) . All Western states tend to follow these commanilities generally.

Now other people might state for their own reasons whether KC is in the West and I would be curious to know whether they think the West begins there or if it begins in St. Louis or somewhere else in Missouri or elsewhere.

Kansas City to me isn't a Great Plains cowboy heritage city. It doesn't have a Western climate (drier) as it gets quite muggy like typical Midwest locales (St. Louis has a lot of the same fluctuations). From a social standpoint it can be called middle of the road but there is some social conservatism there slightly. Certainly it isn't a super free spirited place like Denver or Portland. It also has slight Black Southern heritage which permeated the culture a bit (jazz and barbecue). Not many Western cities have that if any.

To me Kansas City seemed to serve a similar role to Chicago but in the Heartland. Stockyards, big jazz influence, mobsters, and Southern Black influence to me give it a much less Western vibe. The reason I say KC is more Midwest than West is that it seems more similar to Chicago than say Denver or Portland. It also geographically is closer to Midwest topography and climate to be really Western. With a city like San Antonio that has a Southern climate you can still make the case for it being Western due to the dominant Southwestern culture. Such isn't the case with Kansas City. The dominant culture isn't that of a true Western City and neither is the heritage.

But certainly some (few) people from the Eastern time zone have this idea that everyone in Kansas City is a bunch of cattle ranchers who ride their horse into to town. I have heard this and I don't know why. But since there is some thought of Kansas City as a big cowboy town then I can see where people would get such ideas.

*Now for the footnote. Did you guess what it was? Utah obviously is a bastion of conservatism but unless KC has some very large Mormon population then I can't consider it Western since outside of Mormonism, Western whites aren't conservative by much.
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Old 01-12-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
I tend to agree. Transitional. Though you really can't break down a metro area between west and east...or can you? (ie Dallas/Ft. Worth)

As you drive west from KCK, it does tend to feel more Western, Topeka somewhat, but by the time you get to Salina, definitely. And Dodge City, the "traditional" western town, is only a hop, skip and a jump from Salina!
Dodge City is over two hours away from Salina, and while the city may have felt western historically, it has long since lost that feel outside the retirement village that is Fort Dodge. Dodge the most most of it's his Storico buildings in the 1970s for a fly-by-night developer and the fake Boot Hill muses is heavily subsidized by the taxpayers because it lost its luster around 30 years ago. Hays would have had a western feel to it as well, but it's time as a cow town was relatively short in that culture vanished does the town turned into a college town/oil town. Garden City on the other hand, is only an hour from two state lines and is the regional trade center for the Oklahoma Panhandle, Southeast Colorado, and even part of the Texas Panhandle, so culturally it's closer to it's adjacent states then it is Great Bend, Hutchinson, or even Emporia which was also a meatpacking town up until recently. Liberal definitely feels more like Oklahoma and Southeast Colorado than the rest of Kansas. Once you get west of Garden City and Liberal is where you start finding the type of cacti and wildlife that people associate with the Colorado plains. Southwest Kansas west of Dodge City is also in a different ecosystem with large expanses of Sandsage Prairie in Finney, Gray, Seward, and Kearney County along the Arkansas and Cimarron Rivers. Down in Clark County you can even find red dirt. I'll link to some pictures later because not many people of seen the areas of southwest Kansas off of Highway 50, highway 54, and Highway 83. Garden City and Liberal are also less politically aligned with the rest of rural Kansas than the likes of Hays and Dodge. Voting results will show you that more people in Finney and Seward vote Democratic and for less extreme Republican candidates then Ford County despite the three having similar demographics.

To not get completely off-topic, I see the likes of Kansas City, Omaha, and Wichita as gateways to the west and that they feel different from the likes of St. Louis, which a lot of people on the St. Louis form seem to think it tries to align itself more with the likes of Chicago then Kansas City. Part of it may be that those three cities are truly a part of the Rust Belt like St. Louis is and lack the massive chunks of Detroit like blight. Topeka has more of that than Wichita does.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: First Hill, Seattle
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Originally Posted by EddieOlSkool View Post
Well part of the discussion lies in having people explain themselves in what they mean by "Western" .

I mean driving from St. Joe to KC seems rather Midwestern. Sure it's slightly hilly (I can tell you haven't seen much of your own state let alone Ohio if you think Midwest = flat). But it also has that agricultural Midwest look along Highway 169.
That's a little presumptuous. I've spent plenty of time in the hilly parts of Indiana including the Bloomington area and Brown County where my family owns property. I've also been to many parts of Ohio. It's not just the hills in Kansas City that are different. There is not as much tree cover in parts of the KC metro especially on the Kansas Side. That, combined with hilly topography does give one more expansive views.

Quote:
To me, Western means a combo of things. Usually all of the West has arid to semi arid climates in the Steppes and Mediterranean style climates in the coastline. Cattle ranching, cowboy culture, a heritage or free spirits and their descendants with more carefree, live and let live politics without the social conservatism of the South and with less religious adherence among the White population* (see footnote) . All Western states tend to follow these commanilities generally.
I'm not sure what data you have to quantify the religious adherence stats, but states like Wyoming, Idaho, etc. are fairly religious. Colorado Springs is the home of the world headquarters of a number of churches and other religious organizations. It may not be as in your face as the south, but neither is the Midwest.
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Old 01-12-2017, 12:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bluefox View Post
That's a little presumptuous. I've spent plenty of time in the hilly parts of Indiana including the Bloomington area and Brown County where my family owns property. I've also been to many parts of Ohio. It's not just the hills in Kansas City that are different. There is not as much tree cover in parts of the KC metro especially on the Kansas Side. That, combined with hilly topography does give one more expansive views.



I'm not sure what data you have to quantify the religious adherence stats, but states like Wyoming, Idaho, etc. are fairly religious. Colorado Springs is the home of the world headquarters of a number of churches and other religious organizations. It may not be as in your face as the south, but neither is the Midwest.
Typically Westerners are much more live and let live even if religious. Being in your face with religion is not a Western trait whatsoever. I certainly have met believers from the West, but by and large the West is one of the least religious regions as a whole. The West while not fully atheistic is still overall less concerned with religion outside of the Mormon strongholds. Idaho is quite Mormon if you weren't aware. Once you get to the PNW church attendance and even a belief in God are foreign to people.

Anyway. The point stands that from a religious perspective, Kansas City isn't very Western



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unchurched_Belt

As you can see, there is a sharp contrast in religious adherence between the Midwest and the West. No, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho are not very religious at all.

Colorado Springs having a headquarters for churches is akin to Mars Hill existing in Seattle. It says nothing about the dominant culture as a whole.

Last edited by EddieOlSkool; 01-12-2017 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:55 PM
 
Location: Alamogordo, NM
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Once you get to the PNW church attendance and even a belief in God are foreign to people.


Speaking from my own personal experience, this is not true. I know, there's always someone that has to disagree. Edmonds, just 15 miles north of Seattle, is where I found the truth regarding God and his Son, Jesus Christ. It is now a vital part of my daily life, as it should be. I proudly share these truths with anyone worthy of hearing them, even in the neighborhood I live in, which is about 20 miles due south of Kansas City, Missouri. Seattle has a sense of religion, though I agree, it is shrouded by the philosophy of the city, which is man and woman can do, deserve to do, and will do whatever they want to do on their own, if they want to, and no one can tell them differently. Period. Feistheads on every corner in Seattle. I know from experience - only they do their business with a passive - aggressive Scan-da-huvian kind of flavor.


Personal experience speaking.
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