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Old 08-18-2007, 12:05 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay area / Northern CA
25 posts, read 51,222 times
Reputation: 24
Default Calif. v. CT/New England

I moved to Northern Calif. (San Francisco Bay area) from Windsor, CT (Hartford area) and it is definitely a culture shock, to say the least, especially regarding the people in CA vs. CT and New England.

People in CA, for the most part, tend to be very superficial and shallow. They are very much from the school of me-me-me, and to blazes with you! CA is the embodiment of a hedonistic and narcissistic society, where people are so keen to keep-up wth the Jones', and measure other people, not by their character, but by what vehicle they are driving, or the $150.00 designer jeans you're wearing! The almighty dollar in CA is God, and they use the dollar sign as a measure of the individual. They are friendly, but for the most part it's a facade.

Heather made the comment about how she has found people in CT to be more genuine. She has hit the nail on the head when it comes to people in CT, or from the Northeast, for that matter. New Englander's may appear to be a bit stand-offish at first when you meet them, but what you find is that once they get to know you -and you are genuine in character-you have a friend, not an acquaintance, or fair-weather friend as you find in CA folks! Since living out here, I always remember this statement quite frequently: 'In CA it's easy to have a lot of acquaintance's, but true friends are hard to come by!'

There is one statement that I'll always remember as long as I live in CA, and I believe succinctly sums-up the Golden State. I hadn't been living in CA very long when I met a gent from NY (Brooklyn). We were comparing notes on the people in CA vs. the Northeast. After we had finished discussing-and agreeing on our 'laundry list' of items about the 'right coast' vs. CA, - (one of which is the lack of genuine friendliness on the part of Californians') -he turned to me and said 'I've found the unfriendliness to be an inherent part of the state's landscape, and I know why the people act the way they do here' I asked him what he had found in this vast cultural wasteland. He stated: 'You know what? California is a lonely mans' paradise!" A truer statement one could never make about the mass of humanity they call California!!!

Footnote: The above comments/impressions are based on living out-here since 1974, having travelled through-out the Golden State, trying to find-out what makes these people tick, least someone get's the impression that I've just stepped off the Greyhound bus and am homesick! (I may live in California, but my home is Connecticut!)

 
Old 08-20-2007, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Boston
142 posts, read 447,736 times
Reputation: 65
That is unfortunate. I had a friend who followed a pattern similar to yours, and moved from the Boston area to San Jose about a decade ago. She was homesick for awhile, but after getting married and starting a family, she's now content. She does mention the differences you are describing, but also that not everyone she's met falls into that category. Perhaps she adjusted easier growing up in NYC and attending school in Boston. Windsor is a quite a change from where you are today.

best of luck..
 
Old 08-21-2007, 01:04 AM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay area / Northern CA
25 posts, read 51,222 times
Reputation: 24
Default Calif. v. CT/New England

In response to PJSCDN's comments: I agree with your statement when you mentioned that your friend who moved to Calif. found individuals who don't fall into the same category, e.g. shallow, pretencious, etc. I shouldn't tar everyone with the same brush -true; (that wasn't my intent) however, what really bothers me about CA is the instability, the highly mobile society that is a by-product of the state's fascination with autos, coupled with the high divorce rate and lack of character (in some, not all) of its inhabitants drives me round the bend!

People are creatures of habit, so I feel much more at home in a stable environment (CT), than out-here where people seem to have forgotten the art of being able to intelligently speak to one another. I've find it extremely difficult, albeit frustrating to have a stimulating intellectual conversation with these folks here. Maybe it's the fact that having been born and brought-up in England, then emigrating to CT, my expectations were set at an early age, and the land of steady habits is a mirror of England! I feel I have more in-common with people from the northeast, as we have shared values, which are almost non-existent here.

So you don't get the impression that I'm giving CA a completely bad rap, if you will, the state has quite a bit to offer in the way of natural beauty, along with the usual tourist areas. Lake Tahoe, which forms the states' northern boundry with Nevada, is breathtaking and relaxing. It's just not the place for everyone, as I've never encouraged any of my friends to move here and have to put-up with vulgar real estate prices and a 7,000 sq ft plot (if you're one of the more fortunate beings) that has a 3,000 + sq ft home sitting on-it! (I always joke that in a typical CA home, you not only get the thrill of hearing your neighbours' toilet flush, but you can extend your arm from your home and answer your neighbour's phone as well!)

By the way, I too, married out here, but my wife is a rare breed for this area, as she was actually born and raised in San Francisco, who shares with many other like souls the perception that life begins and ends in SF! Now doesn't she know that the centre of the universe is Boston!!!
 
Old 08-21-2007, 09:28 AM
 
4 posts, read 16,003 times
Reputation: 11
I've lived in Oregon, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut, and I've spent enough time in California to know what the people there are like. connkid, the people you're describing negatively are called "Americans." We're like that all over the place (even here in CT, where I'm living now). The people you're describing positively are called "The Americans I grew up around." You would have had the same experience moving to any region where you felt alien enough to turn on that part of your brain where critical analysis starts to happen.

It takes time to feel "home" in a new place. I still think of Portland as home, but I'm trying to get over it, because I realize that most of it is in my head.
 
Old 08-27-2007, 11:59 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay area / Northern CA
25 posts, read 51,222 times
Reputation: 24
Default Calif. v. CT/New England

In response to Syd02: I understand what you're saying by the fact that anytime a person leaves an area, it's a transition. Coming to America was a transition, especially since my family had no relatives or a sponser in the Hartford area when we arrived. My family found the people in Hartford and environs very welcoming and friendly (a genuine friendliness, that is). The point is that I had an easier transition emigrating from England, than moving from CT to CA!

So you understand, it's not that I've lived in CA for a short-time: I've been here since 1974! I'm not a recluse, and I am a very out-going individual. The people in CA appear to be friendly, but for the most-part, it's superficial. It's the lack of genuiness that is tough to take here, not only myself, mind-you, but it's a subject that is discussed with other non-CA folks that I speak to. I realise that you are going to find the good, the bad, and the ugly anywhere you go, and I'm not looking at the 'green hill far away' syndrome, but I'm sure you must enjoy CT on a day-to-day basis, far more than CA, don't you?


You mentioned that you had lived in CA at one point; where were you living here?
 
Old 12-06-2007, 04:15 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
11,889 posts, read 10,614,492 times
Reputation: 14475
Quote:
Originally Posted by connkid View Post
I moved to Northern Calif. (San Francisco Bay area) from Windsor, CT (Hartford area) and it is definitely a culture shock, to say the least, especially regarding the people in CA vs. CT and New England.

People in CA, for the most part, tend to be very superficial and shallow. They are very much from the school of me-me-me, and to blazes with you! CA is the embodiment of a hedonistic and narcissistic society, where people are so keen to keep-up wth the Jones', and measure other people, not by their character, but by what vehicle they are driving, or the $150.00 designer jeans you're wearing! The almighty dollar in CA is God, and they use the dollar sign as a measure of the individual. They are friendly, but for the most part it's a facade.

Heather made the comment about how she has found people in CT to be more genuine. She has hit the nail on the head when it comes to people in CT, or from the Northeast, for that matter. New Englander's may appear to be a bit stand-offish at first when you meet them, but what you find is that once they get to know you -and you are genuine in character-you have a friend, not an acquaintance, or fair-weather friend as you find in CA folks! Since living out here, I always remember this statement quite frequently: 'In CA it's easy to have a lot of acquaintance's, but true friends are hard to come by!'

There is one statement that I'll always remember as long as I live in CA, and I believe succinctly sums-up the Golden State. I hadn't been living in CA very long when I met a gent from NY (Brooklyn). We were comparing notes on the people in CA vs. the Northeast. After we had finished discussing-and agreeing on our 'laundry list' of items about the 'right coast' vs. CA, - (one of which is the lack of genuine friendliness on the part of Californians') -he turned to me and said 'I've found the unfriendliness to be an inherent part of the state's landscape, and I know why the people act the way they do here' I asked him what he had found in this vast cultural wasteland. He stated: 'You know what? California is a lonely mans' paradise!" A truer statement one could never make about the mass of humanity they call California!!!

Footnote: The above comments/impressions are based on living out-here since 1974, having travelled through-out the Golden State, trying to find-out what makes these people tick, least someone get's the impression that I've just stepped off the Greyhound bus and am homesick! (I may live in California, but my home is Connecticut!)
This is an excellent post. I thank you. I've been living in the bay area since 1989 and I find what you say to be right on. I don't think a month has gone by where I haven't wondered if New England might be better suited for me and the family. It's the only region of the country I haven't lived. I do know though that CA (because of the reasons you state) is a temporary place for us.
 
Old 12-06-2007, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Beautiful New England
2,413 posts, read 4,547,254 times
Reputation: 2936
Yup, Cali-PHONY! (though I've found that a lot of Manhattanites are similar).

What I've found most absurd about CA is the completely superficial though omnipresent fixation on appearance and fashion. The attitude permeates everything, and it's found amongst young and old. They must really think we New Englanders are hideous troglodytes!

I've found (generally speaking) that New Englanders are, hands down, more genuine. The only other place in the U.S. I've found similar to New England like this is the upper Midwest states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

But, hey, from one blue-stater to another: at least CA votes correctly in presidential elections!
 
Old 12-07-2007, 12:25 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 1,035,638 times
Reputation: 446
I think you've got it totally backwards.
I'll trade my house in MA for yours in Cali any day.
 
Old 12-08-2007, 03:34 PM
 
Location: S. New Hampshire
909 posts, read 1,918,297 times
Reputation: 504
This is a really interesting thread. I was born in MI, raised primarily in Chicago, and moved out here to L.A after grad school. Dh was born in Vancouver, raised mostly in NJ, and came out here for grad school. Both of us have the same impression that Californians are much more friendly initially, but it's rather superficial. Somebody on another thread here mentioned that you always hear, Let's get together! We'll do lunch!" but they never follow through.

Although I have met native Californians who are genuinely friendly and caring, most of the people we've ended up gravitating towards are transplants. For whatever reason, L.A is such a transient place with the corresponding culture, that it is really difficult to form lasting friendships. The few (very few!) close friends I've made here are through church, and perhaps more recently from an informal moms group.

One of the big reasons we want to move out east is (besides the schools) that the influence of Hollywood is just too pervasive out here. Most particularly regarding fashion. I have two baby girls, and when I look at what girls wear there days, and what's considered "dressy" it just makes me cringe. Walk into any children's clothing store and the style of the season is just rather.......trashy. Why any 3yo would need a string bikini is beyond my comprehension.

Another thing that comes to mind is the attitude of entitlement I see so often. People, even kids, acting as if they deserve something just for being here. The idea of earning a privilege seems to be a foreign concept.

OTOH, California is a beautiful place, with lots of outdoor beauty. We think it's a great playground. Translation: this is a wonderful place to live if you're young and single, or maybe childless, or retired. But we don't want to raise our family here.

Anyway, just my thoughts
 
Old 12-09-2007, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Texas
1,751 posts, read 1,872,033 times
Reputation: 948
Quote:
Originally Posted by maestramommy View Post
One of the big reasons we want to move out east is (besides the schools) that the influence of Hollywood is just too pervasive out here. Most particularly regarding fashion. I have two baby girls, and when I look at what girls wear there days, and what's considered "dressy" it just makes me cringe. Walk into any children's clothing store and the style of the season is just rather.......trashy. Why any 3yo would need a string bikini is beyond my comprehension.

Another thing that comes to mind is the attitude of entitlement I see so often. People, even kids, acting as if they deserve something just for being here. The idea of earning a privilege seems to be a foreign concept.
I'm afraid you probably can't fix either of these problems by moving. All the high school and college girls I see dress like streetwalkers used to, and the sense of entitlement that my students have is, well, discouraging.
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