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Old 03-29-2013, 07:26 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,461 posts, read 14,949,200 times
Reputation: 12022

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Excellent points!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think materialism manifests itself differently here (in the entire region).

There are some areas where more conspicuous displays of wealth are more common (Tri-Valley, 680 coordinator, Peninsula, South Bay).

And in other parts (inner east bay, SF) displays of wealth are more things like "experiences." Travel, high end food and beverages, "exotic" furniture/art/culture.

Across most of the Bay Area, there is of course a lot of "food snobbery" as a display of wealth as well.

I'll share an experience from several jobs ago. I had worked at this place for a few months, and one of the senior executives wasn't especially friendly. She didn't really make small talk with me or any of those general pleasantries (I was a junior employee). She was the type who enjoyed more conspicuous displays of wealth, her regular purses were Chanel and Louis Vuitton. And she drove a BMW 7-Series sedan. One day, a few of us were talking about cooking or groceries or something. And I commented that I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes (I shop strategically at these places for a myriad of reasons that are irrelevant here). After that, I somehow was "elevated" in her eyes. And then she started talking to me about food, restaurants, shopping etc. Asking for tips on where to eat, good brands to buy.....And sure enough she was really friendly to me after that. But she wasn't as friendly to other employees in the organization.

So I'd say, in the Bay Area, and region dependent, there are certain markers of "wealth" and "consumerism" that are more common here. It isn't the same as driving a nice car or anything like that. More of valuing certain types of interests or pursuits. For example, being wealthy and driving an older car or a Prius is OK. But shopping at Lucky's or eating McDonalds is not. And this is how the materialism is actualized. Maybe not in cars or other possessions. But in "culture."

 
Old 03-29-2013, 07:39 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 3,064,575 times
Reputation: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonarrat View Post
On the other hand, take a drive on any freeway and count the number of Basic Marin Wheels or MB's or Porsche Cayennes/Panameras you see on the road. These are all cars that could be replaced with a Toyota, Hyundai or Ford for tens of thousands less, and the engineering gap between the cheaper cars and the more expensive ones is closing by the year.
I grew up in the Northern Virginia area, and eventhough housing there costs about half as much as here per sqft, (average house prices are actually much closer since people buy bigger houses), I see just as many flashy cars, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, high end Audis as here. I would argue that people here are less materialistic, in part because you can't afford to be. In order to have a "media room" you would have to spend money for at least another 400sqft, which will cost you something like 200k here, more in pricier areas, over there people wouldn't blink at filling up a large garage with overpriced junk, there are houses with not only a family room, but a formal living room, a den/rec room, and a media room, and some people act like all that is necessary. Here people can't afford to buy houses with all those extra, I would argue somewhat redundant rooms. When you don't have space to be materialistic, you end up not getting a bunch of junk. I think people here inevitably end up spending more on experiences (fancy vacations for example, going skiing), than stuff, because they don't have space for stuff.

I would certainly say that this area is not as materialistic as Northern Virginia.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
77,945 posts, read 69,907,126 times
Reputation: 75730
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinal2007 View Post
I grew up in the Northern Virginia area, and eventhough housing there costs about half as much as here per sqft, (average house prices are actually much closer since people buy bigger houses), I see just as many flashy cars, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, high end Audis as here. I would argue that people here are less materialistic, in part because you can't afford to be. In order to have a "media room" you would have to spend money for at least another 400sqft, which will cost you something like 200k here, more in pricier areas, over there people wouldn't blink at filling up a large garage with overpriced junk, there are houses with not only a family room, but a formal living room, a den/rec room, and a media room, and some people act like all that is necessary. Here people can't afford to buy houses with all those extra, I would argue somewhat redundant rooms. When you don't have space to be materialistic, you end up not getting a bunch of junk. I think people here inevitably end up spending more on experiences (fancy vacations for example, going skiing), than stuff, because they don't have space for stuff.

I would certainly say that this area is not as materialistic as Northern Virginia.
What do people in N. Virginia do for a living? Work for the gubmint in DC?
 
Old 03-29-2013, 07:54 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 3,064,575 times
Reputation: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What do people in N. Virginia do for a living? Work for the gubmint in DC?
Depends on the person in particular, the majority of people don't work directly for the government. There are a lot of lobbyists, NGOs, and government contractors though that also end up getting money indirectly from the government. But besides that there are companies like Capital One that are HQed there that don't really directly deal with the government. I think something like 20% of the workforce is directly or indirectly related to the federal government. Three of the counties there (Fairfax, Arlington and Loudoun) are the richest3 counties by median household income in the US, so it makes sense that they would spend money though (List of highest-income counties in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia), they don't have anywhere near the number of billionaires that are around here though.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:03 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,422 posts, read 22,270,715 times
Reputation: 8613
Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
I think materialism manifests itself differently here (in the entire region).

There are some areas where more conspicuous displays of wealth are more common (Tri-Valley, 680 coordinator, Peninsula, South Bay).

And in other parts (inner east bay, SF) displays of wealth are more things like "experiences." Travel, high end food and beverages, "exotic" furniture/art/culture.

Across most of the Bay Area, there is of course a lot of "food snobbery" as a display of wealth as well.

I'll share an experience from several jobs ago. I had worked at this place for a few months, and one of the senior executives wasn't especially friendly. She didn't really make small talk with me or any of those general pleasantries (I was a junior employee). She was the type who enjoyed more conspicuous displays of wealth, her regular purses were Chanel and Louis Vuitton. And she drove a BMW 7-Series sedan. One day, a few of us were talking about cooking or groceries or something. And I commented that I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes (I shop strategically at these places for a myriad of reasons that are irrelevant here). After that, I somehow was "elevated" in her eyes. And then she started talking to me about food, restaurants, shopping etc. Asking for tips on where to eat, good brands to buy.....And sure enough she was really friendly to me after that. But she wasn't as friendly to other employees in the organization.

So I'd say, in the Bay Area, and region dependent, there are certain markers of "wealth" and "consumerism" that are more common here. It isn't the same as driving a nice car or anything like that. More of valuing certain types of interests or pursuits. For example, being wealthy and driving an older car or a Prius is OK. But shopping at Lucky's or eating McDonalds is not. And this is how the materialism is actualized. Maybe not in cars or other possessions. But in "culture."
yes, this is how the Bay Area operates. I will add to this that here in the Bay Area, where you live can also make a difference. Regardless of any other factors. I have recently discovered why many people who live in Richmond hardly leave. Telling someone you live in Richmond is like Bay Area Kryptonite. No matter how well you may have been clicking with them, mention the R word and they're gone.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:11 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,374,464 times
Reputation: 29064
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
What do people in N. Virginia do for a living? Work for the gubmint in DC?
Well, I did in the mid-70s when I was assigned to the Pentagon. Loved it there!
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Salinas, CA
14,977 posts, read 4,771,062 times
Reputation: 8040
Quote:
Originally Posted by sav858 View Post
Never said you weren't, it was clearly a reference to posts you make outside of this thread. Still doesn't change the fact you're getting very defensive with the Ozark comparison.
He was just defending where he lives and those supporting the Bay Area have done the same. No one has high ground and has anyone thought that it might actually be OK to say both are good areas (but in different ways)?

You and I might think the Bay Area offers more and he has every right to disagree. Yuppies sometimes get bothered when the "regular" people from small towns or rural areas have the audacity to exercise their First Amendment rights. That is one thing we do not have to buy. Just because someone's opinion is labeled as "defensive" does not make it any less important.

We know which area is more materialistic.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:17 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 3,064,575 times
Reputation: 760
Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
Don't forget:

Berkeley
San Jose
Menlo Park
Palo Alto
Mountain View
etc.

Orange County really depends on which area.. I've only lived in some of the more blue collar areas there (Garden Grove and the Buena Park area) which have a little more blue collar folks than the county as a whole and are probably even less so than LA county on average. Then if I venture further south (Irvine, Newport Beach, etc.), it's almost a whole another world.
Berkeley and San Jose?

San Jose is not considered a place to live if you're status seeking, I've seen just as many flashy cars here as 1980s, early 90s toyotas and hondas, if not more of the latter, maybe in some fancy neighborhoods in San Jose. Do you think a new Honda Accord or Toyota Camry is a flashy car?

Berkeley may have changed, but I used to visit there often when I had some friends attending UCB about 8 years ago, and it certainly didn't seem to have flashy cars.

I've seen a few Tesla S in Mountain View and Palo Alto the last few times I've been there, now that car is very unique so it certainly got my attention.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:23 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,422 posts, read 22,270,715 times
Reputation: 8613
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardinal2007 View Post
Berkeley and San Jose?

San Jose is not considered a place to live if you're status seeking, I've seen just as many flashy cars here as 1980s, early 90s toyotas and hondas, if not more of the latter, maybe in some fancy neighborhoods in San Jose. Do you think a new Honda Accord or Toyota Camry is a flashy car?

Berkeley may have changed, but I used to visit there often when I had some friends attending UCB about 8 years ago, and it certainly didn't seem to have flashy cars.

I've seen a few Tesla S in Mountain View and Palo Alto the last few times I've been there, now that car is very unique so it certainly got my attention.
Still that way today for the most part.
 
Old 03-29-2013, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Salinas, CA
14,977 posts, read 4,771,062 times
Reputation: 8040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
Still that way today for the most part.
You might make an exception for Almaden Valley and Willow Glen and some people in the relatively new Silver Creek Country Club area. That still leaves about 80% of the city that you describe fairly accurately. I find it refreshing that there are still some down to earth people.
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