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Thread summary:

Growing up in the city, New Yorkers in Minnesota, passive aggressive attitude, native mid westerner’s point of view, open minded Minnesotans, Minneapolis neighborhoods, suburbs

 
 
Old 07-10-2008, 03:37 PM
 
10 posts, read 32,171 times
Reputation: 32

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I need a little feedback here or else I think I’m going to lose my mind!

I moved to the TC two years ago from NYC, Queens. My first year here, every time I passed by the airport, I wanted to bail out of the car and make a run for it!

I still haven’t learned to smile to every darn stranger who comes my way. Everyone walks around here with a fake, forced smile… I sometime get the feel that I’m in the twilight zone. I don’t smile unless I have a REASON FOR IT!. I’m sill trying to define or find the meaning “Minnesota Nice”. Growing up in the “city” I learned that you never smile at strangers unless you want your face smashed in. Maybe, I’m wrong… Maybe I grew up in the wrong place.

I cannot stand the local “inquisitive”, nosy attitude especially when it’s not a reciprocal. And what the … is up with the mindless, crazy chatter when trying to pay for your stuff while shopping at Lunds or the like??!! Questions like “ Oooo, cabage… what are you doing with it???” or the other day when I bought a couple of celery roots “ Oooo, how do you cook these?!”. Like she gave a …

Accents… Where do I begin? Let me start by saying that... huh… Minnesota accent is a REALITY! Hello?!!! Stop pretending that in MN English is more proper than elsewhere in the country!!! I cannot take it anymore! God forbid you happen to have a regional accent (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx) and use your NY hands when you “twalk”. I guess saying “beg” when in fact is “bag” is rather more accepting.

Last but not least, let’s mention the great and famous “passive aggressive” attitude Minnesota is so famous for! That along with good fishing, hunting, mosquitoes, 50000 lakes and the MOA which interestingly enough isn’t displayed on any single BIG and conspicuous sign along the adjacent expressways. Not one stinking, BIG visible sign for the BIG Mall of the BIG America! Pay attention the next time to drive to the MOA!

So, NY-ers please get back to me on this so I know I’m not alone in the struggle.
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
1,852 posts, read 5,391,445 times
Reputation: 1441
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCGeek View Post
I need a little feedback here or else I think I’m going to lose my mind!

I moved to the TC two years ago from NYC, Queens. My first year here, every time I passed by the airport, I wanted to bail out of the car and make a run for it!

I still haven’t learned to smile to every darn stranger who comes my way. Everyone walks around here with a fake, forced smile… I sometime get the feel that I’m in the twilight zone. I don’t smile unless I have a REASON FOR IT!. I’m sill trying to define or find the meaning “Minnesota Nice”. Growing up in the “city” I learned that you never smile at strangers unless you want your face smashed in. Maybe, I’m wrong… Maybe I grew up in the wrong place.

I cannot stand the local “inquisitive”, nosy attitude especially when it’s not a reciprocal. And what the … is up with the mindless, crazy chatter when trying to pay for your stuff while shopping at Lunds or the like??!! Questions like “ Oooo, cabage… what are you doing with it???” or the other day when I bought a couple of celery roots “ Oooo, how do you cook these?!”. Like she gave a …

Accents… Where do I begin? Let me start by saying that... huh… Minnesota accent is a REALITY! Hello?!!! Stop pretending that in MN English is more proper than elsewhere in the country!!! I cannot take it anymore! God forbid you happen to have a regional accent (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx) and use your NY hands when you “twalk”. I guess saying “beg” when in fact is “bag” is rather more accepting.

Last but not least, let’s mention the great and famous “passive aggressive” attitude Minnesota is so famous for! That along with good fishing, hunting, mosquitoes, 50000 lakes and the MOA which interestingly enough isn’t displayed on any single BIG and conspicuous sign along the adjacent expressways. Not one stinking, BIG visible sign for the BIG Mall of the BIG America! Pay attention the next time to drive to the MOA!

So, NY-ers please get back to me on this so I know I’m not alone in the struggle.
Ooooo...so you moved here from New York, didja? What's it like up there? I bet yous guys from New York have an awful time adjusting up here in little ol' Minnesohta, is that what you mean?

I don't want to be rude, but I must say that I was a little perturbed by what seemed like disparagement of Minnesotans and our MN Nice culture here, but you were probably just blowing off some steam which is OK so don't worry about it.

And you betcha, we Minnesotans don't like to clutter up our tidy highways with those big gaudy sign advertisements like you see in those other states .
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Old 07-10-2008, 11:53 PM
 
2,542 posts, read 6,489,189 times
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Its not a fake smile, we are just geniunely happy although lots of grumpy people try to argue otherwise....
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:00 AM
 
10 posts, read 32,171 times
Reputation: 32
Hey, how you doin’?! Thanks for chiming in but…
1. I wasn’t blowing off steam. I’m actually pissed.
2. It’s not adjusting. It’s a freaking TORTURE! I’m passed the adjusting phase!
3. Please, don’t use the oxymoron “MN nice”. Please, for the love of God enough with the insanity!
4. I’m not “disparaging” Minnesotans. They seem to be very comfortable with one another. It’s actually fun and comical to see them interact. It’s like watching Japanese Kabuki. It would take a whole bottle of chloroform to make me “blend in”.
5. How is it up there, you ask?! Up there?? Where? I AM UP HERE?!
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Old 07-11-2008, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
1,852 posts, read 5,391,445 times
Reputation: 1441
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCGeek View Post
Hey, how you doin’?! Thanks for chiming in but…
1. I wasn’t blowing off steam. I’m actually pissed.
2. It’s not adjusting. It’s a freaking TORTURE! I’m passed the adjusting phase!
3. Please, don’t use the oxymoron “MN nice”. Please, for the love of God enough with the insanity!
4. I’m not “disparaging” Minnesotans. They seem to be very comfortable with one another. It’s actually fun and comical to see them interact. It’s like watching Japanese Kabuki. It will take a whole bottle of chloroform to make me “blend in”.
5. How is it up there, you ask?! Up there?? Where? I AM UP HERE?!
I guess my sarcasm/ desire to further torture you was lost in translation...

But, to respond seriously to your post - from a native midwesterner's point of view - your case of culture shock probably isn't unusual for most New Yorkers that end up coming here, really most of the friends I've had that grew up on either of the coasts seem to have had a hard time adjusting to the midwest (and vice versa for midwesterners going to the coasts).

With that said - although I've never spent any serious amount of time in NY or around NYers, you (like most people everywhere) probably think that NY is the center of the universe and that anything outside the confines of NYC is a lesser extistence. One stereotype that I've somehow also formed about NYers is that native NYers tend to be clannish types that in general are closed-minded towards groups (be they neighborhoods, cultures/ ethnicities, etc.) different than their own. Not sure if there's any truth to that or not but if it fits the feelings you've described in your post, then I could see why you're having a hard time adjusting here.

I think there is something about the Midwest that's different, might be a little goofy but seems to work for people - if you grow up here yo uare taught to have a positive outlook on life, be neighborly, and having spent some time in other areas, there is definitely a view in other parts of the US about Midwesterners and their midwestern/'protestant work ethic' that I think there is actually some truth to. But because of some of the above, I think Midwesterns generally have an easier time adjusting to new or different places (in the US and abroad) - but a lot of folks that do leave still often come back, besides the pull of family/ friends, people that come back often say they needed to leave wherever they were at as it was too fast-paced, congested, abrasive/ unfriendly, etc.

And despite what you may think or have heard, minnesotans in particular are generally pretty open-minded, well educated, and accepting of 'newcomers' and their differences- the resettlement and large influx of a number of immigrant/ refugee groups that were treated poorly in various US coastal areas over the last few decades attests to that, as does MN being somewhat of a mecca for alcohol/ drug rehabilitation centers that serve people from around the country.

It's not hard to make friends here but it sounds like you have your guard up and/or you're just not interested. I'm also curious where in the metro you live - if you miss living in an urban environment then take stock of where you are at now and whether it's fitting your needs - if it's a suburb then it's a whole new planet from NYC and maybe you want to check out some core Minneapolis neighborhoods as a potential place to live - although most inner-city Mpls neighborhoods will still be a very far cry from NYC, they might be more along the lines of what you're used to and/or looking for.
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Old 07-11-2008, 06:48 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 58,015,959 times
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Well, considering several New Yorkers I know are amazed to find out we have electricity and everything out in MN, your attitude doesn't surprise me.

Our 'inquisitive attitude' is called being polite. Too bad you don't like it.

Like I have said on other posts about people not fitting in, it is all what you make of it. If you walk around with a chip on your shoulder, guess what, people notice and it isn't that they aren't being friendly, they don't like you.

You can always leave.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,333 posts, read 24,132,454 times
Reputation: 3956
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCGeek View Post
I need a little feedback here or else I think I’m going to lose my mind!
Sounds like you might be well on your way already.

Quote:
I still haven’t learned to smile to every darn stranger who comes my way. Everyone walks around here with a fake, forced smile… I sometime get the feel that I’m in the twilight zone. I don’t smile unless I have a REASON FOR IT!
There's nothing wrong with a polite smile as a greeting. People down here in Atlanta do it, too. Having an aversion to that must be an east coast thing?

Quote:
I cannot stand the local “inquisitive”, nosy attitude especially when it’s not a reciprocal. And what the … is up with the mindless, crazy chatter when trying to pay for your stuff while shopping at Lunds or the like??!! Questions like “ Oooo, cabage… what are you doing with it???” or the other day when I bought a couple of celery roots “ Oooo, how do you cook these?!”. Like she gave a …
Some people are naturally curious. Others aren't. Starting a conversation is the normal way of beginning a social interaction in most of the country, and even overseas from what I've seen. She may have been actually curious -- I know I generally don't ask questions unless I have some interest in the person.

Quote:
Accents… Where do I begin? Let me start by saying that... huh… Minnesota accent is a REALITY! Hello?!!! Stop pretending that in MN English is more proper than elsewhere in the country!!! I cannot take it anymore! God forbid you happen to have a regional accent (Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx) and use your NY hands when you “twalk”. I guess saying “beg” when in fact is “bag” is rather more accepting.
Folks from different regions have different accents. It seems like most media outlets have decided that a midwestern accent is the "standard" for news announcers, etc. Probably more Nebraska than Minnesota, though. Deal with it.

Quote:
Last but not least, let’s mention the great and famous “passive aggressive” attitude Minnesota is so famous for! That along with good fishing, hunting, mosquitoes, 50000 lakes and the MOA which interestingly enough isn’t displayed on any single BIG and conspicuous sign along the adjacent expressways. Not one stinking, BIG visible sign for the BIG Mall of the BIG America! Pay attention the next time to drive to the MOA!
Brown signs exist on 494 in that area pointing to the appropriate exit on 77 southbound.
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Old 07-11-2008, 10:34 AM
 
2,542 posts, read 6,489,189 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
Brown signs exist on 494 in that area pointing to the appropriate exit on 77 southbound. [regarding MOA]
Yes, that is what I thought, but I haven't been that way for awhile. I thought it was always easy to find it--and I started when I was 16 and a new driver. But maybe the OP is not using 494?

Anyhow, the poor, misplaced new mud duck was looking for other NYers in MN, not to be lambasted by others. Then again, one shouldn't be so lambasting themselves if they don't want it in return!

It can be hard switching enviros, I'll give them that. Also, we are not always as free to move away from where we are and to where we want. There is almost always that choice, but it might not be the best overall.

But really, NYCGeek, unless moving back is somewhere in the relative near future, you might want to rethink your attitude. And I mean that in a nice way. Small talk is the norm for, well, everywhere I have been almost. Anyhow, everyone loves to talk about the weather. So start there. Just comment on what you heard on the weather report (i.e.: Woman comments on cabbage, You say: Oh, I'm not sure--hey did you hear it was suppose to storm tonight?). It takes the attention off of you. If you see someone walking down the street in an outfit you like, smile. Its actually considered a negative thing if you don't look people in the eye (but not too long) and smile. Anyhow, that will get you more use to it. A

And don't think just because everyone else smiles a lot, chitchat alots, etc, that you have to too. People will slowly accept you, as long as they can tell you are accepting them (and their culture) as well. But a warning: people in small towns have had to deal with small-minded attitudes from big-city people for way too long . They will not like you at all with all that resentment you are currently carrying around. Just thought I would pass that on if you venture out of "the cities."
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:15 PM
 
Location: MN
1 posts, read 6,682 times
Reputation: 13
Imagine that, we smile here in MN! That pisses me off too! Did you ever consider that many of us here make fun of you New Yawkers? No? We do. You're a bunch of city slicker shmucks with bad hair. So for the record, we didn't invite you here to our fine state, why not go back to your state of 8 gazillion rude bastards? We don't want you here.
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Old 07-11-2008, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 12,726,459 times
Reputation: 4463
I’m having a little difficulty understanding what exactly the problem is. If you really have been here 2 years and you’re as unhappy as you claim, then firstly perhaps you should be moving back to NY where people don’t smile at you, nor make small talk in the supermarket nor speak with a slightly different accent than you do. On the other hand, if you’re stuck here for the duration, how about you make just the slightest effort to get along with the natives?! Weird though they may be .

Don’t get me wrong, I understand your frustration and I feel for you. When I first moved to MN from London (UK) I found Midwesterners a very strange breed. The “Minnesota Nice” drove me nuts BUT you have to know a couple of things about that: 1) for the past couple centuries they’ve been locked up together 6-8 months out of the year during Winter and I’m pretty darn sure the passive-aggressive thing just developed as a defense mechanism to stop people from going completely postal! 2) Scandinavians are generally not in-your-face kinda people. Doesn’t matter if they’re living in Sweden or MN, they will not as a rule tell you what they really think. Yes, you will endure a lot of hearing what people think you want to hear rather than just telling you “No I don’t like you” or “No I don’t want to go to the theatre/restaurant/museum/hang-gliding with you.” Learn to live with it and learn to figure out the genuine from the fake.

And believe it or not there are many many Minnesotans who don’t behave like this. Admittedly it took me about 5-6 years before I found them, but I did have many friends who were outspoken, forthright and moody as hell . You just have to look for them.

Okay, so it’s annoying when someone comments on your accent for the 50th time that day. But instead of ripping out someone’s tongue, next time try this as a response: “No, I’m not from around here. What was it that gave me away?” I did that for a while and eventually they stopped noticing. And just imagine how much worse it would be if you lived somewhere really strange, like Alabama !

People are not all the same all over the country. They will make small talk in the supermarket. They will ask you where you’re from. They will comment on your accent or ask about your shopping. Honestly, sometimes it’s just another way of saying Hi and reaching out to a stranger. Maybe the person in the supermarket is new to the area too and is just trying to make contact with another human being.

Do you honestly not have anyone in the Twin Cities you like and can hang out with? Is there nobody you can go to the lakes with, visit the MIA or go bar-hopping in Dinkytown with? Are there no activities you like to do during the Winter or Summer months like skating or sailing? Have you tried going to any of the many, many theatres in town or joining a Friends of the Library group or volunteering at the Zoo?

Of course, the good news is that eventually people will stop talking to you altogether once the neighbourhood has figured out you’re the crazy NY-er who goes bats**t every time anyone talks to you.

Hang in there. I really think if you gave it half a chance you might actually get to like the place. If I can then trust me, anyone can .
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