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Old 11-25-2020, 05:41 AM
 
101 posts, read 78,637 times
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Decades ago in California, I remember that anyone I met from the Upper Midwest seemed so incredibly friendly, warm, sweet and good-humored and optimistic. It made me want to visit or move to a place like Wisconsin. Are people there still like that, or is that something that has faded away?
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Rural Wisconsin
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Before we moved to Wisconsin, I started a thread saying something like, "I think Wisconsinites are the friendliest people in the U.S.", and I have not changed my mind since moving here.

Here are a couple Charlie Berens videos that address this question for your viewing pleasure and amusement:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHISDsmSsDg


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGrIz9BSnm8

Although, actually, most Wisconsinites are not THAT friendly (except for when they drive, in which their patience and consideration for others is a wonder*), it does take a bit of getting used to if one is from a large city or suburb. (I lived for years in SoCal and in metro Denver, and moving to rural Wisconsin was like coming to a different world.)

*Yes, people do wave at each other when driving, either to other drivers or to pedestrians, strangers or not, and if someone is walking or bicycling, the drivers by that lane will go to the other lane if it is safe just to give the bicyclist or pedestrian more room. Also, there is NO rude or impatient honking. On one of my first visits to what is now my town, I was amused to see a car stop in the middle of Main Street to have a three-minute friendly conversation with someone on the sidewalk; and the drivers behind the car just waited until the conversation was over. (Only one person went around them, but he did not even glare or make any rude gestures. It is just a different way of life up here.)

P.S. On Edit: Actually, I am only talking about small town Wisconsin. Green Bay is not all that friendly, and Milwaukee definitely is not, in my experience. But the rest of the state that I've visited . . . WOW. Another true story: a business contact told me that she spent a weekend getaway in my town, and the first morning there, she asked the front desk clerk for recommendations for things to do as a first-time visitor to the area. The woman then said something like, "Well, I get off in about an hour, so if you want to wait, I will show you some of my favorite spots", and so the visitor received a personalized tour at no charge, except I think (and hope) she paid for lunch! Just wonderful people up here!

Last edited by katharsis; 11-25-2020 at 08:50 AM..
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:34 AM
sub
 
Location: Up North
2,683 posts, read 1,160,240 times
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My experience with Wisconsin includes Milwaukee and another smaller city.
In both places, people have generally been very friendly or at least pleasant. There are a few knuckleheads, but *few* is the key word compared to other places out there.
People are civil and polite for the most part.
As far as being overly welcoming to outsiders, it depends on your specific situation: where exactly you move to and your compatibility with the locals.
They can be very welcoming, or they can be weirded out that you chose to move here on purpose but even then they're at least kinda nice about it.
Keep in mind Wisconsin has one of the highest percentages of people who are from here and still live here as an adult. Due to the climate, it's also not particularly popular with outsiders beyond neighboring states.
I'm from a region that has a more transient population and they tend to fall over themselves to meet the new people. I wouldn't say it was a particularly friendly area, but at least they were good at that.
As an outsider, Wisconsin has been more of a struggle, but I'm not sure I'm in any hurry to leave either. It's hard to beat all things considered.

As far as driving goes, Wisconsinites can be impatient maniacs unless maybe in the more rural areas. I want those YouTube videos to be accurate, but I rarely see that level of courtesy on the roads here. It's like they take out all their aggression behind the wheel and are nice the rest of the time. We all have our methods I guess.
I used to have a job where I travelled extensively across much of the country and I've seen people do stuff in Wisconsin on a regular basis that you just don't see in most other places, especially in larger cities and towns. Milwaukee is probably the worst of it and it seems to taper off and get more sane the smaller the town gets.
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Old 11-29-2020, 09:05 AM
 
110 posts, read 35,797 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty108 View Post
Decades ago in California, I remember that anyone I met from the Upper Midwest seemed so incredibly friendly, warm, sweet and good-humored and optimistic. It made me want to visit or move to a place like Wisconsin. Are people there still like that, or is that something that has faded away?
Absolutely, even when they are having a bad day. My first experience with this was a few decades ago at Summerfest. If never been in such a packed in crowd where everyone was saying “excuse me”. My wife is from here and initially I thought it would be something that would fall to the wayside as it did in San Diego, but it remains.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Tell your folks I says Hi
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:01 PM
 
19,138 posts, read 15,897,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
My experience with Wisconsin includes Milwaukee and another smaller city.
In both places, people have generally been very friendly or at least pleasant. There are a few knuckleheads, but *few* is the key word compared to other places out there.
People are civil and polite for the most part.
As far as being overly welcoming to outsiders, it depends on your specific situation: where exactly you move to and your compatibility with the locals.
They can be very welcoming, or they can be weirded out that you chose to move here on purpose but even then they're at least kinda nice about it.
Keep in mind Wisconsin has one of the highest percentages of people who are from here and still live here as an adult. Due to the climate, it's also not particularly popular with outsiders beyond neighboring states.
I'm from a region that has a more transient population and they tend to fall over themselves to meet the new people. I wouldn't say it was a particularly friendly area, but at least they were good at that.
As an outsider, Wisconsin has been more of a struggle, but I'm not sure I'm in any hurry to leave either. It's hard to beat all things considered.

As far as driving goes, Wisconsinites can be impatient maniacs unless maybe in the more rural areas. I want those YouTube videos to be accurate, but I rarely see that level of courtesy on the roads here. It's like they take out all their aggression behind the wheel and are nice the rest of the time. We all have our methods I guess.
I used to have a job where I travelled extensively across much of the country and I've seen people do stuff in Wisconsin on a regular basis that you just don't see in most other places, especially in larger cities and towns. Milwaukee is probably the worst of it and it seems to taper off and get more sane the smaller the town gets.

That's it.
You need to "click" with the locals in order to benefit from their friendliness, otherwise you will feel excluded pretty fast; Wisconsinites are straight-forward people for the most part. If they like you - you will learn it pretty soon, but if not, oh well...

"Nice" - that's Minnesotans lol, as in "Minnesota nice," but they are different.

Kinda funny that they live so close to each other, yet are so different at the same time ( although both groups are upper-midwesterners, that's for sure.)
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Old 11-30-2020, 06:53 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
509 posts, read 802,977 times
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Reading the posts here made me feel that my dream about there being a place with this type of niceness really does exist.
This is something that I long for so badly. I live in North Carolina and have been researching places to move to for a few years now. My story is that I'm all alone, approaching retirement without any family whatsoever. I'm originally from Florida. I posted on the Madison site a while back and now here this is all so uplifting.

I have no desire to return to Florida. There's nothing there for me anymore. I came here for educational reasons, maybe too late in life already in my early 40s. I don't know if it's true of anywhere that if you don't grow up there and get to be of a "certain age" alone, it's hard to fit in but i know it is true here. No matter what I've tried to join, I don't fit in. There's still that Southern culture.

Maybe I should take the chance and come to Wisconsin. Though cold, if hearts are warm, that will make a world of difference.
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:34 PM
sub
 
Location: Up North
2,683 posts, read 1,160,240 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erasure View Post
That's it.
You need to "click" with the locals in order to benefit from their friendliness, otherwise you will feel excluded pretty fast; Wisconsinites are straight-forward people for the most part. If they like you - you will learn it pretty soon, but if not, oh well...

"Nice" - that's Minnesotans lol, as in "Minnesota nice," but they are different.

Kinda funny that they live so close to each other, yet are so different at the same time ( although both groups are upper-midwesterners, that's for sure.)
In some ways, I feel like an imposter in a foreign land. In other ways, Wisconsin is the epitome of normal.
In spite of the few complaints I mentioned that probably have more to do with me than they do the locals, I really do like Wisconsin.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:34 PM
 
19,138 posts, read 15,897,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamian in nc View Post
Reading the posts here made me feel that my dream about there being a place with this type of niceness really does exist.
This is something that I long for so badly. I live in North Carolina and have been researching places to move to for a few years now. My story is that I'm all alone, approaching retirement without any family whatsoever. I'm originally from Florida. I posted on the Madison site a while back and now here this is all so uplifting.

I have no desire to return to Florida. There's nothing there for me anymore. I came here for educational reasons, maybe too late in life already in my early 40s. I don't know if it's true of anywhere that if you don't grow up there and get to be of a "certain age" alone, it's hard to fit in but i know it is true here. No matter what I've tried to join, I don't fit in. There's still that Southern culture.

Maybe I should take the chance and come to Wisconsin. Though cold, if hearts are warm, that will make a world of difference.

It depends what location exactly you target in Wisconsin, but overall if the Southern states/culture are not your thing (same goes to California,) you might feel more comfortable in the upper Midwest.

People here don't like gimmicks and fashionable hypes, they stick to "durability and functionality" for the most part. There are less unnecessary sugary smiles around ( than in some other parts of US.,) but people are friendly in a different manner.
When the first lockdown came around and everyone rushed to the stores for the necessities ( toilet paper and what's not,) the whole atmosphere in the store was like "let's keep it cool and civil, we are all in it together."
Quick understanding smile here and there when people would stop to let you pass first, and someone even pointed me at the shelves with the toilet paper, explaining that what was still sitting there, was actually "a good value."

Things like that.

A lot of people of modest means, but not much of the redneck culture in general ( as much as people like to drink beer here, while having endless conversations it seems in bars, which are plenty.)

People can be somewhat straightforward, pushy and abrupt at times, but if you strike up a friendship with some locals, these relations are usually meaningful.

So that's my impression of Wisconsin generally speaking ( don't know about Milwaukee though - I hear a lot of bad rap about that place.)

I found Minnesotans to be somewhat different ( not in a bad sense, they are simply on a cooler and "milder" side, more private, but still friendly in their own sweet little ways, as in "Minnesota nice.")
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:43 PM
 
19,138 posts, read 15,897,953 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sub View Post
In some ways, I feel like an imposter in a foreign land. In other ways, Wisconsin is the epitome of normal.
In spite of the few complaints I mentioned that probably have more to do with me than they do the locals, I really do like Wisconsin.

Oh I am a REAL imposter in a "foreign land," but to me Wisconsin/Minnesota give the most "Northern European" vibe comparably to the rest of the country. ( As much as the local politics divided here in drastic red and blue, the "blue" is still socially conservative here.)

And if this is the "epitome of normal," then that's what it is.
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