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Old 04-22-2021, 03:33 PM
 
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PS: I don't mean to offend anyone; instead, I want to share since you guys give insightful answers

Also, I don't mean the quality of life but rather "orientation in life.'

Life in LA compared to some cities in Latin America( I've seen a somewhat similar culture in LA, California, and some other west coast cities).

I talked with a friend who went to Mexico and Chile; I've been to Panama and the Dominic Republic. We were comparing notes. I've also lived in LA for a few months.

To me, these seem like much more fragmented societiess with more apparent inequality between the rich and poor where you can "see" the imbalance.

For instance, in Latin America, it seems like the "upper middle class and upwards wants to buy their house away from the cities and into more suburban areas, and these groups transport themselves exclusively in cars. Also, a lot of the schools have security outside. If you were to meet a friend for lunch or an appointment, you would agree on the date and meet there at the restaurant. You would be 'walking around the area unless it is within a fancy mall. You see a lot of "implicit segregation" where people with means will hang out at a few main restaurants and malls. For instance, I remember this middle-class Chilean saying he didn't go to Las Condes Mall since he would not feel welcome.

While LA does no have the fragmentation and inequality to the extend of Latin America. I do think it's the "Anglo version" of this type of fragmented society. For instance, I went to visit some friends at a "fancy" private university in LA. And I noticed that people had a very similar mindset to the upper-middle class in Latin America. A lot of them have a lot of "anxiety" when it comes to safety. They would use the "safe ride" even in the afternoon. I know all colleges offer a safe ride, but I never use it only when friend was very drunk. Here the "safe ride" system seems omnipresent.

Also, I noticed a lot of people had a distrust of public institutions; I remember nobody would use any of the public buses since to them, only "undesirable" people would. I don't negatively mean this term; I feel it's how people would look at most poor workers, usually from a minority background; some of them did not even speak English. I remember getting into one, and it seems to be becoming part of an "underclass."

Note, I could go on and on trying to spot similarities, but you see a trend. I am confident that those of you who have been to these places can even expand on what I'm saying. I have also seen this culture in other West Coast cities, perhaps less marked as in LA.

Life in NYC as compared to Western Europe, I'm guessing this might apply to Boston as well. I'm thinking this type of city might be an exception within the American car driven culture and not the norm

I've lived in NYC for a few years, and one of my good friends lived in NYC, London, Berlin, and potentially Paris(historically). I'm guessing Barcelona is similar. At the same time, there is, of course, inequality in NYC. There is also a more communal sense of living. It is a highly concentrated city with high urban density. I talked with some Argentinian friends who told me Buenos Aires was back when Argentina was a wealthy country; they were much more like NYC.

In that sense, you have a "middle-class urban lifestyle" with a higher trust society. While, of course, there's going to be all sorts of inequalities. The inequalities are not going to be as pronounced. For instance, my friend told me that the difference between wealthy Argentinians and middle-class Argentinians was only a matter of wealth back in the day. While culturally there were pretty much the same. In contrast, in other Latin American countries, the masses have one culture, and the elites have a different one.

Going back to NYC, I had many friends from Ivy League schools, and even they would walk most places, go to the public parks and take the train. I did not feel that strong, "us" and "then' mindset that I saw in LA. What I did notice is higher trust in public institutions like transportation, safety, and entertainment. It seems that the state steps in and can provide many of its citizens this type of 'urban middle-class lifestyle" that in other places might be rarer. I had great experiences where bars were having like outdoor events, and you could join with a small fee or buy a drink.

Conclusion

Overall, I'm trying to compare an urban, middle-class learning, higher trust society that's relatively homogenous. Compared to a city that is more fragmented, suburban/urban mix society that's lower in trust and has much more heterogeneous inhabitants(more in terms of a class than ethnic groups, Since both NYC and LA are more or less multicultural.

What do you guys think?
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Old 04-22-2021, 07:34 PM
 
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While not from New York or the northeast, I know what you mean. I lived in California for a while and found the culture to be a bit different as you have laid out.

I had always heard this ascribed to the frontier culture in the west, which is more individualistic and atomized. I'm not sure if the culture is Latin American in origin, rather than starting out from different places and ending up similar.

One of the little things I noticed was fences. Homes on the west coast all seemed to have fences around the back yard. Where I grew up the back yards were unfenced and people would mingle with their neighbors and treat it as a shared space.
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Old 04-24-2021, 12:28 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
27,556 posts, read 28,647,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamRanger View Post
What do you guys think?
The east coast of the United States, including NYC, used to be part of England. So, the British influence can still be observed, especially in the architecture.

Southern California, including LA, used to be part of Spain. So, the Spanish influence is strong there.

Having said that, there is a strong Latin American presence and Spanish-speaking population in both cities nowadays.
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Old 04-24-2021, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Somewhere on the Moon.
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Not all of the east coast. Florida was Spanish for much longer than it was English and is American. Even its name is in Spanish (Florida actually means flowery place.)

You are correct when saying that Southern California was Spanish, because it was and that too surpasses the time it was Mexico and then the USA. Then again, every country (and territory) in Spanish America still have more years as part of Spain than they do as independent countries (and in the case of Puerto Rico as a territory of the USA.)

The same can't be said of the USA and its original territory, because by this point those areas have been American for a longer time than British.

Heck, you even see this in other countries. Take the DR and Haiti as an example. Not only the DR have more years as part of Spain than as an independent country or belonging to other countries, but in neighboring Haiti it's the opposite because it has existed as an independent country for longer than as part of France. Plus, France came in the picture after about 200 years when the entire island and offshore islands was Spanish.

Last edited by AntonioR; 04-24-2021 at 07:04 PM..
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Old 04-25-2021, 03:27 AM
 
Location: Great Britain
27,157 posts, read 13,444,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
The east coast of the United States, including NYC, used to be part of England. So, the British influence can still be observed, especially in the architecture.

Southern California, including LA, used to be part of Spain. So, the Spanish influence is strong there.

Having said that, there is a strong Latin American presence and Spanish-speaking population in both cities nowadays.
New York has a close bond to London and indeed Europe, and this can be seen in it's culture, and it's numerous European and other nationalities.

I think most New Yorkers would feel at home in London, and vice versa.
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Old 04-25-2021, 01:20 PM
 
Location: Bergen County, New Jersey
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New York, Boston and Philadelphia pace wise feel like London. But in general? No.
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Old 04-25-2021, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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It has to do with the lay out of a city and transportation options, not culture or mindset. I've lived in NYC and LA. I didn't have a car in NY. But I didn't want one. The subway can be faster than taxi and you will see professionals in suits taking the subway. Because the city is compact, any segregation is not very meaningful.

LA is very spread out, and public transportation can't take you where you need to go. There is housing segregation by wealth. But the real reason I don't go to South Central is because I have no reason to go there. If there's a museum there with an art show opening then yes I would go. Myself and others I know might go to higher crime neighborhood for a special taco or burger.

The behaviours you noticed all have a very pragmatic reason.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPibbs View Post
It has to do with the lay out of a city and transportation options, not culture or mindset. I've lived in NYC and LA. I didn't have a car in NY. But I didn't want one. The subway can be faster than taxi and you will see professionals in suits taking the subway. Because the city is compact, any segregation is not very meaningful.

LA is very spread out, and public transportation can't take you where you need to go. There is housing segregation by wealth. But the real reason I don't go to South Central is because I have no reason to go there. If there's a museum there with an art show opening then yes I would go. Myself and others I know might go to higher crime neighborhood for a special taco or burger.

The behaviours you noticed all have a very pragmatic reason.
I agree. If you're living only in the city, forget having a car.

Ideally though, If you're willing to spend the money, I think (pre moving to Ohio), that Geraldo had the ideal situation....an apartment on the Upper East Side, and a house near/on the river in Edgewater, NJ, with a boat and vehicles.
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Old 05-02-2021, 01:29 PM
 
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Having lived in LA and NYC I'd say the main difference to me is that LA seemed to be wrapped in a layer of fantasy while NYC seemed to be wrapped in a layer of reality. I never lived in Europe or South America so I can't comment. I visited Guadalajara and that seemed more like NYC to me than LA. The people seemed very much on the ball, like they are in NYC. I also lived in SF and that seemed more like NYC than LA to me.

I agree that LA seems to have the greatest class disparity. There's the well to do and everyone else. Very little opportunity to improve your place in life for the average person. I never felt poor in SF or NYC, but I did feel quite poor in LA when I didn't have a car. I definitely felt like a second class citizen waiting for a bus in LA. In SF and NYC public transportation gets used by everyone. A car was nice to have but not a necessity like in LA.

I moved from LA to NYC to get my career started, and it was a good move. Without money or connections, LA was a dead end for me. NYC let me start with nothing and work may way into a comfortable life, a home, family and retirement. People I know on the west coast accomplished much less, and many are still living the same type of life they were 40 years ago.

Last edited by bobspez; 05-02-2021 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 04-05-2022, 07:58 AM
 
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Since Spain is still part of Western Europe, LA is still more similar to Western Europe than it is to Latin America. For all the jokes about LA being a third world barrio it still is much, much better than actually living in Mexico.
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