Sunday, December 14, 2008

NYC, Chicago, and LA

Did you know that sticks of butter are long and skinny east of the Rockies, and short and fat west of the Rockies?! I knew the Hellman's/Best Foods and Edy's/Dreyer's brand thing, but I just realized the butter difference this afternoon while visiting my family in California.

OK, I know, it's kind of weird to obsess over butter anatomy. But comparing regional oddities is just about holiday tradition with my family. Big city heritage is something that I love about my family.

My dad and I are Orange County natives, or "LA suburbs" as I explain east of the Rockies. My husband John is a Chicago native, and my mom Leslie hails from NYC. We love to sit around and compare our big city experiences almost every time we are together. We laugh at the stereotypes, make fun of each others' city quirks, envy each others' best city qualities. We learn a lot about our country's big metro areas without having to spend a penny, which is good, since we already had to fly half of us to Cali!

LA - Leslie observes that it's not all fruits and nuts, as you might be led to believe. There are an awful lot of grandma-types who eat pot roast and where regular clothes. Whodathunk.

Chicago - It's midwestern compared to the coasts, but not really that much downtown, observe John and Leslie. People still don't make eye contact a whole lot. Probably because they are overwhelmed with masses of people, like in any big city, notes Dad.

NYC - I think this city has a ton of unique culture. Leslie (the native), says that especially in Manhattan, there isn't actually much homogeniety at all. A bunch of people from who knows where do a huge variety of who knows what.

Stereotypes at work again. They help get us going on communication. I don't know which is more fascinating to me - figuring out the stereotypes, or uncovering the flaws in them.

What is your city like? Are the stereotypes true, or not?


Piper II said...

I don't really know Chicago very well at all. I call it "the city" but the reality is that I live a good hour's commute outside of the Loop and I am as unfamiliar with the streets of Chicago as I am the streets of LA or New York. What I do know are foreign cities: Granada and London. And I will say this: people in London (and Granada, but it's not really a large city) are by far friendlier, kinder, and more polite than they are in any American city. Also, I don't feel unsafe taking a train at night in London, which is something I've never done in Chicago. And the streets are cleaner too. From what I've seen in Chicago, it's all downward looks and quick walking, and never a please or thank you. I imagine New York and LA are similar, but that could be my distrust of the coasts talking. :-P

Piper II said...

PS-let me know if you ever take the test, I'd be interested in comparing our results!

joanna said...

Hmmm... Interesting - I've never traveled in Europe - how fascinating that they are so different.

And, INTJ!