June 19, 2014

Day 18: Four Differences Between East Coast and Midwest People


The thing about bouncing around the country is that you're exposed to a lot of different things.

And I'm not just talking about public transportation; after moving to the DC area from Chicago, I'm already noticing how different East Coast and Midwestern people can be.  I mean yeah, we're all American and rock 'n' roll and bald eagles and red meat and Clay Aiken and everything, but there's no getting around that the two groups of people are very different.

The list of differences could get long, but this is the elevator pitch... so here are just four of the most important:

1.  If DC and Chicago were middle-aged women at the gym, Chicago would be the one doing 30 minutes on the elliptical in her son's old T-shirt.  DC would be the one in color-coordinated Under Armour spandex capping off her hour long spin class with an 8 mile run.

I'm not saying that people in Chicago aren't into fitness, but DC people are a different breed.  In Chicago, you had the choice: you could be really into running, or you could just be really into bacon.  No judgement either way.

But here, you will be fit or you will be shunned.  In Chicago we had a lawyer's 5K; in DC it was a 10K.  At 6 AM, the running trail here is packed.  People bike to work, and they're happy about it.  In fact, the other day I passed by a ticker that counted all the people spotted bicycling to work that morning... the lady in the beige pantsuit clocked in at 183 at 6:30 AM.

There's fit, and there's the lady at the gym who could throw your dad across the weight room.  DC'd have your dad flying.

2.  DC is weirdly into health in general.

At my office in DC, they have a program where you can get fresh vegetables delivered to your office weekly. They have something similar Chicago; they call it Domino's.

3.  In DC, we run.

And I'm not talking about morning workouts.  I mean, yeah, we run then too... but then we never stop.  I still can't figure out why but the collective East Coast seems to be in a hurry.  And it is an alarmingly urgent hurry.  I have no idea where everyone is going, but I can tell you that they are getting there before the Chicagoans.

4.  Hobbies are just different in general.

Normal hobbies in DC: walking my Cocker Spaniel, wearing skorts at my tennis lessons, and watching a good horse race.  Normal hobbies in Chicago: drinking beer, watching hockey, and drinking beer while watching hockey.  Oh, and waiting for winter to end.

Now I don't want anyone to get offended thinking that I'm stereotyping an entire population based on my limited experience in either city.  I mean c'mon guys, I'm all about political correctness.  This is America, after all.  Clay Aiken.  All I'm saying is that people do things differently here than they did over there.

Now excuse me, I've got to run; I want to brush up on my Animal Welfare Standards before I head out to get some dinner.

“Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them.” 
- Dr. Seuss