Midwest Blanket Term

Discuss anything urban that's pertinent to our understanding of the USA.
What do you all think of the term Midwest? I find that it is a poor categorization of the different areas. I was wondering how you all would categorize them? I'm from Kansas City which I feel like should be categorized as Heartland along with Omaha. I personally feel like St. Louis is a mix between the Great Lakes region and French Mississippi (ala New Orleans). Do you guys feel that's a good categorization for St Louis and Kansas City? How would you all categorize the different regions?
St. Louis is the most westerly eastern city and the most northerly southern city.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm
St. Louis is the most westerly eastern city and the most northerly southern city.
I prefer to think of it as the most southerly northern city. Not sure who told you it was southern. I take offense at that kind of thing. ;-) (But the most westerly eastern part seems about right. With St. Charles being the most easterly western city.)
Riverite23 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:32 pm
What do you all think of the term Midwest? I find that it is a poor categorization of the different areas. I was wondering how you all would categorize them? I'm from Kansas City which I feel like should be categorized as Heartland along with Omaha. I personally feel like St. Louis is a mix between the Great Lakes region and French Mississippi (ala New Orleans). Do you guys feel that's a good categorization for St Louis and Kansas City? How would you all categorize the different regions?
I've always found Midwest perfectly fine. The only problem is that people define it differently. In terms of dialect I believe we're usually classified as "north midland" or "lower north." We have more uses in common with New York than New Orleans or Chicago. Oddly, we have some commonality with Milwaukee as well. (Maybe the German immigrants? We've all got plenty of Eastern European sorts. And north or west of Chicago you start getting the Scandinavian sorts, but maybe not in Milwaukee yet.) Of course, there was a very nice article on fivethirtyeight.com that demonstrated quite clearly that none of us can agree on what precisely constitutes the Midwest. (No great surprise there.)

But I wouldn't put us in the French Mississippi anymore. There's some shared history, but it's hard to see it in anything other than place names. The history of St. Louis and New Orleans after Louisiana Purchase is so completely different that I don't think there's any discernible relationship anymore. We can't even pronounce our French names. St. Louis being a case in point.
Plenty of support for westernmost eastern city.

Image
Riverite23 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:32 pm
What do you all think of the term Midwest? I find that it is a poor categorization of the different areas. I was wondering how you all would categorize them? I'm from Kansas City which I feel like should be categorized as Heartland along with Omaha. I personally feel like St. Louis is a mix between the Great Lakes region and French Mississippi (ala New Orleans). Do you guys feel that's a good categorization for St Louis and Kansas City? How would you all categorize the different regions?
When I moved to St. Louis from Oklahoma long ago, I thought of St. Louis as the first big Eastern city that you get to from the West. A friend moved to St. Louis about the same time from NY State. His relatives kidded him about marrying a Southern Belle. St. Louis is a border town between East and West / North and South. So I think St. Louis is hard to label.

That is partly what makes St. Louis a flash point for racial and political clashes. Big national issues collide here, which makes it scary to outsiders, but stimulating to folks who want to think-through and advance ideas on conservative vs. liberal positions, as well as race relations issues. In many ways, conservative vs. liberal is the old West vs. East philosophy on degree of government intrusion/responsibility. And racial issues are an extension of the North vs. South heritage.

St. Louis is where the resolution of big internal national conflicts will originate.
This is such an interesting topic. From my experience, the Midwest can be divided into two parts.

The Midwest: Eastern MO, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin

Great Plains: Western/Northern MO, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Dakotas, Nebraska.

St. Louis is definitely an eastern/old/liberal city.
gary kreie wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:13 am
Riverite23 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:32 pm
What do you all think of the term Midwest? I find that it is a poor categorization of the different areas. I was wondering how you all would categorize them? I'm from Kansas City which I feel like should be categorized as Heartland along with Omaha. I personally feel like St. Louis is a mix between the Great Lakes region and French Mississippi (ala New Orleans). Do you guys feel that's a good categorization for St Louis and Kansas City? How would you all categorize the different regions?
When I moved to St. Louis from Oklahoma long ago, I thought of St. Louis as the first big Eastern city that you get to from the West. A friend moved to St. Louis about the same time from NY State. His relatives kidded him about marrying a Southern Belle. St. Louis is a border town between East and West / North and South. So I think St. Louis is hard to label.

That is partly what makes St. Louis a flash point for racial and political clashes. Big national issues collide here, which makes it scary to outsiders, but stimulating to folks who want to think-through and advance ideas on conservative vs. liberal positions, as well as race relations issues. In many ways, conservative vs. liberal is the old West vs. East philosophy on degree of government intrusion/responsibility. And racial issues are an extension of the North vs. South heritage.

St. Louis is where the resolution of big internal national conflicts will originate.
DING DING! Last sentence. Bingo.

This is where we need to seize the moment and lead.
FWIW—
Remembering back to a class in college—the term Midwest (referring to Ohio) dates back to the early 1800s and was a latitude, north/south designation. From the perspective of the newly formed US, Michigan was Northwest, Tennessee the Southwest and Ohio was the Midwest.

To bring it local, 'Midwest' was a way of saying 'the Central corridor.'
I like "The Heartland", although I realize many folks find it too sappy.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:36 pm
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm
St. Louis is the most westerly eastern city and the most northerly southern city.
I prefer to think of it as the most southerly northern city. Not sure who told you it was southern. I take offense at that kind of thing. ;-) (But the most westerly eastern part seems about right. With St. Charles being the most easterly western city.)
Dunno our love of BBQ and Blues feels pretty southern to me. Trying to think of a local thing that feels northern.
STLEnginerd wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:46 am
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:36 pm
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm
St. Louis is the most westerly eastern city and the most northerly southern city.
I prefer to think of it as the most southerly northern city. Not sure who told you it was southern. I take offense at that kind of thing. ;-) (But the most westerly eastern part seems about right. With St. Charles being the most easterly western city.)
Dunno our love of BBQ and Blues feels pretty southern to me. Trying to think of a local thing that feels northern.
Beer
STLEnginerd wrote:
Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:46 am
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 11:36 pm
STLEnginerd wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:53 pm
St. Louis is the most westerly eastern city and the most northerly southern city.
I prefer to think of it as the most southerly northern city. Not sure who told you it was southern. I take offense at that kind of thing. ;-) (But the most westerly eastern part seems about right. With St. Charles being the most easterly western city.)
Dunno our love of BBQ and Blues feels pretty southern to me. Trying to think of a local thing that feels northern.
You know where else they love BBQ and Blues? Chicago. New York. Seoul. (You might even call is Seoul Food, I suppose.) Some things go beyond the regions of their origin. The Blues came up the Mississippi with the Great Migration. And Jazz. Not sure where BBQ originated. But the thing I called Barbecue as a child would not be recognized as such in Memphis or Louisiana. It was pork steaks, grilled, marinated, and served covered in a sweet and tangy sauce, but noticeably unsmoked.

Anyway . . .

There's been a recent influx of more southerly sorts that has led to some tension. And rural Missouri has become more and more Southern in its sympathies. And there are now, as always, a great many locals with ties to areas outstate. So yes, there are and probably always have been Southern sympathizers. A little Civil War history will verify as much. But I'm on the other side of the divide both by family history and inclination, so I was being a bit cheeky. Thus the wink. We are a strange people, we. And sometimes those of us who are Southern must be even more so to prove it, and vice versa, of course. As Gary implied. But hopefully, as he said, we can find the peace and export it to the rest of the country. Wouldn't that be swift? :)
It's already been said, but St. Louis really is a little bit of everything.

New York rightfully deserves the label of "the melting pot" for it's large population makeup not just from all of the country, but from all over the world.

But St. Louis is a different kind of American cultural melting pot. We're kind of a reflection of everyone and no one.

EDIT: Also, I suppose you could add that part of our problem is that we've got plenty of ingredients, but not enough melting. That'd certainly be true for a lot of our issues.
jstriebel wrote:
Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:27 am
It's already been said, but St. Louis really is a little bit of everything.

New York rightfully deserves the label of "the melting pot" for it's large population makeup not just from all of the country, but from all over the world.

But St. Louis is a different kind of American cultural melting pot. We're kind of a reflection of everyone and no one.

EDIT: Also, I suppose you could add that part of our problem is that we've got plenty of ingredients, but not enough melting. That'd certainly be true for a lot of our issues.
That's not a bad way of putting it. Of course, some ingredients don't combine well. It can be a little exciting when you fry very wet things. In food the results are sometimes worth it, but . . . there's a certain reaction along the way that can be painful if you're not careful. And when it's people reacting to one another . . .

Of course, sad as it is to say, that's how we get Jazz. Is it worth it? No. Absolutely not. But damn is it good. Really really good.

Edit: Jazz and the Blues and everything descended from the Blues, so you might as well include Rock, and most Country in that.