It's just the place you live

July 14, 2012

One of the categories of people that crack me up, just like they did Vonnegut, are those that have an unhealthy obsession with the coincidence of where they live. Or were born.

You know the type….they are endlessly fascinated with being from New York, Chi-town, LA or The Bay Area. I imagine you non-USians have your London, Sydney, Toronto, Stockholm and whatnot snobbery. Don’t even get me started about Paris. You wouldn’t think so, the weather being so shitty and all, but people in the US cities of Seattle and Portland are some of the worst.

They really seem to think it makes them better, smarter, hipper, cooler and just plain more important than other folks. Like we’d be just endlessly fascinated by those daredevils who *wash their windows*! Amazing!

Dudea, get real.

No Responses Yet to “It's just the place you live”

  1. kevin. Says:

    I’m fine with people liking where they live. And Portland and Seattle are really great towns.

    But, I haven’t met a California native that can’t but bitch about where they are and how soon it will be until they get back to CA. Some Midwesterners hate the people they meet from other places, but others (like me) can’t wait to leave for anywhere. Fuck, just for some real food.

    Me, I was born in some shit city in Florida and grew up in a shittier city in Ohio. That means absolutely nothing to me, and it never will unless I run for President.


  2. becca Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear you weren’t born anywhere interesting.

    Also, nobody is FROM “Chi-town” ZOMGWTFBBQ?!!?!?!!!!111!@!!1!!!


  3. Physician Scientist Says:

    People from San Francisco are awesome…don’t you watch South Park?


  4. Kati Says:

    I grew up in the Midwest, but I’m now at a university here in California.

    My school is great, but I don’t care for California at all. The weather sucks—there are no seasons! No rain or snow!—it’s expensive, and I hate driving/parking. 99% of native Californians are shocked—SHOCKED!—that I can find any fault with this place at all.

    Unfortunately, academic jobs are few and far between, so I’m probably going to be stuck here for a while now.


  5. rs Says:

    After some time, I have liked all the places (read countries, continents) I have lived once you have some friends. Each place have something new and unique to offer, but I have seen NewYorker complaining about living in Chicago even after 10 years.


  6. Sorry you’re from some redneck crackerasse hellhole, assewadde.


  7. The most hilarious thing is that generally people “from” glamorous places aren’t actually from those places. People start to call themselves New Yorkers, San Franciscans, etc. after living there for five years or so, even if they were really from Crapville, Flyoverstan.

    Like many scientists, I’ve lived all over the place — Madison, Urbana, Waterloo (the Ontario Blackberry one), Montreal, Washington DC, and now San Diego, but except for Madison I’ve never considered myself as “from” any of them)


  8. Mordecai Says:

    Native Portlanders can be pretty fond of the weather — some of my fondest memories are of torrential autumn afternoons, or of the brief moments where the rain stops and a few columns of sunlight break through the massive cloud cover. Compared to that, day after day of blue skies seems oppressive, homogeneous, boring. And real seasons are crap — temperatures above 70F were a terrible terrible idea.

    I’ll admit, though, that overcast skies with two feet of snow on the ground are almost as good as a downpour, and doesn’t get you wet. And living in the Midwest, it’s nice to be able to wear less wool than I did in high school. Still, I really miss Portland, and it’s largely for the weather.


  9. bill Says:

    I’m “from” (spent most of my childhood/teen years in) a redneck crackerass hellhole in central Queensland, the likes of which the US probably doesn’t even have, except perhaps in deepest darkest Alabama. I’d like to nuke the place from orbit, turn it into a glassrink.

    I was born in New Guinea, so if I have memories of “home” it’s from there — but I’m not fool enough to think that my memories have any connection with current reality.

    Now I live in Portland, OR, the first home I really chose for myself. I like it a lot, and I have seen some of the snooty Northeast hipsterism that DM is on about, but honestly there’s not a lot of that. What Portland has most of is people who don’t give a fuck what the normals think. (The weather is actually sunnier than everyone thinks, but it does help to like the rain.)


  10. anon Says:

    My husband lived in the midwest for about 10 years and believes that area is really uninhabitable. He still has never quite recovered from the blistering cold. I’ve lived in a number of beautiful cities in a few countries and appreciate the unique perks of each one. I feel sorry for people who can’t be happy living in a place where some job situation has forced them to be, only because it isn’t the same place where they were born or grew up.


  11. david Says:

    I turned down a great job in central New Jersey. I spent 10+ years in an idyll that I selected for quality-of-life features related to child rearing (schools, lack of pollution, outdoors opportunities). Once the kids moved out I picked a new job in an area that my wife and I like more.

    I’m pleased with where I live, and proud that I’m able to select jobs that put me in places I like.

    As for where I was originally “from” – my parents made similar choices as I, but their values were different, and their opportunities and range of selection was smaller.


  12. dr24hours Says:

    You’re quite mad. People from Seattle are very discreet and polite about the fact that our cityis better than what ever godforsaken hello-hole you live in.


  13. Cycloproffe Says:

    my coolcity gonaddes are bigger than your lamme city atrophied gonaddes; any day.

    If only those asse-hattes would stay the fuckke home where they belong……then things would be okay!


  14. Dave Says:

    If it were not for The French, Paris would be a very nice city.

    London is the best fucken city in the world. The end.


  15. MediumPriority4Life Says:

    Real trendy people live in post-industrial midwestern cities. Make the move soon to out cool your hipster friends.


  16. darchole Says:

    I’m from the midwest and there are no “hipsters” here. Just poor people who don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothes. (It was hilarious when the local news reported we were a destination for “hipsters” and used the clothing from Urban Offitters as an example for what they wear. We JUST got an Urban Offiters this year.)

    As far as big cities, who wants to sit in traffic ALL the time, or have to deal with shitty people ALL the time when you have to go to work/eat/shopping? And since you don’t want to spend all your time in the car, you don’t have a car, and have to go shopping more, and deal more often with shitty people. Vicious fucking circle.


  17. Jim Thomerson Says:

    I am a Texan, and, as many Texans do, I lived outside Texas for a good while helping people out there live a better life. I lived in New Orleans for four years, and in Illinois for 35 years. I’ve spent about three years all told doing field work in South and Central America, and have visited Europe a couple of times. When I am abroad, I generally identify myself as a Texan, rather than an American. People seem to like that. We Texans enjoy wherever we are a, but most of us end up back in Texas. I’ve been back for 13 years, and glad of it.


  18. drugmonkey Says:

    Okay people. Your summer reading assignment is “Cat’s Cradle” by Vonnegut. Happy reading! (specially you, PeePee!)


  19. fucke you fuocken douchebagge asshole yoiu sucke asse and are a losrer asshole motheruvuker dumassge and you live in a hellhole and you deserve it


  20. Dave Says:

    ^^^ weirdo


  21. dsks Says:

    “I’m from the midwest and there are no “hipsters” here.”

    Ha! Where the hell are you from dude? Take a trip to south city St. Louis and tell me there are no “hipsters” in the midwest. It’s mecca of PBR-swilling, “my friend is in this band”, farmer-cap wearing, iPhone-totting, retro-bespectacled, bearded scene junkies.

    They were good people, I miss them.

    Any way, y’all a bunch of rubes. I ws raised in the happnin’ village of Woodgreen, Hampshire, southern-muthafukkin’-INGERLAND! Wooo!


  22. GMP Says:

    I am just very grateful that the title is not “It’s just the place you live AT.”
    Seriously, in the last week alone, I must have overheard five or six people say “Where are you at?” or a version of “[Someplace] is where [something]’s at.”) *shudder*


  23. arrzey Says:

    If where you live is so bloody important, you’re not going to make it in academic science. There are enough issues with getting a job, that if you throw on geographic considerations, you lose. I am glad that you could choose, David, but most of us didn’t/don’t/won’t have that luxury, not if we want university employment.


  24. kevin. Says:

    “fucke you fuocken douchebagge asshole yoiu sucke asse and are a losrer asshole motheruvuker dumassge and you live in a hellhole and you deserve it”

    When I think about all the effort it took to type that… that’s as hipster as it gets.


  25. Dave Says:

    @dsks: I was raised in Croydon, south of the fucken Thames. Hampshire is for pussies and I am assuming, based on your pedigree, that you are a Tory ponce innit!!!


  26. Isabel Says:

    Sadly, there are no hipsters on Scientopia, just a bunch of desperate, bitter wannabe’s like PP and DM.


  27. AcademicLurker Says:

    Sadly, there are no hipsters on Scientopia

    Au contraire.


  28. Busy Says:

    New York is undoubtedly a nice city with many interesting attractions, yet New Yorkers seem consistently the local residents most likely to overstate the virtues of their home town.

    Once we were sitting at a local pub in the outskirts of Bologna, eating dinner al fresco. The menu consisted of fresh Italian antipasti, hand made pasta for primo and local veal for secondo with the lush green rolling hills as background and the beautiful Italian locals walking by as foreground. This, only to have the trio of Manhattanite-transplants in our group loudly declare:

    This dinner would be better in Manhattan, I don’t know what we are doing here.

    Well, sure, perhaps the food could be matched, and that is assuming you are willing to pay for the airfreight of the fresh produce flown from Italy (Manhattan does have places like that), but certainly nothing in the urban mess that is Manhattan compares with the rest of the atmosphere we were enjoying at that point.

    Manhattan seemed to have stunted their ability to appreciate non-urban experiences.


  29. mikka Says:

    Manhattan is indeed very nice. But it has a problem: no matter what you want, there’s always a million other people who also want it, and most of them are richer than you. Apply this to everything (from restaurants to housing) and that makes it damn near unlivable for the average person.
    I live there and I love it, but I’m trying to find my way out.


  30. David/Abel Says:

    You know, I’ve pretty much been a homer no matter where I lived. With the exception of my hometown in the Jersey Meadowlands (which only now seems cool), I’ve been effusive about everywhere I’ve lived: Philadelphia; Gainesville, FL; Denver/Evergreen, CO; Durham, NC.

    Perhaps it’s just attitude in knowing that the scientific life was going to take me where the jobs were but I’ve tried to have the attitude that the best place was the place where I was living. I think you tend to find what things and people you’re looking for.

    And now that I’m working in Raleigh – 30 miles from my home in Durham – the capital city is taking on a bit more luster for me than it had previously.


  31. drugmonkey Says:

    An excellent philosophy Abel!


  32. Jonathan Says:

    @dsks everyone knows the real Wood Green is in norf lahndan. Which not coincidentally is the best bit.

    I’m with Dr Kroll – you are where you’re at, so make the best of it. When I lived in San Diego I supported the Padres and went surfing, like a proper San Diegan. Then I moved to Lexington, KY, and as well as curing me of the need to move back to London (or live in NYC) I learned to drink bourbon like a local. Now I live in DC and have adopted it as my home, Nats and all. Otherwise, why bother?


  33. drugmonkey Says:


    oh, you poor, poor furriner. You didn’t realize these teams both suck asse?


  34. Jonathan Says:

    That’s not the point! You rep where you live, as the kids these days say. If that means taking pride in a hopeless team, then so be it.

    Anyway, the Nats are doing pretty spectacularly this season, and Nats Park has a Shake Shack and serves decent beers, which is the real point of baseball anyway.


  35. David/Abel Says:

    Timely given this discussion:

    “In Praise of Smaller Cities” in The Atlantic


  36. RFKraccoon Says:

    @Jonathan: I disagree somewhat with “you rep where you live.” Allegiances are formed early and you shouldn’t switch them just because you switch cities. What do you do when the Padres play the Nationals? And, if you going that route, then you’d better support DC United over those stinkin’ London teams (but go ahead and wear that Dag&Red jersey, we won’t recognize it).

    However, I would argue that a father (and it’s always a father) shouldn’t force his children to be fans of the dad’s favorite teams just because the dad grew up somewhere else. Yeah, if you’re a New Yorker living in Boston, your kids should be Red Sox fans. The emotional investment in the Yankees is yours, not theirs.


  37. drugmonkey Says:

    i think what you mean is “forcing children to be fans of the Yankees is child abuse”.


  38. Jonathan Says:

    @RFKraccoon in a Nats v Padres situation I’d go for wherever I currently lived, so DC. If I could be arsed to like football I would have to support DC United, but I can’t stand the sport and motor racing isn’t based around regional teams (thankfully).

    I think this probably only really works for transplants and ex-pats, since I agree that if you grow up as a Red Sox fan etc, you’re unlikely to change allegiance.


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