General Question

bythebay's avatar

East/West Coast Sensibilities?

Asked by bythebay (8199points) November 24th, 2008

Having lived on both coasts I know there are obvious differences in lifestyles and fashion. Yesterday a friend said “It’s just my east coast sensibility kicking in”. What do you think are the obvious differences in East vs. West?

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26 Answers

arnbev959's avatar

I think it’s pretty obvious that the east coast is the better of the two. ~

scamp's avatar

@petethepothead You got that right!!

Judi's avatar

I went to visit my niece and her children in Boston. When I got off the train from New York to Boston I think her children thought a clown had come to visit! I was wearing bright blue pants with a bright blue and white striped shirt. It was before I lost weight so it was a BIG clown! We had a blast.

No Color on the west coast. Pretty bland if you ask me.

bythebay's avatar

@judi, when I moved back east from california I got off the plane wearing turquoise pants and a shirt with a crazy design on it. I also had 4 more earrings in than when I left and was wearing huaraches. My Washington DC born & bred father almost passed out!

KatawaGrey's avatar

Having lived on both, I think people tend to be friendlier on the west coast when you walk into a store, people actually ask you if you need help but people on the east coast get friendly once you get to know them. It takes a long time to get to know them though…

tinyfaery's avatar

Left coasters can go to 5 star restaurants in jeans.

SuperMouse's avatar

First off, please understand that west coast is the better of the two. If you want to see color visit Venice, Santa Monica, or Berkeley. As to sensibilities, we don’t stand on ceremony on the west coast, we are casual, relaxed and laid back, and one can wear white after Labor Day.

jessturtle23's avatar

I live on the Gulf Coast. I was going to say that our sensibilities tell us to get out of the way of hurricanes but I think I will just shut up because that obviously isn’t true. We have good food though!

gailcalled's avatar

My brother grew up and was educated in the East at fancy schools. Then he settled, with his family, in Oly, WA. He said that no one ever asked him where he went to school; it was assumed that it was the state university.

My son, also born and educated in the East, ended up in Seattle for several years. He was astounded that drivers were courteous, stopped at stop signs and red lights, waited for pedestrians to cross and showed no road rage,

PupnTaco's avatar

I’m SoCal born & bred, very proud of my state, but also appreciate the east coast’s history, tradition, and vibrancy. It’s all good.

tinyfaery's avatar

Lurve to supermouse. You said it perfectly.

PnT Aww…come on. No fence sitters. You know you’d never settle in anywhere but L.A. I love our city.

PupnTaco's avatar

If I had to pick, there’s only one home for me. “From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California, a good evening.” :)

SuperMouse's avatar

@PupnTaco, a true Southern Californian you are indeed – quoting Jerry Dunphy.

I wear my KMET shirt with pride – even though no one here in The Cornfield has any idea what it means.

MacBean's avatar

Having lived on both coasts I will say this: I’m never going back to the west coast. Probably not even to visit and definitely not to live.

Allie's avatar

West coast, best coast.

emilyrose's avatar

I grew up on the east and live on the west currently. I just arrived home to Vermont for thanksgiving and the first thing my dad said was, “how’s life on the fast coast?”

Not sure where he came up with that but thought it was kind of funny. I hate to say it but I like the west coast better though I will never give up my Vermont pride. I think the west coast is a little more crazy, anything goes. The east coast is preppier and maybe a tad more reserved. Both are great for different reasons.

jvgr's avatar

Having experienced both coasts, I think the east coast lost its sensibilitiy a long time ago.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I’ve experienced both coasts. The West Coast people appear to be friendlier, dress more casually, and yes, wear more color. On the East Coast, people dress more formally, are more likely to buy you a drink in a bar without expecting anything, are colder at first but you know they are actually your friend when they start acting friendly, and tend away from bright colors.

So in the end, the West Coast is like your frenemy. She’s super friendly and laid back, but you know she’s just waiting to stab you in the side. The east coast is that rigid friend you don’t always like hanging out with, but you know is gonna say it like it is.

emilyrose's avatar

Another West coast thing is being late to everything and bailing on plans is the norm. In other parts of the country if you say you are going to do something, you do it, but at least where I am, I think it is much more acceptable to be late and flaky. Some of my friends will even say “meet you at 10 San Francisco time” which just means late. Ug!

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t know if this is a San Francisco thing, or a West Coast thing, but everytime I land at the SF airport, it is sunny, and I immediately notice that the quality of light is very different. As if a very find gold dust filled the air.

Frankly, I haven’t noticed much difference in driving styles or courtesy. It also seems to me that African-Americans and other Blacks tend to speak more from the mainstream and less from the ‘hood on the West coast.

The mountains on the West coast are bigger. In fact, they are so big, they make East coast “mountains” look like hills. The Beaches are different, too. There seems to be more public access on the West coast. I don’t know about how populated they are, since I haven’t been on one in the summer.

Oh, and West coast business attire is slowly spreading on the East coast, starting with the tech sector, of course. Bankers and lawyers will, no doubt, always wear suits!

KatawaGrey's avatar

@emilyrose: I’ve actually noticed the opposite. My mother and I are two of the only people who are on time (if not early) to everything and we call if we’re going to be late. Nobody here calls if they are going to be late and a lot of people are late a lot of the time.

MacBean's avatar

I think lateness is pretty universal, and not a coastal thing. There are “I’ll get there eventually” and “OH MY FSCKING GOD I’M GOING TO BE FOURTEEN SECONDS LATE!!!11!!1!” people everywhere.

shadling21's avatar


I live near the exact centre of Canada.

Having visited both coasts, I think each has their own distinct flavour, but one is not superior to the other. The East Coast is like a warm mist (maybe not at this time of year, though), where people will welcome you into their homes and tradition is key. The West Coast is cool and a bit more stand-off-ish, yet liberal and accepting of other ways of life.

But these are just generalizations based on my experiences.

stevenb's avatar

I like the middle. Livingston, Montana to be exact. Friendly people, though not overly fond of californians moving there. They seem more closed off than when I lived there growing up, a little “If your not a local, you don’t belong here”.

shockvalue's avatar

I’m flagging petethepothead as full of lies!

Allie's avatar

shockvalue: Don’t worry about it. There’s a tilde next to his answer. That means he wasn’t serious. =]

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