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North Americans! I need you! 

As part of my school's current iteration we're doing weekly topics based on continents. This week we're doing 'the Americas'! Seeing as how this is largely a North American group I was wondering if you could help me provide my charges with some insight into life in different regions as they largely think that all of North America is New York or LA (fools). 

If you're happy to help I would appreciate answers to the following questions:

Which State/Province do you live in/come from? 

What makes your state special/different to others? 

What local foods is your state known for? 

What special buildings do you have? 

Your answers can be posted here, DM'd or emailed to andrew_wilson88@yahoo.co.uk. If you are happy/have time to record a short audio clip (3-5 mins) that is a great way get things across! 

Thank you in advance! 

A very tired teacher. 

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Which State/Province do you live in/come from?
My parents are from Chicago and Cicero, one of the city's suburbs. When my mother was pregnant with me, they moved to Green Bay, Wisconsin. Shortly as I was born, they moved back to the Chicagoland area, where I've lived ever since.

What makes your state special/different to others?
Illinois has a superiority complex, while Chicago has an inferiority complex.

Chicago is often called The Second City, because for nearly a century we had the second largest metropolitan population -- behind New York City. This has led to a sort of feeling that we're always playing catch-up to other cities, especially New York City and now Los Angeles. As you noted, people outside of the US traditionally only think of New York and LA, and this is, in part, because our news media often skips over the Midwest -- especially Chicago -- when it covers national stories. Examples would be the recent Black Lives Matter protests and COVID-19 coverage. Very little was said of Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Chicago.

That said, Illinois sees itself as an island of the Midwest, in that we are a Democrat (RE: blue) state in a sea of Republican (RE: red) states. This can give us -- especially those in Chicago -- a somewhat snobby outlook regarding the region. However, if Chicago were to ever flip red, so would the state. Southern Illinois is deeply red-leaning. And this often causes much frustration between those living in the city and those living deeper west and south in the state.

What local foods is your state known for?

What special buildings do you have?
Willis Tower (née Sears Tower) was the tallest building in the world for a few decades. (Depending on when you present this information, the building name might have changed again due to it being sold.)

Wrigley Field, where The Cubs play

Soldier Field, where The Bears play

Macy's (née Marshall Field & Company) is an architectural masterpiece which people visit from around the world. They used to put up amazing displays in the windows around Christmastime, which would then draw people to The Walnut Room at the very top of the building.

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Which State/Province do you live in/come from? 

I've lived in Ohio my entire life.  Columbus (the capital city) for the first five years (of which I remember nothing).  Then we all moved to the village of Baltimore, OH.  Small & rural.  Lots of farms.  Three stop lights.  (And I just googled why it is a village, because I had no idea.  Apparently in Ohio, populations under 5,000 are villages.  Baltimore has ~3,000.  The more you know.)

What makes your state special/different to others? 

That is a bit tough for me to say.  Ohio generally gets looped into the 'flyover country' label.   Which I don't entirely get.  Columbus is the 2nd largest city in the midwest.  Maybe Will can think of something, but I cannot.

What local foods is your state known for? 

Wendy's founded in Columbus.

Skyline Chili founded in Cincinnati.  Famous for the 3-Way (Spaghetti covered with chili & cheese).  I personally find it horrible and just plain wrong to in any way call what they sell as chili, but I'm in the minority.

Maybe not as famous, but the Sweet Corn Festival as well as the Pumpkin Show are highly popular around us folk in our villages.

What special buildings do you have? 

Ohio Stadium (aka The Horseshoe (aka The Shoe)).  The home of the Ohio State Buckeyes.  4th largest stadium in football (college or NFL).  And I'd wager one of the most iconic from an design standpoint.

While it is kinda a shithole (and about to be replaced), Crew Stadium.  The first soccer specific stadium built by an MLS team. 

And while not buildings per say, but Cedar Point has some pretty well known roller coasters. 

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If you're happy to help I would appreciate answers to the following questions:

Which State/Province do you live in/come from? I was born in Montana but we moved to Northern Ohio when I was 2 because that's where my dad was from. I have since moved to Dayton, Ohio which is in the Southwestern part of the state.

What makes your state special/different to others? Ohio is in an interesting place politically. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio. Our state is also the birthplace of both The Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison as well as 7 Presidents which is the second highest after Virginia. In addition, Ohio is one of the prime example of The Midwestern Dialect which is that incredibly generic accent you hear in every movie because of how unremarkable it sounds compared to if you nudge a little south, a bit to the east, west, or north.

What local foods is your state known for? First off, you have the aforementioned Skyline Chili which is... something. It's basically a hearty meat sauce with cinnamon and spices that is commonly eaten over Spaghetti or Hot Dogs. It's an acquired taste.

Then you have Buckeyes which are balls of peanut butter that are dipped in chocolate. Not completely native to Ohio but it is named for our State Tree.

What special buildings do you have? Dayton is home to The United States Air Force Museum which houses many historical planes. We sadly lost our bid to get a space shuttle but oh well. Ohio houses The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. We used to have a building shaped like a Giant Basket in Columbus because it was dismantled. No appreciation for kitsch.

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Which State/Province do you live in/come from? I was born in Evanston, Illinois, grew up in Princeton, New Jersey, and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

What makes your state special/different to others? Philadelphia is the state’s biggest and oldest major city and it’s where leaders from thirteen of Britain’s North American colonies got together decided to leave the Empire in 1776. Eleven years later, many of these same leaders came back and invented the current system of government in the U.S. 

The state was founded the century before by a group of non-violent Christians called the Quakers and has been to other Christian minority sects, including the Amish (who reject most modern technology) and the nearly-extinct Shakers (who reject procreation; juicy stuff for Pandy’s students, I know). Philadelphia also had one of the continent’s first anti-slavery societies.

Pittsburgh is the state’s other major city and it’s on its western side. It’s lovely but I don’t know much about it other that was the home of Scottish-born steel magnate Andrew Carnegie (the inspiration for Scrooge McDuck) and hometown of another famous Andrew, Andy Warhol.

What local foods is your state known for? Cheesesteak hoagies — delicious but very unhealthy consisting of a baguette with steak strips and cheese (usually cheddar) between the buns along with onions, peppers, and other ingredients of choice.

What special buildings do you have? Philadelphia has Independence Hall, where the traitors met and schemed. It also has one of the finest art museums in the world—the Philadelphia Museum of Art—and the Academy of Natural Sciences, the first museum in the world to exhibit a mounted dinosaur skeleton.

The city also has huge statue of a fat man who flew kites in thunderstorms and which harbors a vital clue to a secret national treasure hoarded and hidden by the Free Masons....

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Which State/Province do you live in/come from? 

Ontario, Canada

What makes your state special/different to others? 

Ontario is one of the thirteen provinces/territories of Canada, and is the province with the largest population (13.5 million), and is known for a variety of diverse landscapes that encompass the province's one million square kilometres (415,000 square miles). Ontario is home to the city of Toronto as well as the national capital of Ottawa, but also vast forest ranges and over 250,000 lakes. Ontario is connected to four of the Great Lakes, and is home to Niagara Falls. Some notable Ontarians are Tim Horton (famous Hockey Player turned Restaurateur), Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Drake, Jim Carrey, Dan Akryoyd, Mike Meyers, John Candy, Leonard Cohen. 

Fun Fact: Many Canadians are known for saying "Eh" or "Sorry", to the point that Ontario introduced the Apology Act, which in essence means that use of the word "Sorry" is not an admission of guilt. Sorry. 

What local foods is your state known for?

  • Ontario is Canada's largest producer of fruits and vegetables
  • Beaver Tails. No, not genuine Beaver Tails, but rather a pastry made to resemble one. Chains now exist in numerous countries, but it started in Ontario.
  • Maple Syrup is heavily produced in Ontario, as are Maple Candies.
  • Poutine is general Canadian food not specific to Ontario, but certainly popular here.
  • Ketchup Chips and All Dressed flavoured Chips are also big in Canada. (All Dressed chips combine Barbecue, Ketchup, Salt & Vinegar and Source Cream and Onion.)

What special buildings do you have? 

 

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Thanks all for your submissions! We've had a look at your home towns and spotted some interesting sights. They were struck by the amount of similarities and diffences! Here is a breakdown of opinions about your foods:

Mike - 

Prof - 

Wendy's founded in Columb us. - they thought it sounded relatable 

Skyline Chili - extreme Poles of mega yum and mega yuck

Sweet Corn Festival as well as the Pumpkin Show - much interested/bemusement 

Will - 

Skyline Chili - see above

Buckeyes - universal mega yuck. Also one girl has a severe peanut allergy so very much rejected 

Christian - 

Cheesesteak hoagies - mega yum. By now they were getting hungry so this got a pretty big pop

Snr Emailbot - 

Fruits and vegetables - always fun

Beaver Tails. - I don't think they could get past the name...

Maple Syrup - yum

Poutine - equal measure yum or yuck 

Ketchup Chips and All Dressed flavoured Chips - interested to sample flavours but majority couldn't get past the name. 

 

On the whole a great way to give some local colour, so thanks again! 

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