A very loose term or figure-of-speech referring to the north-central or central United States that is actually a collection of several geographic regions stretching from Ohio to the Dakotas and often include the Rustbelt (Ohio, Michigan, far northern Indiana and sometimes western Pennsylvania which isn’t really in the Midwest at all), the Great Lakes (Ohio, there’s Pennsylvania again, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and usually Minnesota) and the Great Plains (Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and northern Texas). Sometimes, and for some reason, even Oklahoma and northern Texas are included. Other terms to refer to the Midwest are the Corn Belt, the world’s biggest cornfield, America’s Breadbasket, tornado alley and “fly-over territory.” Chicago, Detroit and Indianapolis are its largest single cities (when considering the Midwest as it is usually identified) while Illinois, Ohio and Michigan are its most populated states (unless you consider Texas as part of the Midwest). Other important cities include Columbus, OH, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Omaha and sometimes Louisville, KY, Dallas, Oklahoma City or Tulsa may be included for some reason.
Chicago: very cosmopolitan. The Midwestern version of New York. It has a huge lakefront, tons of culture, diversity, museums, tons of shopping especially along Michigan Avenue, awesome architecture and the country’s second largest skyline after Midtown Manahttan, one of the worlds busiest airports, eclectic housing options including highrise condos along Lincoln Park. It has anything and everything you want.
Detroit: grime and grit, ghetto as hell and among America’s poorest and crime-ridden cities, no jobs because they’ve all left, tons of crime and violence, poor black people, poor white people, white dudes who think they can rap, a number of large and wealthy suburbs however, good casinos though.
Indianapolis: 12th largest US city, 3rd largest Midwest city and largest in land area, Indiana’s capital, the fastest-growing large metro area in the Midwest, now in the midst of changing its reputation from a decaying industrial center to a much more vibrant one, has the largest single-day sporting event (the Indy 500), is basketball crazy, home to the NCAA, a downtown renneisance to include Circle Center and White River State Park, better shopping than decades past, plenty of soccer moms, Indianapolis is definately making a comeback, it is often a very under-rated city.
St. Louis: the gateway arch., tons of crime and violence
Minneapolis: near lots of water, tons of shopping including the Mall of America
Cleveland: Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Shame…err, I mean Fame
Columbus, Cincinnati, Kansas City and Milwaukee really don’t have much to see but have potential.
Louisville: doesn't know wheather it's Midwestern or Southern and has an identity crisis
The Midwest is a very diverse region and is America’s manufacturing and agricultural center, despite being so dam flat. You will find industrial towns, college towns, farming communities, Amish settlements, suburban yuppies, ghettos, inner-city niggas and gangstas and plenty of soccer moms. Its two leading industries are the production of transportation equipment and steel. Detroit is the home of the “Big three” of the auto industry and the steel industry is found mostly in Gary, Indiana and Pittsburgh. However, Chicago is the Midwest’s largest manufacturing center. The Midwest is also called the Rust Belt because many of its auto or steel plants have either closed or laid off numerous workers over the past several decades. Detroit and the rest of Michigan have lost the most jobs of anywhere else in the United States and the state of Michigan has the country’s highest unemployment rate. Ohio and Pennsylvania do not fair much better. Despite some of the Midwest’s shortcomings, it is among the most agriculturally productive regions of the world. The Midwest’s extremely fertile soil makes it the nation’s leader in the production of corn and soybeans, its two largest cash crops. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska lead the U.S. in the production of corn and soybeans. Wisconsin has the nation’s highest production of dairy products per-capita. Nebraska and Texas (which again, sometimes has a Midwestern label) produce huge amounts of beef. Kansas is the largest producer in the U.S. for wheat.
Midwest culture is stereotyped by many as nothing but hicks, farmers, bigotted, narrow-minded people. Yes, it has a lot of those but most Midwesterners are no more that way than anywhere else, especially in the redneck South. They work in ALL industries and come from ALL walks of life. They are generally a conservative, friendly folk who see the real value in life and are not often driven by materialism like conceited Californians. They think family and faith are very important. In the far northern states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, many people own a cabin or “second home” away from the city in northern rural areas, to go boating, snow skiing, water skiing, hunting or fishing. The first day of hunting season is practically a holiday in Michigan, where even schools close. Midwesterners are also a diverse folk, reflected in their politics. Liberal Democrats are strong in Michigan (probably due to the labor unions), Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota while Republicans and the “red states” are strong mostly everywhere else. The states of Iowa and Ohio often fluctuate between the two. Ohio is an important political “swing” state in Presidential elections and has decided the winner of the White House in all elections for the past 100 years. This proves, “You can’t win the White House without winning Ohio.”
The Midwest is known for its extreme climate, especially severe winters. Although much of the southern halves of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas aren’t usually too bad and don’t see much snowfall. You wont actually see much snow in Columbus, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis or Kansas City. But look out and get some tire chains if you are from Detroit (and frankly all of Michigan), Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis or Omaha.
The Midwest gets a bad rap from outsiders, probably due to its cold weather, flat land and a general lack of culture.
Prices shown in USD.
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