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Thread: Questions about your town that you still can't answer

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Questions about your town that you still can't answer

    I'll start with my hometown, Buffalo.

    1) Why did vinyl siding and decorative iron railings become so prevalent in the Buffalo area, compared to other "frame cities" like Cleveland, Rochester, Syracuse, and so on?

    2) If everybody thinks Buffalo-style pizza is so damn awesome, why don't any local pizzerias make a go at franchising? The only place you can find Buffalo-style pizza outside of Erie and Niagara counties is in expat-owned pizzeras in Las Vegas, Charlotte, Atlanta, etc.



    3) What is it with residents of the Eastern suburbs, lawn ornamaents, and putting their initials on their houses? "It's a Polish thing" doesn't quite seem to explain it. Why would it be a Polish thing?

    4) Why is EWTN on a low channel on the basic tier on Time Warner Cable in Buffalo, when it's up around channel 690 or whatever in most other cities? I know Buffalo is very Catholic, but do enough people watch it to justify such a prominent location?



    5) Are there still any milk machines anywhere in the city? They used to be everywhere.

    6) Why do so many commercials on local TV have cheesy jingles, many of which play through for the entire 30 second duration? This is a Buffalo/Upstate thing; I seldom heard catchy jingles for businesses like medical care supply stores, funeral homes, and garage door installers outside of the region.



    7) Zubaz. Why is it still so popular in Buffalo?



    8) Ditto aftermarket landau/vinyl roofs on cars. Buffalo and Detroit are the only places I see them now.



    9) Why do hipsters hate on Amherst so much, but not Tonawanda, Cheektowaga, Lancaster, West Seneca, Clarence, Orchard Park, or any of the other suburbs? Amherst is Buffalo's most ethnically diverse suburb, and it's not as wealthy as people think; Millerport Highway is as much of a dividing line between rich and poor in Amherst as Main Street is in Buffalo.

    10) What runs through the minds of people that open new pizzerias? Are they really thinking "You know what Buffalo needs? Another pizzeria that serves Buffalo-style pizza! Folks can't seem to get enough of it! I think I'll make the business hours different every day of the week, too. People seem to like that."
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Why is this city/county the fattest in Kansas?
    Why does this county have the highest teen pregnancy rate?

    Both questions are being worked on by our Health Dept.
    I find it funny because they should be contradictory statistics.

    The only other question I can't answer is why people move here.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    Why is this city/county the fattest in Kansas?
    Why does this county have the highest teen pregnancy rate?
    I think question #2 may be the answer to question #1.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    I would think #1 would prevent #2 or at least slow it down.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I grew up in Philadelphia which boasts a peculiar accent characterized by a distinctive pronunciation of "o" and the swallowing of syllables. It also prevails in much of the Chesapeake Bay area. Linguists say the accent is derived from Welsh speakers who settled early on in the area. So why does every other immigrant group adopt this accent? Its crazy. I grew up around a lot of Italian Americans and almost everyone had this accent. And I have never met an actual Welsh person in that area.

    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  6. #6
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Questions pertaining to Illinois:
    One year after a Democratic governor is impeached and sent to federal prison for 14 years, how does the state of Illinois in 2010 elect a Republican state treasurer, a Republican comptroller, and a Republican U.S. Senator, but not a Republican governor?
    Why are road construction projects in this state two to three year ordeals that never seem to end and cost way too much money, and yet our traffic is still among the worst in the country? (I have not witnessed transportation infrastructure as woefully inadequate and construction projects as dysfunctional as in Illinois)
    Why the hell is everyone so corrupt and our state government so dysfunctional?
    How come the University of Illinois is the only real flagship state university so to speak, while many states much smaller than Illinois have two universities roughly on equal footing? (Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma)

    Questions pertaining to Chicagoland:
    Why does Portillo's have 9 locations in DuPage County (pop. 950,000) and only 2 locations in Lake & McHenry Counties (combined pop. over 1,000,000)?
    Why can't the Fazoli's national chain seem to succeed around here?
    Why do the Cubs have such bad luck (and why are so many people still fans?)?
    Why are people (especially tourists) so enthralled with Millennium Park and Navy Pier? I can think of 100 better things to see and do in Chicagoland.
    What is so exciting about Diann Burns that she was once the highest paid local news anchor?
    Why did the Empire man have to die?
    Why does Derrick Rose keep getting injured?
    How come most movies that are set in the suburbs are set in the North Shore? What's so exciting about Winnetka? (vs. Hinsdale or Naperville or Barrington)
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  7. #7
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    The only thing I really wonder about is where the hell that giant B.O. smell comes from every once in a while. Like a factory somewhere in Nevada is producing giant B.O. smell and it's wafting across the Great Basin and into my nostrils. (shudder). Only once in a while in the summer.

    PS, I checked, it's NOT ME.


    Wait, I lied, I do have another question: Around here the favorite bar of Gays is called "The Republican". Is it irony? I don't feel right asking since I'm not gay and don't drink. It's a dilemma.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  8. #8
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    A true Masshole in all his glory:
    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fthTgov-gWY

    I don't answer why we behave this way, we just do. The Dunkin plug was perfect too, honestly I don't think you could produce a more New England :47 second video if you tried.

    Almost makes me wish the snowstorm their getting hammered HAMM-AAAAD with up there today. Almost.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Questions pertaining to Illinois:
    One year after a Democratic governor is impeached and sent to federal prison for 14 years, how does the state of Illinois in 2010 elect a Republican state treasurer, a Republican comptroller, and a Republican U.S. Senator, but not a Republican governor?
    Why are road construction projects in this state two to three year ordeals that never seem to end and cost way too much money, and yet our traffic is still among the worst in the country? (I have not witnessed transportation infrastructure as woefully inadequate and construction projects as dysfunctional as in Illinois)
    Why the hell is everyone so corrupt and our state government so dysfunctional?
    How come the University of Illinois is the only real flagship state university so to speak, while many states much smaller than Illinois have two universities roughly on equal footing? (Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma)

    Questions pertaining to Chicagoland:
    Why does Portillo's have 9 locations in DuPage County (pop. 950,000) and only 2 locations in Lake & McHenry Counties (combined pop. over 1,000,000)? Portillo's started in DuPage County (Villa Park to be exact), so that's where it grew from. Sorta makes sense that that's where most of them would be.
    Why can't the Fazoli's national chain seem to succeed around here? Actually, MOST places I've been have failed Fazoli's restaurants. There are closed ones here in AZ even and I haven't seen a single one still open. I think it failed pretty much everywhere.
    Why do the Cubs have such bad luck (and why are so many people still fans?)? It's not luck. It's decades of inept ownership and management combined with a prolonged mental block caused by their so-called curse. The reason people are fans is a) their fandom was inherited from previous generations, 2) their reputation as the "lovable losers", 3) the whole Wrigley Experience (TM)
    Why are people (especially tourists) so enthralled with Millennium Park and Navy Pier? I can think of 100 better things to see and do in Chicagoland. It's in the center of it all. Prime real estate right on the lakefront. Anybody who goes to Chicago is going to end up on LSD and Michigan Avenue so it's kind of hard to miss those two places.
    What is so exciting about Diann Burns that she was once the highest paid local news anchor? Nothing aside from the fact that she's very good at what she does.
    Why did the Empire man have to die? We all die sometime.
    Why does Derrick Rose keep getting injured? Freak athleticism combined with a body structure obviously not built to withstand the resulting impact of said freak athleticism.
    How come most movies that are set in the suburbs are set in the North Shore? What's so exciting about Winnetka? (vs. Hinsdale or Naperville or Barrington) It so happens that a lot of famous actors and directors who set their movies in Chicago are from that area. John Hughes, John Cusack, Bill Murray, etc.
    I can't answer your questions pertaining to Illinois in general, but let me try to answer those pertaining to Chicagoland (my comments in RED).
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  10. #10
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    Questions pertaining to Illinois:
    One year after a Democratic governor is impeached and sent to federal prison for 14 years, how does the state of Illinois in 2010 elect a Republican state treasurer, a Republican comptroller, and a Republican U.S. Senator, but not a Republican governor?
    Why are road construction projects in this state two to three year ordeals that never seem to end and cost way too much money, and yet our traffic is still among the worst in the country? (I have not witnessed transportation infrastructure as woefully inadequate and construction projects as dysfunctional as in Illinois)
    Why the hell is everyone so corrupt and our state government so dysfunctional?
    How come the University of Illinois is the only real flagship state university so to speak, while many states much smaller than Illinois have two universities roughly on equal footing? (Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma)

    Questions pertaining to Chicagoland:
    Why does Portillo's have 9 locations in DuPage County (pop. 950,000) and only 2 locations in Lake & McHenry Counties (combined pop. over 1,000,000)?
    Why can't the Fazoli's national chain seem to succeed around here?
    Why do the Cubs have such bad luck (and why are so many people still fans?)?
    Why are people (especially tourists) so enthralled with Millennium Park and Navy Pier? I can think of 100 better things to see and do in Chicagoland.
    What is so exciting about Diann Burns that she was once the highest paid local news anchor?
    Why did the Empire man have to die?
    Why does Derrick Rose keep getting injured?
    How come most movies that are set in the suburbs are set in the North Shore? What's so exciting about Winnetka? (vs. Hinsdale or Naperville or Barrington)
    Portillo's started in Villa Park which may or may not be an explanation.
    Fazoli's failed in Buffalo too. Its not that good anyways.
    A lot of the suburban set movies were John Hughes films and I guess he had a thing for the north shore. Though I'm not sure the exact towns were ever identified, they were really just filmed there.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    I can't answer your questions pertaining to Illinois in general, but let me try to answer those pertaining to Chicagoland (my comments in RED).
    Thanks. . I was kinda joking on some of those, like Derrick Rose and the Empire man. And while you have offered plausible explanations for many of the others (some of which I already knew), some still do baffle me, like Millennium Park/Navy Pier and Portillos, particularly as the latter has become fully a Chicagoland thing and even a national thing now, and less of a DuPage County thing. Like how do they not have locations in Gurnee, Northbrook, Algonquin, or Rosemont/Ohare?? You and jsk did provide a solid answer for the movie question. Still, it'd be cool to see Hollywood (whether it is a famous son or not) give some of the other suburbs some love. I feel like there's been more filmmaking done around here lately though, which is exciting.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  12. #12
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    A lot of the suburban set movies were John Hughes films and I guess he had a thing for the north shore. Though I'm not sure the exact towns were ever identified, they were really just filmed there.
    As a kid, he lived in Grosse Pointe Woods and Northbrook, which could explain his fixation towards WASPy waterfront suburbs.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  13. #13
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    As a kid, he lived in Grosse Pointe Woods and Northbrook, which could explain his fixation towards WASPy waterfront suburbs.
    Northbrook isn't actually on the lake, its a town or two west, still in the same general area as where the movies were filmed. Grosse Pointe Woods is near Detroit.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Appleton, WI area:

    -Why do we need so many separate municipalities to govern a metro area with a smaller total population than live in two of the state's existing cities? (Note - this also applies to the Green Bay area and most of the other small to mid-sized metros in Wisconsin.)

    -Why does the Green Bay/Appleton/Oshkosh/Fond du lac, WI corridor not have common-carrier rail passenger service? (We are one of the largest total markets in the 'lower 48' without such service - and in the right geographic direction and distance from Chicago for it to be very popular.)

    -Why does the Appleton-Green Bay market need two separate commercial airports (ATW and GRB) with approximately equal passenger boarding numbers?

    -Why is US (soon to be 'I') 41 not six lanes between Appleton and Green Bay already?

    -Why isn't La Bamba back in a downtown Appleton storefront already (I *really* miss them!)?



    Mike

  15. #15
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    As a kid, he lived in Grosse Pointe Woods and Northbrook, which could explain his fixation towards WASPy waterfront suburbs.
    I didn't know he spent time in Grosse Pointe Woods. There is an large swath of residential areas over there and and a smaller neighborhood in Bloomfield Hills near me that my wife always calls the Home Alone neighborhoods because they look EXACTLY like neighborhoods in all of the John Hughes movies.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Northbrook isn't actually on the lake, its a town or two west, still in the same general area as where the movies were filmed. Grosse Pointe Woods is near Detroit.
    Grosse Pointe Woods is not on the lake either and is considered a lower-class Pointe. (No offense to anyone who lives there because it is still a fine place).
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I can answer all questions about Detroit. I may not be right, but I will have an answer!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  18. #18
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
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    Why does my city of 100k and a nearly 70% Hispanic population have such terrible Mexican food? Seriously one of the higher rated Mexican restaurants on Yelp in this city is Del Taco.


    Why does Houston get no respect? It is the 4th largest city in the country. It has a great cultural scene. Fantastic food, world class hospitals and museums. Yet in the eyes of most of the country Houston is still some sleepy backwater town. When Top Chef filmed an entire season in Texas they never went to Houston, even though Houston is becoming a major culinary hotspot.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rcgplanner View post
    Why does my city of 100k and a nearly 70% Hispanic population have such terrible Mexican food? Seriously one of the higher rated Mexican restaurants on Yelp in this city is Del Taco.
    Good Mexican restaurants are like good Chinese restaurants, only the "folks in the know" know. We kept it secret, so that the white man does not discover us
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    Why does everybody in Vancouver avoid talking to anyone they don't already know?
    How do you meet people in Vancouver?
    Why is this city so lonely?

    Questions I have been asked by travellers and which ask myself regularly.


    Other question:
    Why isn't Burnaby part of Vancouver?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian RandomPlanner's avatar
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    Why has I-81 near Clark Summitt, PA been under construction continually since 1991?
    How do I know you are who you think you are?

  22. #22
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RandomPlanner View post
    Why has I-81 near Clark Summitt, PA been under construction continually since 1991?
    There's two seasons in central Pennsylvania - deer hunting and road construction.

    I was down that way last month, and there was a lot of construction on both 81 and 476. Navigating the weird triple trumpet interchange between the two seemed like I was being thrown into a time machine, and sent back to the 1940s.

    A PA planning/zoning mystery: sign/billboard-wise, Pennsylvania is to New York what Michigan is to Ohio - just a lot more billboards and sign clutter in the Keystone State. I can't think of anyplace in New York that comes close to approaching the litter-on-a-stick jungles of Breezewood or Millcreek Township.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I can't think of anyplace in New York that comes close to approaching the litter-on-a-stick jungles of Breezewood or Millcreek Township.
    It is obvious, Dan, that you can't think of Times Square.

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