It's amazing how just the places I have lived seem to affect what people think of me in their first impression. I've lived in 3 states, 4 medium to major cites and I have traveled to 47 of our 50 great states (including the District of Columbia), and I've also been to four of the Canadian provinces. While traveling, people you meet often to ask you where you're from. For a person like me, I never know whether they mean my ethnic origins or my hometown in the U.S. and I inevitably give them the answer they don't want. Anyway, I eventually get to telling them that I live in Detroit and that I'm from Cleveland.
Many people from the "cool" cities instantly look down upon me because Detroit and Cleveland, (cities which I am proud to associate myself with), are not cool. It continually annoys me and it's really just a form of prejudice. I'm still the same person as if I told the other person I live in San Francisco, New York, or Miami. But to them, I'm not the same person anymore. Perhaps it's just insecurity they exhibit by using city of residence to feel that they're better than me. They might base their self esteem on where they live, just like they might base it on what they own.
I'm not saying I would never move to one of the cool cities for career purposes, but there's something to be said about the humbleness and way people are grounded in cities where there's less glitz and superficiality. We don't get beautiful weather 350 days a year and we can accept that. We often get rain, cold weather, ice and snow. It teaches us that you can't always get what you want. Millions and millions of us are able to make the most of these cities, and the good part is that tourists don't get in our way. It may take a little more effort to find great hang out spots or restaurants, but we definitely have them. You can have a good time anywhere if you're with friends or family. It's what you make of it. In fact many people move from our uncool cities to the more socially acceptable ones only to find that they like their uncool hometowns better.
In terms of lifestyle, I prefer the fact that I live in a decent house with a yard, trees, and a two car garage. I don't have to commute 2 hours each way from my home so I actually have time for myself and can go out more. I could even fly to a "cool" city once a month for a weekend and actually save money for my retirement because I don't have to pay $2,000 a month to rent a tiny apartment, (one that may also come equipped with rodents). I also can drive whenever, wherever I want and not pay $25 to park downtown. I don't have to depend on cab drivers who put my life in jeopardy every time I get in the back seat.
So to those of you in the "cool" cities, remember that we deserve perhaps more respect for being from one of the "un-cool" cities because of the negative connotations that we endure. But we're still the same people regardless of where we live, just as you are.