Four Do’s and Don’ts when traveling the East and West Coast of the “United States”

May 04 , 2021 by: Leah Martin

Never wear busted shoes in New York. Your shoes are the first things people notice. In California, you can wear flip-flops!

While this may sound like a fashion choice based on climate, it is a bit deeper than that.

You may be surprised to know that even though most people living in the United States are American by nationality, there’re still a variety of social norms, do’s and don’t’s for each state.

In this article, we will explore the differences between the East coast and West coast of the United States!

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1. When you are on the West coast, ease into the conversation.

Don’t go right into what you do and who you are. Build rapport with people. Ask how their doing and tell a joke or two. If you’re on the East coast, then be sure to have your 30 second elevator pitch ready and on point!

What does this mean though? Usually, people on the East coast are not as laid- back as people from the West coast. That is not to say they aren’t cool people. Just that they are busy dashing about their business.

Since, people from the West coast have conversations with just about everyone they see, New York, seems like a more hasty state.

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2. Say what you mean and say it fast OR don’t say it at all!

There’s a difference in communication styles between the East coast and the West coast. In other words, when you go to the East Coast, know which pizza you want!

New Yorker’s fold their pizza in half- right down the middle and eat it up. Californians ask if its thin crust, thick crust, deep dish or vegan then pat down the pizza with a napkin and piece it into equal parts, then eat it.

What does this strange pizza-eating analogy mean? This points to the “matter-of fact” nature of people from the East coast. New Yorkers, in particular, are generally no-fuss, I’ve seen it all, and I’ve got somewhere to be right now.

Give me my pizza as is whereas the West coast is more “new-age” and sensitive to diets and mindfulness. They tend to ask more questions and be more indirect and allusive.

If you are in the West coast, then you must master the art of saying things without really saying them.

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3. Don’t bring your Hawaiian shirt to New York!

Business casual or fashionable business? From the Northern to the Southern coasts of the West, people generally dress casually. It’s an expression of their nonchalant mein.

While places like L.A. are known for the entertainment industry, it’s still safe to say that the fashion trends on the West coast lean towards the informal.

Business casual is the norm at work and if you so happen to be in San Francisco, then don’t be surprised to see people wearing t-shirts and jeans to work.

In places like New York, you would want to dress more formally and fashionably. Think slacks, a nice blouse or button down, and a blazer if you want to be fancy.

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4. Don’t “Shleep” your West Coast slang to the East coast!

The vernacular changes from the coast-to-coast. It is shaped by the weather, geography, popular culture and industry. Also, it’s shaped by the migration patterns that occurred in the United States.

Take for example the popular slang that means “a lot”, “very” or “really”. On the West coast, you would say… This coffee is hella good! On the East coast you would say… This coffee is mad good!

Though similar, stylistically, the East and West coast of the United States have nuances that distinguish each part of the country.

Do you want to know more about what makes the differences between the East coast and the West coast of the United States?

Let me know in the comments section below!


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