Three Midwest Myths Busted

View of downtown Dayton and Miami River.

Now that I’ve been a Ohioan for a whole month, I’d like to bust some myths that my West Coast friends and acquaintances have been asking me about living in Dayton. To be fair, not everyone on the West Coast thinks these stereotypes are true. But most of my friends have never been to the Ohio, so there is a general curiosity/confusion. I’ve been receiving the same three questions often enough that I felt it was only fair to address them head-on:

  1. There are cornfields everywhere. When we moved from Seattle, one of our movers packing up our apartment sincerely asked me, “So are you guys moving to a farm? It’s just a bunch of cornfields in Ohio, right?” This is one of the more ridiculous questions I get, but to answer – no, there are not cornfields everywhere. I actually have yet to see one in Dayton city-limits. I know there are some on the outskirts, but Dayton is truly a mid-sized Midwest city with a professional downtown, a minor-league baseball team, a theatre, an orchestra, an art institute, two major universities, urban parks, etc. Haven’t met a farmer yet!
  2. Ohio is in the Central Time Zone. Wrong, we’re in the Eastern Time Zone! This has been blowing my West Coast friends minds that we’re three hours ahead. Pennsylvania is on Ohio’s eastern border, making it geographically further east than many folks realize. Living in the Eastern Time Zone has actually been a tough adjustment as it’s hard catching my friends and family on the phone since I’m a grandma and love going to bed early. I’m also getting used to how late games start here. Monday Night Football starts at 8:30 pm?! I’m never watching a professional sports game again, this old lady needs her sleep!
  3. Dining out in the Midwest = eating at Olive Garden. Okay, I won’t lie – there are a lot more chain restaurants here. The West Coast cities I have lived in had strong mandates against letting chain restaurants into city limits as a way to encourage local business growth. Even though there are more chain restaurants in Dayton by comparison, there are also a good number of local, independent restaurants, coffee shops, breweries etc. My favorite neighborhood to dine out in Dayton is the Oregon District. (Shoutout to Corner Kitchen, Lily’s Bistro, and Thai 9 – so delicious!).

Midwest friends, do you receive other questions about living in the Midwest that are way off-base? West Coasters (or any non-Midwesteners for that matter), do you have any other questions you’d like to determine are fact vs. fiction? I’d love to hear!




4 thoughts on “Three Midwest Myths Busted”

  1. Our accents! I was born and raised in the area and honestly don’t hear an accent. However, when I lived in Maine people constantly asked if I was from Texas. But, when I go south they ask if I’m from one of the New England states. What do you personally think of our accent?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I totally hear the Midwest/Dayton accent! That’s funny you’ve been mistaken for a Texan or New Englander. It’s definitely more of a subtle accent, but I hear things being pronounced with flatter sounds than the West Coast. It’s not as thick as some other Midwest accents (I have family in Michigan, their accents are much more noticeable), in fact sometimes it sounds slightly southern. Maybe because of Dayton’s proximity to Kentucky? I’m not sure! I feel the same way, I don’t think Californians have accents but my husband totally hears it. That SNL sketch “The Californians” didn’t help my case, ha!


  2. Interesting – I grew up in the Midwest and I have traveled a fair amount, and I have been asked if I live on a farm. Of course, farming is a huge part of the Midwest, but it really is only part of Midwest life. Chain restaurants- hate them myself but thats just what we have. Wish it was easier for the specialty shops to survive but that’s just not typical in this area. Craft brewers are making a big move in the area though, and I happen to think the Midwest has some of the best regional beers. Thanks for your insight on our lives in the Midwest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading! Yes, farming and chain restaurants are a part of Midwest life but like you said – only a part! There’s so many unique areas to explore here in Ohio, more than others may realize. I’m really enjoying it!

      Liked by 1 person

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