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:
- 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!
- 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!
- 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!