Local knowledge(s), histories, and storytelling June 10, 2020 7:49 PM   Subscribe

A recent AskMeFi thread on What is quintessentially Missourian? is remarkable and exhibits, I believe, what is best about Metafilter: locals coming together to share their knowledge, stories, histories, of a place.

This awareness of the local is often invisible if one is not from a particular place, or has spent little (or insufficient?) time there. What other threads on place here on Metafilter offer similar embedded knowledge? Perhaps we can use this space to compile a list, and discuss what is "quintessential" about a special, familiar, place.
posted by Ahmad Khani to MetaFilter-Related at 7:49 PM (8 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

As a Wisconsinite, I loved this thread about Wisconsin.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 7:59 PM on June 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Aww, yeah I loved that thread. I don't know much about Missouri and it was neat to see some parts I knew (Route 66! Missou!) and a whole bunch I didn't know.

There are many good threads on Vermont where a lot of the usual suspects suggest many of the usual thing, but I think this PIE FOR BREAKFAST thread sums up a lot of what I love about the place I call home.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:14 PM on June 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

I had a warm fuzzy experience (on a bygone account) answering this request for recommendations for a traditional English bonfire and fireworks for Guy Fawkes Night. The OP got in touch with me later to say how much they'd enjoyed the Wimbledon Park fireworks, which is the one I always used to go to as a kid, and of which I have extremely fond memories.
It was nice to feel some hyper-specific local knowledge could benefit someone, especially as UK local knowledge is even more invisible and under the radar here (and on the internet in general).
posted by Balthamos at 3:16 AM on June 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

This one was fun about food.
posted by Pax at 5:09 AM on June 11, 2020

I asked this question about local fast food, and got a ton of great responses from all over the world. It's probably my favorite question I've ever asked, and I go back and read the responses often.

I also asked for recommendations for books about New England and books about Florida, both of which pointed to good resources and had some good discussion in the comments.

There is a lot of great detail about the Midwest in this thread. Full disclosure, I posted a *lot* in that thread, so I'm kind of tooting my own horn, but there's a lot of great stuff from others as well.

There are probably too many St. Louis threads to find them all (the one linked in the OP has some great stuff as a starter), but over the years I feel like Metafilter has done a really good job of explaining that city. If you search "stlouis" on the green and read through the responses, you'll get a pretty good idea of life in STL. We've done a good job with Buffalo, too, although there aren't as many questions about it. The only other city I know well enough to say anything about is Columbus, and while there have been some questions about it, I don't really feel like I've seen anything that gets to the heart of Columbus like I have with STL and Buffalo. Although that's in part because Columbus's culture is not as sharply defined as that of STL or Buffalo. I don't mean that as an insult; I regard Columbus as basically equivalent to heaven at this point; I literally keep a tab open 24/7 so I can Street View somewhere random in Columbus any time I want. But Columbus is a newer and more dynamic city, and doesn't have as much of the ossified traditions as the other two.

For external resources, I feel like I need to recommend Boom Town by Sam Anderson, about Oklahoma City. It's one of the most dazzling books I've ever read.

As for original contributions, I submit:
Essential to Southwest Ohio: Cincinnati-style chili.
Essential to the rest of Ohio, plus much of Indiana and Kentucky: arguing about whether Cincinnati-style chili is any good.

I absolutely LOVE the idea for this thread, and will be watching with great anticipation.
posted by kevinbelt at 6:40 AM on June 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

For New Jersey, one of the better threads is Jersey wuz here (bonus Pine Barrens post).
posted by gudrun at 8:54 AM on June 11, 2020

Thank you so much for starting this thread. I really enjoy reading the answers to these kind of questions and love learning about some of the details that make a place a place. I was mulling over asking exactly the same question on the Grey but you beat me to it!
posted by Chairboy at 1:45 AM on June 13, 2020

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