I Went to the West Coast for the First Time & Oh My God
I Went to the West Coast for the First Time & Oh My God

What East Coasters Actually Think of the West Coast

My East Coast friends and I traveled west for the first time and it turns out not everybody lives in New York.
March 4, 2016
9 mins read

This year for Spring Break, I decided to travel across the entire United States. The start: New York, the finish: Seattle. My friends and I are all East Coasters, so visiting the West Coast was a bit of a culture shock.

Aside from weather that’s as moody as your girlfriend during “her time of the month,” Seattle has a lot to offer. Although as a New Yorker I stereotypically believe that my state is the best in the country, I have to admit that Seattle and the West Coast are pretty awesome. Here is a list of 8 reasons why the West Coast gives the East Coast a run for its money.

1. Accents (or Lack Thereof)

On the East Coast, or at least in the tri-State area, everyone has an accent. Since we hate small-talk, accents are the easiest way for anyone to know where you’re from without asking you.

Surprisingly, not all New Yorkers sound like angry guidos who just spilled their coffee. People from NYC are characterized by their attitude and inability to differentiate between “a” and “o.” People from Long Island call it “Lawn Guyland.” People from Boston say “wicked” too much and never you the letter “r.” (If you don’t know what a Boston accent sounds like, refer to Seth Myers.) People from Jersey do actually sound like guidos.

I’m a little upstate, so the only time my NY accent comes out is when I’m driving and someone cuts me off.

Either way, accents are necessary for East Coasters. How else am I supposed to know where you’re and therefore be able to judge you? There are no accents on the West Coast, or at least none as strong (and obnoxious) as Jersey accents. You can’t tell just by people speaking where they are from, which leads to the thing East Coasters hate the most: chit-chat.

2. Coffee

People on the west coast take pride in their coffee, and that doesn’t mean paying $8 for an espresso shot from Starbucks, because East Coasters have that down. Coffee pride means putting in the time, effort and love to make a damn good cup of coffee (“caw-fee”).

East Coasters are perpetually in a rush, so morning coffee looks more like a cup of heated tar with a packet of cancer-causing Splenda. It’s terrible, but it gets the job done.

On the West Coast, coffee-making is an art form. From what I’ ve gathered, you need 10 different machines, an industrial whip-cream dispenser, a buttoned flannel shirt and a mustache to create an amazing cup of coffee.

The coffee in Seattle is liquid gold though (if gold was brown and edible), so the 20 grinding (pun intended) minutes are completely worth getting that perfect cup of coffee.

3. Volume

On the East Coast everything is loud. From traffic to parties to your mother, sounds are constantly at a slightly uncomfortable decibel level. On the West Coast, people only use their car horns when they’re supposed to, and they aren’t always yelling and screaming at one another, which means that Easterners always sound like we’re yelling.

Last night at dinner, the other people in our restaurant were taken back by the fact that we scream across the table to each other. For us, having to repeat ourselves is a serious pet-peeve, so if we have to yell to make sure everyone can hear us, so be it.

4. Aggressive Inclusivity

West Coast people don’t mind publicly saying that they aren’t racist, sexist, ageist or prejudiced (even though they probably judge East Coasters for yelling).

People on the East Coast can definitely be inclusive, but for the most part it’s not something you publicly share. It’s like stories about middle school. If they come up in conversation, sure you’ll share, but for the most part those memories are kept private.

Seattle is totally different. Restaurants have signs that say “We don’t serve racists” which is frankly awesome. We need more signs like that.

5. Outdoorsy (Actually Outdoorsy)

People on the West Coast are actually outdoorsy.

Outdoorsy for Easterners means wearing North Face, Timberlands and Patagonia to look like you’re outdoorsy. It means going on a hike once a year to take a really cute Instagram photo, drinking from a canteen to seem healthy and using a carabineer for your keys. If you’re an East Coaster, this is what a carabineer is.

People on the West Coast take being outdoorsy seriously. They hike actual mountains, make actual fires and go multiple days without showers or social media. East Coasters need to take a lesson on roughing it.

6. Fashion

Even though people do like to get muddy in the mountains, West Coasters are incredibly fashionable. Everyone is trendy and hip. I haven’t seen one piece of Vineyard Vines or Uggs and I am loving it.

Not only is there a lack of “yacht club douchebag” attire, but there’s also an absence of “tween Bieber-loving” outfits. People aren’t carbon copies of each other and their clothing reflects their personalities.

Also, West Coasters don’t equate style with sexual orientation. Just because you dress well doesn’t mean you’re gay, which is something that East Coasters believe way too much. People care about what they wear, just cause. Nice looking people make the West Coast look nicer overall.

7. Beer

The beer here is incredible. Microbreweries galore. Just like the coffee, people really care about the beer they drink. Some people might consider it snobby, but when the alternatives are Bud Light, Natty or PBR, you should really give a damn about what you’re drinking.

Plus, all the beers all have names like “Nectar of the Gods,” “Big Al Rat,” “Old Schoolhouse” and “Populuxe.”

8. People Like People

On the East Coast, everyone is in their own little bubble. With their heads down and earphones in, Easterners only partake in human contact when absolutely necessary. We are temperamental, irritable and aggressive.

I’m not saying that all West Coasters are California surfers who just want to chill their whole lives, but West Coasters definitely enjoy a good conversation with a stranger. Yesterday, we were grabbing lunch at the best Piroshky place to ever exist, and we joined in singing to the radio music. On the East Coast, someone would have told us to shut up, but on the West Coast, people join in. The warm environment almost makes up for the crappy weather.


  1. This is a “New Yorker’s Impression of the West Coast”. You could find many of these features down the east coast, which is a heck of a lot different than New York City. Just saying.

  2. I can’t believe this article. It’s so right on. I have spent the last year and a half trying to figure out what’s going on here in South Carolina after being born and raised in California. Firstly the folks here are totally confused if I tell them I re-located for fun. I explain that I had seen everything the West coast had to offer and wanted see the history, sights, woods ect. on the East coast. A simple trip to the grocery store turns into a frustrating question for me as to why other shoppers block aisles and food displays and prevent you from reaching or looking at the products so they and their cart can be just where they want it, other shoppers be damned. And the constant screaming and yelling. Don’t even get me started on the driving or the complete lack of “appointment keeping.”

  3. I’ve lived on the west coast my whole life, and this is just heart warming. Down here in Portland, Oregon the drivers are really nice. Some drivers will stop traffic for you to turn left or cross the street. Also our weather is amazing, just saying. Rain! Then 15 minutes later sun! Then rain while it’s sunny!

  4. I’m a California native and would absolutely LOVE to live on the East Coast before I die! The flakiness and thin skinned people here are ridiculous. Most everyone tells you what you want to hear (annoying) instead of saving 10 hours and just telling you the truth! I went for a visit about 5 years ago to NYC and upstate and everyone was so cool. (My friend said that’s because I’m cute) Oh God, that sounded so California LOL.
    I always say I was a former East coaster in another life. Ha Ha.

  5. I long to return to NY from Portland. I hate the lame people here. “This place has no balls,” says my girlfriend. There’s actually a law against testosterone in Portland.
    And as for this idea that it’s less racist here, that’s just a foolish notion. A sign on a restaurant doesn’t magically erase prejudice. Portland is a town full of guilty white people and almost no blacks. Portland is the whitest town its size in the country. In the whole country, folks! Remove all the blacks (as they have done here: look up the KKK history in the NW) and shazzam, no racism!

  6. Yes, Portland is very Granola. And white. I’ll take CA over Portland any day.

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