East Vs. West

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Everyone is partial to their hometown or the area they grew up in. No matter how much they say they hated it, generally people will defend it to their death.

I’m a good example on a town/area level for both the town I grew up in and the town I ‘grew up’ in.

I mean, let’s be honest. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. Not middle of nowhere, we still have a grocery store, gas station, and a Wal-mart and a population in the quadruple digits. Like honest to goodness, middle of nowhere in 2006 306 people lived in my town, middle of nowhere. Nearest gas station? 25 minutes. Nearest Grocery Store? 30 minutes. Nearest movie theater? Until 2006, 45 minutes away. Nearest dirt road? Right there. Nearest cow? About 500 feet away. Can you see your neighbor’s house? Sometimes in the winter when the trees didn’t have leaves and they swayed a certain way.

Townville, PA has a Wikipedia page now.

Have people insulted it or laughed at my town? Oh hell yeah. Part of the reason is the name and I’ll give people that. I grew up in a town called Townville. Ha ha go ahead and laugh. But people have honestly made fun of me endlessly because of the name. First of all, I didn’t choose the name. I wasn’t around in the 1831 when the town was founded. Second, I didn’t CHOOSE to live there. I mean, I didn’t come bursting out of the womb with my brother screaming “WE’RE MOVING OUT OF TOWNVILLE THIS INSTANT!”

That didn’t happen.

I don’t go a single day wishing I had grown up somewhere else. I’ve got my street smarts AND my tree smarts.

If you didn’t already know this from past posts, I love Pittsburgh, too. I ‘grew up’ there. It’s where I transformed from a country girl to a city girl.

A lot of people hate Pittsburgh. I would say that 90% of those people have never been to Pittsburgh. 10% of those that hate it, probably have good reason to. The rest hate it for a variety of reasons usually involving sports, driving through it, perceptions of the city that just aren’t true, or the lack of a night life they are accustomed to.

But whatever. I can go on about this forever.

Right now, I want to talk about something else that has recently amused me.

Not defending the places in which you grew up or lived, but the things that you grew up or lived with. You don’t know why (ok sometimes you do), but you LOVE those things. Nothing else compares. You want to go home just to experience them even if you know for a fact that its really not that great, you still rave about it. Don’t worry I’ll get to the point.

I have a few good examples of this both from an East/West PA standpoint AND an East/West Coast standpoint.

Example 1: Sheetz vs. Wawa (PA)

You know what I’m talking about if you’ve been a transplant either from the east or the west to ‘the other side’. East-side? Sheetz is the shit. West side? Wawa all the way. I’m a Sheetz girl through and through, but I’ll be honest with you. Every time I eat it, I think “wow… this is really not the best.” But I will stand by it every time. Wawa? It’s ok, but the way that people from the Philadelphia area talk about it make it seem like the gods shit the stuff and its made of magic and goodness. Nothing special. I know people who went to Pitt who would make Wawa their first stop when they got to Philly.

I will say that Philly Cheesesteaks… they are the food of the gods and champions and demi-gods and everyone. So delicious. I’ve yet to have one as good as the Geno’s.

Example 2: Penguins Vs. Flyers, Eagles Vs. Steelers (PA)

I’m just not even going to go here. GO PENS.

Example 2: Peet’s Coffee Vs. Caribou (Coast vs. Coast)

I haven’t had Caribou Coffee in ages. I miss it. Like really miss it. Not just the coffee, but the lattes and everything, too. In Pittsburgh near the university, Starbucks and Caribou were right across the street from each other. Starbucks was always packed in the morning and well.. always. Caribou? Empty. I never really understood why, though. This was back when Starbucks still charged for their WiFi.

I’ve only been to a Peet’s coffee once here. It was meh. Then again, that could have been the person making my drink. I do love Caribou though. Way above Starbucks. There is something about their espresso… oh yeah, it’s not burnt. I guess I’ll need to give Peet’s another chance. This is one that my loyalties are less rigid.

Example 3: In-n-Out Burger Vs. Five Guys (Coast vs. Coast)

Here is my east coast and west coast example. I recently went with a friend to In-n-Out burger.

“How was it?” – K after I finished my burger

“Meh, It was OK. Definitely no Five Guys”

“EVERYONE from the East Coast says that”

It’s true! We do love our Five Guys. At least I do. I mean, the meat pattie is just huge on a Five Guys burger. You can get basically anything you want to on it. It really doesn’t take that long. The fries you can get are fresh cut. Really, they are. There are sacs and sacs of potatoes in ever five guys. Unless you go right before a shipment. Plus you can eat peanuts for free while you wait.

Again, maybe it was just the one time I was there, but I wans’t impressed. The thin patty was overcooked, the special sauce? Couldn’t really taste it. Kind of just a step above McDonalds? I’m going to get a lot of hell for this.

Will I go there again? MAYBE, but most likely not unless I’m with a group and they want to go and I don’t have another choice.

Tre harsh.

Also.. I shouldn’t have written this while hungry…. I really want Five Guys right now.

Any other good battles I’m missing??



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