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Why I love the East Coast.

Posted February 7, 2012 @ 4:59pm | by Anne

This is a story about how I learned to love the East coast. 

A disclaimer; I'm not from the East coast.

But Jen is.

This means we are from like two really different universes. And anyone who has spent considerable time on both coasts know that this is totally true.

I used to think the East coast was kind of scary.

But since we at the Tomato serve New York style pizza, I've had the chance to get to know East Coasters, and I've grown to positively love them. I'm not kidding.

Here you go;

Growing up in Seattle means growing up with a very Northwest set of ideas and perceptions about the way things work. Some of the big ones that have stuck with me (in no particular order of importance);


And finally


This is a total West coast perception. And when you're young, and haven't travelled much yet, your map of the US looks a little like this

My mom lived in the East coast for a really short time, and she hated it. I knew other people who had once 'been there' and hated it as well. It seemed like this big scary place where everyone was rude, and yelled, and more importantly; moved, and talked, really fast, and had no patience for those who didn't. And if there's one thing Pacific Northwesterners don't do too well, that's do anything very quickly. 

Whereas it seemed like the East coast was full of people who would run you over if you actually went the speed limit, or if you didn't know what you wanted on your cheesesteak. Scary stuff.

I didn't have much of anything else figured out by my teenage years, but I had pretty much figured out that I never wanted to go to the East coast.

Even kids from the East coast seemed louder and scarier than kids from the Northwest did. Kids from the Northwest? we weren't that threatening, especially in the mid 90's.

And our families? not so much as well;


In contrast, I was pretty certain that all kids growing up on the East coast were like this. Which, let's not kid ourselves, is probably true.

And their families? Their families didn't knit, or talk about the weather.


And so it went.

But then East coast met West coast and this funny thing happened, which is that I got to meet actual, real East coasters. And when we opened the Hot Tomato, which does East coast style pizza, and I got to see how they interact.

And how they interact is totally different than West coasters.

The flip side of this instant East Coast impatience with 'outsiders' is this complete and total love for their own people; 


I've seen this happen so many times, and by the end of it someone knows someone's cousin, or went to school with their sister-in-law, or maybe had the same grandma. whatever. But I saw it so many times that I sort of got a little jealous of it. All this New Jersey-patriotic zeal. It was kind of inspiring. And even though I knew better, I kind of wanted to treat My People that way as well. 

But why I really love East coasters is because of their unfailingly dedicated commitment to upholding the utmost standards of honesty.

Even when it makes them look like complete assholes.

Northwesterners are a polite people, and polite people don't just barge into a room telling everyone how ugly or fat they look, even though we might actually be thinking it. 

Which brings me, finally, to one of my favorite customer interactions.

And that's what happened. So now, we don't ask our East Coast regulars how they are, we just ask them what they want on their pizza.

Which is easy.

And they tell us if it was good, or they tell us if it sucked.

Which, if you think about it, is also easier.

And that's how I learned to love East Coasters. And I secretly hope that living in the west never influences them to get some manners, because it's nice to have everything out on the table. 

And polite East Coasters traipsing around?

Well, that would just f$#%ing suck.

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