There are differences between Utah and the East Coast.

1.  Pretty Girls Riding Bicycles and Smiling.  If you drive around Emerald Island, or pretty much anywhere along the East Coast that I’ve seen… you will see Pretty Girls riding bicycles.  They are all over the place.  And every one of them is smiling.  At first I thought this was lovely, but the consistency has become disturbing.  There is something Stepford’ish going on here.  I don’t trust it.  I stopped at a Stop Sign waiting for traffic when one of these Stepford Girls rode up and stopped next to me.  She said “Hi” and smiled.  She was gorgeous.  I screamed and drove off in a cloud of tire smoke.

2.  If you buy Grits and the Grocery Store the Cashier doesn’t look at you funny.

3.  They have Grits at the Grocery Store.   The real stuff.  Not Quaker Instant.

4.  BBQ is a Serious thing and it’s not to be taken lightly.  Do not – Do NOT – ask for Ketchup at a BBQ place.  I witnessed this happen to a guy who had New Jersey plates on his car.  The establishment’s Pit Master damn near jumped the counter.  No, I mean he was half way over when other people in the kitchen caught him and dragged him back.  I believe this is where the term “Ruckus” comes from.  The New Jersey Guy was ordered to leave or he’d be thrown on the grill next.  He left.  Very quickly.
Also, going along with this… Don’t be from another region and try to boast that your region’s BBQ is better than the one you are in.  You just eat your BBQ in the manner of the locals and shut your dirty heathen mouth.

5.  People will Abide.  In Utah, people are always in a rush.  No matter where or when, they are always in a rush.  No one just takes a moment to enjoy where they are at.  If there isn’t something going on, their noses are in some Electronic Device.   Here on the Coast, I’m seeing people just kicking back, taking in the awesomeness of their surroundings.  I did this myself.  Just sat on a bench by the docks, and watched the boats and people and the sea birds… You know what?  I could do that every day for the rest of my life.  It’s nice to just… Abide.  Turn off the Cell Phone.  Turn off the MP3 Player… and just be where you are.  People will do that here.  They don’t do that in Utah.

30 thoughts on “Differences…”

  1. Part of the fun of BBQ places is visiting and deciding for yourself whether you like the food or not. There’s a couple of books on NC BBQ – – John Shelton Reed’s Holy Smoke and Bob Garner’s Book of Barbecue, by NC’s BBQ doyen, Bob Garner – – and a few websites, too, such as BBQ Jew and Barbecue Bros., but you really have to decide for yourself as you explore your new state.

    And yah, I agree that the South has a laid-back quality that is both a blessing and a curse; at its best it results in the charm that lures so many people to both vacation and move here; at its worst its responsible for the stereotype of the Southerner, both white and black, as lazy and shiftless.

    A couple of good TV shows on PBS, NC Weekend and Our State, can help you find things to do in your off-time. Since you spoke of grits, you might want to watch Bob Garner’s review of The Friendly Market in Morehead City, where he sampled shrimp & grits pie: http://www.unctv.org/content/ncweekend

        1. I’ve passed that place several times with the thought “I’ve got to check that joint out.”

  2. On number two, I think you’re talking mostly about the Basin area. Here in Happy Valley, the cashiers are so dejected, they can’t muster any emotion at all — even if you were to buy razor blades and candy apples on Halloween day.

  3. Thanks for the kind words about NC. Recent arrivals aren’t always so gracious. And you are dead on about “Abiding” as you call it. We refer to it up here in the mountains as “passing time.” I love to sit and watch people and things just happening around me. I always learn something new or strengthen what I already know.

  4. If you haven’t already, try some shrimp & grits as it’s a NC favorite all over the state. Bonnie is a S&G connoisseur. BBQ…you can really, and I mean REALLY open a can of worms with that right there. In eastern NC BBQ means a vinegar based sauce, but when you go more west I believe it’s a tomato based sauce. I L-O-V-E the vinegar stuff and I make sure that my pig swims in it. Also when you go to a BBQ joint expecting beef you will be sorely disappointed as you will only encounter pork…hell you will find that NC is all about pork and you will see that everything is eaten. I’m sure you’ve seen scrapple on the menu.

    1. Shrimp and Scallops and Lobster… And Tuna. These are some of the fish that I can’t eat anymore. I can’t eat red meat or pork either. Which means no bacon. *sigh*
      Gout has kicked my ass for so long… I’m finally learning why. Gout in my ankles or knees is one thing. But when it got into my hand… I had to make a serious change.

  5. “Don’t be from another region and try to boast that your region’s BBQ is better than the one you are in. You just eat your BBQ in the manner of the locals and shut your dirty heathen mouth.”

    This is unbelievably good advice.

    1. Unless your from Texas and they serve you up baked pig. You should at least tell them what they’re missing out on. And how much their food sucks. Then let them know how good Brisket and Beef Ribs are.

      Or not.

      At least disparage their side dishes.

    1. We are planning a trip to Ashville. I’ve not spent time in the Appalachians for too many years. Not since I was a Teenager.

      1. You might want to extend the drive to Boone. Ashville is ok, but it’s on the liberal side and also it’s more tourist-y. If you do stick with Ashville then you should spend a day at the Biltmore estate as it’s a MUST-SEE.

        1. Oh, my wife wont let me miss that place. She’s been talking about it since before I moved east.

      2. If you have time, call me when you are in the Asheville area. We are only an hour west of there and we go to Asheville all the time to eat and shop.

      3. Let me know when that is. Hopefully it will be a weekend jim is home and we can meet up for some buffalo pizza in Asheville

  6. If y’all ever come a bit farther South, just over the Border in N. Myrtle holla, I’ll fire up the smoker for ya!

  7. I think your basic premise of Utah vs. East Coast needs to change. Much of the East Coast will never “abide”, or have the Stepford bicyclists. Just think about it… most of the east coast is North of the Carolinas and includes: D.C., NYC, Boston, Jersey, and Phillie. I agree though that once you hit the Carolinas, things change.

      1. Civilization starts at the Potomac River and ends at the Dade County Line. There may be a few pockets north of the river but they are few and far between.

        BBQ is a religion that, while fanatical, is willing to accept converts and forgives heretics.
        For a chain I like Sonny’s.
        Otherwise just follow your nose (and the muddy pickups) to the local pit.

        “Anyone with a lick of sense knows that you can’t make good barbeque and comply with the health code.” — John Edgerton

        1. Most of New Hampshire is civilized. Most of the folks who move here from the South say that it’s “like home, but with better gun laws and lower taxes,” or something similar.

          Don’t lump us in with those fools in Boston and NYC, etc. I remember some New Yorker tourist who pulled into a hardware store parking lot at the same time I did, but had to jump out of his car as quickly as possible, because he apparently needed to race me to the door. Then he was in my way in the store (standing there staring at the automotive lightbulbs), so I asked him to move, explaining that I was needed to pick up a new tow strap because mine was getting old. He made some snarky comment, along the lines of, “you get that big truck stuck so much that you need a tow strap?” I replied that I’ve never gotten it stuck, but that doesn’t mean that other people don’t get stuck and need help. He just stood there, gaping – I don’t think his mind could handle the idea that I was going to spend money to buy something solely because I might need it to help others.

          Yeah, just don’t lump us in with them, okay?

  8. More differences:

    Ice Cream – In Utah, folks are as serious about ice cream as they are about BBQ in the South.
    Fry Sauce – ’nuff said.
    Scones – Same name, VERY different.

  9. Do check out morehead city. Its nice by the waterfront. Just over the bridge is beaufort, and blackbeard’s house. A must see. I live in emerald isle, and your post is spot on. Pretty girls smiling all over the place. Best thing to do on emerald isle? Shark fishing.

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