I’ve still been contemplating more of the subtle differences between the two places I’ve lived in my life, Illinois and Florida. I’m skipping the very obvious weather and economic differences. I’m also not talking about people, but environments.
Illinois: The houses are much older. I’m not speaking of the Victorian homes that have character, but the Cape Cod’s, bi-levels and raised ranches. The newer homes are mostly townhouses, and there are lots of them. Then, there are the brand new mansions. They knock down a home in the middle of an old neighborhood to build them. It looks lopsided with a 900-square-foot house next to a 5000-square-foot mansion. You can see what I mean below.
Florida: There are not many townhouses in this state, but they are overloaded with apartment buildings. There are a lot more one-story homes (ranche-style) with split floor plans (bedrooms on opposite sides of the house). I miss our house’s floor plan back in Florida.
Illinois: You can get to where you are going by cutting through lots of side streets. The speed limit is slower on side roads, but it can help avoid stand-still traffic jams.
Florida: There were mostly main streets or highways. Homes were built in walled-off subdivisions that wound around themselves and didn’t go through to more than one main road.
Illinois: Speed limits on all streets are marked slower, probably for the reason marked in the above Illinois observation.
Florida: Speed limits on all streets are marked faster.
Illinois: When I grew up here, I was always under the impression that Illinois was without hills. Cheeseheads (Wisconsinites) used to affectionately (or not so affectionately) call us Flatlanders. But, since we moved back, I’m noticing many of the streets we drive on are hilly (above photo is taken from a stoplight atop a hill). There is nothing especially scenic about them, but I’m surprised that I don’t remember. Perhaps living in flat, swampy Florida for so long, I am just appreciating my new surroundings more.
Florida: No hilly streets anywhere in the vicinity of where I lived, maybe with the exception of Brooksville. Most of Florida land is at sea level.
Illinois: Being on Central Standard Time, primetime TV starts at 7pm, which I can’t seem to get used to.
Florida: Being on Eastern Standard Time, primetime TV starts at 8pm, which I had a hard time adjusting to when I first moved there, too.
Side note: The following is not a political statement, just an observation.
Illinois: The ATM’s have way more buttons to choose. When I left 27 years ago, there were mostly native born Chicagoans. Since I returned, I’ve observed an influx of immigrants, and not from one specific country, but from all over the world. I seem to only run into native Chicagoans and English speaking people about fifty percent of the time (in stores, restaurants, post office, bank, etc).
Florida: The ATM’s have fewer buttons to choose and automatically go to English, but there are not many native born Floridians. Many are transplants from different parts of the U.S. who are escaping northern winters. The immigrants in this state seem to be mostly from a mix of Latin American countries.