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Old 03-24-2020, 05:15 AM
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Artificial regions


I spent much of my early years in the Spokane area. The local TV stations and the newspapers would often refer to a region centered on that city as the Inland Empire. (Yes, I know there's another Inland Empire in California. No reason the name can't be dupicated; it's not like either region had a trademark on the name.) As far as I can tell, the region was most likely a creation of the Spokane CofC, and basically was a marketing tool. The local media promulgated the region because they greatly benefitted from it.

Some time ago, I compiled a list of similar regions, but these had the property that their names were portmanteaus of two or three state names. They almost all were centered on a city near a state border and the regions usually extended into the neighboring state(s). Other than the two Inland Empires, I don't know of any that don't have a portmanteau name.

So any other such regions around? Any in other countries, or is this a purely US phenomenon?
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Old 03-24-2020, 06:42 AM
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:03 AM
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The Golden Triangle
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:51 AM
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Our area here is the Capital District -- Albany, Schenectady, Rensselaer (Troy), and Saratoga counties.

New York State itself is divided into ten regions: Western NY, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier, Central NY, North Country, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island. These are primarily economic districts, but most are in everyday use.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:54 AM
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The Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River entirely cut off the eastern part of Maryland from the rest, and "The Eastern Shore" tends to have very little in common with the rest of the state culturally, politically, and economically. Maryland as a whole might be deep, deep blue, but it's bright neon red on the Eastern Shore. It's essentially Kansas over there, but with a beach!
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:54 AM
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Do you mean like the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois?
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:57 AM
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In terms of duplication, I think "the tri-state region" is tops. And news websites for these places don't seem to understand this. So I follow a link to a story and the only clue as to location is "the tri-state region". Have to click on a banner (and oftentimes that one click isn't enough) to figure out where this is. Whatever happened to datelines at the start of a story with a full place name and date?

One of my "favorite" CoC-style region names is the Treasure Valley for a stretch of the Snake River Valley around the Oregon-Idaho border and into Idaho apparently as far as Boise although that is too far in my experience.

The name "Snake" is, of course, a major mistake from a PR point of view. And the name is also base on the usual series of goofs of explorers misunderstanding the locals.

Hey, if over 1000 years ago Erik the Red had the brains to name Greenland for PR purposes, why didn't these people of 100-200 years ago also get the point?
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:01 AM
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In terms of duplication, I think "the tri-state region" is tops...
I had my own design firm for a while and called it Tri-County Industries, Incorporated with, of course, no clue as to which three counties.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:34 AM
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The Philadelphia metropolitan area is often referred to locally at The Delaware Valley. Besides the city, I would say this includes: PA counties Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester; NJ counties Burlington, Camden, Gloucester and Salem; and New Castle County (including the city of Wilmington) in Delaware.
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Old 03-24-2020, 09:51 AM
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The northeastern three counties of Vermont were dubbed "The Northeast Kingdom" by the late Governor George Aiken, and the name has stuck. The area is extremely rural even by Vermont standards. People often talk about going hunting, fishing, hiking, or whatever, "in the Kingdom" this weekend.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:02 AM
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I’m in Western PA. Pretty much everyone in Western PA knows they’re in Western PA. I’m sure someone somewhere may have tried to delineate it on a map sometime, but in reality, there is no clear definition of the area.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:42 PM
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Here's an one for your old PNWers.

"20 Miracle Miles". A stretch of the Oregon coast that includes what is now Lincoln City. (It used to be a bunch of little burgs until they merged into one.)

Then governor Mark Hatfield came up with an apt revision: "20 Miserable Miles". This in no way hurt his political career as he went on to serve a long time in the Senate.

Yeah, we knew.
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Old 03-24-2020, 03:48 PM
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Was Hatfield the guy who came up with the slogan, "Welcome to Oregon. Now go home!"


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Old 03-24-2020, 03:49 PM
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How about The Bermuda Triangle?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_Triangle
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:05 PM
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The Salish Sea

An international region. Is it "artificial" though? As it's based more on biological and climatic zones, I would argue it's more "natural" a region that state or provincial boundries
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:06 PM
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Upstate New York.

Many places along the Great Lakes say that they are on the North Coast.
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Old 03-24-2020, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
The name "Snake" is, of course, a major mistake from a PR point of view. And the name is also base on the usual series of goofs of explorers misunderstanding the locals.

Hey, if over 1000 years ago Erik the Red had the brains to name Greenland for PR purposes, why didn't these people of 100-200 years ago also get the point?
Because Erik was a real estate promoter with an eye to future, and the other guys were explorers making maps with no economic interest in the areas they were documenting.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:02 PM
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"Golden Horseshoe" is a term applied to the stretch of cities around Toronto and abutting Lake Ontario, more or less. Now they talk about a "Greater Golden Horseshoe" which is anything in the first definition and whioch borders on that, stretching the definition beyond any meaning and expanding it to an area bigger than Massachusetts.
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Old 03-24-2020, 05:39 PM
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Perhaps the outlying regions could be the "gold plated horseshoe"
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:49 PM
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In terms of duplication, I think "the tri-state region" is tops.

I'm going to conquer the entire tri-state area!
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Old 03-24-2020, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
In terms of duplication, I think "the tri-state region" is tops.
Followed closely by "tri-county region". There's also lots of "twin cities", "tri cities", etc.


Quote:
And news websites for these places don't seem to understand this. So I follow a link to a story and the only clue as to location is "the tri-state region". Have to click on a banner (and oftentimes that one click isn't enough) to figure out where this is. Whatever happened to datelines at the start of a story with a full place name and date?
Don't know, but I frequently click on newpaper/TV/radio articles and have no idea what city it's from. Not even that it's a tri-state region. Or they'll give the city name but no clue as to which state.

Quote:
One of my "favorite" CoC-style region names is the Treasure Valley for a stretch of the Snake River Valley around the Oregon-Idaho border and into Idaho apparently as far as Boise although that is too far in my experience.
Ah, I had heard of that but for some reason didn't think it was a CofC type region. I've never lived there, but I had the impression it included Boise but didn't include any of Oregon

I suppose I'd better explain what I mean by CofC regions. I'll use the Inland Empire around Spokane as an example. It's basically the area that the Spokane newspapers are distributed in. And where Spokane TV stations can be received, either through repeaters or cable. The boundaries are indistinct, but do not correspond to any political boundaries, even international ones (at its greatest extent, the Inland Empire includes a small part of British Columbia. Also part of Montana.) OK, so the Spokane media can claim they advertise in this large region and charge advertisers more for that. The name is mainly to give a sense of community to it, although I'm sure that sense becomes less pronounced the further from Spokane you get. Anyway, the idea was to get people in that region to look to Spokane for services and goods not immediately available, rather than some other city.

Now this is the way it was when I last lived in Spokane, but that was decades ago. I'm sure the whole concept has been heavily degraded by the internet. People don't need to get their news from Spokane anymore and Amazon makes lots of trips to that city unnecessary.
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Old 03-24-2020, 10:11 PM
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Four Corners Region, although I guess that's not really artificial.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:03 AM
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The Westplex, just West of St. Louis
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:26 AM
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Ah, I had heard of that but for some reason didn't think it was a CofC type region. I've never lived there, but I had the impression it included Boise but didn't include any of Oregon
Treasure Valley Community College is in Ontario, OR. Go Chukars!

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Was Hatfield the guy who came up with the slogan, "Welcome to Oregon. Now go home!"
No, that was Hatfield's successor Tom McCall.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:43 AM
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Does the Bedford Auto Mile, near Cleveland, count? "Bedford" is the name of a municipality, but the "Auto Mile" is just a stretch of road that has a lot of car dealerships along it. A commercial for any of those dealerships might say "Look for us on the Bedford Auto Mile", and everyone looking to buy a car knows where that is.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:09 AM
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I'm not sure if it meets your definition of artificial, but Northeastern Minnesota (the vicinity of Duluth and points north and east) is called "Arrowhead Country" or "The Arrowhead Region." The name derives from a 1924 contest sponsored by the regional chamber of commerce. The triangular shape bounded by Canada and Lake Superior does resemble an arrowhead. The Wikipedia page.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:21 AM
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Triangle

There are a LOT of Golden Triangles...
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:21 AM
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I didn't see Chicago's Magnificent Mile mentioned.
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:50 AM
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North Idaho.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idaho_Panhandle
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Old 03-25-2020, 11:56 AM
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Tri State area which is usually the more metro areas around NYC extending into CT and NJ including the suburbs.
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Old 03-25-2020, 12:48 PM
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Tri State area which is usually the more metro areas around NYC extending into CT and NJ including the suburbs.
A major point of this thread is that it's confusing, to the point that someone can't just say "Tri-State Area". There are dozens of them... Wikipedia mentions sixteen, with PA/NJ/DE first.

Here's post 7, which echoes my frustration:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
In terms of duplication, I think "the tri-state region" is tops. And news websites for these places don't seem to understand this. So I follow a link to a story and the only clue as to location is "the tri-state region". Have to click on a banner (and oftentimes that one click isn't enough) to figure out where this is.

Side note: I went to college in the middle of nowhere, and a common discussion was "How do I explain when someone asks where I go to school?" One wag suggested replying with "Oh, outside the twin cities..." and if they pursue the subject, "You know, Osseo-Pittsford!"
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:13 PM
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Salients (sections of states that protrude from the main body) are not what I was looking for in this thread. Rather I'm interested in regions that ignore political boundaries. There are, btw, seven panhandles in the US, plus at least one bootheel. I haven't been able to find any other salients with special names, although there are some that don't seem to be named.
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:18 PM
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Do you mean like the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois?
How about the Quad Cities of ID/WA (four cities, in four counties, in two different states, with 30 miles between some of them)?
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Old 03-25-2020, 01:52 PM
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Old 03-25-2020, 03:49 PM
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I'll submit Packerland for the list. Its definition is nebulous, at best -- while Green Bay (and, by extension, the entire Green Bay area) is undeniably the seat of Packerland, and it's in Green Bay where the term is most frequently used, it's not at all clear how much of the rest of Wisconsin (or any other state) is part of Packerland.

Or, maybe, Packerland is a state of mind.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:20 PM
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It doesn't have a fancy name, but RenoTahoe fits the bill. It crosses the state borders (including the brilliantly named Stateline, NV and South Lake Tahoe, CA), and even crosses a mountain range (the Carson Range).
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:58 PM
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A couple others that came to mind as I skimmed back through the thread:

- The Research Triangle (or just "The Triangle"): an area of North Carolina. It sounds like the term originally was used specifically in reference to the three research universities in the area (North Carolina State, North Carolina - Chapel Hill, and Duke), but after the formation of "Research Triangle Park" in the 1950s, it's come to be a general reference to the region.

- The Treasure Coast: a region of the east coast of Florida, roughly including Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties (and maybe Palm Beach County, as well). The term came into being in the 1960s, and originally referred to the discovery of Spanish shipwrecks offshore in the area; it eventually became a popular term to refer to (and contrast) the area north of the "Gold Coast" area (around Miami). The popular/common definition of which areas are (and aren't) part of the Treasure Coast has shifted over time.
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Old 03-28-2020, 12:05 PM
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In regards to Tri-State area, from up in the Northwest that default referred to NY/NJ/CT (maybe because I watched a lot of WOR on cable as a kid). IL/IN/WI, from my memories watching WGN, was always referred to as "Chicagoland". On the few cases I heard of the Philly area, as mentioned above, it was the Delaware Valley. Never even heard of the other ones.
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Old Yesterday, 02:56 PM
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Ecotopia (the coastal redwood region) somewhat encompassing the State of Jefferson (NorCal and SoOre). West Coast of Arizona (Colorado River). Gold Rush country (many counties along state route 49). Central America (many nations issue C.A. license plates). New York City (five distinct counties). Finger Lakes (multi-county area). Middle East.
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Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM
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Do you know about the nine nations of North America?:

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Old Yesterday, 03:59 PM
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Ecotopia (the coastal redwood region) somewhat encompassing the State of Jefferson (NorCal and SoOre).
Never heard of that, but I hear about Cascadia (W. Wash\W. Oregon\BC) all the time. It's got its own flag, a couple of businesses are named that, and the local MLS teams compete for the Cascadia Cup.
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Old Yesterday, 05:27 PM
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Silicon Valley. Although it has some correspondence with the Santa Clara Valley, it's not the same thing. Some cities not in the Santa Clara Valley are included, while some cities in the valley are not. The boundary is based more on the demographics of the businesses there.
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Old Yesterday, 08:51 PM
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Hmm.

Chicagoland? It's how advertisers refer to the area surrounding Chicago. It's boundaries are nebulous but generally refer to a multiple county and municipality region that all look to Chicago for leadership/economic center of gravity.

What about the Lowcountry here in South Carolina. It's the area along the Atlantic Coast that encompasses several counties are cities ranging from Georgetown in the north (sometimes Myrtle Beach but not often) all the way down through Charleston, Hilton Head and Bluffton. If it could it would include Savannah.
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Old Today, 07:43 AM
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Silicon Valley. Although it has some correspondence with the Santa Clara Valley, it's not the same thing. Some cities not in the Santa Clara Valley are included, while some cities in the valley are not. The boundary is based more on the demographics of the businesses there.
This reminds me of the silly attempts to latch onto the "silicon" prefix. E.g., Around Portland is the "Silicon Forest" of tech companies. There's a whole list here. Note: there are apparently 4 "Silicon Prairies".
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