Brand New Kansan
I just moved here from Phoenix, Arizona, and there are few things that stand out as being much different than my previous home. First, I've only seen a handful of Hispanic people, and that was at the grocery store. Phoenix is about 1/3rd Hispanic, so I'll be missing out on that vibe. If any reader out there has a suggestion for an authentic Mexican restuarant, please drop me a line. Second, the weather is completely different - there is not a single characteristic of the weather that is the same here. Phoenix is perpetually sunny, dry, very VERY hot, dusty, polluted, and brown. Everything brown. Lawrence is cloudy, often rainy, humid, fricken cold, and vibrantly colorful. The only thing brown is the tree trunks, which your eyes barely ever notice because the leaves are 50 shades of orange. The air is clean, cold and crisp, the opposite of the air of the Sonoran Desert in Phoenix. Third - ummm, it's quite a bit smaller than Phoenix. How about 90,000 in Lawrence compared to > 4 million in the Phoenix metropolitan area. For now I think this is a mostly positive quality. Although both Arizona and Kansas are solidly "red" states politically, they are Conservative for very different reasons. Kansas is home to conservatives, Arizona is home to Conservatives. From my very limited exposure, Kansas conservatives are essentially one issue voters (pro-life/pro-choice) - and the bulk of Arizona Conservatives will only vote for a candidate that promises to spend every waking second (and every tax dollar) chasing down and intimidating Mexican immigrants, regardless of their stance on other issues ("there are other issues?"). In my opinion, these tunnel-visioned approaches completly block young, open-minded, college-educated workers from being attracted to such a party. Also in my opinion, the Republican Party has very noble, practical and innovative ideas on how to tackle other issues affecting America, but they figure it would be a waste of time spreading those ideas. So as someone who thinks abortion should not be outlawed in cases of rape or incest, I'm probably not welcome in the Kansas Republic Party. Too bad for them.