Tale of 3 Cities: Free quiz makes us think about our towns. Try it?


W
hat do you think of your town? Americans have been fascinated by this question for more than a century. (Today’s photo was taken in 1937 in Muncie, Indiana, at the end of a big study of “Middletown USA.”)

    THANKS to the quick, free, online quiz by Pew, our readers already are writing “A Tale of Three Cities” for us. Please, test your own attitudes with this quick-and-useful Pew survey tool.
    This week, we’re talking about Obama’s solutions to the housing crisis, one aspect of the woeful economic conditions we all face. Yesterday, I invited readers to start taking this community quiz offered by Pew. This quiz lets you rate your community on several dimensions and compare your responses to those of Americans in Pew’s national survey.
    Your responses are witness to the different worlds in which we live.
    David Crumm rated his community and found himself at the median for all Americans – about half rated their communities higher, half lower. “I have a sense that I live in a pretty cool place,” David says. “I’m proud of my little town because it’s got growing cultural-ethnic diversity with a rising Asian-American and African-American and a rising Muslim and Sikh and Hindu population. I’m also very happy to be next door to a big-university city with all of its cultural amenities.”
    Detroit resident Ms. Aquino-Hughes took the same quiz but it provoked a much different response. “I am more depressed now. I grew up and still live in my beloved Detroit. But things do not look good outside the front door.” A disgraced mayor, lack of jobs, violence, maltreatment of minorities – just some of the issues she raises.
    North (way north) of David’s town and Ms. Aquino-Hughes’ inner city we find Greg Peterson, a resident of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, also known as a Yooper. Greg says, “Pay may not be as high but our cost of living is low. Fresh air, low crime, green forests, wildlife everywhere, crystal blue streams and the surrounded by several of the Great Lakes — life’s good even when you are suffering with the economic woes.”
    What is your corner of America like?
    How does it compare with the Tale of Three Cities?
    Take the Pew quiz and let us know.

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