Fly over country: I am a relatively recent transplant to the West Coast. I have lived (born and raised) in the Northeastern U.S. So these observations are based upon “living the dream” in the Pacific Northwest.
The majority of east coast residents, especially those who haven’t travelled much beyond where they were raised, don’t know that there is much of anything beyond Chicago (and that’s giving them some credit). After all, Chicago’s Northwestern University, founded in the 19th century, was at that time the far-reaching “western terminus of the United States,” hence its name.
So what? Well, for starters, people like me when they arrive here are quite surprised at what is here. For example, the University of Washington is in the top 5 U.S. universities in receiving federal funding for research. It is internationally renown for work in the medical field. Some of the leading edge medical research in cancer detection and treatment and the related pharmacology is done right here. Who would have thought?