I am from the Rust Belt. Where steel mills and machine shops used to thrive. Now they sit abandoned, crumbling with each passing year, while more industry exits the city limits for other countries or states that entice the industry with better legislation. Perhaps, though, it is simply that the need for a particular item once manufactured there has fallen by the wayside, a relic, like the disintegrating buildings.
I am from Erie, Pennsylvania. Also known as "the mistake on the lake." Perhaps since I now look at it with eyes that have traveled all over the world and lived in major metropolitan cities, I see it in a less harsh light. Don't get me wrong: I have no intention of ever living there again. I can't live there, as there are very few restaurants or even a viable market where I could peddle my higher-end pastry goods.
The food is simple and hearty, a needed necessity to get you through harsh snowy winters.