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About this City Journal

My first city journal here; details the various suburbs, towns and cities of this fictional American state.

Entries in this City Journal

gogosago

Just a quick note, but I'll be updating my city journal relatively fast since most of the major areas in my region has been completed. Things will definitely slow down once I start school again. In any case, in this update we will be looking at the capital of Norfolk; the city of Haverford. More specifically, the administrative areas where policies are made and scandals are unearthed.

Like many of its counterparts in most other states, Norfolk's Capitol building is largely modeled after the United States Capitol. Unlike it's Federal counterpart however, the dome's styling remains fairly ornate; a point of pride among many state government employees. This is where both houses of the State Legislature caucus; the Governor also has his office in this building.

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Memorial Square sits right in front of the Capitol building. This area is most known for its war memorial, honoring the servicemen who have died in past wars. This picture was taken right on Memorial Day, hence the ceremony you see pictured. Flanked by the memorial are cafés and restaurants popular with government employees. This area is also a favorite meeting spot for lobbyists to meet with politicians. Also visible are the Haverford clock tower, and the Imperial hotel.

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Also in memorial square is the gentlemen's club, "the Moulin Rouge" frequented by a number of politicians. To its right is the famous Excelsior hotel. As you can imagine, the combination of these two businesses have resulted in a number of scandals over the years Many groups have wished to tear the Moulin Rouge down time and time again; especially when a new scandal erupts. Usually such protests die down as the news media turns its eye to a new story. Besides, the business has its own team of well financed lobbyists in the Capitol; they remain unwilling to relocate from this highly lucrative area.

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To the top is Haverford's museum of state history; holding many exhibits detailing Norfolk's history since its settlement in 1615 by Jacques Moreau. To the left you have the headquarters for Capitol News. Capitol News is an independent news outlet that is primarily financed by donors and partial state funding. While also covering local city news, their main focus remains on reporting the dealings in Norfolk's political scene; they have blown the whistle on a number of scandals over the years and has often kept the pressure on politicians.

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Near the Capitol News HQ are a number of buildings housing much of the bureaucratic activity in Haverford. These buildings were largely built in the 1960's as can be seen by their modernist architecture.

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The Richard and Karen Carpenter Center for the Preforming Arts(better known as the Carpenter Center) is a popular venue for musical, theater and dance events. The Carpenter Center is largely a result of a sizeable donation by the entrepreneurial couple Richard and Karen Carpenter in 1965. They were known for their financial services company R&K Investment Group originating right in the city of Haverford.

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This is the location of the State Supreme Court. They have recently gotten a lot of attention in the national media for a number of its judicial interpretations of the State Constitution; especially with respect to gay marriage and marijuana legalization. A number of out-of-state conservative groups have financed ballot initiatives to repeal Supreme Court opinions during election years; usually ending up wholly rejected by Norfolk's electorate.

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The Library of Norfolk is the de facto state library. It is a relatively recent addition to the city, with construction completed in 2005; replacing the old dysfunctional library that had been there previously. With ample open spaces, greenery and a massive collection of books, media and research material; it remains a popular spot for many of the city's educated residents.

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A number of hotels (including the previously mentioned Excelsior Hotel) and upscale residences are located within the area. With many of the legislators coming in from other parts of the state; these hotels and housing options are a convenient place for politicians to reside during their time in Haverford.

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Well then, that's all for now! The next update will detail Haverford's Downtown area. I will however finish this entry with a mosaic. (my first one actually, I'm rather pleased how it turned out)

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gogosago

Basic State Info

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State Motto: "Solidarité, Liberté et la Prospérité" (Solidarity, Liberty and Prosperity)

State Capital: Haverford

Largest City: Monroe

State Bird: Northern Goshawk

State Tree: Poplar

Geography

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Approximate Location

The State of Norfolk is located at the eastern edge of Lake Erie, just north of Upstate New York. Norfolk is currently the smallest state in the U.S. in terms of physical size; approximately 3/4th the size of Rhode Island. Owing to its small size and high population density, the state is nearly 100% urbanized. The climate is similar to Upstate New York with a humid continental Köppen climate classification; with hot, humid summers and cold winters. The terrain consists largely of coniferous forests.

Demographics

(Data from 2010 Census)

Population: 7,067,845

Population Growth Rate (2010 est.): 2.4%

Ethnic Makeup

  • White (non-Hispanic) - 46%
  • Black - 13%
  • Asian - 19%
  • Hispanic (of any race) - 22%

Religious Makeup

  • Protestant - 22%
  • Catholic - 34%
  • Jewish - 6%
  • Bhuddist - 4%
  • Hindu - 3%
  • Islam - 3%
  • Unaffiliated - 28%

History

Settlement and Independence 1615-1789

Following explorer Samuel de Champlain's establishment of the French colonial outpost Quebec in 1608, fellow Frenchman Jacques Moreau would establish the colony of Moreau in 1615 further south of Champlain's original settlement. As Moreau progressed, Dutch and British traders began moving into the new colony due to its convenient location between the French colonies to the north and the British provinces of New England and New York to the south; giving Moreau a relatively cosmopolitan flair for its time. However, following the Seven Years War between Britain and France, the French possessions in North America were ceded to Great Britain through the 1763 Treaty of Paris; placing the colony of Moreau in the province of New York. British control over the colony remain short-lived however, as a still angry French settler population was convinced to join the rest of the American colonies in gaining independence against the British crown. After the establishment of the current United States government in 1789, Moreau was granted statehood, separate from New York. Unfortunately for the original French settlers, many of the original names in the colony were thoroughly Anglicized; with Moreau being renamed as Monroe after the founding father James Monroe(he had a great fondness for the city, being a former diplomat to France; he would later reside in the city following his Presidency). The new state would thus be dubbed as Norfolk.

Cultural Struggles and Industrialization 1790-1907

The new state of Norfolk was racked with numerous conflicts soon after it's establishment. The ever dwindling French population struggled to keep their culture and customs recognized by the U.S. Federal Government in the face of a growing Anglo-Saxon presence in the state. Many in the French population wished to join the province of Quebec to the north (ironically placing them back in British hands). In 1830, riots broke out for 5 days when a group of French extremists set fire to the state capitol building; angering the Anglo-Saxon population, leading to widespread violence against the French, leaving 47 dead. As a result, the Norfolk state government decided to move the state capital south to the new planned city of Haverford. However, the French language was given special status within the state in order to appease the French population. The wave of industrialization soon swept the state; with the construction of a new canal from Lake Erie to the Gulf of St. Lawrence completed in 1876 along with railroad links to various other American industrial centers. Norfolk soon became the nexus of trade between the cities of the Eastern Seaboard, the Great Lakes and the Canadian cities of Toronto and Montreal.

A Liberal Tradition 1908-Present

With industrialization came poor working conditions and meager wages among the working class. Labor movements were especially strong during this era, with Norfolk electing the Socialist party candidate John T. Lawrence as Governor in the 1908 state election. In fact, Norfolk was one of the first states to enact many of the labor policies that we take for granted today; minimum wages, sick leave, weekends, abolishment of child labor, etc. During both World Wars, the state was one of the many major centers of production for the war effort in the United States; providing much needed stimulus for the previously depressed economy of the 1930's. The post-war period was marked by the state's continuing economic and eventual social liberal tradition; becoming a magnet for the many student-led movements of the 1960s. Even during the conservative resurgence of the early 1980s, the state was the one of the only ones (along with Minnesota) to vote against Reagan in the 1984 Presidential elections. Following the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, Norfolk received an influx of immigrants from Asia and Latin America; drastically changing the state's demographics. In the 2000s, Norfolk adopted a number of progressive legislations including legalized gay marriage, legalized marijuana, a cap-and-trade system on carbon and the establishment of a state sponsored single-payer healthcare system (no less influenced by their Canadian neighbors to the north). Because of this, a number of conservative politicians today often poke fun of the state; often dubbed the "Socialist Hippie Commune of Norfolk". Today, the Commonwealth of Norfolk remains a forward thinking state, with a strong diversified economy and a diverse and tolerant population.

gogosago

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(The flag has a significant French influence, yes. That will be explained in a later entry.)

Hello everyone! This is the first city journal that I am attempting to make after lurking for approximately two years on this site. Seeing as I have reached a considerable amount of progress on my region, I figure now is the best time to do something I've always wanted to make; namely a quality city journal. This city journal is about a fictional American state located somewhere near the area between Montreal and New England.

Region View

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My region is a highly edited version of the game's smallest region; Fairview. Due to the fact that my main computer is a netbook, it becomes extremely difficult (but manageable) to edit even a city on a medium size tile. Not to mention, I constantly demolish/relentlessly edit my cities as I get new custom content or as I improve my skills at making cities. Despite the small size of this region, I've worked on this for nearly two years now; I've yet to even finish it as you can see! I shall update the region view as I progress further however.

Teaser Image

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A little taste of things to come! This is a shot from inner-ring suburban Haverford; Norfolk's capital city. The next update will focus on a bit of the state's history and other important information.

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