As somebody who lives in Madison I had to laugh when he wrote that about the east side. Quite affluent? Hmm, maybe he was thinking of the west side. The city breaks down like this:
Far west side & suburbs: well to do, families, soccer mom's, that sort of scene.
Downtown: Lots of college kids and young working people. And the ladies are hot.
Near east side: Starting to leave any area of affluency, but at least the people there are cool about it. Hippies (both burnt out and still going), hipsters, generally a funky area of town.
Farther east (where he says he is from): One of the two seedy areas of town, the other being the south side. Most buildings (with the notable exception of the mall) are run down. Not a lot of development, as opposed to downtown and the west side where there is a lot. If there are blue collar places to work in this city, this is where you go. Hell, you can find the headquarters of Oscar Mayer on the east side. There's one major factory, and there are plenty more around it. This is where you go if you live in Madison but can't afford to live closer to downtown or on the West side.
Anyway, all i meant to say is that, perhaps he meant the *West* side of madison is affluent and white collar, and the *East* side is visibly poor and blue collar.