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View Poll Results: Most prestige?
Boston>Seattle>Washington DC 2 2.56%
Boston>Washington DC>Seattle 25 32.05%
Seattle>Boston>Washington DC 0 0%
Seattle>Washington DC>Boston 3 3.85%
Washington DC>Boston>Seattle 42 53.85%
Washington DC>Seattle>Boston 6 7.69%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-02-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WTL63 View Post
Which city has more prestige, presence, desirability & respect?
My two cents.

PRESTIGE - Your poll asks only about "prestige" so I voted Boston - WDC - Seattle.

Since this is the general forum, I am thinking of a North American perspective, others have pointed out that from a global perspective then WDC probably moves to first place.

PRESENCE - Not sure what your asking here. Maybe Washington DC because it the National Capital?

DESIRABLILITY - Seattle - Boston - WDC. The Pacific Northwest has more dramatic scenery and is not as overpopulated as the Northeast.

RESPECT - Boston - WDC - Seattle again.
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Old 09-02-2015, 09:52 AM
 
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DC - Boston - Seattle
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Old 09-02-2015, 10:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
Quite a few prestige threads lately.

I voted Boston > DC > Seattle. DC is the nation's capital but it wasn't really recognized as a "global" city until the 1960s. Before then, it was described as a sleepy, Southern city with little in the way of wealth or culture.

Boston is obviously a lot older. While political power is prestigious, I associate Boston with the establishment (Harvard, Wellesley, aristocracy, Cape Cod, etc.) more than I do with any other region. On City-Data, you have more DC posters comparing their city to Boston than the other way around ("Maryland has more of a New England-type feel").
Probably 15 years ago I would have agreed. DC has always had that Brasilia reputation, a major world power center in an underwhelming city with deep social issues. But in the past 15 years, DC has started to mature into more of a real city at a very fast clip. Boston is more of a steady as she goes city.

Boston has a richer history, more prestigious local civic institutions and a more organic urban feel. But, I think at this point, DC has a more prestigious reputation. The power and influence of the federal government has only grown overtime and with it the ancillary contractors, lobbyists, think tanks, NGOs, media etc. The area has even started to finally develop somewhat of a private sector. As this has happened, DC has become a major center for the yuppie elite to settle. And not just the run of the mill Yale JD, but even actually big money people. This has set of a big virtues cycle of restaurants, retail, and apartment construction. Boston does well with this group as well, but probably a little lower. My guess is DC is #3 after NYC and SF, Bos is probably more like #6.

Now DC isn't NYC, or even LA, MIA or SF, when it comes to the billionaires and the global elites. But, neither is Boston.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpdivola View Post
Probably 15 years ago I would have agreed. DC has always had that Brasilia reputation, a major world power center in an underwhelming city with deep social issues. But in the past 15 years, DC has started to mature into more of a real city at a very fast clip. Boston is more of a steady as she goes city.

Boston has a richer history, more prestigious local civic institutions and a more organic urban feel. But, I think at this point, DC has a more prestigious reputation. The power and influence of the federal government has only grown overtime and with it the ancillary contractors, lobbyists, think tanks, NGOs, media etc. The area has even started to finally develop somewhat of a private sector. As this has happened, DC has become a major center for the yuppie elite to settle. And not just the run of the mill Yale JD, but even actually big money people. This has set of a big virtues cycle of restaurants, retail, and apartment construction. Boston does well with this group as well, but probably a little lower. My guess is DC is #3 after NYC and SF, Bos is probably more like #6.

Now DC isn't NYC, or even LA, MIA or SF, when it comes to the billionaires and the global elites. But, neither is Boston.
The yuppie elite, the NGOs, Yale JDs, etc. have all been in the DC metro area far longer than the last 15 years. Those people didn't start moving to the area in 2000. The only thing that's changed is that the urban core has gentrified (which has also happened in lots of other cities). I suppose the federal contracting business has created much wealth in the region as well. If DC is more prestigious than Boston in 2015 because of those things, then it was also more prestigious than Boston in 1990 or 1980 because Congress, white shoe law firms and NGOs were there then too.

The very fact that Boston also serves as a reference point in so many comparisons on C-D sort of tells us a lot about its relative prestige. For example, if someone calls their alma mater "the Harvard of the Midwest," that tells us that their school is not as prestigious as Harvard. Similarly, you see a lot of posters on C-D bragging about how "New England like" something is, which tells us that there must be attributes about that region that people view as positive and want to be associated with.

I don't think something like prestige is as simple as adding up all of the money in a region and declaring a winner. Going back to my tennis example, Wimbledon actually pays the least of the four Majors in professional tennis, yet it's the Major players say they want to win the most. So I don't think it's simply about money. I think history, relative wealth, influence (politically and culturally) and perhaps some other factors all go into creating an aura about a place. And I would posit that Boston and its surrounding areas have a much stronger cachet than DC and its environs.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:19 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
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I went with Boston. Prestige is a positive vibe and there is nothing positive about the Federal government. The museums are fantastic in DC without question, but the learning institutions in Boston are on a level that are unmatched from any other region in the U.S. My vote for Boston due to the cityscape.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
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Outside of the federal government and international affairs, Boston by far.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastphilly View Post
I went with Boston. Prestige is a positive vibe and there is nothing positive about the Federal government. The museums are fantastic in DC without question, but the learning institutions in Boston are on a level that are unmatched from any other region in the U.S. My vote for Boston due to the cityscape.
Oh come on now. Do you think the U.S. would exist in its current form, or would have given rise to a Boston or San Francisco, without a federal government that laid the groundwork and provided the structure to make it all possible?
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I also don't think that power should be construed too narrowly. There's also the power of ideas and New England (with Boston as its cultural epicenter) has pretty much bested every place in the U.S. in that regard.

Quote:
This is not to say that all the Founding Fathers were Yankees, but by the end of the Civil War, the nationalization of Yankee ideology, symbolism and lore was complete. The New England Puritans' sense of divine election and the belief in America as a promised land gradually had become a kind of national creed. It's not for nothing that American exceptionalism is often expressed in the biblical "city upon a hill" words of John Winthrop, governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. And even though the North encompassed more than New England during the Civil War, it was "the Yankees" who won.

But it wasn't only force that carried the Yankees' cause to cultural victory but their elite New England institutions. "The principles of New England," Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s, "spread at first to the neighboring states; they then passed successively to the more distant ones; and at length they imbued the whole confederation. They now extend their influence over the whole American world."
Kagan and the triumph of WASP culture - latimes

The fact that so many people on here take delight in being called "Yankee" (and often fight over whether the appellation applies to them) speaks volumes. It could be argued that Boston and the Yankee protestant ethic laid the cultural and ideological foundation for the rest of the country (except for the South perhaps).
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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When you look at the two cities at a CSA level, Boston CSA actually represents 6% of the United States Senate since Boston, Providence, and Concord are all in the Boston CSA (all are state capitals too). That is 6 of the 100 United States Senators. It is also the base of 19 of the 435 United States House of Representatives members (or "Congressmen" as they are called), that is 4.36% of the House of Representatives that hail from the same CSA. Boston in general, when it comes to "power," particularly in American politics is very strong.

That being said, Washington D.C. 1, Boston 2, and Seattle 3.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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I'm also curious as to why people think New York is more prestigious than Boston. It seems like most cities (or at least the posters from these cities on this forum) pride themselves on association with NYC. Boston is the one notable exception to this. You don't really ever see Bostonians comparing themselves to other cities/places (you do see NYC forumers trying to align the region with New England, however).
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