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Old 12-28-2012, 12:40 PM
 
Location: "Daytonnati"
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The US would be drastically different....from a cultural standpoint.... if we didnt have San Francisco and New Orleans.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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The exact boundaries of the "cultural regions of the US" can be debated. I have divided the US into about a dozen regions that are fairly close to the "Megaregions" several academic studies cite. In terms of regions, I'd say the cultural capitals are something like this:

New England: Boston
East Coast/mid-atlantic: New York (with DC also very important)
Appalachia: not sure, probably Pittsburgh
Southeast/Piedmont: Atlanta
South Florida: Miami
Midwest: Chicago (this could be subdivided into Great Lakes region w/ Chicago as capital and a Plains region with maybe St. Louis or KC as capital).
Gulf Coast: New Orleans (with Houston also having a large influence)
South Central: Dallas (again with Houston on their tail)
Southwest: Phoenix or possibly Albequerque or Santa Fe.
Mountain States: Denver
Pacific Northwest: Seattle
Northern California: San Fran
Southern California: LA

Of course some places like NYC, LA, and DC have nationwide influence, but I think for day to day influence a place still needs to be within roughly a day's drive to really influence another place. Even with modern technology (internet, tv, radio, phones) a place has a lot more influence if you can actually drive to it, if that place has direct economic impact on your home, if you follow the sports teams from that place, etc, if you have a similar climate and similar fashion, etc.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Somerville, MA
8,031 posts, read 16,083,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DginnWonder View Post
I was wondering what were some of the cultural points in a given country in the Americas and why. Basically, I'm wondering what cities does your country look to for inspiration, flavor, novelty, etc. For example, my country of birth is the USA. Its cultural capitals are:

Boston: America's best answer to a Northwest European city. Filled with American history. Birthplace of many innovations and innovators. Large and growing Portuguese-speaking population, which gives it a certain flair. American History in one word.
Quebec City is easily North America's best answer to a Northwest European city. Far more so than Boston. I say that as a Boston "homer" and big fan of my city. Montreal could even get the nod here. Anyone that's walked through Vieux Quebec and stood in front of Chateu Frontenac overlooking the "Lower City" would agree. Boston certain features that resemble bits of the UK, but it's very much an American city. Quebec City is much closer both aesthetically and culturally to a NW European city.

Philadelphia rivals Boston in terms of colonial American history and some would argue it beats Boston. Regardless of what your stance on the issue is, I would not consider Boston a clear cut capital in this area.

Boston is the cultural capital for "Academia." It's America's college town.

I would also add San Francisco as the progressive/bohemian/liberal cultural capital of the U.S. It would also be the "tech" capital of the U.S. It should definitely be on the list.

New Orleans needs to make the list somewhere as well. I'm not sure where, but it's such a cultural standout, that it needs to be there. Creole culture isn't so notable in the overall Americas, but New Orleans is definitely the focal point.

I feel like Chicago should represent industrialization, manifest destiny and the growth of the American railroad network too. It's THE heartland city.
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:12 PM
 
Location: The Magnolia City
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Yet another "culture" thread that doesn't work because the way the term is being defined is far too vague and subjective.

Last edited by Nairobi; 12-28-2012 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by po-boy View Post
New England: Boston
East Coast/mid-atlantic: New York (with DC also very important)
Appalachia: not sure, probably Pittsburgh
Southeast/Piedmont: Atlanta
South Florida: Miami
Midwest: Chicago (this could be subdivided into Great Lakes region w/ Chicago as capital and a Plains region with maybe St. Louis or KC as capital).
Gulf Coast: New Orleans (with Houston also having a large influence)
South Central: Dallas (again with Houston on their tail)
Southwest: Phoenix or possibly Albequerque or Santa Fe.
Mountain States: Denver
Pacific Northwest: Seattle
Northern California: San Fran
Southern California: LA
Appalachia is hard to define...Pittsburgh really has no influence on Southern Appalachia. Southern Appalachia itself would be tough to pick. Asheville is the only sizable town that's actually *in* the mountains, but it's quite different from most of Appalachia -- it's really it's own thing. Knoxville sits at the base of the mountains...but is it really that influential beyond East Tennessee? Chattanooga -- same thing (plus it's close to Atlanta). Atlanta -- it sits near the start of the region...but is very much unlike the rest of Appalachia. Other cities like Roanoke/Blacksburg, Tri Cities and other college towns are somewhat important...but they don't really have much cultural influence beyond their locality.

So I'm not sure if Southern Appalachia really has a capital or a dominant influence.

I suppose you could say the cultural capital of Appalachia are the mountains themselves.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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How about Milwaukee for Cultural Capital of the Great Lakes? It's not as large of a city but it surely does have a very pronounced culture.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:49 PM
 
Location: not Chicagoland
1,202 posts, read 1,028,567 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DginnWonder View Post
How did I lose credibility with that? Memphis, TN does not hold a candle to LA, nor does DC to somewhere like Atlanta. These cities obviously have culture and influence, but people don't walk around saying, "LA has nothing to offer! Now Memphis, now THAT'S a star city!"

They are second-tier, at least to me.
That's why you lost credibility. You said that these cities do not have much culture and contradicted yourself here.

Last edited by plates; 12-28-2012 at 05:03 PM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:59 AM
 
725 posts, read 1,003,970 times
Reputation: 273
I'm sorry. America's history capital is Philadelphia. Not Boston. While I won't knock it for having ALOT of history. Philadelphia takes that one.
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