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Old 05-28-2015, 02:24 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Hello everyone....

I'm an American living in Malaysia and I was talking to a guy from Kazakhstan today and he was telling me that in Kazakhstan, Chicago is seen as the "cultural capital" of the USA. I was a little surprised; although I do like Chicago, I wouldn't consider it to be our cultural capital. He was citing it as the center for American music (which I sort of gave to him, but I argued that Memphis, Nashville, Seattle or NOLA were better examples) and he suggested that it was known for theaters (which I correct him and said that NYC was better known for theaters). I did concede that Chi-town was popular for its comedy scene and that it was probably the cultural capital of the Midwest, but not the entire US.

What do you guys consider as the "Cultural Capital" of the USA, if there even is one? If you want, it could be broken down further to music capital, education capital, business capital, etc...
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:20 AM
 
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While New Orleans is known for Jazz and Memphis is known for Blues, Chicago played a larger role than either city in those two musical genres' rise in popularity during the 20th century. Chicago has as strong a musical legacy as any city, all around, and I'm from New Orleans.

Last edited by Aceter; 05-28-2015 at 04:33 AM..
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:10 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aceter View Post
While New Orleans is known for Jazz and Memphis is known for Blues, Chicago played a larger role than either city in those two musical genres' rise in popularity during the 20th century. Chicago has as strong a musical legacy as any city, all around, and I'm from New Orleans.
Chicago's role in the development and rise in the electric blues was huge...the most seminal blues city in that regard. However, the overall development of the early blues is easily traced to the south (from Mississippi to Texas to Tennessee, etc.).

I don't agree about Chicago's role in jazz. In that case, I'd say New Orleans and New York City were far more important than Chicago. Kansas City was probably more important to Jazz than Chicago. But I think New Orleans and NYC are the two most important cities in the history of jazz.

And I am from Los Angeles.....no dog in this fight
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:13 AM
 
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If going broadbased with the term "cultural" even, one would have to see unless blinded by some other allegiance (or dislike) that NYC is the answer as it's influence is more so than of any other city in the US.
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bolehboleh View Post

What do you guys consider as the "Cultural Capital" of the USA, if there even is one? If you want, it could be broken down further to music capital, education capital, business capital, etc...
I tend to think the U.S. is too large and diverse to have just one "Cultural Capital"....however, if we are talking cultural influence I'd say New York City and Los Angeles have exerted greater influence than Chicago.
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Raccoon City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aceter View Post
While New Orleans is known for Jazz and Memphis is known for Blues, Chicago played a larger role than either city in those two musical genres' rise in popularity during the 20th century. Chicago has as strong a musical legacy as any city, all around, and I'm from New Orleans.
Agreed. Chicago briefly enjoyed being the jazz capitol during the 20's, especially with Louis Armstrong in the city. It was instrumental in the movement with recordings and radio broadcasts. However, it was eventually replaced by New York later on in the decade.

As for the OP, that's very interesting. I would've guessed most people assumed NYC to be the culture capital, but I agree with the post above that the US is too diverse for just one capital. I wonder if Chicago is chosen because it is seen as the most American of cities, so he just assumes it is the center of American culture?
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Old 05-28-2015, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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The Mall of America, in Minneapolis (unless somebody has built a bigger glitzier one, I don't keep up on those things). The central focus of American Culture is buying things for the sake of buying things. It creates jobs and grows the economy, the joint mantras of USA cheerleading.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Earth
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Originally Posted by StreetLegal View Post
I tend to think the U.S. is too large and diverse to have just one "Cultural Capital"....however, if we are talking cultural influence I'd say New York City and Los Angeles have exerted greater influence than Chicago.
That's kind of what I was getting at with him. I was trying to break down the many "cultural capitals" and and their contribution to our culture:

NYC - business, show business, entertainment
LA - Movies
Boston - Education, history
Philly - History
KC, Memphis, Nashville, NOLA, Chicago - Music
Chicago - Cultural capital of the midwest
Miami - Latin American Culture
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:45 AM
 
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For the sake of simplicity, overall it would be NYC.
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Old 05-28-2015, 08:49 AM
 
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Default not that simple

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutiny77 View Post
For the sake of simplicity, overall it would be NYC.
In the USA it doesn't work that way.

For example, LA is clearly the capital of movies/television.
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