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Old 05-03-2007, 04:01 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,500,158 times
Reputation: 510

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
As a follow-up to my last comment, think of what the average American off of the street thinks of England. The average American probably has a pretty clear picture in his or her mind of what London would be like, even if he or she has never been there. However, what does the average American think of Manchester, which is the second largest city in England? Unless they've actually been there, you'd be hard-pressed to find any Americans that have any concept of what Manchester is like, if they even know that it exists at all. That's kind of what I'm getting at with my comment that the international perception of the U.S. is pretty much confined to NYC, California, DC and Florida.
Well, in my opinion, I think that comes from them watching too much television. Which is why they're familiar with the cities that are always shown on shows and films. But like I said earlier, I feel that in order to educate people about what they don't know, the list should be made according to the cities' importance and sophistication, not their popularity.

So it's ridiculous that anybody would rank Dallas and Houston low, and not rank Boston at all.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:16 PM
 
696 posts, read 1,705,737 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Well, in my opinion, I think that comes from them watching too much television. Which is why they're familiar with the cities that are always shown on shows and films. But like I said earlier, I feel that in order to educate people about what they don't know, the list should be made according to the cities' importance and sophistication, not their popularity.

So it's ridiculous that anybody would rank Dallas and Houston low, and not rank Boston at all.
Sure, I definitely understand the difference between popularity and actual influence, but they often go hand-in-hand. I definitely think Chicago is more influential than, say, Orlando, but I'll have to admit a lot more people have visited the Magic Kingdom as opposed to the Sears Tower.

Of course, by your mention of TV and films, Chicago is an example where it is featured a lot in comparison to other cities. I remember a study from a couple of years ago where some researchers examined all of the television shows from the past couple of decades and took count of which cities that their characters lived in. They found that the majority of TV characters lived in New York or LA (no surprise), followed by Chicago and San Francisco. After that, random cities might have been featured in a TV show here or there (i.e. "Dallas" or "Miami Vice"), but none of them were really represented in a statistically significant manner.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Jersey City
4,794 posts, read 9,830,041 times
Reputation: 3200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
As I've noted before, two of the most prominent cities that people around the world think of then visiting the United States are Las Vegas and Orlando. I'm not saying that those cities have the "cultural impact" and sophistication that we've been talking about here, but they are always in the top 10 (if not top 5) cities in terms of international visitors. When it comes to average person from abroad, their knowledge of the U.S. largely extends to NYC, DC, California and Florida with maybe some thoughts of vacation spots in Las Vegas and Hawaii. Even my hometown of Chicago is "under the radar" in terms of international perception (the only two things that people generally know about are Michael Jordan and random TV shows such as "ER") and the rest of the Midwest is considered to be the hinterlands - at least that's the perception I've gathered when I've traveled overseas.
^I think that's accurate. Many people I've encountered abroad also have an image of the American "wild West" in their minds as well.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,231 posts, read 2,644,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
I think I'll stick to the official list.
That's like saying "I'll stick to the correct interpretation of the layout of the Pyramids in Egypt" --- you're relying on one source as "truth." What is the source? Sorry if you posted it already, I haven't looked at every post in this thread cuz I arrived late.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
I've realized that it's actually very accurate and up to date. These people had facts and something that's called "evidence of world importance" when they made this list, so I think they know what they're talking about. They didn't just pull this stuff out of the air.
What evidence? Remember, people made that list and they chose certain criteria that we can dispute.

Have you ever seen the Places Rated Almanac? I have a few editions of it because I love rankings and geographical data (hence I'm on this forum), and I dispute just about every list they've got in those books! There's nothing "official" about them other than the fact that a couple guys got their book published before someone else did, and no group of authors would use the same criteria, nor would they measure them the same way. There's no objectivity to these rankings because they cherry-pick certain data, ignore other data, arbitrarily assign weights to measures and often use categories that are poorly defined.

An example of a very badly defined category is what Places Rated used for "culture" or something like that (I don't have the book in front of me, this is from memory.) It consisted of "Bowling alleys, neighborhood bars, restaurants and movie screens per capita." So, the entire Austin live music scene, the colorful independent stores that blanket south and central Austin, and many other criteria are completely ignored.

I know that my example above isn't what is actually in the Places Rated Almanac, but it accurately illustrates the general problem with ranking places based on "objective" criteria. Nothing is objective about the "importance" of a city --- even the word "importance" is vague!
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:28 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,500,158 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank the Tank View Post
Sure, I definitely understand the difference between popularity and actual influence, but they often go hand-in-hand. I definitely think Chicago is more influential than, say, Orlando, but I'll have to admit a lot more people have visited the Magic Kingdom as opposed to the Sears Tower.

Of course, by your mention of TV and films, Chicago is an example where it is featured a lot in comparison to other cities. I remember a study from a couple of years ago where some researchers examined all of the television shows from the past couple of decades and took count of which cities that their characters lived in. They found that the majority of TV characters lived in New York or LA (no surprise), followed by Chicago and San Francisco. After that, random cities might have been featured in a TV show here or there (i.e. "Dallas" or "Miami Vice"), but none of them were really represented in a statistically significant manner.
Yeah, but then you have cities like Boston or Houston which are very sophisticated, or cities like Dallas, who a lot of ignorant (in a positive way) people have no idea is so vital and important to the nation and world economy.
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:38 PM
 
Location: In God
3,073 posts, read 8,500,158 times
Reputation: 510
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHarvester View Post
That's like saying "I'll stick to the correct interpretation of the layout of the Pyramids in Egypt" --- you're relying on one source as "truth." What is the source? Sorry if you posted it already, I haven't looked at every post in this thread cuz I arrived late.

What evidence? Remember, people made that list and they chose certain criteria that we can dispute.

Have you ever seen the Places Rated Almanac? I have a few editions of it because I love rankings and geographical data (hence I'm on this forum), and I dispute just about every list they've got in those books! There's nothing "official" about them other than the fact that a couple guys got their book published before someone else did, and no group of authors would use the same criteria, nor would they measure them the same way. There's no objectivity to these rankings because they cherry-pick certain data, ignore other data, arbitrarily assign weights to measures and often use categories that are poorly defined.

An example of a very badly defined category is what Places Rated used for "culture" or something like that (I don't have the book in front of me, this is from memory.) It consisted of "Bowling alleys, neighborhood bars, restaurants and movie screens per capita." So, the entire Austin live music scene, the colorful independent stores that blanket south and central Austin, and many other criteria are completely ignored.

I know that my example above isn't what is actually in the Places Rated Almanac, but it accurately illustrates the general problem with ranking places based on "objective" criteria. Nothing is objective about the "importance" of a city --- even the word "importance" is vague!
That list I provided is actually considered to be official. It's based on world-class living situations/hospitality, cultural sophistication, revenue, size, number of billionaires, affluent population, business opportunities, etc. All of these things considered, that list is pretty correct. That list represents the term world-class city.

It's not based on what a city appeared to be like, how rundown it looks, or its popularity. So again I say, that a city's popularity amongst the average crowd doesn't fit. You stick a Disney park in the middle of Wyoming and all of a sudden it becomes "important"? No. It doesn't work that way.

Even though, I would say that these cities' popularity amongst the world's elite may have to do with their ranking, but that's because of each town's worth.

You don't have to agree with it. Feel free to have your own opinions, but it still remains that until the GaWC come out with a more recent collection of ranking cities, this is the one commonly referred to.
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 55,355 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by 19Caroline72 View Post
Out of 35 cities that bid for the convention, the choices were eventually narrowed down to Denver and NYC. Denver won the bid. I don't want to get into a political argument, but I imagine that a big reason why the DNC is coming to Denver is because of the changing political landscape in Colorado and the west. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the state was so generous to Democrats in the last election, with Democrats taking control of the state senate, state house, one more congressional seat, a U.S. Senate seat, the state governors office and both chambers of the state legislature. As a result, Colorado is one of the states included in the new purple west, making it a good place for the DNC.
That is very slanted and very myopic. Metro Denver is a conservative area is a conservative state and while there have been good years for Democrats from time to time and while there are blue pockets it is crazy to think that Denver is liberal. Crazy!

I think PittNurse has it right on this one. I think you're projecting your hopes for Denver. For God's sake! You'd think by your posts that Denver is the next Chicago or Boston or something. Take your hybrid out of Boulder and into the rest of the city and state and open your eyes a bit. Denver's a great place but it's not for the reasons you list.
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:48 PM
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 55,355 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpope409 View Post
Yeah, but then you have cities like Boston or Houston which are very sophisticated, or cities like Dallas, who a lot of ignorant (in a positive way) people have no idea is so vital and important to the nation and world economy.

Great distinction! I think that's why I didn't put Denver in my top-20. I guess when I think "world class" I think of nice restaurants, elite universities, major businesses and corporations, vibrant cultural scene, and international reputation. That's why I'd put Boston and Chicago so much higher.

I see Denver as like a step-child of Dallas. Same type of people, same politics, same attitudes, same culture, same everything--just smaller. Some on this board would like to put Denver on a trajectory with LA or Chicago. Ain't happenin'. If you want to see where Denver will be in 20 years look at Dallas now and put mountains in the background.

And by the way, THAT'S A VERY GOOD THING. Real people live in Dallas and can afford it. I would never Denver to become like a Chicago or a LA.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,471 posts, read 14,412,259 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawlings View Post
I think PittNurse has it right on this one. I think you're projecting your hopes for Denver. For God's sake! You'd think by your posts that Denver is the next Chicago or Boston or something. Take your hybrid out of Boulder and into the rest of the city and state and open your eyes a bit. Denver's a great place but it's not for the reasons you list.
I'm starting to see your point about what kind of city Denver is, Rawlings. It will always have a certain amount of culture and little pockets of "urbanity" here and there, certain subcultures for this and that, but overall, the vast majority of Denver will be laid back and socially conservative. Although, I don't think it's an arch-mega-fascist conservative place either-- more of a moderate, "enlightened" conservative place.

One city that I truly believe is on the rise to being one of the top US cities... for better or worse, is Las Vegas. Especially if you've seen the army-sized amount of development taking place in the last year or two. The Vegas under construction right now is making even the Vegas of the '90s look like nothing. I have a relative who moved from Denver to Vegas and he is constantly telling me how "boring" Denver is to Vegas. Although, would you rather live in a place that is pleasantly boring or high strung, 24/7 action with high crime and up-the-roof real estate prices? Certainly, when it comes time to settle down and become a "family man," it's obvious which city is better.
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Old 05-03-2007, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 55,355 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I'm starting to see your point about what kind of city Denver is, Rawlings. It will always have a certain amount of culture and little pockets of "urbanity" here and there, certain subcultures for this and that, but overall, the vast majority of Denver will be laid back and socially conservative. Although, I don't think it's an arch-mega-fascist conservative place either-- more of a moderate, "enlightened" conservative place.

One city that I truly believe is on the rise to being one of the top US cities... for better or worse, is Las Vegas. Especially if you've seen the army-sized amount of development taking place in the last year or two. The Vegas under construction right now is making even the Vegas of the '90s look like nothing. I have a relative who moved from Denver to Vegas and he is constantly telling me how "boring" Denver is to Vegas. Although, would you rather live in a place that is pleasantly boring or high strung, 24/7 action with high crime and up-the-roof real estate prices? Certainly, when it comes time to settle down and become a "family man," it's obvious which city is better.
I hate Vegas--don't get me wrong--but it is one helluva city! There's a novel by Robert Ferigno, "Prayers for the Assasin," in which an Islamic mullocracy takes over America. Vegas is like a multi-million person city, the only free one in America, and is the capital of the world. In other words, it's a whole lot like what New York it today.

Vegas is rising and I just wonder how long before it is like the next LA or NY or maybe a mix of both--in the desert of all places! But, like you said, it is a tragedy that it is built on purely vice and greed. It will be a great city no matter how it makes it's money--but it will be a liveable one if it makes itself family-friendly. Like Denver.

You hit the nail right on the head about how I feel about Denver. That's EXACTLY what I'm saying Denver is. Denver, because of its western roots, immigration, diverse population, and large population will always have a cosmopolitan, urban, sophisticated flair to it. That's fine. So do other cool cities like Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, LA, Phoenix, etc. But what makes Denver so popular is that it's still a great family town. It's not gauche to go to church and vote Republican as it is in many other major cities. Denver's so unique in that it is able to blend a young, outdoorsy population, major support for the arts, a great free market with major corporations in town, and a down-to-earth, conservative, pro-family citizenry all into one town. So while there's something for everybody--liberal or conservative, Christian or Jewish or Hindu--it still has a soul, an ethos of traditional values. That's what makes Denver so attractive. All I'm saying is that a whole lot of newcomers are trying to graft Denver into a mini-Chicago or mini-Seattle or whatever. Stop. Just stop. Just appreciate Denver for what it is.
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