David Schaengold protests:
What Conor is complaining about is just that we have a cultural capital. Admittedly, having a cultural capital can be galling for provincial cities, even if ours doesn’t loom nearly as large over our country as Paris or London or Toronto or Lagos or Buenos Aires, say, do over theirs. But this isn’t an unusual set-up. The concept has a wikipedia page. In fact, national cultures without such dominant cities, Germany for instance, are quite unusual and usually indicate a fairly late or incomplete degree of cultural unity. Is it really so terrible that we have one?
Mark Thompson agrees:
New York is not only our biggest city/metro area, it’s also always been our biggest city/metro area. This is important for the amount of time that New York has been a major center of American population and business, it has been able to develop deep cultural roots from which to build. To complain as Conor does about the lack of cultural import of San Diego, Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Dallas is to ignore the recency of their development. Until about 1950-1960, not a single one of those cities was even in the 20 largest American cities, much less the top 10, and none was even regionally dominant like New Orleans was.
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