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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To avoid a lot of contraversy and get a Chicago perspective, I'm going to ask this question here, rather than on the national forum:

The standard paradigm for looking at large, global cities in the US is (from east to west) New York, Chicago, Los Angeles.

I think the paradigm works insofar as these are the super-sized cities and operate, on a metropolitan level, like no others.

But could there be another grouping, as well? If you view what exists in the central city, in the downtown area and the neighborhoods that surround it, the urban environment and the amenities of city living, could you make a compelling argument that a very appropriate to view the list as New York, Chicago, San Francisco?

My only personal opinion is that San Francisco separates itself from the pack, offers far more of an urban draw than other stellar downtowns like Boston, and has much of the downtown draw of NY and Chgo.
 

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You could make a compelling argument for San Francisco in place of Los Angeles. I've always thought Los Angeles was overrated, due to the whole Hollywood/entertainment industry factor which drastically increases its visibility and glorifies its image in the eyes of the world.

I think that the unfortunate reality is that most people in America view cities from a metropolitan perspective, while we tend to evaluate cities on the city proper/urban core perspective. The former gives the advantage to LA, the latter to San Francisco.
 

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I say SF is like Miami- a big metro, small population, quite dense because of the waters, Everglades and mountains, respectively. More of a touristy city than a living city..

if LA wouldnt have a big population, she wouldnt be in the "Big 3". Instead, St. Louis(before the losing of the people), Detriot, Philadelphia, San Fransico, Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle, maybe Miami would, if population didnt matter
 

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SF does not have the economic relevance to matter in the Big 3. Boston would come in way before SF could even be considered (mutual funds baby!).
 

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^ Well, I don't know anything about economic stuff. But going by cultural influence and urban environment, I'd say San Francisco is probably ahead by Boston by a hair.
 

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Azn_chi_boi said:
if LA wouldnt have a big population, she wouldnt be in the "Big 3". Instead, St. Louis(before the losing of the people), Detriot, Philadelphia, San Fransico, Washington DC, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle, maybe Miami would, if population didnt matter
And how it that, please explain? Your comment doesn't make sense at all.
Long Beach is bigger in population than almost all those cities you just mentioned, but it doesn't have the reconition of those cities, nor in many cases the economic power. LA is a more of a power house than you realize, and I do believe Rail Clairmore has set this straight a few times. The one thing I like about Rail, he comes in here unbias and tell it like it is. He has not ties to none of these cities, and express he like both Chicago and LA. Me or you in this matter will perhaps be a bit more bias. Me probably a lot less, as I'm much older (at least according to your signature) and experienced more things. You comments in many threads certainly shows your bias when it comes to LA. Why don't you give LA its due credit, it doesn't mean you have to like it, but be truthful. Perhaps you know less than I think about LA? This is judging from many of your comments.
 

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ChrisLA said:
And how it that, please explain? Your comment doesn't make sense at all.
Long Beach is bigger in population than almost all those cities you just mentioned, but it doesn't have the reconition of those cities, nor in many cases the economic power. LA is a more of a power house than you realize, and I do believe Rail Clairmore has set this straight a few times. The one thing I like about Rail, he comes in here unbias and tell it like it is. He has not ties to none of these cities, and express he like both Chicago and LA. Me or you in this matter will perhaps be a bit more bias. Me probably a lot less, as I'm much older (at least according to your signature) and experienced more things. You comments in many threads certainly shows your bias when it comes to LA. Why don't you give LA its due credit, it doesn't mean you have to like it, but be truthful. Perhaps you know less than I think about LA? This is judging from many of your comments.
I don't know, probably propaganda, sterotypes...or Rivialry between La and my hometown.
LA is alright but.. I have a feeling that I can't connect with LA.
I'll try and be less bias.. especially to LA.


I only went to one time to LA, i didnt have a really peasant experience, I think I was 7, so I didnt remember much...
too much mean people, saw this person pick-pocketing stuff in the airport, the air was horrible.. too hazy,

But beside that... LA is an great above-average city. The beach is alright. My realtives live in Santa Barbar at that time, so a 3 hour ride to LA(normally 2 hours they said).

Disneyland wasnt "the happiest place on earth" it was far from the happiest..

The suburbs were good. Long Beach in particular felt urbaner than many parts of LA.
 

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For what it's worth

SF does not have the economic relevance to matter in the Big 3. Boston would come in way before SF could even be considered (mutual funds baby!).

I lived in Boston for years, and now reside in SF. San Francisco is a huge economic hub in comparison to Boston. The largest Federal Reserve Bank, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Visa Credit Cards, Bank of the West, Barclay's Global Investors, Charles Schwab, the largest cluster of investment banks west of Manhattan, the largest cluster of venture capital firms "outside" of Silicon Valley are all headquartered here. Huge private firms like Bechtel, and Dolby Labs are as well. SF is headquarters for a larger array of of retail chains than any other American city - (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Bebe, Gymboree, Sharper Image, Restoration Hardware, Peets Coffee, Levi Strauss, Macy's West, Smith & Hawken, Design Within Reach, etc..) . Not to mention many dot coms that are thriving CNET, CBS MarketWatch, Red Envelope, Salon, Craig's List, etc...

Magazines - Wired, Red Herring, Sierra, Sunset, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, Dwell, and virtually every computer related, game related zine published are published here

In comparison Boston, indeed all of Massachusetts while still a really important educational and medical center has lost nearly all of its big financial institutions, retail chains, and the last magazine still published in Boston (the Atlantic) announced last week that it was pulling up stakes.

Having said all that, while SF is a world class city, I think that from an overall global economic, cultural perspective most Americans or people elsewhere in the world do not put this great and wonderful city or by extension the Bay Area in quite the same league in terms of size and influence as NY and LA.

IMO, and people on this forum will not like this comment, I also do not believe most people look at a "Big Three" of American cities. I believe most Americans think of NY & LA as our really big burgs now as they're bombarded with media coming out of one or the other all day long (particularly LA). I believe Chicago, DC, and SF comprise a very important, but somewhat lower rung of 1st tier cities.
 

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^ In regards to your last comment, I've heard it both ways, but moreso towards a Big Three. Ironically (or not), it depends on region. Living in New Hampshire/Boston, people seem to regard Chicago on par with NY and LA. Visiting relatives in NoCal, they will group Chicago along with St. Louis, Cleveland and even :gasp: Milwaukee. So I guess it depends on who your asking. I would suspect that most people that know anything about urbanity would consider Chicago as well as LA and NY composing a big three of national importance
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
sanvista said:
IMO, and people on this forum will not like this comment, I also do not believe most people look at a "Big Three" of American cities. I believe most Americans think of NY & LA as our really big burgs now as they're bombarded with media coming out of one or the other all day long (particularly LA). I believe Chicago, DC, and SF comprise a very important, but somewhat lower rung of 1st tier cities.
sanvista, I believe there is a significant number of people who view NY and LA as the bigs, but significantly less than who see it as the NY/Chgo/LA trio.

I also think there can be a two city paradigm of NY/Chgo due to the sheer energy and size of the heart of these cities. The two are unquestionably linked in a special way.

As with all threads, this one goes in different directions than the original intent...and that, of course, makes sense.

However, let me reiterate my original point. In suggesting a NY/Chgo/SF national link that might separate them from other cities, my thought was a most along the lines of cities that serve as true magnets for people seeking to visit or live in an urban powerhouse. I wasn't thinking about anything quantitative (as in number of banks, number of Fortune 500 HQ's) as opposed to a preceived quality of national draw to the cores of their uban life.

Like NY/Chgo/LA for metro areas, NY/Chgo/SF offers the same sort of geographical balance (east,central, west) for a nation that is geographically shaped east/west more than north/south. As for pure national draw, I still see NY, Chgo, and SF in a different light than even such stellar draws as the cores of Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle. Just my thought.
 

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DeMaFrost said:
^ In regards to your last comment, I've heard it both ways, but moreso towards a Big Three. Ironically (or not), it depends on region. Living in New Hampshire/Boston, people seem to regard Chicago on par with NY and LA. Visiting relatives in NoCal, they will group Chicago along with St. Louis, Cleveland and even :gasp: Milwaukee. So I guess it depends on who your asking. I would suspect that most people that know anything about urbanity would consider Chicago as well as LA and NY composing a big three of national importance

It's amazing how arrogant the folks out there in the Bay Area are. They have the audacity to look down on a city like Chicago which is a superior global player and in a different league. Too many fruits and nuts I guess. :lol:
 

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edsg25 You're right about threads going in different directions. Right after I sent my post, I re-read your original comment regarding the urban cores of the three cities, (NY-CHI-SF) and thought yes, that's a good correlation. Dampyre, I actually think Chicago is a great city and have spent a lot of time there. I lived in Milwaukee for a few years. I am a Urban Planner and don't think the greatness of cities is necessarily about the "league" they're in (although my original post would suggest otherwise). For example, I think that from an urban design standpoint Portland, OR is more vibrant than a lot of really large cities. BTW as to your fruits and nuts comment I am gay, you bonehead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
sanvista said:
edsg25 You're right about threads going in different directions. Right after I sent my post, I re-read your original comment regarding the urban cores of the three cities, (NY-CHI-SF) and thought yes, that's a good correlation. Dampyre, I actually think Chicago is a great city and have spent a lot of time there. I lived in Milwaukee for a few years. I am a Urban Planner and don't think the greatness of cities is necessarily about the "league" they're in (although my original post would suggest otherwise). For example, I think that from an urban design standpoint Portland, OR is more vibrant than a lot of really large cities. BTW as to your fruits and nuts comment I am gay, you bonehead.
I'm seeing a connection,sanvista, Urban Planner=thinking Portland is vibrant, and I fully agree with it. Wouldn't it be great if other US cities looked to Portland and learned from Portland, a city that said: sprawl is bad and we're going to do something about it. What other city or metro area controls sprawl like Portland, saying you can develop the core, but the periphery is not to be subject to thoughtless growth. That not only saves the countryside, it adds the very vibrancy you describe to the city. And, to think, it was a western, not an eastern,city to develop the concept.
 

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sanvista said:
SF does not have the economic relevance to matter in the Big 3. Boston would come in way before SF could even be considered (mutual funds baby!).

I lived in Boston for years, and now reside in SF. San Francisco is a huge economic hub in comparison to Boston. The largest Federal Reserve Bank, Wells Fargo, Union Bank, Visa Credit Cards, Bank of the West, Barclay's Global Investors, Charles Schwab, the largest cluster of investment banks west of Manhattan, the largest cluster of venture capital firms "outside" of Silicon Valley are all headquartered here. Huge private firms like Bechtel, and Dolby Labs are as well. SF is headquarters for a larger array of of retail chains than any other American city - (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Bebe, Gymboree, Sharper Image, Restoration Hardware, Peets Coffee, Levi Strauss, Macy's West, Smith & Hawken, Design Within Reach, etc..) . Not to mention many dot coms that are thriving CNET, CBS MarketWatch, Red Envelope, Salon, Craig's List, etc...

Magazines - Wired, Red Herring, Sierra, Sunset, Mother Jones, Business 2.0, Dwell, and virtually every computer related, game related zine published are published here

In comparison Boston, indeed all of Massachusetts while still a really important educational and medical center has lost nearly all of its big financial institutions, retail chains, and the last magazine still published in Boston (the Atlantic) announced last week that it was pulling up stakes.

Having said all that, while SF is a world class city, I think that from an overall global economic, cultural perspective most Americans or people elsewhere in the world do not put this great and wonderful city or by extension the Bay Area in quite the same league in terms of size and influence as NY and LA.

IMO, and people on this forum will not like this comment, I also do not believe most people look at a "Big Three" of American cities. I believe most Americans think of NY & LA as our really big burgs now as they're bombarded with media coming out of one or the other all day long (particularly LA). I believe Chicago, DC, and SF comprise a very important, but somewhat lower rung of 1st tier cities.
First of all, LA is not even close to the same tier as New York, and I have observed that only certain Californians actually believe that.

Secondly, Chicago is not on the same tier as SF or DC, when looked at overall. Chicago is a much bigger fish, and I have yet to be convinced that, in overall importance, it is not equivalent to LA. It is clearly much more important from a financial/business perspective. Chicago loses out on media/entertainment, which is the sole reason why it is not more important than LA.
 
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