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Which major US metropolitan area does everyone seem to know exists, but doesn't really know anything about?
 

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Riverside-San Bernadino?
If you don't count it as part of the LA area that is.

There aren't many places to choose from since there are only 15 or 16 cities with a metro over 3 million
 

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Which major US metropolitan area does everyone seem to know exists, but doesn't really know anything about?
There are only 17 metros of 3 million or more. I'd say most all of them are very well-known. If I had to pick the one which is least known, it might have to be Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA. (a.k.a. The Inland Empire). And that's because:
1. there is no real dominant city in this metro,
2. the area is really just an extension of the Los Angeles metro,
3. there are few (if any) major corporate headquarters located there.
Just my opinion, of course.
 

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As someone who just moved to LA, the impression I get is that the Inland Empire is generally considered to be a separate entity, and not really a part of the LA Metro. San Bernardino is 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Add in the traffic, and it's not really a viable option for most people to commute from the Inland Empire into central or West LA. It's just such a far flung area. Honestly, I'm not sure where all the people who live there work (Orange County maybe?).
 

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Half of the Inland Empire commutes to Orange County (Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, etc.) I see it as part of the LA metropolitan area since it's completely integrated and continuous urbanized at the LA and OC county border with SB county. However, Riverside county is somewhat less integrated, especially south of Corona/Riverside/Moreno Valley. Temecula is like 90 miles from Los Angeles, San Diego is almost 30 miles closer.

I'd say SB/RIV is much more part of the LA urban area than say Palmdale, Ventura or Victorville, which are geographically separated by mountains ranges.
 

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I think the least known major city (not necessarily over 3 mil) outside the US might be San Antonio and Phoenix. Baltimore is also not that well known, due to the proximity to Washington, though better than the first 2 i guess.
 

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Minneapolis-St Paul is not really well known on an international level, although that is starting to change. I would say it is mainly due to the fact we are not in a "desirable" climate for international tourists and we don't have a Space Needle like Seattle...something instantly recognizable.

I'd say we are well known on a national level though (for better or worse).
 

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I'd say every city over that size is pretty recognizable. I'm not counting the overgrown suburbs like Riverside of course.

I agree with vgmLiquid. MSP is a VERY nice city, but it doesn't have much of a reputation.

I'm afraid a Space Needle isn't a panacea. For example, St. Louis doesn't have a big profile either despite the arch and the city's history. Even if a monument does raise a city's profile, that profile could be one-dimensional, and the effect is probably limited.

As a MSP tourist, I see lots of potential. It can be the "city that works", and one known for great bike paths, the river, the lakes, and theater. Not a bad image. Actually that's the image it has now...just need more people to find out about it.
 

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I think I'll have to agree about the Twin Cities.

As someone who lives here, I find that most people who live outside of Minnesota know essentially nothing about the area other than that "it's really cold" in the winter. It's a really strong image to people - they seem to think it's comparable to being at the Arctic Circle or something. It's simply too out of the way and under the radar for most.
 

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I think a lot of people think of the movie Fargo when they hear Minneapolis, and that "Upper Midwestern" accent. Also, I'm sure the Mall of America might be recalled when some people hear "Minneapolis". On the other hand, I think most people have a favorable or at least neutral opinion of Minneapolis.
 

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St. Louis is approaching 3 million is barely known. I think we are at about 2.8 million now and should be over 3 million within a decade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dallas. I know almost nothing about it, except that it's big and it's in Texas.
I already know everything I could possibly ever need to know about Dallas.



Another thing any American should know about Dallas is that the women there have BIG hair. I MEAN BIG, BIG HAIR.

 

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San Bernardino is 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Add in the traffic, and it's not really a viable option for most people to commute from the Inland Empire into central or West LA. It's just such a far flung area. Honestly, I'm not sure where all the people who live there work (Orange County maybe?).
Actually,
According to the 2000 Census, 226,000 commuters from the Inland Empire work in the LA MSA, majority of them working in LA County.
 

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As someone who just moved to LA, the impression I get is that the Inland Empire is generally considered to be a separate entity, and not really a part of the LA Metro. San Bernardino is 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Add in the traffic, and it's not really a viable option for most people to commute from the Inland Empire into central or West LA. It's just such a far flung area. Honestly, I'm not sure where all the people who live there work (Orange County maybe?).
2 commuter rail (Metrolink)lines the San Bernadino line and the Riverside line ferry people in and out of downtown LA. If you've ever been at Union Station around 4pm you'd see loads of people exiting the Red Line HRT to catch one of the commuter rail lines back out to Nowheresville.
 

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A tie between Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston and Detroit.
 

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St. Louis is approaching 3 million is barely known. I think we are at about 2.8 million now and should be over 3 million within a decade.
I have to disagree with you, Goatman. St. Louis is an iconic US city, highly blessed with its own unique personality. Its story is an important and integral part of the history of the US. Historically I find St. Louis to be the midwest's answer to Boston in that it very well may be our most historical city. Hell, the breathtaking Arch alone would be enough to make St.Louis's presence highly noticed.
 
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