Originally Posted by seaJ
Hot Rod, you seem to have a hard on for Vancouver that doesn't allow you to see things very subjectively. No one, let me repeat, no one in Seattle thinks they are anywhere near the importance of a city like New York or Los Angeles. You seem to think it's Seattleites who have a larger image of their city on the world stage than Vancouver does which I simply find not true at all. Vancouver IMO is the city reaching for glamour and attention through marketing and big showy splashes WAY more than Seattle. You have to think about how each city views itself with respect to it's country. Seattle does not think of itself as some warm paradise with palm trees, movie stars and high end shopping. In fact, it's thought of as a cold, grey and far away place with respect to the rest of the U.S.--I'm endeared by that and think that's what makes Seattle a great place. It is truly a city supplanted in the northwest and derives it character from what makes the PNW different than the rest of the world.
Vancouver is the ONLY large city on Canada's west coast and it's third largest city at that. Seattle has to compete for the resources (both human and monetary) with Portland, San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego. Even with those other cities to compete with Seattle had the ingenuity to forge an economy AND might I add an arts scene that is the envy of cities even larger. This includes Vancouver. You seem to give short shrift to what it takes for a city to give rise to ideas and innovation which allows for large companies to become what they are in the first place, and then from there move on to change the world. Now, Microsoft may not be as relevent as it once was and Boeing not as powerful, but the community of Seattle that could foster such innovation is not a thing of the past.
No one ever mentions (trofirhen exluded) about the defecit of culture between the two cities. Vancouver has built a great city with respect to infrastructure, parks, public trans on its downtown peninsula and it deserves accolades for that. But cities are more than just a collection of buildings and good urban planning decisions. It's the arts community that animates and gives a voice to the talents of it's citizens. Seattle is a powerhouse for a city its size with respect to the arts. While not a home to a major world renowned museum, Seattle has a great opera, symphony, and ballet. A huge and well respected theater scene, a music scene that has been strong since way before grunge and continues to be relevent. I could go on.
I actually think Seattle is in a better position than Vancouver. Seattle can build and become more dense. It can try to correct it's bad planning decisions in the future and I think it's headed in the right direction. The question is- Can Vancouver build a strong vibrant economy from homegrown innovation? Can Vancouver foster an arts community that truly makes the city world class? After all, what makes a city like NYC so great- is it the skyscrapers or the subway? That's part of it for sure-but to me, it's Broadway, it's Julliard, it's the Lincoln Center. It's the galleries of SOHO and the music of The Ramones and Frank Sinatra. Etc. etc. Vancouver is not totally void of the arts obviously but I wouldn't say it has much more than a city like San Diego for instance. Sorry to hijack a thread about the YVR airport here everyone but I needed to respond to this.
Hot Rod, you and I have communicated in the past, and I like Vancouver almost as much as you do. But to be really frank with you, the points SeaJ raises are largely right-on. Seattle is not competing with NYC or Chicago.
It's competing with SF, LA, Portland and San Diego.
And, it DOES have a number of excellent things going for it.... like a real economy of scale, among others, like that fantastic arts scene, the centrepiece of which is probably the Seattle Opera, which has been running for decades, full-time, year round. Nothing in Vancouver comes close to that.
SeaJ put it all very succinctly in the post.
Seattle has a different ambience than Vancouver; some prefer it, some don't. But please don't write Seattle off. If cities were arm wrestlers, I'm sorry, but Seattle would win every time.