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Urban inferiority complexes

Dan

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C'mon ... most cities have some collective feeling of inferiority when compared to another peer city. "If only we were .X" ... you hear it all the time. Here in Kansas City, for example, folks are always comparing the place to Denver, and thinking "why can't we be like they are?"

throw away your biases, and think ... what urban inferiority complexes have you noticed?

Denver feels inferior to Seattle, Portland, Vancouver and San Francisco.

Salt Lake City feels inferior to Denver.

El Paso feels inferior to Albuquerque and Tucson, as it should be.

Orlando feels inferior to Tampa.

Jacksonville feels inferior to Orlando.

Buffalo feels inferior to Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro. (I don't get the Buffalo/North Carolina dynamic, either, but it's there. It's where the bulk of the Buffalo diaspora is heading.)

Detroit feels inferior to Chicago. No wonder.

Toronto thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread, as does Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York.

Urban inferiority complexes even happens on a smaller scale. Las Cruces, New Mexico feels inferior to Santa Fe. Fort Collins, Colorado feels inferior to Boulder, Greeley feels inferior to Fort Collins, and Cheyenne feels inferior compared to both Fort Collins and Greeley. Hell, even Dodge City collectively looks up to Garden City as a model 'burg
 

ecofem

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Dan said:
[

Orlando feels inferior to Tampa.

[/B]
I never observed this... it was always Orlando feeling inferior to Atlanta (which it clearly is)....
 

Repo Man

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Milwaukee feels inferior to Chicago.

People in Glendale, WI where I work feel inferior to Whitefish Bay, a more affluent neighboring suburb.
 

PlannerGirl

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Charlotte wants to be Atlanta
Greensboro wants to be Charlotte

Atlanta just wants to not be the waystation to hell
 

pete-rock

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Dan said:
Buffalo feels inferior to Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro. (I don't get the Buffalo/North Carolina dynamic, either, but it's there. It's where the bulk of the Buffalo diaspora is heading.)

Detroit feels inferior to Chicago. No wonder.

[
You know, the "Buffalo Diaspora" comment reminded me -- for some time in the late '70s and through the mid '80s, I think Detroit's inferiority complex was aimed squarely at Houston and Dallas because so many Detroiters moved there to work.

Then again, Detroit's residents may make it the inferiority complex capital of the world. There is a website (curiously called detroityes.com) devoted to Detroiters who say things like, "why can't we save our buildings like Boston?" "Why can't we have a vibrant downtown like (insert your fave)?" "Why didn't we preserve our waterfront like..."

It's a shame my hometown has fallen to comparing itself to, say, Columbus, OH or Indianapolis.
 

Dan

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Re: Re: Urban inferiority complexes

ecofem said:
I never observed this... it was always Orlando feeling inferior to Atlanta (which it clearly is)....
I noticed the "Orlando wants to be Tampa" mindset with regards to several areas:

1) Entertainment for the post-elementary school crowd; yes, Orlando has an okay nightlife, but it's not considered "mature." Orange Avenue and Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island supposedly doesn't compare to Ybor City.

2) Employment; Orlando's tourist and hospitality driven economy versus the financial services sector that's very strong in Tampa.

3) Tampa has the Gulf of Mexico. Orlando has ... uhh .... backyard pools.

4) Tampa's free expressways versus the roll of quarters you need to traverse Orlando.

5) Sense of history and urban character; supposedly Tampa has it as much as a Florida city can, while Orlando has far less.
 

nerudite

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Everyone feels inferior to Portland. Well, at least that's the way Planning Magazine presents it...
 

donk

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Try living in a province where a town (now a city) with a million square foot shopping mall and cheesey indoor amusement park is thought of as the pinnacle of development. All of the communities speak about being like dieppe/moncton in one way or another and mostly it comes back to the mall, not "real" things.
 

Jeff

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Everyone wants to be Philly. We have Cheese Steaks and Rocky. 'Nuff said!
 

Tranplanner

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Sorry Dan, but most "urbanites" in Toronto desparately wish we were New York, London, Paris, or Berlin...

But we are thankful that we're not Buffalo ;)
 

PlannerGirl

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Yes i think most places want to be something they are not but they also are glad they are not The Town Next Door (TM)
 

Chet

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jtfortin said:
Milwaukee feels inferior to Chicago.

People in Glendale, WI where I work feel inferior to Whitefish Bay, a more affluent neighboring suburb.
Don't forget Milwaukee is always inferior to Chicago. Our high culture is stiffled by its proximity.
 

SkeLeton

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Here every city wants to be like Santiago, and Santiago wants to be like NYC or any other big city in the world.
 

donk

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PG observed
Yes i think most places want to be something they are not but they also are glad they are not The Town Next Door (TM)


Except a few places in northern NB, who want any type of development at any cost. Block teh view to the river, no problem, pipe a spawning stream for big boxes, no problem, 4 wheeler dealers in a residential neighbourhood, no problem.

Town Next Door (TM) here we come.

next time I'm out on site visits I'll do a photo montage that makes TTND look like planned quality development.
 

Seabishop

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Providence has come a long way in the past 10 years and is faring better than its peers but will always have an inferiority complex when Boston is an hour away. Even our minor league sports teams are named after Boston's.

The fact that Boston is one of the most expensive housing markets in the country has helped us as Boston commuters discover our much cheaper real estate. A ripple effect has started where people (especially artists) now priced out of Providence are now finding cheaper digs in smaller mill cities like Pawtucket and Woonsocket.

If Providence were picked up and moved farther away from Boston we might have more stature - although in reality the economy would suffer. Our metro area is up there at over 1 million which isn't bad. The smallest state will always have an inferiority complex though.
 

BKM

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Seabishop: Your icon rules. :) Do you live in an 1830 Greek Revival cottage, write polemical rants, and ride your bike to the village main street?
 

Seabishop

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BKM said:
Seabishop: Your icon rules. :) Do you live in an 1830 Greek Revival cottage, write polemical rants, and ride your bike to the village main street?
NH Planner hooked me up with the icon (for a hefty fee). I've always thought it would be funny to buy the house across from Kunstler in Saratoga Springs and dress it up like all those "architectural blunder of the month" homes with pictures of cartoon eagles shooting machine guns on the vinyl siding or something like that.
 

Chet

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Seabishop said:
I've always thought it would be funny to buy the house across from Kunstler in Saratoga Springs and dress it up like all those "architectural blunder of the month" homes with pictures of cartoon eagles shooting machine guns on the vinyl siding or something like that.
I knew I liked you for a reason. ;)
 

donk

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don't forget to park matching hisand hers SUV's on the street in front of the house. also don't forget the whirly gigs and pink flamingos on the front lawn.
 

lowlyplanner

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Boston has the saddest inferiority complex I've ever seen - its leaders are obsessed with becoming "world class." It's their justification for spending hundreds of millions on the new convention center, the Big Dig, towers over the turnpike, you name it, they needed it to be "world class."

I could never figure out exactly who they were chasing - certainly not New York, maybe San Fransisco...
 

Seabishop

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lowlyplanner said:
Boston has the saddest inferiority complex I've ever seen - its leaders are obsessed with becoming "world class." It's their justification for spending hundreds of millions on the new convention center, the Big Dig, towers over the turnpike, you name it, they needed it to be "world class."

I could never figure out exactly who they were chasing - certainly not New York, maybe San Fransisco...
It might not be realistic, but I think it is NY. NY is the most important city in the country and its only 4 hours away. If the Red Sox would just go all the way for once that mindset might disappear.

It was amusing when the Patriots were considering building a new stadium in either Hartford or Providence rather than South Boston. It was just a bargaining tool by the owners, but it fueled alot of "How could they? - we're BOSTON!" sentiment. (the Pats ended up just rebuilding their stadium in suburban Foxborough).

Is there a big Pittsburgh vs Philly rivalry? When I was in Philly people had truck stickers with Calvin pissing on the word "Pittsburgh."
 

Zoning Goddess

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Re: Re: Re: Urban inferiority complexes

Dan said:


I noticed the "Orlando wants to be Tampa" mindset with regards to several areas:

1) Entertainment for the post-elementary school crowd; yes, Orlando has an okay nightlife, but it's not considered "mature." Orange Avenue and Downtown Disney/Pleasure Island supposedly doesn't compare to Ybor City.

2) Employment; Orlando's tourist and hospitality driven economy versus the financial services sector that's very strong in Tampa.

3) Tampa has the Gulf of Mexico. Orlando has ... uhh .... backyard pools.

4) Tampa's free expressways versus the roll of quarters you need to traverse Orlando.

5) Sense of history and urban character; supposedly Tampa has it as much as a Florida city can, while Orlando has far less.
OK, you're pi**ing on my hometown now! O-ville was great until the Yankee invasion!

Tampa is butt ugly compared to Orlando, they have the "projects" from hell. And no lakes. And they're not on the gulf, really, they don't have an actual beach. If you were a native, you would know what history Orlando has. And from the other end of the "mature" spectrum, cities aren't solely ranked on how hot the night life is for the 30-ish crowd, but then I think you were really at the wrong end of town. I lived near Tampa for 16 years and found it to be one of the most depressing downtowns I have ever seen. Ybor City has been a cesspool since the Silver Ring closed.
 

Dan

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Urban inferiority complexes

Zoning Goddess said:
OK, you're pi**ing on my hometown now! O-ville was great until the Yankee invasion!
Just the feeling I got from other thirtysomethings, the Jim Phillips show, and the Orlando Weekly. Hey, I think you're right and Orlando's quality of life is much better than that in Tampa, but still, I sensed a bit of "I wish Orlando was more like Tampa" sentiment among the crowd in Central Florida.
 

BKM

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From my brief time on the Gulf Coast, I would agree with Z. G. Tampa was (its been quite a while now) one of the most depressing cities I have ever seen. It just felt "mean" somehow.

From a discussion on another board, it appears to have gotten better???

I still remember Ybor City being the battleground between a group of skinheads and a group calling itself "The African People's Socialist Party." Not to forget the Klan sherrif candidates in the surrounding counties.
 

The Irish One

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I could never figure out exactly who they were chasing - certainly not New York, maybe San Fransisco...
I Never even considered Boston chasing SF, how funny. From a culinary view (minus the lobster bisque) it will be years before they catch up. As for skyline, need I say anything.

A town I love and I'm pretty sure has no complex is Vancouver, BC, but I'm not Canadian, so I wouldn't know.
 

ecofem

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Re: Re: Re: Re: Urban inferiority complexes

Zoning Goddess said:



Tampa is butt ugly compared to Orlando, they have the "projects" from hell. And no lakes. And they're not on the gulf, really, they don't have an actual beach. If you were a native, you would know what history Orlando has. And from the other end of the "mature" spectrum, cities aren't solely ranked on how hot the night life is for the 30-ish crowd, but then I think you were really at the wrong end of town. I lived near Tampa for 16 years and found it to be one of the most depressing downtowns I have ever seen. Ybor City has been a cesspool since the Silver Ring closed.
Not much else I can say but .... I agree!
 

pete-rock

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BKM said:
From my brief time on the Gulf Coast, I would agree with Z. G. Tampa was (its been quite a while now) one of the most depressing cities I have ever seen. It just felt "mean" somehow.
I got a chance once to hear a professor from the University of South Florida talk about the university's community outreach efforts in Tampa about five years ago, and I left thinking Tampa was WAY worse than my general perception of it as more like Orlando. In fact, he described a city more like Miami, circa 1986, full of ethnic/racial/class strife and on the verge of "social unrest". I believe he mentioned some sort of "clash" in the mid-'90s, but that may have been in St. Pete.
 

dbarch

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"Toronto thinks it's the best thing since sliced bread, as does Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and New York."

i get a good laugh out of that statement . . . Atlanta has an almost pathologically deep-seated inferiority complex when compared to almost any other large city. Altho' I can see how the severe insecurity could come off as cockiness, it's a VERY thin facade of bravado. Atlanta has the disease of wanting to be a "world-class city" (whatever that is). but tries to copy a little piece of every other city, rather than capitalizing on what strengths it has.
 

BKM

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Self-Deluded Superiority Complex

Whereas San Francisco's self regard (what other city refers to itself, capitalized, as The City, in the local yellow newspaper) allows it to ignore terrible problems with disfunctional government, armies of the "lost" defecating on main downtown sidewalks, self-important "progressive" elites worrying more about protecting viewsheds and the plight of the campesinos in Mexico than the total loss of local job base, etc.

That's the other side of the coin from inferiority complex, the "Self-Deluded Superiority Complex"
 

el Guapo

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BKM said:
Whereas San Francisco's self regard (what other city refers to itself, capitalized, as The City, in the local yellow newspaper) allows it to ignore terrible problems with disfunctional government, armies of the "lost" defecating on main downtown sidewalks, self-important "progressive" elites worrying more about protecting viewsheds and the plight of the campesinos in Mexico than the total loss of local job base, etc.

That's the other side of the coin from inferiority complex, the "Self-Deluded Superiority Complex"
I saw this comedian do a routine on San Fransisco the other night. His focus was on how they had progress in every civil venture except making the city livable. OMG/LMAO

Let us not forget the great Springfield v. Capitol City debate. Shelbyville is so yesterday.
 
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apagano

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I think Cleveland has everybody beat on this one. Cleveland feels inferior to all cities, large and small. People in other cities say "it could be worse. We could live in Cleveland!"
 

oulevin

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Cleveland inferiority

Cleveland doesn't have to be so inferior; it boasts an arts tradition that would be the envy of many cities. If only it would clean up the Cuyahoga River and have more sunshine, it would be more attractive.
 

Chet

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apagano said:
I think Cleveland has everybody beat on this one. Cleveland feels inferior to all cities, large and small. People in other cities say "it could be worse. We could live in Cleveland!"
Milwaukee musical artiste Sigmund Snopek wrote a song about 15 years ago called "Thank G*d this isn't Cleveland"
 

BKM

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Cleveland DOES have a great detective novelist, Les Roberts. Jakksjkejfdjhfzzz??? is his character (some Slovenian name full of consonants) is cool!

Hijack: Nobody beats James Lee Burke, though. The guy is detective novel GOD!
 
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I have on funny comment about Cleveland.

Buffalo is always trying to be more like "Cleveland" and I have read more than once in Cleveland's news paper that if "we can only do such and such we can be more like Buffalo"

We are two rust belt cities trying to be each other, but why?
 

Dan

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Yodan731 said:
We are two rust belt cities trying to be each other, but why?
Cleveland State University's graduate planning program was something of an unofficial sister program to UB's grad planning department some years ago.

To hear it from Cleveland State profs, Cleveland is jealous of Buffalo because:

1) Buffalo still has a sizeable middle-class to upper-income presence in the city limits. They compared Social Registers for both cities; Cleveland's entries were mostly suburban, Buffalo's were about 60% urban. Profs from Cleveland state lived mostly in the 'burbs; UB profs lived in the city.

2) Cleveland has no equivalent to Buffalo's Elmwood Village, Allentown or North Buffalo business districts; vibrant urban commercial strips that are regional magnets.

3) Buffalo has a richer architectural legacy.

Buffalo is jealous of Cleveland because:

1) Cleveland seems to have a "can do" spirit that Buffalo lacks. While Buffalo's leaders talk for years and produce endless waterfront plans, Cleveland just acts and builds.

2) Buffalo doesn't have an equivalent to the Flats district; Chippewa Street is close, but Buffalo's old First Ward warehouse district is still just that.

3) Cleveland's suburbs blow Buffalo's burbs out of the water for urban design and quality of life. With a few exceptions, the "East Side: and "West Side" are much nicer than the "Northtowns" and "Southtowns."

4) Cleveland has large major corporations, and a legacy of corporate stewardship. Buffalo has been a back-office city since the late 1800s; there's no major corporateions headquartered in the city or the 'burbs.

5) Cleveland has the Metroparks system; Buffalo has scattered patches of greenery here and there.
 

benk928

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hometown blues

Here's the pathetic thing. I live in Virginia Beach (during the summer at least) and Virginia Beach has an inferiority complex to Norfolk (despite having twice the population), and the Hampton Roads region as a whole has this inferiority complex to Northern Virginia and Richmond too. Williamsburg has an inferiority complex to Charlottesville, blah blah blah. Sigh.

-Ben
 

BKM

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Williamsburg

As a graduate of UVa's Planning Program, I only would say that Williamsburg SHOULD feel inferior to Charlottesville

(JK!)
 

steveanne

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Buffalo/Rochester

It used to be Rochester felt inferior to Buffalo, but now it's starting to look the other way around...

Rochester Metro area should surpass Buffalo Metro in population by 2010.

High Tech jobs springing up all over the place in Rochester.

Mayor Johnson in Rochester is all about urban renewal. So many plans on the table - Cordish coming in to rebuild High Falls, Rochester Rhinos Soccer Stadium downtown, new transit center, bigger zoo, Performing Arts Theater, Fast Ferry from Toronto to a rebuilt Port of Rochester, new condos, apartments, and lofts downtown...


Tom Golisano (Rochester billionaire) may be buying the Buffalo Sabres. He'd keep them in Buffalo, but would move a couple of games to the Blue Cross Arena in Rochester.
 

RedsFan

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Originally posted by Dan
1) Buffalo still has a sizeable middle-class to upper-income presence in the city limits.





Dan, actually there is a significant middle/upper income population in Cleveland proper. I was involved in some work in Cleveland, and the extreme western portion (in the city limits) does have a middle and upper class population. We're talking USD$45,000 median incomes and median home sales over $100k. There's about 20,000 people in these census tracts.
 
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I don't believe that Buffalo ffels inferior to Rochester.
Is the population really going to overtake that of Buffalo? Or is Buffalo just falling faster. Also, Isn't the Buffalo metro a good 200,000 or more people larger than Rochester's metro area?

It seems to me that Rochester and Buffalo are very similar cities, but I don't know that anyone in Buffalo feels inferior to Rochester.

At least not me : ) But I am a little crazy.
 
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Yodan731 said:

Is the population really going to overtake that of Buffalo? Or is Buffalo just falling faster. Also, Isn't the Buffalo metro a good 200,000 or more people larger than Rochester's metro area?
According to the 2000 census figures, Erie County (Buffalo), NY had a population of 944,408 and Monroe County (Rochester) had 733,607 people.






-Sorority Life and Fraternity Life in Buffalo, Wednesday's from 10-11pm ET on MTV. TUNE IN!!
 
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But is the Rochester metro growing in population? I was under the impression that it was shrinking, just like Buffalo.

Does Rochester have suburbs in other counties? I couldn't find info on the metro area, just the county. Rochester seems to be growing slowly, real slowly. Buffalo is shrinking slowly, real slowly.

Rochester

Monroe County 2000 ~ 735,343
Monroe County 1990 ~ 713,968

Buffalo

Erie County 2000 ~ 950,265
Erie County 1990 ~ 968,532
 
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BKM

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The Growth Mantra

We are so addicted to GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH.

It might be nice-while acknowledging the problems of Buffalo and Rochester, to live in a "stable" area.

I love where I live (Vacaville, California), but I just know that much of what I like about the place (ten minutes to open countryside, lots of nice, low traffic bicycling roads, relatively low traffic congestion) will be steadily disappearing in a sea of beige stucco boxes all named "El Hispano Rancho" and "Rolling Acres." Not to mention the countryside being chopped into 5-acre ranchettes by city people living pretend rural lives.

End Rant. :)
 

steveanne

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Rochester/Buffalo

Here's the stats:

The Rochester MSA population is composed of the counties of Genesee (5.5% of the area's population in 2000), Livingston (5.9%), Monroe (67%), Ontario (9.1%), Orleans (4%) and Wayne (8.5%).

Summary Metro Area Data (and Source)

Population (2000 Census): 1,098,201
Foreign-born Population (2000 Census): 62,794
Share Foreign Born (2000): 5.7%
Immigrant Stock (2000 CPS): 132,000
Share Immigrant Stock (2000 est.): 12.3%
Immigrant Settlement 1991-98 (INS): 12,950
* Population Projection 2025 (FAIR): 1,192,000

http://www.fairus.org/html/msas/042nyroh.htm


The Buffalo MSA population is composed of the counties of Erie (81.2% of the area's population in 2000), and Niagara (18.8%).

Summary Metro Area Data (and Source)
Population (2000 Census): 1,170,111
Foreign-born Population (2000 Census): 51,381
Share Foreign Born (2000): 4.4%
Immigrant Stock (2000 CPS): 163,000
Share Immigrant Stock (2000 est.): 14.9%
Immigrant Settlement 1991-98 (INS): 10,998
* Population Projection 2025 (FAIR): 1,123,700

http://www.fairus.org/html/msas/042nybuf.htm

I read before 2010 was the target date of surpassing, but according to this data, it looks more like 2020 or so.

Here's a list of metro areas in population order:

http://www.demographia.com/db-usmet2000.htm
 
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it's real.

In my country,Many people who live in southern part of Taiwan
thinks in that way...
Taichung,Kaohsiung feels inferior to Taipei...
 

oulevin

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joseohe, do most East Asian cities have an inferiority complex to Hong Kong? Also, do have a sense for what Southeast Asian city is preeminent? My guess would be Singapore.
 

boiker

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my home town

feels incredibly defensive of itself.

I don't think it feels inferior, they just want to kick the crap out of anyone that talks bad about the town.

Hence, the reputation of it being a rough town.
 
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