That's pretty much it, with the caveat that the Bloomberg article is about American cities and in my post I was talking about the average American. Said person probably doesn't make it a point to keep track of the GDP of American cities, much less foreign ones, and the Boston metrics and rankings they're most likely to know about involve the Patriots and the Red Sox, not NIH research funding.I'm assuming the analogy is being made because, allegedly, the international "Boston brand" and the international "Venice brand" are equivalent in that people think of both as being ornaments trapped inside a snowglobe--metropolises overly-reliant on quaint, sentimental perspectives on their long-ago history, and also overly-reliant on their rich endowment of historic architecture.
That may be the case. But I'm curious, in terms of relative regional economic dynamism, how reasonable an analogy that is. I
If you stack Venice's GDP versus that of Milan, Turin, Genoa, and Bologna, Florence ... and then do the same for Boston versus Philly, NYC, Providence, Hartford, and Portland/Portsmouth, how do those two hierarchies look side-by-side?
Conversely, I assume many of the people aB members meet overseas are highly educated and well-traveled professionals, not average citizens of their country, and are more likely to know about Boston's ranking in NIH funding than its ranking in Superbowl championships.
In other words, my analogy was not based on regional economic dynamism or other technocratic metrics. It's just my impression of what some random American in the street tends to associate with Boston, probably because they first learned about the city in a US history class or similar context. (Colonial) Williamsburg might have been a better choice for the analogy, but it doesn't work as well as "Venice" in rephrasing the "Athens of America" sobriquet. "Boston is the Colonial Williamsburg of America" sounds like that old movie line about Rolls-Royce being the Cadillac of automobiles.