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I would argue that it is already on the cultural map, but for people in New York, L.A. or London, Chicago is a cornfield. Chicago being a cultural center for the rest of the world is different than being a cultural center for ourselves.
As someone who came here from a smaller place to live in Chicago on its existing terms, I cannot figure out whether this attitude generally comes from natives or transplants. For what it's worth, the New Media summit seems swell, and being more of a World City would have certain benefits, such as the widespread availability of tolerably interesting jobs for postcollegiate liberal arts graduates; it might also postpone the collapse of our local newspapers. But the concern about what people in New York, LA, and London think of our fair city as compared to this being an interesting place in and of itself continues to surprise me.