150 Red Sox Pubs Don't Make NYC a Sox Town

I've got a saison in the mash tun right now, so this is a light blogging day.  I want to direct your attention to a fascinating inter-city dispute between DC and NYC, with the illustrious Garrett Oliver batting clean-up for the Big Apple (hat tip to Jacob Berg).  This weekend, New York hosted Savor, a Brewers Association fest to celebrate beer and food.  (We had several breweries in the house.)  It led to some trash-talking by DC bloggers, which led to the Garrett Rebuttal, which I quote here:
I've had the opportunity to travel all over the world, and I've yet to see anyplace with a better beer culture than NYC. I can walk out my front door in Brooklyn and within a 15-minute walking radius find not only hundreds of great American beers, but also more of the best beers of Belgium than you'd find in a 15-minute walk from Grande Place in Brussels. In a 15-minute walk from the brewery we have Brooklyn Bowl, Gutter, Torst, Spuyten Duyvil, The Diamond, Barcade, Radegast....  Eleven Madison Park has 140 beers on the list. I do not think anyplace else can compare.
And then later...
I think it's great that other city's newspapers have dedicated beer writers. But the best-read beer writer in the world, by far, is the NYT's Eric Asimov, who is the Times' chief wine critic. No one anywhere on the planet even comes close. 
And then even later still (it's amazing he was debating this on a blog)...
DC has its way (and few people love Churchkey more than I do - ask Greg), and we have our way. We find ours equally valid. There are all kinds of culture. I've expressed my respect for yours, so there it is. You don't have to respect ours, but one might expect a reaction when you diss it.
Now, I don't know New York at all--certainly not from a beer perspective.  But I have to say that Garrett's arguments aren't very convincing.  NYC has 8.3 million people--it has tons of everything.  Any member of any niche can say New York has the best culture if they wish to hammer you with stats--the best Thai food culture, the best wine culture, the best pet monkey culture.  Indeed, you could make the argument New York is the best Red Sox city outside of Boston--after all, they've got scores of Sox bars.  This is obviously absurd. 

It raises the question of what "culture" is and whether we should even bother trying to define it.  At least so far as the US is concerned, I think most places haven't gotten there yet, and even those that have (like Portland) need to acknowledge that it's new, unstable, and quite possible evanescent.  You don't have culture until you have generations of history to back it up.  Or at least a few decades.