Say you want to be a teacher. You can do that just about anywhere in the country. And you might have to go just about anywhere to get the position you want.
Say you want to be an author. You most certainly can do that wherever you already are. The days of "you must move to the New York literary scene" are far, far behind us -- and those who think there's any residual truth to that, really need to catch up with the times.
But to be an editor or a literary agent? You really need to get as close to New York as possible. At least at first. To intern with them? To start out and learn the ropes? For that you need to go to the city and work for free (or college credit).
Nope. Don't wanna. I protest: So why does all of publishing have to be in New York City? I stamp my foot: Why are all the internships there? This sucks. I do not like the city, no i don't. I do not like it in a box. I do not like it with a fox.