I was prepping to write something about Richard Florida’s visit- when I stumbled upon a neighbors comment on his site. Thought it was worth throwing up here for discussion-
The Creativity Exchange: Who’s Your City? Share a Story for the New Book
I currently live in Dayton, OH. I did not choose the city, but I like living here. I am an academic, and this is where my dream job happened to be. I grew up in Pittsburgh, and Dayton is a small version of Pittsburgh…industrial, working-class sensibility, beautiful old architecture.
There are some pros and some cons to living here. I can afford a beautiful old Victorian because housing is cheap and taxes are relatively low. I am about an hour from 2 bigger cities, Cincinnati and Columbus. There are some decent ethnic restaurants, an arts scene,and a real chance to make a difference because it isn’t an overwhelmingly huge place. For some reason, if you like antiques, this place is a mecca for that. I’m a lesbian, and my partner and I live next to a woman who is in a band that has national acclaim (we joke that by “Creative Class” standards, we are together raising our neighbor’s property values:) There are worse places to be gay, but it ain’t no San Francisco either.
The cons are that the economy is bad, the place is being overrun by chain stores and restaurants, the downtown is pretty much deserted. We just built one of those suburban malls that look like town centers. So the downtown is abandoned so people can imitate it in the suburbs…makes no sense to me.
Personally- I don’t think that being a lesbian or gay makes you part of the “creative class”- or any other special aura, but I do agree with Florida that tolerance is key to an areas ability to grow.
Without tolerance for peoples differences- or new ideas- we are doomed. Often Dayton suffers from a “herd mentality”- that you need a herd to be heard- free thinkers, provocateurs and instigators aren’t very welcome here. We need to change that.
Unanimous decisions aren’t the goal- change is, and if some people aren’t kicking and screaming along the way, we probably aren’t changing fast enought to not get run over by Darwin.
More on the concepts of the Creative Class later.