An Ironic twist of Fate

12 Jan
I was born in Cleveland,Ohio. Attended school there through high school. I decided to leave for college. I attended the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) During the 30 years I’ve resided in Philadelphia as Cleveland declined due to the exit of its major industrial base. Sharing some of the troubles Detroit is experiencing. The once bustling retail district disappeared. No reason to return I thought, Cleveland is dead.

Downtown Cleveland 10 years ago

Philadelphia’s lowest point.

Philadelphia has suffered as well, once the workshop of the United States much of its manufacturing has disappeared. The density of Phillies population has kept it safe from the fate of Cleveland and Detroit, it has survived and is now seeing a renaissance, due to a new generation seeking an urban lifestyle and the artistic population fleeing from New York.

Decay replaced by Gentry

Chic beer garden two blocks from my home

Ironically Cleveland is booming due to very abandonment that killed it in the 70’s. New Yorkers are now seeing Cleveland and Philadelphia as an alternative to the Disneyfication of New York. High rents make it impossible for the creative class to survive. The trend spells a disaster for New York, once the creative heartbeat of the world, the incubator of all that is new (and profitable) This has always been an issue that the creative class has faced. The exploitation of those who move culture and the arts forward are those who receive the least for their contributions. The gentrification cycle punishes those who create it.

The creative crowd

As a younger man I toyed with the thought of moving to New York at a time when Phillie was the step child of New York, but the expense kept me from doing so. I now am fortunate that I remained. I live in the “ground zero” of creative class here and New York is moving to me, real estate values are increasing, but gentrification is now making it difficult for me, rising taxes and the city’s greed for more taxable income have changed the ease of living here, as the once working class neighborhoods are invaded, due to still being a bargain compared to New York.

Cleveland today,

The last irony in my story is that Cleveland is looking good to me. The efforts of a tenacious group of Clevelanders is transforming the city into a creative Mecca. They are offering affordable incentives to lure artists into its core. An attempt to encourage the growth of a creative population. Looks like I may end up where I started from, Cleveland is no longer the “The mistake on the lake”  again its the “Best location in the nation”
The following article relates the very issues that I have experienced in my life.
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