It’s all the rage: Slap down a couple Paris-like outdoor cafes, convert a few old factories into artist lofts, attract some real live gays to your city and -- presto -- you have a hip city. Still waiting for The Simpsons to skewer this trend. ... But you know what? There really is something to Richard Florida’s theory
about the ‘creative class’ and its transforming of American cities. All one needs to do is eye the ongoing changes to Southie
to see it’s partially true that the ‘creative class’/Yuppies/haute bourgeoisie are having a profound impact. ... Hub Blog snidely liked Harvard economist Edward Glaeser’s observations about the ‘great dollops of hype’ surrounding both praise and criticism of Florida's theory. Glaeser’s point: sun and sprawl still count. ... FYI: Yours truly played a sideline part in this debate
earlier this week. Boston’s ‘maturity’ and high cost of housing also count.
-- Reader No. 1 adds:
"The Richard Florida debate is exactly what the new Globe IDEAS should be doing. And it's a sign of progress that they didn't slap the 'right-wing' or 'conservative' label on Joel Kotkin, although there is certainly a Red and Blue element to this debate. I also like the way you said it's 'partially true' that urban areas are revitalized in the way Florida describes. To paraphrase Rosie O'Donnell's character in Sleepless in Seattle, 'it's not true, but it feels true.'
"Please check out: Joel Kotkin.
The upshot: if the Boston area is going to remain a creative class destination, we're going to have to be a LOT more creative than the competition to justify our ridiculously high cost of living. A continuing challenge for our universities. Will our irrelevant political culture ever come around? Will it ever notice?"
‘Hubbardston barn blaze roasts chickens’: The headline says it all.