Hey everyone in the Midwest and Northeast, we are in vogue. According to an excellent article written by Tod Newcombe entitled “Burnishing That Rust Belt Look” in the February 2011 issue of Governing magazine, the Rust Belt is trendy. As he puts it, apparently, there is:
“… a certain fascination with places that have fallen on hard times… Part of it is the industrial look. It may also be a rejection of cities with gleaming condo towers, bistros and boutiques that were once so trendy yet now seem so frothy and fake in the wake of the economic meltdown.”
The article goes on to note some hopeful and happy signs from Youngstown, Ohio, that would make any chamber of commerce downright giddy.
There must be something to this, because this is the second story I have seen on the topic in the past week, the other being on Slate.com. There are blogs and online magazines on the topic, including rustwire.com.
So, don’t despair, friends living in the Rust Belt. There may be a ray of hopeful light at the end of this long tunnel. Those of us living here know how wonderful the Rust Belt can be; it just takes those novices living elsewhere a little longer to catch up with us trend-setters. Maybe John (Cougar) Mellencamp was right in the song “The Great Midwest,” where he ponders the question whether we are actually five years ahead of our time instead of being 25 years behind.