Sunday, July 3, 2011

Detroit is the new hip?

Like the phoenix that rises out of its own ashes, Detroit is back. Affordable rent and a resurgent spirit is drawing young "creatives" — entrepreneurs, artists, and other avant-garde types who want to be au current and in on the action without going impossibly into hock or living dorm-style in places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or Boston.
The scene might have been run of the mill in Seattle or Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or other urban enclaves that draw the young, the entrepreneurial and the hip. But this was downtown Detroit, far better known in recent years for crime, blight and economic decline.

Recent census figures show that Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years. But another figure tells a different and more intriguing story: During the same time period, downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35, nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities.

These days the word “movement” is often heard to describe the influx of socially aware hipsters and artists now roaming the streets of Detroit. Not unlike Berlin, which was revitalized in the 1990s by young artists migrating there for the cheap studio space, Detroit may have this new generation of what city leaders are calling “creatives” to thank if it comes through its transition from a one-industry.

With these new residents have come the trappings of a thriving youth culture: trendy bars and restaurants that have brought pedestrians back to once-empty streets. Places like the Grand Trunk pub, Raw Cafe, Le Petit Zinc and Avalon Bakery mingle with shops with names like City Bird, Sole Sisters and the Bureau of Urban Living.

Those familiar with past neighborhoods-of-the-moment recognize the mood. “It feels like TriBeCa back in the early days, before double strollers, sidewalk cafes and Whole Foods,” said Amy Moore, 50, a film producer working on three Detroit projects. “There is a buzz here that is real, and the kids drip with talent and commitment, and aren’t spoiled.”


googleheim said...

Does anyone know if Argentina either faked their fed/gov spreadsheets like Greece or if they truly balanced their public deficit in the early & mid 1990's prior to the global investment rush during the mid to late 1990's ?

@ TOM :

I had a flash of sliver of thought about Argentina during the 1990's -

In addition to the pegged currency policy, I am wondering if they were going through some sort of deficit cutting and debt relieving puritanical phase ?

They sold the water, electricity, toll road, and other municipal utilities. They must have done something to attract tons and tons of private investment ( which later cratered ). The monies received lined Menem's pockets and the richest families, but maybe ...

did they "balance the budget" in the domain of Argentine Federal treasury with the proceeds ?

did this present the false confidence in investor attraction to the neoliberal Argentine 1990's ?

By balancing the budget it only moved the bubble firmly into the real economy of Argentina and there was no Federal domain to offset and take the shock when the pop came.

The shock absorber would have been the currency fluctuation as well as government elastic monetary policy - instead they had to default.

Can anyone find out if Argentina balanced their "federal" economy to present false spreadsheets to the world so as to falsely attract investors, etc

Anonymous said...

No way Argentina had a balanced budget. As far as I know they 'borrowed' dollars from the central bank to fund large deficit spending. In the end, they couldn't maintain the currency peg and the peso collapsed.

Detroit Dan said...

I just got finished posting about this on CalculatedRisk. Detroit has a lots of problems, but it is making progress.

In addition to the energetic, young, creative folks, there has been another round of investment in downtown by civic-minded businesses. It's good that someone is picking up the pieces after capital has moved to places with cheaper labor and newer infrastructure.

Tom Hickey said...

Not up on Argentina.

googleheim said...

i wiki'd it and it appears it all centers around economist Cavallo, Menem, and neoliberalism which worked for 1990 to 1995 but then deteriorated eventually.

I just was trying to see if they were cutting the deficit while massively privitzing and then barfed since they had no government spending to support jobs and the middle class.

The middle class in argentina was created and destroyed within 2 decades.

oh well