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Thread: Neo bohemian Neighborhoods around US

  1. #1
    Sep 2010
    madison, WI USA

    Neo bohemian Neighborhoods around US

    Hi All - I need leads on research that I'm doing about the growing artisan economy movement; specifically how/where it is playing out in US cities, but particularly in the Midwest. Basically what I need is info on where these emerging artisan neighborhoods are located as well as any insights as to what's driving their emergence.

    What I do NOT need are tips on neighborhoods that are "already done" or gentrified, or ones that have been artificially branded as "arts districts". Again, what I'm really looking for are the up and coming, organic "new Bohemias"; especially those that have a strong local flavor tied to local/regional craft traditions. Not so much interested in arts per se as in places that have an artisnal ethic represented by handfuls of locally grown craft businesses (with growing reputations), a "buy local" culture, and a post-industrial past. Also, other local idiosyncrasies tied to immigrant populations, local ethnic history, music, food etc.

    Any leads (people, websites, publications) for follow up investigation would be really appreciated too. Donovan G

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Feb 1998
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Paducah, KY. I believe there has been a thread addressing this. Someone with better search skills than me may help you further.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Howard Roark's avatar
    Jul 2002
    Where ever you go, there you are
    Cherokee St. in south St. Louis years ago there were some antique shops on one east end, the west end was a barely functioning blue color neighborhood. Latinos started moving into the west side and some artists came after them. Today it is starting to evolve into a funky mix of immigrants and artists. Today it is a rough around the edges funky mix of old, new, foreign and domestic.

    Here is a website on the street, mind you this is, for the most part, an organic, grass roots movement to date. The nature of a lot of the people moving down there is to avoid branding while still creating a culture.

    She has been a bad girl, she is like a chemical, though you try and stop it she is like a narcotic.

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Mar 1996
    Upstate New York
    Blog entries
    Quote Originally posted by Donovan2 View post
    What I do NOT need are tips on neighborhoods that are "already done" or gentrified, or ones that have been artificially branded as "arts districts". Again, what I'm really looking for are the up and coming, organic "new Bohemias"; especially those that have a strong local flavor tied to local/regional craft traditions.
    Can you give us examples of neighborhoods you think are gentrified, and those that you might see as New Bohemias?" The reason: in my opinion, gentrification is relative.

    In the Rust Belt, neighborhoods gentrify over a period of decades, not years. Buffaonians may consider Allentown, Elmwood Village, Parkside and North Buffalo to be gentrified neighborhoods, but there's still plenty of houses that have seen better days, a large minority or small majority of residents that don't fit the Stuff White People Like demographic, and old-school businesses that don't cater to the hipster, upscale and/or urbane crowds.

    The Buffalo neighborhoods I just mentioned, and other Rust Belt neighborhoods that are considered "gentrifying" such as Corn Hill in Rochester, Tremont and Ohio City in Cleveland, and Southside Flats in Pittsburgh, are quite vibrant compared to your typical Rust Belt 'hood. However, they're nowhere near as sanitized and squeaky-clean as a Lincoln Park in Chicago, West Highlands or Washington Park in Denver, or any number of neighborhoods in central and lower Manhattan.

    Reading your post, these areas came to mind:

    * Buffalo: Black Rock, specifically the area around the intersection of Grant Street and Amherst Street.

    * Cleveland: Waterloo. Lots of "Arts District" branding, but at its heart it's a lower-middle class neighborhood that may or may not be on the verge of racial transition. The bohemian crowd is still a very small minority in Waterloo, and the neighborhood is definitely rough around the edges.

    * Detroit: Hamtramck, an incorporated city surrounded by the City of Detroit.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
    Jun 2009
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    Paducah, KY. I believe there has been a thread addressing this. Someone with better search skills than me may help you further.
    Yes. Paducah is a perfect example.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Detroit has several pockets where artists are moving in from around the world. The reason for this is because the housing is so cheap and we have a very established arts community. One local artist is Tyree Guyton who is taking over an entire street.

    Al Taubman, the local mall tycoon and benefactor to many local colleges and universities has giving the College for Creative Studies money to turn part of the old GM Headquarters into a one-building campus that includes housing, studio space, class space, a charter school for the arts, and of course retail!

    This has allowed CCS to expand its presence in the University area and re-use an old building.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Mar 2005
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    In Charlotte, NC there is the NoDa (north Davidson Street) area and Central Avenue.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  8. #8
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
    Nov 2009
    The Glass City
    Though about 5,000 miles or more from your ideal project area.... Chinatown in Honolulu, Hawaii is definitely an "up and coming" artesian area. It has a healthy mix of artists, punk rockers, prostitutes, street performers, street markets, homeless folks, and nearly ALL the businesses within the district are small, locally-owned, and typically minority-owned as well. It is a very interesting place, and a superior "explore Hawaii" destination to the traditional choice of Waikiki - particularly for those interested in urban issues and cities.

    Happy to take you on a tour should you make it to the Pacific.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    May 2005
    Metro Detroit
    How about the East Hills area of Grand Rapids, MI


    I would not say this area is gentrifying (although I don't know the demographics off the top of my head), rather it's businesses cater to a very urban-oriented crowd.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Upper left edge
    Can't help on the midwest. But in Portland, Oregon, I'd say Alberta Street. Among other things they have a monthly street fair organized by anarchists. Hawthorne Avenue would be more established.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    It is hard to separate "up and coming" from established. When does a neighborhood cross over the threshold? And the reality is that it needs constant attention. Many places make the jump, only to force out artists in the second wave, or they simply move on over time.

    There are certainly places to consider in Wisconsin. Perhaps Mineral Point, Mazomanie, Door County, and neighborhoods like Brady Street in Milwaukee. Downtown Waukesha has a growing arts element, including live/work space for artists. Dubuque, Iowa has a small contingent clustered at the base of the bluff. Other than the Black Hills (Hill City especially), there is not much on the plains that I can recall. Colorado has established places that you would expect (Boulder, Aspen, Idaho Springs, Manitou Springs, etc.) and a few rising stars like Salida, Buena Vista, and Trinidad.

    As Dan saud, you could help us steer you in the right direction if you were a little more specific on the kind of area you are looking at.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  12. #12
    Nov 2010
    James Street North in Downtown Hamilton, Ontario has become a arts community due to the cheap yet urban environment. There are a lot of old commercial and industrial buildings left over from Hamilton's hayday as an industrial powerhouse between the 1850's and 1950's. Most of these buildings have a lot of character and good bones which means many of them are being fixed up for new studio space. Downtown Hamilton however does not have a reputation as a high-end neighbourhood and isn't a target for "gentrification" so it's unlikely that it will every attract the upscale wannabe artists and hipsters the way other "artist" communities have.




  13. #13
    Jun 2009
    Inside of a Battleship
    Here are a few of Cherokee St. in St. Louis by me. A lot of art focused independent businesses and events, mixed in with a heavy Latino presence. It's one of the best "underground" business districts in the midwest right now, in my opinion. I think it definitely meets Donavan2's criteria, it's the organic counterpunch to the cities "arts district" in midtown, and is in a serious sweetspot in its development.

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