Pin It
Favorite

Bomb Garden 

by LUKE BAUMGARTEN & r & & r & Chicken and Egg, Maybe & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & I & lt;/span & n a meeting with Dale Strom (of RAWK Northwest) and Erin Vincent (of Greater Spokane Inc.) last Friday, about the exploratory work Vincent had been doing to enliven the local all-ages music scene, talk turned to the problem of attracting and retaining young, hip, artistic people. (Talk is always turning to this topic.) Strom asserted his belief that we need to use our low housing prices to attract and retain artists and hipsters.





Playing the wet blanket, I replied something to the effect of: "Sure, poor artist kids flock to cheap housing prices. They flock more to places with the kind of art scenes that are buzzed about in dorm rooms a thousand miles away."





In order to attract an artist class, your town needs to be both cheap and hip. Either alone won't work, especially not the cheap without the hip. It ain't just the housing prices that keep skinny kids continuing to pack their bandanas and striped tank tops for cross-country trips to Portland. It ain't just housing that's packing hipsters into Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood -- bound by railroads, a freeway, Boeing Field and located scandalously close to the cultural wasteland that is Renton.





Having cheap rent doesn't make Spokane a rival for those cities. It makes us a rival for those portions of Mississippi not near the river and, you know, Flint, Michigan. We're missing the buzz. We got the chicken, I was saying, but where's the egg?





I may have stumbled upon it the next morning while interviewing recent L.A.- & eacute;migr & eacute; Hannah Reader (see story, right). She hated L.A. -- the town, the circumstances -- so much that it drove her to what she characterized as a "nervous breakdown." She moved to Spokane to live with her brother. Hoping for a respite, she found the music scene both accepting and challenging. We've been hearing this for the better part of a year now. Artists -- especially touring singer-songwriters -- are finding Spokane to be the home of some really great burgeoning acts. That's the first step to this city's becoming the kind of place that steals those kinds of acts from elsewhere.





Maybe it already is that kind of place. L.A., says Reader, is "such a cutthroat place. People think there's this community, but there's not.... I scroll through my phone and there's maybe one person I'd call." Then she added the kicker: "And she's moving up here."
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • Children Will Listen
  • Children Will Listen

    How art speaks to life in this particular moment
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • So Here We Are
  • So Here We Are

    Here's hoping the new president fills the office with the grace and sense of tradition it requires
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Get Big Money Out
  • Get Big Money Out

    Letters to the Editor
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Women's March on Spokane

Women's March on Spokane @ Spokane Convention Center

Sat., Jan. 21, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • Positive Protest

    Why peaceful action should be understood as a point of national pride
    • Dec 22, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • Healing Forward
  • Healing Forward

    Why Spokane shouldn't try to collectively own the Dolezal scandal
    • Jun 24, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation