What 'Rust Belt Chic' Shows about the Complexity of Cities
In a sea of prosaic, often utterly scientific, treatments of the city experience, Dave Lucas, a poet and faculty member at Case Western University, displays more range in relating the term "Rust Belt Chic" to the experiences of Cleveland.
But the urge to oversimplify persists here too. We see it in the commentary that appeals to Cleveland’s supposed “authenticity” (as if other cities are somehow inauthentic) and in the penchant for reducing debates about the city to a false choice between “boosterism” and “critique.” We see it in our collective elevation of professional athletes to the status of civic and cultural messiahs. And I see it in my own tendency to think of the region’s sensibility as simultaneously fatalistic and defiant. It’s easier, after all, to personify a city than to reconcile its contradictions.