This city of 311,000 is often overlooked and underrated as a travel destination but it has more in the way of diversions than many cities twice its size. Thanks, in part, to the largess of long-dead steel barons, it boasts stand-out architecture and a superior cultural infrastructure. Its natural assets — three rivers flowing through town, a profusion of parks and eye-popping city views from the precipice of Mount Washington — add to the allure. And, not least, its multicultural neighborhoods offer rich, one-of-a-kind flavor.
I stumbled upon the article at CEOs for Cities, which adds its own voice to the rising chorus of praise for the Postindustrial Heartland. On a smaller scale, I could imagine the above quote applying to Youngstown. In fact, I want to proclaim Y-Town as the official cultural capital of Rust Belt Chic. The model I have in mind is the migration of Slackers to Austin with Dallas-Ft. Worth being the actual global economic engine and ascendant world city. Youngstown and Pittsburgh have that kind of potential.
The way the rest of country knows so little about Pittsburgh, the entire Rust Belt lacks an appreciation of Youngstown. After touring Youngstown, I'm anxious to visit other Rust Belt cities and see the hidden gems residing there. Cincinnati tops my list. But in my mind, the "Y" in Generation Y stands for Youngstown.