Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Chris Barzak World Domination Day

Today, Youngstown's own Chris Barzak debuts his first novel, One for Sorrow. I've never met Mr. Barzak and he didn't contact me looking for a plug. The connectivity map, just a couple degrees of separation, is as follows:

  1. I blog about the Shrinking City That Could.
  2. Once Youngstown appears on the Burgh Diaspora radar screen, I Will Shout Youngstown picks up the ramblings of this blog.
  3. The of author of I Will Shout Youngstown is part of the burgeoning creative community reinventing their city.
  4. Brooke Slanina, one of the people who make the Stage @ the Oakland a happening venue for performance artists of all kinds, contacts me (name dropping the author of I Will Shout Youngstown) to ask if I will participate in Chris Barzak World Domination Day.

My participation in Mr. Barzak's Day is another example of the Manifesto for a New Pittsburgh in action. I'm helping to support my blog neighborhood while promoting Pittsburgh's kindred spirit in Youngstown.

I did insist that Ms. Slanina help me invoke some of the themes of this blog:

[T]he arts have always been a huuuge (sic) part of Youngstown, and as we become the landmark for "shrinking cities" we have to figure out new ways to attract fresh blood. It's not going to be land expansion or suburban sprawl -- but it could easily be the cheap cost of living and incredible pool of artists who exist here. As Chris puts it, he could live in NYC and pay $1500 in rent, waiting tables and serving coffee to scrape by and barely have time to write...or he could live here, teach at a University, and have hours to write if he likes, and still save money. And, because we are so close to NYC, it's not impossible to get there in a couple of hours and do business.

Youngstown's proximity to the creative center of New York City is an interesting selling point. I'm sure there are Youngstown expatriates in NYC who can help deepen the relationship between the two cities. Just as we take on multiple career identities at the same time, I figure we will increasingly co-locate. A diaspora network is an efficacious way to successfully adopt this lifestyle.


Janko said...

name dropping!!!

I'll have to speak to Ms. Slanina about that. She did not have my approval.

Johnny Depp told me never to name drop.

Jim Russell said...

Truth be told, Ms. Slanina had me at hello.

The Stage said...

boys! boys! calm down!

there's enough Ms. Slanina to go around!