Sunday, October 06, 2013

Rust Belt Allure of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

Rust Belt Bethlehem's Ann Arbor Dilemma at Pacific Standard magazine.

Theme: Geographic stereotypes and talent migration.

Subject Article: "Bethlehem Steel's Redevelopment: Winners and Losers in Public-Private Partnerships."

Other Links: 1. "People Develop, Not Places."
2. "Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: A Moravian Settlement in Colonial America."
3. "Why I Have the Bethlehem Steel Tattooed Across My Back."
4. "Rust Belt Chic Development."
5. "Lena Dunham Wants Brooklyn to Be More Like Chattanooga."
6. "History of ArtsQuest."
7. "The man behind SteelStacks: Decades of risk-taking culminate Friday with opening of $53 million concert and arts complex."
8. "Noncompetes Are Lame — Let’s Set the Creators Free."

Postscript: Cruising the internets for an image of the blast furnaces, I settled on a tattoo:

The Bethlehem Steel, that mass of jumbled metal and heartbeat pumping years of spirit, scrap, and history from the acid banks of the Lehigh River. That keeper of memories, that heroic skyscape jutting up from our sunken valley. It's sacred as a footprint, toxic as the depths of the earth, red as blood, and it sits there idly, reminding. The company that gave life to the Lehigh Valley has been history for me since I was born, despite continued operation through the first 15 years of my life. These were years of billowing smoke, fire in the sky, middle shift and layoffs. Years of great mystery: Will dad find another job soon? Are we poor now?

If you grew up in a Rust Belt town, then you understand.

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