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Old 05-04-2007, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840

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Well, jenzebel, I'm ontheroad, as we speak, in State College, PA (tonight) and have access to the internet, so I thought I'd share some of what I'm learning as I've traveled from NM to PA, stopping at many towns and cities, speaking to folks, and asking questions.

Today, I met a young man at a cafe/bookstore who just finished his undergraduate degree in art. We talked about all the cities we loved, where to eat good food, and what cities seemed to speak to us about "art." Strangely, we agreed on only two for art: Boston and Pittsburgh; one for great food at affordable prices: San Francisco; another city where you can eat anything but pay big to get in: New York. We laughed at some of our observations. We lamented how some places, like, Boulder (CO) have changed for the worse.

We talked a little about where he would go next: Burlington (VT); Portsmouth (NH); Portland (ME). He hopes to go to graduate school; his first choice is Tufts in Boston so these cities all give him some accessibility--not much but some. We talked about where I was headed: Narrowsburg (NY); Nantucket (MA); Belfast (ME).

Just as he left to go to work, we shared our names, smiled and shook hands.

Thus far, the only city I visited that had a growing art community (in the best of terms); good, varied food choices and is affordable is Pittsburgh. I'm reflecting on why we both found this city promising. When I figure it out I'll post my synthesized reasoning.

However, Pittsburgh is not country!

Til later.
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Old 05-05-2007, 02:46 AM
 
121 posts, read 361,558 times
Reputation: 73
ontheroad, thanks for your reports and research! I am not sure if a place in the eastern states would work for me because I need to stay out of humidity combined with heat because of respiratory problems (although the humidity of a cooler coastal climates seem to work for me, I spent some time on the NW coast and was fine). In the east, I thought Maine might work for me climate-wise and it is rural which I like but I don't know much about the sociological and cultural environment there. I am still interested in what you find throughout the east because I know other artists that are thinking of leaving MT and they don't have my "restrictions".

I traveled throughout the U.S. living out of a van but that was quite some time ago. Many of my favorite areas then might not be what I remembered them to be, so I value your current observations!
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:50 PM
 
7 posts, read 9,288 times
Reputation: 11
Default Thanks for the thread!

OTR, I lived in a large artists' community in Chicago for 16 years. I left 7yrs ago. Now cows go past my gate, as do guys on horseback. Roosters crow. I love these things. But I will never get over wanting to live in a loft in an artists' community once again. The lack of stimulation, inspiration, variety, and good talk, not to mention the food! So I am watching your explorations with great interest and thanks to your experience and this thread I have not had to move to NM to find out that it would not suit me any better than where I am now. I have friends in TorC and one in Roswell, so I have been thinking about it. I look forward to your take on Pittsburgh but fear that the cost of living/gentrification would force me out eventually and into a trailor on stilts. Right now I live out in the country in Mexico. I am almost sixty and want to settle in some place where I won't turn to stone. What about Syracuse, NY? Real estate is cheap and it's a college town. I know someone with a nice house for sale there. Perhaps we could find an almost deserted town with wonderful old industrial buildings and about 200+ of us older artists buy them up and create our own community. All medias represented, master workshops, great art library and our own bus to go to the expensive city, fabulous gardens, etc. I have lived in a large creative community with so much incredible talent all around me. Yes and still yearning.

My question has been whether or not somebody is already doing something along this line, ...that isn't about tourism.
letsgosee
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
I'll keep you updated but I am so much an East Coast person, my biases will come through--although one friend keeps sending me emails asking, or suggesting that I take the next flight out to WA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenzebel View Post
ontheroad, thanks for your reports and research! I am not sure if a place in the eastern states would work for me because I need to stay out of humidity combined with heat because of respiratory problems (although the humidity of a cooler coastal climates seem to work for me, I spent some time on the NW coast and was fine). In the east, I thought Maine might work for me climate-wise and it is rural which I like but I don't know much about the sociological and cultural environment there. I am still interested in what you find throughout the east because I know other artists that are thinking of leaving MT and they don't have my "restrictions".

I traveled throughout the U.S. living out of a van but that was quite some time ago. Many of my favorite areas then might not be what I remembered them to be, so I value your current observations!
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
What a pleasure to hear from you, letsgosee. While I've been driving across our beautiful country so many ideas float freely through my mind, and while I haven't landed for more than 1-2 days at any given spot, so many impressions have formed--one was, "wouldn't it be great if all of us on the thread started a community together."

And as jenzebel suggested, I am finding so many changes in some of my favourite old haunts. Some good, some not good at all.

As for Pittsburgh, I'm still trying to digest what I experienced in the city; I was there longest, just over 5 weeks, and so I had more time to explore and then return to see if my first impressions held up. I do promise I'll write it up for the thread.

Since leaving Pittsburgh, I've driven to Bellefonte, PA and State College, PA, about 10-15 miles from each other. Bellefonte was described as the Saratoga Springs (NY) of PA, but felt rather bleak as far as art is concerned, although it has some wonderful Victoriana, and a river-front. Neither of these created much enthusiasm for me, and the Waffle House, a town restaurant, seemed like the gathering place for the old and new. State College was far more stimulating, but I am long past college.

I then drove to Narrowsburg (NY) area--it is 1/2 mile from the PA border and when you enter the town, you think, "I've arrived at sophistication." However, it is already gentrified, and getting very costly. But, down the road, Rte 97 South, are several other small towns with very affordable land, or comparatively affordable (I saw one parcel of 5 acres for an asking price of $89,000 with a homestead). The area is really beginning to take off for the artistic, if not artist.

Then I sped off to Rte 84 to CT. As I was driving I remembered that Beacon (NY) had already developed a big reputation among artists, living and working. I didn't stop, but believe it is narrowly affordable based on the very few people I know that have had shows in town.

Now I am in a place I once called home, or at least 20 miles down the road, in Kent, CT. It is the first time in more than a year, I felt, "I am home." I am such a New Englander that all I needed was 10 minutes in town to gather around with old and new friends. Kent has an art association, and a few good galleries. Tomorrow I'll check these out; they are all new to me as I lived here, summers only for over 20 years, but haven't been back in ten. I have missed it!

Five hawks flew over my head just as the sun began to set--and I nearly wept!

Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgosee View Post
OTR, I lived in a large artists' community in Chicago for 16 years. I left 7yrs ago. Now cows go past my gate, as do guys on horseback. Roosters crow. I love these things. But I will never get over wanting to live in a loft in an artists' community once again. The lack of stimulation, inspiration, variety, and good talk, not to mention the food! So I am watching your explorations with great interest and thanks to your experience and this thread I have not had to move to NM to find out that it would not suit me any better than where I am now. I have friends in TorC and one in Roswell, so I have been thinking about it. I look forward to your take on Pittsburgh but fear that the cost of living/gentrification would force me out eventually and into a trailor on stilts. Right now I live out in the country in Mexico. I am almost sixty and want to settle in some place where I won't turn to stone. What about Syracuse, NY? Real estate is cheap and it's a college town. I know someone with a nice house for sale there. Perhaps we could find an almost deserted town with wonderful old industrial buildings and about 200+ of us older artists buy them up and create our own community. All medias represented, master workshops, great art library and our own bus to go to the expensive city, fabulous gardens, etc. I have lived in a large creative community with so much incredible talent all around me. Yes and still yearning.

My question has been whether or not somebody is already doing something along this line, ...that isn't about tourism.
letsgosee
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:56 PM
 
2,359 posts, read 8,185,924 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgosee View Post
What about Syracuse, NY? Real estate is cheap and it's a college town. I know someone with a nice house for sale there.
Links that might be helpful...

http://www.syracusearts.net/

http://www.40belowsummit.com/news/showNews.php?n=94

http://www.syracuse.com/articles/new...770.xml&coll=1

http://www.40belowsummit.com/news/showNews.php?n=81
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:59 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
bellafinzi, many thanks for the Syracuse links.

Do you have any info on the art community in the City? I've been to Syracuse quite a few times, but always work-related and didn't have much time to explore.
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Old 05-06-2007, 11:50 PM
 
121 posts, read 361,558 times
Reputation: 73
ontheroad: I'm wondering if Spokane might work for some folks visiting this thread. It has been awhile since I've been there but I remember it having nice parks, affordable housing for a small city and I think it has a developing art scene. Spokane Arts Org, has a web site with more info.
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Old 05-07-2007, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,906,244 times
Reputation: 3840
jenzebel, perhaps dancingearth would know about Spokane. I believe she lives in Olympia.

I know Oregon a little better than Washington and really can't comment on either.
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Old 05-07-2007, 07:54 AM
 
Location: new orleans
182 posts, read 751,805 times
Reputation: 83
ontheroad: when you get a chance, I am interested in your thoughts on Pittsburgh being good for the arts. Would have never thought it. Maybe some of the old steel mills are being converted? From what I understand Beacon is much less affordable since the contemporary art museum was built but don't know for sure, very nice area tho!
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