The Creative Class Are Heading Back To The Suburbs
LONDON is now so expensive to live in, artists and creatives cannot flourish – well n ot unless they have family money to rely on. The youth are screwed.
There’s an established image in the collective imagination of the kinds of places artsy types tend to live: the painter in a Paris garret, the actor in a Brooklyn brownstone, the musician in a San Francisco Victorian, or the playwright in a fisherman’s shack on Cape Cod. It’s all very romantic. We currently associate these places with vacation destinations and cutting edge high culture so of course that’s where the avant garde would naturally congregate. But people forget that in their day these were the cheapest least desirable locations available.
These spots were economically depressed, populated by the lower working class, immigrants, “working girls”, and the substance abusers of their day. In short, they were places that respectable people avoided and where the authorities generally turned a blind eye. How else could artists survive without family money or the income that comes with full time employment in the mainstream economy? And where else could fringe elements of various subcultures thrive without inhibition from the dominant culture? It’s only after decades of anonymous incubation that these neighborhoods eventually became safe and vibrant enough to attract middle class residents in search of good food, nightlife, and tourist photo opportunities.
The bright young things move in. Then the gallery owners take a pitch and attract the monied crowd. The property prices go up. The place gets hosed down. Everything vital is now retro or artisan and 10 times as dear. And only the impoversish creative class moves to… the suburbs!