By Frank Bures Photo by Garrett MacLean When Richard Florida’s new book came out earlier this year, I saw some of the reviews and was intrigued. It was called The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class — and What We Can Do About It. I…
Rust Belt Girl here with regret that I can’t devote more time to a proper post. However, this article from Belt Mag got me thinking…and regretting.
I regret that I’m not more of a real do-er, a maker of things–vital things. I’m the daughter of a (retired) draftsman, whose structural engineering projects studded (or, rather, supported) the built Cleveland landscape of the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Buildings didn’t fall down around us like so many toppled snowmen–because of my dad. My brother is an accomplished marine engineer who designs hulking I-don’t-know-whats–ferries, yes, ferries, among other projects necessary for human progress. My (oh so young) sister works at the same engineering firm, and while she doesn’t design and build, herself, she knows the field, trods the landscape in steel-toed boots, and has mastered the language. That girl can talk “longshoreman” with the best of them.
I talk about…mostly…talk. I am a member of the Creative Class (or creative class).
I am a purveyor–sometimes even a perverter–of words. Marketing and communications work doesn’t feel so much like doing, perhaps because I enjoy it. But it’s also far removed from the making of things–like buildings or boats. I conduct a lot of interviews for my job; I learn about students inventing new kinds of batteries and solar cells–the technology of tomorrow–and I compile the ideas, synthesize, organize. And, yes, sometimes I create…a line or phrase or word that feels new.
But mostly, I work in an infrastructure of words that relies on a real infrastructure–of made things.
So, New Year’s resolution time: my work won’t change, and I don’t have engineering chops. But, I can do more than report. This year I do more do-ing–at least on my own time.
I start with my village, which sits on a river and creeks that are being choked by some invasive species I can’t name (because I haven’t conducted that interview yet). This spring, I will don boots and tromp in the muck. I will test the murky water. I will pick up trash.
Yes, creating is important. But, I think it’s clear the creative class can’t solve all our cities’ problems. I will still write, building worlds from my mind and the doings of others. But I will do, too.
How about you? (Dr. Seuss rhyming moment, sorry!)
Have a resolution to share?