There’s nothing like being big fish in a small pond to make you think everything you do is tremendously important.
AltDaily and their ilk are convinced that painting murals on things, or letting people open yoga shops and popup art studios in potholes or whatever, will make a difference in a region stricken by the death of manufacturing and the consequences of allowing an economy to be driven by a transient military population. Painting a mural on every dilapidated building in Norfolk will do just as much as it has done in Richmond, which is nothing.
Shockoe Bottom and the Fan look worse for all the “art” being plastered everywhere; is it not enough that Richmond is blighted, difficult to navigate, and under almost permanent VCU-related construction that we have to deal with every sign painter in town playing Banksy on the weekends? And for what? It’s certainly not driving people here to change anything or add to the economy. We have a kleptocratic mayor and city council giving the city away tax free to any business that’s up for it, while infrastructure and roads literally crumble away.
Please, Mr. Scacia: tell us your latest plan to save the world with pop-up art shows. Please, tell us how it’s changed Norfolk so much. While you crow about “buying local”, it seems the best your efforts have done is bring an Urban Outfitters and a Chic-Fil-A to Norfolk’s largely abandoned downtown. It’s also disenfranchised entire groups of hardworking people, who have no interest in you and your affluent, white friends coming to “save” their neighborhoods. Then, tell us how punk rock you are taking a $25,000 payout to join Landmark Communications.
Richmond should avoid any advice from Norfolk like the plague, unless it’s goal is to continue being Virginia’s dirtier, poorer. less convenient answer to Baltimore.
Richmond needs a tax base, a plan to amend the awful roads, and a mayor and city council who aren’t afraid to stand up to the three businesses and one university writing legislation for an entire metropolitan area. Norfolk needs roughly the same things, not an export of the tired B.S. Richmond has tried and which has already failed.