City Paper is not for tourists
Florida is the renowned author of “The Rise of the Creative Class,” a book that essentially advised dying cities to promote amenities that attract professionals in, well, the “creative class”—artists, software geeks, and the like.
Fisher notes that Florida has ditched the District, where he used to live in the Forest Hills neighborhood, in favor of Toronto, where he apparently got a great job offer. Fisher savages Florida’s observation that in his new Toronto neighborhood, kids mobbed his front door on Halloween night, whereas in Forest Hills he got virtually no Trick-or-Treat traffic. The columnist lays low the thinker with this flourish:
For reasons that always baffled me, this great bard of urban vibrancy, a latter-day Jane Jacobs (the spiritual grandmother of the smart-growth movement), chose to live in about as anti-urban a city setting as could be had, nowhere near a Metro station, way up on a hill, in a beautiful setting right near Rock Creek Park, but well away from any of the amenities he preaches for in his books. Of course he didn’t see kids on Halloween—what halfway intelligent kid would waste his time wandering around in a dark neighborhood of widely separated houses well off the main drag?
In the end, says Fisher, Florida chooses his home base not so much on the basis of his written beliefs about strong urban communities, but on the basis of the best job offer. Just like the rest of us, in other words.