When a city experiences decline for whatever reason, it's akin to calling in the troops (artists) to save the day. Some of these projects have been extremely successful like Paducah, Kentucky, serving as a program model. Other attempts to attract artists to an area have experienced varying degrees of realization.
I love long, boring road trips where my wandering mind can clear out the daily pressures and open up to fresh ideas and inspiration. So it was after making a delivery in West Virginia that we decided to return home via western Pennsylvania to satisfy our curiosity regarding the Oil City program.
|Stairway in the Transit Art Studios|
We met with realtor Bill Moon at an empty home for sale. The real estate prices are in the cellar...it's astounding. We looked at a 3 bedroom 2 bath home that was in very good condition, needing just a bit of cosmetic work in the kitchen - $50K! Bill told us that 150K would buy us a decent Victorian. After living in Saratoga Springs, NY where real estate prices are off the charts, this was jaw-dropping!
Is something like this in our future? I never say never anymore but for now, no. I love this snobby town I'm living in and the Adirondacks and Lake George and, of course, the race track. Saratoga Springs would be just another dot on the map, struggling like so many other small cities of former glory were it not for those six weeks of horse racing every summer.
This gypsy stays put for now,