Editor’s Notebook: On staying put

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by Brian Clarey

Regular readers of this paper, now in its lucky 13th week, will notice some themes are beginning to emerge.

We’re focusing on the cities of the Triad as they come of age in the modern era, and we’ve already found some amazing success stories and a few near misses.

One of the major problems we’ve identified is “brain drain” — the fact that all of our most talented people seem to be leaving for greener pastures.

This week’s cover story, beginning on page 16, introduces some who stayed, some who left and a few who came back.

To say a region has “brain drain” is to say that anyone with any sense gets the heck out of there as soon as they are able. It’s an offensive appellation, insulting to all of us who are actively working to build things here, raise our families, establish careers.

And sometimes it seems that everybody gets hung up on the ones who got away at the expense of those of us getting things done in the here and now.

When I was a kid, living in Brooklyn was a shameful act. People spent a generation trying to drag their families out of Brooklyn, and another generation to lose the accent.

Still, we’ve all had a slew of brilliant friends lured away by the promise of brighter and shinier objects in Charlotte, Charleston, Los Angeles, Brooklyn

Brooklyn! When I was a kid, living in Brooklyn was a shameful act. People spent a generation trying to drag their families out of Brooklyn, and another generation to lose the accent.

Brooklyn was a place you went to catch mononucleosis, or buy drugs in bulk, or get stabbed when you stayed on the subway too long.

Now you can make three house payments in High Point for the same it would cost to rent a decent one-bedroom in Williamsburg.

That’s not a bad thing — our low cover charge here in the Triad is one of the things keeping a lot of us around.

There’s value in the Brooklyn example, too: Cities can reinvent themselves. It takes people with great ideas, the resources to enact them and the will to see these projects through.

It’s happening right here, all around us. We think it’s worth sticking around to see how the whole thing plays out.