Details magazine, that glossy arbiter of style, has decided that the Rust Belt is not only cool, but worthy of exploration by its upscale readers.
And, while my travel list actually has Barcelona and Marrakesh considerably higher than, say, Erie, I do like the idea of downtrodden cities becoming newly chic.
The Details story (as excerpted for Yahoo!) begins:
"Maybe it hit you this past Super Bowl when you saw Clint Eastwood's rousing, Chrysler-sponsored paean to the resilience of the Motor City: the Rust Belt is back in a big way. With spring in the air, now’s an ideal time to get to know the hot spots (and the people behind them) throughout this resurgent region."
Here's the piece that identifies Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh as destinations where you can eat well, find good entertainment and an interesting cultural scene.
Buffalo deserves mention, too. If I had visitors showing up at my Queen City door this spring or summer, here's what I'd do with them:
* Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin Martin House and its Toshiko Mori-designed visitors center on Jewett Parkway.
* Take in some music at Babeville.
* Dine at Tempo or the Rue Franklin if they were high rollers with a champagne budget, or Cantina Loco if they were frugal tequila drinkers.
* Hit the "Wish You Were Here" exhibit at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.
* Do a driving tour of the grain elevators, the Central Terminal, the Guaranty Building and the Richardson complex.
* Get a hot dog at Louie's on Elmwood and sit outside in the sunshine to eat it, or, if they insisted, go to the Anchor Bar for wings.
* Ride bikes to Erie Canal Harbor for an outdoor concert as the sun sets over the lake.
On the same topic, from Sunday's Buffalo News, here is Business Reporter Matt Glynn's BizTalk interview with local tourism czarina Dottie Gallagher-Cohen. She takes up the topics of the quality of Buffalo's hotel rooms (are you listening, Tom Brady?), attracting amateur sports events, and how gas prices affect tourism here.
On a more provocative note, here's a thoughtful Huffington Post piece from Aaron Bartley, co-founder of PUSH Buffalo (the sustainable housing organization), on how rust belt cities may turn out to be leaders in the effort to use scarce resources wisely. And in today's News, Maki Becker writes about Buffalo's urban farming movement.
Now that's seriously chic.
CLARIFICATION: The story linked to in this post is an excerpt -- by Yahoo! -- of a fuller treatment in Details that does have some good words for Buffalo's "green options" and a mention of its architectural wonders. Thanks to the commenters who brought it to my attention.