Silver Lining

30704131          Photo: Nicole Bengiveno NY Times

It isn’t often I read about something in the paper that doesn’t make me flare my nostrils in frustration or click the screen closed with a shudder. Spend too much time scratching the surface of anything from what goes into the box of Frosted Flakes in the cupboard  to the “changing school options” in the Minneapolis Public Schools to healthcare reform and you see the politics, the machinations, the behind the scenes special interest mongering that seemingly drive everything these days. Humans are indeed Machiavellian, to the point where it defies reason, defies rightness. The shortest distance between two points hasn’t been a straight line for as long as I have been paying attention. But then you see an article like this one and you realize that sometimes things work themselves out as they should. Sometimes people figure out how to bring some good out of a bad situation. A little creativity, a little cooperation, a little open mindedness and suddenly you have art and light and life in spaces that were empty, gaping reminders of failure, blight and recession. Commercial landowners, unable to rent or develop their properties, are turning them over to artists at deeply discounted rents and in return their spaces get a little love. Less crime, more interest, more traffic and the artists get a chance to spread their wings. It’s a win win that will hopefully lead to changes in those neighborhoods that no one can even begin to anticipate. Simple proof that the shortest distance between to points can be a straight line.

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