Monday, April 6, 2009

A Canary in the Coal Mine Update

Some time ago, I posted about Creative Panhandling, as an indicator of some measure of vitality in a City. The theory was that because there were so many people attracted to a place, there would in turn be a number of panhandlers following, much like on a larger scale that retail and service industry (and then jobs) followed residents out of the city into the suburbs, but in a much different spatial pattern than the previous incarnation in the city. Because there were more people asking for money, there was increased competition for the loose change.

At the time of that posting, Downtown Dallas had virtually none of these to speak of. Now, with good weather having returned, over the last two months or so, I am happy to report that I have now counted 4 such creative panhandlers in Downtown. First, a couple where the woman plays the guitar and the guy plays the sax has popped up here and there in downtown. Next, I started seeing a guy out sketching portraits of patrons sitting at bars and cafes. And today, was another man playing a trombone on Main Street.