Just about lost amid the noise at places like the G&M Comments section is the idea of the arts not contributing to the economy. I mean we know it isn't true but still the old canard keeps coming up.
Queen West has followed the old pattern of artists raising the chicness of an area only to be driven out and pushed ever farther west. Of course they take the chic with them and leave behind chain stores in their wake.
And now this idea Philadelphia street turns empty stores to studios.
Sounds good right? Until you realize that this would be the third time that artists have revived the area and then been driven out for those more "profitable" corporate ventures. And when the market turns and the chains go home to rust who are you gonna call to save the street? Arts busters!