Busted myth

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I love this week’s cover story for a counter-intuitive reason: It deflates a myth I’ve been carrying around in my own head. For years, I’ve been saying that Reno is a great town in which to be an artist—or a musician or a whatever else—because it’s large enough to sustain a scene, but small enough that it’s easy to get involved.

That might have been true 10 years ago, but it’s not really true anymore.

Our cover story this week, by freelancer Jane K. Callahan, is about how challenging this city can be for newbies. This can be an insular town, suspicious of outsiders, and full of chip-laden shoulders. Jane candidly discusses her personal experiences and balances that with supporting interviews from other new residents and folks who have struggled to find their places in this town.

It’s a nice reminder for those of us who have lived in this town for a long time and have long-established social networks that our perspective comes from a place of a privilege.

Still, I understand the frustrations of long-time residents about the recent influx of new people. (Those Tech Bro yuppies are especially annoying. Every one of them might as well be named Ken Gentrify.) That’s a valid concern. Especially if you’ve seen your rent skyrocket in the last couple of years.

But remember a decade ago when Reno was always getting desiccated by the brain drain? Talented folks would leave town as soon as they built up the confidence or the resume to make it somewhere else. That’s less of a problem nowadays.

I’m not sure which problem is worse. I just know that no city in history has ever had the exactly correct number of the exactly correct people. And if such a community was ever planned, I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live there.

On a different note, don’t forget to send in a 95-word fiction story for our annual contest before the Jan. 15 deadline. See page 12 for details.