I'm becoming more and more suspicious of people who want to try and turn Fort Wayne into a big city. They frequently have grand plans, but not enough money or people to support it, and then they take off.
There was someone here a few years ago who had an idea to rent meeting space to local business owners who wouldn't normally have space to meet in. Here's the problem: we have way too many places to meet for free. The mall, Barnes and Noble, restaurants, coffee shops. Plus, people are cheap, and Fort Wayne people are way cheap.
More recently, I attended a meeting for a locally-based online publication. I expressed a desire to do short videos of local events/businesses. The person with the idea for the website was very receptive to my making videos. So I started on one for a downtown business. I ran into both camera problems and video software editing problems, and I've apologized to the business owner for the delay. However, the website, which was supposed to be up in late August, wasn't. I'm still trying to find it online, because supposedly it's up now. I asked the person who started it to send me the link, which I've yet to receive. I probably won't get it, because the person is moving to Chicago. This person also told me plans were in place to get someone here to take over the site.
And it seems like it never fails. The people who want to push the good parts of Fort Wayne seem to do it right before they more away.
Some food for thought: we have some cheap real estate here, and that would be a great tool for promoting the city. If you want to buy a home, come here. We've got 'em.
But here's the downside of that. More people come into the city, the more crowded it is. Lots of people and limited housing creates crowding, and also drives up the price of real estate. Fort Wayne may not be a cool place to live, but it is affordable. Are we willing to give up affordability for coolness?
Didn't think so.
There ARE good qualities about this city, but this isn't the place to be if you want to be an actress, or a model. Writers can work from anywhere, but I would imagine if you live in the New York City area, it's easier to walk into a major publisher and get some attention than merely sending an email. It takes money to live in a big city. You don't necessarily have to be wealthy, but in NYC, it certainly helps. You get less for your money in a big city.
Fort Wayne seems to be fairly normal. We have crime, but I don't think it is as crazy as some places. The weather can be dreary in the winter, but we've been blessed with a pretty great fall. We are three to four hours away from Chicago, Indianapolis, Toledo, South Bend (Go Fighting Irish!), Detroit, and if you want to visit another country, you only need to cross the bridge or take the tunnel to Windsor, right next to Detroit. It's possible here to buy a house here if you are single. We have a great zoo, one of the top libraries for genealogy research in the country, several public swimming pools, sports teams, festivals and we now have a Costco. I gripe about this town, but there's some positives about this town.
But if I ever get the money, and feel confident enough to make the move, I'd like to move to Toronto, or at least the Toronto area. That being said, I'm not one of these people who are going to come up with a "Make Fort Wayne Cooler" campaign. Fort Wayne is what it is. But if you DO have an idea for Fort Wayne, could you stick around and get it going first? Because coming up with something, then taking off makes it seem like you didn't care much about the town in the first place.