Rustbelt Coffee: Brewing Post-industrial Authenticity (Hosted on Midstory)

This is a link to the first post in a series I am producing for Midstory, an organization dedicated to inspire, connect, and educate youth and the public from disparate segments of post-industrial cities.

I recently spent one week in Toledo, Ohio with the Midstory team. At first, I assumed that the “Mid” in Midstory signified a physical location. However, this “Mid” signifies a symbolic, forgotten middle in addition to a geographic heart.

When Sam, one of Midstory’s founders, lamented the coastal focus of American media coverage, I imagined a map of the United States and standing in a vast Midwest. The coasts transformed from the Pacific and Atlantic to whiteness and blackness in America, academia and working with my hands. I found myself in the in-between. I grew up as an Asian American in an American story told in black and white. I have considered a doctoral program and worked in the kitchen.

I recognized that my passions for food and social impact have led me to tell Midstories. Voices from the middle might offer the most important criticisms, and cuisine offers an ideal way to uplift these voices.

This first article comments on the popularity of post-industrial design in coffee shops. When I walked into Rustbelt Coffee, I felt like I was in hipster San Francisco or Brooklyn thanks to the incandescent lightbulbs and mason jars. How can a growing coffee scene in an actual post-industrial city support the city’s rebirth beyond these visual symbols?

Please find the article below:

https://midstory.org/rustbelt-coffee-brewing-authenticity-in-our-post-industrial-present/

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