A few notes.
You should visit, if you haven’t already.
It’s not empty, it just needs a few more people.
Think ‘calm’, rather than desolate hellscape.
It’s perfect for a cyclist. Flat, no cars. But can be tough to walk.
It’s hard to tell what buildings are in use at day, until you see how many lights are on at night (not many).
The architecture is incredible (if you’re into Queen Anne style and Art-Deco like I am).
I think I get ‘Mid-West’ now.
Drinks are as good as Manhattan, and you can walk in and get a seat anywhere you want.
There’s clearly a strong design community here, and they are hustling. Businesses that are not normally known for their branding (lawyers, shoe-shops, florists) have beautiful signage, business cards, posters etc.
You should visit.