Its called Neo-Bohemianism- Bartenders, artists, musicians dont make a lot of money, so they move where its cheap, nearest where they earn a living (say the french quarter). Eventually, the area they live in gets a reputation for being cool and yuppies come in, fix buildings up etc and the real estate or rent gets high. Those same bartenders, artists and musicians move on down the line, in the article's example, down St Claude.
Any large city in America can trace the parts of town where people liked to party and have a good time and see this pattern repeat itself.
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