A few days ago, someone posted this thread and photo. http://www.photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=241688 In a subsequent reply, a post, from a Detroiter, intimated that the photo was fairly indicative of Detroit. Another commented on a foul odor that emanates from the city.
Well, while I don’t consider myself a Detroit apologist, I’m somewhat surprised that Detroiters would cast their city in such harsh light on a worldwide forum. Perhaps these comments and sentiments would be less hurtful if the audience were all locals who know that Detroit has much more to offer than burned out shells of buildings.
There is no doubt that Detroit is a somewhat economically depressed city. It was built on the American auto industry, and that industry is nowhere near as healthy as in the past. Furthermore, in my opinion, Detroit, except for a few years, has a history of mismanagement over the past 25 years or so.
I don’t live in the city of Detroit, rather in a northern exurb about 15 miles/25 kilometers north of the northern boundaries of the city (That’s 8-Mile Road for all of you Eminem fans). I moved here 16 years ago from the San Francisco bay area. Believe me, Detroit is no San Francisco; but it’s also not a total hellhole, either. I go into the city maybe 6-8 times a year for sporting events, theater nights, work related “command appearances” and the occasional foray to the casinos. In those 100 or so visits, contrary to what you might gather from one post, I’ve never noticed any odor even remotely reminiscent of rotten eggs nor steel mills.
Are there many burned out houses? No doubt! Are there extremely dangerous areas of the city that you wouldn’t want to be caught in even in broad daylight? Absolutely! Are there any number of unsavory characters who would just a soon pop you between the eyes as spit on the sidewalk? Damn straight!
But there are also multiple world-class medical centers, renowned art museums, successful professional sports franchises, innumerable fine restaurants and other nightspots and many wonderful neighborhoods that don’t feature derelict buildings, overgrown vacant lots or vermin infestation.
The photos in the next several posts were taken in a couple of hours on the afternoon of November 22. All within the city limits of Detroit and within a 10 minute drive of downtown.
Welcome to another Detroit!