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Sunday, April 11th, 2010

The Other Side of Detroit

That picture is of a house in the city of Detroit. Surprised? Don’t be. Detroit actually contains numerous intact neighborhoods ranging from working class to upscale. These are seldom shown in the voluminous photo tours of the city that tend to focus exclusively on decay, and too often on the same handful of sites such as Michigan Central Station, a practice Vice Magazine dubbed “ruin porn.”

The decay is there. The collapse is real. That is the story. But it’s not the whole story. Amid the truly legitimate and titanic struggles of Detroit there’s another side, one that’s too seldom told. In the interest of completeness, I’ll share some of it today.

Most of this material is not original to me. It was created by two people I know only by their handles of “hudkina” and “LMichigan”. I don’t know who they are, though I get the vague impression they work for the state of Michigan. They seems to spend most of their time engaged in quixotic message board debates about Detroit. I’d suggest they start blogging instead. At any rate, credit to them for the ideas and picture links, though the data is mine.

Strange But True

Detroit is Big. When you hear about Detroit, a mention of its population collapse can’t be far behind. Detroit’s population fell by 50% from its peak and it was the first city to fall below one million in population after first exceeding it. The region has fallen out of the top ten metro areas in size nationally. But the other side is that Detroit is still big (perhaps too big, but that’s for another day). The city of Detroit has 912,062 people, making even the city still the 11th largest in the United States. Detroit has 100,000 more people than San Francisco and is 50% bigger than Boston.

Detroit’s metro area has 4.4 million people, making it the 11th largest in the United States. That’s about the same size as Boston or Phoenix. But wait, there’s more. Nearby Ann Arbor is technically not part of the Detroit MSA, but probably soon will be. That’s another 350,000 people. And Detroit doesn’t include anything on the Canadian side of the river because it is in another country. The Windsor, Ontario area adds another 300,000+ people.

Detroit is Dense. You’ve seen the pictures. I’ve even posted some. The miles of empty streets and “urban prairie”. A recent comprehensive survey recently discovered that fully one third of Detroit’s lots are vacant. But despite this, the overall density of the city is far higher than you might expect.

The city of Detroit has 6,571 people per square mile. That’s almost 60% more dense than Portland, Oregon (4,152)! Detroit’s density is roughly comparable to Seattle (7,136) and Minneapolis (6,969). It’s more dense (sometimes much more dense) than Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, or St. Paul.

And if one third of Detroit is vacant, then localized densities must be much higher.

Detroit Has Money. Detroit may be a very poor city, but with so many people in it, there are still a significant number of folks with money living inside the city limits. There are 18,140 households in Detroit with income over $100,000 per year. Milwaukee, hardly a basket case, has 19,297. Upscale Minneapolis only has 29,460, a mere 10,000 household gap vs. Detroit in high earning households. Now both of these cities are smaller (Minneapolis much smaller) and so are proportionately much richer. But the point is that in total, there actually are a material number of households in the city of Detroit with significant incomes.

The Detroit metro area also has numerous upscale suburbs that hold their own with any around the country.

Detroit Has Immigrants. Another thing that distinguishes Detroit versus other struggling cities is that it has been able to retain a significant foreign born population. Detroit metro is 8.5% foreign born, which does trail the US average of 12.8%, but it is well above places like Cleveland (5.8%) or Cincinnati (3.6%).

Detroit has also established itself as the hub of Arabs in America. Muslims frequently get a bad rap, but unlike Muslim populations in Europe, which are often stuck in marginalized ghettos, the American Muslim population is more educated and makes more money than the population as a whole, according to some reports. They range from Arab party store owners to Pakistani Ph.D.’s. Detroit’s Arab population is, like many immigrant groups, highly entrepreneurial.

While over 350,000 domestic migrants left the region, Detroit metro saw nearly 100,000 new international migrants move in during the 2000’s. For these people at least, Detroit is still a land of opportunity.

Detroit Has Real Assets

Detroit also has some legitimate and impressive assets. First is “Brand Detroit.” In one of the famous Cleveland tourism videos, the song ends with “at least we’re not Detroit.” Actually, Cleveland might actually be better off if it were. As with winning the NBA draft lottery, it’s better to be worst than second worst. Detroit has a powerful brand that literally resonates around the world. I think it’s fair to say that for people overseas with any familiarity with America, Detroit is one of the cities they know. Most other places are ciphers.

Detroit is the main gateway to trade with Canada. It also has a world-class airport that was just ranked as the most passenger friendly large airport in the United States by JD Power. Originally a Northwest hub, it is actually benefiting from that carrier’s merger with Delta. Detroit is the second largest Delta hub and its primary gateway to Asia. In an era where global connections are more important than ever, Detroit has or soon will have flights to London Heathrow, Tokyo, Seoul, and Hong Kong among other destinations.

Detroit also has a globally important legacy of innovation in popular music, ranging from Motown to electronica to hip-hop. Artists like Eminem, Kid Rock, and the White Stripes still call Detroit home. Also, it is home to the well-regarded Cranbrook school of art, as well as the College for Creative Studies. If creativity really is key to the future economy, Detroit has it.

Pictures of the Other Detroit

Here are a selection of Detroit photos you aren’t likely to see in the latest “ruins of Detroit” survey.

A farmers market at Eastern Market:

Apartment buildings on the Gold Coast:

The Condon neighborhood:

Homes in the Grandmont-Rosedale Neighborhood:

A residential street in Norham, a heavily Muslim neighborhood where artists are also buying into the low cost housing:

Some Google Street View photos from Detroit’s Northwest Side showing a variety of neighborhoods, housing styles, and price points:

A home in the Palmer Woods neighborhood, which some have claimed is the wealthiest majority black neighborhood in the United States:

The photo at the top of this post is also from Palmer Woods. Here’s one in the Sherwood Forest neighborhood adjacent to Palmer Woods:

Some homes in the Villages:

Yes, Detroit has mega-problems and is a generational turnaround effort. All the bad stories you’ve heard are probably true. But there’s a lot more to it than the typical story, and I hope this gives you a flavor of it.

Previous Urbanophile Articles on Detroit

Detroit: Urban Laboratory and New American Frontier
Embracing the Ruins
A Plan for Detroit
Outmigration Devastates Michigan – and the Midwest
Detroit: Do the Collapse
Detroit: Not the Future of the American City

96 Comments
Topics: Architecture and Design, Arts and Culture, Demographic Analysis
Cities: Detroit

96 Responses to “The Other Side of Detroit”

  1. Pete from Baltimore says:

    Thank you MR Renn for showing a side of Detroit that the media seems to ignore. I dont think that anyone can justifiably accuse you of sugar coating Detroit’s problems .You are simply adding balance and perspective with these photos as far as im concerned.

    A few months back a blog i sometimes comment at did a story on how hopeless Baltimore was and how most of it should be torn down.They had the obligatory photo of a boarded up house.

    Interestingly enough though it was obvious to me [ i work in construction] that the house had a brand spnking new brickfront.And there was a ” doghouse” on the roof which usually indicates a rooftop deck has or is being built.Basiclly the house was being remodeled and was going to be sold to a upper middle class proffessional [ rooftop decks in Baltimore means gentrified "yuppie" neighborhoods].

    It was interesting how a photo of a neighborhood being gentrified was instead used to show it being run down.

    Baltimore does have its problems.So does Detroit .And Cleveland and many more American cities.We shouldnt pretend otherwise. But it is good to keep some perspective.

    Thank you again for the photos MR Renn

  2. Karyn says:

    LOL @ Salt…let thy cup runneth over with Detroit’s dirty bath water!!!

  3. D. Jackson says:

    Personally I am glad that someone took the time to write and show positive articles about Detroit. There is no question that the city has it’s negative issues to deal with, and the residents can’t take the approach of standing pat. However, it is also true that all the negative realities of the city are not all the fault of the residents.

    I live in Chicago now and let me tell you Chicago’s issue mirror Detroit’s. Chicago has the same crime, political corruption, run down areas, and unemployment. What I find to be the difference is that the media is more in tune with keeping a positive image of Chicago so they report positive news. The suburbanites understand that a viable Chicago is good for them. The residents of the city understand that in order to thrive there has to be cooperation with the surrounding communities. Unfortunately that isn’t the case in the Detroit area.

    The truth is that there is hope for Detroit. Sure we will have to make some tough decisions and yes we will probably have to downsize before we can grow but if we can make these tough choices, Detroit will thrive again. I grew up in one of the worse areas in the city and in adulthood lived in one of the best neighborhoods in the city so I have seen it from both sides. There is a lot about the city to be cherished. It’s good to see someone focusing on that rather than the negatives.

  4. molly motor says:

    thank-you!
    i live in detroit…for 16 years. i love it. i moved here for a job, and thought i would love the job and hate the city, but the opposite was true.
    i have chickens, rabbits, and garden, and help my friend with alot of his urban farming.(not the new trendy urban farming, but farming to feed his animals, and the folks on our block)
    for me it is like pioneering.
    there are many great things about detroit, and i am glad you got some of the positive news out. i get sooo tired of all the talk of decay, and ruins…this is my home, and others homes, it is not a sensational story, that with the next sensational story will be forgotten.
    i believe if you want to help detroit, move here…get in make a mark, a statement , a garden, but mostly pay your taxes…money is a good start towards healing. discover the amazing, resilient, and creative residents of our giant city!

  5. Great post and perspective… The point about in-migration is, I think, critical, and the growth of the Lebanese and other Arab population around Detroit is a real asset, although not enough if you look at cities that have really thrived through immigration. One addition, having spent time in/around Detroit and living in Cleveland now, is that I think Detroit and environs actually have a more entrepreneurial culture, especially in the technology and Internet space. (Pure speculation, but I wonder if both the proximity to Ann Arbor and the legacy of the R&D/engineering culture that once orbitted the auto industry don’t play a role…)

    Also agree in some ways about the “better to be worst” angle… although I think the NBA draft is the wrong metaphor b/c it misrepresents the mechanism of how that phenomenon works. Detroit, and southeastern Michigan generally, actually get a sort of brand equity out of the “tough town” image, whereas Cleveland, being less known, just ends up seeming sort of pathetic. And small, un-famous, industrial cities from the likes of a Toledo to places like Jackson or Battle Creek in Michigan, just wither away in anonymity.

  6. Matt says:

    Aaron– great post.

    As someone who lived in Metro Detroit for 4 years, and loved it, I make many of the same arguments to everyone who looks at me like I sprouted a third arm when I tell them how much I enjoyed my time there.

    Everyone likes to show the ruins of Detroit, when they forget about Palmer Woods, Rosedale Park, Indian Village, etc. Those are great neighborhoods, with terrific homes. You are right about the suburbs. I think some of them are the best in the country. Royal Oak, Birmingham, the Grosse Pointes, St. Clair Shores, Berkley, Ferndale; all are great.

    I’m glad you touched on the Arab population. People do not understand what an asset they are to the area. An example: your normal neighborhood restaurant in metro Detroit, in many cases, serves up Lebanese or other Middle Eastern fare, alongside burgers, coneys and fries. I haven’t seen anything like it anywhere else. Not to mention the other businesses, and medical expertise they provide. They are very well educated, and many of them had to go through hell just to get here and live their lives. As a result, you don’t see many instances of extremism, or tension between the Arab population and other cultures that you might get elsewhere. (The divide between White and Black is a whole different matter.)

    Yes, the music scene is an asset. While Detroit claims the White Stripes– Jack White moved to Nashville a few years ago.

  7. L Alvira says:

    I was quite happy to see this site. As a person who grew up in Detroit (St. Aubin & Edsel Ford, by the giant incinerator), lived in Royal Oak, and for the last 30+ years in Ann Arbor –
    I am still a big Detroit booster! Just went to a wonderful exhibit at the detroit Science Ctr and ate in Mexican Town this last weekend. But please, please… be sure to note Detroit ‘proper’ vs Detroit ‘metro area’. Cranbrook is not IN Detroit! I worked in Bloomfield Twp for years – and many people, esp the children and teens, had never even crossed 10 mile. And when you say “Villages” are you speaking of the Grosse Pointes? Or a place in Detroit proper?

  8. Tom Hart says:

    I grew up in the 6-7 mile Woodward/Livernois area, went to Gesu Elementary, UD High, U of M and left for California in 1976. The last night I left was at Tiger Stadium watching “the Bird” lose a rare pitching duel. I still have 3 sisters and their families and father in the Detroit area. I have many memories (good and bad) of Detroit. The good- Red Wings (Howe), Pistons (Bing), Tigers (Kaline), world champs (not necessarily the same era as my sport heroes) in these three sports and the bad, riots, Denny McLain, Jimmy Hoffa…of course the Lions. Lem Barney, Alex Karras, Barry Sanders excepted (my sister, kathy will probably take issue with those I left off, both good and bad.
    I go back occasionally to visit for family events and feel very disconnected with the urban and economic decay. This past Thanksgiving I went back for my dad’s 90th b-day and enjoyed seeing family and friends. My sister took my nephew, his wife and me for a trip down memory lane. Eastern Market, Greek Town, Motown, Museum, Belle Isle, Tiger Stadium…wow what a great time. Also got to see my nephew, Alex play hockey (UD High). Go Cubs!! The state of Michigan is amazing with the great lakes, upper lower peninsula, UP….definitely the city and state gets a bad rap.
    Thank you for the story.
    Tom Hart

  9. JB says:

    Aaron:

    You speak of people abroad having an understanding of Brand Detroit because it is so strong.

    Would you comment on what that brand is from your perspective?

  10. Well, pretty much everyone has heard of Detroit and knows the story there. There’s an old saying, “there’s no such thing as bad press.” Detroit has a way of capturing the world’s attention. When I write a story on Detroit, it almost always goes nuclear in terms of traffic. (If I really wanted to maximize traffic for my blog, I’d write almost entirely about Detroit). That says something right there.

  11. misterarthur says:

    Thanks for the post. Really good.

  12. Larry says:

    It is gratifing to see posts like this. I too grew up in Detroit and moved away to Seattle for a job in 74. Just today I was talking about growing up there and feeling nostolgic about it. Hard to describe it but it was a very positive memory. I still have family and friends there and visit every year, who knows when I retire might even move back because it is still “home” to me. I live in a great place, near mountains, the city of Seattle is fantastic but even with that there is something about where you are born and raised that pulls at you. Maybe I still have something to contribute. It is encouraging to see new leadership there that is working hard to recreate something fantastic. The city has a lot of history to be proud of and is serving as a great foundation to reinvent itself. I can’t think of another place in the country where you have so much space that you can let your imagination run wild and create something truely amazing. The infrastructure is there. This is an urban planners dream! Imagine what you could create thinking 20, 50 or 100 years down the road. When was the last time you saw people thinking in those terms about Detroit, the 1930′ 40’s? At any rate thanks for reminding us all about this other side you did my heart good.

  13. John Morris says:

    “You’ve seen the pictures. I’ve even posted some. The miles of empty streets and “urban prairie”. A recent comprehensive survey recently discovered that fully one third of Detroit’s lots are vacant. But despite this, the overall density of the city is far higher than you might expect.

    The city of Detroit has 6,571 people per square mile. That’s almost 60% more dense than Portland, Oregon (4,152)! Detroit’s density is roughly comparable to Seattle (7,136) and Minneapolis (6,969). It’s more dense (sometimes much more dense) than Denver, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, or St. Paul.”

    A very interesting issue. My guess is that this is a classic thing Jane Jacobs talked about in that poor areas have many abandoned homes while the remaining ones may sometimes be overcrowded. Likely not a sign of health in that one has both overcrowding and all the issues that come with sprawl.

    However, the immigrant population may be a big factor there.

  14. Jean says:

    I want to say thank you for showing the other side of Detroit. I live in Detroit and wish that it was given a fair shake in the press – not for our “image” – but for the folks who live here and struggle through every day to feel a little better about living here. People who visit here to spend time with friends in a Detroit neighborhood often find mostly kind neighbors, people who like to garden, take care of their families, and know what its like to struggle. It is not easy to live here, but for those of us for whom it is home, the press should show some balanced judgement and a little mercy like you have.

  15. Bruce says:

    I have lived in Detroit since 1979, first in Grandmont, then in a loft Downtown, now in North Rosedale park where some of the house pictures were taken. This is a wonderful place w/stong people making commitments to their nighbors by actions not talk. Detroit has be written off many times since I’ve lived here and we keep on coming back! We’ve been down, we know how to survive it and prosper and we will do it again and again as long as we have to!

  16. Judy Cruse says:

    As a native Detroiter, this was so refreshing. As a retired GM employee, I have had the opportunity to live in several places in the Midwest. In fact when I retired in 2008, I was in Indiana, which is where I still live. So many times “well-meaning” people couldn’t wait to share with me negative “news” about the Motor City. In fact my beautician seemed to have all in inside scoop on Kwame. More recently I heard about the plight of the Detroit Public Schools. It’s sad but true that Detroit was so very dependent on the automobile industry with no preparation for what to when it became obvious that the “Big 3″ were slowly shrinking. As a GM retiree, I can remember when times were so good. It is still unbelievable to realize the demise of companies like GM and Chrysler. I am still trying to decide if I am coming back to Detroit. There are so many positives for staying where I am. For instance, the cost of automobile insurance. I pray that my city will rally back.

  17. Barbara Lund says:

    I was born in 1948, at Jennings Memorial Hospital,near Belle Isle, of Maltese-American parents. We lived on Leverette Street, then moved to Warwick Street near Curtis, between Six and Seven Mile roads on Detroit’s West side. When I married, I moved to North Rosedale Park {Detroit} and am still here. I have taught Art in the Detroit Public School System for 36 years, on the East Side, West Side and in between. I am very proud to have stayed. Teaching Art here has been hard work but very rewarding with regard to the students and faculty and staff members that I have worked along side. I consider my life very special and feel that I have made good decisions by deciding to live and work here. Detroit has a very special blend of hard woking people that I am very proud to be a part of.

  18. Thank you so much for writing this article. I live in Detroit and it is amazing to me that the perspective about Detroit is so skewed. I show people the pictures of the neighborhood I used to live in and other landmarks and they are stunned. If you think the exterior of the buildings are beautiful, people would be amazed at the stunning details inside of them. I have a few examples on my site.
    Thank you for posting this!

  19. Deniz says:

    Thank you for an amazing look at what makes my hometown a true diamond.

  20. Jim says:

    Thank you for showing this. Cleveland could show similar photographs.
    There is a side of this which is often ignored. Detroit and Cleveland were not only pro-union – they were the center of the labor movement. From the standpoint of big business (including the media), this was a crime. From this standpoint Detroit and Cleveland simply had to fail as cities. Every day they continue to exist is a thorn in the side.

  21. Earl says:

    Thanks to whomever posted this excellent article. Obviously Detroit has terrible problems, but there is so much here to enjoy. We have awesome old churches for those that enjoy architecture. We have the beautiful old high-income neighborhoods, great live theater, a beautiful river, Eastern Market, historic Fort Wayne, the Piquette Plant, the Fisher Bldg, the Guardian, bldg. On and on. And we have yards and trees! Flowers and porches!

    And it’s very affordable to live here. In how many big cities can a single person with only average income (myself) afford a nice home with a nice yard for gardening, a fireplace, a large garage, shade trees, etc?

  22. June says:

    Detroit will always be home. After marriage, then divorce, I moved away. I currently live in Oklanoma. When asked, where am I from, I proudly say Detroit. Then the negative comments begin. I then inform everyone that will listen, that it’s an image created by the media. I grew up on the North West side of Detroit, on Stansbury. I walked to my elementary school, Vernor, on Penbroke. Then I went to my local junior highschool, Beaubien. Walked to that school as well with the kids in my neighborhood. Then I graduated and went to Cass Tech. That school changed my life. I met, and developed life long friends from around the city. I rode the city bus, the Imperial Express to the school that was “Downtown”. Detroit will forever be a part of me.
    Being in Oklahoma, I miss the seasons! All four of them!
    Don’t get me started on the trees!!! They are beautiful!
    I love going home to visit my parents and sitting in the backyard and looking at the trees.
    I love Detroit!!

  23. JEROME says:

    I have been in Detroit for 75 years. I’ve seen the riots of 1943 and 1967. I have seen so much pride in our city, as well as the diminishing of family pride and morality. I have seen so much love and so much hatred. Balance is the key in any expose’. Sensationalism overtakes good truthful and quality reporting, for the sake of ratings. There is still a tremendous amount of GOOD in the city of my birth.
    It is incumbent upon us all to bring this GOODNESS to the forefront. Let us put the accent on the positive and strive to lessen or even eliminate the negative.

  24. John Morris says:

    “Get me some shots of poverty and the economic depression, kid –just pull up google images of Detroit ruins and cut and paste the rest.”

    This relates very closely to the way, all communities were sorted by experts in the 50’s and sixties, labeled “good” or “bad” and often gutted and remodeled accordingly.

    We know for instance that The Lower Hill in Pittsburgh held many poor and overcrowded structures. But just look at a few Teeny Harris photos and you know it held a lot more.”

    I think the two biggest factors here are laziness, on the part of reporters, who have very little time, and apparent interest in doing a serious job. Obviously, traditional journalism is under a lot of economic stress, but honestly, this may be because they haven’t done a good job in years.

    In the case of Detroit, whats needed is serious study and interest by people who spend lots of time there.

    Ultimately, it’s the people in the region who are best posed to do that and need to do everything they can to give an accurate picture of what’s going on in their town. To put it bluntly, I think, perhaps very correctly reporters think that roaming around the city and talking to people in detail, would be too dangerous.

    The safe lazy thing is to operate like you would in a hot war zone. Stay in the green zone, interview the “comander” on the ground and a few self apointed experts and perhaps rush in to an area to take a few photos.

  25. John Morris says:

    Ooops, that’s what I meant to say.

    No doubt about it, the MSM based outside the region just phones in these stories often just for effect. If it bleeds it leads. Few want to find out the more complex realities.

    “Get me some shots of poverty and the economic depression, kid –just pull up google images of Detroit ruins and cut and paste the rest.”

    This relates very closely to the way, all communities were sorted by experts in the 50’s and sixties, labeled “good” or “bad” and often gutted and remodeled accordingly.

    We know for instance that The Lower Hill in Pittsburgh held many poor and overcrowded structures. But just look at a few Teeny Harris photos and you know it held a lot more.”

    I think the two biggest factors here are laziness, on the part of reporters, who have very little time, and apparent interest in doing a serious job. Obviously, traditional journalism is under a lot of economic stress, but honestly, this may be because they haven’t done a good job in years.

    In the case of Detroit, whats needed is serious study and interest by people who spend lots of time there.

    Ultimately, it’s the people in the region who are best posed to do that and need to do everything they can to give an accurate picture of what’s going on in their town. To put it bluntly, I think, perhaps very correctly reporters think that roaming around the city and talking to people in detail, would be too dangerous.

    The safe lazy thing is to operate like you would in a hot war zone. Stay in the green zone, interview the “comander” on the ground (mayor) and a few self apointed experts and perhaps rush in to an area to take a few photos.

  26. Ulysses says:

    This clearly seems to favor Westside neighborhoods… with very few exceptions the Eastside is hardly mentioned. What about Indian Village, East English Village, Morningside and St. John’s… these are all very strong and secure communities that represent the Eastside very well!

  27. Maureen says:

    Just FYI, that last house in your photos is in Indian Village (as are a few other photos)and is available for sale or rent!

  28. Jan Scholl says:

    This is the Detroit I knew growing up and why I fell in love with the city. My daughter was born there in 1972, She is now a police officer of 5 years in Detroit but she only knows the bad stuff. I remind her that she is one of the good things to come from this city. It’s not just about buildings, businesses or neighborhoods. It’s about the people. I grew up in Flint and you could easily change the names of the cities and have the same conversations. I have hope for both. I have love for both. I plan on having my ashes spread over the city of Detroit upon my demise. Because my heart is there.

  29. John Morris says:

    Well, I guess this is a slim excuse to hype my blog which is supposed to give a street eye view of life and culture from Pittsburgh to Cleveland. I need some folks in Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, Canton and Pittsburgh to post about their cities.

    My advice to the people of Detroit is to do everything you can to visualy doccument and support the positive grass roots things that may be happening and build as much alternative media as you can.

  30. Rita says:

    D.Jackson put it best. It takes the surrounding area to make a vibrant city. Something the suburbs of Detroit can’t seem to do. My husband is from Detroit, I am from the S.F. Bay Area, we live in Denver. The first time he took me to Detroit I saw many of these beautiful homes, and and I also saw the bad. I wanted to get on my soapbox and yell at the people “do you not see what you have, how can you squander it?” Denver is a great expample of what working together as a Metro Area can do for a city. I hope the time comes when Detroit has that too, but unless communities start working together, and predjudice put aside, it will always flounder. I love going to Michigan, I love my family there, I wish I could say I love Detroit. I do love it’s suburbs Roseville, Fraser, Harper Woods, and of course Gross Pointe. First thing to save in Detroit – Belle Islle.

  31. Dee Jones says:

    Please join the FaceBook group “Detroit can be great again”

  32. We moved to Las Vegas Nevada in 2003 from Southfield, Michigan, I hope one day soon to move back to Michigan. I am homesick and do not care for nevada at all.

  33. Leroy Jones says:

    You folks are ALL nuts. Detroit was bad 50 years ago and will still be terrible in another 50 years and another 500 after that. Give it up folks. Just bomb the S.O.B. and the Lions too! We look more like Beirut than any other American city. No hope at all for the future until all is destroyed and start over from the ground up!

  34. Gwen says:

    There is something to be said for “the truth and whole truth” isn’t there? Otherwise those trying to paint the picture become suspect.

  35. Ann says:

    Leroy,
    Go F yourself

  36. Ann says:

    I live in and love Detroit. There are problems in every city. I work in Warren in a hospital and see a lot of problems in that city also but, I refuse to put it down because of some of the crazy drugged out people in it. (Warren) I know there are great people in every city no matter how bad things are. I am so glad we now have a mayor that is trying to solve the problems in Detroit. I have wonderful and caring neighbors and will never leave the city of Detroit.

  37. Beverly says:

    I love Detroit, lived there for 37 years. Detroit was famous all over the world for the Motown Sound and also the
    Big 3, Ford, GM and Chrysler. It has good people and still some good neighborhoods. I am praying that Detroit can and will one day make a comeback!

  38. Betty says:

    I am blessed to live in one of the nicer neighborhoods in the fair city of Detroit, and I have lived in Detroi all of my life. Unfortunately, stories about our neighborhoods would not have attracted the attention the media needed for their ratings. “Balance” is the issue here, but who cares about that when we are dealing with the issue of “ratings.” As usual, equity takes a back seat. Who is surprised?

  39. JARED DAVIS says:

    Don’t forget the concerts. My buddy that moved to Dallas says what he misses most is that everyone performs here. EVERYONE.

  40. Barry Wayne Jones, Sr., D.D says:

    Detroit can be the city that it once was, a leader, a trend setter. The biggest problem Detroit has is the media, they are the biggest enemies of Detroit. Not the robbers and muggers, but the radio, television, and newspaper media, are the ones taking Detroit down the drain. Every city has the very same problems we have. As Malik El Shabbaz, would say now if he were here,”you’ve been hood-winked, bamboozled, you’ve been had.”

  41. Selma Goggans says:

    As a result of the auto industry, that put the world on wheels, nunerous beautifully structured homes were built. No other major city produced such a large middle class. Additionally, I read many years ago that no other major city has the vast population of brick homes of various sizes with unsurpassed features. Thank you for reporting the truth ~ there are many fine neighborhoods in Detroit populated by families with high standards and strong values. Come and vist August 1st for a tour of the University District’s exquisite home and gardens.

  42. Arashi says:

    Never mentioned is Cass Technical High School. It is over a 100yrs. old and still continues to produce some of Detroit’s exceptional students. An institution with a curriculum designed to benefit especially gifted children. Currently, Mr. Robert Bobb sent out layoff notices to all fine art, music, dance, drafting, business, and other vital programs in DPS. What parent would want to send their child to a school like Cass Tech when these programs are eliminated? The children need these programs to educate the whole child. Mr. Bobb needs to go!

  43. Valerie says:

    Goody Goody , to the man who did the report on detroit who said he had been many places but “this time I must have pulled the shorest straw”….as he filmed abandoned properties and schools etc etc…the joke is on him, maybe check to see if your GPS is working – shoulda took a right turn maybe? LOL

  44. dinah morrison says:

    Excellent story of Detroit. I have a friend, niece and nephew there and I am happy to hear it is not all bad. I will have to visit there sometime. San Diego California

  45. Mary Jo Maher says:

    We recently took our grandsons to the Science Center in Detroit and when we got back home their dad greeted them with “Can you believe grandma and grandpa once lived in Detroit?” It was as if someone had attacked my family! I love Detroit! At that I gave a speech about what a great city Detroit was and heard myself say “many wonderful people live in Detoit” and “Detroit is trying and will be better with the new mayor and new head of the schools! I love Detroit. I want it to succeed.”
    It was the home of my grandparents and my home until 1972!
    Make it safe again. Fix the roads…get rid of the graffiti on buildings…tear down the abandoned houses and buildings and clean up the vacant lots…Detroit IS great and can be still greater…and maybe we ALL need to help Detroit do that? I love the idea of gardens on empty lots! God bless those who have worked or presently work to make the city a great city once again. I love Detroit. I loved seeing the beautiful homes, etc, too. It can happen again. I know many good people who want Detroit to shine!

  46. Anthony says:

    “Most of this material is not original to me. It was created by two people I know only by their handles of “hudkina” and “LMichigan”. I don’t know who they are, though I get the vague impression they work for the state of Michigan. They seems to spend most of their time engaged in quixotic message board debates about Detroit.”…….

    Uh…definitely not working for the state of Michigan.

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