I spent a number of weekends in San Juan del Sur during my two years in Nicaragua, and even within that short time frame, you could very clearly see how quickly the area was changing. Every trip revealed a new development, hotel, or restaurant, and the changing landscape often sparked a lot of discussion among volunteers as to the advantages and disadvantages of it all. I was never really able to settle anything in my head and found that most of time I was equally angry and excited about everything that was changing. Seems like this upcoming movie about the development around Nicaragua's southern Pacific coast doesn't try to settle it either, but simply presents the whole debate, even if the movie is very clearly trying to poke the embers of the fire (the provocative "Bring your Gun" motto seems a bit much as a subtitle). I'm hoping I can find the movie at some point and look forward to the debate.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
I went on a Detroit house hunt a couple weeks ago, armed with twenty addresses I found on realtor.com. I wasn't planning on buying anything just yet, though it's tempting when some of the homes are priced like an inexpensive TV; I just wanted to get a better sense of what I could get for my money. But just a little bit of my money.
The houses I saw were throughout the city and ranged in price from $555 to $10,000. I was hoping I'd walk away with an understanding of differences between the two extremes. Are the houses priced at $10,000 in fairly good shape (that's relative) and in a decent city neighborhood? Are the houses priced at $500 bombed out with no windows, roof, plumbing, etc. in a neighborhood that no longer exists? I wanted to find out.
I didn't. We saw houses with boarded up windows, doors left open to the elements, and crumbling front porches located on streets with only one or two live-able homes left priced at the upper range and houses, from outside appearances, nicely maintained and seemingly live-able in well populated, functioning neighborhoods priced at the low range.
There just wasn't any apparent logic to the prices, which was disappointing given what I wanted to get out of the trip, but it was really cool to spend a lot of time driving through Detroit's residential areas. Driving around and experiencing the extremes of Detroit is all at once depressing, motivating, inspiring, hopeful, and humbling. I hope to get back soon for a second round of hunting with someone who knows more.
Anyone interested in buying a full city block in America's 11th largest city?
Picture from http://guestofaguest.com/sports/po-town-detroits-pontiac-silverdome-sold-for-a-song/