Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Remaking Detroit

Fast Co's recent article profiling Detroit gives a spot on look at the city, the hopeful and exciting optimism of a creative class moving in, set against the stark reality of a dysfunctional city battling a half century's worth of decline. I like the honest look at where the city is and largely agree with many of the opinions shared by the folks interviewed. Detroit is cool and certainly has a feeling of renewed bravado for those of us lucky enough to choose to live here and craft our own careers. Yet, for most in the city, as LeDuff correctly points out, there's nothing cool or prideful about living on a crime ridden street without street lights and sending your kids to a poorly maintained school where they'll get an education that leaves them behind their better off peers. But I guess that's why I like living here so much (while acknowledging the sad fact that it comes at a very high expense of those less fortunate). The tale of two cities being played out in such clear terms, right in front of you. The good and the bad, the really exciting and the really depressing makes for a city that feels real, that feels alive even on the most deserted and vacant corners, and makes you ask questions you didn't even know you had.



  1. Your post really hits a nerve with me right now as I write this from Kampala. As in Nairobi, there is a lot of hope in the growing economy here, but the reality is that life is still really freaking hard for the vast majority of people who live in this city and, goodness knows, in the rest of the country. When you sit at a nice cafe serving fancy Continental food in a beautiful garden setting, it can be easy to forget the reality of slum life nearby. Detroit seems to have its own colonial element that is not so far off what I'm experiencing in East Africa...

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