I’m a Detroiter at heart. I wasn’t born there and I’ve lived in other cities for long stretches but Detroit is the first place I remember. It’s where my memories begin and in some instances end. I met some of my dearest friends within the city limits of the Motor City and I’ve never owned a foreign car.
When I go back—at least once a year, I pretty much stay in the city.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Las Vegas and plan on being here for a long time—heck, I may never leave permanently. But Detroit will always have my heart.
So of course, I get defensive when people talk about my city. We all know there are issues; unemployment, foreclosures, abandoned buildings, corruption in the government, yada, yada, yada…It’s been splashed across the national news for years now but, just like you can’t talk bad about my family—even the no good members, you can’t be talkin’ ‘bout my city, yo.
“Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the American dream.” Regular hard working men and women with little education came north and were able to take care of themselves; even excel and become homeowners and breed college educated children. The opportunities in this industry town made it the fastest growing city in the world at one time.
There is a documentary titled ‘Detropia’ that I had the opportunity to watch yesterday during my ‘downtime,’ it chronicled the plight of the city through the eyes of various residents including: A retired teacher/blues bar owner, a video blogger, president of an auto union chapter, young transplant artists, an opera impresario, and a gang of illegal copper “scrappers”.
Synopsis of the movie:
“The Motor City reboots itself will set the example for countless other post-industrial cities with similar fates. And today the entire country is watching to see if this storied metropolis has the courage, creativity, and grit to reinvent itself — or if it will instead implode.
Detropia is a cinematic tapestry that chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive and make sense of what is happening to their city.” make up an unlikely chorus that illuminates the tale of both a city and a country in a soul-searching mood, grasping for a new identity.”
They all give their perspectives on where Detroit is going and where it’s been. “This is a city in the throes of transition. Those who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point while artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity.”
The movie shows just how frustrated the long term residents are but, at the same time it illustrates how the new ones are moving in and taking advantage of the very cheap real estate and open land. I think they both can/should learn from each other.
Really, in the end all I can do is hope and, watch to see what will happen to the city that holds the memories of my first kiss, first car, where I prayed, and laughed and cried with people who are no longer with me. It’s the only place I know I can go at the drop of a hat and someone will pick me up from the airport and feed me a home cooked meal. And I need that. I need to be able to lay my head down in a place that remembers me and where we speak the same language…paczki, Michigan left, superman ice cream, Fay-go pop, Better Made, but most importantly when I start singing “Hello Detroit”, everyone will sing along with me.