I used to live in Detroit and have a soft spot for the dying, industrial city. Which is kind of ironic, seeing as I’ve never lived there. I grew up in a far flung suburb, but whenever people ask where I grew up it’s just easier to say Detroit or the Detroit area. The truth is I lived about 45 minutes from downtown Detroit and could probably count how many times I’ve been to downtown Detroit on two hands (mostly Tiger games and Auto Shows). And I know exactly how many times I went downtown by myself: Once (a championship parade for the Detroit Red Wings). In my defense, I pretty much left the area at 18 and never came back. I’d be a little more adventurous nowadays.
But despite my lack of real connection to the city, I still have a soft spot for it. And so stories and pictures like these always tug at my heart:
- The Ruins of Detroit – A series of photos showcasing the crumbling city (some pics are repeated in this Time photo gallery but with more helpful captions).
- School’s Out Forever – Slideshow of abandoned public schools.
- Postcards of Detroit – Daily oil paintings of Detroit.
- Sweet Juniper! – A family in Detroit that frequently blogs about the city.
- Sweet Juniper Photos – Collection of Detroit photos from the Sweet Juniper blog.
- For Sale: The $100 House – These bright spots of hope in the middle of all the despair are really what excites me.
- The Courage of Detroit – My dad sent this Sports Illustrated Mitch Albom article back in January, but it relates. I didn’t even read that much of his stuff, but I still think Mitch Albom pretty much is the voice of Detroit.
- Detroit’s Road to Renewal – Brief Time magazine overview, but the Sweet Juniper blog entry about giving the Time reporter a tour is probably more interesting.
It all reminds me of a few interesting stories out of Detroit from several years ago, including a project that paints abandoned buildings blaze orange and an urban farming initiative. Even in the midst of chaos and decline, there is always hope.
(many links via kottke.org)