Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Town Monday

Leaving Detroit is always easy, returning is hard, especially from New York. I was born in Philly and I will always feel at home in east coast cities. Even after 37 years away. In many ways, Detroit is not a livable city. There is almost no shopping, almost no movie theaters, few viable neighborhoods. The schools are a disgrace (Less than 30% graduate). The parks are unsafe. However, it does have the following things to return to:

An incredible art museum--one of the best in the world.
A new small art museum that's trying to show newer art and provide cutting edge lectures and music, a historical, science and African American museum
Artists and galleries that exhibit their work
Fine sports teams
A really good music scene-all kinds of music
Some great restaurants
Some great theater
A fine zoo
Ethnic, music and art festivals almost every weekend
A new riverwalk
A few good universities
A good used bookstore

If you include the metropolitan area you can add in a terrfic group of movie theaters that show art and indie films, great diversity, lovely parks, more waterfront, more music, more bookstores. Pretty much everything you want.

It's not New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago or even Philly, but damn, it's better than a lot of places. And it's home.

Check out Travis for other My Town Monday posts:


r2 said...

...and some great writers.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, I should have said that. Thanks!

Travis Erwin said...

It's nice that you can find the good along with the bad.

Linda McLaughlin said...

What a shame about the schools, but that's not uncommon in big cities. LA isn't doing much better, at least according to some. Of course, it's probably not fair to compare any other city to New York. :)


Terrie Farley Moran said...

Dorothy said it best: "There's no place like home."

Linda thanks for the compliment to my beloved New York. People aren't always so nice when they talk about us. :)


debra said...

It's tough to be a rust belt city in today's economy. I"m so glad you pointed out the rich parts of your town.

the walking man said...

hmmm having lived no where else in MI than south of 8 mile born, raised and educated in Detroit; I think your list encompasses some good about the city. You touched on the big ones...

There is more though;
thriving spoken word venue's

affordable housing in all sizes of house

fairly quiet neighborhoods are still not uncommon

you can live fairly well here on less than 25k a year

Detroit began the "Motown" sound and industrial techno, house music

There is a huge assortment of ethnic eating available from Cuban to Thai, Indian to Polish

Bob Marley is quoted, in neon on Woodward just south of the art museum, "Everything Is Going to Be Allright"

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Detroit area's ethnic diversity
in one of its great strengths and its reflected in the food. Thanks for helping me remember The Walking Man.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Detroit for years, but I loved the way you looked at the positives in your city. Those of us in the rust belt have taken some hard hits, but we have wonderful people like you that make it a better place.

Lyzzydee said...

Bum, I wanted to use the no place like home line!!!
Great post.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Mary. I always feel guilty when I badmouth Detroit. It's like kicking the sick puppy in the litter.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I like that "or even Philly." Oh, don't the idea that I'm insulted. Philly is not my home town, and your assessment is accurate!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Barrie said...

I have a soft spot for Detroit. I think because of Elmore Leonard.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Philly is a second-tier city. Detroit is a fourth, I'm sorry to say. Contemplate Philly with no shopping, no real downtown, no historic sites.
Detroit may have some better housing stock.
Elmore Leonard is apparently our greatest resource. Hope is son is ready to pick up the flag although I'm not sure he even lives here.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I am not a big shopper, but it was your comment about Detroit's lack of shopping that spurred comparisons with Philadelphia. I suppose we have sufficient shopping for most things, all right. The public schools here are nothing to shout about, either, though I think the graduation rate is higher than thirty percent.

And I am checking the Detroit Institute of Arts Web site right now. I remember there was at least one painting there that I wanted to see.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"