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May 7, 2010 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Requiem for Detroit? - Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A BBC documentary on the fall of Detroit. Via LSE Podcast (mp3) via mnmlssg
posted by azarbayejani (58 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sometimes people underestimate the power of entertainment.

I give it 5 years before Detroit is booming again, resurrected as a dystopian cyberpunk theme park.
posted by qvantamon at 6:48 PM on May 7, 2010


Will Detroit ever stop dying and finally be dead? Stay tuned for the next incisive investigative report we're frantically trying to wrap up before public interest has moved on to some other symbol of America's decline!

Sorry to snark. This is better than a lot of coverage I've seen. But I'm getting tired of people looking at me like I told them I've got cancer when all I said was that I live in Michigan.
posted by ardgedee at 7:16 PM on May 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Our lovely city
posted by koeselitz at 7:17 PM on May 7, 2010


ardgedee: “But I'm getting tired of people looking at me like I told them I've got cancer when all I said was that I live in Michigan.”

Honestly, I'm no expert, and I've never lived there, but it's always seemed to me that Detroit is the best thing about Michigan. Detroit is only a symbol of decline in the eyes of latter-day capitalists and the sort of people who seem to think that the well-being of a polity is measured in shopping malls per square mile. It always seemed to me that there's a hell of a lot more that's rotting in Grand Rapids than in Detroit.
posted by koeselitz at 7:21 PM on May 7, 2010


it's always seemed to me that Detroit is the best thing about Michigan.

Then you've never been Up North. And that's ok. Because Up North is like the secret stash of perfect, untracked powder that is still there a week after the last big snow. Stay away!
posted by The World Famous at 7:24 PM on May 7, 2010 [8 favorites]


yeah, leave us alone, at least until we get Ernie in the ground...

I'm really wondering what the media is going to do if Bing manages to pull off his plan (and I'm a big supporter of this) of tearing down the abandoned buildings...

hell, half the photographers on the net will be out of work...
posted by HuronBob at 7:31 PM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


"The crime rate: it's only high when it happens to you."

If you're watching this video, you probably already know, but the first images in this link are from a Detroit: A City on the Move
posted by HLD at 7:37 PM on May 7, 2010


There are some pretty awesome things about Michigan to counterbalance all the crappy things. We're heading out on a SW Michigan Wine Tour next weekend to see the lakes, wineries, breweries and gorgeous nature over on that side of the state.

I still have some hope for a new Detroit. One day...
posted by custardfairy at 7:43 PM on May 7, 2010


I was born in Michigan. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire state sucks.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:07 PM on May 7, 2010


All I know is I drove NW to SW through the middle of Michigan a couple of years ago and I went through the most beautiful little town. They had lined both sides of the main road through town with dense, blooming, obviously carefully tended flowers for miles, from one city limit sign to the other. I had never seen that before. Or since. I can't for the life of me remember what the town was.

But I remember my Michiganite pal saying, "Yep, this is the week it's gorgeous here..." He seemed less impressed than I.
posted by umberto at 8:13 PM on May 7, 2010


I spent twenty years of life in my Michigan, have been back several times to visit and I'm looking forward to going back for a visit next month. The entire state does not suck.
posted by marxchivist at 8:19 PM on May 7, 2010


the treasure in Detroit
posted by robbyrobs at 8:23 PM on May 7, 2010


Nicely ironic use of Kraftwerk in part 7
posted by b1tr0t at 8:24 PM on May 7, 2010


We're heading out on a SW Michigan Wine Tour next weekend to see the lakes, wineries, breweries and gorgeous nature over on that side of the state.

Sounds like a blast. Just avoid the wine.
posted by drpynchon at 8:30 PM on May 7, 2010


No Robocop?
posted by MrLint at 8:32 PM on May 7, 2010


Stereotypes notwithstanding, I think that states like California and Nevada are just as strong as candidates for A Portrait of Decline as Michigan (if not stronger). The difference is that Michigan has been dealing with this hell and non-Michiganders' disdain for years now. California and Nevada haven't seen anything yet.
posted by blucevalo at 8:35 PM on May 7, 2010


Even though I grew up with Schuss Mountain in back yard and Dead Man's Hill in my front yard (yeah, I'm taking creative license, what's it to ya fudgie?), a decrepit Detroit saddens me. Makes me want to buy the old family farm outside of Mass City and become a Michigander again (yeah, I said "Michagander," what's it to ya fudgie?)
posted by NoMich at 8:38 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm getting tired of people looking at me like I told them I've got cancer when all I said was that I live in Michigan.

Try telling people you live in Detroit.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:42 PM on May 7, 2010


Have I mentioned lately that Obama is coming to southwest Michigan to give a commencement speech?
posted by willF at 8:44 PM on May 7, 2010


"There are some pretty awesome things about Michigan to counterbalance all the crappy things. We're heading out on a SW Michigan Wine Tour next weekend to see the lakes, wineries, breweries and gorgeous nature over on that side of the state."

The secret to a wine tour in Michigan is to only drink beer.
posted by klangklangston at 8:47 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


In case I was not clear, we Detroiters are not exactly losing sleep over the plight of Ann Arborites insofar as they live in a vastly different city in a different county, and for all practical purposes, in a different world. And I say this as someone who has lived in both cities for years at a time. Call me when your biggest urban issue is something other than a ban on couch porches.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:48 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Try telling people you live in Detroit."

When I was in Europe, I was wearing my Tigers hat for most of it, and had no luck in trying to explain "Ann Arbor," but everyone knew Detroit and assumed that I was a super-badass Techno murderer with an amazing car and Stevie Wonder's home phone number. It was sweet and I was entirely content to coast on that rep.
posted by klangklangston at 8:50 PM on May 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Apologies, ardgedee, that was unnecessarily harsh. I love both cities but for vastly different reasons. It has been a long night and I should not have taken it out on you. Come to Detroit sometime, I swear it is not so bad. Well, not in the way most think.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:51 PM on May 7, 2010


heh...klang is 100% right on the wine thing.. I've tried my hardest to find good wine in the southwest of the state, in Traverse City, where ever the wind blows warm... they don't have it figured out yet.. but, damn, they are trying!

Now...the beer is great.. Arbor Brewing, Ann Arbor... a liberal hangout that produces great beer...what more could you ask for?
posted by HuronBob at 8:53 PM on May 7, 2010


Honestly, though, Detroit's so much safer now than it was during the crack epidemic of the '80s. Like, you can actually walk Cass at night without passing out deli tickets for the folks waiting in line to shoot you. Detroit's still fucked, but it's not nearly as scary as it was 20 years ago.

I am surprised that I haven't been able to find some equivalent of Homicide or Hollywood Special or even Cop Shop set in Detroit. Surely some journalist must have done enough of the crime beat for the Freep to write a book, right?
posted by klangklangston at 8:54 PM on May 7, 2010


Surely some journalist must have done enough of the crime beat for the Freep to write a book, right?

For the love of God do not give Mitch Albom any more ideas. We are rapidly approaching Peak Glurge as it is. Oh, you said journalist. Carry on.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:57 PM on May 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Have I mentioned lately that Obama is coming to southwest Michigan to give a commencement speech?

Not to toot my own horn, but if you didn't, I sure did.
posted by 40 Watt at 8:58 PM on May 7, 2010


You don't want to read an Albom book of what he thinks would have happened if he had stayed for the whole ride-along?
posted by klangklangston at 8:59 PM on May 7, 2010


If Mitch would only write "Mondays with Sparky", donate the money, rebuild tiger stadium, tear down comerica... all would be well!
posted by HuronBob at 9:08 PM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Stereotypes notwithstanding, I think that states like California and Nevada are just as strong as candidates for A Portrait of Decline as Michigan (if not stronger).

California is a very different place. It's got a strong economy with a powerful tech base, and its economy is definitely expanding. Its fundamental problem is that the government refuses to live within its means, which is a problem you're seeing worldwide. (Greece, Spain, Portugal, England, and the US Federal government all come to mind.)

If California kept fairly balanced books, perhaps saving a surplus in the good years to keep up spending in the down ones, it would be an excellent place to live, one of the better ones in the country.

It's not like Michigan. It's being corroded by debt, not failure of its primary industries.
posted by Malor at 9:28 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


[California's] fundamental problem is that the government refuses to live within its means.

Primarily due to Prop 13, which caps property taxes without concern for must have expenses like education, fire departments, police, and roads. As a result, the state has to fund the basics through bond issues instead (want to keep teachers? bring the school buildings up to code? give the firefighters a raise so they can afford to live within half an hour of work? etc.)
posted by zippy at 9:57 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am sick of Detroit decline porn--yet this is quite good.
posted by LarryC at 10:32 PM on May 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


all of the music in this film is from Detroit musicians...except Kraftwerk. And there is no Detroit techno in the film at all. I don't get it
posted by dydecker at 11:00 PM on May 7, 2010


My Wisconsin burg, which lost its GM plant, is lately getting a lot of press about how hopeless and grim our situation is. It's not good, but it hardly feels as utterly dire as the outsider press would have it. Maybe we are, as a recent piece suggested, in denial.
posted by dhartung at 11:32 PM on May 7, 2010


If you're looking for a counterpoint to all the "Detroit is dying! ZOMG!" articles, look no further than Wikipedia's Detroit article.

It's one of the most biased articles I've ever seen on Wikipedia, actively avoiding almost any mention of any of the negative issues associated with the city. I love Detroit. I grew up in Michigan, I drove down to Detroit almost weekly while in HS for concerts at St. Andy's, Motor, all of the great music venues down there. The annual GWAR Halloween show at Harpo's was always a highpoint.

But the city has problems. Denying that is just stupid. The problem isn't the residents. The people are great.

The Wikipedia article has been taken over by what appears to be a single user, Thomas Paine1776 (see for example this talk page). There's no real mention of current or historical issues, or of the great community oriented developments in response to them. Things like urban farming and other social entrepreneurship ventures. The article seems to put all hope on the future on big developers and large corporations (e.g. Intuit). You can tell the article isn't written by a group of citizens, and comes straight from the mouth of a PR flack.
posted by formless at 12:10 AM on May 8, 2010


Just watched the whole series. Very good. Why do all the best documentaries about the US come from outside the US? Maybe it's a matter of having a good perspective on what's being examined.

Just wondering, azarbayejani, would the title of this post have been better with a question mark instead of a period?
posted by telstar at 1:30 AM on May 8, 2010


I just watched it all as well. Fascinating.

One thing I would think would be self-evident: you can't fake it, not for long. Either making cars is viable or it isn't, but you can't just dump some gov't bux in every once in awhile and hope it takes this time.

Detroit should be doing whatever it can to leverage what it does have going on. I did like how it ended on a hopeful note, however minor.
posted by maxwelton at 1:47 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"This just in... Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."
posted by Splunge at 4:18 AM on May 8, 2010


I just watched this on Saturday night and found it quite haunting. It's a shame it isn't being shown on American TV-- I would bet that most Americans don't know how bad it is in Detroit.

I think that states like California and Nevada are just as strong as candidates for A Portrait of Decline as Michigan (if not stronger).

California will always have perfect weather-- the best weather in the USA: low humidity, lots of sunshine, moderate summers, no snow, very few hurricanes or tornados. The movie and TV industry is one of America's biggest exports and even if it went the way of the car industry there would still be the wine production and other agriculture. Not to mention California has a vast coastline-- so all the goods shipped from Asia are unloaded there. Beaches, mountains, redwood forests-- it will always be a tourist mecca and a highly desirable place to live.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:14 AM on May 8, 2010


I was born in Michigan. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire state sucks.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:07 PM on May 7 [+] [!
]

At least we won't be dying of thirst or unable to sustain a ridiculously overdeveloped and unsustainable agricultural base here. You all can keep your desert vistas and thirsty cities, thanks very much.

Detroit is an anomoly--the product of breakneck development and years of poisonous racial politics, and doesn't reflect the character of the rest of the state (you know, that mythical place where most Michiganders actually live). To conflate Detroit with Michigan is as stupid and offensive as conflating, say, the character of any state in the deep South with some stupid, redneck town where they cancel prom because of fear of the gays or drag African-americans to death behind pickup trucks for "fun". We're not perfect--thats for sure--and right now we're getting our fair share of comeuppance for being a mono-industrial economy, but it's still a beautiful state with a huge amount to offer if you're willing to look.

(Jesus, I can't believe I've become such a Michigan apologist, but there you have it...)
posted by Chrischris at 6:26 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Irony....here's how Detroit is being promoted now
posted by HuronBob at 6:39 AM on May 8, 2010


> Detroit's still fucked, but it's not nearly as scary as it was 20 years ago.

I grew up an hour north of Detroit on the Canadian side, and during the '80s and '90s anyone who ventured down for a concert, hockey or baseball game (these are literally the only reasons I can remember anyone making the trip) did so with kind of an Apocalypse Now "never get off the boat" mentality; i.e. venturing anywhere outside a straight line to the arena/stadium would end in Judgment Night.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:28 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's got great stuff going on, but it'll never be anything at all like what it was. There's no real reason for the city to exist anymore. Detroit was a one-industry town, and that industry evaporated. There's no reason for any company to do anything in the city anymore. Any new construction requires demolition and environmental remediation. Any reuse of existing buildings is prohibitively expensive when you factor in renovations (which is sad, because the city has some of the best architecture in the country). The infrastructure is in awful shape and is designed for TWICE the population the city now has. Suburban residents don't want to work there, generally. Large parts of the place make even a die-hard city lover really...uncomfortable.

The recent talk of shrinking the city back to a functional core is about the only good news I've heard in a decade, but how does THAT work? You want to tell some elderly couple that's stuck around through the riots, collapse of the auto industry, the city/suburb squabbles and some of the nation's worst crime that they should all of a sudden start trusting government and abandon their home for another part of the city? Please.

Anymore, everything good about Detroit is good _because_ it's such a shithole. It's been an embattled place for so long that people there have gotten really interesting. One time I was wandering around there, I ran across some dude sitting in the middle of a field, in front of his scrap metal shack, strapping a snowblower motor to half-bike half-wheelchair vehicle so he could get around town faster. That pretty much sums up the city right there.
posted by pjaust at 7:29 AM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


> Have I mentioned lately that Obama is coming to southwest Michigan to give a commencement speech?

He was in southeast Michigan just last week. Dudebro likes the place. Must be the beer.
posted by ardgedee at 7:46 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chrischris: “To conflate Detroit with Michigan is as stupid and offensive as conflating, say, the character of any state in the deep South with some stupid, redneck town where they cancel prom because of fear of the gays or drag African-americans to death behind pickup trucks for "fun"... (Jesus, I can't believe I've become such a Michigan apologist, but there you have it...)”

You're not a Michigan apologist. You just really, really hate Detroit.
posted by koeselitz at 8:02 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


And I have to say, after living in a house full of Michiganders for the last few months, that this seems pretty common amongst people from Michigan. Everybody from Michigan seems to despise Detroit. I'm guessing it must be that they just hate being associated with it, and often are. But, again, I like Detroit.

I think for me it comes down to the fact that I grew up in Colorado, in a small town, in many ways on the edge of what I view as the decay that is Middle America. There are some great things about Colorado, and it's a state that I love, but there are things that I can't stand: the strip malls, the suburban emptiness, that particular American mediocrity. And it's everywhere in Michigan, too; this was something that I was overwhelmed by when I was there.

Detroit is different, because it's a town that went through that and came out the other end a different thing. It's eclipsed Middle America; it's beyond it. And that's what I loved about it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:21 AM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


He was in southeast Michigan just last week. Dudebro likes the place. Must be the beer.

All that way just for a Stroh's.
posted by NoMich at 8:56 AM on May 8, 2010


"It's got great stuff going on, but it'll never be anything at all like what it was. There's no real reason for the city to exist anymore. Detroit was a one-industry town, and that industry evaporated. There's no reason for any company to do anything in the city anymore."

It's never going to be like it was at the height of the boom, but it's also never going to be how it was at the depths of '70s gangs, or '80s crack. As far as why it should exist, well, it is one of the biggest border crossings in the country, a huge shipping hub, and it still does have a lot of auto industry talent there. Not only that, it's still got almost a million people.

Bulldozing buildings into lots is a good start, and if gas does climb back up, it'll turn back into more of an urban hub—Southeast Michigan, especially Oakland county, is textbook cheap oil sprawl. The light rail will help too. But I'd put a bigger bet on Detroit's recovery than Buffalo's.
posted by klangklangston at 8:58 AM on May 8, 2010



You're not a Michigan apologist. You just really, really hate Detroit.


This doesn't even make sense, but whatever. Apparently I'm not a cool enough hipster, in that I think that regular trash pickup, a police and fire force that at least pretends to be timely in response, & a functioning school system are all prerequisites for a decent urban lifestyle. Detroit, right now, has none of that. I'd love to see it fixed, so that the majority of its citizens (not some vanishingly small subset of trustfund fueled "urban pioneers" and postapocolyptic fetishists) have a better, more sustainable life.

Detroit is different, because it's a town that went through that and came out the other end a different thing. It's eclipsed Middle America; it's beyond it. And that's what I loved about it.

Spoken like a tourist. Look, I have family that lives in Detroit. For them, the "post-suburbia" glamour you so admire is nothing more than a series of inconveniences and eyesores to be ignored or overcome on a daily basis.
posted by Chrischris at 9:30 AM on May 8, 2010


One of the reasons we're doing the Michigan winery tour is to make lemons out of lemonade. I'm not a big Michigan wine fan; due to the climate and the environs the wines are invariably sweeter than their imported counterparts and my partner and I both prefer dry wines to sweet ones. However, I think that there probably are some wines that Michigan does well and I want to experience them. It's not going to be Italian or French, and that's ok, because it's Michigan.
posted by custardfairy at 12:00 PM on May 8, 2010


On California (somewhat offtopic, but this is a slow thread anyway):

Primarily due to Prop 13, which caps property taxes without concern for must have expenses like education, fire departments, police, and roads.

That's absolutely true, and I should have said that the voters refuse to live within their means, rather than 'the government'. They've crippled the ability of the state government to raise revenue, while simultaneously giving themselves direct power over the checkbook with the ballot initiative process. So they spend like drunken sailors, and then outright refuse to cover that spending when the government comes back to try to get the revenue it needs. Typically, the politicians have no choice about spending that money, it's mandated by law. But the law also says that they have to get voter approval to raise most taxes, and the voters simply will not approve tax increases. In essence, the voting population has short-circuited all adult supervision on the budget.

Unsurprisingly, with revenue and spending so badly out of balance, the state had to borrow heavily for many years. It's out of borrowing capacity, to the point that they had to outright rob all their cities last year to make their state budget work. But I haven't heard about any further conversation after that; they need to make wrenching, painful changes, but they stole the money and promptly dropped the whole issue. The whole state, politicians and voters alike, pretty much refuses to accept or deal with reality. They want big, expensive social programs, but they refuse to pay for them.

There's no real reason for them to be failing so badly. They're stuck in wishful thinking on an enormous scale. It's the same thing you see in all those other governments, and it's having the exact same effect... corrosion of infrastructure, mostly, as the state defers basic maintenance that shouldn't be deferred, and a very dramatic long-term impact on what services the state will be able to fund, because they have to repay the loans for unfunded services from prior years.

California was once one of the most best states in the nation, a shining example of wealth and prosperity, and their refusal to fund the government, while simultaneously demanding expensive services, has turned it into a run-down shitheap. That's what consumptive debt does to a society. It's terribly dangerous. Borrowing for consumption rots everything it touches.

For me, the symbol of the problem is crossing the border from Nevada, on whatever that big freeway is near Las Vegas. It changes from a perfectly maintained, ruler-flat superhighway, to a bumpy shithole road that I'd expect to see in Mexico. There's a sharp, straight dividing line between proper freeway and crappy road. It feels like leaving civilization. As a native Californian, I feel ashamed every time I see that. There's just no excuse for that nonsense.

At least Detroit has an excuse.
posted by Malor at 12:33 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


> All that way just for a Stroh's.

Stroh's hasn't been around for a long time. But we've got Short's, Atwater Block, Motor City, Arbor Brewing, Frog Island and Jolly Pumpkin, to name a few. If Obama's speaking where I think he is, it's just up the road from Bell's brewhouse and it won't take much of a drive to drop in for a pint of cream stout after all that speaking.
posted by ardgedee at 12:39 PM on May 8, 2010


I was born in Michigan. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire state sucks.

My girlfriend is from Michigan. I can say with great authority that the entire state does not suck, no matter how I ask.
posted by D+ at 1:47 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Chrischris: “This doesn't even make sense, but whatever. Apparently I'm not a cool enough hipster, in that I think that regular trash pickup, a police and fire force that at least pretends to be timely in response, & a functioning school system are all prerequisites for a decent urban lifestyle. Detroit, right now, has none of that. I'd love to see it fixed, so that the majority of its citizens (not some vanishingly small subset of trustfund fueled "urban pioneers" and postapocolyptic fetishists) have a better, more sustainable life... Look, I have family that lives in Detroit. For them, the "post-suburbia" glamour you so admire is nothing more than a series of inconveniences and eyesores to be ignored or overcome on a daily basis.”

Fair enough. And yes, I'm speaking these things as a tourist, although I'm not the urban hipster you take me for. I am biased, it's true. My experience of Michigan is minimal; a few months here and there. I'll be completely honest: most of the coloration in my personal view of the state comes from my Michigander roommates here in Colorado. Two of them are lesbians - getting married in a few months, actually - who hail from Spring Lake, outside of Grand Haven. The stories they tell are enough to make your blood boil - they feel like they were just about run out of town on a rail, and they got little to no support from their families when it came out that they were seeing each other. They tell me stories about the time that three white families moved away when a black family moved onto their block, all of them grumbling about "them coming here to steal our jobs." My roommates say that the only place they could ever feel like they belonged, and the only place they could meet open-minded people who accepted them, was Detroit.

This gels with the impression of Detroit that I've always gotten – and, mind you, I'm not enamored with blacktop and concrete and urban decay and all that. No, I know what you mean when you say that those things are only attractive to hipster tourists who don't have to live there. But Detroit has an interesting culture; it's always had a fine music scene, and a lively DIY arts sector. People have more of a tendency to band together because they have to. This may sound weird, but because of this Detroit sort of reminded me of Berlin, in that outsiders generally thought of it as an urban sprawling wasteland, whereas in truth it was a lot more warm and vibrant than people give it credit for.

Maybe I'm entirely off here. And my summary judgment of the rest of the state certainly isn't fair; it may be what I've heard, but it's entirely anecdotal, and moreover I have to say with sadness that those stories aren't any different from stories you could tell about small-town New Hampshire, or Iowa, or Colorado for that matter.

Moreover, I should say that the lake really is beautiful, and the state in general is quite pretty. I have indeed always wanted to see the north, and someday maybe I will.
posted by koeselitz at 3:49 PM on May 8, 2010


No personal offense intended, koeselitz. I know that the condition of Detroit tends to be a polarizing subject nowadays, and I hope you didn't take my rebuttal personally. Its just that, in certain internet circles, there tends to be be an attitude of "hey, an urban wasteland! Cool!" which completely ignores the misery of systemic dysfunction which was responsible for that wasteland in the first place. That's what I was reacting against, not you, per se.

Strange how the world works--I'm actually from Spring Lake/Grand Haven and have extended family there still. While your roomates' situation isn't something I've experienced myself, it certainly is within the realm of possibility--there is a deep-rooted religiosity and cultural conservatism in West Michigan (thanks, CRC!) which rears its head from time to time, especially in the semi-rural areas between the lakeshore and Grand Rapids.
posted by Chrischris at 5:57 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, at least Detroit doesn't have to worry about the evils of Gentrification. If nobody wants to move to move to Detroit, then they won't have to deal with the perils of rising rents, boutique stores, or any of that stuff.
posted by happyroach at 2:40 PM on May 9, 2010


I was born in Michigan. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire state sucks.

"Some authority?" Right. Because being born somewhere makes you an authority on the merits of an entire state. (Or are you saying that, by virtue of the fact that it played a role in bringing you into the world, Michigan therefore sucks?)

I went to New Orleans once when I was 3 years old. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire state of Louisiana sucks. I ate at a Taco Bell once. I feel qualified to say, with some authority, that the entire country of Mexico sucks. (Did I do that right?)
posted by The World Famous at 11:20 PM on May 9, 2010


I'm realising how many refugees from Michigan (and particularly, it seems, West Michigan) there are on MeFi....

I don't think the hate that The Rest Of The State has for Detroit (the whole metro, not just the City) is anything complicated. It's basically the same antagonism that all hinterlands feel to some extent for their metropolitan area, with the added bonus that Detroit (and Flint) give the rest of Michigan a horrible and undeserved reputation with out-of-staters.

There's something in the state character, though, that stiff upper lip developed through decades of economic pain. I may be a resident of Chicago -- maybe even a Chicagoan -- but I'll always be a Michigander, really. (Plus, the epithet Illinoisean is unpronounceable barf-talk.)
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:15 PM on May 10, 2010


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