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Detriot's Beautiful, Horrible Decline

Detroit's Beatiful, Horrible Decline: Photographers Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre's work in Motor City. More photography capturing abandoned properties in Detroit. (Previously, and more previously)
posted by rollbiz on Mar 13, 2009 - 56 comments

Always look on the bright side of blight

"Ah, the mythical $100 home. We hear about these low-priced “opportunities” in down-on-their-luck cities like Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland, but we never meet anyone who has taken the plunge. Understandable really, for if they were actually worth anything then they would cost real money, right? Who would do such a preposterous thing?" Amongst others, artists who have hope for the future and money to invest. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 12, 2009 - 35 comments

Where the Wild Things Aren't

Detroit's abandoned Belle Isle Zoo, beautiful disaster. [more inside]
posted by punkbitch on Feb 18, 2009 - 68 comments

No Panic in Detroit

Man found dead [warning, graphic] in the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen on Jan 29, 2009 - 86 comments

The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep.

"The city is so cash-strapped that firefighters have to purchase their own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Their aging bunker gear is coated in carbon, 'making them the equivalent of walking matchsticks.' The firehouses' brass poles have been removed and sold off by the city." - The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep by Matt Labash.
posted by chunking express on Jan 20, 2009 - 38 comments

Death Lives!

Death were a proto-punk trio of black Jehovah's Witnesses based out of Detroit back in 1974. They were almost signed to Columbia, but bailed on the label when Columbia wanted them to change their name. Instead, they self-released a 7" which is now quite a collector's item, influenced as it was by, “Iggy and Stooges, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper and The Who”. But the story doesn't end there. Recently, Bobby Hackney, whose father played in Death along with two of his uncles, learned of the band and, lo and behold, his dad found the master tapes for their unreleased full-length in his attic. Is a new chapter in punk rock history about to be written?
posted by stinkycheese on Jun 11, 2008 - 35 comments

"It was kinda like a black American Bandstand..."

The Scene. Detroit. Channel 62. One of the hottest TV shows in Detroit between 1975 and 1987. "Here for us with The Scene, you got to see people you knew from school or there was a chance you'd run into them at the mall." "It had a lot of impact on me as far as being a deejay and being exposed to music that I wouldn't ordinarily be exposed to." "I got two left feet; I'd just make a fool out of myself. And you'd have some people down there that would do that, but the energy was - you didn't care." [Previously on MeFi.]
posted by The Card Cheat on May 9, 2008 - 10 comments

Detroit Public Schools Book Depository

"This is a building where our deeply-troubled public school system once stored its supplies, and then one day apparently walked away from it all, allowing everything to go to waste...All that's left is an overwhelming sense of knowledge unlearned and untapped potential." (Via Making Light.)
posted by ottereroticist on Jan 22, 2008 - 57 comments

Boy Howdy, what a mess

You'd think news of a Creem Magazine retrospective book would be greeted with cries of glee. You'd be wrong. Occasional staff shutterbug Bob Matheu licensed rights to use the name of the beloved, iconoclastic Detroit rock zine years after it ceased to be relevant, but despite occasional "Creem is back" announcements, only produced a website. [more inside]
posted by Scram on Dec 2, 2007 - 12 comments

Is This Utopia? Are Ruins Beautiful?

Shrinking Cities (virtual and real): Analysis and Interventions. [more inside]
posted by salvia on Nov 29, 2007 - 12 comments

Dancing "rave style": from beginner to geriatric, you're covered

How to dance at a rave. People dancing to house music. The Detroit Jit vs. Chicago Juke. The history of the Detroit Jit on popular dance show The Scene from the 80's. 80's legends the Funkateers doing their thing to Wordy Rappinghood. Compare them to the New York City Breakers. [more inside]
posted by Unicorn on the cob on Nov 19, 2007 - 69 comments

"Outside of being a clown, I'm very low-key."

Though there are many who bemoan the current state of Detroit, one man is trying to make a difference- Smiley, the Hip Hop Clown. Artist DeMarcus Hughes assumes the persona of Smiley, producing his own brand of hip-hop and taking his message whereever it can help. Want to see him in action? Here's Smiley's MySpace page, with videos and music.
posted by ice_cream_motor on Nov 8, 2007 - 11 comments

1967 Detroit Riot Remembered

It's been 40 years since the 1967 Detroit riot. The Detroit News remembers. Where we stand, four decades after that fateful summer. Extensive coverage including galleries, video, audio, and articles.
posted by The Deej on Aug 31, 2007 - 35 comments

Breezecab - A Bicycle Taxi, Motown Style!

Pedicabs are a common sight all over. In the pedicab business, there can be success, personal enlightment, and failure. Pedicabs come in countless styles. This style is sleek and modern, and this man is trying to bring them to Detroit (warning, only the sparse main page is finished). Here is the mandatory YouTube video.
posted by The Deej on May 19, 2007 - 13 comments

Will The Last Person To Leave Detroit Please Turn Out The Lights?

The city of Detroit is in a bad way. House are cheaper than cars. The city's neighborhoods are in decay. Families are leaving. Even "revived" areas are struggling. Entire portions of the city are starting to revert to prarie and ruins. Can the city be saved or is it time to give up on the Arsenal of Democracy?
posted by fancypants on Mar 21, 2007 - 220 comments

What is Philadelphia's trajectory in 2007?

What is Philadelphia's trajectory in 2007? Seven cities are compared: Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
posted by jacobw on Mar 5, 2007 - 29 comments

Detroit can be a hairy place...

Hair? We got it. We fix it. We flaunt it. We film it. We report it.
posted by QIbHom on Feb 1, 2007 - 14 comments

beautiful ruins

Photography of the unexpected and neglected architecture. Romain Meffre and Yves Marchand travel the world photographing "singular and surprising buildings of all domains," mostly 19th and 20th century urban and industrial architecture. Don't miss the photos of Detroit (under Projects), or more of Marchand's stunning work at his personal site.
posted by melissa may on Jan 15, 2007 - 24 comments

Want to Buy a Baseball Stadium?

Detroit's Tiger Stadium is for sale. A final walk-through opportunity takes place Monday, December 18, only for pre-approved corporate bidders. But it won't be re-purposed into condos. My childhood heroes played there, less than a mile from my house, as well as one of the best ever to play the game. After a long history of baseball on Michigan Trumbull (click the "More Photos" icon), the Tigers took their game to a new stadium in 1999.
posted by The Deej on Dec 17, 2006 - 20 comments

The Jit

Oakland has hyphie, Atlanta has crunk. Detroit has The Jit (more, more). Beginning in Detroit as the Jitterbug back in the '20s, the dance grew up through Detroit's Black Bottom, and was adopted by gangs like the Erroll Flynns into a battle dance with the rise of hip hop (similar to pop-locking or breaking). Similar dances have sprung up elsewhere (Chicken Noodle Soup in Harlem, B-More Club in Baltimore, Toe Wop in NY, Footwork in Chicago), but Detroit is still the best. There's even a movie in the works.
posted by klangklangston on Aug 23, 2006 - 16 comments

When Buttrock ruled Detroit

Motor City Rock 1980-1990 A great archive of Detroit's most overlooked and ignoble musical era. Highlights include Bittersweet Alley, The Trash Brats, Vertical Pillows, The Dick the Bruiser Band, and many more. Great to listen to while you read the relauched (and vaguely sad) Creem.
posted by klangklangston on Aug 4, 2006 - 12 comments

Detroiters are stealing National Guard Humvees now?!

Michigan National Guard Gets a Hummer Apparently, even the Michigan National Guard can't protect their vehicles from thieves in Detroit...
posted by risk on Jun 8, 2006 - 10 comments

The Sound of Detroit.

Please, allow me to introduce you to Detroit Techno. Artist Derrick May once described it as "George Clinton and Kraftwerk stuck in an elevator." Despite being virtually unknown in the United States, this genre has achieved global popularity. Noteworthy artists include Carl Craig, Sean Deason, Stacey Pullen, Jeff Mills, Underground Resistance, DJ Assault, Moodymann, and Kevin Saunderson (among others). From May 27th-29th the city of Detroit will launch a huge electronic music festival . It isn't something you see everyday in the U.S., so check it out. Here are some o t h e r links.
posted by j-urb on May 17, 2006 - 45 comments

Battle Cry

Battle Cry, the youth arm of the Christian Reconstructionist (also called Dominionist) movement, is holding a rally in Philadelphia this weekend. They've already had events in San Francisco & Detroit. Create your own Battle Plan or just chat with other soldiers in God's Army. But not everyone is happy about it.
posted by scalefree on May 11, 2006 - 121 comments

In the club, and on the street, I keep bangin' the beat

DJ Assault is all up in your house. nsfw
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket on Apr 18, 2006 - 25 comments

Detroit Techno

First wave: Juan Atkins (Metroplex), Derrick May (Transmat), Kevin Saunderson (KMS). Second wave: Eddie "Flashin" Fowlkes, Carl Craig (Planet E), Jeff Mills (Axis), Drexciya, Mike Banks (Submerge, Underground Resistance, Red Planet).... And you don't even need a turntable.
posted by hyperizer on Mar 16, 2006 - 33 comments

Best Pervert Ever!

Fresh is best. "It's like drinking their youth."
posted by Mayor Curley on Feb 28, 2006 - 48 comments

Detroit Demolition Disneyland

The "D" stands for Demolition. In an attempt at building awareness of Detroit's rotting, decaying neighborhoods(as if one needed further awareness), the Detroit Demolition Disneyland project finds long-abandoned, neglected structures that the city has failed to demolish and paints them with Tiggerific Orange paint.
posted by 40 Watt on Feb 15, 2006 - 36 comments

Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing

Motown history traded for Super Bowl parking. (mostly audio) The Motown Center in Detroit was torn down a few weeks ago and turned into Super Bowl parking. Although not the main recording studios, and long abandoned, it still contained many Motown documents and memorabilia, most of which were lost in the razing. Covered by local bloggers: dETROITfUNK (1, 2) , Detroit Blog (1, 2, 3, 4), and Kempa, plus local tv.
posted by caddis on Feb 6, 2006 - 45 comments

Detroit, how hast thou fallen?

"Oh, Detroit! Detroit, how hast thou fallen! No power in noonday to defend the helpless women and children from outlaws, till they have fully glutted their hellish appetites on the weak and defenseless." This full-text version of A Thrilling Narrative From the Lips of the Sufferers of the Late Detroit Riot, March 6, 1863, with the Hair Breadth Escapes of Men, Women and Children, and Destruction of Colored Men's Property, Not Less Than $15,000 contains firsthand testimonies from African American victims of this forgotten race/draft riot, which was overshadowed by a much larger one in New York City. [more inside]
posted by goatdog on Jan 19, 2006 - 8 comments

Transit in Detroit

Transit in Detroit details an urban planner's initiative to cut the costs of the city's traffic congestion-relieving highway expansion by proposing a transit system combining light rail and bus-rapid-transit. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Nov 25, 2005 - 15 comments

Just between the chalked lines, folks.

It was 100 years ago today. Tyrus Raymond Cobb, humanitarian and/or killer, argubly the most talented man to play Major League Baseball, appeared in his first game for the Detroit Tigers. It was just three weeks after Cobb's mother shot to death his father.
posted by ?! on Aug 29, 2005 - 14 comments

Hudson's, the King of Woodward Ave's Glory Days

"A world within a store": For decades, JL Hudson's was the soul of downtown Detroit. A commercial giant housed in a mammoth structure, the legendary store was a symbol of the city's heyday and a Midwestern icon, but much more to the millions who shopped there. The growth of suburban malls killed Hudson's flagship store in 1983, and thousands of nostalgic Detroiters lined the streets to see it demolished fifteen years later. "The store is a habit, an institution, a tradition, an emotion, or all of these, depending on which Detroiter you talk to. It's regarded as a member of the family in countless homes." Macy's, eat your heart out.
posted by sellout on Jul 23, 2005 - 16 comments

There's a world going on, underground.

Detroit: city of auto manufacture, crime, Motown and... mining? Take this with a grain of salt, but beneath the city of Detroit Michigan, there is a vast underground mine.
posted by Capn on Apr 4, 2005 - 13 comments

We're Going Where You're Going

Alternative Rapid Transit Looking for a funky way to get around town? Try Detroit's People Mover (warning, embedded earworm). For 50 cents you can travel 2.9 miles through 13 stops in 15 minutes, and see some fantastic art along the way. People movers and modified Personal Rapid Transit systems were built in various cities in the 1970s, such as Miami, Jacksonville, and at West Virginia University. The dream of true Personal Rapid Transit has not yet been achieved, and its viability and economic benefits are still up for debate, but the People Mover, at least, is still hanging on.
posted by livii on Apr 2, 2005 - 32 comments

My City is Almost Gone

While reading up on the Detroit City Council's latest brainstorm, African Town, I stumbled upon this blog that highlights many of the once great, now decaying buildings of my former hometown. If you've ever wondered what was inside some of those ancient, boarded up buildings, there are some great photos here.
posted by Oriole Adams on Sep 30, 2004 - 7 comments

The fabulous ruins of Detroit

The fabulous ruins of Detroit: "After decades of blight, large swathes of Detroit are being reclaimed by nature. Roughly a third of this 139-square-mile city consists of weed-choked lots and dilapidated buildings . . . rather than fight this return to nature, urban farmers have embraced it, gradually converting 15 acres of idle land into more than 40 community gardens and microfarms — some consuming entire blocks." [note: NY Times link]
posted by ryanshepard on Dec 9, 2003 - 22 comments

Salt Mine Under Detroit

The history of the salt mine under the city of Detroit. Mined until 1983.
posted by NortonDC on Jun 13, 2003 - 18 comments

Saddam was once given key to Detroit.

For his kindness, Saddam was once given a key to the city of Detroit.

Apparently Saddam Hussein once donated money to Chaldean churches all over the world, including Chaldean Sacred Heart, in the motor city.

"He was very kind person, very generous, very cooperative with the West. Lately, what's happened, I don't know," (Rev. Jacob) Yasso, 70, said Wednesday. "Money and power changed the person."

Yasso was later invited to Iraq, where he presented Saddam Hussein with a key to the city, courtesy of then-Detroit mayor, Coleman Young.
posted by wondergirl on Mar 29, 2003 - 12 comments

Where have all the Muslims gone?

A teacher in Detroit notes the strange disappearance of an Iraqi student. "Even we are starting to notice that a few of our Middle Eastern students and parents and neighbors are disappearing. Another teacher said that my story made her realize she hasn't seen a certain Palestinian student for three weeks." Mass exodus? Detention? Deportation? Where are these students going?
posted by Hildegarde on Mar 25, 2003 - 23 comments

The rise and fall of Supercar!

Sure, we all know the story about how Detroit developed, and then kept under wraps, a 100mpg carburetor is false. However, affordable 80mpg family sedans are real: behold the Supercar! They are the results of a nearly decade-long partnership between The Big Three and the Clinton administration. However the program was quietly shelved last June, the victim of the Bush administration, and corporate backpedaling. Read the whole sordid tale here. [use username/password for login] In the meantime, you'll have to settle for one of these.
posted by thewittyname on Dec 13, 2002 - 22 comments

"If we sort out Iraq and Detroit develops a hydrogen engine," says a U.S. diplomat, "Saudi Arabia will go back to being a fascinating, benighted part of the world that people don't visit."
posted by artifex on Jul 30, 2002 - 19 comments

Tonight is Devil's Night in Detroit.

Tonight is Devil's Night in Detroit. There have been measures taken in recent years to reduce the number of arsons on this night. From 6pm curfews to 'officially' renaming it 'Angel's Night'. Can a city that is known for this sort of behavior ever grow out of this image?
posted by tj on Oct 30, 2001 - 40 comments

A 17-year-old is killed for his Cartier sunglasses.

A 17-year-old is killed for his Cartier sunglasses. When you were a teen, if you had $600 to spend, would you blow it all on a pair of sunglasses? (Yeah, I know this should be about what little value kids put on human life, etc, but I want to know where do kids get this kind of disposable income?)
posted by Oriole Adams on Aug 20, 2001 - 26 comments

Mini-riots break out over gray Nike shoes while people here discuss marketing items to teenagers. "I'm mad," said one girl "I want my shoes."
posted by gluechunk on Mar 4, 2001 - 9 comments

Now I'm depressed. I'd seen The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit site before, but never really looked around. It was well worth the hour I spent there. Then I wandered over to Modern Ruins. We're a destructive species, aren't we? We don't even value the things we create...
posted by Aaaugh! on Aug 16, 2000 - 6 comments

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