Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Detroit: a Friendly City....
Detroit... Sure... it looks desolate, rundown, crime ridden, but once you get past the cosmetics, you find what is in many ways a vibrant, friendly city. It reminds me of Mimi from the Drew Carey Show; someone with really bad makeup yet nice in some way at the same time. In my wanderings around Detroit I have adopted what I call the "friendliness test;" I throwout a friendly hello to passersby and measure the number of responses. While Detroit does not rate as high perhaps as an average Southern city, the test has yielded a friendly response over %50 of the time. In contrast, Toronto scored pathetically with under %10.
The residents of the city seem intent in some small way to present a positive, friendly attitude. It does not seem to be isolated to one class or another, rather across the social spectrum. From upscale pubs to working class lounges to the soup kitchen, what seems to resonate is a distinct love for the city by its residents. Many younger people feel they may have to leave as they start to have families or find new jobs... at the same time, however, as one young professional put it, "my heart is always in Detroit, it is my home, and I will return."
I came to Detroit with no expectations, simply an open mind as to what I would find... However, after meeting many residents it is hard not to want to stay and explore. As we reach the end of our journey it is hard not to realize that we have barely scratched the surface of what the city has to offer. We have seen much of the good, and I'm sure there is much more, yet we have seen little of the bad.
the picture above was taken in the Dequindre Cut, it shows an artist's cot, and seems to tell a story of dedication and perseverance that characterizes so many of the residents of Detroit.