Thursday, May 9, 2013

An Honest Look

A couple days ago, I posted photos and thoughts about the death of the city that is 25 miles from my home. I know that it made quite an impact on those that have seen it.  The scene from the Packard Plant makes a person gasp in disbelief. That is not a bombed out building. That is what 50 years of neglect and vandalism looks like.

This image is an ideal photo of the beautiful city of Detroit as seen from Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
A picturesque image that falsely portrays a city full of life in the evening.

From the riverfront view in Hart Plaza even, it appears to be a city full of life and promise.

The fairly new addition of a new stadium for the Detroit Tigers and arena for the Lions, do their best to bring the suburbanites back to the city. It looks amazing in this photo. But when you zoom in to street level, you see the beggers and dealers following the game-goers to their cars. Along Woodward avenue is wonderful things like the historic Fox Theatre, Orchestra Hall, several museums and a first class hospital network. But get one block in any direction and the picture changes.

You are about to see the real Detroit.
These photos will rip your heart from your chest.
They are very real.

In many cities, after a neighborhood takes a turn for the worst,
thrifty buyers will come in and fix up the old historic homes.

That is not going to be the case in Detroit.

The future for even this once grand entertainment hall does not look well.

Look closely and you will see laundry hanging to dry from a second story window at this condemned apartment building.

The streets are lined with rubble and garbage in front of what used to be thriving businesses.

These sights are not rare and it doesn't take any searching to find them.

Everywhere you look, there are ghostly reminders of a once powerful city.

Grand homes where many children were raised.

Family dinners were served and holidays celebrated.

Kwame Kilpatrick was certainly not the best mayor in the world. But sorry folks, Kwame didn't kill Detroit. He was raised in a society that taught him the world owed him. He made deals with his friends to do work around the city, took bribes, had affairs and lied about everything. It's nothing that everyone around him wasn't already doing. It's the only life he knew. He had no idea that it was wrong.
It was the people of Detroit that voted for the corrupt city council based on the lies they told. It was the drug dealers taking over otherwise good neighborhoods and no body stopping them. It was the never ending race riots that started back in the 60's and still goes on today. It's a city filled with bigots, racist, liars, and thugs. The city that has tried to spread its warped views with the rest of the world in the form of "music" and "history". Detroit has become what it deserves. 
This last photo is again by 
my friend Aimee.

Is this photo a metaphor for Detroit itself?
Can we get past the rubble and ruins,
Beyond the grave yard,
and to a new renascence.

Only time will tell.


MorningAJ said...

Those are heart rending photos. They remind me of my childhood, when Hull (a city about 40 miles from where I lived) was still in ruins after WWII. Hull was a major port, and the Germans bombed it heavily. But it was years before anyone did anything about rebuilding, or even clearing the bomb sites. I was visiting Hull in the mid 60s, for hospital appointments.

It's tragic that this kind of devastation has been allowed to happen in a supposedly 'rich' Western country in this day and age.

Stew Adams said...

During WW2 my mother's family moved to Detroit. My mother would play in the streets and alleyways. It was a walkable, friendly city. I've heard so many stories that are a stark contrast to what it looks like now. The entire neighborhood she played in has been gone for 30 years. In contrast to that, the house where my father grew up in Arkansas is still there on a quiet street in the middle of Little Rock.
WW2 helped build Detroit. And it's already gone.

Jim said...

What a shame that this has happened Stew. Thanks for sharing Detroit's story.

Stew Adams said...

It will be interesting what the next chapter in that story will be.