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Bob_DeDowney

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Governor Whitmer (sp?) wants Michiganders to text, tweet etc. how much you Love Detroit !
Is the city still great ?
Years ago I saw a documentary showing many blighted areas , complete housing tracts deserted that the people just walked away and left their houses to just rot away.
Why did they leave ? Decline in auto industry ?
Rampant crime, city taken over by the drug trade ?

I’m not talking down , just curious . I grew up about 7 miles outside of Los Angeles , So many decades ago my sister and I , at 7 & 8 years of age would take the bus to Downtown L.A., with our 12 year old brother as chaperone , to shop for school clothes. Today it’s pretty much a sewer. The number one thing today about Downtown is Security.
And the Glamorous Hollywood ? Best stay away.
Don’t drive there or your car will most likely be broken into or stolen.
I’ve never been to Detroit , only to Niles , down south , my parents and their families were from there. I was last there October 1999 , I hope it hasn’t changed much because it was a great place to live.
mrbowling300

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Bob,

The city of Detroit has been through a lot of tough times in the past 50 years.  Back in the 1950s, the population of Detroit was greater than 2,000,000.  Since the development of the suburbs, the population has been on the decline.  The riots of 1967 caused more people to leave the city.  By the early 2010s, the city was in bankruptcy, and the population was about 600,000.  Sadly, the decline of Detroit was very much race related.  The mayor of Detroit in the early 70s to late 80s was Coleman Young, and he clashed with the northern suburb mayors and county executives.  In the last 8-10 years, we have seen a resurgence of the downtown area.  Dan Gilbert, president of quicken loans basically bought up every downtown building and started developing it.  All the sports teams now play their games in the same area.  Lions/Tigers/Pistons/Red Wings.  There are tons of restaurants and people are moving back downtown.  Corporations are opening offices downtown as well as retail shops, it is the place to be.  These days, I feel very safe, where I couldn't say that only 10 years ago.  Before, I would go to a baseball game, and leave immediately.  Now, I may hang around and go out to eat.  The city also has a redeveloped river walk.  I do my walking there sometimes.   Round trip between the Renaissance Center and the Belle Isle bridge is about 5 miles.  There are always lots of people out.  By the river front, there is free concerts on Friday evenings during the summer (canceled this year due to covid).  I've seen Starship, Michael McDonald, Brett Michaels (of poison), Everclear, Survivor, etc.  They mostly have classic rock groups.  Themrfreeze visited Detroit a few years ago, and I gave him and his family the grand tour., so he can chime in with what he saw.  Still, there is a long way to go.  There are very few grocery stores in the City limits, there is only 1 movie theater, and 1 bowling alley.  Drug store chains are slowing opening stores.  And the development is basically confined to an area limited to downtown.  The rest of the city has typical inner city problems.  Poor schools, poor city services, etc.  The current mayor of Detroit, who used to be the CEO of the Detroit Medical Center has done a great job.  Yes, there are still many blighted areas, vacant houses, area with crime.  If you look at some of the videos people post of the east side of Detroit, the place looks like a war zone with so many vacant buildings.  There is not enough money to tear them down.  The east side became very crime ridden, which probably drove people away.  I do not think this problem was due to a decline in the auto industry.  I would think that the inner city of every major city has challenges like this.  Detroit does get a lot of negative publicity due to violence, urban blight, etc, but again, that happens in every major city.  I will always be a supporter of Downtown Detroit and all that it has to offer.  It has made a major comeback.
themrfreeze

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbowling300
Bob,

 Themrfreeze visited Detroit a few years ago, and I gave him and his family the grand tour., so he can chime in with what he saw. 


Well since you insist [wink]

I think Detroit is like any other reasonably large city (including my own)...the city itself suffered due to the "white flight" that started in the 1950s and the downturn in the major industry/industries that kept people well employed.  Both seemed to hit Detroit disproportionately hard though, and it shows.  The city is grossly oversized for the current population and without the money to tear down unused neighborhoods and return them to nature, there are a lot of areas that look like they're straight out of a disaster movie.

But like most other cities, there's been an effort over the last X number of years to reinvigorate the downtown area, and downtown Detroit itself is no exception.  I've been there a few times now and downtown itself is pretty nice. It does seem a lot like the "eye of the storm" though...downtown is nice, and the suburbs are pretty decent (except for Farmington Hills...what a toilet), but in-between seems like a no-man's zone that two guys in a Cadillac shouldn't be venturing into. 

If you're thinking of ever visiting Detroit, definitely do so.  There's a lot of interesting things to see and do there that would make for a very pleasant vacation.  And if you're lucky enough to have as good a tour guide as mrbowling300 was, it'll just make the trip that much better.

But avoid Farmington Hills.  Seriously.  [rofl]
mrbowling300

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Reply with quote  #4 
I'm always happy to give the grand tour of Detroit to anyone that wants one!  I can even do the tour of Farmington Hills.  Chris didn't see the finer parts of Farmington Hills.  He did get to experience Shelby Township though, an experience he will never forget.  Chris even got to experience two of Detroit's traditional restaurants, Buddy's Pizza and Lafayette Coney Island.  Also, he had the best that Farmington Hills has to offer, Antonios.

In all seriousness, he hit the nail on the head, the land size of Detroit far exceeds the population.  Another big thing is urban farming!  Those are popping up all over Detroit.  

Bob, I've heard of Niles, MI before, they are near the SW corner of the State of Michigan.  Closer to Chicago than to Detroit.  Time sort of stands still in those types of locations.  Probably hasn't changed much since the last time you were there.
Bob_DeDowney

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks guys, you gave us a great description of the city.
2 million population to 600,000 is incomprehensible for me .
Growing up in SoCal where the population has seemed to have maxed out and there is still building going on. It would take a lot of pages to describe the changes but to sum it up, there used to be so much wide open space and now it’s solidly developed from
L. A. well into the desert areas of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. to the east. To the entire Coast line to the south and west , to Santa Barbara to the north, except for the San Gabriel and Santa Monica mountain areas.
Rush hour traffic was just that. An hour beginning about 5:00. O’clock .
Now it’s from 1:30 to 7:00 and later .
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