Detroit lies slumbering in the State of Michigan as the once steel giant city of industry. I was there in 1998. Walking down the main street to the city’s gorgeous art museum (Detroit Industry of Arts) and the worthwhile Charles H. Wright African American Museum, the urban decay was evident. But the people seemed very real and on the level, and sometimes surprised that a tourist was wandering about downtown Detroit.
When I was there, they were getting ready to tear down Hudson’s, the tallest department store in the world and one that had been the downtown’s anchor store for decades. Community flyers posted here and there reminded people to go walk around the floors of Hudson’s one more time before closing day.
I attended a community meeting where residents were mounting an effort to oppose the mayor’s plans to build a conference center as it promised construction jobs for the short term and not much more in the long run. I joined the picket line at the local newspaper for an hour or so. I do believe the conference center was ultimately built and the newspaper union ultimately lost. But I’m still plugging for Detroit. Those residents aren’t asleep. My Mom was a big fan of the pendulum theory: when it gets so wrong, it will start to get right.
“Detroit is a place where we’ve had it pretty tough. But there is a generosity here and a well of kindness that goes deep.”-–Mitch Albom