Yesterday, after attending the North American International Auto Show at COBO Hall, we enjoyed lunch in a Greektown pizzaria, having traveled from a Greektown casino garage to COBO on the Peoplemover. After leaving Greektown, I took a wrong turn, ended up on Gratiot and had to find my way west. I took a left on Chene Street, and headed back toward the freeways and home in the suburbs. (Note the picture of a burnt out building, it comes from an intriguing photo record at Detroitfunk.
Detroit is a study in contrasts. It has a waterfront that is quite nice. There are grand buildings like the Ren Center, Comerica Park, Ford Field, the Opera House, Fox Theater, and the Detroit Institute of Art. But there are also areas of the city that are burnt out and abandoned. We saw both yesterday.
Here is the question we who are citizens of the United States -- what are we willing to do to remake our nation? Detroit was once a great city, America's industrial dynamo, and yet today, for a variety of reasons it is a city in despair. Some of its problems are of its own making, but not all. Once we were a manufacturing nation and so cities like Detroit and Cleveland grew and prospered. As America ceased being the center of manufacturing things changed. What might we do to reclaim our cities?