Monday, October 21, 2013

Detroit: Sleeping Beauty

You have all heard the rumors: Detroit is a bankrupt city, downtown is a deserted hot mess, the roads are a disaster, and then there's always Eminem singing  8 Mile in the background - the soundtrack of this sad city. This is my third time in Detroit, and I can't say that these rumors are just rumors. Walking around the center of the city, I couldn't fight a somewhat nostalgic feeling. I looked at these beautiful, almost majestic constructions - houses that once represented the wealth of Motor City and now stand empty, showing no vital signs. There are many shops and stores along the main drag, but if you look up close, the majority is closed - on a Friday afternoon. I can't decide if the few people in suits that are on their lunch break stand for the city's recovering economy or are just the last rats that haven't left the ship yet. There is a certain beauty to Detroit, there is no denying it, but it is the beauty of a ghost town; its fascination lies in the stories of the past that you make up, stories that show women in fancy dresses and men hurrying to their offices, stories that have been petrified in the now lifeless buildings. And while driving away from downtown Detroit towards the outskirts of the city, past 8 mile, the radio plays Eminem ...


  1. I can't imagine its much fun for the residents of Detroit. Her photos paint a depressing picture.

  2. It's a vicious circle: The economy goes down, people leave downtown Detroit (by the millions), houses stay empty and deserted, more people move out because they don't want to live in an abandoned place ... it's sad!

    1. But then sooner or later the rent or property prices will go down and then people looking for cheaper accommodation (students, start-up entrepreneurs, freelancers who can work from home and can live anywhere in the country, unsuccessful writers and artists) will move in again. At least in theory.
      If I lived in America, I might move there.

    2. In theory, yes. That´s what some companies bargain on, too. They buy up the properties cheap now, then they try to rent them out to the poor bohemians, and once downtown Detroit is hip again, they can raise the prices again. Might not be the worst scenario for the city, actually...

      P.S. You might wanna wait with the move until it actually IS hip again, right now it's not the safest area :-)