Inspired by the banner images on this message board, I thought it'd be fun if we created a collection of pictures of the true Detroit. Y'know, the not glamorous skyline, parks, or inspired street art, but the Detroit we drive through day in and day out as we go about our small, insignificant lives. Numb to our daily environment, the world around too often goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Let's take a second to recognize the world around us.
Another Detroiter makes the cycle, moving in with hope and enthusiasm, evangelizing about the city, experiencing the decline first-hand, gradually getting fed up with all the BS, and finally capitulating by moving out of the city when it was just too much to endure.
People have been doing the cycle for decades now. It's gotten so that every time I hear someone talk about moving to the city, and "making a difference", I mentally compute an over/under on how long before they move to the suburbs or another city.
[Note: I wrote this a few weeks ago as a way to vent after everything was finished. I figured I'd share it with /r/detroit. I'll gladly answer any questions too.]
After much time, money, and hair-pulling, I’ve finally managed to close the chapter in my life known as my house in East English Village. When I bought the house 10 years ago, a much younger and more ambitious version of myself wanted to see Detroit turn around. I’d moved downtown when I was 19, settled into a roach-infested apartment, and had a great time living there. I remember saying that the only way it was going to get better was if people that cared started moving back. About 5 years after that, I found East English Village and ended up purchasing a home there.
At the time, it was a decent area with an actual sense of community. The majority of people took pride in their homes and made sure the neighborhood was kept up. Lawns were mowed, yards were raked, trash was taken out, and anything broken was fixed. It was, for quite some time, one of the nicer neighborhoods in Detroit. Additionally, the neighborhood had a large number of police officers living there which made crime somewhat minimal. People were genuinely surprised when they saw the neighborhood and realized they were still in Detroit.
The housing crash took a severe toll. The majority of the houses lost something like 70-90% of their value, my own included. People had bought into mortgages that they couldn’t afford. It’d hit in waves: around the same time each year, you’d notice more and more houses where the lights were off and the lawns were overgrown. The police residents that kept an unofficial watch on the neighborhood slowly left. Neighbors that said hello were replaced with people that glared at you as you walked by. Break-ins and theft became more and more common.
Over the last few years, I’ve watched more and more ghetto “culture” creep into the neighborhood. I’ve seen people dump fast food garbage from their car into their neighbor’s front yard. People sitting out front blasting obnoxiously loud music from parked cars while weeds grow around them. Barking dogs with garden hoses used as a leash that are never let inside and rarely fed. People casually tossing bottles and wrappers onto the sidewalk instead of throwing them away. The common theme that I encountered is that if you can’t eat it, screw it, smoke it, or steal it, then you might as well try to break it. Ghetto culture took what was once a nice neighborhood and wrecked it in less than 5 years.
As far as the actual city, most services are absolutely awful and borderline insane when you consider what gets paid in taxes. Trying to get a final water reading involved sitting on hold for an hour, getting disconnected, and sitting on hold for another two hours, only to be told that it’s “my problem” that they can’t give me a time that they’ll be there before hanging up. It’s the same for literally any other service that the city of Detroit touches. Horrible customer service, insane waiting times, zero workmanship, and a complete lack of pride seem to be integrated into every single city “service”.
I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no point in maintaining something if your neighbors are going to destroy it. Each infested home takes out the surrounding homes with it. They eventually fall like dominoes until there’s nothing left to ruin. There was nothing more disgusting than walking into the back yard and seeing condom-filled beer bottles that my “neighbor” dumped into my yard for no apparent reason. Who knows? Maybe they were cleaning out their two busted cars and missed the trash can by 30 feet.
My last straw was spending $1000 to repair the damage from a total of $6 of copper plumbing that was stolen. Enough is enough. I sold the house for pennies of what I paid for it. I have no doubt that the next inhabitants will say they “stay there” instead of “live there” and act accordingly. I’ll drive by next year and see all of my hard work destroyed in a pile of garbage. The back yard where I had my graduation party will be a trash dump used by people that have zero pride in anything they do. The front yard that I always maintained will be an overgrown weed garden. I’ve watched it happen to home after home.
There’s still good people left in Detroit. I have met and know quite a few of them. However, they are the absolute minority when compared to the general population. For every person that attempts to make a difference, there are a few hundred other people that truly don’t care. There’s no reason to improve or maintain anything if it’s just going to get stolen or destroyed. You can’t compete with complete apathy and a total lack of pride. It’s a constant uphill battle that has no end.
Best of luck Detroit. I hope you can save yourself.
Detroit just corrected a mistake, Wanye county gets their chance next year (the state too but that's for another day).
Starting with the knowns.
The incumbent. Under investigation but not charged with anything. The image of alot of dirt around him, but perception is not in fact the truth. Hasn't announced reelection but he hasn't resigned in the face of so many ugly incidents over the last year either.
The new Mayor has been blasting him pretty hard in his campaign, I don't think he can expect his support.
Appearantly his donations have dried up significantly. The public might be just as cold.
AFAIK the only candidate to come out and explicitly state he intends to run for the job. Mayor of Westland. I know nothing about him, good or bad.
-Not much info on him.
+An unknown who might coast on the "none-of-the-above" factor for the incumbent.
Suggested/joked he would run for executive. I don't know what the fuck kind of dope he's smoking but...
One term Mayor of Detroit. Terrible at it. Could not have been more incompetent if he tried.
+Media and suburban citizens have the idea he was a dignified, frustrated leader.
-He is not good at forging connections or coalitions. He is not a leader of men. He doesn't have a blinding talent of skillset.
-$But will Wayne county outside of Detroit vote for a black man for head honcho?*
* (I think there's a chance, but if Detroit can constantly be asked that presumptuous question so can the suburbs).