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Old 10-18-2015, 04:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,211 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, I am considering moving to Detroit. I know theres a lot of negative, but I am more looking into the positive stories (cheap housing, rebuilding community, bicycling, urban farming, art/music/craftmanship, entrepreneurship, etc...). I am in my early 30's a hispanic lesbian and looking to explore education opportunities/work in craftmanship, non-profit or graphic design, basically seeking creative endeavors. I have lived in the southwest, south and pnw and enjoyed the whole pnw vibe except for the not really being able to afford to live in portland anymore. yep, I am basically looking to start a new and build roots someplace.
I guess some questions would be:

1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?
2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?
3.hows the weather pros/cons?
4.great organizations to volunteer at?
5.outdoor activities?
6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?
7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?

any info would be appreciated thanks!
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:11 AM
 
809 posts, read 2,214,572 times
Reputation: 328
1. The gay scene is there, though it's split between the city institutions and the suburban institutions. I'm not part of that scene so I can't comment with too much authority. I will say that Affirmations, the LGBT Center just outside the northern border of the city has been an anchor of the LGBT community for a very long time. There's also the big motor city pride festival that takes place each year in Detroit.

2. Check out Brightmoor. It's a place where a lot of people are working really hard to build together a strong community. You may also want to look at Southwest Detroit, which is Detroit's Mexican neighborhood which also has a lot of strong community organizations.

3. Weather is alright if you like things like snowshoeing, cross country skiing or other winter activities. We get snow and cold weather here. But it's not really that different from any other place north of the mason dixon line (IMHO). Summer is fine.


4. see above if you're interested in LGBT organizations. There's also organizations for pretty much everything else (Social Justice, Police Issues, Latino issues, etc.). What would you be interested in doing?

5. see above for winter, but in the summer you can go boating on lake st. clair or hiking up in Northern Michigan, which is quite beautiful. My personal favorite is Sleeping Bear Dunes. Closer by there is Kensington Metropark.

6. If you can organize your life so you're only within the city limits of detroit you can probably get by with just a bike and public transit. If you need to work outside the city you'll probably need a car. (Unless you can carpool with someone)

7. Lots, read this board!
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Old 10-20-2015, 05:27 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,346,308 times
Reputation: 7812
Maybe watching too many "happy" videos?


1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?

In the cityu proper, the LGBTQ community is quiet. The burbs probably has more going on.

2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?

Seriously? Old English Village was, but I think it is leveled off. University and Sherwood, but cheap is not associated with either. Hamtamck is probably the best spot at the moment. There is also a group of folks who have taken up residence near the Woodward and Grixdale area and had established a commune style neighborhood. It was called WILD FIRE or something...

3.hows the weather pros/cons?

In the city, there are FEW plows in the winter. otherwise cold from November--March.

4.great organizations to volunteer at?

There are quite a few independent organizations that love volunteers.

5.outdoor activities?

In the city? Not many. River walk, Bell Isle is a state park, there are a few city parks, but as for hanging out...

6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?
Gotta have a vehicle. Buses are still unreliable and a bicycle is almost dangerous.

7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?

Gentrification is is full swing around the Illitch Empire. They are even building a new rail system to get people from downtown to the Illitch Empire. Outside the MidTown area it is just typical Detroit with urban porn occupying 75% of the city. There are TWO new Meijer stores. They are grocery/clothing--like a super walmart..

Last edited by zthatzmanz28; 10-20-2015 at 05:40 AM..
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Old 10-20-2015, 06:41 AM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,823,974 times
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1) I think people are the same everywhere- we have biker bars, piano bars, sports bar, adult bars, gay bars - you'll be fine. Most gay bars, and "going out in general" for all bars is concentrated along the Woodward Corridor (Downtown Detroit, Midtown Detroit/Ferndale/Royal Oak/Pontiac)

2) You'll find good neighborhoods up and coming in Mexicantown, Hamtramck, East English Village/Morningside, West Village. My favorite for you would be Hubbard Farms - it adjoins Mexicantown - is biking distance to Corktown/Mexicantown/Downtown and a hip spot to be for community.

3) Weather. There is no such thing as bad weather. There is only inappropriate clothing. That one rests with you. Wear thermal underwear in the the Jan-March window and you'll be fine - summer has all the outdoor water options and winter has skiing, tubing, ice fishing, ice skating - enough things to keep 5 million people happy.

4) There are tons of organizations. Pick your passion and go down that route - if you're new - you might want to start with a Detroit Soup event or something akin to learn the spots. The Detroit Experience Factory can give you tours of Detroit and has info on hundreds of organizations in the city. THey have an office in the Compuware building downtown Detroit. If you start with Midtown/Downtown/Corktown/Mexicantown - you'll likely meet other transplants and have an easier time acclimating/making friends than if you volunteered at 7 Mile/Middlebelt in Livonia.

5) See #3 - tons

6) Depends on where your job is. If you live downtown or midtown you wouldn't need a car. If you live elsewhere it will be harder - but you can just get a beater car if you're just using it for grocery runs etc.

7) Read this board and check out the websites of Crains Detroit, Curbed Detroit, Freep, Det News, DBusiness, Arab American News, Metro Times, Pridesource, Windsor Star, Hour Magazine, Detroit Home, Model D Media, MetroMode for all kinds of great/exciting things going on in the D.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:32 AM
 
1,916 posts, read 2,415,902 times
Reputation: 2053
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingforsomethingnew View Post
Hello, I am considering moving to Detroit. I know theres a lot of negative, but I am more looking into the positive stories (cheap housing, rebuilding community, bicycling, urban farming, art/music/craftmanship, entrepreneurship, etc...). I am in my early 30's a hispanic lesbian and looking to explore education opportunities/work in craftmanship, non-profit or graphic design, basically seeking creative endeavors. I have lived in the southwest, south and pnw and enjoyed the whole pnw vibe except for the not really being able to afford to live in portland anymore. yep, I am basically looking to start a new and build roots someplace.
I guess some questions would be:

1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?
2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?
3.hows the weather pros/cons?
4.great organizations to volunteer at?
5.outdoor activities?
6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?
7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?

any info would be appreciated thanks!
1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?
I don't know, it is not as strong as in some other cities, but there are several organizations that have already been mentioned by previous posters. We don't really have a gayborhood in Detroit anymore, but there are plenty of bars in the metro area and 3 in Windsor as well.


2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?
Southwest Detroit - specifically Vernor-Junction and Springwells Village. There is a significant Mexican presence in those neighborhoods. Also, the North End seems to be a neighborhood that is turning the corner, as well as the neighborhood north of Hamtramck.

3.hows the weather pros/cons?
This has been discussed.

4.great organizations to volunteer at?
La Sed - is a 5o1c3 non-profit agency serving Hispanics and residents of Southwest Detroit since 1969
LA SED | Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development

Michigan Urban Farming Initiative
mufi-html

Belle Isle Conservancy
Volunteer Opportunities - Belle Isle Conservancy

People for Palmer Park - this organization is really doing great things for a large park that was in danger of being closed a couple of year ago
People for Palmer Park - People for Palmer Park - Detroit, Michigan

Gleaners Community Food Bank
Gleaners Community Food Bank

Forgotten Harvest
Forgotten Harvest: Driving hunger from the Detroit metropolitan community

Affirmations - metro Detroit's largest LGBTQ community center and one of the 10 largest LGBTQ community centers in the country
mufi-html



5.outdoor activities?

Within the city there is Belle Isle, a 980-acre island park, the Riverwalk - for water views, biking, and walking, and the Dequindre Cut - a rails-to-trails biking/walking path that goes from the Detroit River and is being extended through the Eastern Market.

An article about canoeing the canals within Belle Isle - PHOTOS: Kayaking The Historic Canals Of Belle Isle

Farther out into the neighborhoods, the large parks are Palmer Park (biking), and River Rouge Park (hiking and biking).

Outside of the city you have Hines Drive - a 17-mile long biking/walking greenway with several parks along the way
Experience Detroit -- Historic Hines Drive


The Metropolitan Area has a Metroparks system - the most popular of these large parks are Lake St. Clair Metropark, Stoney Creek, Kensington, and Lower Huron.
Huron-Clinton Metroparks. Southeast Michigan Parks

There are also several HUGE state parks and lots of trails in the farther out suburbs, like
Bald Mountain - hilly terrain unlike most of the metro area
Michigan Recreation Search Site Details Page

Sterling State Park - beautiful beach along Lake Erie
Michigan Recreation Search Site Details Page

Proud Lake State Recreation area
Michigan Recreation Search Site Details Page

Maybury State Park - they have horses here. HORSES
Michigan Recreation Search Site Details Page


In general, the Detroit area, and Michigan in general, is very big into watersports - people like being out "on the lake", kayaking, sailing, swimming at the beaches, etc.



6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?
You need a vehicle unless you can work it out so that your job and other activities are along major bus routes or are within the core area of Detroit.

7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?

Here are some articles you can read:
Detroit Hustles Harder: The All-American Comeback City*|*Shannah L. Compton

Banglatown to be subject of food-themed art installation

New plans to bring back another blighted building in Detroit revealed | MLive.com

New Streetcar is being built and will be operational in early 2017
National media look at Detroit's M-1 Rail's potential impact on city | MLive.com

New Rapid Transit System being planned for the metro area (Rapid Bus)
http://www.rtamichigan.org/wp-conten...esentation.pdf
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Old 10-21-2015, 02:04 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,211 times
Reputation: 10
thanks for all the great responses
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,936,437 times
Reputation: 2639
1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?
No knowledge on the gay scene but I do know there are a few bars to hit.

2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?
Downtown, Midtown, Corktown, Riverfront area, New Center, parts of SouthWest Detroit

3.hows the weather pros/cons?
Typical great lakes weather. 4 seasons and bi polar.

4.great organizations to volunteer at?
I would look some up.

5.outdoor activities? Plenty in MI. US Route did a great job and naming some.

6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?
Depends on where your living and where you need to go for work. But for the most part you will want a car.

7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?
There are alot. Some of the biggest things are getting a light rail on Woodward and building a new red wings arena with a new district around it where Cass Corridor used to be. Take a look at the Major Downtown/Midtown/Corktown Developments! thread. It starts from 2010.
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:17 AM
 
Location: On the brink of WWIII
21,093 posts, read 25,346,308 times
Reputation: 7812
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingforsomethingnew View Post
thanks for all the great responses

Fireweed Universe City
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:06 AM
 
181 posts, read 154,275 times
Reputation: 242
Default Well...

I am a LGBT person that lives in Metro Detroit so I think I can be of some assistance

Let me just preface by saying all of the positive stuff you are hearing about, is going on, but within the limits of downtown Detroit for the most part. The rest of the city is about the same as it has always been. If you keep that in mind you will appreciate it. Now onto your questions...

1.hows the gay scene in Detroit?

There are a few bars that have some lgbt clientele, aka , they are not technically gay bars like Temple Bar, Old Miami. There is a lesbian women's group that runs events downtown called W.E.T they are on FB if you want to look them up. There are no official lesbian bars/community gatherings downtown other than that but I'm sure people are doing things privately. Other than that, Ferndale appears to have the most visible gay presence in the area. I'd move there to be honest (it's only 20 minutes from Downtown Detroit if you want to experience the stuff there) and not even bother with Detroit. Ferndale is cheaper than Portland. With that said, Ferndale has one bar that is designated as a gay bar and it's for men. I am sorry if this sounds negative, but I am giving you a straightforward assessment so you know what you would be dealing with. The Detroit area in terms of LGBT acceptance is not even remotely similar to Portland at all. If you are a "quiet" type, aka, don't feel a need to be open about your sexual preference with everyone you meet or "push" it on others (which is what it will be perceived as if you do not attempt to keep that private), you will fit in fine here.

I'm assuming you're single? The gay community here tends to be hostile to interracial dating so you would probably have better luck if you looked for another hispanic lesbian. Bottom line, it's not Portland and you won't find that type of gay community here.

2.what are up and coming neighborhoods where people are building community (no suburbs)?

Well I would say most neighborhoods Downtown could be considered that. Corktown, near Wayne State/Cass Corridor, Woodbridge. If you want to check out Boston Edison, there are a lot of people there redeveloping the historic homes (and from what I've heard, there may be the beginnings of an LGBT community there). There are a few urban farms near Boston Edison. One of them is Food Field. I've been to a few events there and I recommend checking that out!

3.hows the weather pros/cons?

It is cold here. I don't know how much it snows in Portland, but it does snow quite a bit here and Detroit is notorious for 1.) not shoveling the roads in a timely manner or 2.) not at all.

The pros, there are distinct seasons. It gets in the 80s-early 90s here in the summer, cools off in the fall, snows in the winter, and warms up a little in the spring. I get agitated when the weather is the same too long, so that is a positive for me.

4.great organizations to volunteer at?

There are tons. There is a festival I recommend volunteering at. Check out Dally in the Alley. I have volunteered there before and it is a great way to meet people in the city and other transplants. There is a lot of community activism going on too so if you want to make a positive influence here, participate in protests, etc, you would have no difficulty finding that. I recommend the organizations that usroute10 listed. Unfortunately, there is little LGBT activism going on in Detroit. There is a group on Meetup.com that is trying to get that going. The name is LGBT Detroit Town Hall if you want to look it up.

5.outdoor activities?

Belle Isle, the Riverwalk, Palmer Park. If you want more than that, you will need a car.

6.Do I need a vehicle or would public transportation and bicycling do?

YOU NEED A CAR. There are people who are making it downtown without a car but I do not recommend it, plus with the weather here come December-February I don't think you want to be biking on the roads. Detroit does have some good biking routes though. There is Slow Roll if you want to look that up. However, I have heard of three people personally that have gotten hit by cars while biking in the past year, so I would keep that as a hobby, not a primary form of transportation.

7. what are new and positive things occurring in the city!?

I think someone posted a lot of good articles earlier.

Additional information? I think that downtown Detroit (because all of the stuff you are talking about, is not going on in Detroit as a whole, just a small section of it), may be considered a baby Portland in a few years, minus the lgbt acceptance that Portland is known for. I would be more concerned about the attitude of people here towards you being an hispanic lesbian than the fact that Detroit has a ton of urban decay/crime/corruption. As a black LGBT person, I have faced a lot of challenges here. Keep in mind, that it is not uncommon for people to be fired here for being LGBT, even though it seems to be less of an occurance as time goes on. I would ask yourself if you could be ok with the fact that you should not be open about your sexuality here with most people you meet. It is not the west coast. I cannot stress that fact more than I already have. If you can handle that, I'd say give Detroit a try.

Last edited by citylover89; 10-26-2015 at 10:23 AM..
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