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Old 10-08-2016, 02:59 PM
 
9,928 posts, read 16,542,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastmemphisguy View Post
I can't speak to Detroit specifically, but crime, especially in cities, was much higher nationwide in the late 20th Century. People who study this issue disagree about why today's cities are so much safer, but the stats are indisputable. Anecdotally, I also notice a big generation gap in attitudes toward cities between older people who experienced the Bad Old Days and younger people who did not.


An entire generation was lost during the "white flight" years. I was one of them. We have established our lives elsewhere, and are now nearing or in retirement. We have no desire or need to move back to Detroit. It will be to younger generations to re-build it
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
An entire generation was lost during the "white flight" years. I was one of them. We have established our lives elsewhere, and are now nearing or in retirement. We have no desire or need to move back to Detroit. It will be to younger generations to re-build it
But are you happy where you are at? Judging by you can't keep Detroit out of your mouth I don't think so
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:39 PM
 
9,928 posts, read 16,542,229 times
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Originally Posted by ekman243 View Post
But are you happy where you are at? Judging by you can't keep Detroit out of your mouth I don't think so
Yes, I am happy here! That's my whole point. I, like most "white flighters" fled Detroit at a time the city was at just about its lowest point. I was young then, in my 20's. I have established a life elsewhere, and have no plans to return. If you look at the demographics of those who fled, back in the 1980's, you will find most of those who left either returned within a relatively short time, or established themselves elsewhere, like I have! Even if Detroit was the best city in the country, I wouldn't uproot my family to move there now. I'm established here.

Last edited by MaryleeII; 10-08-2016 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 10-10-2016, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
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We moved away and came back after 18 years, but it had nothing to do with Detroit. We came back for Family, space, trees water, schools, more rational local politics (Detroit at the time was under Kwame, so obviously Detroit was the exception, not the draw), better moral atmosphere for the kids, better real estate opportunities, fewer lines and traffic jams, less craziness. The City was not a draw at all and we did not intend to have anything to do with it. It was only after we returned that we discovered it had become a worthwhile city, and only after watching it improve for a few eyars we realized the potentil and where it was going. Before that, there was no "Detroitlove" in our household.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
It was only after we returned that we discovered it had become a worthwhile city, and only after watching it improve for a few eyars we realized the potentil and where it was going. Before that, there was no "Detroitlove" in our household.
Detroit was a worthwhile city before downtown and midtown was taken back by white people.

I would take the 1980's Detroit of your college days over today's Detroit ANYDAY. In the 1980's, Detroit had A HALF MILLION MORE PEOPLE than today. In the 1980's, the Detroit Public School System was better, and many more schools were open. There was an aviation high school, a high school of commerce and business administration, a high school for pregnant teens, and many other schools that offered more than what the smaller suburban districts couldn't. In addition, the concept of the neighborhood school in Detroit is gone today due to all of the closings and the rise of selective charter schools.

-Due to the much larger population in the 1980's, a lot more neighborhoods were intact. The 1980's Detroit had a lot more retail. Our neighborhood "downtown corners" were still somewhat functioning. The Mercury Theater at Schaefer and Six Mile was still open, so was the Norwest Theater in Grandmont-Rosedale. Detroit neighborhoods had A & P and Krogers. The Montgomery Wards at Grand River/Greenfield was still open. Woolworths and Montgomery Wards at 7 Mile/Gratiot was still open. The Sears in Highland Park was still open. The Saks Fifth Avenue in New Center was still open. The infamous Train Station was still in operation. The Belle Isle Zoo was too.

-One of Detroit's few remaining ethnic enclaves, Chaldeantown, was thriving and East 7 Mile between Woodward and John R had many Chaldean-owned businesses.

-Residency laws required city workers, like police officers, to live in the city, so neighborhoods had more professionals and more stability.





Murals in the Mercury Theater, which closed in 1993 and demolished in 1997. Photos courtesy of WaterWinterWonderland.com


The Norwest Theater, which closed in 2000 and demolished in 2004
Courtesy of WaterWinterWonderland.com

-Lastly, Detroit had worthwhile long-time institutions before gentrification that still survive today. Baker's Keyboard, the oldest jazz club in the country, is an example. Places like the Raven Lounge, Nancy's Whiskey, Sindbad's and the Roostertail, Duly's Place (Coney Island in Southwest), and many, many others. Also, we have lost some one-of-a-kind places, like the oldest sports bar in America, the Lindell AC, and Joe Muer's restaurant near Belle Isle that were still open then, that would rival anything that Downtown has now. And Greektown had twice as many Greek restaurants as it did today. Now it has Five Guys and Sports bars.


Joe Muer's


Lindell AC

The only thing better about Detroit now than in the 1980's was downtown, the Cass Corridor, and the riverfront - about 5% of the city.
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Old 10-11-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
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You are probably correct, my exposure then and now is primarily Downtown and midtown (and environs) and Brush park (oh and Ren Cen/Riverwalk). When I discuss Detroit I am talking of Downtown/Midtown and the riverfront, not outlying neighborhoods. The same is usually true of Wyandotte, Birmingham, Rochester, Ann Arbor, and pretty much anyplace with a center.

The night and day difference is in those three areas. Even the Renaissance Center is 100% better than it was, except now it is ore empty.

I really do not know whether outlying areas have improved or gotten worse other than a lot of people moved away. I can say Del Rey is better than it was now that it is empty. It was horrible when it had people in it, at least when I went there.

One area that is definitely worse than it was is where the waterfront bars were. That was a neat little enclave. Now it is nothing. I do not remember where they were, but when I went back to the area with a friend, it was empty.

Of all the areas, the most improved area IMO is mid-town. There was pretty much WSU, Circa Saloon and a copy store or something like that. I think there may have been one or two small restaurants a ways off as well, nothing else. Now it is a happening kind of place. If it was like this in 1984, I might have never left.

Many of the neighborhoods were populated, but you were told to avoid them at all costs, even by people who lived there. There must have been some populated neighborhoods that were still nice, some of them still are.

Train station was open, but it was a place to avoid. I forgot the Boblo boats were also still running and they had not gotten nasty yet.

Still in the 1980s mid-town and downtown were awful. No one wanted to go there. Brush Park was dangerous. Cass corridor was dangerous. More high schools were open, but they were riddled with serious crime and they were failing the students. I doubt in general they are any better now though. However I will take today's Renaissance High, Cass Tech and DSPA over any school that was here in 1984.

However, at the time we returned (2005) and sometime before that Detroit had become awful. Almost every part of it had gotten worse. Then it suddenly started getting better, and mid-town, and downtown - the areas that make the city different than one of the suburbs- are considerably better than in the 1980s.

Greektown did have more Greek restaurants, but it was less appealing. Although I would also prefer a more greek Greektown, I like it better now than then - cleaner, safer, more open, street performers, more people around, good parking.. . . . I am not a fan of casinos, but it does draw a lot of people. While there are fewer greek restaurants, there are far far more restaurants and other shops overall. The spillover improvement in adjoining areas are nice too. from what I recall the area surrounding Greektown was not pleasant.

It is a shame the old courthouse is sitting empty. That is a magnificent building.

The murder rate was actually about the same (a bit higher) but with more people, the same murder rate meant a lot more murders. They were averaging almost two murders a day. Other violent crimes (rape, mugging, battery) and nonviolent theft were very very common. We were warend regualrly about not wearing certain types of coats, not engaging anyone, not walking alone at night, and as mentioned not carrying too little or too much money. We were warned regualrly about not wearing certain types of coats, not engaging anyone, not walking alone at night, and as mentioned not carrying too little or too much money. I do not know how the rates compared, I do know I knew no one who had not been impacted one way or another, compared to now I know maybe two people who had things stolen from the car or home and none who have been mugged, raped or killed. (In the 1980s most people had something stolen especially batteries. Dozens had been mugged, and I knew several women who had been raped and one friendly acquaintance was killed at a party in Detroit. )

The stadium area/theater district also seems much improved, although I do not have a lot of explicit memory of that area. I mostly just passed through it (Running). There wee quite a few burned out buildings along Woodward in that area.

Of course if you drop back to the early 1960s before my memory, but not before my brothers, or our family photos, downtown was awesome. Hudson's was open and people were everywhere. People brought their families downtown to go shopping. Probably would not do that now. Sometime between Hudsons being the place to shop, and 1981 downtown got pretty awful.

I think building Fairlane and then 12 oaks hurt downtown a lot.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-11-2016 at 02:51 PM..
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Old 10-11-2016, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Detroit was a worthwhile city before downtown and midtown was taken back by white people.

.


Have you been to downtown and midtown recently? For that matter did you go there in 2000-2012?

You do not need the word "white" in that sentence. Downtown and mid-town were retaken by people. Not all are white and there were no people downtown immediately before the recent resurgence. It was empty. It was taken back by all people. At any given moment there are a mix of White, black, Indian, middle eastern, Hispanic, Asian, and every other brand of people wandering about downtown. Right now (at this moment), in the Campus Martius area, I see more black people than white. People have re-taken downtown, not any specific Race. There was no one and now it is busy again.

At the time we moved back (2005) it was barely becoming a worthwhile place to visit, work or live in. For the preceding 5-10 years at least, it was not a worthwhile city. There was no reason to go to Detroit except sporting events and the DIA, and no reason to live there. Everyone was trying to get out. No one moved to the metro area to be near Detroit because Detroit was such an awesome place. It had good bones, but it was failing.

That has changed.

I would not trade a Detroit with no usable downtown and mid town for a Detroit with a vibrant exciting and pleasant downtown and midtown, even if the neighborhoods were nicer. Without a vibrant center, a city is just a suburb. That is why a place like Canton even with 90,000 people, is not really a city. It is just a suburb. It has no center. Detroit was the same way except to a different degree. the center was failing. It was dangerous, businesses were flocking away or closing entirely, the few remaining residents were scrambling to get out.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-11-2016 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 10-13-2016, 05:35 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,291,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
Have you been to downtown and midtown recently? For that matter did you go there in 2000-2012?

You do not need the word "white" in that sentence. Downtown and mid-town were retaken by people. Not all are white and there were no people downtown immediately before the recent resurgence. It was empty. It was taken back by all people. At any given moment there are a mix of White, black, Indian, middle eastern, Hispanic, Asian, and every other brand of people wandering about downtown. Right now (at this moment), in the Campus Martius area, I see more black people than white. People have re-taken downtown, not any specific Race. There was no one and now it is busy again.

At the time we moved back (2005) it was barely becoming a worthwhile place to visit, work or live in. For the preceding 5-10 years at least, it was not a worthwhile city. There was no reason to go to Detroit except sporting events and the DIA, and no reason to live there. Everyone was trying to get out. No one moved to the metro area to be near Detroit because Detroit was such an awesome place. It had good bones, but it was failing.

That has changed.

I would not trade a Detroit with no usable downtown and mid town for a Detroit with a vibrant exciting and pleasant downtown and midtown, even if the neighborhoods were nicer. Without a vibrant center, a city is just a suburb. That is why a place like Canton even with 90,000 people, is not really a city. It is just a suburb. It has no center. Detroit was the same way except to a different degree. the center was failing. It was dangerous, businesses were flocking away or closing entirely, the few remaining residents were scrambling to get out.
I agree with you, even though it is hard to stomach the decline of the neighborhoods in the past 30 years. However you can't compare Canton to Detroit neighborhoods. There were/are many charming commercial districts and residential districts that don't exist in Canton, like this one.
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:20 PM
 
Location: State of Denial
2,077 posts, read 1,101,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post


-Lastly, Detroit had worthwhile long-time institutions before gentrification that still survive today. Baker's Keyboard, the oldest jazz club in the country, is an example. Places like the Raven Lounge, Nancy's Whiskey, Sindbad's and the Roostertail, Duly's Place (Coney Island in Southwest), and many, many others. Also, we have lost some one-of-a-kind places, like the oldest sports bar in America, the Lindell AC, and Joe Muer's restaurant near Belle Isle that were still open then, that would rival anything that Downtown has now. And Greektown had twice as many Greek restaurants as it did today. Now it has Five Guys and Sports bars.


Joe Muer's


Lindell AC

The only thing better about Detroit now than in the 1980's was downtown, the Cass Corridor, and the riverfront - about 5% of the city.
I heard that TJ and the Snug is still operating. True? That was our hangout when we lived in the Cass Corridor for a little over a year in '72-'73.


Moving to the Cass Corridor was a real shock for this country girl.....our apartment building was full of hookers, every time I'd walk down the street pushing my child in a stroller guys would wave $20 bill out the window at me and the playground across the street was covered in broken glass. Happiest day of my life was fleeing to north of 8 Mile for the rest of our Michigan days.


I did take a less-than-sentimental journey back in 2004 and drove downtown to see the old neighborhood. Yow! The condition it was in in 2004 made the 1972 condition look like Bloomfield Hills. Can you say Beirut after the bombing? Our old apartment building was roofless and windowless. The street was, unfortunately, now dead-end and I had to make a 10-point U-turn under the observation of some people who really, really scared me. One of these days, I'm really going to have to fulfill all those promises I made to God of things I'd do if I just got out of there alive.....
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Old 11-06-2016, 08:30 PM
 
2,952 posts, read 4,345,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Detroit was a worthwhile city before downtown and midtown was taken back by white people.

I would take the 1980's Detroit of your college days over today's Detroit ANYDAY. In the 1980's, Detroit had A HALF MILLION MORE PEOPLE than today. In the 1980's, the Detroit Public School System was better, and many more schools were open. There was an aviation high school, a high school of commerce and business administration, a high school for pregnant teens, and many other schools that offered more than what the smaller suburban districts couldn't. In addition, the concept of the neighborhood school in Detroit is gone today due to all of the closings and the rise of selective charter schools.

-Due to the much larger population in the 1980's, a lot more neighborhoods were intact. The 1980's Detroit had a lot more retail. Our neighborhood "downtown corners" were still somewhat functioning. The Mercury Theater at Schaefer and Six Mile was still open, so was the Norwest Theater in Grandmont-Rosedale. Detroit neighborhoods had A & P and Krogers. The Montgomery Wards at Grand River/Greenfield was still open. Woolworths and Montgomery Wards at 7 Mile/Gratiot was still open. The Sears in Highland Park was still open. The Saks Fifth Avenue in New Center was still open. The infamous Train Station was still in operation. The Belle Isle Zoo was too.

-One of Detroit's few remaining ethnic enclaves, Chaldeantown, was thriving and East 7 Mile between Woodward and John R had many Chaldean-owned businesses.

-Residency laws required city workers, like police officers, to live in the city, so neighborhoods had more professionals and more stability.





Murals in the Mercury Theater, which closed in 1993 and demolished in 1997. Photos courtesy of WaterWinterWonderland.com


The Norwest Theater, which closed in 2000 and demolished in 2004
Courtesy of WaterWinterWonderland.com

-Lastly, Detroit had worthwhile long-time institutions before gentrification that still survive today. Baker's Keyboard, the oldest jazz club in the country, is an example. Places like the Raven Lounge, Nancy's Whiskey, Sindbad's and the Roostertail, Duly's Place (Coney Island in Southwest), and many, many others. Also, we have lost some one-of-a-kind places, like the oldest sports bar in America, the Lindell AC, and Joe Muer's restaurant near Belle Isle that were still open then, that would rival anything that Downtown has now. And Greektown had twice as many Greek restaurants as it did today. Now it has Five Guys and Sports bars.


Joe Muer's


Lindell AC

The only thing better about Detroit now than in the 1980's was downtown, the Cass Corridor, and the riverfront - about 5% of the city.
Good points and photos, but when you are talking about cities you are often talking about trajectory.

The Detroit of the 80s was no doubt on average healthier than the Detroit of today but the trajectories were all plummeting at an obvious and inescapable rate -- the working class stable neighborhoods were collapsing and the downtown area was in decline.

The fact that there was still a lot leftover is salient, but the trajectory was downward. And it isn't surprising Detroit took a few decades to collapse -- it was a big, healthy, rich, enormously populated city.

IMO it bottomed out in the late 90s and at least the downtown area has been rebounding meaningfully since.

Detroit's demographic changes were more extreme but basically followed those of all other American big cities since the 60s.

The working class neighborhoods that basically defined places like NYC, Detroit and Chicago are almost all gone, with cities now largely defined by barbells of wealthy/young/trendy transplants and poorer natives.

Detroit will be an interesting case.

The same trends that have taken hold of other big cities are now emerging in Detroit but, again, it's situation is so much more extreme -- it will be crazy to see.

It's really a shame that the city was brought so low from the 60s forward. But, hope springs eternal.
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