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Old 03-16-2017, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,930,929 times
Reputation: 3554

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Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Some places, those with solid bones like Old Redford, are coming back in small ways, sure. Old Redford is now able to compete with neighboring areas like Redford Township or places like Inkster for lower middle-class and working-class residents. That is an improvement from the end of the financial crisis, but it is more of a return to form from the 90s and early 2000s.

I would still say that the OP is looking for an urban atmosphere in Detroit that no longer exists and has not existed since the 1980s. Hamtramck is as close as you can get to the kind of neighborhood he seems to be looking for, somewhere dense and steeped in neighborhood tradition and ethnic multiculturalism. You could probably find that in areas of Dearborn as well, with better schools if that is a concern. But for the most part Detroit is a series of racially segregated and economically stratified areas with much of the traces of its pre decline culture hard to find. And I am including the culture that developed after white flight but before the recession and massive black flight. Many of the solid middle-class to lower middle class neighborhoods that unfairly maligned by prejudiced suburbanites were the hardest hit by the population loss in the 2000s and a lot of culture and urban fabric went with those residents.
I don't often agree with you, but you're completely on target with some of this post. The level of racial and economic segregation in Metro Detroit is shocking to me; however, I do believe this is changing. There are family-friendly, diverse (and diversifying), urban enclaves that definitely exist, both within and on the edges of the city. The north-central neighborhoods of Detroit are actually attracting middle class residents at this point. Younger ones, and typically ones without kids, but I have multiple friends of a similar demographic to me (educated, comfortable income but not wealthy) who live in and around Bagley, University District, and Belmont. Stepping a little further out Northern Oak Park is incredibly family friendly, urban, walkable, full of tradition, and inexpensive with great schools - (Berkley District). Mid-level management coworkers of mine live in this area and I work in a STEM field. You can even make a solid argument for the rest of Oak Park and Ferndale being the same kind of multi-class urban environment, though the schools aren't as good. You mention Hamtramck, Dearborn, this way and I'd say you could even include Gross Pointe Park (though a bit pricey) and the neighboring Jefferson-Chalmers and the "Village" neighborhoods. When I've had to be down there for work, I've always felt plenty safe, though there are admittedly far more vacant lots around Jefferson-Chalmers than I'd accept in a potential neighborhood, but I'm picky.

Overall, I believe the idea that Detroit in 2017 is the same as Detroit in 1994 isn't accurate. I believe many of the attitudes of people who keep moving further and further away from the city may reflect that, but that isn't the case in stable Detroit neighborhoods and the inner suburbs. The mentality of those who believe Farmington Hills is "in decline" so therefore they must move out to Lyon Township is limited in scope. There will always be plenty of people who help perpetuate that unfortunate racial and economic segregation, but it's not 1994 anymore. As builders continue taking risks on redeveloping rather than overdeveloping exurbs, you'll see the segregation continue to decrease.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:42 PM
 
142 posts, read 117,564 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
YEs, but they remain segregated. Southfiled is a perfect example. It did not become a diverse community, it became a 75% black community with the balance being mostly jewish. We do not seem to mix here. Everyone lives in clusters.
Ok, your point is partially valid. But what I was saying was that it is not what it once was-Detroit black, suburbs white. The suburbs are a lot less white and new minority communities are quickly growing.
Madison Heights is no longer overwhelmingly blue-collar whites. Black families are slowly moving in and there is an established Asian community.
The ethnic communities in Troy, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Novi are both diverse and spread across the entire city. However, I'll agree that in many cases, the concentration is larger in specific neighborhoods. There arent that many Asians in south Madison Heights. Most are closer to 13 Mile.
Don't discredit Sterling Heights, though. There are many middle-eastern businesses mixed in with Asian restaurants. In addition to the large Chaldean community, the original Polish and italian communities remain strong and Sterling Heights also has one of the largest Albanian communities.
Anyway, my main point was that "suburbs" is no longer code word for "white", as hundreds of thousands of black households from the city have packed up, moved to suburbs and settled in, helping close the racial city-suburb divide
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,019 times
Reputation: 1102
I think my concern is really that people understand what Detroit is and what it is not. I typically recommend the book "How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass" to people looking to live here... it is an overwhelmingly positive book, based around disabusing both the prejudiced suburbanite who thinks Livonia is getting a little too "Detroit-y" and the coastal hipster into ruin porn and urban farming of their preconceived notions. It's pretty pithy, a common sentiment might be that Detroit had barbeque restaurants long before Slow's, thanks, but it addresses both the concerns about segregation in the metro and the idea that Detroit, no matter how much you want it to be, is not Brooklyn. I'd honestly recommend it to everyone on the CD Detroit board as light reading, it makes a case for living in the city that is reality based and neither cheerleadery nor negative.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:57 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Some places, those with solid bones like Old Redford, are coming back in small ways, sure. Old Redford is now able to compete with neighboring areas like Redford Township or places like Inkster for lower middle-class and working-class residents. That is an improvement from the end of the financial crisis, but it is more of a return to form from the 90s and early 2000s.

I would still say that the OP is looking for an urban atmosphere in Detroit that no longer exists and has not existed since the 1980s. Hamtramck is as close as you can get to the kind of neighborhood he seems to be looking for, somewhere dense and steeped in neighborhood tradition and ethnic multiculturalism. You could probably find that in areas of Dearborn as well, with better schools if that is a concern. But for the most part Detroit is a series of racially segregated and economically stratified areas with much of the traces of its pre decline culture hard to find. And I am including the culture that developed after white flight but before the recession and massive black flight. Many of the solid middle-class to lower middle class neighborhoods that unfairly maligned by prejudiced suburbanites were the hardest hit by the population loss in the 2000s and a lot of culture and urban fabric went with those residents.
The people who would be looking to live in Old Redford, would be interested in living in a relatively charming neighborhood, adjacent to a somewhat reviving commercial district, with a Meijer's in the neighborhood, and are people who are proud Detroiters or ex-Detroiters who want to be a part of Detroit's revival. That's not Inkster's demographic. Inkster lost its school district a few years ago, nobody's moving there.

Southwest Detroit is the place in the city where you can get that city experience. It has white hipsters, white artists, white trash, white working class, Mexican, black, Arab. You have Mexican restaurants galore, 2 Puerto Rican restaurants, a Venezualan Restaurant, Middle Eastern restaurants, many corner bars and dives (some of which are decades old, like the below bar), legendary places like Duly's and Pollos Los Gallos, fun places like the Mexican ice cream shop, Nevería La Michoacana, decently intact commercial corridors in Michigan Avenue and Vernor Highway.

The Cas Bar since 1954

Last edited by usroute10; 03-16-2017 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,019 times
Reputation: 1102
Southwest is an interesting case because there is some asymmetric recovery going on there. Corktown's still not entirely there in the way Midtown is (the Roosevelt Hotel reallllllly needs to be redeveloped as does the CPA Building and the Executive Plaza Building) but Southwest is starting to see some bleed over in the same way that Woodbridge has from Midtown.
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:33 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,293,137 times
Reputation: 1864
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Southwest is an interesting case because there is some asymmetric recovery going on there. Corktown's still not entirely there in the way Midtown is (the Roosevelt Hotel reallllllly needs to be redeveloped as does the CPA Building and the Executive Plaza Building) but Southwest is starting to see some bleed over in the same way that Woodbridge has from Midtown.
IMHO what southwest has become is largely independent of Corktown. The denser housing stock, the relative intactness of many of its residential blocks, the decent number of immigrants, and the relative vibrancy & intactness of Vernor Highway and Michigan Avenue, have more to do with its current state IMO. McGraw Avenue's corridor, with its mixture of blacks, Mexicans, and Arabs, is miles away from Corktown, and so is the Springwells Village, centered at Springwells and Vernor, the neighborhood a Metrotimes article profiled in a discussion on the re-naming of city neighborhoods to attract investment.

Welcome to ‘Springwells Village’ — a Southwest Detroit neighborhood most of its own residents have never heard of

Last edited by usroute10; 03-17-2017 at 12:47 AM..
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,019 times
Reputation: 1102
You convinced me to go out for dinner in Southwest... good call, definitely a place the OP would like.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,761 posts, read 65,577,769 times
Reputation: 32923
I have a friend who lives in Mexican Village. He has lived there over 50 years.

While I think it is pretty neat. He is not a big fan (although he stays there despite his complaints). When I visit him he tells me to park inside his gate "Or my crackhead neighbors will break into or take things off of your truck - like the wheels." He likes the village but complains a lot about "crackheads" who do not know where they are trying to get into his house (just because they are confused), or stealing anything that is not secured/fastened. Lots of fighting at neighboring properties that sometimes spills out onto the yards/street at times.

I saw a little of that personally, but just thought it was passionate Hispanics having a discussion, although I could nto understand what they were saying, so maybe it was more hostile than I realized. I lived in a nearly entirely Hispanic neighborhood in California for nine years and once I knew and was accepted by my neighbors, I found the Hispanic families to be far more passionate both positively and negatively, that my experience with comparatively stuffy white families. So it did not seem a big deal to me. My friend suggested we go inside and lock the door and stay low in case they started shooting at each other, or just leave until it settled down.

Aside from that loud, spirited discussion that spilled out into the street and involved some pushing and shoving, I have not seen anything nasty, but there are some neighbors who come out when you park and stare/examine you in a predatory manner (although that may just be because my friend made me expect trouble and I am imagining it).
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,019 times
Reputation: 1102
The Clark Park area was quite bad in the nineties and eighties. My dad used to work around there and still thinks of it as murder central. But when you are eating at a hipster Vietnamese restaurant popping up inside of a Coney Island half a block away from a high-end Mexican bakery all with the skyline in sight, you are miles away from that reputation.

A lot still needs to be done in southwest, the old YMCA probably needs to be torn down or renovated. But it is one of the most stable and densely populated areas of the city... but then it's always important to remember but there are still arsons in Woodbridge and boarded-up houses on Begley in Corktown.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:02 PM
 
384 posts, read 287,820 times
Reputation: 138
Is it true that the area close to Hamtramck used to be really bad? I think it's called State-Fair Nolan?
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