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Old 06-05-2017, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,762 times
Reputation: 1102

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
Shouldn't you be packing your bags for Chicago, snowflake?

I swear the most miserable people in Metro Detroit are right here on this message board. I've never met so many people who hate everything about where they live.

No one thinks downtown Plymouth is comparable to Midtown Manhattan. No one thinks Metro Detroit is one of the world's great metropolises. It is a pretty decent place to raise a family and have a good quality of life for a lower than average cost of living. If you work in the auto industry you can make a good bit of coin without having to spend a million dollars on a home like you would in SoCal, Boston, et al. But the world is full of tradeoffs, and I don't think you would be any less miserable even if we had the shiny happy mass transit system of your dreams. If the area is just full of racist, materialst people that you say it is, I don't think you'll ever be happy here. "Oh, they live in SOUTH LYON! Oh, they don't go out to the cool bars like I do! The HUMANITY!!" Frankly, I think you just need a reason to complain about why you're so miserable and choose to blame other people who don't fit your definition of hipster. Sad!
Just a special aside on this... it may come as a surprise to you, but people often want to live among their social and ideological peers. I could stereotype you as a guy who wants to live around a bunch of people who love V8 Hemi trucks and MAGA hats, think the Woodward Dream Cruise is the height of culture, and are legitimately worried about the decline of the shopping mall, but that wouldn't really be fair to you. I'm sure you're a decent person with your own interests and friends, etc. You like it here, it meets your needs, that is great!

But look at your surroundings. You're on a website surrounded by people with an interest, to some extent or another, in urbanism. For the urbanist, Metro Detroit fails to deliver what they want and need. I fully admit to being a bit of a hipster, it makes me sad that Chicago has four times as many Yelp listings for bubble tea and 10 times as many listings for poke as Metro Detroit. I don't expect others in this region to share my values, but the fact that so many people here seem so utterly baffled as to how anyone could value interesting, trendy food instead of cheap housing and decent schools is part of why I don't like it here.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:03 AM
 
12,490 posts, read 7,595,879 times
Reputation: 4755
I think the challenge for Detroiters is in creating a metro area where your children do not have to move away. Aside from a poor economy, many older people in SE Michigan created the type of polarization between city and suburbs, which was really a divide between black and white, that essentially destroyed the vibrancy of the city which in turn led to many of their children and grand children having to move from the area in search of such urban vibrancy.

Beliefs, attitudes and actions all have consequences. Although such polarization is simply a microcosm of America's past, the fact that it manifested between city and suburb, and not between the North and South/West sides like in Chicago , is really what makes Detroit polarization unique for an area so large. Detroit preferred inter-city racial separation to intra-city racial separation. If the polarization became East side vs West side, with blacks dominating the east side and whites on the west.....Detroit would be a much more vibrant city and probably still have close to a million people today.

It's unfortunate but the definition of "vibrancy" is color coded. The vast majority of the Vibrant Walk-able cities are either majority white or dense older cities in the Northeast with large white populations. Its a rare find indeed to find an area that does not have many whites described as "vibrant and walk able". Such places are usually seen as undesirable unless they are being gentrified (the process of making it white).

Unless you are a person with their head stuck in the sand......Detroit's comeback is as racially influenced as its decline, which really is a bad sign given that much of the Detroit areas problem is rooted in such racial imbalances.

Last edited by Indentured Servant; 06-05-2017 at 09:23 AM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,932,106 times
Reputation: 3554
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Just a special aside on this... it may come as a surprise to you, but people often want to live among their social and ideological peers. I could stereotype you as a guy who wants to live around a bunch of people who love V8 Hemi trucks and MAGA hats, think the Woodward Dream Cruise is the height of culture, and are legitimately worried about the decline of the shopping mall, but that wouldn't really be fair to you. I'm sure you're a decent person with your own interests and friends, etc. You like it here, it meets your needs, that is great!

But look at your surroundings. You're on a website surrounded by people with an interest, to some extent or another, in urbanism. For the urbanist, Metro Detroit fails to deliver what they want and need. I fully admit to being a bit of a hipster, it makes me sad that Chicago has four times as many Yelp listings for bubble tea and 10 times as many listings for poke as Metro Detroit. I don't expect others in this region to share my values, but the fact that so many people here seem so utterly baffled as to how anyone could value interesting, trendy food instead of cheap housing and decent schools is part of why I don't like it here.
As a bit of an "urbanist" myself, I completely disagree that "Metro Detroit fails to deliver what they want and need." And before you try to paint a mental picture of me wearing a red MAGA cap. I was a vocal Bernie supporter, I don't spray my grass with herbicide because I want to make it a friendly place for bees, and I tend to be rather heavy in community involvement.

I live in a semi-urban area (~6,000 people per square mile) where I can walk to patio dining and a local market. I can go for a stroll to a seemingly limitless number of local shops, cafes, or neighborhood parks. I can ride my bike to the zoo, upscale pubs, or to a fancier coffee shop that serves bubble tea. If I desire to see a world class art museum, an urban state park, the most unexpectedly great dining in North America which Zagat confirms is among the best overall, or any of the 4 major pro sports teams - I'm looking at a 20 minute drive. As my kids age I can send then to schools that rank 8, 9, and 10 on websites like GreatSchools. I can do all this while owning a modest house on a small lot, that cost less than $200,000, off one income - while my wife stays home temporarily. This all-too-common-here (but rare elsewhere) situation is what makes Metro Detroit special. There are very, very few places left in America where you can have this. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single one, though I will admit cities like Cleveland/Pittsburgh/Indy probably have similar areas.

What Metro Detroit offers is that balance between urban living and a manageable cost of living which allows one to actually enjoy my urban living, instead of spending their young adult life sharing a cramped living space, drowning in debt, and never being able to afford starting a family of their own.

The only major trade off I'm making here is that I have to drive to work, but when 86% of all Americans commute by car only, you can't possibly convince me that this is something only done in Detroit. In fact, I'd say cities like NYC, Boston, and SF are the ones which are out of the ordinary (though in an admittedly good manner), and even in those most people still commute by personal car (56%, 69% and 75% respectively). Again, your gripe is against American suburbanization, you're simply misplacing this with Metro Detroit because for some reason, you've got beef with the region. Is Detroit the urbanist's ultimate playground? Hah! Not even close, but it's pretty damn good.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,762 times
Reputation: 1102
My contention was more that ADS's constant run-ins with "unhappy" Metro Detroiters on CD may well reflect the priorities of the kind of person who uses a website like City-Data more than anything else. I don't disagree that places are worse than Detroit for urbanism or that this area is solidly better than most in the country, but what concerns and bothers me is less the space itself and more the attitude of the people.

It might be hard to understand fully having only recently moved here, to a relatively liberal enclave no less, but the kind of arch suburban attitudes that lead to people saying things like "it's the Motor City... get used to it or move" or the implicit racism that you might need to actually be born here to fully see are endemic. It's changing but slowly and I can promise you that it isn't just the over 55 crowd, I work with 25 year olds who are afraid of getting gas at the Mobile station across from old Tiger Stadium on their way home from work. I grew up in Livonia with people who never even went to the city of Detroit... think about that, do you know of people from other metro areas who grew up without ever travelling from the suburbs to the city even once? And it takes more than generalized trends to cure the antipathy to urbanity and diversity that many of those kids inherited from mom and dad.

I don't hate Michigan, not in the least. In 5-7 years, when the time comes to start a family, I'd be happy to be an Ann Arbor or Ferndale, reaping the benefits you describe and hoping that the attitudes I am talking about will be anathema in those enclaves. But in the meantime, I don't desire to spend my remaining youth around people who fundamentally disagree with me about what is and is not desirable.

Last edited by brodie734; 06-05-2017 at 09:58 AM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,932,106 times
Reputation: 3554
I'm new to the city as well, and living in Berkley (a relatively liberal enclave itself - though with a high percentage of families when contrasted with Ferndale/A2) I'm somewhat removed from the perspective you discuss, but I will admit that it does exist. That being said, it exists everywhere, in every outer-ring McMansion suburb. I moved from Salt Lake which has like 5 black people in the entire county (exaggeration), and some people in the southern 'burbs wouldn't venture north of 6200 South because "it is too rough" which basically translates to, "I might run into someone who speaks Spanish."

Personally, I don't think racism is as evident among people our age. I've pumped gas in Flint a couple times, but given the choice I'd rather get it in Burton or Grand Blanc. This has nothing to do with racism, and everything to do with not wishing to be unnecessarily distracted while in a place statistically demonstrated to have a significantly higher percentage of violent crime. I don't see anything wrong with that; however, I'd have no problem getting gas in Corktown, and my wife and I have taken our two small children to places within the city multiple times. This will hopefully be the norm for the sub-35 suburbanites who are beginning to raise their own families. You'll get plenty who still move to BFE Township, but that's more because they want new or semi-rural, not because they're afraid of minorities, because I believe you'll continue to see more and more dispersion of population. Some Black people will continue to move to Rochester Hills just as some White people will continue move to Bagley. They'll do it because the neighborhood fits their wants without regard to, "Do my neighbors look like me?"

I've seen exactly what you're saying on this board multiple times though. I've been painted as ignorant for stating that the white flight from the city was wrong and shouldn't have have happened. I maintain that many of the issues in Metro Detroit were created in racism and maintain a foothold within them, but none of this to me says that there's no urban appeal to Detroit. If anything, the idea that a young person can come here, live in/near the city, afford life, and really make a difference states quite the opposite.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:29 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,817,432 times
Reputation: 2104
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Just a special aside on this... it may come as a surprise to you, but people often want to live among their social and ideological peers. I could stereotype you as a guy who wants to live around a bunch of people who love V8 Hemi trucks and MAGA hats, think the Woodward Dream Cruise is the height of culture, and are legitimately worried about the decline of the shopping mall, but that wouldn't really be fair to you. I'm sure you're a decent person with your own interests and friends, etc. You like it here, it meets your needs, that is great!

But look at your surroundings. You're on a website surrounded by people with an interest, to some extent or another, in urbanism. For the urbanist, Metro Detroit fails to deliver what they want and need. I fully admit to being a bit of a hipster, it makes me sad that Chicago has four times as many Yelp listings for bubble tea and 10 times as many listings for poke as Metro Detroit. I don't expect others in this region to share my values, but the fact that so many people here seem so utterly baffled as to how anyone could value interesting, trendy food instead of cheap housing and decent schools is part of why I don't like it here.
That's exactly what you did. You derided anyone here living in a suburb in a region where 90% of the population resides in the suburbs.

I understand what you're saying, and I'm telling you you'll never be happy here. Metro Detroit is a large midwestern region with more amenities than most, but it's never going to have the "cultural currency" you want.
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Old 06-05-2017, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,762 times
Reputation: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
Personally, I don't think racism is as evident among people our age.
I wish I could agree, but I have seen enough anecdotal evidence (like my hippie dippy former coworker, now a social worker in a majority black school district, who would use the N-word like it was going out of style when intoxicated because she thought it was funny) to be a bit more pessimistic.

But then race relations are ****ty all over, I don't have a cure for racism here and I know you see the same **** elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Digby Sellers View Post
That's exactly what you did. You derided anyone here living in a suburb in a region where 90% of the population resides in the suburbs.

I understand what you're saying, and I'm telling you you'll never be happy here. Metro Detroit is a large midwestern region with more amenities than most, but it's never going to have the "cultural currency" you want.
I actually sincerely appreciate this as advice, because much of the time (and in a lot of places on the internet) all anyone wants to do is upsell you on downtown Detroit, which I know isn't what I'm looking for. It sucks to consider leaving but I do intend to come back someday.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,803,312 times
Reputation: 2624
This thread has gotten way off topic and damn near needs it's own thread. So I'm just going to say this. Even though I don't like the situation of mass transit here, I'm damn sure not giving up my good job, friends, family, lower COL, and everything I do enjoy just so I can be closer to more tea shops and trendy foods. Stuff I wouldn't eat regardless because I'm into soul food, American food, ect. But if I really didn't want a car that bad, I would skip Chicago all together and move to NYC which has much better PT than Chicago and Detroit combined and have all the trendy shops you could ever go to in a lifetime. But like I said, not a high priority in my life but to each his own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newengland17 View Post
Hell yes, American cities have been totally gutted, Detroit is not a special case at all, we are a suburban nation, know your history. The racial tension exists all over the country, at least Detroit hasn't had riots in the last half century, unlike most other US cities.
Show me some links of other major cities that lost 90% of their peak white populations . That only one that even comes close is maybe STL, Memphis, or Chicago.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Chicago
939 posts, read 843,762 times
Reputation: 1102
I mean, the topic is dislikes and likes about Metro Detroit. I feel like it's gone more in depth than discussing the lack of certain chains, and it's nice to have a critique of the area that ISN'T coming from a "city of Detroit is scary, don't go to Eastern Market because someone died there in 1977!" perspective.

Regarding Chicago and NYC, for as much as Chicago is everyone in Michigan's go-to idea of a big city it is still a Midwestern city and is, as such, far more affordable than the large coastal metros. One can easily find a periodic one bedroom for $1100 a month in Lincoln Park, a cursory search in Brooklyn revealed nothing but actual rooms for rent in larger apartments at that price. It's a value. At that price point, the increase from Ann Arbor would be ~$100 for infinitely more things. No brainer, tbh.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
6,502 posts, read 3,531,973 times
Reputation: 7996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo-Aggie View Post
I feel like what newdixiegirl is describing is suburbanites, in general, while making a false correlation to Detroit and suggesting that it's the only place in the world with suburbanites. And while brodie734 makes some valid points about the amount of sprawl in Metro Detroit, it's again ignorant of most metros. Detroit is not a compact metro, but it is not one of the worst offenders regarding sprawl. Interestingly enough, according to this 2014 analysis done by Smart Growth America, just about each of the most sprawling metros is in the South, and among those is Nashville-Davidson/Murfreesboro/Franklin, Tennessee - yes, according to actual data (which is more important than anecdotes) Nashville sprawls worse than Detroit.

So how bad is Detroit? Well, sadly they separate out Wayne County from Oakland/Macomb, but according to their metrics out of 221 metros analyzed, Wayne County is the 13th least sprawling metro, while Oakland/Macomb is 201st (20th worst). They base this off multiple metrics such as Density, Land use mix, Activity centering, and Street connectivity. What it sounds like people are discussing most is here is Density - which Detroit is admittedly not among the top 20 in, but it still scores better than average. If we composite these based on weighted population Wayne/Oakland/Macomb county would score right around 100th and be comparable to cities like Toledo, Dayton, or Sacramento.

When we separate things out county by county, with a median score of 100 (high being less sprawl, lower being more sprawl) Wayne County scores 139.0, Washtenaw County scores 120.43, Macomb County scores 111.9, and Oakland County scores 110.46.

So please, let's talk some more about how much "sprawl" there is in Detroit and then pretend that this isn't a problem (and in most cases a larger problem) in literally every other metro in the nation. Obviously Detroit isn't an ultra-compact city like you'd find in NYC, SF, or Atlantic City, but it also isn't the never-ending sprawl you find in places like Atlanta, Prescott, or Nashville. When it comes to sprawl, let's treat Detroit for what it is: a pretty standard representation of poor American mid-century urban planning based around concepts like the shopping mall, supermarket, and interstate. Things which seemed great at the time, but have since lost their appeal for many which is exactly why urban cores and "suburban downtown" enclaves within larger metros are so popular among today's younger crowd.

Exurbs will stay popular as long as the 55+ crowd is still relevant, and as they age out there will be younger people who populate them on a sort of liberal/conservative split (trust me, you will find very, very few liberal millennials in the exurbs like Canton or Macomb Twp, but likewise you'll find very few conservative millennials in urban cores or compact suburban enclaves like Royal Oak or Dearborn). My point is exurbs are here to stay, but they won't maintain the popularity they did during the misguided urban planning periods of the past 60 years. City cores are regaining their relevance all over the country, just as they are in Detroit. Stop acting like Detroit is the only city in the country that has suburbs and racism.
When did I ever "suggest" that Detroit is "the only place in the world with suburbanites"? Don't be silly. And I never said anything at all about sprawl. Nothing. I also didn't mention racism. I talked primarily about the urban/suburban divide that IS more pronounced in Metro Detroit than in many other cities.

Obviously, I can only compare Detroit to the other large cities I've lived in: Toronto, Montréal, and Nashville. Do all four cities have sprawl? Yes. Do they all have suburbs and exurbs? Yes. Do they all have unattractive areas consisting primarily of strip malls and pawn shops? Yes. Do they all have an element of materialism? Without a doubt, yes.

Do they all have thriving, relatively safe, attractive, dynamic city cores? Do all these cities contain a mix of highly desirable residential neighborhoods, central business districts, and diverse centers of entertainment and leisure that every day/night bring together hundreds of thousands of people of all socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds from the entire Metro area? Are all they all walkable and rideable? Do they all make efforts to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists? Do they all have reliable intermodal public transit, from morning until evening, that carries residents, tourists, and commuters throughout the downtown cores and perhaps back to the suburbs and neighboring cities?

No, they don't.

Do they all have suburban populations that, collectively, have largely avoided downtown for decades? No, they do not. This is where Detroit is different.

In any other city I've lived in, I've never driven past huge areas, en route downtown, where homes are crumbling and/or secured with steel bars in the windows and doors. And I've never lived in another city where the suburban residents almost entirely insulate themselves from these obvious problems, while they drive around, from one suburb to another, transporting their kids to an array of expensive activities. I don't know about you, but this dumbfounded me about Detroit, and I know I'm not alone.

So, let's please stop acting like Detroit is just like any other big city, or that all other big cities have the same issues that Detroit has.
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