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Old 06-04-2017, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Detroit
3,671 posts, read 4,799,933 times
Reputation: 2624

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Quote:
Originally Posted by newengland17 View Post
lol this blatant lie, every major city in the country experienced significant white flight, exurban office centers and sprawled development.
But did they lose nearly 90% of their white population like Detroit did? Hell no. And what did I lie about? did I say no other city had white flight? no I didn't. Comprehend what I said before you try to call me out for being a liar. I can show you clips of Oakland Co executive L Brooks Patterson literally saying stuff like "I don't see why people go into Detroit when we have everything here in Oakland Co" or being extremely bitter about part of the city becoming an attractive place and attracting businesses. This is Detroit's next door neighbor and this is someone who has been a leader for that county for a long time. Someone who is in a position to help move the entire region forward but instead attacks the core city every chance he gets despite the fact that Oakland Co would benefit from a healthy Detroit. How many major metropolitan areas have leaders TODAY who are still hell bent on keeping tensions high between the city and suburbs even though the tensions have been calming down between the city and burbs? Not many. There is no city in America that had the type of historic tension between the city and suburbs that Detroit had.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
934 posts, read 842,316 times
Reputation: 1095
Detroit is really, really great if you love suburban sprawl. If you love the idea of a big ass house on a small ass lake, whoa baby is Detroit exactly what you're looking for. If baked-in racism is something that you don't blink an eye at, most of suburban Detroit is a great place to feel comfortable. If you think small downtown strips in places like Plymouth and Farmington are somehow comparable to the world's great metropolises, you will fit in will.

But the truth is that Metro Detroit is deeply lacking in vibrancy and imagination. I like Ann Arbor and Ferndale and Royal Oak and Downtown itself, but I feel like so many people I meet in those places who do share an interest in building a more cosmopolitan city are outliers who, in their most honest moments, wish they could get out or at least periodically consider the option. If you ask why someone like ADS can actively spur me to move, it's because I've seen people I know who have worked to improve the city for years longer than I ever could fly the coop in the face of unyielding opposition to a Metro Detroit built on anything other than Baby Boomer fantasies.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:14 PM
 
124 posts, read 108,127 times
Reputation: 163
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
But did they lose nearly 90% of their white population like Detroit did? Hell no.
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.
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Old 06-04-2017, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
6,458 posts, read 3,518,967 times
Reputation: 7954
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Detroit is really, really great if you love suburban sprawl. If you love the idea of a big ass house on a small ass lake, whoa baby is Detroit exactly what you're looking for. If baked-in racism is something that you don't blink an eye at, most of suburban Detroit is a great place to feel comfortable. If you think small downtown strips in places like Plymouth and Farmington are somehow comparable to the world's great metropolises, you will fit in will.

But the truth is that Metro Detroit is deeply lacking in vibrancy and imagination. I like Ann Arbor and Ferndale and Royal Oak and Downtown itself, but I feel like so many people I meet in those places who do share an interest in building a more cosmopolitan city are outliers who, in their most honest moments, wish they could get out or at least periodically consider the option. If you ask why someone like ADS can actively spur me to move, it's because I've seen people I know who have worked to improve the city for years longer than I ever could fly the coop in the face of unyielding opposition to a Metro Detroit built on anything other than Baby Boomer fantasies.


I would rep you 100 times for this post if I could. Good to know someone else gets it!
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Nashville, TN -
6,458 posts, read 3,518,967 times
Reputation: 7954
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS313 View Post
But did they lose nearly 90% of their white population like Detroit did? Hell no. And what did I lie about? did I say no other city had white flight? no I didn't. Comprehend what I said before you try to call me out for being a liar. I can show you clips of Oakland Co executive L Brooks Patterson literally saying stuff like "I don't see why people go into Detroit when we have everything here in Oakland Co" or being extremely bitter about part of the city becoming an attractive place and attracting businesses. This is Detroit's next door neighbor and this is someone who has been a leader for that county for a long time. Someone who is in a position to help move the entire region forward but instead attacks the core city every chance he gets despite the fact that Oakland Co would benefit from a healthy Detroit. How many major metropolitan areas have leaders TODAY who are still hell bent on keeping tensions high between the city and suburbs even though the tensions have been calming down between the city and burbs? Not many. There is no city in America that had the type of historic tension between the city and suburbs that Detroit had.
This. No one, least of all I, suggests that Detroit suburbs, for the most part, aren't attractive, safe places. I was rather fond of Plymouth and Northville, relatively speaking.

But I've lived in a few mid-to-large sized cities, including Toronto, Montreal, and now Nashville, and I have never experienced anything like I did in Detroit in terms of the invisible wall between the city and the suburbs. Funny that mgkeith implies that my posts are snobby because I dare say that Metro Detroit is insular and conventional (). What I found throughout the affluent, leafy suburbs of Detroit was what I would call "snobby." And oblivious.

For example, it was as though the city of Detroit didn't exist. The obvious crime, poverty, and shocking decay (during the time I lived there, anyway) simply didn't matter, as long as the suburbanites lived in a nice house in Farmington Hills, West Bloomfield or Bloomfield Hills; as long as THEIR kids went to good schools and were privileged enough to have a good, solid start (truthfully, though, I've rarely encountered such spoiled, indulged kids as I did there); as long as THEY lived in attractive, safe neighborhoods with perfectly manicured lawns carefully attended by the weekly lawn service (yet there was STILL an unhealthy, bizarre Stranger Danger obsession that robbed kids of semi-normal childhoods, in my opinion); as long as THEY were in good shape, that's all that mattered.

Detroit? Excuse me, I have cupcakes to bake!

The insipid materialism, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses, the hyper-competitive parenting, the conventional, bourgeois attitudes, the sedentary, suburban lifestyles, was all something I'd never come across before, and I haven't since. Though I always defend Detroit against unfair criticism (the kind coming from people who've never been to Detroit), my evaluation is based on 14 years of consistent experience.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Chicago
934 posts, read 842,316 times
Reputation: 1095
If you lived here in the decades before the downtown revival, you will doubtlessly be familiar with the line that best sums up Metro Detroit's failures over the last half of the 20th century: "Don't judge us by Detroit, come out to Oakland County and check out Somerset Mall, it's one of the wealthiest counties in the US!"... the city was something to be overcome and the proof that it had been was an upscale mall in a bland, faceless suburb where 20 year old houses are torn down to build newer, bigger ones. Nothing but a specific kind of materialistic virtue signalling that is endemic to the suburbs.

As much as this has kinda sorta changed for the better, we are talking about baby steps. I have had to explain to friends, born and raised with the idea that car ownership was the primary signifier of independence and personal achievement, why I would personally prefer a longer commute via train to a shorter one constantly ensuring that my several ton death machine doesn't collide with anything. I've had to justify my decision to live in Ann Arbor in spite of a taxing daily commute to people who, in spite of being "Millennials", aspire to nothing more than a big house in the same suburb they grew up in, drinking at home and watching whatever is on TV. I have coworkers who like working in Detroit so long as it means convenient access to foodtrucks at lunch time, but hightail it out to South Lyon and Highland when the workday is done. I've watched as classmates and coworkers who leave town for more "real" cities are treated with a kind of novel awe combined suspicion, as though there must be something wrong with them for wanting anything else.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Metro Detroit
1,786 posts, read 1,929,903 times
Reputation: 3554
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.
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Old 06-05-2017, 06:47 AM
 
2,173 posts, read 2,815,166 times
Reputation: 2099
Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie734 View Post
Detroit is really, really great if you love suburban sprawl. If you love the idea of a big ass house on a small ass lake, whoa baby is Detroit exactly what you're looking for. If baked-in racism is something that you don't blink an eye at, most of suburban Detroit is a great place to feel comfortable. If you think small downtown strips in places like Plymouth and Farmington are somehow comparable to the world's great metropolises, you will fit in will.

But the truth is that Metro Detroit is deeply lacking in vibrancy and imagination. I like Ann Arbor and Ferndale and Royal Oak and Downtown itself, but I feel like so many people I meet in those places who do share an interest in building a more cosmopolitan city are outliers who, in their most honest moments, wish they could get out or at least periodically consider the option. If you ask why someone like ADS can actively spur me to move, it's because I've seen people I know who have worked to improve the city for years longer than I ever could fly the coop in the face of unyielding opposition to a Metro Detroit built on anything other than Baby Boomer fantasies.
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!

Last edited by Arthur Digby Sellers; 06-05-2017 at 07:19 AM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,749 posts, read 65,558,358 times
Reputation: 32915
The Detroit suburbs developed a separation from Detroit over decades for many reasons.

1. Detroit separated itself. Especially in the Coleman Young days, but it continued up to the recent turnover of the council and mayor. Detroit had the attitude it wanted nothing to to do with the suburbs. "This is our City, you stay out" was regularly conveyed. Not sure whether this came from the suburb separation or because of it, but it certainly created a division and barrier.

2. Detroit was not anywhere anyone wanted to go. You went into the City only when necessary (usually for sports events) and got out as quickly as you could. When I went to WSU in the 1980s, it was pretty bad, but it got worse later. When I started working downtown in 2008, I had several people tell me that I should wear a body bag to work and save the coroner some time. Everyone seemed to have a story about being robbed, shot at, or hearing shots, seeing a robbery, finding glass all over downtown from cars being broken into. Much of it was water cooler gossip and urban legend, but some was accurate.

3. The media jumped on the bandwagon and exaggerated whatever they could find. How horrible Detroit is became one of the favorite national topics.


There was reason for the gossip and negative attention. When I started working downtown, it was pretty empty most of the time except extremely aggressive mentally imbalanced begging people. There really was glass all over the streets some mornings from cars being broken into at night. Every bit of metal someone could find a way to steal was stolen. Manhole covers disappeared, houses were stripped of copper and other metals, in one instance a building was fenced in, and someone stole the fence and dragged it to a scrap place a few miles away. They found dead bodies in various abandoned buildings, a head and hands were found in a shallow spot in the Detroit River. It was not rampant, but there were at least weekly reports and every one was sensationalized in the media.

While downtown at my office for the fireworks, my son and friends were returning from Greek-town and a guy shot himself in the leg right in front of them while trying to draw a gun during an argument. (Just like in the movie about Eminem only this was real). His friends go home and tell their parents about that, and the urban legends are simply verified in their eyes. Only one of the six boys was ever allowed to come back for the fireworks, or any other event.

When we first moved here, I attended and watched City Council and various government board meetings fairly regularly. Racism and exclusion were the theme of most of the meetings. I saw a contractor be denied a contract despite a low bid because "You don't look like me" when he asked for further explanation "Your skin is not brown, you are not a brother, we want a brother to to do this work in our city" I about fell on the ground in shock. Most places a government official would at least be tossed out for that possibly jailed.

Later a contractor from Howell was denied a job because "Howell is racist" therefore the contractor must be racist, or maybe they just wanted to punish him for being form there (back in the late 1970s/early 1980s a KKK official had a farm in a township outside of Howell, He was long dead (like 20 or more years), and was not actually in Howell, but this branded the entire city "racist" forever in some people's minds. They did have a building in city of Howell reportedly - in high school we went at night and threw rocks at the windows - hope it was actually a KKK building and not just some poor business owner trying to figure out why all the area high school kids picked on his building. Are people from Howell going to go visit Detroit or be concerned about its welfare when the City Council has declared the entire area to be racists and evil?

One day, one of my daughter's came in to work with me. I think she was working a tutoring center Sara Fisher or something like that. Maybe it was something else, but we ended up going home late at night. The 75 was closed so we had to take Fort Street to Clark to get on the freeway home. It was snowing heavily and very cold. Just before going under the bridge, there was a car stopped in the street just sitting there. A person was laying in the road in front of them. I parked a way back, told my daughter to stay int he car with the doors locked and call 911. It turned out the guy had just passed out in the middle of the street. The car stopped because he was laying right in front of them and they did not know what to do. When I arrived, they said they did not want to be involved and drove off. I got a blanket and hand warmers form the car and tried to keep the guy from freezing. He was out cold but did not appear to be hurt, no blood. When the ambulance came, they seemed to recognize him. They slapped him and told him to get up and get out of the road. When he did not respond, they sighed and said "Well Jim, I guess you get your night in a warm hospital bed" They looked at me and said he does this sometimes when it gets cold. They said he had apparently overdone it this time. I asked if he was going to be ok and they said maybe, maybe not. Eventually he will die, could be now, maybe next time. For a young girl this is a huge event. Shocking and something to discuss for years. Something to never forget. Something to make you uncomfortable whenever you return to he city.

Another morning while the freeway was still closed, I was coming in on Fort street. It was hot but foggy and my AC was not working so I had the windows open. As I came into the City, there was a hooker servicing a customer less than three feet from my window. I saw simlar events later in this area, but always in a doorway or corner and usually at night, barely visible. In this case, a passenger could have reached out and high fived the guy. Although we have seen simlar once in a while in other cities, it is always a bit of a shock. Something you remember.

While I worked at the Ren Cen, people or their cars got robbed occasionally. One pair robbed people of their cell phones for a while. Apparently there were machines in malls where you could but in an old Cell phone and it would give you moeny (I never saw one). They guys took phone form too women who were walking to their car and drove off. A Ren Cen security guy saw them and followed them. They turned around and shot him in the eye. I think he lived, but he lost the eye and had some brain damage. They took up a collection to help him - which called a lot of attention to the event. Suddenly the 3000 or so people working in the Ren Can at the time were talking about nothing else (it was mostly empty then). Do you think any of them or any of their friends are ever likely to come downtown for fun? Very few.

Things have turned around dramatically. Every year, sometimes every month, things got better and better. The corrupt mayor and exclusionary council got booted and replaced with more open minded people, it appears. I have not seen a street covered in broken glass or a hooker servicing a client on the sidewalk at 5 a.m. or a person laying in the road in front of me, in many years. slowly one by one the obvious signs of trouble disappeared. However people were used to seeing such things when coming into the city, or hearing about them from others. The tales were then exaggerated until they took on monumental proportions. They are so ingrained in our thinking, no one will believe otherwise.

It is very difficult to convince people downtown and mid-town are now wonderful. They are welcome and will have fun. It is safe. The City council does not hate you and want you yo stay home anymore. My brother who was shot at while working on an AC unit on top of a building 15 or 20 years ago, will not return, will not believe anything has changed. "I have heard all this before"

I love to hang out in the city, but I can rarely get anyone to come with me. I have to come alone most of the time. My kids will come with me sometimes, but it is not their preferred destination. It makes them somewhat uncomfortable. It is sad. One shocking experience is enough to turn people away for a lifetime. When people visit from other States, they do not have the ingrained stigma. They have heard bad things, but I tell them it is better now. Media exaggeration. They believe me and come downtown and love it. Still I can get few locals to come. Meanwhile, young people from our community have moved into downtown. Older people are aghast. The young people come back alive, well and happy, talking about how great it is, but the older people will not accept the stories of change. They think it is just a matter of time before the young people return - broken victims of crime and now wiser.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 06-05-2017 at 08:13 AM..
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Chicago
934 posts, read 842,316 times
Reputation: 1095
I work in a role that involves contact with notaries and can tell you that it gets pretty frustrating sitting in a beautiful downtown Detroit office, feeling all the progress, only to have some notary from Oxford turn down money because they "don't do signings in Detroit". Talk about snowflakes.

When I discuss sprawl in metro Detroit, I am not talking sheer numbers of people living in exurbs or on the fringes. Sprawl is worse in the south because the infrastructure is newer and not designed for any kind of density. With that being said, I am relatively sure that people in Murfreesboro, TN consider their relative closeness to Nashville to be an asset, something to enjoy rather than a continual embarrassment. I am not really that ignorant of other metros, I have lived in a couple (Tampa in the US, London and Toronto abroad)... were there snobby suburbanites in those places? Sure. But at the end of the day, most people lived near those cities because they liked those cities. The massive chasms you see in the Rust Belt between city and suburb are not the norm and the only other places they seem to exist have a clear race dimension (sup Atlanta?) that is unpalatable to any right thinking human being.

I suppose my issue isn't that I think Detroit is a special case, though in many ways it is as evidenced by all the ink spilled over it alone in the past 50 years, so much as the idea that criticism of the flaws in racist and suburbanist mindsets in Metro Detroit are somehow not worth discussing or otherwise not even real. It's offputting in the extreme.

Last edited by brodie734; 06-05-2017 at 08:40 AM..
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