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Old 08-25-2008, 02:31 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,477 times
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I have read many posts about Detroit, but I am still ambivalent about whether it would make a great place for me to live. This is why... I am an African American female who has grown up in New York and lived North Carolina for the past eight years. I have experienced racism, but it has never been so dominant that I focus on it every day of my life. I have wonderful friends of different races that I care about very much. I wouldn't want to live in a place where I felt segregated because of race. Maybe I am asking too much or being naive...I don't think so because again I have been comfortable with my experience both places that I have lived and able to meet great friends. Although, North Carolina was a little rocky at first because I am a northerner. Anyway the point of my post is this... I wanted to see Detroit for myself and I did visit recently. I noticed that I met many friendly people (I was in the suburb of Bloomfield Hills mostly) and really liked it. Also, I liked St. Clair Shores and Royal Oak. I know that parts of the city of Detroit may be scary and dangerous, but the suburbs seemed really nice. I am finishing graduate school and would like to move to a mid-size, inexpensive, northern city that is vibrant. Please tell me your thoughts about an African American female moving to the suburbs of Detroit. Is there really too much racism and I just didn't see it? It is the single most important decision that I find a nice place to call home now and I don't want to regret another move. However, I love the small bungalow homes, riverfront, and location. Hopefully there are activities throughout the year too. Thanks for you help! Also, I am in my early 30's if this helps to identify areas or activities.
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Old 08-25-2008, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
181 posts, read 546,893 times
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Well, I think that you should definitely have a secure job before attempting a move as the economy isn't doing so well there.

As far as racism goes, well, I'm Caucasian, but I feel that the Detroit area has less racial tension than a lot of other areas I've lived. I think that different races tend to associate together much more than, say Philadelphia. Detroit had some major race problems in the 60s...but it's not the 60s anymore. It seems that most of the racial tension is reserved for the Middle Eastern population. Not that that is OK, but if you are a successful African American woman, there are other preferred targets of hatred by ignorant jerkwads.

There are a lot of great suburbs and the real estate is going for pretty close to the same price as it was when I was a realtor 10 years ago. My favorite areas there are Royal Oak, Ferndale, Birmingham, Oak Park, Berkley. Lathrup Village is a nice suburb with a large African American population. There are parts of Detroit itself which aren't bad, but the problem is that your auto insurance rates are really high, and there aren't many places to grocery shop.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:00 PM
 
4 posts, read 14,477 times
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I didn't know about Lathrup Village or Oak Park. I also feel more confident about the area, so thank you for your insight. I may visit this weekend, since it is a long weekend. Check back on here if you don't mind because I may have more questions.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
181 posts, read 546,893 times
Reputation: 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by citysearcher75 View Post
I didn't know about Lathrup Village or Oak Park. I also feel more confident about the area, so thank you for your insight. I may visit this weekend, since it is a long weekend. Check back on here if you don't mind because I may have more questions.
Certainly, feel free to PM me as well.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:16 PM
 
225 posts, read 749,964 times
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Lathrup and Oak Park ain't what they used to be. I'd stick with SCS or Royal Oak. Probably Royal Oak if you're single.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:07 AM
 
123 posts, read 451,797 times
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Things are not how they used to be in my eyes. I grew up in the West Bloomfield area and about 20 years ago in my sub there were no african american people and now there are plenty and mix of other races. I think that coming from another state you will be happier in Royal Oak where there is more to do,affordable,safe. I don't think Detroit is safe even in the nicer lofts because of the areas around it. Some other areas you may like that are affordable and can you say more your proce range and what you want in a place I can offer more. I was thinking Novi/Northville,Birmingham (depending on finances). Where will you be working? Do you know anyone here? I hope you find Mi a welcoming place. There are some areas like in WB and in BH where even I feel judged as a caucasion. Some just think they are better because of how much money they have. I just try to remind myself they have issues and why the need to judge others? No one is better because of money,race,etc. I know this is easier said then done of course when you feel seperate. Good luck and feel free to pm me too.
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Old 08-28-2008, 04:28 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
3,119 posts, read 7,300,445 times
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Why Detroit and not some other city? The state's economy is in the dumps, as you must already know, with no end in sight. Detroit's upper middle class suburbs--the northwestern suburbs in lakes country--Farmington Hills, Novi, West Bloomfield--are very nice if you can afford to live there and if they are convenient to your workplace. Also, the cost of buying a house or a condo here isn't too bad.

If you want to be in a northern city, have you considered moving to Minneapolis-St. Paul? It's colder and less racially diverse but the economy will be better, though I can't say which one would have a better racial climate for you. What about Denver? How about Portland, Oregon? It sounds like you could choose to settle anywhere in the country, in which case, you have to ask yourself why you'd want to choose Michigan and the Detroit area.
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Old 08-29-2008, 02:51 AM
 
4 posts, read 14,477 times
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Nearborn,GinaJ and Bhaalspawn, I just checked in and read your posts. Again I appreciate your comments.

Well to give you some more information. I don't have a job lined up in Detroit and I would not move without one. I am seriously ready for a change (in scenery) and this is a great time for me to move. The non-profit agency that I've worked for the past seven years closed. I am working on a graduate degree, but the program is fully distance education. So I am free to go!

Bhaalspawn - I have visted San Diego twice last year as a consideration, (although not in the north pacific) it felt incredibly far away from home. A beautiful city, but I want to be closer to my family. I am really considering cities in the midwest to the northeast. I visited Chicago and Boston (and Boston was pretty cool) but, neither felt right for me... However, you did suggest Minneapolis and St. Paul which is of interest to me, but I have not visited. Why Detroit... It may not be for great reasons, but it is urban or at least an established older city (which, I miss about NY), it is affordable, it's on the water (which I love), beautiful bungalow homes and it felt comfortable (not too big or too small of a city). I did notice that Detroit has serious problems in some areas with decay and crime, also Michigan is in an economic slump. This makes Detroit seem like a poor choice, I know...but, I do want to visit again because I haven't ruled it out.

A little tid bit - I watched House Hunters last week and the episode, ironically had a teacher who moved from Charlotte, after grad school to Harper Woods. She bought a bungalow for $70,000 in foreclosure and renovated it. I loved it! I think it reinforced my interest in the area. I would be a first time homeowner and properties are affordable there.
Bhaalspawn, I await your feedback.

GinaJ- I don't know anyone in Detroit. I need to pick a city , so that I can focus my job search accordingly. My price range for an area would be low to mid 100's for a home. I want a place that feels vibrant and easy to meet other singles. I like shops, parks, restaurants, markets and busy streets. I want an interesting area to live in.

P.S. If you get a chance research Charlotte, NC on Forbes "Best Cities for Singles" or even on this site. It is a beautiful city with great people, but it bores me to no end.

I want to thank you both again for this great information.

Last edited by citysearcher75; 08-29-2008 at 03:15 AM..
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Old 08-30-2008, 06:22 AM
 
123 posts, read 451,797 times
Reputation: 35
Are you out of a job in your hometown and just attending school? What type of job are you looking for here?If I were you I would rent and not buy when you first move. That way you can change cities or even states if it does not work out. I would really say Detroit,no. Many people like Ann Arbor if you do a search on that. If you were to live in Novi or I live near M5 in Farmington hills it is very commutable to Detroit,Ann Arbor etc.Many people for ex who work in Detroit commute from West Bloomfield etc. Do you have friends or anyone in any other states you would like to move to? What made you move from NY out of curiosity?My dad moved to Idaho and likes that. I am not sure the racial aspect of that. My brother moved to Tx and likes that. I just moved back from Ca and really liked it there but I have some health issues which are major so needed to be by family. I don't like Mi but my mom does. I guess my point is everyone is different and I think a lot can depend on finances too. My friend moved to Ca and had to work 2 jobs and stilll could not make it and had to move home. That in itself is a stress. Good luck. If you move here I would be more then happy to show you around. Though I know very little about Detroit. Just have been to the theater and the casino
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:54 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,628 times
Reputation: 10
I would not recommend St. Clair Shores if your concerned about racism. The city is about 95% white. It's a tight middle class community. The police pull over African Americans more than other suburbs. A lot of retired folks live here. The community is steady, but I would not say vibrant and upcoming. Royal Oak would be a more acceptable community. It's not as racist and has a decent amount of brick bungalows. However the houses would probably cost about $50,000 more than St. Clair Shores. I'm looking to move out of SCS because it's too boring and can not stand the old people.

Last edited by stiebs81; 08-30-2008 at 12:05 PM.. Reason: Typo
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