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Old 02-09-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: International Falls, Minnesota
232 posts, read 735,826 times
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For those of you who have been to both cities' downtown area, what's your take on the similarities and differences? Is Hennepin Avenue (the main avenue running through downtown Minneapolis) similar to Woodward Avenue in Detroit? I'm interested in housing downtown in Detroit and I looked (online) at the Fyfe Apartments which are on Woodward (I forgot the cross street)...does downtown Detroit have skywalks/skyways connecting the buildings like downtown Minneapolis does?

I visited Detroit in October (ran the marathon) but I stayed in Windsor and didn't get to see much of the downtown except for the marathon. So if you've been to both, I'd be interested in your opinion of each city. I lived in Minneapolis for while but...it just wasn't doin' it for me after a while.
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Huntington Woods, MI
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Outside of Detroit, Minneapolis is the other major city I'm most familiar with. I have a lot of relatives in the Twin Cities and visit every year. With that said, downtown Minneapolis is far and away better than downtown Detroit. Detroit does not have the skywalks Minneapolis has. Detroit does not have the shopping Minneapolis has. Detroit does not have the entertainment Minneapolis has. Unless there is an event going on downtown, Detroit is dead. Woodward is literally vacant for a couple blocks. The parks around downtown Minneapolis are nicer. The river area in Minneapolis is nicer. Dinky town is even better. Unless you want to gamble every night, downtown Minneapolis wins this one.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,257 posts, read 43,168,834 times
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I grew up in Michigan, not in Detroit though. I am somewhat familiar with Detroit nontheless.

I have lived in Minneapolis in the past.

Minneapolis is a great little city on every level. Detroit isn't, although some people try to hope it can be. I have hope for Detroit as well, and I love cities and urban environments...for whatever reason, Detroit just feels....not quite right.

I mean, it's just way too car-oriented....built for parking your car in a parking lot right next to where you are going, then get in your car and drive again. Basically, not much of Detroit seems inviting to getting out of the car and walking around. It is also very spread out, and has a very desolate uninviting feel most of the time.

The skyways...yeah, those were cool about MPLS...I heard two of the larger cities in Iowa have those as well. Those are fairly unique, I don't know many other cities with those...and I've been to 49 states and their cities. Detroit doesn't though.

Regarding differences..another big difference, MPLS has a strong scandinavian influence. Detroit has a strong African-American culture predominately, with decent sizeable pockets of Polish and Arabic. Of course there is a little bit of everywhere, but those seem to be the biggest presense on cultural overall feel.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Remer, MN
150 posts, read 405,388 times
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I've lived and grew up in Detroit and remember when it was a great city. I never minded driving downtown at any hour of the day. I haven't been there in over 20 years, but remember it well. I have driven through the Twin Cities in the past few years and hated every minute of it! There was absolutely no caring from the other drivers! They came within inches of hitting my truck! RUDE! I live way up north in MN Where all we have are two lane roads (sometimes only one lane) and am so happy that I don't have to drive in the cities every day!

Susie
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Michissippi
3,120 posts, read 8,061,719 times
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Why would you want to move to the economically devastated Detroit area unless you had a decent job? I strongly recommend against living in the City of Detroit itself. It's very dangerous and it's mostly just a huge ghetto. Imagine an entire city of Broadway Avenue or Lake Street only 10 times worse. You'll have a much higher quality of life out in the suburbs. I suggest a middle class suburb like Troy, Rochester, Livonia, Novi, or Farmington Hills instead.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:34 AM
 
1,996 posts, read 3,158,204 times
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Tiger Beer, you said in another thread that you haven't been to Michigan in a long, long time - So how do you know if Detroit "feels....not quite right" to you? And Detroit, was not "built for parking your car in a parking lot right next to where you are going, then get in your car and drive again". The newer developments in downtown and the outer neighborhoods are car-oriented developments, but truly, there haven't been much new developments in the last 50 years, except demolition.

Before the city started emptying out, all of the commercial streets were lined with STOREFRONTS, not strip malls. The city of Detroit was completely buillt out by the mid-1950's, which is about the time that parking lot-fronted strip malls were starting to be built. There were few parking lots. In the 1960's and 1970's parking lots were added in some of the major business districts in the city to compete with the malls and their free abundant parking.

It is true that Detroit is more car-oriented and has a lot more single-family houses than Eastern Cities, and Chicago, but there were a plethora of commercial strips and neighborhood business districts in town that one could walk to. A few of these districts, such as Seven Mile-Gratiot, was completely demolished and built over with crap stripmalls. The vast majority still exist, however the city is very depressed and there are few businesses that are open, so residents have to drive or take the bus to the 'burbs.
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Old 02-10-2010, 01:08 AM
 
1,996 posts, read 3,158,204 times
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To Duluth07,
I am excited by your interest in Downtown Detroit. I cannot compare it with downtown Minneapolis, because I have never been there, but I can tell you that downtown Minny is better in terms of shopping options and vibrancy. Downtown Detroit has many great restaraunts, bars, and nightspots, but it lacks the retail options (clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.) that better downtowns have. In addition, there are still a lot of vacant, decaying buildings downtown and some blocks are pretty deserted and blighted.

Downtown Detroit has seen some great developments in the past 5 years, such as the restoration of two giant hotels, and the redevelopment of the riverfront. We have an elevated one-way rail loop around downtown that you might find useful every once in a while, but we don't have that light rail that Minny does.

I can tell you that Downtown Detroit beats Downtown Minny in the classic architecture category hands down.

If you were disappointed with downtown Minny because it lacked vibrancy, or shopping options, then Downtown Detroit will really let you down. However, Downtown Detroit is steadily improving. Also, the collection of neighborhoods north of downtown, called "Midtown" are also resurging and are worth a look.

Finally, if you don't have a job lined up already, or if you don't own your own business, I don't suggest moving here.

One question, what disappointed about Downtown Minneapolis?
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:51 AM
 
414 posts, read 972,022 times
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Hennepin is not the major street running through downtown Minneapolis. It runs east-west along what is considered the north edge of the down town area. It at one time was where all the vaudeville theaters were, turned into massive movie theaters of the 1930s and so on. It is kind of run down. The main drag I would say is Nicollet mall which runs more through the center of the down town area. Other than buses, it is for walkers with benches and trees. Downtown Minneapolis is a very lively place during the day and evening but it tends to shut down at night.

All I know about Detroit is it is very economically depressed and I would expect that to be reflected in what its downtown is like.
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:22 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,257 posts, read 43,168,834 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usroute10 View Post
Tiger Beer, you said in another thread that you haven't been to Michigan in a long, long time
Not haven't been, haven't lived in.

I'm actually in Michigan right now, just north of Detroit. Visiting family and old friends.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:17 AM
 
Location: International Falls, Minnesota
232 posts, read 735,826 times
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Thanks for the replies. Even though I wasn't in Detroit for that long, I was definitely intrigued by the architecture and building styles downtown. And although I don't know a whole lot about Minneapolis (it's about 165 miles south of here (Duluth) I just know it's got more newer buildings...but I also sensed a lot of affluence, attitude and the importance of having status - not really seen in Detroit). If anything (for those of you familiar with this area, Detroit kind of reminds me of Superior, Wisconsin; lots of industrial sites, (Superior has a lot of old grain elevators, etc) and even though Superior's population at one time (this was over 100 years ago) was expected to be 'larger than Chicago someday' the economic crisis of the time resulted in what Superior is today - lots of rundown buildings, a downtown that doesn't have much (for a city of 30,000), it's as far northwest as you can get in Wisconsin (Milwaukee is 400 miles away) but Duluth is just across the 'High Bridge'...I think Detroit was interesting because I've never seen such a large city enduring an economic crisis on that scale before, yet so many people choose to stay. I often wondered if it's similar to the job climate in Duluth/Superior...people wonder why anyone stays here - no jobs (I know some people with their RN who still only work as a Nurses Aide because there's not many RN jobs but they still want to stay here); I think that people stay here because it only gets more expensive as you go south (and especially east & west). Duluth/Superior you can get a studio or one bedroom for about $475 a month and live rather comfortably. I noticed Detroit was similar. But the 'newer and more progressive cities' cost of living is at least two to three times higher. If you can hardly afford where you are currently at, of course you won't be leaving anytime soon.
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