Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On visiting Detroit...

Perhaps based upon what has been written about Detroit, I already came in with some preconceived notions. Short of proving them correct, let me just state that there are some things to see in Detroit and some things not to see. Since I took the train and I took the cab to a hotel in downtown, I saw the abandoned buildings on the way to our hotel.

In addition downtown itself looks vacant some buildings had storefronts waiting for a business to come in. Some buildings look like they could use a good cleaning and some downtown buildings were as boarded up as any building in the neighborhoods. I must add however that downtown may be buzzing with activity in the evenings, there are things to do and places to go. There are restaurants, clubs, and bars and on top of that I can only imagine the activity on game day whenever the Detroit Red Wings, Lions, and Tigers play in their respective arenas near downtown.

BTW, I really liked the people mover. It's just that my impression is that it's not moving the people around the area or at least not serving the amount of people I would have imagined it would have, had perhaps there had been more activity downtown.

I'm sure many of you remember this video I posted two years ago about journalists taking a video camera on a tour of Detroit. I didn't have a chance to do that this trip since it was so brief. I would have liked to have seen some of the neighborhoods whether rough, middle-class or wealthy. Indeed it would have been nice to see the Ford Museum.

I did hear some of my relatives (well I did go to a family reunion up there), however, talk some Detroit politics since well there has been some upheaval. A member of the city council wife of a powerful congressman forced to resign and copped a plea for bribery. The resignation of a young mayor forced because he lied about a relationship with his own chief of staff and at that caught texting on government owned cell-phones. A mayoral election is coming up as well next month. This year have seen two mayors already in Detroit.

Currently Dave Bing is the mayor, however, he had to go through Ken Cockrel who reverted back to City Council President after losing his bid to remain mayor of Detriot by Dave Bing. Now Bing seeks the office in his own right as the recent election in May was only a special election.

Hey let's talk about that young ex-mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick. I can only imagine that he still has his supporters, unfortunately I can only wonder if that will matter in the long run. He may never rise higher than being a big shot in a big city thanks to his legal troubles that took him from the mayor's office. The thing is is he young enough to recover he may be and I'm sure his supporters may overlook the mistakes of the past.

Anyway it was mentioned that his mother a state representative for Detroit has the ability to get state funds for Detroit. That's probably another good reason to support Mr. Kwame Kilpatrick although he may not be in office any longer, that money may contiue to flow. I must say while Detroit has stuggled over the years Michigan is doing so as well, economic conditions currently may not favor the state at all.

That being said touring Detroit at night I saw some of the handiwork of Kwame Kilpatrick. There was a plaze where it was said you could come in and see a movie, you know like movie in a park, although there wasn't a park here. The movie was The Blues Brothers playing on that particular evening.

What was more impressive in my mind was what was said to be Coleman Young's (another former mayor of Detriot) handiwork, the riverwalk. Across the Detroit River you are literally looking at a foreign country, Canada! The Riverwalk is nice there are concession stands, monuments, maps of the surround Detriot area, artwork, etc. Before Mayor Young turned his attention to the riverwalk, this area was a filthy dump. Beyond that I didn't have a favorable opinion of Coleman Young.

I won't say too much more negative things about Detroit. What I will say is this!

Detroit may have come a long way down and certainly will come a long way up! As a city, especially the ones that have fallen, I can see potential. With a decent vision Detroit can be rebuilt although if Detroit relied primarily on the auto industry the challenge is certainly diversifying industries within the city. How can a city that has fallen on tough times be able to attracts new residents and new businesses?

I would imagine that Detriot with some of the nice areas I have seen, will have that challenge ahead as they decide who will continue to lead the city in the future!

BTW, I intend to post some pics. I have video, but that takes time to upload and edit and then present it to you. Let's just say I would like to show you some video, but don't be surprised if all you get is video. Thanks! :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Detorit is not coming up. Its where it will stay. Just like WIndsor accross the water. Boarded up factories that have been empty so long no one wants to move in a refurbish them becuase the cities tax these properties to death.

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