Thursday, February 21, 2013


And now, some random thoughts on Detroit and its suburbs (a.k.a. "Metro Detroit").

Urban decay has really taken its toll on Detroit proper. But it'll come back. It's only a matter of time before urban revitalization takes hold, and Detroit - even the poorest areas - is cool again.

"But...but...there aren't any jobs here! People aren't actually moving TO the Detroit area anymore, right?" Think again! For instance, one person we curled against last weekend said that they moved from Maryland to Detroit for a job. That's right - FROM Maryland, and TO Detroit. For a job. Suck on that!

(Seriously, though, Metro Detroit's unemployment rate is currently 10.8%, which isn't great, but it's not like it's 20% or something crazy. And, Michigan as a whole actually has a lower unemployment rate than North Carolina. But you wouldn't know it based on the "Detroit is burning" narratives that have percolated in recent years.)

"But...but...Detroit is trash!" Yes, there are parts of Detroit that aren't particularly good places for your car to break down. But Metro Detroit is pretty big. Try spending some time in Oakland County, for instance. I think Oakland County is actually pretty interesting, from what I saw. Yes, the houses are old and have been around a while, but it has character, and even individual suburbs have a different character about them. I think that's kind of neat. Each suburb - and there are a lot of them - has its own identity of sorts. You don't get that in a place like, say, Jacksonville. (Except for the Beaches, perhaps.) If I were to move to Metro Detroit - no plans to move there, or anywhere else, by the way - I'm sure I'd live in Oakland County.

"But...but...Ohio is better!" Is it? This is purely subjective, of course. Comparing two states and declaring one better than the other is dumb anyway. I mean, who does that?

(Seriously, though, I think it depends on where in the state you are. For instance, I would say that Columbus > Detroit > Cleveland.)

I don't really have a point I'm trying to make here, other than that perhaps things aren't so bad in Detroit - or I should say, Metro Detroit - as some people think. In fact, I think things are going just fine, and their problems aren't any worse than what's going on in any other city, really.

By the way: in Detroit, nearly everything is named "Ford". It's kind of like "Duke" here in Durham.

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