My Detroit

Did you catch the Dateline special on Detroit last night? If you did…this blog’s for you. If you didn’t, well, I wouldn’t mind if you ignored it in your TiVo.


As much as I want to deny it, I can’t. Chris Hanson’s Detroit is a reality for many. Crime. Poverty. Abandonment. Bad schools.

If that’s all you knew about Detroit, you’d think we were a lost cause. You’d watch the Dateline special, tsk at the sad state of affairs, and wonder how someone like me can handle it.

Oh, and you probably wouldn’t pick Detroit as your next vacation destination. So, thanks Chris, for that blow to tourism.

The problem with the Dateline special is that it showed one part of Detroit. A real part, but one part. And frankly, that part isn’t the Detroit I know. It’s not My Detroit.

My Detroit is filled with 20 and 30 somethings who are educated and experienced. Who want to make the city better than it was when they came.

My Detroit faces unemployment. My friends — those same educated, experienced young professionals — have stood in the unemployment line and wondered how they might pay their bills. And they’ve survived. They’ve branched out on their own or found new jobs, but they’ve done it in Southeast Michigan.

In my Detroit, people don’t move. They stay.

My Detroit is the biggest small town you’ll ever know. On an average walk down the street, I’ll run into neighbors who I call friends. Does your subdivision boast the same friendliness?

My Detroit focuses on the positive and respects the diversity. It gives back. It invests in the community.

My Detroit is about action, not inaction. DD’s best friend was an integral part of a movement to change the way city council is elected. After all of the corruption of our former mayor and the insanity that has been many of our council members, we could have just stood by and accepted it. Instead, he and an entire group of concerned citizens made change. Their proposal passed in the last election and if all continues to go smoothly, it will improve the way residents are represented.

My Detroit votes.

My Detroit is creative and entrepreneurial. With a 9-5 job, I often find myself in the minority when out in groups. Many friends have launched their own businesses, returned to school, or found other ventures that aren’t your typical day job.

My Detroit is diverse. It’s black, it’s white, it’s Indian, it’s Asian. It’s young.

My Detroit is an awesome vacation destination. It’s chock-full of fine dining restaurants, fabulous casino/hotels, museums, live theater, professional sports teams, and a recently named top urban park.

My Detroit has its problems, but it also has its bright spots. And I wish the Dateline crew would have focused just a bit more on the bright spots.


I’m also over at the Book Nook today with my latest review. Check it.



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15 responses to “My Detroit

  1. It always bums me out when they do those “specials” and only focus on the negatives. I know it’s probably more “dramatic” to spin it that way, but it’s really unfair to the people that live there and love it.

  2. ria

    beautiful post. it’s sad that we are always in the media for the negative when there are such good things in Detroit too.

  3. I hate it when people paint Detroit in such a negative light when there are still so many positives. What was the point of making the public opinion of our city even more negative? Who benefits from that?

  4. This is a great most. I was no mad at people last night when they were saying all these negative things about the city. Yes, this special did highlight a big part of Detroit, but that is not the only party. The Dtroit you have outlined above is much a reality as well. Thank-you for this post. 🙂

    Also, I wasn’t impressed with their special last night. I thought it wasn’t well put together and they only stuck with a few select people in their documentary. So annoying.

  5. I absolutely love this post, SuperGirl. While I think you’re right – Detroit unfairly and consistently gets the short end of the stick, I think the same holds true for a lot of cities. Maybe they don’t need this kind of representation when it comes to tourism, but definitely when it comes to living an urban life and raising a family there, too. So many people faultily assume city = danger. And it’s just not true.

  6. Oh man, good thing I missed that or I would have been pretty mad. I’m glad you posted about the bright spots, you should send your link over to Dateline and let them know they screwed up.

  7. I really love this. It’s so nice to see people stick up for Detroit when it’s the butt of so many jokes. I’ve never been there and want to see what it’s really like.

  8. I haven’t been to Detroit since I was small and I don’t remember anything about it – my impression till today has been only from the negatives you see on the news and read in the history books. This was a great post, a great view of a city from a person who knows – and more importantly, CARES – about the day-to-day life there.

    (Too bad about the Lions, though ;o)

  9. JP

    I grew up north and south of Detroit but I never was disappointed when I went into the city. Spending summer days at Tiger Stadium or winter nights at Joe Louis Arena…

  10. This post freaking ROCKS. “My Detroit”—I love it. You define your city so wonderfully and as someone who really lives in it, who isn’t a visitor in her own environment.

    Wonderfully put, lady. Makes me want to come visit. 🙂

  11. You did such a good job of finding the positives of Detroit. It always makes me sad when they do specials like that and all your hear are negatives.

  12. Your post was amazing.

  13. Your portrait of Detroit is certainly not the one the media paints. Even though I’ve never had any first-hand experience, the message of how downtrodden, hopeless, and dangerous Detroit is has been in my life for many years. I’m a big fan of questioning assumptions though, and after reading this post I don’t think I’ll think of Detroit in quite the same way again.

    (I found you through Nilsa’s Replay post.)

  14. This is a passionate issue for me, even though I don’t technically live IN Detroit like you, and of course, I do my fair share of Detroit bashing but that’s a personal issue I have…

    I really think people need to read this and know for sure that Detroit isn’t what most think it is.

  15. Pingback: Our Detroit. You’ve got another think coming. – thereafterish.

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