Two days ago I crossed the boulevard on Woodward Avenue looking at the different landscapes on the two sides of the river and this was not what I had expected. Not only are the sectors of Detroit about to take on their roles as ever more diverse neighborhoods, but the
signs of what it could be are even more striking for me as a
Jew. From the standpoint of my own personal beliefs about who can really be called “decent,” I am seeing a very different than “patriotic” Detroit in which the unique characteristics of more socially creative people seem to be signaling an inclusive and diverse City, to me at least.
For most people, but especially New Yorkers, Detroit is just another pretty image of decay and regret, featuring many of the aspects of our own city. These same images remind people of New York and point out again that “tough luck for the little guy”.
But the artists and writers coming here and the local businesses opening up in that situation seem to demonstrate that “tough luck” can be something that both shapes us and makes us better people.
This gets back to that rare feeling of pride, that Detroit can be more than just the crumbling city that the media depicts it to be.
Detroit is changing fast and these sites give us a perfect opportunity to live and work side by side with the new variety of artists and creative types that will continue to create the new Detroit together.
Detroiters will always be artistic, and this is great news for our collective creative minds, but it’s important to realize that for now a local business set up here creates a really great example of how great things can be made in Detroit and how art can help inform the future of this city.
All images contributed to this article by Collin