I don't know if it's just because I cling to memories of Detroit before it started its decline... or perhaps it's because I spent 6 years working in the Penobscot Building when many from the suburbs wouldn't cross 8 Mile. A recent blog piece at Urbanophile, The Other Side of Detroit, was a breath of fresh air. There are still some wonderful neighborhoods within the city of Detroit - Palmer Woods and Indian Village, for example. General Motors put a lot of money into riverfront development when they moved their headquarters into the Renaissance Center and the developers did a lovely job with the Riverwalk there. I still have some hard feelings over the eminent domain takeover and destruction of The Soup Kitchen but you can't have everything.
While I love the Santa Fe Farmers Market on a Saturday morning, I occasionally long for a a trip to Eastern Market for breakfast at Vivio's and a foray into R Hirt's for snobby snacks. The flavor of the immigrant population in metro Detroit, though more pocketed than some places, also means great restaurants and groceries, as well as vibrant and varied culture.
Sure, there are still abandoned buildings in the city and unemployment is high. Then again, we're in a nationwide recession. We've been in recessions before and Detroit was hit hard before. It's also bounced back and grown as community. Please, let's not relegate it to the status of ruins just yet.
Read Aaron Renn's piece at www.urbanophile.com