Tuesday, December 9, 2008


from atop the wurlitzer, summer 2008
a sleeping city

blogging about detroit has been pretty exhausting lately. i'm watching my friends, family, and co-workers lives crumple around me and doing my best to hold mine together. I think i may know solutions but they will take time and i feel insensitive for offering them.

On this cold rainy day the need for change has never seemed so apparent. I was confronted head on with several victims (who happen to be very dear friends) of the economic crisis and had to bear witness of their tears. I was left speechless, i have no words to comfort them, for all the hope inside of me i cannot see a clear path to a brighter future. I can only offer hugs and support.

One of them pleaded with me to show the dirt, the gritty side.... to earn support in washington for the bailouts. So here is a small laundry list of not so positive experiences i've personally had whilst living and loving here in Detroit.

-Mugged, spring 08
-car broken into, 3 times
-house attempted break-in, once
-bike stolen, once
-witnessed homeless folks using intravenous drugs, a few times
-human defecation on the street, once
-witnessed persons having sexual intercourse on the street, once
-violently confronted by homeless, a few times
-threatened violence, a few times
-witnessed auto theft and other crimes, alot of times (stopped a few)
-arson fires, a few
-death, no confirmed number
-threatened by wild dogs, several times
-witnessed violence against bicycle rider, once

oh gosh this list is depressing, It's also true.
here is my grittiest story. one that resonated with me for awhile.

On a warm friday evening i found myself at Demongos, the local watering hole, some friends informed me the wurlitzer building (an abandoned building i had been itching to explore) was wide open. So after a few cranberry vodkas i agreed to adventure into the night. When i turned the corner down an alley to climb through the open door i saw a man relieving himself, number two. For some reason stumbling upon another human being shitting in an alley is one of the most disturbing experiences of my life. These streets bleed.

A friend and I were mugged by a group of 13-17 year old kids, the cops never came.

thats all for now.

taken inside the wurlitzer
from the past

Monday, December 8, 2008


I've been arguing for days about the validity of saving detroit. I have read a few articles that have come out in the past few days about the destitute situation we live in. They came from resources as wide as the new york times and a publication by the College for Creative Studies. I am sick so i will keep this short. Right now our way of life hangs in a balance, the basis of our (Detroit's) economy hinges on the decisions of a few law makers in washington, and the effects can and will be catastrophic. It is for this reason we are currently under extreme scrutiny; are we worth bailing out.

The lives of hundreads of thousands of people are at stake here. Not only in the Detroit Metropolitan area but across they globe. I have felt the atmosphere clinching up from my boss, my dad, my friends. Everyone is bracing for something horrible, something right before a holiday meant for rejoycing and spending. However, regardless of what happens we will walk away or stand up, hurt or not, life will still go on and we will make do. But the reasons you should care surround you. Your friends, family, anyone who has ever been touched by Detroit should care. If you've ever danced to our music, driven or rode in our cars, had your life saved by the research someone's family member made with automotive innovations, stopped at a stoplight. You should care. The world will not function the same without detroit. It cannot, economies do not collapse and leave the ones surrounding unscathed.

sickness is consuming me good night and good luck.

winter swing

Sunday, December 7, 2008

saving detroit

the birds
the birds, taken on belle isle dec. 5 2008

There was an article published in 2005 titled "Reality vs. Perceptions: An Analysis of Crime and Safety in Downtown Detroit" It was prepared by The Michigan Metropolitan Information Center, and WSU. You can download your own copy, just google the above information.

The first line of the article in capital letters reads CRIME IN DOWNTOWN DETROIT IS MUCH LOWER THEN NATIONAL STATE AND METRO AVERAGES. To be exact the crime rate in downtown detroit is 26% below the national average. By now it should even be safer, from 2001 to 2004 the crime rate had dropped 22%.

The study also took into consideration the fluxation in population during the auto show and various other special events, estimating Detroit welcomes over 19 million visitors per year, and during those times the crime rate is still under 12/100,000 people.

I write about this because this weekend i was confronted with alot of ignorant negativity about Detroit. People aren't educated enough and their lack of understanding perpetuates the misconceptions that plague this city. This article is the perfect example of the reality of life here vs. the way people perceive Detroit to be. At what point will people let go of aged stero-types and aknoledge the peope here making a difference.

if i can change one persons opinion of detroit i have made a difference. if that person changes anothers, and then anothers it grows outwarldy, then i will have made an impact. i am one person but i am not the only that feels this way. thats the start, and by holding onto to old misconceptions and sterotypes, you are part of the problem. hopefully some of my work writings and efforts will have taught you otherwise. we have a long way to go but hope is here. it is in every lit window, storefront, on every corner and in our hearts. the rest of the world will wake up to that. i, and many other people believe in the power of the people in this city.

My friend Kevin also took on the same topic, though a little more poetic then mine. please read his blog Detroit Lives! http://fuckwishing.blogspot.com/