One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

A Humble Man, Detroit goes National and More

So, I don't want to brag, but…I'm friends with Mayor Dave Bing.

On Facebook. Wa-wa-waaaaaaaa.

But if you haven't “friended” the Big Guy yet, you may not have checked out the new “Detroit Works Project” Web site he posted the other day. It's downright amazing. It's sooooooooooooooooooo un-Detroit. There is all this information and stories and positivity. It's stylish, authoritative and classy. How is this possible?

It even has this little bit at the end of Bing's statement: “Thank you for your help and your faith in the possibilities of what Detroit can be, for our future – now.” A humble man in the mayor's office? Another first for Detroit!

I like this little gem too from the FAQ secton: “Detroit can't continue to folow the same path and expect different results.” And this one: “Everyone will have a role because Detroit is one of the most important cities, not just in Southeast Michigan, but across the country, because of its history and potential as an economic and cultural center.” Yeah! So there!

Also, I typically run links on Friday, but there was just so much happening to and around the city, I just couldn't wait. Check these out: The New York Times on our artists, The Today Show on our mini-Hollywood and more. Sheesh. You'd think this was some hot city or something.

* The Today Show got into our film industry stuff with a short clip about the incentives. Love the overall piece. But can we stop with the “down on its luck,” “known more for blight than box-office potential” and “remarkably less glitzy” than Vegas descriptors for Detroit? Could we lighten up? Such claptrap. Here's the link, but you can also see the video at the end of this post. Also, Robert Bobb was on "Meet the Press." Here's the review in The Detroit News. Yowza.

* Wednesday's New York Times again went gaga over the artists. Best lines:

As the 25-year-old Kate Daughdrill put it, for her generation Detroit is no city on the skids but “a theater of engagement."


“There is too much opportunity here. You can be consumed by it. But it's a malleable city, and you can change and improve it,” said (Design 99 guru) Mitch Cope.

In a related note, Nolan Finley of The Detroit News admits on Sunday he's an old-timer in his views of Detroit…and that a new generation – namely, X and Y types of people – may have a real shot at helping the city get its motor going again. Gotta love the youngsters.

* This is older, but it's still a goodie. The Detroit Free Press had a piece from the guy who started the Michigan Expats Web site. Hey, Joe Petrides, I got a futon you could crash on for a few months if you want to come back here and get something started. Then again, The Detroit News and others reported this week about how affordable living here has become. You could buy a mansion and a yacht!

* My beloved Aaron M. Renn over at Urbanophile takes his stand on Detroit as a brand. I promise to stop calling the city “The D” because of his essay. My favorite bit:

Detroit can be an inspiration like this in a way “the D” never will. Perhaps as much as bean counters, economic developers, hipsters, etc., what Detroit really needs is a good dose of a tent revival preacher, calling the people forth to repentance and onward to greater glory tomorrow. That doesn't come by being almost apologetic and embarrassed about who you are. Rather it comes from standing up tall, and being a true believer in your city and your cause.

N Check out the “Lemonade, Detroit” trailer and tell me what you think.

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  • 1

    Wonderful Karen!

    Absolutely right about Bing and Detroit Works.
    You forgot to mention Rainey Hamilton. He's key in all this.

    By sooooooooooooooooooo un-Detroit

    By that I assume you mean College Educated, Professionally Done. In that you are 10000% right.

    And It is so diametrically opposed, so very opposite to what Robert Bobb is doing with the orders to muzzle, and granite opacity and remodelings based upon lies.

    It was really something to stand next to Rainey as he was objecting to Bobb's setup to Bobb's Shoddy architect and watching him essentially being insulted. Then came the threats and the muzzling.

    Rainey knows exactly what he is doing and you really ought to be talking with him.

    My only fear is that DDD will get lost in the lurch. They have done and are doing fine work.

    Yup, great times are partially upon us.


    • 1.1

      Was Mr. Hamilton's comments made at a public meeting somewhere? Is there a transcript of what was said? I'd like to read his critique in his own words.
      Also, what is the "threats and muzzling" you mentioned?

  • 2

    My reaction to Nolan Finley's Editorial:

    Couldn't agree more with Nolan's editorial about opening up the flood gates to any and all ideas and blueprints for the seeds of Detroit's rebirth. I think he is on the right page and that is refreshing . My firm is currently planning a forum where we are requesting manifestos, white papers, ideas from anarchists, activists, revolutionaries, all of the folks people have written off as crack pots and fringe thinkers.

    Unlike Nolan's idea we are not recruiting the hipsters, beards and tattooed folks from today's chatter class. One of the persistent themes of most urban revivals in our country is the usual suspects regardless of what clothes and facial hair they are wearing are often white from the revolution to those engaged in the gentrification of our slums. To often these new urban pioneers are as smug and arrogant as their predecessors. To many engaged in ruin photography with a voyeur tease. Many trespass on places and venues that remain sacred to many residents. They may dress in hip outfits and color their skins with art but to many of them reflect the same arrogance and privilege of their suburban linage.

    Nolan was correct Detroit traditional urban czars should get out of the way and give others in the new bandwidth a chance . I am hoping the new visionaries are more diverse more than same suits of the past.

    • 2.1

      Good points, gt. Now if only Mr. Finley would heed his own advice and he and the News would get out of the way we could get something done!

  • 3

    The entire mantra and process surrounding the rebirth of Detroit from the Detroit Works Project to Documentaries about the 'D' to Urban Farming all of these themes reflect to a degree the patronizing stench of white privledge and Black impotency and related threads...

    Those at the bottom of the pecking order must find a way to insert themsleves in the decision making architecture of all of these streams of political, social, economic ideas and blueprints which are presently in motion...

    The underclass, poor, invisibles, hopeless, must find a way to insert and invoke their bandwidth into this state of affairs...

    The attitude of being a victim, dumb, hopeless, powerless all of these costumes often worn by this band of people is not acceptible and has no currency anymore..In a marketplace of outcomes, sympathy and pity have no fiscal value..

    In the maturation and evolution of our nation the poor provided a rich and creative soil for the making of a America into a global power now in the global marketplace the poor no longer has much currency their bandwidth competes with the middle class of survival..

    The creative juices that often flourished in the bottom of the well is no longer important in a world where clowns and nobodies get 15 minutes of fame..

    To be continued...

    • 3.1

      gt.......What is your problem???
      Your first comment on this post, seemed to be valid. come back with this posting .
      You babble on and on about the poor people whose opinion is not valued. Their impotency and unimportance. No one decided that except YOU.

      Then you whine about white people who may actually want to help better the city. They are not the one killing and robbing the people in Detroit. It is the people who live there hurting their own, black on black crime, for the most part.

      Is no one beyond your uncalled for rantings?
      Do you really believe you alone have all the answers for Detroit? How arrogant!
      You say white people don't care and run them down every chance you get. Acording to you, no white person has ever had any helpful ideas.
      Well, I've had enought of your stupid racist rantings. You are the racist.

      I have enjoyed this blog this past year. Except for some of your blatant racist remarks.
      I can not let this pass any longer. You are part of the problem. Until you and others like you stop this kind of bigotry there will be little or no progress.
      Wake up!

      I will also tell you right now.....I am not a racist. So save your breath on that comment. I am a Detroiter.
      You have cause my ranting on this blog today.

      The Detroit Kid 51

  • 4

    Detroit kid 51,

    What is your problem!!! Who made you the forum's umpire and judge on me...Who cares about your angry rants and opinions..

    Real white of ya to attack me because I don't share your myopic white views on race..

    My cultural dna does not allow me to be a racist, I never racially profiled whites, lynched, castrated, segregated, engaged in preferences, discrimination based upon a person's hue..

    Ignorant people like you who vomit out rage and anger simply because I document and discuss this region's racist legacy reveals you are the backward bigoted intellectual coward...

    Psst The white on white crime rate in Salt Lake,UT is off the charts...

    Greg Thrasher
    Made in Detroit

    • 4.1

      gt.....I never claimed to be the keeper of the blog.
      You took and kept that title.
      Angry? More like sick and tired of your rants. As far as a title of being ignorant and racist, again that is your title.
      I really do not care about your DNA. However you have spit out racist remarks on a daily basis. Better check back in on the DNA results.

      "Ignorant people like you who vomit out rage and anger simply because I document and discuss this region's racist legacy reveals you are the backward bigoted intellectual coward..." Your own quote describes you much better than me.

      I was not vomiting out rage. It was you who have done so upon me. Not so White of You, to do so.
      As far as Salt Lake City, yes, white on white crime may exist. There are a lot of places where it is white on white ecrime. There are a lot of places where there is black on black crime.
      We were discussing Detroit. Take a look at the people. Black on Black crime right here in Detroit. However, you continue to blame the whites for this condition. You say I have myopic white views on race. Check your own one sided opinon on race.

      You have had some good ideas for the renewal of Detroit. Your rants against white people are not necessary. I know you really do not care what I think.
      However, this is not a one man project. Nor is it a problem for only one race. The problems in Detroit effect all of us. It will take all of us to revive Detroit.
      Michigan needs a strong economic Detroit. We all do.
      I Love Detroit.

      The Detroit Kid 51

  • 5

    detroit kid 51,

    Psst...The white on white crime rate in Butte, Montana is off the charts.....

    Psst...The white on white crime rate in Jackson Hole, Wyoming is off the charts....

    • 5.1

      AAHHHH! gt!...Back 'at it' again, heh? Hey, I'm sure EVEN YOU might, might just trade those crime rates, with Detroit's, huh?'bout PEOPLE ON PEOPLE Crime? I'm sure Crime ',!s such a 'bitch' that no one really cares WHO(m) Commits it: Let's together ALL try to reduce as much of it as we can! ...AND...PLEASE WE CAN reduce the Stupid types of crime that have nothing to do w/ economic circumstance. ..See THE DEAD END KIDS or BOWERY BOYS or EARLIEST BOGART movies! ..Seriously1 Much crime is simply laziness by ANY race. Crimes of opportunity; That kind of 'stuff. Perhaps WE ALL should give 'ourselves'a GOOD Swift kick!

  • 6

    detroitkid 51,

    I have little respect for people who retreat and backpedal...I don't believe a letter of your last post..People with myopic rage and anger like you towards Black people like me is a long and deep river..

    People like you are the reason why the shelf life of racism in our country has existed for centuries.. I am so tired of people like you in this region and our nation..

    Yet despite people like you I will always be an advocate for the poor and those in the city who often don't get to articulate and expressed thier truths..

    You are right about one comment..I don't give a fuck about your angry bigoted views about me...

    I will always make a difference...

    • 6.1

      gt...I can tell you think you are smarter than anyone.
      You alone are the ultimate answer to all of the problems of the entire racist world.
      So, you will go ahead and continue to call others racist. The real fact....YOU ARE THE RACIST. You have reached an all time low.
      So, go ahead and use your four letter words to flip off people who really care about Detroit.
      I know that in spite of people like you, things will get better in Detroit.
      Not "because" of anything you do.
      But, because of all the hard working people who love the city of Detroit. People like Karen and Darrell and the other Time Bloggers.

      To you, Karen, I apologize for my part in this blog with obscene words. I would never have written if I would have thought gt would stoop to such a low point. For someone who claims to be so smart he has shown his ignorance with use of obscenity.
      And YES.....I do Love Detroit.

      The Detroit Kid 51

  • 7

    I am a middle-aged woman, born and raised in Detroit, now living elsewhere. I have followed this blog all year. My 87 year old mom still resides in the area. My dad passed four years ago. The most important things Dad and Mom taught us: work hard-there are no free lunches AND poor does not mean dirty, dumb or immoral. The start is to take personal responsibilty for yourself, your family and your community.

  • 8

    ...OKAY!...Something off the charts yet still positive AND DOABLE! For years writers have been told to ' /write about what you know'...Shakespeare down thru' the Bible, ..or..whatever type of Holy Book one wants to ascribe . DETROIT has AND Always be about severasl things! Human Rights or at least, equalization of Opportunity Through Unions , Churches, etc.,. Also, Detroit has been synonomous w/harder workers, AND Harder OWNERS of Business(the Fords, Reuthers, et al.) w/ out whom The Great Rev. Dr. King might have nevr had a Nation-Worldwide Presence, or at least, not as early on. Also, Detroit has the Musical Bones1 From Johnnie "Lee" Hooker, thru' Bill Haley, and Jackie Wilson, THE GREATEST DIVAs Out There, THE Jazz, Heck, even Country Bluesy 'stuff Not to Forget GOSPEL!! WE NEED 1.) WORLD CLASS Musical Museums.--True , Motowm Museum is Insane Regarding its Size! More Talent per Square inch Than ANYWHERE_ IN THE WORLD!! All This Talent Should Be Commemorated with the Orig. MoTowm (Motor-Town) Museyum being turned into a World-Sized_World Museum. W.A.M. (World Automotive Museum -type of Institutions) THIS is SOOO friggin' obvious as to BEG THE QUESTION, '...What the Hell is Detroit waiting for.We're (The Aut o enthusiaists from around the Globe)Oh...By the Way. Remember THE GLOBE THEATER that was going to e Built on the Riverfront? Great Idea...But IT DID Belong in England!) itching to go to these specialized smaller auto museums. Why the Hell doesn't THE MOTOR CITY Have ANY World Class Auto Collections to see?! Sure the Auburn Hills deal is Pretty good, but why not a larger , more inclusive Factory -Resurrected-recycled-Green Themed CLUSTER CLUSTER of Museums ?? There were/ are Hundreds of auto marques? Almost All of them have Tiny , Hometown Museums...a Couple of These...A Couple of those...Carlise(-2pts. sp.) Actually had the AUDACITY TO PROCLAIM ITself THE AUTO CAPITOL OF THE WORLD. What The F---!? A Former Detroiter helped it to grow AND Employ Hundreds ...even Thousands of Jobs Hundreds of Miles From Anywhere!~ Restoring Bdngs. would employ hundreds and Teach Cutting edge Green Tech. Only Auto Restoration School, in Country I Believe, is in Friggin' KANSAS!!! KANSAS!! Reclaimed -Re-Adapted Uses for these Many Old Factories Would educated our citizens in PLANNING, ARCHitecture, And The grunt labor. Bingo-Bango, as M. Redmond says, there's another 6000-7000 jobs. AND PRESTIGE!! Paris- THE LOUVRE...Wash. D. C. 9Screw it) -The Smithhy... Ddetroit--WAM!! ALSO, Because Mayor Young didn't want'..some damn rock and Roll Museum ...' Screwing up HIS GRAND RIVERFRONT PLANS..Cleveland..Damn Cleveland Got The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Remember?!! THE MUSIC World WANTED DETROIT!! But..Gave it to CLEVELAND Because of Alan freed(-2pts sp.) Stole the Street Vernacular from Black Musicians calling new Music Rock-AND-Roll. What a rip off!! Detroit Should Have A GIANT MUSIC MUSEUM unto itself, simply because Detroit is STILL AND ALWAYS WILL BE..'The MUSIC CITY'..Sorry MEMPHIS!--NOT!!! C'Mon Let's do these THINGS, NOW...This is THE PERFECT STORM!! Everyone NEEDs a JOB-Career, THERE is /ARE TYHOUSANDS OF Under-Utilized Acres_ Mayor BINg Says it's ALL on The Table. And..For a Short time, at leasst, The Nation is Available to help. Whewww! That tired me out! ..HMMnnn... Thiis is Getting to be a lot like WORK!! Get it?...Work!!!

  • 9

    [...] since we all love Detroit, I want all my fellow LionsDetroit fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

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