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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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