Thursday, January 8, 2009
Panic in Detroit Rock City
Today, I was sent a link to probably one of the best articles I have ever read about Detroit. It’s an article in Sports Illustrated written by Mitch Albom. Yes, it’s a little long and schmaltzy…but any Detroiter, former Detroiter or anyone who wonders what the heck it’s like to live in the Detroit area should read it. It certainly has made me ponder. It’s nice to know there are others who feel like I do.
It's hard to be a Detroiter. I guess I'm a former Detroiter since I don't live there anymore, but I think it's kinda like being a recovering Catholic. It will always be in you; no matter how hard you distance your self or try to deny it, it will always be a part of your makeup.
Detroit and its suburbs will always be “home”…in that Hallmark “home is where the heart is place.” I was born there, grew up there, spent my best years in radio there. My family and some great friends are still scattered about all over area. Detroit’s a giant metro region that is very spread out. It can take you an hour or more to drive from the east side to the west side. There’s no such thing as public transportation, something I knew nothing about until I moved to the NYC area. And either you get it or you don't. I suppose it helps when you've spent a long time there.
And you can love it or hate it. I know a lot of people that left and never looked back. I know alot of people who want to leave but can't. I left 10 years ago and more or less always check behind me. Sometimes I’m embarrassed and frustrated to admit I’m from there and every once in awhile I want everyone I know to just leave already. But most of the time I keep up on what’s going on. I still root for the sports teams, although I really don’t like to own up to the Lions anymore. I love Vernor’s ginger ale (which you can buy in Seattle ironically) and crave Coney Islands, (hot dog’s with chili), Olga’s (sort of a gyro) and Sander’s cream puff hot fudge sundaes (self explanatory ☺). Yes we are a fat bunch, ha ha. But Michigan summers truly are legendary.
Back in town over the New Year holiday, I got used to having to drive everywhere again. The roads are generally a joy to drive on, and they keep ‘em cleared for the most part in the winter. Yes, there are potholes and what not, but you can drive 70 MPH in most places on the freeway!
And despite it all, people are still nice and friendly; as if all they have left to give is a smile and a kind word and they’re gonna flaunt it.It’s funny, because sometimes I tell people I’m from Detroit and they think I’m all tough. But if I say I’m from Michigan they just shrug a bit. It certainly is a sad little city, and the butt of so many jokes as Mitch said in his article.
it’s the place that built my backbone; my foundation my spirit, and I'm realizing you can take the girl out of Detroit, but man that Motown is still flowin’!