TheLastRifleMan wrote:Yes, Flint is getting just as bad. While not nearly as culturally diverse as Detroit in it's day, Flint did have some things going for it.
We have a saying in my part of the Big Mitten:
When something bad happens people in Saginaw say "Well, at least we're not Flint!"
People in Flint say "At least we're not Detroit!"
One jewel in Detroit that is still operating but has seen better days is the Masonic Temple. The place is absolutely huge, taking up at least three city blocks. There are rooms in the place that have been forgotten and left locked for who knows how long. They still hold plays and the like in it's theater.
Too bad the neighborhood around it is a no man's land, literally. If the buildings around it are not abandoned they are barred and surrounded by razor wire. No joke. It looks like WWI bunkers and trenchworks.
I know some folks who were there during the Riots in '67. They don't like to talk about it.
If anyone is interested in the masonic temple:http://www.themasonic.com/history.htmlhttp://www.themasonic.com/specialevents.html#photos
link because it's too big. http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/3507400.jpg
This is a beautiful place...It LOOKS like a great place to make a stand and live out your days in the PAW if you had enough people.
But that's another conversation.
Spent most of my childhood in Detroit. Look at the second photo in the top right corner, last full building on the right-hand side just under a parking lot. That was my elementary/middle school, Burton International School. My first high school was just a block south of the Masonic Temple, Cass Technical High School. Both Burton and the old Cass Tech High School buildings are vacant. Both schools have fortunately been relocated. Cass across the street in a new modern structure and Burton to a larger building a few miles away. Once upon a time, this area know as the Cass Corridor, was the true multicultural area of the city. It stretched several miles north of downtown, through the current "Cultural Center" of (Wayne State University, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Historical Museum, Detroit Public Library Main Branch) on up to the New Center Area where General Motors World Headquarters was formerly located. Detroit's little known Chinatown once existed blocks above the Masonic Temple as well as Little India. Indeed, the Masonic Temple is one of the few jewels left in city, surrounded by decay. It's a great place, last visit I saw INXS there in 2006.
A lot of the comments posted for the most part are spot on. A recent check of real estate prices in the neighborhood I lived in, in the northwest part of the city (University District), a 3-full level, all-brick, 5-bedroom, 3 full-bath, 1930-40 all brick home, in very good condition, in a very good neighborhood, was selling at $50,000.00. I wish I was exaggerating. I was joking with someone as recently as 4 days ago, that someone with $500K could start an empire in Detroit. There are plenty of areas in Detroit where only two inhabited homes are left on the block. Both are fortified with flood lights and concertina wire on top of chain link fences. The elderly stay behind closed doors and those good people, retirees living on a fixed income, have to put up bunkers just to have a basic standard of living.
Living in Detroit was the first experience I had with emergency preparedness, even as child. In the 70's and 80's, power in the city was easily knocked out by the large and aging maple, oak and pine trees that grew in the neighborhoods. Now, large tracks and major avenues (Woodward Ave from 6-Mile/McNichols to 8-Mile) are in black-out zones, areas where the street lights have been turned off to save money on electricity costs. The aging water and sewage lines (some as late as the early 90's were still tarred-wooden pipes) would break in the winter and overflow in the spring. Again, this is not even touching on the rise of crime that jumped in the mid to late 80's due to the narcotic aka crack cocaine trade. Criminals in the city are bolder than ever due to the expanding problems in the economy and the fact that the shrinking tax base has lead to more layoffs in public sector services such as police and fire-fighters. So in essence, you have the perfect storm for a predator: many places to hide (vacant and abandoned homes/buildings), fewer hunters (police) to find/deter/capture you, and a weak infrastructure.
Are there places in the country experiencing similar things? Yes, but none to the scale and rate of decay as Detroit. As note, Highland Park is not
Detroit. It is one of two independent municipalities that are land locked by the Detroit borders (Hamtramck being the other). If you really want to see an area that resembles Fallujah 03-05, then look at Highland Park. This small city was once a respectable jewel but has fallen into chaos quicker than anything else that I have seen or know about, with the exception of Chernobyl and Bopal.
The biggest problem with Detroit is not money or the city government or the home prices. The biggest problem is the mentality of people. Anyone that lives beyond their means, can not sustain that lifestyle forever. You have to know when to cut your losses, seek help or take some austerity measures. Detroiters are proud working-class people who felt like many, that their industry would remain lucrative forever. They were so invested in this belief that they didn't see the signs of change and further let people sweet talk them into cosmetic fixes instead of fundamental change.
There are many things that I loved about being in Detroit. Bottom line is, I got tired of having to literally infiltrate and exfil everytime I left the house. The last straw was when a husband and father was gunned down at gas station, in plain sight, for an absolute random and ignorant reason, while his wife and child were waiting in the car. This happened in the early evening, not even a block where my family and I were living. There was no way, I could deploy and fight in foreign countries while criminals ran rampant, threatening my family at home. If you are a single male, you can do great things in Detroit, even now. But if you want to raise a family, without grabbing your firearm of choice when you answer the door, or having to stand point when your wife is coming home from grocery shopping or picking the kids up from school, you need to be somewhere else. This is not the case all over Michigan, but for the City of Detroit proper, it is a reality. Just telling the straight truth.
Zombieland, USA aka the Motor-City aka Motown aka Rock City aka Detroit, Michigan.