Unpacking My Detroit – Part Two

Detroit, once the fifth largest city in ‘Merka, is home to some of the greatest architecture among ‘Merkin cities.

It’s sad to see it today. The decline of Detroit began as innocent urban sprawl in the mid-to-late ’50s, when I was just a kid. This was followed by early White Flight acerbated by the 1967 riot, followed by a total collapse of the tax base, leading to the elections of some very dubious mayors with dubious ideas. Today Detroit is an urban wasteland and, while that sounds like a cliche, it is not an exaggeration. Whole blocks—whole neighbourhoods—are falling apart. The city is considering turning land over to farming, just like in the good ol’ days when Detroit was a little settlement along the river. Oh! Wait!

On my last trip to Detroit I took dozens of pictures like the following:

© Headly Westerfield, 2012
Drive along any street in Detroit.  Eventually you will see houses like the above. You might see blocks like the above and below.
© Headly Westerfield, 2012
The housing stock that has gone to waste, and is now rotting before our eyes, is a national disgrace. It was within ‘Merka’s power to see that Detroit didn’t fall into the shithole. Now it’s too late.
© Headly Westerfield, 2012

Yet the same city produced Motown before it went into the crapper.

© Headly Westerfield, 2012

Not many cities can boast a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Detroit can:

© Headly Westerfield, 2012
© Headly Westerfield, 2012
© Headly Westerfield, 2012

© Headly Westerfield, 2012

Detroit is a city of extreme contrasts, which become more contrasting each day.

Other entries:

Unpacking My Detroit ► Part One

Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Three

Unpacking My Detroit ► Part Four

About Headly Westerfield

Calling himself “A liberally progressive, sarcastically cynical, iconoclastic polymath,” Headly Westerfield has been a professional writer all his adult life.

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