After moving from my igloo and small town in Canada, I feel like I have adjusted to the Detroit City life fairly well… Ok so I don’t actually live in an igloo, but coming from a small town in Canada was a big transition for me to make. I had always had the dream to come to the United States on a Lacrosse scholarship, but never knew that that dream would be real one day. After getting offers from schools all over the U.S I choose to come here for a few reasons, mainly the Lacrosse side of things and never thought twice about the area. When telling people where I was going they told me to watch my surroundings and to be careful, but isn’t that what you should do anywhere you go?
Hey class… January 28, 2010
Checking your blog posts, I was lead to another blog….I’ll post the address in the comment section. In it was a poem Jack White wrote about Detroit. I guess he made some comments about the negativity in the city, but felt like that wasn’t the whole picture. So he wrote this, and I thought I would re-post it for you, too:
The following poem is the Detroit from my mind. The Detroit that is in my heart. The home that encapsulates and envelops those who are truly blessed with the experience of living within its boundaries:
I have driven slow, three miles an hour or so, through Highland Park, Heidelberg, and the Cass Corridor. I’ve hopped on the Michigan, and transferred to the Woodward, and heard the good word blaring from an a.m. radio. I love the worn-through tracks of trolley trains breaking through their concrete vaults, As I ride the Fort Street or the Baker, just making my way home.
I sneak through an iron gate, and fish rock bass out of the strait, watching the mail boat with its tugboat gait, hauling words I’ll never know. The water letter carrier, bringing prose to lonely sailors, treading the big lakes with their trailers, floats in blue green chopping waters, above long-lost sunken failures, awaiting exhumation iron whalers, holding gold we’ll never know.
I’ve slid on Belle Isle, and rowed inside of it for miles. Seeing white deer running alongside While I glide, in a canoe. I’ve walked down Caniff holding a glass Atlas root beer bottle in my hands And I’ve entered closets of coney islands early in the morning too. I’ve taken malt from Stroh’s and Sanders, felt the black powder of abandoned embers, And smelled the sawdust from wood cut to rehabilitate the fallen edifice. I’ve walked to the rhythm of mariachis, down junctions and back alleys, Breathing fresh-baked fumes of culture nurtured of the Latin and the Middle East. I’ve fallen down on public ice, and skated in my own delight, and slid again on metal crutches into trafficked avenues.
Three motors moved us forward, Leaving smaller engines to wither, the aluminum, and torpedo, Monuments to unclaimed dreaming. Foundry’s piston tempest captured, Forward pushing workers raptured, Frescoed families strife fractured, Encased by factory’s glass ceiling.
Detroit, you hold what one’s been seeking, Holding off the coward-armies weakling, Always rising from the ashes not returning to the earth.
I so love your heart that burns That in your people’s body yearns To perpetuate, and permeate, the lonely dream that does encapsulate, Your spirit, that God insulates, With courageous dream’s concern.
– JACK WHITE
(posted by your humble teacher)
Being from 100 miles south of detroit in a small rural town, many people thought I was crazy for wanting to come here. But the truth is that I feel safer in Detroit than I do back home because back home i have beef with people and they have arranged drive by shootings on me. In Detroit, I don’t have any beef with anybody.
Detroit seems really nice and how the media portrays Detroit seems mostly false to me. I feel safe walkin down the street in Detroit alone (something my mother forbids me from doing), most of the people are pretty friendly, and I see very little crime happen. However, Detroit is poor and run down as it is usually portrayed. Coming into someones living space gives clues as to who they are and what they are about (Silverman and Rader 482). That is how my perception of Detroit really took a swing toward the positive.
I also like how there is a large black population in Detroit. It helps me experience a new lifestyle different from my mostly village in Ohio. That is one reason why I chose Detroit, the different setting than back home. My parents think I only want to come here because of 1) Track, and 2) The vast selection of women (particularly black women). I don’t think they have any problem with me wanting to come here now.
Detroit is a lot nicer than what people say and starting out I thought it was going to be rough, however, my first few months have really made the picture clearer about how nice Detroit really is.
–Jeffrey “The Exodus” Senecal
So until a couple months ago i didnt spend too much time in Detroit unless i was visiting family. I know everyone gives Detroit all this crap because of its reputation and i know that i never gave it enough credit either, but i now have a whole new perspective about the city so many people call home. For my Intro to Education class, one of the requirements was that we visit a school to experience the classroom from a teachers perspective, considering thats what we all want to be in that class. The school i chose was Southwestern High School in Detroit http://www.detroit.k12.mi.us/schools/school/578 a family member is a teacher there and was more than willing to let me come observe her class. The first thing i thought walking in was this school is absolutely gorgeous. I come from a very small high school that was old, and not very well kept. This school though had so many beautiful qualities from the wood floors and big stairs to the high ceilings. I was in awe of how striking i thought it was. Now of course not all the kids were quite as beautiful haha, but i just could not get over how character the building had. I am a huge fan of old buildings and i love the look of older homes. Often times when buildings give you a feeling, it is an intentional thing. The designers of the building you enter have every intention on giving you a certain feeling, whether it be good or bad (Silverman and Raders 481). I found this very interesting because that happens to me a lot but i always just thought i was very observant haha i guess not.
Many seem to have so many issues and opinions about detroit. Most of those opinions come from what they hear or the media’s broadcasting of only the “BAD” places. It also intrest me to hear some of these opinions from people who have never stepped foot into the city because either they are too scared or they come and only focus on the abandonment and the negative as opposed to what the positive could possibly be. Growing up and being a resident from detroit I have experienced the good and the bad as any person would from their neighborhood. I am not going to sit and say that Detroit is the best place to be and has no crime and is the best place to live, if i was to do so i would be telling a lie. Detroit is like any other city. It has its beauty and it has its flaws, its just more of the flaws come out of detroit than the beauty. “Space can be manipulative, comforting or both”(The world is a text pg 481). This just means that even the places that you have to adapt to or change with can be the very place that you are comfortable. I honestly feel that detroit is not as bad as many portray it to be. It mostly just people who are suppose to help the city pushing these issues off and just deeply wounding the city even more. “Detroit, Michigan is an amazing misjudged city with a wonderfully rich history”(historydetroit.com). “Detroit is a huge undertaking and will remain a work in progress for a long time”. I agree with this statement. Detroit is a amazing place that is always misjudged and is absolutely a working progress, I just wish that so many wouldn’t judge the city, especially if you’ve never been there, lived there or just focus on the negative.
-Brittany M. Thomas
In October of 2009, Time Magazine shed light over the once reputable city of Detroit. After getting so much flack for the ignorance they displayed in their exert, they decided to get the real story behind Detroit. Time Magazine purchased a house in the middle of the city, and threw in seven of its own journalists to embark on this mission. For one year they will keep a close look on the city of Detroit: its history, its current state, and its future. Like the journalists on Assignment Detroit, people need to get over the cliches of this city and, instead, need to get a better idea of what it’s all about. “No city has had more influence on the country’s economic and social evolution.” (http://magazine-directory.com/Time.htm) This is, perhaps, one of the most overlooked facts about Detroit. We have all heard the stories from our parents about what it used to be back in the day, when they were young. The graffiti covered buildings, the polluted streets, and the bums that sleep under the bridges can all be elements that give the identity Detroit has today–just as the clothes we wear give each individual their identity. (Silverman and Rader 482) Seeing what it looks like now, its hard to grasp how something that was “so great” could turn into what it is now. Too many people are apprehensive about the potential Detroit has, and until somebody steps up, the city remains the laughing stock of the nation. In our own state, we are always told to be cautious, and to avoid the city at whatever cost. When I go out of town and tell somebody I am from Detroit, they automatically give this look like, “Really! You don’t look like your from Detroit”. Not only do we, in metro-detroit, stereotype against this city, but so does everybody else around the U.S. Until Detroit is given another chance, it will never rise above this long overdue standstill.
Detroit gets a bad reputation because people do not know the true beauty of it. People that do not live near Detroit believe it is so bad because they believe everything they hear. The media broadcasts all the negative situations in Detroit. Rarely is there something on the news about the positive aspects of Detroit. No other city has as much pride as we do for our sports teams. I went to the Kenny Chesney concert over the summer and they started talking about Detroit and the entire crowd cheered. We are in an economic land slide but put any other city on our shoes and they would never fight as hard us. However there are some people that are ashamed to be from Detroit. We need to stop looking at the negative and look at the positive. Hockeytown, I know we aren’t doing well right now but think of Red Wings History. http://redwings.nhl.com/club/stats.htm?season=20082009&gameType=3 We have won the Stanley Cup 11 times which is 3rd in the world. If you look for negative you will find negative. So start looking for the positive. I understand it is not like what it used to be. When Detroit was first envisioned it was a city with great jobs, houses and entertainment. They created Detroit to flourish and it did but things do change. We have a constant change in feelings due to what a place looks like ( Silverman and Rader 281). The bones and structure of Detroit as a whole is amazing; all it needs is an updated look. People expect Detroit to turn around and be gorgeous in a day. If you do not step up and do something about it then it will always look this way. When the Superbowl came to Detroit the city stepped up to the occasion and improved little things at a time to give it a good vibe. If we continue in those paths we can make our dreams worth while. But you can’t sit around and do nothing! Donate to a food pantry, give your heart to the city and it will be greatful. Think of others over yourself. Everyone going to this school is fortunate enough to afford it even with the loans they are taking out.