Saturday, July 12, 2008

TIME TO PUT DETROIT BACK ON TOP (alright, so maybe not within the next year, but soon)

For the delight of everyone reading, I am pulling a page out of my book of commentary that no one asked for and sharing with you a fun little story from the self proclaimed "jewel of the midwest" aka, in case you don't know, Chicago, Illinois. First of all, seriously, I really like Chicago. It's a nice town, with some nice people, and it has a great midwestern sensibility about it. Not only that, but is literally a well-oiled economic machine, in such a way that I could only in my wildest dreams hope for metro Detroit, not to mention Detroit proper.

And now, more to the point. Take a look at what happened to a vacationing family with young children from Tennessee while staying in a downtown Chicago hotel.


"Chris Grissom and his wife were sitting up in bed at the Hotel Blake the evening of July 3 watching "The Late Show With David Letterman" as their two children, ages one and four, slept in the next bed. That's when they heard what Grissom said sounded like a firecracker in the next room."All the sudden we noticed what we figured out to be the plaster dust from a bullet coming through," Grissom said in a phone conversation from his Columbia, Tenn. home."

"Grissom and his family, in town to visit his mother in Huntley, huddled on the ground for a few minutes before Grissom walked down to the front desk and had them call 911.
The bullet was apparently a stray from the four shootings that occurred in the area that left one dead following the city's July 3 fireworks.
"The bullet came from the outside, through a meeting room, through our room and into the next room, which was unoccupied," said Grissom."

If this had happen in downtown Detroit, you can bet your bottom dollar that it would, "have the internet going nuts" i.e. Paul Wall in 2005-2006. It would be all over the place, including top news sites, blogs and in chat rooms. Yet, as of right now, this story out of Chicago can basically only be found in the local Chicago Sun Times.

I know people are going to read this commentary (it might have turned into a rant some time ago) and start talking about how my opinion is a great example of the Detroit inferiority complex which we Detroiters carry around so proudly, but in this instance, that is neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is that we, as a city and as a metropolitan region, are constantly attacked in a manner in which other cities are not.

I will gladly concede the point that our city's reputation precedes us, and that it has not progressed even close to the point where violence isn't one of outsiders' first reactions when someone brings up "Detroit." Still, that does does not change the way we are constantly and consistently receiving shots (no pun intended) from the media in a way that other places are not. The fact that this story and video is not all over the news is an example of just that.

In the end, maybe I answered my own question. The fact of the matter is that if our region doesn't clean up its act, stop the violence, stop the bickering, stop the inept governmental policy making, squabling, lying and self-destruction, then maybe we deserve the reputation that we have been so nonchalantly given.

I was going to title this post, "VIDEO SHOWS HOW STRAY BULLET ENTERED A FAMILY'S HOTEL ROOM IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO," until I realized that by the end of the post, my demeanor had changed. I wasn't bitter at the fact that if this story occurred in downtown Detroit that it would be everywhere. Instead, I found myself thinking about how we as a region, and as a state, have the opportunity to turn these negative times into the greatest success story ever told.

The next year and a half are going to be rough, but metro Detroit has always beaten the odds, and decidedly emerged victorious. We've always contributed mightily to this country whether it be economically or culturally, and the present should be no different. We have the drive, the resources and the talent, and it's our job to put this region in its rightful place back on top. An unquestionably confident outlook regarding our ability in what could be the worst economic period that Detroit has ever seen is probably not the norm, but I know it to be the truth.

I'm ready if you are...

Detroit Army


Anonymous said...

while your bar studying has taken away from this blog, that post made up for it.

I tend to disagree that a bullet hole going through a Downtown Detroit hotel room would make it far past channel 7, let alone Pall Wall's internet.

On the other hand, what should be making news is one young man's journey to the Detroit area. Some know him as a legend, others know him as a loyal friend, but most refer to him as the Donks.

Now here is a good story for the D. After a couple years in (the crowned jewel of ... public school shootings) Chicago, he moved to Detroit and found a job within a matter of days. While most 25 year olds are packing it up and shipping out of town, this ambitious college grad was able to obtain employment and find an amazing apartment in royal oak. Now he is ready to help you and the rest us turn this town ("region" just doesn't sound quite right to describe Detroit) around.

With his brand new, timeless blue cap with an old english he has joined your Detroit Army and should be a poster child for Michigan's so called economic development plan. Positive thinking leads to positive results (yes it does richie). Its hard to be positive right now, especially considering GM is on the unimaginable brink of bankruptcy (which would actually not be the worst result considering folding could really be a possibility). But its tough every where and any where right now. Give it up for Stephen and for Dan the Donks because they see great thing in what this wonderful place I call home.

Anonymous said...

you referred to "the Detroit inferiority complex." it's a complicated thing, i have learned. there is a lot of pride, which i love, as there is much to be proud of.

but then there is the detroit that loves nothing more than a good round of self-flagellation. all you have to do is turn on morning television, usually terrifically dull, wherever you go. not in detroit. the same murders happen everywhere, but detroit appears to still have that "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality.

anyway...i just spent two wonderful weeks working in Detroit/Windsor..i am very fond of the city and region in general.

at this point being very familiar with chicago and detroit, i know that the two cities share very similar problems, but detroit's are hanging out for everyone to see.

i once worked on the south side of chi and it looks like much of the city of detroit - with a higher crime rate. there's wanton abandonment, vacant lots, board-ups, squalid apartments that would make your hair stand on end.

i used to place people in city-subsidized housing and the living conditions were nightmarish, the neighborhoods absolutely appalling. this wasn't all that long ago.

and yet, chicagoans somewhere along the line learned, like new yorkers (where i live now) to blindly proclaim themselves the best at everything, whether true or not. to anyone who travels a little, like i do that kind of behavior quickly becomes very unattractive.

the more i get to know detroit, the less i like chicago. at least detroit is honest with itself. in chicago, if it doesn't happen on your "side" (north, south, southwest, northwest, west, whatever) it didn't happen. (and metro detroit thinks IT suffers from polarization!)

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!