Sunday, March 08, 2009

Hopelessness and Change.

Have y'all seen this blog full of vignettes from post-apocalyptic Detroit? Imagine what it's going to look like in another few years...

And it's not like Detroit is a city that hasn't had Urban Planning by the boxcar lot, either.

At what point does the Rust Belt become the Mad Max Belt?

18 comments:

D.W. Drang said...

After I left for the Army a friend sent me a t-shirt that read "Detroit: Where The Weak Are Killed And Eaten."
I've never looked back... Although I was rather taken with John Ringo's destruction of Detroit in The Last Centurion...

crankylitprof said...

Hey, they have lots of community organizers! They must be a progressive paradise!

Anonymous said...

I went to work at the Chevy Test Lab in Warren, back in 1962. I recall Eight Mile Road as the north city llimit of Deeetroit City. Woodward Avenue was the main route north to Pontiac. A bunch of us used to hang out at the Rail bar, downtown at the foot of Michigan Avenue. Folk music down in the basement, with Don Cowles, Nita Bocanegra and "Tennis Shoe Arnie".

The whole area was alive and vibrant back then. Lotsa good times, lotsa overtime, lotsa stuff going on.

That was then, this is now.

Art

TD said...

So, Tam, when are you and Bobbi coming up for a visit? :-D

Nathan Brindle said...

There are neighborhoods similar to that in Cleveland, too.

http://blog.cleveland.com/plaindealer/2007/08/our_shrinking_city.html

Scary.

TJP said...

No I haven't seen it, but thanks for the link. I guess we can now say that social engineering clears out civilization faster than a runaway nuclear reactor in Ukraine.

The general area:
N 42.44316 W 83.11028

"In the worst neighborhoods, much of the population is unemployed and illiterate...participating in a largely underground economy where crime festers."

Technically, then, they're not unemployed. It's that no one wants to hire them for the federally-mandated minimum wage.

TJP said...

Also: The boarded-up drug store on Montana E.

N 42.42397 W 83.10192

Unfortunately, the resolution isn't good enough on the satellite photos to pick up the crack pipes on the ground.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Detroit is returning to nature. How long will it take before the Sierra Club opposes development there because it would destroy the natural habitat?

Mark Alger said...

By my reckoning, Detroit had long before entered the Mad Max Belt over 25 years ago, when I walked into a liquor store in the neighborhood of Eight Mile and Gratiot and the place was defended by several weapons emplacements.

Ports in the wall where armed guards stood behind 2" Lexan. Ports with interlocking fields of fire. The "store" was in reality a kill box. If you misbehaved, you were going down.

That was about 1982-83 time period. The city then had deteriorated so badly that this was now seen as Business as Usual.

Despite, as you say, whole train-loads of "urban renewal," the friend we visited back then finally had to move out to the suburbs out of self-preservation. Although she didn't walk away from her house, she got nowhere near a decent price for it.

Insert snarky pop culture reference to taking off and nuking site from orbit. It would be a mercy.

M

Jay G said...

One word, Tam: Robocop.

Verhoeven didn't have to stretch too much even in 1986...

WV: reacto. Our new President-in-training...

the pawnbroker said...

the final words from the story: "...a normal, safe neighborhood once stood here but was wiped off the face of the earth."

"post-apocalyptic" looks like what my daddy used to call "done gone to seed"...

i like it; it's like an evolutionary stage...testament at once to what horror man can wreak, and the promise of another chance.

of course, the wo(s)d will ensure that the cockroaches the writer describes will remain, effectively squandering that promise and that chance.

jtc

karrde said...

What feels weird is that, even though I lived for 90+% of my life in the Detroit suburbs (always less than five miles from the City's northwest corner), and my family taking part in some sort of "church-trying-to-bridge-the-suburban/urban-divide" project when I was a teen, I've never done anything of importance inside Detroit.

The only business I've ever transacted inside the borders of Detroit was to visit a big event like the yearly Auto Show, or visit a sports event.

For almost every type of everyday business, there are many places outside the City which are easier and safer to do business at.

Big-Box retail, large outlet malls, restaurants, auto dealers, music stores, hardware stores...in all cases, the best examples are in the suburbs. Often, they are in "second-tier" suburbs which don't directly touch the central City.

None of the effort that pols and would-be-leaders put into revitalizing the City will be effective until people come into the City to do their everyday business/shopping/eating/life. Everything else is details...but no would-be-leader seems to grasp this concept.

Brian J. said...

Better hurry to the Mad Max stage, because in a couple of years even that will look silly when rendered using Congress-mandated Chevy Volts.

docjim505 said...

Well, at least the city is becoming more green. All those trees and plants growing will consume CO2. This is a Good Thing.

/ sarc

Seriously, the idea that Detroit, a name virtually synonymous with American Industry, should start to look like this...

Nolan said...

I left it in the late 90's and it was already far down the Mad Max road then.

dave said...

i had a post comparing detroit to "The Road" here
with a link to another detroit photoblog.

Cybrludite said...

Wow. Nice to see a place worse off than the lower Ninth Ward. Some parts of New Orleans East are getting that way, though.

Anonymous said...

Anybody know how the bird hunting is. Might be worth a trip "downstate".