online discount medstore
advair diskus for sale
buy advair diskus without prescription
allegra for sale
buy allegra without prescription
aristocort for sale
buy aristocort without prescription
astelin for sale
buy astelin without prescription
atarax for sale
buy atarax without prescription
benadryl for sale
buy benadryl without prescription
buy clarinex without prescription
clarinex for sale
buy claritin without prescription
claritin for sale
buy flonase without prescription
flonase for sale
buy ventolin without prescription
ventolin for sale
amoxil for sale
buy amoxil without prescription
augmentin for sale
buy augmentin without prescription
bactrim for sale
buy bactrim without prescription
biaxin for sale
buy biaxin without prescription
buy cipro without prescription
cipro for sale
buy cleocin without prescription
cleocin for sale
buy dexone without prescription
dexone for sale
buy flagyl without prescription
flagyl for sale
buy levaquin without prescription
levaquin for sale
buy omnicef without prescription
omnicef for sale
amaryl for sale
buy amaryl without prescription
buy cozaar without prescription
cozaar for sale
buy diabecon without prescription
diabecon for sale
buy glucophage without prescription
glucophage for sale
buy glucotrol without prescription
glucotrol for sale
buy glucovance without prescription
glucovance for sale
buy micronase without prescription
micronase for sale
buy prandin without prescription
prandin for sale
buy precose without prescription
precose for sale
buy cialis professional without prescription
cialis professional for sale
buy cialis soft without prescription
cialis soft for sale
buy cialis super active without prescription
cialis super active for sale
buy cialis without prescription
cialis for sale
buy levitra without prescription
levitra for sale
buy viagra professional without prescription
viagra professional for sale
buy viagra soft without prescription
viagra soft for sale
buy viagra super active without prescription
viagra super active for sale
buy viagra super force without prescription
viagra super force for sale
buy viagra without prescription
viagra for sale
buy celebrex without prescription
celebrex for sale
buy colcrys without prescription
colcrys for sale
buy feldene without prescription
feldene for sale
buy imitrex without prescription
imitrex for sale
buy inderal without prescription
inderal for sale
buy indocin without prescription
indocin for sale
buy naprosyn without prescription
naprosyn for sale
buy pletal without prescription
pletal for sale
buy robaxin without prescription
robaxin for sale
buy voltaren without prescription
voltaren for sale

The room where my complicated, naïve love-affair with Detroit began. The building was demolished in 2006. Credit: Michael Fitzgerald

I have been pretending to know Detroit for most of my adult life.

It’s a common affliction among youngish white journalists in Michigan who’ve never lived in the city. Even the fact that I talk about “knowing” the city is probably a giveaway that I’m not a Detroiter. My friends who are Detroiters, and Detroiters who comment on my stories, seem pretty tired of the discussion about what Detroit is or isn’t, what it represents or doesn’t and what the rest of us think about any of it. They’ve moved on.

But I can’t seem to stop myself from writing about Detroit as if I know what I’m talking about. I’ve even attacked other non-Detroiters for their lack of understanding (most people who read that rant believed it was written by a Detroiter, which only embarrasses me more).

Like most white, non-Detroiters, my fascination with the city started in my early 20s. And it involved urban exploring.

I was an intern in the (partner station!) Michigan Radio news room when I did my first story about urban exploring. A year later, as Detroit was on a demolition binge to get ready to host the Super Bowl, I produced a story about an amazing find inside the long-abandoned Motown headquarters. (No, not that one. This one.)

You can listen to it here:

The story behind the record I found inside the Motown Building is still a mystery to me. And there were many more treasures inside that building. When the building was demolished, old papers signed by Smokey Robinson and others blew down Woodward Avenue.

Maybe that’s why I felt a bit of a twinge of sadness this morning when I heard that the long-abandoned, dangerous and unsightly Packard Plant will finally be demolished as well. Maybe that’s why I still can’t get enough of documentaries that feature Detroit’s “ruin porn” (even if I make fun of them).

Or maybe I feel that way because I’m a privileged white person who’s never had to live next to one of these buildings. I’ve never watched my property value plummet because of it. I’ve never felt what it’s like to have non-Detroiters go on and on about these things as if it’s the only thing to talk about when you talk about Detroit.

But I actually think not being a Detroiter is the reason I care about these things so much.

Detroiters are allowed to feel sick of the discussion. They’ve probably got better things to do. But I live in Grand Rapids, Mich., where plenty of people wrote off Detroit long ago. I know people who still believe that driving into Detroit is roughly equivalent to driving into Palestine. So, yeah, maybe I’m a little jumpy when an innocent blogger uses mildly negative language when talking about Detroit.

But here’s the thing: Just because I don’t live in Detroit doesn’t mean I have no stake in its future. If you live anywhere in the industrial Midwest, Detroit represents you in some way. It is a symbol of our region, fair or not. If you live in Michigan, or northwest Ohio, your economic future is directly tied to Detroit’s.

I may not really know Detroit. I may be stupid and unhelpful if I look at an abandoned building and say it’s beautiful. But stupid or not, I do know enough to say that Detroit is a great city, an important city – for Michigan, for the Midwest and for the nation.

And I’m damn sure not going to stop saying that.

Photo by Erika Lindsay.

Almost a month after the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in this year’s super bowl, Chrysler’s “Imported from…Detroit” ad is still causing quite a bit of Internet buzz. Detroit area native Harvey Dickson talks here about how much backlash “ruin porn” has been getting, thanks in part to the positive images the ad featured. The New Republic also recently lashed out at ruin porn here. You can also read what Changing Gears’ Micki Maynard wrote about the ad’s immediate success and its divergence from the ruin porn Detroit is better known for.

But the issues’ resurgence, or better yet persistence raises a few good questions. First of all, many people consider ruin porn art. Check out Michigan Public Radio’s dissection of this topic from a few weeks ago here and an excellent slide show here. Many of these ruin porn photographs are reminiscent of war photography. How different are the two, really? Is the problem that we don’t see nearly as much art about Detroit’s standing buildings as we do  its crumbling ones? Or are people just offended that ruin porn has become sort of a Detroit specialty?

The other question that comes to mind is how come it seems more acceptable for a local to rip on their own city than it does for an outsider to parachute in and snap photos of a few dilapidated buildings? Around Cleveland, the well known “Hastily Made Tourism Cleveland Video” and its successors are incredibly popular. I must have had that link sent to me over a dozen times, followed by “haha” or “lol” or some variation thereof. Everyone that sent it was a Clevelander, as am I. I’ll admit it, I laughed. It’s a pretty funny video, the kind where you shake your head and say “it’s funny, because it’s kind of true.” But with verses that include jokes like “here’s the place where there used to be industry, this train is carrying jobs out of Cleveland,” the line between funny and just down right depressing begins to blur.

 

PS – A brief introduction.

Since this is my first blog post for Changing Gears, and I don’t want to be rude, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ida Lieszkovszky, and currently I’m the “web reporter” for Changing Gears. That means you’ll be seeing my name on blog posts, reading my tweets and Facebook comments, and talking to me through our web chats. I look forward to working with the wonderfully talented Changing Gears team, and connecting with all our listeners and readers online.