Cross-posted from Shareable Magazine.
When I told my friends and family I would be traveling to Detroit to write about community resilience, I got the same reaction from everyone: Silence. Then, slowly, as if not to offend me, people would look at me very seriously and say things like, “Be very careful — you never hear anything good about Detroit. Remember, you’re a woman, you have more to lose from an attack than just your wallet.” Frequently the conversation would move to the murder rate, or economic devastation, and a reminder that “desperate times make people do crazy things.” My surprise at this reaction was compounded by the fact that those words weren’t just coming from my parents, they were coming from born and bred city folks who know that the greatest cities always get a bad rap from people who have never been there.
Photo: Andrew Langdal
This all made me more determined to go see the city for myself. I had a sneaking suspicion that Detroit was just like my beloved New York City: gritty, homey, and real in all the right places, with a community spirit missed by those just passing through.... Read more