January 2011: I am preparing for my first real visit to Detroit, the city of my birth. I am a Californian, where I have been since age one when my parents packed me into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a "native" Californian, I answer, "No, I was born in Detroit." It seems time to investigate what that means. So I have come "home" on my birthday to photograph Detroit.

This blog is part of an accompanying journal about the project.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Forgotten City

About Windsor, Canada from Atlantic Cities:

LIFE INSIDE THE BROKEN CITY  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/06/how-mend-broken-city/2324/

Visited on a VERY cold spring Sunday last year, primarily to meet some East Coast friends at a casino and photograph the Windsor Chinatown, Windsor appeared in this short visit as a lovely quiet town.

Yet the vacancy and sense of abandonment was even then visible.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

EXPAT Organizations & "The Whole Story"

An expat - although from something I never really knew as I was one year old when I left - I've been following some of the expat sites that are encouraging ex-Detroiters to return and, most significantly, invest in the City.

A very active one:  DETROIT NATION - http://www.detroitnation.org/ - formed by Rachel Jacobs, part of a group of New York-based expats (formerly called 635 Mile, for the distance from Detroit) who have now developed an active program with folowers and chapters throughout the nation.

Among their programs, a job posting for work in Detroit.  Also very active on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/DetroitNation

A new one just discovered: BORN AND RAISED IN DETROIT (BARD)  http://bornandraiseddetroit.org/

Probably more for there seems to be now more than nostalgic interest in those who are from Detroit about the state of the City.  OTH, it would be good if they all got together into just one powerful organization and with the power of many could not only contribute financially but with the power of numbers support and make effective change.

again, always reading the comments as well, this article by the General Manager of Detroit's NPR station, WDET is worth a look:   http://wdet.org/shows/wdetraw/episode/can-we-tell-the-whole-detroit-story/?hq_e=el&hq_m=1671315&hq_l=1&hq_v=e6609d3a02 

LAST - another magazine/blog.   Always learning more about the city from many different perspectives;  THE HOUR/DETROIT   http://www.hourdetroit.com/

About Detroit: More Videos and Such

Two more videos from Richard Florida on Detroit from Atlantic Cities:

Now the Fourth:
The Businesses That Will Lead Detroit  http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/06/businesses-will-lead-detroit/2176/

Focusing on "cheap, affordable space and innovation.  "If you want to rebuild a neighborhood, you're a lot better off starting with stuff people eat and drink. Movie theaters, fine, baseball stadiums great. But where people really want to go is to find places to eat and drink." -- Richard Florida

and the Fifth:  The Future of Detroit 


Who is Detroit attracting? the new urbanite, diverse, open to innovation.

BUT THEN the comments - I always read them, continually wanting to hear the voice of Detroit - linked me to this terrific video, great music and truly full of those voices:

Alex Gallegos' DETROIT BIKE CITY  http://vimeo.com/25805461

In Detroit last spring I visited the Earthworks Urban Farm on the Eastside, run by the Capuchin Soup Kitchen/Capuchin Freres  http://www.cskdetroit.org/EWG/ and was invited to return on that Wednesday for their weekly bike repair clinic.   A place to be: for recreation, for living lives amid and connecting to others, for skills, for both youth and others, and for the dire reason that among the problems Detroit has faced that doesn't help those there to rise: the lack of public transportation that prevents those able to find a job to get to one.

 Shane Bernardo (r), Outreach Coordinator of the The Capuchin Soup Kitchen -Earthworks Urban Farm

UPDATE 18 June 2012

The Detroit Bus Company, started as a private venture by Andy Didorosi, and trying to balance the needs of those in need of transportation with an economic structure that focusus on the tour industry while also aiming to connect jobs and the suburbs to the Detroit economic plan.   "For every seat purchaed on a regular route, tour or private rental, we'll provide another Detroiter in need a free ride to work.".