Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

kgourlay

outside impression of detroit

Recommended Posts

My parents hosted a conference a couple weeks ago, and they had a guest facilitator come in from Washington, D. C. The facilitator had the pleasure of staying downtown during his visit, and my parents talked to him about the city a little bit over dinner one night.

The guest was appalled, horrified even, at the state of things downtown. Being the naive outsider that he was, he thought he would walk from his hotel downtown (not sure which one he was staying at) and get a bite to eat, then do some shopping. Now, granted, there are a fair number of restaurants downtown, but if you don't know where you're going, especially if you're on foot, they can be very hard to find. Well I guess he finally got some food, but then he wanted to buy a shirt for the conference and couldn't find a place. He asked some people on the street where he could find a clothing store, and they couldn't give him an answer. I, too, though I am a resident, would be at a loss. Beyond the lack of a Bachrach, J. Crew, Eddie Bauer, Hudson's (oh, Hudson's... how I miss thee) etc., I don't even know of any decent generic brand clothing stores. When I first moved into the city, I think I asked someone the same question (where to buy clothing) and I was directed to Oakland Mall. How sad. In my couple years living in the city I've found a few clothing stores, but probably not what our friend from Washington was looking for: There is a place advertising "GHETTO GEAR" up on 8 Mile, and a couple stores with similar style along Vernor Highway in the Mexicantown area. Alas, no Hollister yet. Not even a Target.

Does anyone else have experiences with the city, either as a visitor or as a host to a visitor from another area?

Oh, here's another one. A little more disturbing than just someone disappointed in the shopping opportunities because it highlights the continued prevalence of racial tension. I had a friend from the northern suburbs (around 9 mile if I remember correctly) whom was accompanying me to my house for the evening. As we drove south on I-94, his reactions would have been hilarious if they weren't so disturbing. On a couple occasions he pointed to another car on the road and said "Oh my god, it's a ######!" I didn't even know how to respond. At one point he said he had never been this far south before and I asked him why, he said his mom never took him below Vernier because the people are dangerous. I told him not all of them are dangerous, in fact most of them are among the nicest people I know. In an attempt to subdue the race card I explained that I lived near Mexicantown, and certainly he could agree that not all Mexicans are bad since he himself was part latino. He said quickly "yea but those are DIRTY Mexicans!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Well, that's just the result of being isolated in the suburbs. I'm sure his opinions would change with a few good "encounters" :). It can be just the opposite with some black people. I've been plenty of places with black people that really haven't visited places outside of Flint and Detroit (other than going down south to visit family) and they had the same reactions to white people.

It's annoying, but it's something that people usually get over after being in a diverse environment for a while.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a number of mens clothing stores in the CBD. I don't know the names of them, because I haven't really bought much of that type of clothing in the last few years.

There are at least 2 stores in the Ren Cen.

There is Julian Scott on Cadillac Square and Randolf. There is a place in the Compuware Garage on Monroe near Randolf. There is at least on place on Congress or Larned in the financial district.

Looking at Mapdetroit.com....there is:

Classic Men's Wear on 1214 Randolf

Orlando's on 155 W Congress (The one I speculated about above)

JL Stone on 1231 Broadway

(Julian Scott is 140 Cadillac Square)

(Joseph A. Bank is one of the RenCen stores)

City Slicker at 1326 Broadway

(I believe that Hot Sams is the place in the CPW garage - 127 E Monroe)

(It looks like Brooks Brothers is another RenCen shop)

H and H at 535 Griswold

Those are only the places that are labeled as Men's Clothing. There are others I'm sure that sell both mens and womens.

So I counted 9 mens clothing stores in the CBD. People say there is no retail...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's shameful to say, but I haven't been back to Detroit for several years. My overall impression of the city, however, has been of 'past glory'. Looking down the streets one can only imagine how stunning the buildings all were back in their prime during the first half of the century. Ex: Michigan Theater turned parking lot. It's sad to see so much history and many architectural treasures given to decay by abuse and abandonment.

With that said, there is still much hope for rebirth. I know there are a lot of people working progressively to reshape the image of downtown. With the upcoming All-Star Game and the Super Bowl, I hope attention comes back to the midwest's forgotten giant. I know I'll be coming soon catch a Tiger's game! :thumbsup:

I look foward to seeing what Detroit will become in the very near future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a nice little map. It isn't anywhere near complete, but it gives you a good idea of where some of the more major stores & restaurants are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Actually the only retailers that are included are the ones that participated in Shop Detroit. They only included the restaurants near DPM stations. So it is pretty bare. At one time I had a list of downtown businesses, but I'm not quite sure where that went to. Not that it matters...it needed some major updating anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved away from Detroit and Michigan six years ago. I lived in Michigan a total of nine years and worked downtown three. I visited Detroit about a month or so ago and was impressed by the amount of changes and contruction downtown. That said, Detroit has a long way to go before it can even be close to comparing with other major US cities in terms of shopping and dining.

Detroit is perceived by residents and non residents (out-of-towners and suburbanites) alike as unsafe. The crime numbers support this perception. For instance, in 2003 there were more than 40,000 cars stolen in the city of Detroit. For a long time Detroit has averaged between 350-600 homicides per year. These numbers are staggering. If numbers like these on a per capita basis occured in, say, Troy or Dearborn, the mayors of those cities would request that the national guard be called in! Yet in Detroit, there is no outrage. None!

Until the people of Detroit finally realize that crime is the root of their city;s problems, Detroit will continue to lag behind other cities in every quality of like category.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I moved away from Detroit and Michigan six years ago.  I lived in Michigan a total of nine years and worked downtown three.  I visited Detroit about a month or so ago and was impressed by the amount of changes and contruction downtown.  That said, Detroit has a long way to go before it can even be close to comparing with other major US cities in terms of shopping and dining. 

Detroit is perceived by residents and non residents (out-of-towners and suburbanites) alike as unsafe.  The crime numbers support this perception.  For instance, in 2003 there were more than 40,000 cars stolen in the city of Detroit.  For a long time Detroit has averaged between 350-600 homicides per year.  These numbers are staggering.  If numbers like these on a per capita basis  occured in, say, Troy or Dearborn, the mayors of those cities would request that the national guard be called in!  Yet in Detroit, there is no outrage.  None!

Until the people of Detroit finally realize that crime is the root of their city;s problems, Detroit will continue to lag behind other cities in every quality of like category.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Stolen vehicles are a quality of life issue not really safety and that year that you are referencing for that statistic there were 9 other cities with higher rates. Thats down from number 4 in 2002.

1. Modesto, CA

2. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ

3. Stockton-Lodi, CA

4. Las Vegas, NV

5. Sacramento, CA

6. Fresno, CA

7. Oakland, CA

8. Miami, FL

9. San Diego, CA

10. Detroit

Crime is not the root of Detroit's problems, it is a symptom. You can see it in this very statistic Detroit hasn't been number 1 in auto thefts for sometime but we have the highet insurance premiums in the nation. Why is that?

Why is it that Atlanta, which has as much if not more crime that Detroit gets a pass?People are lining up to live in ATL but Detroit is unsafe? Detroit is like any other city if you are not trafficing drugs you are pretty much ok.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The outside impression of Detroit is garnered from envents like "Devils Night" and the riots that occured in the past. There is a general impression that much of people I know have that Detroit is just "on fire" all the time and riots are a daily occurence. I for one know that is not the case and try to persuade them that their thoughts are not accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metro Detroit has all the trappings of every major city in the US, and then some. Detroit Proper is improving but still lags severly behind other cities, and crime is an issue for some (I think it is more fear-based than reality/risk-based), but the overwhelming reason Detroit Proper may lag behind other cities is race/racism/fear. This is the case in America in general (LA-Watts, S Central, etc; Chicago's south side, South Dallas, Oakland, South Atlanta, etc.). Business and prosperity goes where the money is, which is predominately held by whites who don't live near minorties (by and large). Just my opinion based on places I have visited.

If cities had more economically diverse neighborhoods/infill developments, etc. and people didn't worry so much every city could flourish (look at Canada or some places in Europe).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second the sentiment about crime being fear based and not reality/risk based there seems to be this idea amoung some suburbanites that the minute you cross south of 8 Mile that the bullets start flying.

Speaking of changing perceptions you have to check out this photo album it shows the contruction progress of the Lucian Moore house

http://community.webshots.com/user/masternemesis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an outsiders the first thing that comes to mind for me (not trying to offend) is violence and urban decay, but that was befor i got into looking at pictures and reading things about detroit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.