apparently you did not make it to one of the finest Art Institutes in the world
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I would like to thank The Stranger for giving me the opportunity to briefly mention post-modernism and rimming in the same thread, which was long over due.
That being said, I took a break from reading 'Gravity's Rainbow' and downloading big butt porn long enough torture myself by reading Kelly O's article again, and I think we all missed the point. A cat spoke, and that is pretty fucking amazing.
One morning upon waking I decided to walk out of my room and get some water. The elusive cat was sitting at the base of the stairs just staring at me. I stopped and looked back at him, as he said "morning" in a very human-like voice, licked his paw and walked away. I went straight back to my room and waited until everyone else got up to leave again.
Talking cats are traumatizing :/
Look fuckwits, it doesn't matter how "real" people are in Detroit, whether or not it has a cool music scene, whether Kelly O is white or "entitled" (she isn't, read her post half-way up the page) nor whether she was just a "tourist" or not. The things she wrote about are real, they happened to her (well, OK, except that thing about the possessed cat, I don't believe that shit) and they are common enough in this wonderful mecca of urban "authenticity" that they resonate with everyone and touch a nerve on even the defenders of the cities.
It doesn't matter how you play your identity politics cards, call Kelly names and cast aspersions on the people who stand up for her in these comments, or front about how "real" you are and how "abercrombie" she is. Detroit is a burned out, blighted, economically ruined shithole full of crime and fail, the murder capitol of the US and a massive sinkhole draining the wallets of economically disadvantaged people in other parts of Michigan and more recently the rest of our country as a whole.
All of your liberal- and white-guilting is smoke and mirrors bullshit that cannot hide the hideous fact that is Detroit.
Put your hands up for Detroit!
Balls. Death to that. I'm originally from Seattle but spent time in LA and Chicago, both times in super gang-y neighborhoods where gunshots were heard on a nearly daily basis. While at the time I may have appreciated the "realness" of the streets, it was a tremendous ballache to have to look over my shoulder when I walked at night, to have to at times be racist. If it was two AM and six hard looking Puerto Rican dudes in sideways caps and baggies were coming my way, my ass was crossing the street. End of. Call me the Grand Wizard of the Klan, but sometimes this shit is just practicality.
For the record, I was never mugged or fucked with in the least and almost never had to resort to such tactics of avoidance. But getting mugged or fucked with was always on my mind.
I live abroad now in an Asian country with pretty much zero street crime, and I CAN'T IMAGINE moving back to a place where predatory violence is so rife that walking at night is out of the question.
America is insane. Have fun being "real," you silly silly people.
@7 you're a douchebag
@10 Of course YOU had to comment here. Invite me over to drink all of your alcohol and say stupid shit.
Please stick to writing unfunny captions on pictures of drunk people.
Trespassing on private property and tearing stuff up for an art project?
Losing car parts off your piece o'crap mobile while you're speeding at 90mph down the freeway? It's called car maintenance, and there is a reason for it.
Throwing potatoes from the upper stories of a building at the people below simply to mock their chosen lifestyle? Potatoes are hard! Damn.
You didn't survive Detroit... Detroit survived you!
I’ve lived in six cities over the past eight years and I’m tired of moving around. I’ve been looking for somewhere to spend the next few years and I’ve been toying with the idea of Detroit because it seems to me like it would be a city full of opportunity. It seems like a place where I could maybe afford to do some shit, and where there might be some space for some shit to be done. I realize that this may make me seem like one of those assholes who moves to third world countries to “educate” people and bring in their culture or something, but know that I don’t so much want to move to Detroit to try and “save it” as I want to move there for selfish reasons.
I think it’d be cool to live in a city where there might be some space for me to get shit done that I’d like to get done for myself: make radio docs, plant an urban garden, maybe start a new dance night at a club, and, long term, maybe open a used clothing store kinda like Buffalo Exchange/Redlight (yes, I am this generic).
To “research” the city, I started reading some of the Weekly Detroit papers, one of which is one that fellow commenter Travis R. Wright writes for. Reading these papers I started to think that Detroit was full of white hipsters, painting murals while riding tall bikes. And to give you some major perspective on myself, I didn’t necessarily find that completely unappealing. At the same time, I wasn’t so naïve to think that this was actually what I’d find in Detroit. Part of the allure of Detroit for me, is that it’s got a grimey, big city culture that probably none of the other cities I’ve lived in could hold a flame too (except maybe Glasgow, which, btw was once the murder city capitol of Western Europe).
I started telling friends and family that I’m thinking of moving to Detroit. When I tell them this, they usually say, “Why?!” And then they say, “Well I guess I’m not that surprised.” I can’t entirely explain to you why they say this. I think it’s because they know that I am one of those people who is attracted to what may seem unappealing to most people. Maybe in part because I idealize flaws, but in part because I usually genuinely do like these types of places. I loved living in Charleston, WV—even though my drunk neighbor (who I had never met) climbed up my balcony and into my apartment while I was home alone. Apparently he was locked out. Also, apparently it is not a good idea to live alone as a young woman in sketchy parts of town. Lesson learned. Except for the risk of stray bullets, I feel like I’m mostly only a target for getting mugged, and I think I can deal with that. Most people just want your cash and then they leave you alone.
Reading Kelly’s story I am equally more attracted to the idea of moving to Detroit, and equally second-guessing myself. As someone not from Detroit, if I moved there then I’m sure some of the stuff that I would witness probably would scare the shit out of me and maybe even prompt me to write some stories that would get some of you to call me a racist as I’d tell the stories from my “raised-in-Lynnwood” perspective.
I’m going to Detroit at the end of the month, for two conferences that are being held there. The Allied Media Conference, which is apparently an annual Detroit Conference, and the US Social Forum. I’m going to these conferences, in part, as an excuse to scope out Detroit, meet people who live there, and see if it’s really where I want to move.
The reason I’m writing this post is because you guys seem to have a lot more perspective on Detroit than I do. So, of course, as just mentioned, I’m gonna see for myself, but I was wondering if any of you opinionated ass mother fuckers had thoughts on whether or not I should move there. I know you don’t know me, but that’s why I spent a lot of time in this comment trying to give you some kind of a vague idea of what I’m about. I welcome your opinions. Thanks for reading this long-ass post. And Kelly, thanks for writing your article. It’s nice to read someone else’s thoughts on a place that I’ve been thinking so much about lately.
I'm happy this particular article didn't turn you off to Detroit as a possibility. These are just my memories of living there, in college, back in the early 90's.
It seems to me, Detroit is still forever-full of creativity. And opportunity. *IF* you're creative. For instance, my brother and cousin live there - they're school teachers. It's trickier to find those jobs.
The Times article says it best...
Mainly because of this story: My family called, a week after I moved out-of-state, and told me Judith's boyfriend murdered the building's fix-it man, the guy who lived in the apartment right under ours. Boyfriend waited for him to come home, and shot him dead with a gun. Ugh, if we'd still lived there, we would have *heard* it. Family told me the news said it was a "crime of passion" - that Judith was secretly having an affair with fix-it man, and boyfriend found out and went beserk. They told me he got as far as Ohio, on the run, before (can't remember) he killed himself, or cops killed him
Maybe that's why these people, on this website, refer to her as "strange"? Um, as "wack job" and "raging alcoholic" ? http://bit.ly/bsUuys and http://bit.ly/bMURuj
If this murder love-triangle story is indeed true (my family told me this, I don't have printed proof) - if it's a true story - I bet the walls are REALLY talking in that building now. The walls, the televisions and radios, and... THE CATS.
Thanks for the stories Kelly. Made me miss it a little... Cass Tech!
For those who thought the writer a pretentious bigoted something-or-other: I am sorry for your closed-minded hate. I saw an honest article written by a woman who looks back fondly on her college adventure that was also an inner city adventure, who now picked out the choicest shocking stories from her reportoire of experiences there to share in an entertaining fashion with the public here. No doubt she also has stories that shed the city in a positive light (like the one she did share about her homeless friend) that could have balanced out the article further, but then it would not have been in The Stranger, and at the same word count, it would have meant eliminating some of what was included. I wouldn't have wanted to read it any other way.
I, too, grew up in Day-twah, and anyone who doesn't believe Kelly ... BELIEVE HER! I do look back on the Motor City fondly, albeit with a subsequent shiver. I loved watching the Wings play at the Joe, hearing great jazz at Baker's and the best blues at the Soup Kitchen Saloon. I don't miss the terror of getting lost or turned around on the streets, the rampant racism on both sides, the iron bars on all the doors and windows. Detroit is a sad and beautiful place. Like Chernobyl. Or Baghdad. May it come back healthy, wealthy, wiser and stronger for its suffering.
And Kelly, just keep writing. I'll keep reading!
Please don't come back, unless you plan on contributing something positive next time.
Detroit doesn't need any more negative people like yourself.
I've owned property in both Detroit AND the UP.
You poke sticks in the eyes of a city...do you know how easy it would be for me to poke sticks in the eyes of a Yooper or Tawas locale? Please.....that city gave you a college education I trust, and now you wanna trash it?
But in retrospect, it's not like your article was bad, it's that you didn't seem to put any effort into your time in Detroit. If you go into a city with an attitude that says "It's gonna be bad", by God, it's gonna be bad. An article like this could be written about parts of any major (and many mid-sized) cities in the United States.
I lived here 22 years and I believe it is one of the most flawed cities on earth, but nonetheless incredible, with so much to experience and enjoy. There is so much more to it than your sensationalized stories. Believe it or not, when you were there-- and still today-- reasonable, civilized people live in the City of Detroit. By the hundreds of thousands. Most by choice. Sounds like most of your problem was that you behaved like an idiot, went looking for the sort of trouble that you could find in ANY city if you looked, and always saw things through your own semi-racist, anti-city lens. We all make choices. You chose to drive down an urban freeway at 90 mph and confront deranged poor people on the street (using the conclusion derived therefrom to disparage an entire city decades later), but apparently you did not make it to one of the finest Art Institutes in the world or any of the landmark theatres or historic residential districts. You were immature then and are immature now.
I also recommend that you go back to your midtown Detroit campus again today. It is a beautiful section of city and functioning more highly than it ever has in recent decades, with scores of new residents and new investment along the Woodward Avenue neighborhoods.
Get a real perspective, ala Jack Kerouac, and travel the famed mitten and north ward to discover the ultimate white flight enclaves of Travis City, Charlevoix and Petosky.....See the blond baby makers and welfare queens of the east side of the state and don't forget your wonderful motherland, the U.P., where knuckle dragging Neanderthals still exist and poverty and lack of a work ethic outshines Detroit.
Maybe that woolen cap you wore on your head in summer's blazing heat, to be ever so stylish in hipster chic, fried your brain. Stay in Seattle until your daddies money runs out, bitch!
Oh, and you owe us $2K.
As a 'journalist' I'm sure you know that the proper term is 'drivel' not 'dribble'.
Look it up if you know how.
Kelly O's writing style is uniquely her own - she's truly an original.
I wish I had a whole book of her stories to read. a few sentences in 'drunk of the week' just isn't enough. more please!
you're a jerk.
He used to call my boyfriend "Red Bone!!"... 'cause he had red hair. "Red Bone an' Tyrone!" He was an Old Soul. The kindest - the best kind of human.
Also, we were dorks. Poor kids. Not cool. No Mommy-Daddy money...
I'm sorry so many people think I'm trash-talking Detroit, present day.
These were just a handful of *MY* memories, from back in the 90's. As a reckless stupid college kid...
I love Detroit. And always will.
You are a moron. Try reading other comments before spewing your nonsense.
I've never been to Michigan. If you are a prime example of the type of person I would encounter there, I'll stay far away, thanks.
I went to Maple Ridge Elementary myself after leaving Dearborn. I'm in Detroit now.
It's great that you love Detroit, but throwing shit at people is sadistic and mean. I guess you were drunk though. And no, you didn't need to drive drunk either. You should have learned the bus system or biked or asked one of your friends for a ride and gotten your car in the morning or even passed out at the party. Look up "teens killed in drunk driving accident gratiot" on Google. One of those kids was the brother of my friend who went to Alpena High School. You're lucky your incident ended up just as an anecdote for the denizens of Seattle.
You did seem to miss out on everything that was and is happening to make the city better though. It sounds like you went to CCS. You can't live here and miss out on the beauty and the energy and the chaos though.
My favorite part is your description of the dogs.
I also noticed that some of the cafes you mentioned don't exist anymore. Alvin's just reopened though.
She specifically mentioned that she visited it. Can you read?