Detroit is a city that is in a sad state of affairs but has potential to be another Chicago, or better. (In my opinion, formed after the briefest of visits)
The population peaked close to 2 million but now only numbers around 700,000.
As a result so much of it is derelict and the city can't afford to keep on top of all the services. Some blocks may only have 1 house inhabited. Arsonists burn down property after property and the charred remains of rubble and timber just sit where buildings used to. There is no money to clear it up. It seems there is too much work for the broke police and fire services.
Rich (?) and lazy Landlords have all these properties which sit empty and deteriorate. Some truly grand and previously magnificent places just stand as shells, like ghosts, you can see right through them except for a tangled structure that has crumbled within their walls.
The whole place still seems to have a soul though. There are some vibrant multi cultural areas with with lots of colour and life.
I was told by Brian that he has watched the city decline since 1967 but thinks in the last few years it has seen a turning point. People are now hopeful things could be on the up.
You can buy some fantastic detached houses for as little as $40,000 and a beautiful mansion for a couple of hundred!!!!!
My prediction - This place is going to go from strength to strength. It has a brilliant, gritty, urban feel to it. There is so much cheap land, buildings and opportunities for people with initiative here.
This is the place to invest. In 20/30 years it's going amazing.
We had a tour of the Heidelberg project. Basically a few blocks of unused, derelict or barely occupied properties that an artist tried to change for the better. Houses were painted various colours, some with giant polka dots, or thousands of vinyl records. Various random skulptures or collections of urban waste used in random ways. Decorated trees and pavements.
Some of it just looks like junk but other bits looked amazing.
My pictures don't do it justice.
I'm very glad I got to see Detroit. And thankyou Anne, Wes and Brian for showing me the best and worst of the City.