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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

60 Minutes does Detroit

I was watching the 60 Minutes segment on Detroit Sunday evening.
Then the furor ensued but honestly, I’m not sure what the uproar is about. There was some good, and there was some bad. Just like the city itself.
Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans talked about Detroit’s potential. He’s the second-leading landowner in the city, behind only General Motors.
There was a resident whose group razes abandoned buildings. There was an urban farmer who raises eggplant and other vegetables.
Then there were the neighborhoods and the desolation; the burned out buildings and the general disarray.
Hence, the outcry. But why, I ask. I am not a suburbanite who never ventures south of 8 Mile Road. My wife and I are in the city all of the time. Our youngest son lives on the east side of Detroit near Kelly and 7 Mile. His house will never be featured in Better Homes and Gardens.
Anybody who claims that devastation is not part of the city’s landscape is myopic. Turn left or right off Woodward Avenue and go just a few blocks and the blight can be overwhelming. Anyone who has traveled Gratiot or Grand River; Trumbull or Temple knows they are not exactly TMZ bus routes where tourists are looking for celebrities.
We were at PJ’s Lager House on Michigan Avenue a month or so ago watching our son’s band play on a Sunday night. All of a sudden, people from inside the bar rushed out the door. They were toting towels and looks of real concern. A young man from Germany had been stabbed. Somebody had swiped his backpack. Welcome to America.
But, do you know what, it could happen in any city. There are garden spots in Chicago, Boston and New York and there are areas where you wouldn’t want to go at, say, 11:30 p.m. Or 11:30 a.m., for that matter.
Detroit has its problems. There is no argument there. Detroit has its potential. There is no argument there, either.
The folks from 60 Minutes did a segment on the largest city in America ever to declare bankruptcy. Was it OK’d by the folks from Pure Michigan? No, but was it a one-sided hatchet job? No again.
It was what it was. Just like Detroit is what it is.
Let’s just move on and help the city raise itself up.


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