This past summer, 2005, was my first full summer being
back here in Michigan after living out of state for the five years prior.
I was gone, I would usually spend my rare visits home with friends and family,
mostly just visiting at each other's houses. So I hadn't seen much of the city
until I moved back last year. As I settled into life and got this magazine together,
I began reacquainting myself with my home.
I think the thing
that shocked me the most was all the people jogging around downtown. Whenever
I was downtown in the afternoon, I'd be amazed to see tons of people jogging.
It blew my mind. A lot of streets-- Broadway, Gratiot, Washington--are nicely
paved now. But these people were even jogging on cracked, decrepit back street
sidewalks. These people are dedicated, I've never seen joggers leaping over potholes.
There are brand new condos and lofts, but the population of
the city is plummeting. That hasn't changed. And of course, the Cass Corridor
has been renamed the elegant-sounding Midtown. (Helps to sell all those condos
Yeah, it seems the primary feature of Detroit's
"comeback" is that it's contained to the downtown area, and has nothing
to do with any type of overall improvement in city living.
one thing that is impressive amid the tax payer funded stadiums is all the new
bars that have opened up downtown. And that's not just because I like the sauce.
It's because most of the bars that have opened have live music.
House, Northern Lights and 2500 Club to name a few. Even Honest John's now has
music on Sunday nights.
And something that will help to really
revitalize this city is small independent businesses. Especially little corner
Bars get people out of their houses and bring people
together. How many friendships have been forged over pints of beer? Zillions.
How many new people have you ever met in a Best Buy? Probably not many. And no
one's getting laid at Best Buy. You hand over your cash and you leave. Thank you,
But these are places that feature live music on
a regular basis. The more bars we have offering live music, the more our music
scene will thrive. And the best thing is that it's all different types. Different
bars are getting to be known as being a home to blues, or punk, or funk, etc..
The Hub's booking list includes jazz, rap, rock and DJs.
been told by people, mostly those who've moved away, that this area is a "cultural
wasteland." Well, music is our strong spot, and anything that showcases that,
in all it's forms and styles is helping to make things better.
condos are nice, but they won't do anything for the community.
Only five more months
until No Pants Day!