A delightfully positive story about Detroit graced the pages of the New York Times the other day…
Maybe it’s that adage that nothing brings a community closer than having a common enemy. For the restaurateurs, the residents, the urban farmers and the community activists now working to reshape the city, the enemy is Detroit’s own reputation. They know they will succeed only if they are a part of a larger, collective success, one that makes downtown a thriving destinationagain, and so they’re working together to make it happen.
Which leads to another entrepreneurial advantage Detroit possesses: instantaneous and automatic publicity. “Open a business anywhere else, and no one will notice,” Charles said. “Open it in Detroit and everyone talks about it.”
Sure enough, people are now driving in regularly from affluent suburbs like Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe to try his smoked-salmon crêpes and ratatouille, a considerable achievement considering many suburbanites come downtown only for Tigers games or a night at the symphony. While I was there, the place was bustling with a diverse crowd that seemed more than satisfied.
The more stories like that, and the fewer about the old Detroit tradition of arson, the better. Detroit News veteran and lifetime Detroit resident Santiago Esparza has spent a whole lotta time this fall chronicling a new wave of arsons in the city.
You can do something about it. Sign up today as an Angels’ Night volunteer.
You can also find out more than ever about the election choices in the city of Detroit this fall. MiVote, the fantastic partnership between Detroit Public Television and U-M Dearborn, includes huge archives of interviews with City Council candidates and hour-long, probing conversations with Mayor Dave Bing and challenger Tom Barrow.