I work in southwest Detroit now. My supervisor took me on a tour of southwest Detroit today. We drove around for an hour.
The neighborhoods have mature trees and houses that sit close to one another. Some houses are burnt to the ground. Some are fine. There is a large island of industrial landscape and it looks like some cynical writer’s depiction of the future. There are terrible pot holes with stories behind them. There are miles of railroad. There’s a historical Fort that should be a tourist attraction. There’s a river with half-sunken boats, and houses near the bank. There are stable neighborhoods where the residents have lived there for over 50 years. There’s a huge empty train station that you can see from many angles in the city. The more it crumbles the more beautiful it gets. There’s a newly-built bridge and market with new concrete and new design and no people. There are tires everywhere. There’s a foundation where a Propane truck careened off a ramp, exploded, and burned down a house. There’s a field where a baseball stadium was. There are birds and vines and weeds overgrowing and bricks falling down. There is life and death in a natural ratio; there is no discrete line where built meets nature. There are stories and history on every block. This is the most fascinating and beautiful place I have seen.