On Friday my lovely Mitten-native wife brought home a black and white copy of an article out of a recent issue of Sports Illustrated. It’s worth noting that we are probably one of the least sporty-inclined couples you will ever meet, so this is no small feat.
In the frosty winter of 2001 I made my first of what’s become a yearly trek to Detroit. I actually don’t actually remember if it was cold that season or not, but when you’re going to Michigan in December, it’s a pretty safe bet.
It was quite a Christmas; I met my future extended in-laws for the first time, got my first taste of exquisite Olga’s snackers, and received a terrificly trashy romance novel called Forbidden Fruit from Allison’s grandma as a present (seriously… it was awesome). Over the last eight years, a little ranch house in a small suburb outside of Motor City has become one of the most consistent addresses I’ve been attached to.
The recent hardships of Motown have been pretty well-documented. From the failings of the mayor to the blunders of Big 3 executives to the historic, nearly inconceivable, 0-16 record of the Lions… Detroit has slowly sunk into its status of America’s favorite bastard-child city, the metropolis we love to mock and try to forget.
But I am wondering… why are we so eager to bash one of our own? How much of our rich American heritage was born in Detroit? Let’s just take music and cars — without this singular city, cars would not exist and music would be missing a large chunk of its soul. Concerning my current home: where would Los Angeles be without our beloved cars? I suppose you could say we like music here too, but we LOVE cars. Have you been on the 405 lately? We live in the damn things!
For whatever it’s worth, I think its time we remember a fellow American city that’s fell upon some pretty hard times.
The SI article I mentioned at the beginning was written by Mitch Albom, a native Detroiter and a fantastic writer. It’s a few pages long but well worth your time. Check it out here: