Goodnight, Detroit

IP may have a bit more to share, but I will close out my contributions to the Detroit series with a look at some of the more “conventionally” pretty parts of the city. Though the gritty and the abandoned were our primary focus during our visit, there is more to the city than that. Not that Detroit’s reputation for blight is undeserved; entire swaths of the town have a post-apocalyptic look. But there are areas where, if you squint a bit, you can see the Motown of the 1950’s in all its glory. Those areas provide hope for the future: redevelopment and gentrification, though dirty words in some cities, may be the key to bringing the affluent back from the suburbs.   Lest this come off too much like a neat little bow with which to tie up a photo series, I’ll add that it’ll take a lot more than nostalgia and hipsters to bring back Detroit. There will certainly be painful fiscal decisions, the recent municipal bankruptcy being perhaps the first. It may never come back, or at least not as the industrial juggernaut of the last century. But I love gritty American cities which are so unlike cities elsewhere, with their steel, glass and brick downtowns on display like a peacock’s fan; the ten-lane highways which seem like canyons; the neighborhoods which become home to a new ethnicity each generation; and the now rusted and neglected industries which propelled this nation to superpower status almost a century ago. Unlike some cities which grew up later and became nothing more than faceless sprawl (hello, Phoenix), these older towns have a character you can feel just by driving their streets. And none of these are more American than Detroit.


Ambassador Bridge.




Belle Isle clock tower.




RenCen looms.




Skyline at dusk.


Goodnight, and good luck.

7 responses

  1. The last photo is fantastic:-)

    December 11, 2013 at 2:52 am

    • tabularasa88

      Thanks! I almost wish I had waited until later, when it would be darker still. But, I’m not unhappy with the results :)

      December 11, 2013 at 6:33 am

      • I agree, that last picture really knocked it out of the park! Great shot TR.

        December 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

  2. Great photos! I gotta get out to Detroit this summer.

    December 11, 2013 at 9:38 am

    • tabularasa88

      Thanks, Rob. If you’re into urbex, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

      December 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm

  3. The skyline at dusk- Gorgeous!

    December 22, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    • tabularasa88

      Thanks, Cynthia. I love skyline shots, but always feel a bit guilty about posting them: they seem too “viewer friendly,” I guess. This view was hard to pass up, though.

      December 22, 2013 at 9:46 pm

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