Time magazine makes Detroit case study for urban disaster

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Time magazine has decided to buy a house in Detroit, where its reporters will live as they commit the next year to cranking out the definitive series of stories on Detroit. The series, which has already begun (you can see several of the stories on their website) is called Assignment Detroit.

You heard what I said, right? Time didn’t just send a group of crack reporters out here to sniff out the big scoop on what is now America’s most well-publicized urban disaster area, these folks went and bought themselves an entire damned house to live in. I mean, they didn’t even rent a house, man. They bought a house. Granted, they say the plan is to sell the house to charity once the project is done and they’re outta here, but still. First of all, if that doesn’t tell you how dirt-cheap property is in Detroit then I don’t know what will. Because please believe me when I say that if Time had decided to do the definitive piece on New York  they would NOT have gotten the green light to purchase a Harlem Brownstone or a Manhattan townhouse for their base of operations.

No.

But in Detroit you can just about buy a mansion for the cost of a full tank of gas and still get change back. Which, to be honest, is practically what they did. One of the stories even admits that the house they got would have sold for at least half a million in a number of other more economically normal cities. They paid not much more than one-tenth of that.

So I suppose the point here is this: we Detroiters must be wading through much, much deeper shit than we thought. Because from what I’m hearing, Time isn’t the only big-time publication turning it’s spotlight on our misery in search of a tragic (hopefully award-winning) cover story. There are even reporters tromping around over here from overseas, apparently fascinated by the potent smells of our rotting carcass.

We’re no longer the Motor City in the eyes of Big Media. We are now America’s most beautiful disaster. We are Icarus after the landing.

But who do we say we are?

To the media, Detroit is Icarus after the fall

To the media, Detroit is Icarus after the fall

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux

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~ by Keith A. Owens on September 22, 2009.

6 Responses to “Time magazine makes Detroit case study for urban disaster”

  1. I think we say we’re a blank canvas for reinvention.

  2. I am a lifelong Detroiter, stillam living in an area which we affectionately call the East Village, sort of the ghetto section of Detroit. It’s not over yet! While much of the important history is gone regretfully, thankfully much remains. Come and check out my house for a perfect example of a neo classical colonial built in 1915. Built by an Englishman to replicate a house he saw in Provincetown. Also check out the Catholic churches.
    St. Bonventure, and the adjacent momastery, St. joseph, Sweetest Heart of Mary, St. Johosaphat. These churches rival any in Europe, all vintage late 1800’s and still up and running.

  3. The first article was a rehash of other journalist attempt to cover the D ,they should have contacted the D-spot and gave the house to charity

  4. Great Blog!……There’s always something here to make me laugh…Keep doing what ya do 🙂

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