When you hear the word “Detroit”, what do you think?
Many people’s perception of this city involves danger, crime, hoodlums, poverty, graffiti, and litter. While this isn’t necessarily untrue, it isn’t necessarily true either! Any city in the US (and world for that matter) has all those characteristics, but somehow Detroit’s the one with the bad rep.
Something I heard once recently that will stick with me until the day I leave this world is this: “Be kind because everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” While this was said about interacting with people, I think it can apply to the city as well. The city of Detroit and the people within it have fought a battle others outside of it know nothing about. We’ve combated negativity, stereotypes, bad press, nay-sayers, corrupt politics, and bankruptcy. And just like any other city, we also fight against the poverty and crime.
I think this is why so many Southeastern Michiganders are “Detroit-Proud”. We are more than just an automotive city. There are thriving local businesses and artisans for cool shops and great food! We have loads of entertainment options regardless if you fancy sports, theater, or live music. We have Detroit brands still based here such as Carhartt, Atwater Brewery, Faygo Pop and many more! The city itself has such a rich history and there are many amazing museums dedicated to preserving and sharing it. We have farmer’s markets, flower markets, and Whole Foods Markets. We are even starting to attract retail shopping stores such as Moosejaw and Nike, which are located on Detroit’s main drag, Woodward Ave.
My husband and I lived, worked, and went to school in Detroit. We walked the streets during daytime and night time, saw shows, went to sporting events, participated in community services to beautify the city and surrounding communities. Despite moving 15 or so miles northeast of the city, we still do all those things. We are apart of it’s community and want to see it grow and thrive!
To help in doing so, I did a series of photographs exclusively on Instagram called #OdetoDetroit. I wanted to show the city…my home…through my eyes. My hope was that people would see its beauty, its life, and that it’s rebuilding. The streets are clean, the graffiti is an art form, and the people are truly amazing.
It’s going to take time for the city to truly rebuild, but it’s headed in such an awesome direction. So in the meantime, be kind. Be kind to the city and the people here. Please don’t jump to a conclusion just because it’s Detroit. Give it a chance! And who knows, you may find something you didn’t expect…something truly wonderful.