Thursday, April 14, 2005

A walk in the city

At lunch today, I left the conference and went for a walk around downtown. First to the Renaissance Center - GM world headquarters. The most modern, hugest, most recognisable building in the city. There must be tens of thousands of people working there, along with foodcourts and shopping centres and a hotel.

Then into the heart of downtown. Probably about 30% of the buildings are empty - some have been carefully boarded up, as if they're awaiting better days. Others have just been left and there are broken windows etc.

there's a lot of construction going on everywhere around the city - Detroit has the Superbowl in January so they're attempting to clean up the city's image a bit. I was talknig to a guy about it and asked if the downtown 'renewal' will continue after the Superbowl. He doesn't think it will...

The photos I've posted are in the nice downton areas. I haven't been to any of the inner city suburbs around the city. Frankly, I'm not sure I want to go walking around those suburbs! the Lonely Planet recommends that travellers do NOT go near 12th street, where the 1967 riots occurred, where 43 people died and several blocks burnt to the ground...

I might drive down 8 Mile Rd on Friday - see if I can spot any of Eminem's posse!

As sad as this city is - it IS fascinating! Home of the Motown sound (Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Diana ross...), lots of African American culture and an amazing history of boom then bust...

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