You hear a lot of generalizations about the Motor City: Detroit is dead. Detroit is saved. Detroit is the new Brooklyn. Detroit is an urban wasteland. Sure, Detroiters are used to hearing these things, but that doesn’t mean they’re not sick of it.
Some residents discussed those misconceptions and other topics Tuesday in a Twitter conversation about their city. The chat was organized by local news site Model D, youth-focused nonprofit the Skillman Foundation, and moderators Aaron Foley and Lauren Hood.
Using the hashtag #YourDetroit, the conversation touched on topics that go deeper than 140 characters allow.
“There’s a lot that gets trotted out in the media, whether it’s local or national, about what any one part of Detroit is,” Skillman Senior Communications Officer Krista Jahnke told The Huffington Post. “It’s starting to just feel like some of the nuance, and some of the great differences that there are, in all the parts of Detroit, keep getting lost.”
But the misconceptions don’t just come from media and outsiders, said Foley, who is currently writing a book titled How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass.
“Some of the newer residents, black, white, whoever, are so insulated in their own circles and bubbles that they have preconceived ideas of what they think Detroit is,” Foley said. “The only thing I'd add [to the chat] is that it could've been maybe 50 percent more honest.”
Below see 11 Motor City misconceptions mentioned in the #YourDetroit chat.
1. Detroit is an abandoned city of ruins, “like an American Pompeii.”
Detroiters know more than anyone how many blighted and vacant buildings exist, from the dramatically massive train station to the houses on their blocks they’ve spent weekends boarding up and worrying about. But it often seems that outsiders who talk about abandonment forget that people live next to these structures, and the empty buildings matter because they affect those residents.
It's also worth noting that Detroit has its share of famous architecture, new buildings and well-maintained homes.
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