Late last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy. I reacted to it elsewhere, and wanted to share the brief bit of writing here:
Let me tell you something true. I didn't know Detroit
when I moved here. I was curious. I loved Michigan. I knew Boston
wasn't my home. I have learned so much and loved so hard here. Detroit
is where stories happen. Real ones, not sheen. I have written my brains
out in the six years I've lived here. Very often about Detroit, this
provoking and inspiring city. But not always. Detroit is making a
storyteller of me. And now that Detroit city is at its most vulnerable
-- just wrenching with complexity and pain -- it has something else to
teach me. You might know that over the past year or so, I've been
thinking and writing a lot about vulnerability and shame. It's my
growing edge. My struggle. What Detroit teaches me is that even when
your most challenging, hurtful, awkward, and unseemly self is seen...
you are loved.
I needed that too, Detroit.
Now, off to put my fun essay on Krazy Kat on hold, to go write about this mad city.
As well: my quick turnaround piece on the news for Pacific Standard magazine: "The 4 Things You Need to Know About Detroit's Bankruptcy."
This seems, also, a moment to revive a few other pieces, offered to the great collective act of Detroit storytelling:
Even banks were walking away from homes: At the Columbia Journalism Review, we broke down The Detroit News' great investigation on the ciy's property debacle.
What can urban planning do -- or not do -- in Detroit? Writing in Next City earlier this month, a long look into on-the-ground visioning. (Excerpts here and here.) I also took a grassroots vantage on the same purposeful work.
In Architect Magazine, this fall, another longread on the urgency and messiness of "mapping Motown."
In Grantland, Ty Cobb as a way of seeing Detroit.
"Welcome to Your New Government: Can Non-Profits Run Cities?" In Next City, or, if you prefer, in Salon.
Labor Day in Detroit, starring President Obama.
"Detroit's Least Bad Option." In The New Republic, reflecting on the tricky ground of emergency management arriving in the big city.
"Detropia's Hymn to Ambivalence." Talking cinema and cities in Next City.