Todd's Reviews > Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis

Detroit City Is the Place to Be by Mark Binelli
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Dec 19, 2012

really liked it
Read in December, 2012

I consider Detroit to be my home city though I have not even lived in Michigan for 20 years. When I go back, I like to go downtown but I go as an interloper. Here, Mr. Binelli lived in the city for a year, meeting residents, politicians, artists and gathered a story of where Detroit was, where it is, but not so much on where it is going (though understandable as there have been many false hopes created in the past 20 years as to the city's future).

Much of the book made me depressed. No one can agree on how to fix the problems. One person's solution another person views as a form of oppression. I wish there was a solution. Boston used to have very sketchy areas which are now some of the trendiest in the city. In fact, there is just about nowhere in the city proper that I would not walk at night (though someone did try to rob me once). They fixed it here, so why not Detroit? A key will be a diversification of the economy. Moving towards tech will help. Also, with the newly opened patent review office, maybe some IP firms will move in. Once that happens, money can then be spent on better schools and more public services. I hope to see a spiral but instead of the downward one that now exists where anyone who can afford to moves out of the city, thus lowering revenue, I see an upward spiral where once you get a strong footprint of businesses, the tax revenue can flow out.

One thing I was sad to see to was the revocation of the film tax incentives. What many in Michigan do not get is that there is a huge image problem with Detroit which bleeds over to the state as a whole. I had hoped that by making movies on location which can highlight the good, it may alter the perception of the city and cause people to consider it as a location for a new office, plant, or even HQ.

As was once said, "There ain't no party like a Detroit party 'cause a Detroit party don't stop!"
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04/07 marked as: read

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