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Published: December 30th 2009
Visiting Detroit was definitely not about culture or sightseeing. We came to spend Christmas time with our 91 year old aunt who resides here.
The GRAY: The “Motor City” is decaying. I read that “Detroit does waft a sort of bombed-out early East Berlin”. That’s true! The downtown area is particularly gray, full of empty lots and boarded-up buildings with trash swirling around them. At one time it was the pride of the US for its car-making savvy, with GM, Ford and Chrysler with headquarters here. But once the auto industry tanked, so did its economy and today this is a grim tourist destination, a city with off-the-chart homicide rates, drug problem and plummeting population.
Unemployment rates here in Michigan are 20%, double the nation’s average. The average price for homes has dropped from almost $100,000 to $15,000. I saw so many signs of business and homes for sale and I can only imagine how gray the holiday has been for so many with the current economy.
The GRAYER: Terror almost happened just a few hours before our plane landed at the airport in Detroit, had the bomb the terrorist ignited had worked. That would have changed the color
from gray to pure black for sure. Unbelievable that the US home security agency is still failing to detect terrorists like this one! A Brazilian friend was just telling me that her mom was very sad that the US embassy denied her a tourist visa. Also, a 5 year old who was going to be a flower girl at a wedding in NY also got her visa denied, although her parents were granted visas. And then we hear that the Nigerian terrorist, who was already on the FBI watch list, was actually granted a tourist visa!!!!! Does it make any sense????
If you like to celebrate drinking at a public place, Detroit is not your place. From December 23 at 9pm to the 25th, it sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited everywhere, even at the bars at the airport.
The WHITE: It was worth while having made the trip from 75 degree Florida to 23 degree Detroit to spend time with aunt Mil. It made her very happy spending time with us and the kids, chatting, eating, playing games, showing us off to her friends, … and eating some more.
More WHITE: How nice and bright it
was when it finally started to snow more intensely on the last night, and we woke up to a true white morning. Like Amanda says, it better be snowing if we are to endure 23oF degrees (about 8 below zero, I guess).
The COLORFUL: POLKA-DOTTED STREETS and HOUSES at the Heidelberg St Project. Tyree Guyton is an artist who decided to bring color and beauty to his run-down neighborhood in downtown Detroit. Not everyone sees the “art” and messages on the sculptures built from scraps which hang from the houses’ walls, roofs, trees, cars and fences. Well, I did and appreciated them. Any attempt to bring hope, alert, attention, smile and color to an otherwise gloomy surrounding should be admired. Check out the site www.heidelberg.org
Heading to the airport 4 hours before departure, due the heightened security alert, I feel sadness that terrorism and evil exist; I feel sadness as I think of the ugliness of the crisis the city and so many are enduring and the discrepancies seeing between Detroit and some of surrounding suburbs; and I reflect on the sadness of the reality of growing old, losing your health, memories and independence.
Then, I shake
the negativity and the shades of gray, and I shift my attention to the gorgeous sight of the ground covered in brilliant fresh white snow, the fluff snowflakes gently falling and the smile of joy on aunt Mil’s face as we spent time with her.
There is joy in my heart as I finish this entry WISHING YOU A HEALTHY, FULFILLING AND COLORFUL YEAR.
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