Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The City People Never See....

For some reason, I'm thinking tonight about Detroit -- the misconceptions beyond its borders, the physical disarray and collapse within its borders, the perpetual optimism and courage of its citizens, the gallantry of Mayor Dave Bing, the city's cultural tapestry (Albania!  Africa!  China!  Korea!  Lebanon!  Syria!  Iran!  All of Europe!  India!  Lithuania!  on and on, and with restaurants for each and every one).  I do wish the NY Times, which seems to revel in trashing the city, could see what we see when we look a little closer.

To be sure, driving through the city engenders enormous sadness.  But what resilience!  The new Chrysler ads are real jewels for exactly that reason:  IN YOUR FACE, everyone -- here's a city that can find beauty and possibilities in the face of grinding poverty and rank injustice.  There are FARMS springing up along Jefferson Avenue, for heaven's sake!!  Here are some of Larry's photographs, now a bit old.  I love the fractured flag, which flies in spite of it all; the arch on Hart Plaza, just enough of it to catch the light; the rugged stone face (also from Hart Plaza); and a mysterious woman in a gray trenchcoat -- can you find her? who is she? -- pretending to be part of the Underground Railroad crowd in the River Walk memorial statute.    svb

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