I met with some of the movers and shakers who are all teaming up to make Detroit a better place. They were from Quicken Loans, Ilitch Holdings, D Hive, Penske, the city of Detroit and some of the leading banks around town.
There is a vibe in Detroit and they wanted to show it off. I have seen most of it but it is good to be reminded of what is happening downtown. The M-1 rail system is under construction and a number of old buildings that were abandoned for years have new tenants.
I want to help them out in any way I can. Detroit is always home even when you don’t live there.
It is a place that has given me much joy and pain. My father and great grand father were shot and killed in Detroit. A great uncle was also shot and left for dead. He survived somehow but had great pain for the rest of his life.
My old family home was ripped up to pave the way for I-75. That is why I grew up on the west side where the 1967 riots strolled through my front yard.
The joy came with trips downtown with my grandmother and watching business people and shoppers walking past at a brisk pace. It was getting a Boston Cooler at the old Vernors bottling plant or great picnics at Belle Isle.
The bottom line is I want to see Detroit return to its past glory and you can see the seeds of progress growing. There is a housing shortage, new restaurants and more foot traffic although you want to see more of it.
And this might seem like a small matter but you actually see people walking their dogs down Woodward, something you never saw.
The interesting thing is there are people who are so removed from the city that they do not believe it when you say people are moving here from around the country or that foot traffic is beginning to pick up. But it is happening and it is exciting to see.
I even enjoyed some of it Sunday night with Cuban food by an old library I used to go to.