Detroit’s comeback?

| Friday links


Hello friends, can you believe how this week just flew by?  I hope you have a great weekend ahead of you!

For this Friday’s roundup of interesting links, I thought I’d focus on the city of Detroit.  Detroit is frequently in the news and unfortunately, its often bad news.  It is mind-boggling to think that it was once one of the richest (if not the richest) city in America.  From its glory days in the 20s to today’s crime-ridden, bankrupt city, the million dollar question of the day is whether it is possible for Detroit to become a healthy and thriving city once more.

It is a daunting task but there are encouraging signs, if we look closely.

The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) is the crown jewel in the city’s artistic and cultural life.  I have to admit that I was skeptical but one visit was enough to convince me otherwise. It truly has a rich and varied collection and one to be proud of.  When Detroit filed for bankruptcy, one of the city’s assets that was cited as a possible source of revenue is the art collection of the DIA.  Fortunately, GM, Ford and Chrysler otherwise known as the big Three have pledged to help save the city.  Three cheers, I’d say! Here is the news.

One group has come up with their own  innovative take on the writer in residence program. Toby Barlow  and his group set up Write a House with a goal of renovating vacant homes around Detroit and giving these homes to writers.  By restoring homes in different neighborhoods, they hope to build and foster a thriving artistic and literary community.  So far, there have been applicants from  South America, Europe and India in addition to writers from other states.  Accepted writers must agree to live in the house for 2 years, pay modest fees for insurance and taxes and more importantly participate in Write a House’s literary activities. And write of course. At the end of the two year period, the writer gets the house for life.  Isn’t this just a wonderful idea? For more details on the program as well as how to donate to the program, read all about it in their website.

Another group that has decided to make downtown Detroit their headquarters is Shinola.  Shinola is proud to say that they are reviving an American tradition of quality manufacturing in a city they believe in.  They have a thriving line of hand made watches, built right in the heart of downtown Detroit and they custom make a line of beautiful bikes.  And that’s just for starters. I had the pleasure of seeing them work up close (more on that in a separate post later!) and its impressive to see.  For lovers of quality handcrafted goods, this is as handmade as it gets.  Learn all about Shinola here.

Detroit wasn’t always just burned out abandoned houses. Once upon a time there was no shortage of lovely mansions. To catch a glimpse of its rich past, check out the Fisher Mansion which is currently for sale at a cool price of 1.5 Million.

So is Detroit ready for its comeback?


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