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June 06, 2009



Excellent photos and comments, Dan. I didn't really know Detroit until I came to Ann Arbor for college in 1993. My initial excursion involved driving all over the city on a frigid January night trying to find St. Andrews for a Quicksand show. We would have loved to ask for directions, but there was nobody aside from a handful of bums huddled around burning trashcans. I expected things to be somewhat similar to Chicago. It was eye-opening.

Every time I came back, no matter the time of day, it was a damn ghost town. More sad than freaky, but freaky, too. Aside from a couple sublime musical moments in Hart Plaza (Stevie Wonder at Detroit's 300th birthday and the first DEMF) it's all just seemed like a slow decline into hopelessness. Like an alcoholic uncle who's drinking himself to death, and you can't do a damn thing about it.


Shit. Forgot to add...



Wow, this brought a tear to my eye. As someone who was born in Grand Rapids, has grandparents and cousins in Ann Arbor and Detroit, the pics bring nostalgia and sadness. Here's the thing, I have a friend who goes to a techo music fest there every year. He and his wife have decided that it's time to spearhead some sort of renaissance there and get people to pitch in. Is it possible? Maybe Obama could do something? Seriously Detroit is one of America's most important artistic/cultural centers. So much of our collective soul is derived from that place. Maybe it is a lost cause. I would hate to think of Detroit as a place that only exists in a history book.

freya carter

I should really think this through before jumping in but that just wouldn't be me would it. There is a sleeping feeling there. The windows are knocked out. You can see into the abandoned buildings and through them to the sky beyond. The pheasants run wild in the open fields that used to be homes. When I was in high school we'd walk down to the river and then back and into Wayne State U. never worrying about getting mugged. The people were so messed up we literally had to walk over them sometimes. Homeless people would wait for us to finish a soda to collect the 10c. Yet, I can't imagine a place more rich in culture, art and music to grow up. Tiger Stadium.. feels like another dream passing but the whole thing is really a nightmare because the cultural richness of the city is at stake. I hope that Detroiters don't give up. Thanks Dan

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Dan Epstein

  • About Me
    Dan Epstein is the author of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s and Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76, both published by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press. He writes about baseball, music and other cultural obsessions for a variety of outlets and publications. He lives in Greensboro, NC, and is available for speaking engagements.