Oh, dog-gone it!
A July 10 New York Times article about the supposed trend of artists migrating from New York City for Detroit's cheaper rents sparked a lively discussion online. In a reply blog post, Lee DeVito cast doubt on the scope of the trend, citing the fact that several of the people mentioned in the article were from metro Detroit originally, and likened it to the oft-repeated and later refuted reports that Detroit has tens of thousands of stray dogs. Reader comments poured in:
Reader Frank Anthony Polito said:
My partner and I moved back to the Detroit area two years ago this month, after living in New York City for over 18 years. Both creative types (he's an actor, I'm a playwright and published author), we are happy to know that the arts are alive and well in the Motor City. What is NOT well — still — is the job market. To date I've applied for over 100 jobs, have only gotten a handful of interviews, and received one job offer at $10/hour — 18 cents more than I made here before I left. It seems that no one wants to give an award-winning published writer with an MFA the opportunity to make a living in the D while he continues to pursue his artistic endeavors. Yes, the housing is affordable. There is a lot more going on than there was in the 1990s. But if a guy can't pay his bills, how can he continue to stay in this town?
Reader Vince Carducci said:
Yes, one of the people interviewed in the NYT article is a College for Creative Studies grad. The only media story more tedious than Detroit being the new Brooklyn is Detroit as the new Berlin.
And reader Bradley Stabler said:
If we don't do something, we may soon have 50,000 stray artists roaming the streets. Can we require all transplanted NYCers to be spayed or neutered before arrival?
Who can save Detroit from "who can save Detroit?" articles?
The website Quartz also weighed in on the NYT story ("The Brooklynization of Detroit is going to be terrible for Detroiters"), and MT's Michael Jackman pointed people to the "mercifully brief" critique.
Reader "Eric" said:
This was probably the best article I've read yet on the subject, but I'm so tired of reading articles about how Detroit is going to be destroyed by gentrification. Yes, you're right, but what's the next step to correcting the city's trajectory? FUCK! I would love to see a trend of people writing about things that can actually help change Detroit for the better, instead of this and the "this person is going to save Detroit" narrative time and time again.
Let them eat Aramark
We got plenty of feedback for our July 8 cover story about what it's like to eat the food provided by Aramark, the company the Michigan Department of Corrections was contracting for food service for its inmates. Days after our story came out, the state officially ended its contract with the company. Reader J. Hall from Detroit had his own idea on how to get Gov. Rick Snyder to understand the problem.
I feel sorry for the prisoners in all of the states that Aramark has a contract with. When Snyder has a meeting or a party, Aramark should be the caterer. Then they can experience what the prisoners are eating.
A slice of Dan & Vi's
Back in April, Michael Jackman profiled Dan & Vi's, an eastside sub shop known for a unique pizza-shaped sandwich known as the "deli slice." Reader Bob Rose from Detroit left us a voicemail to let us know that WXYZ-Detroit featured the shop months after we did. He also had some choice words for MT's critics.
On Monday, July 6 at noontime I just turned on the TV and Channel 7 is going to do a Detroit 2020 tonight on good old Dan & Vi's on Chene Street. I guess they've been reading your paper, huh?
Oh, and those people, about a week ago they complained in the editorial column about what's wrong with the Metro Times and all this — those are the kind of people I'd like to shoot to the moon and let them descend in a slow orbit so they could burn up, you know? They get a free paper that has anything and everything in it. Like I tell everybody from out of town, "You wanna know what's going on? Here, have a Metro." And they want to complain about this, that, and the other thing. Well, guess what? If they didn't read your paper (which is free) and those ads they complain about (which pay for the free paper), they wouldn't have anything to complain about. Hmm, I wonder about that sometimes. Anyway, keep up the good work, and just wanted to let you know that. Hey, the only complaint I got, you put staples in this darn thing. Now I gotta take the staples out when I sort paper for Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society, but that's the only complaint and I can deal with that. OK, take care. Buh-bye.