A peripheral vision
Re: “A case against sprawl” (Metro Times, Aug. 18), as a middle-class, white, middle-aged man living in Oakland County, I find it hard for anyone to fault the “build and abandon” pattern. I have three children (18 and twin 6-year-olds) that have attended Waterford Public Schools. I would like to ask parents of Detroit Public Schools students which school district they would like their kids to go to? Many, I believe, would pick Waterford over Detroit.
My parents grew up in Hamtramck. My grandparents and many older relatives still live there. What can I do as a suburbanite to help the older cities?
Detroit elected Coleman Young years ago, a man who publicly blamed a lot of Detroit’s problems on the suburbs when he and Billy Bonds often squared off. I never understood why. Detroiters elected Dennis Archer and things seemed to get better. After two terms, Detroit elects Mr. Kilpatrick and it seems to be back to the “old” way.
I applaud Ferndale and their upswing, but what can I do to help Detroit’s neighborhoods when the people in the Coleman A. Young building don’t? —Paul Reszczyk, Waterford
Driven to respond
Congratulations on your Outer Drive trek and two-part article (“Inside Outer,” Metro Times, Aug. 4, 11). I loved the feeling you expressed about the city:
But there is a bigger picture, one I’ve seen along every step of this journey — the picture of a city where kindness and hospitality flow like a vast undercurrent the outside world never gets to see.
Bro, you are right on the mark with that one. I’ve been treated very well by most of the city dwellers I’ve met. Not only does the outside world never get to see it, most of the people in the surrounding suburbs never see it as well. In a way, I don’t want them to, especially those that I like to call uptight, white suburbanites (of which, I guess, I might be one). I like the fact there are “jewels” in the city that 80 percent of the tri-county area will never know about. I kind of like having the Honey Bee Market, Rafal’s Spice Company and Jamaica Jamaica a little secret that I share with not that many other suburbanites.
If the city ever does become successful at luring people back to it — great. If not, our little secret will continue. —Dan Silva, Oak Park
The kindness of city folk
Thanks for the excellent story on your journey walking Outer Drive. I have to admit, when I first saw the headline for that story, I thought, “Is this guy a nut?” But after reading your story I was reminded of why I love Detroit so much: the people. Your encounters with so many people who were genuinely concerned about your well-being and interested in your story were exactly the type of experiences I’ve had in Detroit as well. I grew up in the city, loved to hang out downtown at all hours of the night when I was a teenager, and I never experienced anything negative, though many people who knew a 99-pound white girl was hanging downtown with her idiot 16-year-old friends would have thought otherwise. I experienced great kindness from fellow Detroiters and still do. —Amanda D. Wettergren, Hamtramck, email@example.com
Keep the faith
I am saddened and upset by the news of Jeremy Voas’ departure from Metro Times (“Canned Voas,” Metro Times, Aug. 11).
Alas, what shall readers do now if we want to read anything close to truth in a local newspaper? Whatever you do, Metro Times, please do not turn into another lapdog media outlet, please. It’s bad enough searching for real informational sources in the corporate-controlled news media of today without finding Metro Times suspect. I’ll keep reading so long as you continue something close to real reporting. My thanks and best wishes to Jeremy Voas. —Marlene Brownlee, Southfield
Erratum: In “Axing for more,” (Metro Times, Aug. 18) we incorrectly identified A.L.D.’s original lineup. The first incarnation of this band was: Danny Mason (vocals), Big Dog (guitar), Pat Shaw (bass) and Jeff Gordon (drums).Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org