Move to Detroit
“I’m moving to Detroit.”
When I tell that to my friends from L.A., very rarely do I get an enthusiastic response. Generally people gasp and say “Detroit?!! What’s in Detroit??!” True. When you google Detroit, the first stuff that comes up, after the inevitable Wikipedia page, are a couple of rudimentary websites about “the fabulous ruins of Detroit.” Then, Tigers and Lions fill the list of results: there’s a zoo in Detroit, but here these animals stand for baseball and football teams; the next big thing you think of when talking of “the D.” Oh, and in “Searches related to Detroit” you’ll also find another nice keyword: “Detroit crime…” But there’s something else in Detroit. And it seems like I’m not the only one who thinks so. On July 1st, 2011, the New York Times published an article titled “Detroit Pushed Back With Young Muscles,” describing the young and entrepreneurial move to downtown Detroit, starting its economic recovery. A friend recently told me that the hip crowd of Brooklyn, always hungry for artsy fartsy adventures, is now debating between Detroit and Berlin for their trendy holiday destination. To look into the phenomenon I talked my best friend Helene into doing a doc about the city. We even got a grant from the French Film Institute (CNC) to develop our project: together we believe there’s some kind of utopia lying beneath the surface… Even though Detroit’s figures are pretty daunting: high level of segregation (about 85% of the population is black while the suburbs are predominantly white), illiteracy towers at 47%, the unemployment rate at 30% and you can’t even reliably count all the abandoned houses. We’re two French girls whom Americans like to compare to the quirky protagonist of Amelie. We’re not so cliché though. The proof? We moved to Detroit today. And through this blog, we’ll attempt to answer the question: “Detroit?!! What’s in Detroit??!” If you have some ideas, comment away! We’ll be posting once a week to update you on how good life is in the Motor City.