A day in Detroit - Dan Schaumann
With my final few days of freedom last week before beginning work in Toronto, I decided to book a trip to the US on the Greyhound. My ultimate destination was Chicago but I was also very curious to stop over in the city of Detroit, Michigan, for one night. With 2,137 cases of violent crime reported per 100,000 people in 2012, Detroit is famous for being the second most dangerous city in the States - second only to the city of Flint, merely 70 miles north-east. Not only that, but the city filed for bankruptcy earlier this year with around $18 billion dollars in debt, making it the largest Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing in United States history. With these two statistics in mind, I wished to experience its seemingly bleak atmosphere for myself. During the 20 hours I spent in town, I came to see first-hand how it maintained such a notorious reputation. Amongst the abandoned buildings, ramshackle neighbourhoods and suspicious-looking individuals I passed on the street, I couldn't begin to imagine how the recent economic woes have further affected a city that's already suffered so much hardship over the years. Yet despite its tribulations, I was surprised to witness many pockets of joy within its streets - from a beautiful community garden sponsored by the downtown Compuware headquarters, to an entire street in an eastern ghetto dedicated to community art and peace. In all my years of travels I've never felt more uncomfortable than walking through the suburban streets of Detroit - but that ambience of constantly being on edge is what I loved so much about my visit. Here are a handful of stories telling of the crazy characters I met and the beautiful places I saw during my day in Detroit.
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