I had my first opportunity to make a trip to the much-maligned Motor City
this week. At least the first one that involved something other than walking from Gate A4 to Gate A71. How I ended up there and what I did during my 21 hours in Detroit
is a whole nother unbelievable blog post in and of itself, and the reason I haven’t spoken to you all in a while, but today I will stick to my commentary. And what I discovered after spending a day seeing more of Det-wah than I had ever planned is this: while certainly not an aesthetic beauty of a town, Detroit is actually a lot less disgusting than Miami.
Now I have heard Miami referred to by many who have actually seen the city as “Detroit With A Beach.” But I think that is being a little harsh on Detroit. Because Detroit, they got nothing on us when it comes to nasty. Thanks to the fact that my host had a sense of direction about on par with a Vietnam POW who had been in solitary for 2 years, I ended up spending most of my downtime in the city driving through areas I probably shouldn’t have been driving through. And while they did feature all the Detroit staples of abandoned warehouses, tenements and run-down old houses, it was downright welcoming compared to some areas of Dade County. Including the area I call home. Sure, only an idiot would have visited these sections of town in a car with anything other than iron-clad locks, but at least there were no stray chickens walking down the street.
There were scary looking liquor stores, but not nearly as uninviting as the one’s I frequent after 2. There were slums, but they looked more like areas that were once nice and went to crap, rather that areas that had always been crap and just started to smell worse. Their river didn’t smell like old sewage, their bus driver’s spoke English and their downtown featured actual nightlife. Other than a strip of clubs for people who just find 5 AM closings to be a bit too early. They had not one but two downtown stadiums and two downtown arenas, both with bars to go to within walking distance. And they had public transportation that people actually used. So, while I would still rather live just about anywhere other than Detroit, their seedy underbelly pales in comparison to ours.
The thing about Miami is that we have a pretty picture to show the tourists and the media. When the world comes here for the Super Bowl, we can put them up in south Beach and on Biscayne Bay and make them think this is a bustling, cultural place. But take out the tourist centers and what do you have? Slums and suburban sprawl. And the Grove. But because we can show the Travel channel a good time when they come here, no one makes jokes about second prize being TWO weeks in Miami. Yes, Detroit, I’m sorry to say it but when it comes to nastiness, Miami has you beat. We just have a LOT better weather.
So the next time you’re thinking of horrible, disgusting places you would never want to live, stop being cliché and ripping on Motown. Think of Miami. While they may Have Devil’s Night and perpetual rioting, what we lack in mass destruction we more than make up for in perpetual rot. I’m starting here and now a campaign to make Miami America’s new most disgusting place to live. Hopefully it’ll catch on before we’re all under water.
Labels: Detroit, Miami, Slums