Thursday, March 15, 2007

Detroit With A Beach? What a Compliment!

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.

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At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Miami is its elected officials. They are unqualified to run a large city. We have no sidewalks, poor lighting, terrible mass transit, illegal immigrants run rampant, the police force does not enforce the traffic laws and corruption is worse here than in South America. It is time to vote them out of office and back to their third world countries. Vote and think American!

At 11:15 PM, Anonymous dreaming said...

i think you may have something there. actually if you look a little too closely even at south beach, especially in daylight, it looks squalid. the rest of miami? oh its right down there with the worst. even northern nj is nicer.

At 8:16 AM, Blogger Blind Mind said...

Let's not get carried away, Miami aint all that bad. Plus, Miami is still a very young city. It is slowly trying to push out the crap that infests its existence. I agree with the Anon above though. The government here consists of Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dumb, and Tweedle-Dope. Ive never seen so much incompetence allowed in a 5th grade classroom, much less a local government. We have horrible transportation issues but rather than come up with a plan and act upon it, they decide that we need to spend $550Million on a performing arts center in the middle of the shithole we call downtown. Im sure all the ritzy folks leaving the arts center love to shop downtown... $3 suitcase anyone? Cuban pastry?

At 10:56 AM, Blogger The Diva Tee's Thoughts said...

I actually hate Detroit. I found it dirty and depressing. Oh well.. I have heard nothing but good things about Miami though. lol

At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

I love the part of Downtown Miami where all the bums line the street looking like coked out, well I guess I already mentioned they were homeless. Downtown Miami is a hole. Brickel aint bad but it is just across the river and from a distance, looks like it is part of it. I hear you though, no retail, no entertainment downtown. Great weather though, well in the fall winter and spring.

Oh, love the Det-wah reference. I don't know if I follow this motor city > Miami part. I'm not going to pay to find out either. I guess though it is spread out though and from what I've seen, it seems like it was nice then got bad. One thing Miami doesn't have going for it is location. Warm climate and salt water reek havoc on homes and structures.

At 1:39 AM, Anonymous that guy said...

There's entertainment downtown. Last time I checked, seven nightclubs (three decent ones actually) are in operation at the moment.

Downside is, that's only on weekends and special events.

The forthcoming battle is when the atrocities, err the condos fill up and people bitch about the noise, stifling the development of the entertainment district.

Who the hell OKd placing the condos there anyway?

At 10:50 PM, Anonymous White Dade said...

Anon - Correction: They are unqualified to run a large AMERICAN city. In Honduras, they'd be just fine.

Dreaming - Yeah. It;s nasty. Of course, I like nasty.

BM - Actually, it would be Tweedle Diaz, Tweedle Sanchez and Tweedle Gonzales. Which I think may be worse.

Dive Tee - Oh, Detroit is Nasty. But what you've heard about Miami I doubt is from people who've REALLY lived here.

Joe - There are scenes in 'Blakc Hawk Down" I swear they filmed downtown.

That Guy - Strategic planning, anyone?


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