Now, true to its past, Detroit is not just fading away gracefully, but noisily sick and dying, expiring as spectacularly as it once lived. Fifty years ago it was the fifth-largest city in the United States, with 1.85 million people. Now it is eleventh, with just over 700,000 people. It is likely to fall further behind as it shrinks, and as more Americans head for the Sun Belt and the flourishing South West, away from this blighted, dingy Rust Belt.
Each year at Halloween more of it is burned down in a mixture of wild destruction and insurance fraud. You can walk right through its majestic downtown in the middle of the morning and meet nobody at all. There is no danger of being mugged, as a mugger in this part of town might have to wait hours for a client.
Most of the great buildings are ghosts: hotels that haven’t seen a guest in years, department stores where the last customer left decades ago, abandoned dentists’ surgeries where the elaborate Forties chairs moulder in echoing solitude. Where there was optimism, there is now nothing but melancholy.
Sometimes the majestic hulks are brought down in giant explosions.
Property crime is double the American average, violent crime triple. The isolated, peeling homes, the flooded roads, the clunky, rusted old cars and the neglected front yards amid trees and groin-high grassland make you think you are in rural Alabama, not in one of the greatest industrial cities that ever existed.-From Motown to Ghost town: How the once mighty Detroit is heading down a long, slow road to ruin
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Posted by Nick
US car manufacturers received bailout money and are now reporting profits, but the financial recovery of America's car makers is not filtering down to the streets of the country's once-booming automotive capital. Detroit increasingly looks like a ghost town with its residents literally surviving on scraps, while once it was a city that symbolized America's innovation and manufacturing might.
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