Thursday, May 3, 2012

Detroit 2012

I'm in Detroit for another conference. I think it's the fourth or fifth time I've been here just this spring. The last few times I was here I stayed right downtown and was able to walk to restaurants to eat in the even Ing and go for jogs along the riverbank and past the sports venues and old buildings. I love Detroit. There is a solid determination to the town, and lots of great people working hard to maintain the city in the face of tough times. I ran my first marathon here in Detroit and I found out about some of the great neighborhoods and hidden secrets of the city as well as the supportive folks. But it's hard to be here in Detroit sometimes, especially after having just been in Mumbai. There is a striking contrast between the two cities. Mumbai teems with life - traffic and noise and people everywhere. Detroit seems empty by comparison. I took several jogs through Detroit at five in the evening and found that I often did not even have to wait for the light to change to cross the street: there was no traffic coming !

Both Detroit and Mumbai have empty shells of buildings - but in Mumbai they are shells of buildings being constructed, while in Detroit they are shells of building not longer used.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_zqFoq3qej2c/S2stpbkcnvI/AAAAAAABPas/SOGrUbr4TiI/s1600/Fisher+Body3.jpg
Click here for more: Demise of Detroit:

The biggest difference is maybe in the open lots. In Detroit most are just empty spaces covered with weeds and litter. In Mumbai they are locations where squatters move in and create their homes. I love Detroit. It is one of my favorite cities, and I see hope. With the good folks working hard to bring their city back, I trust it will reemerge as a vibrant place. But now, it's just a little hard to be here. I think I will love Mumbai too. And I'm sure there will be times when it will be hard to be there too. We'll see.

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