Originally Posted by johnny_flapjack
Because it's got a fucking soul, and I'm not talking about the music. There's cool shit here if you can get past the 'journalist just flew into town for two days to do a story on the decay of Detroit' angle on the place. Yes, there are many large shitty parts, but there is some really cool stuff. A person just needs to be interested enough to find it. I'm constantly shocked by how many people I've met who grew up in the metro area and have never set foot on Belle Isle.
You may note that I listed my city of choice to be Cleveland. I also grew up around Newark, NJ, which at the time was hardly a shining beacon. But never in my life have I been as uncomfortable as I have been in Detroit proper. I've been there several times on business, and the first time when a colleauge of mine drove to Grosse Point and then south through the City was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was mid-August and warm, but virtually no one was on the street. We saw no real restaurants to speak of -- we toured Belle Isle, which was cool, so cool that I returned to shoot the city skyline (a habit of mine) from there late that night (it wound up being around 2am). Now that was spooky -- the people I told the tale to seemed very surprised I left in one piece with my gear.
Originally Posted by Biggskip
Glad to hear that we have such an ardent fan. You really have hit many of the best spots our fair city has to offer. I would agree with you that in many ways the Cleveland area is really overlooked and has a lot to offer. Outside of a few neighborhoods (Downtown, Ohio City, Tremont, most of the area within Cleveland city limits is pretty sketchy. Once in you include some of the surrounding areas (Coventry, Lakewood, etc.), however, it's a very nice place to be. Traffic is non-existent. Housing is remarkably affordable. World class arts. World class health care. Up and coming food scene. Three major sports team (granted none of them are very good at the moment). I do wish the shopping was a little bit better here. Also, the Souper Market
Actually, I've never found Cleveland to be too sketchy for my comfort level -- once spent a week there for business; I stayed in Ohio City, but commuted to Beachwood every morning, going out Kinsmen (Kingsmen? I don't quite recall) all the way, which is pretty poor. Stopped a few times to do some photography, once in a remarkable cemetary in a particular impoverished area, and though I kept my situational awareness up, I didn't feel concerned at all. And yes, the traffic is great (mainly since they finished Euclid!!), and Cleveland (and OH generally) has some great interior spaces -- I wish they'd do something with the Arcade, which would also help out the shopping issue (which doesn't bother me at all, I find the shopping fine). They have the first Penzey's I'd ever been in (and a beautiful new one in the old bank on W. 25th!), and some of the suburbs are amazing -- Chagrin Falls has the most remarkable Men's store I've ever seen, Cuffs -- Kiton next to Petrus, d'Yquem, and Hermes. I'd love to move to Ohio City, which basically has everything I need to survive, all in one place, and is the closest I can get to having what I want in harmony with my general philosophy than anywhere I've ever been. I just wish it snowed a little less, and that I felt the freedom to move there. ~ H