** Hasn’t Detroit suffered enough? Without being included in Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood? To that, we provide the simple answer that the purpose of the new Detroit-themed section of the website is not to draw attention to the ways in which the city has suffered in recent decades, which are well known. Anyone who has seen such films as Paul Verhoeven’s "RoboCop knows that Detroit has become a metaphor for the pulverizing explosion of crime, blight, and racial division onto the urban scene in America.
What a lot of people don’t know, though, is that "RoboCop" wasn’t shot in Detroit. Like President Kennedy, "RoboCop" was shot in Dallas. And accordingly, there is much more to the city than the industrial heyday of its vast abandoned factory complexes, in all of their forlorn glory, are a daily reminder. While the factories may indeed have made Detroit the Capital of the 20th Century, for some time new efforts have been underway to unburden Detroit of the 20th Century and establish a new life in the 21st. And if the enthusiastic response of Detroit-area writers is any indication, then readers will have a chance to read along with Detroit while that new life begins and takes shapes.
Everyone knows that New York has firmly established a 21st Century role, but only at the costs of skyrocketing rents, a dramatic police presence, and the substitution, in many neighborhoods, or corporate brandnames for local businesses. The jury is still out on 21st Century Detroit, but we wish it the best of luck. Why There Is Rust
by Stan Friedman
Going to Washington D.C.
by Said Sayrafiezadeh