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Detroit, Detroit, Where Did Our Love Go?

by 06/08/2006
Neighborhood: All Over

When I was seven years old my mother, ignoring my protests, packed me into the station wagon and drove downtown to the Detroit Institute of Art where I proceeded to vomit on the marble floor. I blamed my sick stomach on a sculpture, but it was more likely the stack of pancakes she fed me […]

I know it sounds kind of cliché…

by 03/16/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

So I fell in love with this girl named Kate. And all that remains is this sordid little correspondence that I have left from the beginning our affair. I wish it included all the walks we took on the snowy streets of Detroit or the hours we spent laying in bed daydreaming about tomorrow. But […]

The Midtown Report: Metrosexual Occupational Forces Have Taken Over Downtown

by 03/10/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

At the beginning of February, the city was overrun by rabid sports fans. I went downtown about 9 days before the big foosball game. Streets were barricaded and blocked off. Downtown Detroit had a different type of buzz. Metro Detroiters were excited because so many people would be in town. Here in the Midwest, we […]

Super Bowl XL & Chinese New Year: The Weekend in Review

by 02/09/2006
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

Super Bowl XL was just a few days ago, and Detroit and its suburbs did their best to present a great image. Visitors did not see our homeless, as they were tucked away in various city and suburban warming centers or temporary shelters . . . Manna House, South Oakland Shelter, Most Holy Trinity Church, […]

Gluttony is the Only Winner

by 02/09/2006
Neighborhood: Jamaica, Queens

Well, Super Bowl Sunday is done, or so they tell me. I was oblivious to the hype and I had no idea that Super Bowl Sunday had arrived until Saturday night, when someone asked me where I was going to watch Super Bowl XL. I thought “XL” meant “Extra Large,” a size that, over the […]

Mr. O’Brien’s Legacy

by 01/26/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

I learned a lot from my grandpa, John Francis O’Brien, a native of Cork city (Ireland) and an immigrant to America. He used to always say that he was closest to God when he was connected to nature. Grandpa was quite an unusual character in our working class neighborhood on Detroit’s West Side, just a […]

The Unsung Hero: A Ford Motor Company Story

by 01/26/2006
Neighborhood: Letter From Abroad

The headline on the Detroit Free Press was bold. But it was just another clever way of stating the obvious. Ford Motor Company was going to announce “The Way Forward,” actually a way to cut back. Ron Novack sat at his kitchen table and skimmed the story about the plant closures and layoffs that would […]

The Surprise Visit

by 01/05/2006
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

Where do I begin? On Christmas Eve 1999, I was doing the usual stuff… Following my family’s long tradition of going from one home to the next, delivering Christmas presents and cookies, eating and eating some more, singing carols, and sharing midnight mass together downtown. This year, my brother needed a ride back to his […]

The Midtown Report: The Life We Never Tell Our Families About

by 12/22/2005
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

This morning, before I was able to take my coat off, my #1 Work Wife, Brianna, confronted me about my conduct at an after-work affair, last Friday. She scolded me for leaving her sitting unattended and drink-less at the affair. One might ask: how does one find oneself in such a predicament? I’d have to […]

A Fun Place to Visit

by 12/01/2005
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

Born and raised on the eastside of Detroit in the 1960’s I had grown accustomed to shopping downtown, taking the boat to BobLo Island, the downtown ethnic festivals, the Detroit Art Institute…and the derision from people outside the city. OK, the riots and the murder rate did not help the image of the city. But […]

The Jewel in the Crown

by 11/16/2005
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

[The following was originally published in “Piece From Life’s Crazy Quilt,” a collection of personal essays about growing up in Detroit in the 1920’s, 30s, and 40s by Marvin V. Arnett. The collection first appeared in 2000, as part of the University of Nebraska Press’s “American Lives” series (Series Editor: Tobias Wolff), and the University […]

The Midtown Report: Waiting For Todd and Buffy

by 11/10/2005
Neighborhood: Uncategorized

I live and work in midtown Detroit in the area known as the “New Center.” This area is in the midst of a new housing boom. Lofts and condominiums are springing up as fast as the land can be acquired. The area is recapturing the grandeur of the 60’s and 70’s, when it was the […]