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Urban Blight

The Heart of My Grandfather

Detroit, where I was born, formed, and raised, straddles a bittersweet line between two worlds.  It is a place where the American Dream has already died four or five different times.  It is a spent shell from its days as the “arsenal of democracy.”  As I visited my family during a recent holiday trip, the starkness of this reality took on a deeper clarity.  Walking and driving through the city, I came upon the supremely haunting vision of the burnt-out yet still elegant remains of the old Michigan Central Station.  Pete and Frank’s, a grocery store my mom and her mom had scoured for bargains for nearly 50 years, is now empty and on the auction block.