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WSJ: No Train for the Motor City

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DETROIT—After kicking the tires on a shiny new train system, the Motor City has decided to take the cheaper bus instead. This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation and Mayor Dave Bing suddenly abandoned a roughly $600 million plan to build a light-rail line along a key corridor that supporters had insisted would attract new residents and jump-start economic growth. Instead, they proposed a less-expensive plan for a network of express buses to deliver workers from the city to the job-rich suburbs. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204844504577100660265044228.html

The Economist: The Parable of Detroit

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IT IS hardly news that the city of Detroit has been in long-term decline, a victim of everything from the problems of the "big three" carmakers to family breakdown, crime and middle-class flight, both black and white. But the scale of the recent collapse has caught even hardened Detroiters by surprise. When the results from the most recent decennial census appeared earlier this year, they showed that in the decade from 2000 to 2010 Detroit lost an astonishing 25% of its population, a demographic catastrophe (New Orleans apart) without parallel in the developed world. .... Yet despite all the gloom, there is a bit of a sense that things might just be starting to turn, and the reason is simple: Detroit is now incredibly cheap. And that has drawn some admittedly rather pioneering types back into town. http://www.economist.com/node/21533407?frsc=dg|a

It's so cold in the D.

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It's so cold in the D.

Bill Laimbeer : Ndamukong Suh :: Bad Boy : BAD BOY

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DETROIT -- Somewhere on an interstate between Florida and Michigan, one of the biggest, baddest athletes in Detroit history flipped on his radio Sunday for the Lions game. And Bill Laimbeer smiled. There is this brute of a man playing on the defensive line for Detroit now, and in some ways, he reminds Laimbeer of himself. They say that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh plays dirty; Laimbeer says he plays hard. They fine Suh and tell him he needs to stop being so reckless; Laimbeer, the antagonistic heart and soul of the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" championship teams from two decades ago, says the enterprising young lad is simply doing his part to shape the culture of Detroit Lions football. "Not everybody can be the pretty boys," Laimbeer said. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/page/hotread-NdamukongSuh/detroit-lions-ndamukong-suh-become-face-franchise-wants-more

NYT: The Young and Entrepreneurial Move to Downtown Detroit, Pushing Its Economic Recovery

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Recent census figures show that Detroit’s overall population shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years. But another figure tells a different and more intriguing story: During the same time period, downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35, nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities. These days the word "movement" is often heard to describe the influx of socially aware hipsters and artists now roaming the streets of Detroit. Not unlike Berlin, which was revitalized in the 1990s by young artists migrating there for the cheap studio space, Detroit may have this new generation of what city leaders are calling "creatives" to thank if it comes through its transition from a one-industry. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/03/fashion/the-young-and-entrepreneurial-move-to-downtown-detroit-pushing-its-economic-recovery.html?ref=fashion&pagewanted=all

NYT: 36 Hours in Detroit

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DESPITE recent news stories of a population exodus from Detroit, there are many reasons to make a pilgrimage to this struggling city right now — and not just because Eminem’s slick Super Bowl commercial showcased the inner strength of the Motor City. No video can portray the passion one finds on the streets of Detroit these days, where everyone from the doorman to the D.J. will tell you they believe in this city’s future. While certain areas are indeed eerily empty, other neighborhoods — including midtown, downtown and Corktown — are bustling with new businesses that range from creperies and barbecue joints catering to the young artists and entrepreneurs migrating to Motown, to a just-opened hostel that invites tourists to explore Detroit with the aid of local volunteer guides. In the historic Brush Park district, architecture buffs will find some lovely refurbished houses, and along Woodward Avenue, restored film palaces are a wonderful reminder that this city’s storied past includes not just automobiles, but also the entertainment industry. No urban enthusiast will want to miss the recovery that Detroit is now attempting.
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