The New York Times Rediscovers Detroit

Detroit is all in the news on account the announcement of Michigan’s Governor that he is proceeding with the appointment of a manager to take over the city and its finances which, as you know if you have been reading our posts on that subject, is rapidly reaching the end of the line and going down the tubes financially. The New York Times has jumped in into the fray today with no less than a front-page, above-the-fold story by Monica Davey, A Private Boom Amid Detroit ‘s Public Blight, N.Y. Times, March 5, 2013, at p. A1, about — are you ready? — a boom, yessiree, a boom — in Detroit. Click here. We don’t mean to be too harsh on Ms Davey because our understanding is that authors of newspaper articles do not write the headlines, so the authorship of some of the nonsense found in headlines is not necessarily reflected in the text of the articles. Or in reality.

Still, the Times article is a masterpiece of . . . er, we don’t know of what, but it has to be an achievement of some sort. See for yourself by checking out that article. For example, did you know that Ms. Rachel Lutz opened a clothing shop in Detroit, that is so popular that she has opened another. This makes the front page of the New York Times?

It’s only when you get to the end (after the jump, on p. A18) that you discover that things in Detroit are not only not booming but are more like a disaster, with insolvency right around the corner. Those optimistic moneyed types who are said to be moving into Detroit are largely vultures out to pick up some dirt-cheap real estate in the still-breathing parts of Detroit, for pennies on the dollar. The “misery . . . brought out newcomers: 0ut-of-town investors who learned of properties for sale at prices unimaginable in other cities, and young entrepreneurs, artists and musicians who said they valued Detroit, in part, for its grit and its seemingly wide open spaces, the very elements that had made some people flee.” To say nothing of dirt-cheap crash pads. Our advice to those folks is: be careful what you wish for, fellows — you may get it because (a) Detroiters are still continuing to flee the city, and (b) you need to reflect on why they have been fleeing for decades. Oh sure, some of these folks may make a buck there, but would you want to live there? Send your kids to school there?

Anyway, stay tuned — this is bound to be a spectacle.

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