The last election night in Detroit.
It’s hard to believe that 2012’s presidential candidates are arguing about who has been more supportive of Detroit when a mere 4 years ago no-one seemed to care. No-one knew about demongos, or capital park, or riding bikes in the city, there was no supinos, whole foods, rosa parks transit terminal, no whydon’tweownthis, no Detroit Bus Co, no housing incentives, no kickstarter campaigns, no Detroit Creative Corridor, no major glossy articles about our culture, the only (national) news coming out of this place was bad news.. much like it had been for the past 50 years. To me, the candidates words are yet another testament to the extreme growth and attention that this city has garnered. It is moments like these that our stretch marks show… Now that political contestants are vying for our affections has Detroit made it? I think many will agree that this city will never reach a state of completion… especially when the threat of state take-over still looms above our heads. Nevertheless, I would like to stay out of the political ring but I would like to remind you Detroit, how you felt on the last election eve. Nothing short of magical. Please never forget those who have stood strong beside you, never doubting you and your wild and vivacious way of life.
From my blog November 4th 2008, click here to see the original
Friends and Family,
Regardless of your political affiliations we are lucky to have witnessed history being made last night. I sat in a small jazz bar that was recently restored from the 1920’s surrounded by about 60 friends, one block south of Woodward, a few from Campus Martius (the main square downtown Detroit). I walked in the moment CNN called an Obama victory and the entire city seemed to explode. People were dancing in the streets, waving flags, sparklers, Obama signs and shirts. People were screaming the national anthem and strangers were hugging, there are few times in life when you can feel such energy and hope among a group of people. The area I was in, Capital Park, is impoverished, there is this small jazz bar open only on Fridays and Saturdays, across the street from a strip club, down a block from Detroits’ Transit Terminal which is home to many homeless. On this eve Larry Mongo the Owner of Demongos (the bar I was at) played Obamas speech over loud speakers fixed to the outside of his building. Messages of hope resonated across the old buildings, there was a roar of car horns and people so I rode my bike over to Woodward and saw the closest thing to peaceful riots I have ever seen on the news, in magazines or real life. There was talk of a bloodless revolution, and a man holding an Obama sign was screaming “it only took one vote”, over and over. Traffic was stopped and human beings we writhing in celebration, and flooding the intersections. It all went on until about 1:30 am when police closed Woodward and the revelers were returned to individual bars. I was lucky to witness this happen in Detroit, hooray guys… this is awesome.