And no. I don’t mean that thing where we exercise out "right" to set off large quantities of fireworks next month.
Last weekend, I spent some time with some friends who now live out of town.
We did the “usual touristy” things like Greektown and the Casinos.
They wanted me to go with them to the Grand Prix, but I’m more of a NASCAR Guy than IndyCar.
Afterwards, I insisted on changing things up and that we go down to Lafayette to eat.
I told them that it was part of the “Authentic Detroit” dining experience and that sort of thing.
They had never been down there and after initially scarring the hell out of them (along with equally confusing them with how the food was ordered/delivered), they settled down a bit and we started to catch up on things. They began to comment on local stuff, basically regurgitating what people like Gov. Snyder, et al, were shoveling to the rest of the country about how things have turned around since the bankruptcy.
I laughed at their comments and replied to the effect that, “Yeah! They wish!”
“Look at all of this new stuff downtown? How can you argue that things aren’t better?”, they replied.
I told them that “Yes”, the Downtown Area has improved. Large amounts of government money tends to eventually do that. “Yes” places like the Riverfront have gotten nicer.
But then I added, the same cannot be said for the rest of the city.
They didn’t believe me.
They couldn’t accept the fact that everything was as bad as I told them it was.
I told them, “Fine, want to go on a little trip?”
They were a little apprehensious to say the least, but we loaded up into their car and we went happy motoring…away from the freeways.
We went up and down places like Jefferson, and then Warren and Mack where it didn’t take that long to notice the large swaths of bombed out/burned out neighborhoods (at least I think they were neighborhoods at one time), large piles of trash and abandoned/stolen vehicles (along with boats…yes boats) strewn about, pretty much every other building covered with graffiti, I told my now visibly scared “driver” that I wanted to stop at the next party store because I wanted to get something to drink.
Yes, I did that on purpose.
So, while we parked across the street and started walking towards the party store, I got bombarded with a ton of questions (besides is this really safe) like why that particular store had a chain-link fence around the roof topped with razor wire, why there were thick metal plate doors next to the entrance and why was there a flashing green light on the sign outside of the building. When we went inside, they did a double-take at the walkway surrounding most of the perimeter of the inside of the building separated by 1-inch thick Lexan.
I casually grabbed a 2-liter of Rock N’ Rye, they didn’t get anything (I cannot imagine why) and we went back to their car. I still had more to show them.
Continuing our “tour”, they still couldn’t get over the flashing strobe light on the sign.