On August 16, 2018, Detroit and the nation was devastated to learn of the passing of Motown legend Aretha Franklin. She was the “Queen of Soul” to the countless millions who loved her. Immortalized in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame she will remain a part of Detroit’s infamous history. Her music will always reverberate in the hearts of her people.There has to be a special place in heaven for the innumerable show people who have shared their many talents with the world. To coin an old phrase – “There’s no people like show people that I know…” and this is true - I know.
Here at home in the “D” we are busily preparing for the beautiful coming fall season. The most colorful time of the year and one of the busiest. Kids are back to school or college and Halloween is just around the corner. Sounds of construction and renovation continue as Detroit moves forward with six more housing projects slated for next year. The redevelopment of the United Artists Theatre building on Bagley Street with 148 units is just one. The outskirts of the city are still run-down and people are moving into safer areas but not downtown where there is more congestion every day. Parking, affordable grocery and retail shopping, a senior center, all seem to be light years away. The population is growing downtown but the outer cities continue to dwindle. Poletown East better known as Hamtramck, is just one of ten. It is only a few miles from Downtown. Traveling there on the bus I noticed the burned out homes, abandoned businesses. Streets are silent and wide open. Debris like a dirty old sneaker, a broken TV is seen on the curb of a desolate empty bus stop. No real sign of life just a picture of lost hope. Leaving is Detroit’s biggest problem. Departures have slowed but putting an end to the shrinking population is the true test of the city.
Despite all the controversy about the building of the Gordie Howe International Bridge, the groundbreaking ceremony took place on July 17, 2018, in Delray, Michigan. Governor Snyder and Canada’s infrastructure minister were the guests of honor. Completion date will be 2022. The city of Delray, currently only 2000 residents, is rarely mentioned in the news. Like Hamtramck, it has been nearly abandoned. The difference is the history of the city which I found incredible and one I will share with the readers soon.
On the social scene there is plenty of football and theaters are getting ready to open for the season. New for this year is the grand opening gala at the new International District in Hamtramck, Michigan on October 12, 2018, at 6:00 pm.
A multi-cultural event that includes the swearing-in of new US citizens and awards for outstanding businesses in the community. Check your internet for other events.
Have a “BOO” tiful Halloween! ’Til next time. Michelle