How the new store is—and isn’t—changing Detroit.
The inside story of how the city, broke and bleak and nearing the edge, saved itself.
A woman's involvement in an unstable Detroit activist movement.
"The houses we set out to destroy had already been inscribed by the city. The city had earmarked them as tear-downs during the first stage of a larger urban planning initiative – a large ‘D’ for Demolition had been written in white chalk on the front doors of the dilapidated multi-family structures, veterans of a time when Detroit was still a factory town, a place where the music of Motown fumed larger than the gusts of exhaust unleashed from the chains of cars which tumbled off the assembly lines at the auto factories and straight onto those glistening American freeways. The electric streetcar line along Woodward Avenue had been replaced by gas-powered buses. There’d been the great race wars. Even still, at the time those houses had been erected on that tender Northern riverbed which skirted the Canada border, the word future seemed more a promise than an urgency."
Tom Monaghan started Domino’s. Mike Ilitch started Little Caesers. Both became billionaires, both live in Detroit, both are now over 75. They’ve made very different decisions about how to spend their fortunes.
A punk heroin addict navigates 1980s Detroit.
"About an hour later, Harwell and Rollo were squatting (literal) in their squat (figurative) on Broadville, about a mile from the convenience store that had just fallen victim to their considerable wrath. They hadn’t said a word longer than four letters to each other since sprinting away from the Quality Dairy, and for the last thirty minutes they’d been listening for any movement outside, not sure if they’d been followed, or if Chavo and the night manager had enough information about them gathered from their several months of patronage to know where they hung their heads."
On the “queer roots” of Disco, House, and beyond.
“After college, as my friends left Michigan for better opportunities, I was determined to help fix this broken, chaotic city by building my own home in the middle of it. I was 23 years old.”
Auditing a bankrupt city.
Wandering a Detroit reduced to “crackhouses and churches” with “outlaw biker Jesus” Pastor Steve.
A first-person account of an arrest:
I stared at the yellow walls and listened to a few officers talk about the overtime they were racking up, and I decided that I hated country music. I hated speedboats and shitty beer in coozies and fat bellies and rednecks. I thought about Abu Ghraib and the horror to which those prisoners were exposed. I thought about my dad and his prescience. I was glad he wasn’t alive to know about what was happening to me. I thought about my kids, and what would have happened if they had been there when I got taken away. I contemplated never flying again. I thought about the incredible waste of taxpayer dollars in conducting an operation like this. I wondered what my rights were, if I had any at all. Mostly, I could not believe I was sitting in some jail cell in some cold, undisclosed building surrounded by “the authorities.”
A ride-along with the guys tasked with demolishing the city’s 10,000 “abandoned, godforsaken homes.”
An interview with James “Jimmy” Hoffa, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters which had recently been described by Attorney General Robert Kennedy as “the most powerful institution in this country—aside from the United States Government itself.”
In Detroit, the aftermath of a reality-TV SWAT raid that killed a sleeping seven-year-old.
Detroit is dying. But it’s not dead yet. Just ask Charlie LeDuff.