The City's been getting a ton of abuse over the past week or so ever since it was announced that they were filing for bankruptcy. It's just not fair. Detroit's a cool town. There are plenty of reasons to live there. In fact, if I weren't living in Philadelphia, I'd absolutely consider making the move there. Why? Oh, I can think of at least 10 good reasons why moving to Detroit isn't such a bad idea at all.
1. Real estate prices. Talk about housing! Where else can you find a four-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom, 2,690-square-foot colonial for only... what? $5,500? And that's the purchase price. Or how about an all-brick three-bedroom colonial with 1,412 square feet for only... hold on. $9,000? Detroit's got some of the best deals in the country! Of course, reinforced steel doors, a high voltage electric fence and armed security personnel are extra. But how much could that cost? And there are people actually paying millions for a studio on Park Avenue in New York. Or even $3k a month to live in Rittenhouse Square? Idiots!
2. Great sports teams. Did you know that Detroit ranks third behind New York and Boston in sports championships? Take that, you Yankees scum. As I write this, the Tigers are leading the Central Division. The Red Wings have won 11 Stanley Cups. I don't care about the Pistons because I don't follow basketball. And OK, the Lions were 4-12 last year but I have it on good authority that their quarterback absolutely loves dogs. This is a sports town with a storied history that any fan would love to be part of. And admit it: Lions and Tigers are more intimidating than "Phillies" and "Flyers," right?
3. They are seriously getting their books in order. Talk about not running away from your problems. While so many other cities flirt with bankruptcy as they pretend that their overwhelming pension liabilities are not a big problem, Detroit at least bit the bullet and will be creating municipal history when it comes time to take on the unions renegotiate their crushing debts. Who knows? Their solution out of this mess might set a precedent for other governments, including our own Federal government. Do you mean that the retired CEO down the street might not get his social security one day so that our budget deficits can be brought down? Perish the thought!
4. Great vacation spots. Detroit has wonderful lakes, islands, national parks and other beautiful vacation spots within driving distance. We've got tired-looking hotels in the Poconos and ten thousand Snookis to contend with down the shore.
5. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The greatest stories and biggest names in rock and roll shine on at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. What a place! The experience includes four theaters, multiple interactive stations and seven floors of exhibits that tell the story of the world's most powerful art form. What? Oh, that's in Cleveland? Damn, I keep getting those two cities confused. OK, never mind.
6. Access to Canada. You can actually see Canada from Detroit. How cool is that? Legend has it that Detroit residents could sometimes hear the faint sounds of Rush warming up for their concert tours back in the '70s and it was reported that Mike Myers actually stopped in Detroit to use a bathroom on his way home from filming one of the Austin Powers movies. Even if you're not able to catch a glimpse of Canadian royalty, you're as close as can be to getting great healthcare at an affordable cost which could come in handy if those Obamacare health exchanges don't work as promised.
7. Hollywood absolutely loves Detroit. This city was the setting for Robocop, one of the most awesome movies ever. And if that isn't enough, my wife (for some reason) absolutely adored some show called Hung on HBO a few years ago and that took place in Detroit too. Still not impressed by Detroit's glitter? Then I have just five words: Home Improvement with Tim Allen. Take that, L.A.
8. You're living in history. Did you know that Detroit was the first city to have a paved road and was the site of the first ever radio broadcast? Not only that, but the city supplied 75 percent of the nation's booze during prohibition. To hell with the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, I believe that Detroit's contributions to America have played a much bigger role in making us into the country that we are today.
9. A storied list of dignitaries. Detroit may be famous for its auto industry but did you know that the city has been home to other successful businesspeople too, like Steve Ballmer, Edsel Ford, John DeLorean and Jimmy Hoffa? These Detroitians have made rich contributions to America's economy, like Windows Me, The Edsel, The DeLorean and cement shoes. Sonny Bono came from Detroit, as did Mitt Romney. And if that's not impressive consider this: where would we be without the musical contributions of Alice Cooper, Kid Rock and Ted Nugent? What kind of society would we have become if we didn't have the art forms of Christie Brinkley, Charlton Heston and Ed McMahon? How could we even count backwards from ten without Casey Kasem? America would be a much sorrier place if it weren't for Detroit.
10. Secret Riches. Detroit's population has fallen from a peak of nearly two million in the 1950s to about 700,000 today so you'd think it'd be easy to get around and the remaining people would be left to drink beer, listen to Kid Rock tunes and happily barbecue with each other, now that the crowds are gone. And yet somehow the city remains among the worst for traffic and it and its neighbor Flint, Michigan hold down the #1 and #2 spots in the country for worst crime. What does that tell me? It tells me that something's going on there that the rest of us don't know about. I think there's some new source of oil or gold or maybe the water is medicinal. Is the fountain of youth there? The cure for baldness? Why else would so many people be clogging up the roads and killing each other? What is it? What's there? What are these people not telling us?
There are plenty of other great reasons to consider moving to Detroit. For example, besides an occasional snow storm or two you never really hear of catastrophic weather hitting the area. Greektown is awesome. George Zimmerman doesn't live there. And, as far as I can tell, their Subway sandwich shop employees don't put their penises in the food. That's in Ohio. And compared to that place, Detroit's not looking so bad. Not so bad at all.
A version of this blog appeared in the Philly Post.