I was born four miles from Detroit City Limits. Growing up in Southeastern Michigan, my family rarely went into the city. With the exception of a few cultural experiences, we stayed tucked inside the suburbs. It was different for my parents. They came of age in the city. My older siblings were born in Detroit, and the stories my mother tells of riding the bus downtown make me sentimental for an age gone by.
When I moved to Chicago, I began a long distance relationship with my husband, Eric. I remember coming home to Michigan to visit, and Eric took me on a date in Detroit. On our way to Mexican Village for dinner, we passed the most majestic ghost of a building I've ever seen.
The old Michigan Central Station stood, literally inviting me to imagine the grandeur it once held. I admit, when we parked the car to head into the restaurant, I was a bit nervous. We entered what felt like another world. The restaurant was packed with of all kinds of people that were having a great time. I immediately felt at ease.
After dinner, Eric drove me around the downtown and shared the history of the city dating back to the 1700s. There are monuments commemorating a long and diverse history all over the city. Isn't that what Detroit is all about, its history and diversity? As we continued to drive through the streets of Detroit, I looked up at the sky scrapers; some abandoned and some still hanging on, and thought this could easily be Chicago.
That date took place close to six years ago. Since then, there have been a lot of changes. Detroit continues to be one of the most diverse cities in the nation, and out of that diversity a new story is being written. I moved back to Michigan and earned my graduate degree from Wayne State University in Midtown where I gained a whole new perspective on the place.
I'm not the only one coming home. There is a huge entrepreneurial movement permeating throughout the city. From technology to the creative sector, the excitement is growing. There's no denying that it has a long way to go, but it is happening just the same.
Everywhere I look, I am reminded of the rich heritage and many contributions Detroit has made to our national history. Today as I go to work in Detroit, I often picture the way this great city must have been fifty or more years ago.
I can't help but wish that I could go back in time and visit the old Hudson's building on the corner of Woodward and Grand River, or go back to Tigers Stadium on the corner of Michigan and Trumbull and witness a World Series win. While this city is in the midst of a rebirth, I can't help but look around and see the grandeur of yesteryear, and the promise of the future.