I took the picture above around noon today inside an abandoned cathedral in West Detroit.
My travel companion and I were accompanied inside the cavity by a police officer — the police officer being the only reason we could go in at all. It’s a fantastic story, how it happened, but I can’t tell it now. I’m so tired my tiredness is not funny anymore. You know how when you’re really, really tired you go through a phase of goofball, slapstick humor? That ended about an hour ago.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my time in Detroit. For now:
Detroit is in worse shape than you’ve heard. Yes, there are pockets of growth. But one trendy coffeeshop does not a renaissance make. The stats on vanishing municipal services, crime, drug addiction, vanishing population density, foreclosures, and all the other gifts blight brings are real and they’re so awful it’s hard to believe what you’re reading. When I’ve read about Detroit I found it hard to believe; being in the place, I assure you that it is all there to see, no believing required.
Don’t be fooled by all the sunlight streaming through the busted windows. This was a dark place today.