(Can you even separate being a 20-something in Detroit with the inevitable political subtext? Here, there’s the usual frames of Savior Complex and White Privilege, ruin porn-ogling gentrifiers or a misshapen belief in the city’s bestowing of urban “cred.” Bankruptcy certainly amplifies some of these issues, but it’s out of the purview of this aside, save for two digressions:
Of course, the announcement underscores the scope of Detroit’s issues, as it’s the intersection of a litany of historical, civic and municipal problems. And for something infinitely smaller like paying rent, the bankruptcy’s unknowns and known unknowns raise the type of questions that turn the second-guessings of the move into fourth/fifth/etc.-guessings.)One: why is Mr. Chui hanging out so much at Buffalo Wild Wings? It looks like he's a stone's throw from Mexicantown. Two: I'd be more interested in hearing about the costs unique to moving to a bankrupt city. For instance, I know some neighborhoods pay association fees for private security, streetlight maintenance, snow removal. Even outside these more residential neighborhoods, rentals in Detroit can be comparable to their counterparts in better-functioning cities, like Chicago or even Ann Arbor, which provides much better services for its downtown residents. Is the added cost of living in Detroit--the rising cost of downtown, Midtown, Corktown, plus city taxes--worth it when you have to do without public transportation, for example? Without streetlights? Even with the commute, is it still more cost-effective to live in places like Ferndale and Royal Oak?