Saturday, July 20, 2013

Detroit Begins A New Chapter: Chapter 9*

Ladies and gentlemen, the Motor City is bankrupt.

I hope things don't get to the point they were when a certain William Howard Cohen (who the late, great New York sportswriter Jimmy Cannon said,  changed his name to Howard Cosell and bought a toupee so he could "tell it like it is," but, hey, he made money for ABC!) looked over the third base wall of Yankee Stadium and intoned in stentorian tones, "Ladies and gentlemen, THE BRONX IS BURNING," but while New York's Big Bust and what Detroit is  going through, are, in a way, very similar, they are also very different.

Both New York and Detroit are major centers of activity, we are famous for our theatre,our long history in film and television, and our continuing argument with London as to who is truly the world's financial capital,
and Detroit is  the home of the Big Three automakers, and the performers who sang the songs that went down in musical history, but that's where we part company.

Love them or hate them, you've gotta admit, New York mayors GET. THINGS. DONE. Kwame Kilpatrick, the esteemed mayor of Detroit? Not so much.

Through good times and bad, New York theater  has consistently entertained locals and tourists alike,and New York has benefited from motion picture and television production, and despite a well-publicized headline in the Daily News, (FORD TO CITY...DROP DEAD) and the tragic attacks of September 11th, this city has never been one to back away from a fight and has always managed to land on its feet. But Detroit lives and dies with the automotive industry, which has been faced more than ever by challenges from Britain, Germany, even from Detroit's sister city in Japan, Toyota City!

While the Detroit Historical Society, the Detroit Institute of  Art, the Henry Ford Museum, and the Motown Museum may be worth the trip, our museums  pull in more visitors per capita, and it goes without saying that they are more accessible and secure.

I almost followed my fellow Ranger fans to Detroit for the 1990 NHL Booster Club Convention, even to this day, I don't remember why I didn't go, even though the hotel was located right near the town's glittering Renaissance Center, which was named for the Motor City's recovery from the downward spiral that resulted from the 1967 race riots. You know what? Maybe it's just as well.

I'm not saying, go to Travelocity, Hotwire, Expedia, or your local travel pro and book your trip to Detroit today because Heaven knows they need the money, neither am I saying, don't EVER go to Detroit, just wait until their latest models come to an auto show near you or see MOTOWN: THE MUSICAL on Broadway,
(Full Disclosure; This reviewer HAS NOT seen MOTOWN yet, but once he knows what it's like in person, so will you.) Patience, as they say, is a virtue, and, in time, Detroit will be the tourist magnet New York is. Now is not that time.

*Chapter 9 is the highest level of municipal bankruptcy. Chapter 11 is the highest level of corporate bankruptcy.

(OBTW, selamat datang kembali, Indonesia! It's so nice to have you back where you belong!)

Get well soon, Detroit! How did you Detroiters like this New Yorker's side of things?Visit the comment box, leave a message on Facebook, or send me a tweet @SEisenpreis



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