The Los Angeles Times reported in their travel section over the weekend that Detroit is evolving into a haven for artists. I ignored this story when I first saw, because it doesn't really seem like news. However, I've since seen so many people post it on Facebook and talk about it that I feel like I can't really ignore it any longer.
Here's the deal as I see it.
The Warrendale neighborhood hasn't seen as much of this phenomena as other parts of Detroit, in large part because we don't have as many vacant houses as other parts of the city. (We have hundreds where others have thousands.) We also don't have as many vacant commercial properties as other parts of the city do. (Again, we have them, but no where near as much as most other neighborhoods.)
Of course, even though the focus of my blog is the Warrendale neighborhood, I visit pretty much every corner of Detroit on a fairly regular basis.
With all of that said, I have been seeing artists from New York, Los Angeles, and elsewhere set up shop in vacant warehouses, commercial spaces, and old factories like the Russell Industrial Complex for most of the past decade. I know that the national press is always a little behind the curve on what is happening in Detroit and that the travel section is always behind the curve on business and cultural trends. However, the fact that they're reporting about something that started in the late 1990s in November of 2011 is, well...
Well, I'll be charitable and say that it's another reminder about the current state of journalism in America.
But, hey - thanks for the coverage anyway.