Jan 1, 2012

State of Detroit - New Year's Day 2012

New Year's Day 
First and foremost a very happy New Year to all of the DVD readers! The New Year is typically a time when people make resolutions to improve some part of their life. Well, this isn't going to be one of those posts, but because it's the New Year a little reflection is in order. The following video of the Detroit River was shot late in the afternoon on the first of the year 2012. It was cold, wet and windy. It was very windy as one can tell by the sound on the video. (If you haven't yet watched the video, you'll want to turn the sound down. It's noisy!) As the cold rain, almost sleet, slashed out at me as I shot the video, I started to think about Detroit. But quickly realized this pensive moment would be better suited to the warm confines of my car.  So the video is about two minutes long and captures in some ways where Detroit is right now.

When I think about Detroit in the year 2011, I think of some very positive things (just two quick ones, both the Tigers and the Lions made the playoffs), but there are also some negatives. The economic state of Detroit is still in turmoil and far too many are without jobs. But what does this have to do with a cold, noisy rainy video of the Detroit River? Well to begin, it was cold, and just as Detroit has had some cold moments, there will be a change and it will get warm again. Just as the cold reality of Detroit's financial woes have surfaced, there will be a change, and it will turn around and things will warm up.  In some small ways (urban farming or art projects) there is warmth stirring and possibly economic benefits to come.  It was cold the first of the year, but give it time, it won't always be. Detroit may be in a cold spot now, but give it time.

While not very easy to see in the video it was wet. Trust me on this :) But is that such a bad thing? Detroit needs a good cold rain every so often. The rain helps to clean things up a bit and wake one up too. This type of rain on New Year's Day is just the wake up call that Detroit needs. A fresh cold rain is sometimes needed to wake everyone up and get people ready for winter. Again a nice cleansing rain isn't all that bad, and the rain today will provide growth for tomorrow.

Detroit is in a state of change. Just as a strong wind causes the Detroit River to make waves, a hard wind of economic decisions will undoubtedly make some waves in Detroit. At the time of this writing there is talk of receivership and appointment of an emergency financial manager. A financial review board has been put in place and even talks of bankruptcy loom. These are tough times to say the least. Hold on to your hats because the wind is picking up. Let's just hope that the winds of change will bring positive long-term results.

Bright Spots 
If you notice, the lights that are across the river follow the path of the river walk, and this is a straight up positive for the city. You can't help but feel that after years of inaccessible waterfront (for the average citizen) the river walk is turning into one of the brightest spots in Detroit. So the video is grainy and not very clear, just like the future of our city isn't clear. But there are bright spots, and in the cold, windy rain of New Year's day 2012 room for growth!


  1. This post is simply over the top in every way writing and video. Your comparing your experience at the shore of the Detroit River to the City's problems is truly insightful.

    I would suggest not turning down the sound. The mic noise gives the viewer an added feel of the scene. I watched it on YouTube full screen 1080p on my iMac. Well it was an outstanding production.

    I'm looking forward to your next project. You are on a roll keep posting and I'll keep watching and commenting too.

  2. Thanks! Glad you liked it. I've already got some new post ideas lined up, so you will start seeing more updates soon.


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