After five months in D.C., an opportunity to move to Denver, Colorado presented itself. Not ones to pass up an opportunity to try out a city we’ve always thought would be great to live in, we packed up on short notice and drove the Budget rental truck to Denver. We liked D.C. The area had more than enough job, and cultural opportunities, but is just a tad expensive, and slightly hot and humid. Our plan was to stay longer than five months, but some opportunities are too difficult to pass up. Denver is a city with a feeling similar to another city we’ve lived in; Portland, Oregon. Granted, the weather is completely different, as is the geographical location, but the progressive, easy to live in feeling one gets in Denver is the same one finds in Portland. The recreational opportunities, diversity of small and medium sized businesses, and the entreprenurial spirit, also is shared between the two cities. Denver, however, beats the pants off of Portland when it comes to weather. Over 300 days of sun, and nice dry weather combine to create one nice place to locate a city.
The move, new work, new recreational opportunities, and great weather have made it difficult to post much to the Motor(less)city. Additionally, living away from Detroit for any period of time, makes the anger and frustration, which spawned this site, simply melt away. The problems the area faces are arguably worse now than they were when we left in February, but now seem more distant, and frankly, less our problem, and more there problem (and possibly if you are reading this from Metro Detroit – your problem). The Big Three are in more trouble, the real estate market, the job market, the mayor is going to prison (that’s probably actually a good thing in the long run), and the overall health of the economy seems even worse, but they don’t seem to make me quite as angry anymore. That’s bad. Not for me, but for Metro Detroit. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels this way either.
Metro Detroit is our home. Our family lives there, and we own a house there, but our commitment to the area is disappearing. We got angry about the reliance on one industry, the lack of foresight on issues such as transit, urban planning, anti-smoking legislation, and recreational opportunities for the state. Our anger on these issues (and others) angered others in Metro Detroit. They wanted us to love the area un-conditionally. “It’s a pretty good place to live” we were always told, as if we were supposed to ignore the glaring poverty, crumbling infrastructure, and absolutely no plan for the future. Ignoring Detroit (and Michigan’s) problems is like ignoring the addiction of a loved one. You may be able to convince yourself that all is well, but it doesn’t change the reality of the situation, and eventually the price will have to be paid.
Leaving Metro Detroit, and eventually losing my anger towards the area, is like giving up on an addicted loved one. It’s better for me, but it’s worse for the one left behind. Eventually you realize that it’s not your responsibility, and the anger subsides. Unfortunately, so does the desire to force change. When enough others find themselves in the same situation as myself, Metro Detroit will have lost the very people it needs to enact the change that is necessary to make the area into what it needs to be in order to survive into the future.
So if my rants are fewer and far between, or less angry, it’s because I just don’t care as much anymore. Sure I hope it turns around. And I hope that one day I have the desire to return and start up a new business in the area, but right now, it’s just not my problem…
On the other hand, I’ve been contacted by someone at least as angry, who has also experienced the possibilities great cities offer, and who would like to get a little bit of frustration off their chest. Hopefully, they’ll be able to put some interesting thoughts on this site.