I’m going back to Blog 0.1 here: in its original form, Rainierisms was created in an attempt to catalogue my transition from lifelong Midwesterner to adept Seattleite. And in similar form, I hope this blog will expose the highs and lows of living in one of America’s most maligned metros.
The contrasts are drastic between the two cities, to be honest.
Seattle ranks consistently high on magazines’ “Best Places to Live” List. It’s happy when it’s not raining, healthy when the salmon aren’t laden with mercury, and has a bevy of neighborhoods teeming with young professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs, and empty nesters. You’re no more than a few hundred meters away from a body of water in nearly all of Seattle, and the karaoke bars are unmatched anywhere else east of Manila. The only problems Seattle faces are risks in housing price fluctuations….and volcanoes.
I always tell people that the reason why I moved to Detroit was because of the lack of threat from volcanoes, and while that may a sliiiiight stretch, it doesn’t seem to compensate for an absolute onslaught of negative opinions about the city. The only lists it makes are those which declare it as miserable, the city’s population has been in freefall for the past decade, and high income taxes combined with ridiculous insurance rates make it wholly undesirable. So, it wasn’t completely offensive to me when, while in Cape Town, an American inquiring about my place of residence stateside literally gasped when I told her where I lived.
She followed up the non-verbal retort with a simple, yet profound, one-word question: “WHY?”
…if you know me in person, you’ve received the two-minute diatribe outlining the multiple reasons why, when faced with the options of heading to well-established cities such as Chicago or Boston, I decided to take a chance on the D. In due time, I’ll use this blog to re-explain some of those things, but I’d rather allow you to understand my reasons through stories, anecdotes, photos, and the daily encounters I have as a resident of what I like to call The Gritty City. Hopefully, some fellow contributors will join me on the ride, offering guest commentary, podcasts, and whatever else is required to make this space worthwhile.
So. Friends, relatives, readers, skeptics, proponents, opponents, and observers: here we go. Welcome to The Detroitists.