Comerica Park: this one look great!
Being ardent baseball fans my wife and I decided to come to Detroit. With the presence of Venezuelan players like Miguel Cabrera, Anibal Sanchez, Victor Martínez, Omar Infante and others in the city baseball team, the Tigers, Detroit is to us a Mecca of baseball. We are now in Detroit and getting ready to see the game between the Tigers and the Washington Nationals, our other favorite team.
Nothing had prepared us for this experience. I never suspected a U.S. city could look this. I have seen Castro’s Havana and I have seen Managua after the earthquake but I thought this kind of ruin only existed in third world countries led by dictators or without human or financial resources to remedy it. Hard to believe that it could exist in the U.S. and so close to Canada! Que verguenza con esos señores..
And yet, the areas near downtown Detroit that we have seen are the worst I have ever seen in the U.S. They look like if they went through a long war, with ruins and desolation everywhere. There are few, if any, people in the streets. Building after building are deserted, covered with graffiti, with surrounding empty lots and overgrown bushes. How can a city come down to this? The air of desolation is depressive. I am sure the outskirts of the city must have better neighborhoods, even areas of middle and upper classes, but I never suspected that the U.S., as a nation, could tolerate the look of Detroit without acting decisively about it. I do not know what brought Detroit to this misery but I am sure it was not a matter of months but of years of neglect.
State and/or municipal Corruption? Social Conflict?
We went to see the Motown Museum, dedicated to the birth of that musical style that took the world by storm several decades ago, making Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and many other artists justly famous. The modest museum is located in two of the small house in West Grand Avenue where the company started. We went there from our hotel, located in Grand River Avenue. But only the names of the streets are grand. The route is covered with misery. The museum is surrounded by funeral homes, in the type of neighborhood you do not feel safe. Pretty much like Petare, in Caracas. Hold on to your wallet.
Getting to Detroit is not a piece of cake, either. From Toledo, a very clean and pleasant city in Ohio we took 75 North to Detroit. It is only 60 miles or so but it feels like 600 miles, along a route with a poor pavement that makes you feel you are navigating in a stormy sea. But this is not the worse. The trucks are the worse. Never had we seen so many of them. Sharing the roads with those monsters took every ounce of my concentration capacity (not many ounces left). Upon arrival to the hotel, safe but not sound, I had a couple of stiff whiskies.
Would you believe that the lobby of the hotel was being remodeled and there was continuous and horrendous drilling going on? We checked in using sign language. The room, however, was and is spectacular.
I do not think we will be back to Detroit, at least for the next 20 years, to celebrate my 100 years. If Detroit still exists. At least, I hope the Tigers win today.