Detroit has a Heartbeat.

My home is Virginia, but I spent five years living in Detroit, Michigan and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it once in a while.

Detroit has a heart that pounds through your chest like an old beat-up sledgehammer.  It’s dirty and noisy, but still powerful and captivating.  During my years residing there, I was in love with the energy; it was palpable and irresistible, dragging me toward it like a moth to a flame.

Sometimes as I would drive up 95 North, back to my sunny loft on Adams Avenue, the city’s skyline would seem to unfold before like a children’s pop-up book. First I’d see old Tigers’ stadium and the Michigan Train Station, both eerie skeletons full of deterioration.  Then the skyscrapers would come into view, a mix of ornate pre-war facades and newer structures with the sharp angles made of steel and glass.

I couldn’t help feeling like I belonged there; a misfit amongst other misfits.

The reasons why Detroit scares off most people at first glance are evident as you walk down Woodward Avenue and witness abandoned buildings, littered sidewalks and too many folks left to rot without homes.  This feeling is multiplied outside of downtown, where hundreds, if not thousands, of homes have been torched or vandalized, leaving the streets looking like a war zone.  The vacant-ness feels dangerous and maybe even terrifying.

Yet if you dig deeper and find a moment to enjoy the beauty amongst the chaos, then you see what makes Detroit special.  For instance, try standing in front of The Spirit of Detroit.  You will see the amount of pride Detroiters carry for their city.  It’s tangible, as solid as the Joe Lewis Fist.  Go to DEMF and you will feel it in the air as the music vibrates your soul.  Attend a Tigers’ game and you will hear it at Comerica Park when the crowd goes wild over a home run.  Go to any one of Detroit’s amazing restaurants and you can taste it in the food.  Take one look at the casino lights and you will see it there as bright as day.

The Motor City is alive.

The people there are built from hard work, passion for the arts and a zest to persevere through any circumstance.  They have seen enough turmoil, grief and depression to make them close up shop more than anyone would care to mention, but their tough skin and big hearts have carried them through.  The people of Detroit fight hard and love even harder.

They stay true to their city for a reason.


Photo courtesy of Leroy on

Categories nonfiction, UncategorizedTags , , , , , , , , ,

21 thoughts on “Detroit has a Heartbeat.

  1. Loved it! Happy to connect 💕
    Do check out my writings too, will appreciate your views. ☺️


  2. I love it, too. Hart Plaza, the RenCen, Tiger Stadium (and now Ford Field), great places to enjoy the real Detroit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ford Field is beautiful, but Hart Plaza and Comerica are my favorite places, plus Campus Martius during the winter months. It’s a special place.


  3. I was in Grand Rapids a few weeks ago for the Festival of Faith and Writing conference and had planned to go through Detroit to Canada for an overnight because I had never been so close. I was so tired, I changed my plans but now you’re making me wish I hadn’t. Detroit sounds like a quirky city that I would enjoy visiting. I’m hoping to return to FFWgr in 2 years, maybe I’ll reconsider heading towards Detroit next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should! I promise you’ll love it.


  4. This is such a great use of imagery: “Detroit has a heart that pounds through your chest like an old beat-up sledgehammer. It’s dirty and noisy, but still powerful and captivating. ” Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Meg, thanks! That means a ton coming from you!


  5. The only thing I know about Detroit is that Eminem lived there!
    I specially liked the line: a misfit amongst other misfits.
    Thank you for a wonderful view about your hometown, and I do hope you get to stay there again soon! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been a while, but I can’t wait to go back!


  6. I never would have thought Detroit would be a nice place to live or even visit based on what I’ve heard of it, but I loved this post because it shows how we all can find some love for and beauty in the places we call home. Also, thank you Detroit, for Eminem.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s easy to find the bad in things, but we are better individuals to look for the good.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I LOVE DETROIT. I currently live in Virginia Beach (which made your blog catch my eye. But I have to get back ASAP. I miss the loyalty of the people, the energy of the businesses, and just the overall culture.I hope you visit again (because i will be moving back soon)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Virginia Beach is nice too! There’s something about seeing all those planes while your swimming in the ocean. Such a fun place!


  8. So many towns in Michigan are fighting their way back. I’m hoping the media coverage of my hometown, Flint, will bring people and money there and give it a boost!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it terrible that in five years of living there I never made my way to Flint?


  9. I’m thinking that y0u would like to know there’s a documentary on the market that examines Detroit from a positive perspective called “The Great Detroit,It was-It is-It will be”. 55 interviewees cover a little of everything about this city, including Motown, Techno, Henry Ford, urban farming and so much more. Its available on amazon.


  10. Thought that you would like to know that there’s a documentary that examines Detroit from a positive perspective, called “The Great Detroit, It was-It is-It will be”. It covers a little of everything about Detroit, Motown, Techno, comeback, urban farming, etc. Available on amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to look out for that! I love Detroit. It’s an incredibly special place.


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