Detroit’s Inferiority Complex? Not Any Longer.

Letter From the Editor


Published:

News about Detroit not making the second round of the Amazon headquarters sweepstakes fell with a thud in mid-January — a month dark and gray enough as it is.

Social media was flooded with speculation about why, and it was largely focused on the usual suspects: inadequate mass transit, inability to attract and retain talent, shortfalls in our educational system, etc. In short, it was the continuing lack of a regional strategy.

A few years back, this would have been a bigger blow to our collective psyche. After all, we were a scandal-ridden and bankrupt city that basically had an inferiority complex. Remember when Whole Foods announced it would build a location in Detroit? In other cities, such news would be welcomed, but not treated to the enthusiasm exhibited around here. It was similar to Sally Field’s memorable Oscar speech: “They like us! They really like us!”

Today, that’s not the case. The reasons Amazon passed us by certainly need addressing, but there’s room for hope and optimism. In the city proper, we’re experiencing improvements on many fronts, from new construction and better city services to national retail brands opening brick-and-mortar stores.

Are we upset? Sure. Devastated? Not in the least. And perhaps we can learn some valuable lessons in the aftermath of the Amazon pitch — like the need to foster the growing recognition that our neighborhoods have to be part of Detroit’s renewal, not just downtown. And that working together as an
entire region is important.

Our thriving restaurant scene is another positive note. One of my favorite phone calls to make each year is when I inform the winners of our annual Restaurant of the Year. Click here to see our choice. Here’s a hint: it’s smack dab in the center of Detroit’s current upsurge.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Fresh Fare

Treetops Resort's Farm2Fork events tap the bounty of local producers.

Style and the City

Letter from the Editor, November 2018

Doctor's Orders

“Detroit’s Got Soul”

Letter from the Editor, September 2018

This Time, I Really Mean It

Letter from the Editor, August 2018
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Makings of the Shinola Hotel
    When the Detroit brand’s first foray into hospitality opens its doors, it’ll offer customers...
  2. My Two Christmases
    An Armenian-Iranian, Detroit-based writer reflects on transposing the holiday across continents
  3. An Hour with ... Carmen Harlan
    Broadcast journalist and founder of the Carmen Harlan Collection
  4. New Year’s Eve, Brooklyn Style
    Tips for celebrating 2019 from the pros at Brooklyn Outdoor
  5. Main Review: SheWolf
    Born in Detroit but inspired by Rome, SheWolf takes diners on a culinary journey
  6. Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s Downtown Living Tour 2018
    Hour Detroit and Detroit Home’s third annual Downtown Living Tour took place September 7th-9th....
  7. Cocktail Recipe: Toddy Incarnata
  8. Meet the Makers: Tait Design Co.
    How an after-work hobby ascended to a booming business
  9. The Art of Gifting
    Metro Detroit tastemakers from all walks of life offer a glimpse of what’s on their holiday...
  10. Comeback Catering
    Dish, in Detroit, pushes through hard times with consistently delicious food