A sunny Sunday in autumn on a vacation in the USA. So everything perfect then? Not exactly. My wife is still sick and decided to stay in the hotel so I’m all alone in Detroit.
According to the statistics Detroit is no longer the most dangerous and violent city in the USA. It’s just in second place. Seems there is nothing to worry about.
My plan was to drive into the centre and park my car in a public parking lot to at least avoid any issues with the car. I found the big public parking lot next to the GM building (formerly owned by Ford) and left my car there. I walked through the building and entered downtown Detroit by foot.
Half a century ago Detroit was the richest city in the USA, today not so much. The buildings are still impressive but what was striking that there were almost no people. Where are all the people?
I understand that Detroit is not a place filled with tourist but where are the locals? And where are the cars? This was once the world capital city of the car industry and now the streets are empty. There were times when I was the only one on the streets. It felt like after the zombi apocalypse except there were no zombies either.
It was around lunch time when I found a Shake Shack. Jackpot! I had lunch there but strangely it wasn’t a problem to get a table. The only Shake Shacks I visited before this trip are located in Las Vegas and next to my favourite hotel in Tokyo. Both extremely busy locations. This one was different.
The last coupe of year my job let me travel to Asia a lot. I have been in a lot of places but mostly in either the capital city of a country or in other big cities that have a population comparable to Austria. The last couple of years I got used to very crowded places, so the bit cities of India can’t shock me anymore but I never experienced something like that. But it didn’t feel dangerous at all, it just felt strange.
After a very good lunch I had one of the best coffees in the USA too. In a small coffeehouse downtown. It was so good that I got another double espresso before I moved on. And now many images and I swear that I didn’t wait for the people to leave the frame before I took a picture.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (19.1mm, f/8, 1/750 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (22.9mm, f/8, 1/300 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.6mm, f/8, 1/480 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/8, 1/170 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/8, 1/450 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/8, 1/180 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (13.8mm, f/8, 1/300 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/7.1, 1/160 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (19.1mm, f/5.6, 1/500 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (15.9mm, f/5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (50mm, f/5.6, 1/750 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24mm, f/8, 1/150 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (12.6mm, f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO200)
After my long walk through an almost empty town I came back to the GM building which was empty too. Don’t get me wrong. I prefer to be in an environment which is not overcrowded but what I experienced that day felt very strange.
But it was a Sunday afternoon so maybe there was an important football or baseball game that day.
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (13.2mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO500)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (12.6mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (11.5mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.2mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO1250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/5.6, 1/60 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/5.6, 1/35 sec, ISO200)
What was also strange for me was that the biggest building in Detroit is a GM building. Shouldn’t it be a Ford building? Ford, GM and Chrysler worked together to create this building in an attempt to stop the decline of Detroit. But it was too little too late.
Detroit went from being the richest city in the USA to one the most dangerous. Detroit is the only city that I’m aware of that has no Apple store in the centre but four in its suburbs.
And despite of all that Detroit is still a great place to visit. More in the next blogpost.