Discuss Detroit DISCUSS DETROIT! Freep reporter visits "ghost street," witnesses violent mugging. Previous Next
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Macknwarren
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Username: Macknwarren

Post Number: 146
Registered: 10-2007
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 9:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Weird and interesting.
http://www.freep.com/article/2 0090324/NEWS01/90324060/As+I+w atch++crime+flares+on+Detroit+ ghost+street
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6nois
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Post Number: 840
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 9:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't really know that it is a ghost street, especially if you are in the first block off Woodward.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 1833
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:01 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seems like "flare" in the headline is a bit of a stretch. It was just one incident, not like there was a full-scale riot or crime spree happening simultaneously. Still, that McGraw can really spin a yarn and tells stories that would go unnoticed otherwise. Now, let's see if a scandal arises a la Le Duff about McGraw's reporting of how this went down. :-)
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Post Number: 1834
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"I don't really know that it is a ghost street, especially if you are in the first block off Woodward."

Not to go out of my way defending the guy, but sounds like a ghost street to me, 6nois:

"...a unique street because about 60 of 66 homes on the block are abandoned..."
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Lugotown
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Post Number: 78
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

this is so ironic. i just became aware of this street last month after someone suggested i drive down it. when i did, i was in shock. i drive all over the city and i don't think i've ever seen anything like what you see on these two blocks of w. robinwood, between john r and woodward. i went back a few times with other people just to see if they would have the same reaction. so, i was very curious about this street and decided to contact the news media to inquire. apparently, a story ran about this street last year on fox 2, it looks worse now. really, it is indescribable. you have to see it for yourself.

the other streets surrounding this one are bad but nothing like w. robinwood. actually, goldengate and w/ hildale are nice looking and just around the corner is palmer woods. this street is just down from the dutch girl donuts on woodward.
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Macknwarren
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Post Number: 147
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:18 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

6nois:

What would you call a ghost street? No occupied houses? I'm familiar with W. Robinwood, and I think that street might reach the point of all vacant structures. Give it a few months.
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Post Number: 1836
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know this: I'm a hard-core Detroiter and refuse to live in the suburbs, but I'd rather take my chances living in Michigan Central Station than on this street.

(Message edited by rhymeswithrawk on March 24, 2009)
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Eastsideal
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Post Number: 431
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's amazing to me how fast that whole neighborhood just dissolved. I had friends who lived there for years and in my mind it's still a pretty decent middle-class neighborhood with some really nice houses. But when I've driven through there in the past few years, oh my goodness. Really depressing and shocking.
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Lugotown
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Post Number: 79
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:23 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh, and in the 2 blocks I drove, I counted approx. 85 homes that are vacant, burned, vandalized, just on W. Robinwood. There are also many vacant lots and maybe about 6 homes occupied.

I was told by the reporter that some of the occupied homes are not supposed to have people in them. I asked what he meant, he said they don't belong to anyone. It really is sad and I'm really disturbed to hear of the few residents holding on. We were supposed to do a follow up story sometime this week. I told him I wanted to talk to someone living there but he cautioned me against it. I just really wanted to know what happened. I tried to take pictures the other day but I was alone and figured it wasn't such a great idea. lol
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Post Number: 1837
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 10:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This street is a perfect example of one that Detroit needs to just plow under and return to green space. Swords to plowshares and all that.
Youngstown, Ohio, is trying to do just that: http://www.youngstown2010.com/
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Softailrider
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Post Number: 300
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Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2009 - 11:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There's a few other streets that are as bad or nearly so; Tacoma St, going west off Gratiot comes to mind right now. West Robinwood really needs to be seen to be believed though, it's just utter neglect, hardly anything has`been torn down.
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Mackinaw
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Post Number: 4422
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 1:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Very depressing scene there...but the part about the fast police response was encouraging. But you should hope they have Woodward covered.
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W_chicago
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 2:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

one street down is Goldengate Street. there is an active little vegetarian cafe called Goldgengate Cafe that I frequent. I have heard from the owner that one street up has no one living there, but I wouldn't believe it untill I walked on the street myself, and saw almost no houses that looked occupied. Every single one shuttered or burnt. If there were people living here just a few years ago? Where did they go?
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Ocean2026
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Post Number: 187
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 2:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wait a second! I just went down West Robinwood and I didn't see any bad houses until past Charleston! Not even any litter. LOL of course I was traveling on Windows Live and its a few years behind. No wonder that big house on Golden Gate was so cheap lol Geez and so close to Palmer Woods.. yet so far! (Hmm no wonder that big house on GoldenGate was so cheap)
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Tkshreve
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Post Number: 779
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 3:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

anyone been down Barham lately?

Tell me how it wasn't.
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Rjk
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Post Number: 1274
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 6:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I went for a bike ride this past summer in that area and I remember W. Robinhood quite well due to the two large dogs that chased us. That street gave me the worst case of the heebie jeebies I've ever had. It's so spooky you'd think you were on a movie set.
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Mauser765
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Post Number: 3065
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 6:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That area from Woodward over to I-75 and up to State Fair is very bad news. The police are scared shitless in that hood, and for good reason. This has to be amongst the most dangerous areas of the city.
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Sumas
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Post Number: 848
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 7:31 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Funny you mentioned Barham, my Mom grew up there and I didn't have the guts to tell her her childhood home was gone.
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Softailrider
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Post Number: 302
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 7:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Barham's a wonderful example of urban planning- all you see are garages right in your face when you travel down the street.
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Defendbrooklyn
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Post Number: 991
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 7:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I rode my bike down that street a few times this summer...It is bad. Its a 3rd world block!
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Cambrian
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Username: Cambrian

Post Number: 2033
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 7:51 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Cops said they found $1,900 on one of the suspects, and suspected Mackie had been set up."

Interesting! Do the muggers pay a referral bonus to those that cash checks in this area?
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Danny
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Post Number: 4581
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 8:15 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detroit has a lot of "Ghost Streets" all over. Urban prairies and brownfields ready for future development. It is the result of segregation, white flight and economic flight that stabbed our Detroit ghettohoods in the back.
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6nois
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Post Number: 841
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 8:19 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What would you call a ghost street? No occupied houses? I'm familiar with W. Robinwood, and I think that street might reach the point of all vacant structures. Give it a few months

I would just argue that because the homes don't look occupied doesn't mean they aren't, this street probably has its share of squaters.
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Ongowwah
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Post Number: 371
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 8:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I wonder what the reaction would have been had this been the suburbs and the police had two white guys handcuffed and the victim was black...racial hate crime maybe, prominent preachers holding news conferences, tolerence training, ACLU investigating civil rights vilations?.....
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Ocean2026
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Post Number: 189
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 8:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Danny is it always just "White" flight? Don't many Blacks once they achieve higher income also move?

Can you blame anyone for not wanting to live in an area where 85% of the people are of another race? Do most Blacks look for 85% White areas to live?

My own preference would be 405 white 20% hispanic 20% Asian and 20% Black. I'm just not sure how being practically being the only white in an all Black Detroit neighborhood would be? I did have a good exp in an all Black Texas rural neighborhood for a couple of years of grad school, but still.

It seems you're blaming whites for these problems but don't want to come right out and say it.
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Lugotown
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i want to take pictures or video the street but i would have to go with a couple other people. if you haven't actually seen it, it's hard to imagine. it's not like some areas where there are only a couple of houses left on a block or houses look vacant but there are people living in them. these homes are just there, carcasses and all. it's not an urban prairie, i would bet the neighbors would prefer that over what's there now.

i also go to goldengate but always took w. hildale to get back to woodward. so, when someone asked had i ever gone to the street north of goldengate and i had not, they said go down it and tell me what you think. i couldn't believe my eyes and i live in highland park so i've seen my share of blight.
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Southwestmap
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Post Number: 969
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just yesterday I drove to the UPS Depot on Cicotte near Warren. I turned onto Cicotte fromMcGraw and I was horrified to see so many, many burned out homes - and all still standing with their burned, ruined contents littering the lots and streets. It is terrible to see.

I think there is no hope for Detroit when its people burn their strudy homes. Maybe they don't own them - but those large homes with porches and pantries and yards had the potential to be clean, warm places to raise families. But somehow the inhabitants neglect them and now burn them. What does it mean?
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Fury13
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:45 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"What does it mean?"

It is evidence of self-hate.
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Det_ard
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Post Number: 68
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Or civic-mindedness. There's an oversupply of housing in Detroit given the drop in population. They're just volunteers doing what the city and Bobby Ferguson can't or won't do, destroy excess housing. That helps all our property values. These arsonists are are DOING SOMETHING and shouldn't be disparaged.
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Eastsideal
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Post Number: 434
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 11:17 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What it means is that you've just seen a city without an economy. One where many people are just a single missed check away from foreclosure, eviction, even homelessness, and there are no jobs to take up the slack. One where it is a wiser decision for many to just walk away from their houses than it is for them to stay and maintain them, since they are often unsellable at any price and the rest of the neighborhood around them is quickly emptying out as others reach the same sad decision.
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Southwestmap
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 12:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My house in the Vernor Junction area is not saleable. House next door will soon be sold for $1, I'm afraid. As it is, the house is less than $10,000 now and no lookers. It sold for $112,000 in November 2005.

Have seen several homes in 48209 zip code sold for $1 on websites of foreclosures.
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Retroit
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Post Number: 1050
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 12:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"It is evidence of self-hate."

This is true, but it would also be true to say that it is simply "hate", whether toward one's self, one's family, one's neighbor, one's neighborhood, one's city, one's race, etc.
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Daddeeo
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 3:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was in Youngstown, Ohio last summer and they have streets that remind you of The Little House on the prairie. You'll see a house or two and the rest of the block is empty.
The only difference between them and Detroit is they seem to have bulldozed a lot more of the vacant buildings.
Their unemployment rate is sky high. Their major employer is the university. They also have a huge criminal rehab facility that takes up large sections of Market Street.
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Daddeeo
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 4:43 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was in Youngstown last summer and they have streets that remind you of Little House on the Prairie. Many of Detroit's streets are like that.
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Mauser765
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 5:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This reminds a bit of the one McGraw article where he got scared by a prostitute that waved at him, so he skedaddled in the other direction - hilarious !
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Ocean2026
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 7:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

48209 has a large hispanic population - those places -at least around much of the country - show increases in population and housing demand, although some of it may be undocumented people.
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Roq
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Post Number: 33
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quote: "i want to take pictures or video the street but i would have to go with a couple other people"

I drove down there tonight and got a few pics (sorry for the quality, they're cellphone pics)


W. Robinwood



W. Robinwood
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Roq
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Post Number: 34
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 9:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Couple more...


W. Robinwood2



W. Robinwood
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Daddeeo
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Post Number: 608
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Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey, just a few fixer uppers. Opportunity knocks.
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Royce
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 12:10 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Did anybody driving down Robinwood notice how long the block is and how many houses or lots are on either side of the street? I went down Robinwood today and counted approximately 50 houses and/or lots on one side of the street. Go down to Parkhurst two blocks north of McNichols and there are approximately 25 houses and/or lots on either side of the street. For that matter go down Commonwealth in Woodbridge and you'll see that there are approximately ten houses on either side of the street. What do these streets have in common you might be asking? Well, the shorter the block the more homes appear to be occupied. What might this mean? Well, for me, the shorter the block the more walkable it is, therefore the more desirable to live on.

Robinwood between Woodward and John R is a long block. If I lived in the middle of the block or closer to John R and I didn't have a car, I would not enjoy walking to get to the retail that is in the area. It would be a major endeavor each time. Unlike the Parkhurst Street near McNichols where there is retail at John R and at Woodward, there isn't any retail along John R at Robinwood. The retail is along Seven Mile which a half a block down and three blocks north. At some point, there should have been a side street dividing these streets so that residents could have quicker access to Woodward or Seven Mile.

Now, there are many other factors that are involved in the demise of streets like Robinwood like renters vs. owners or frame houses vs. brick houses, but what if after all is said and done, the main reason is because the streets aren't walkable? Something to think about.
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Softailrider
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 4:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What about those streets south of Jefferson near Chalmers and Alter that run to the river. If you live down there you could have a huge walk to get to the Jefferson retail area (whats left of it) or the bus lines. Those blocks don't look nearly as bad as Robinwood Street does.
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Lmichigan
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 4:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah, I don't believe the lack of walkability is the main/primary factor, though, it definitely does enter into the equation, somewhere.
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Hpgrmln
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 12:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Check on the Benz parked at the curb in the first picture!

I went down Woodward less than a year ago and dont remember any of those streets being that abandoned. Most looked fairly occupied actually.
In fact, I drove down one and it was still quite nice. I think Hollywood? Lots of intact houses, still occupied. I think it was part of the chaldean district. Ive seen severe blight/abandonment off John R , closer to Nevada.It seemed to get better around 7 Mile, than worse again.
I sometimes feel embarrassed to live in Hazel Park, with all the jokes people tell about it and its constant struggles with run-down properties. Then I just cross 8 Mile. Just one drive down Exeter or Danbury, with little more than stripped shells of former houses, and when I get back to Hazel Park I feel a lot better about my own neighborhood. But I always thought Robinwood, west of John R, was more intact. Thats pretty eye-opening.
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Macknwarren
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 1:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mauser: I remember the Free Press story about McGraw and the prostitute. I recall the prostitute chased his car while riding a bike.
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Danny
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 2:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's what happen if white flight, blockbusting, red-lining, racial steering, restrictive covenants, slumlords and allowing too many low-income residents into various Detroit neighborhoods. It's becomes a instant ghetto in no time.


WORD FROM THE STREET PROPHET!

If want to see the ancient American ruins. Go to DETROIT! Mr. Boileau, You might want to take a picture of those more FABULOUS RUINS OF DETROIT before they dissapear.
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Detroitbred
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 2:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Allowing too many low income residents into various neighborhoods"?...Sounds discriminatory to me. Last I heard, people can live where they want. You are no prophet Danny......99% of the time you make no damn sense.
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Deandub11
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 7:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HPG,

Went down hollywood as well as robinwood today to see what all the fuss was about. Hollywood is almost as bad as robinwood. Mostly abandoned and decaying, although a couple were still viable which is more than you can say about robinwood. One of them had about 10-15 cats sitting outside, in the yard and on the porch. Odd scene.

I agree with lug, its one thing to see empty prairie land, but its another thing to witness streets like this. It really does look apocalyptic. I dont even see how it could be dangerous considering most of those houses seem uninhabitable even for drug dealers.

www.DetroitArmy.com
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Softailrider
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 9:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't think there's a whole lot of Chaldeons left in that area anymore, they don't want to live around there. That areas a hell hole.
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Hpgrmln
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Post Number: 684
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I may have to stand corrected on what street I was on and when.It might have been longer than that (it was within the last 2 years though).But it had some architecturally significant houses and I did see a few chaldeans in their front yards.It was somewhere off that stretch of woodward. It had a few tudor style houses and seemed like the street was trying to hold on.It was one of the streets that goes eastbound (theyre all one-way over there).
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Hpgrmln
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Posted on Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 10:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

After checking aerial views on Google Maps, I think it was Grixdale I was on.
Really wierd, how that one street is so full, yet surrounded by other streets, in the same neighborhood, that are so full of vacant lots.
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Softailrider
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 3:14 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What's weird is across the street is Palmer Woods, which is probablly the nicest area in the city.
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Mauser765
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 5:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Macknwarren: I see you starting all sorts of Freep threads -

So, what do you do at the Freep ?
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Macknwarren
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Post Number: 154
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Posted on Friday, March 27, 2009 - 4:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Maus,

Did you also see I started the original Charlie LeDuff/frozen-guy-in-building thread?

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