Post Number: 47
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 7:39 pm: || |
I have a question for some of the old-timers here. I plan to take a trip back to Detroit early this summer to visit a sick relative. While there, I would like to visit some of my old stomping grounds. From what I read, driving through some areas is akin to driving through downtown Baghdad, and just as liable to get shot. I grew up on Highland Street and began school in the Ferris school on Cortland, both in Highland Park. I would then like to drive out Woodward to 7 Mile and out to the Livernois-7 Mile area. Seriously, how safe would that trip be??? I have a lot of good memories of spending the 40's and 50's in both those areas.
Post Number: 57
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 7:46 pm: || |
If you are in a standard automobile I would not recommend that trip at all. That area is very dangerous and you are liable to get shot or even worse.
If you plan to take this trip please wear a vest. Also bring plenty of cash to pay off would-be kidnappers.
Post Number: 2116
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 7:50 pm: || |
Ah, gotta love that Detroit humor from Mortgageking.
You should be fine anywhere you drive a car in Detroit.
Yeah, and it would be best to ignore that media hogwash.
Just make sure you don't get mixed up with the wrong person(s), like in any other city.
Post Number: 227
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 7:52 pm: || |
What I think Mortgageking is trying to tell you is that you are worrying needlessly, or that you have no idea how dangerous it is in Baghdad.
Very few IEDs in the University District. Hardly even any snipers.
Post Number: 48
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 7:56 pm: || |
Thanks.The satellite photos of the area along with some of the discussions on this site really make me wonder.
Post Number: 2118
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 8:03 pm: || |
I'm not going to lie, the neighborhoods today and downtown from how you remember them will sort of depress you for a second.
However, you've been informed with a very false stereotype of Detroit. It's definitely not as bad as you think.
Post Number: 452
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 8:04 pm: || |
I'm not a Detroit resident but like all large cities there is a huge difference between walking or driving in certain areas in the daytime vs. after dark - it's like night and day.
Post Number: 94
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 8:08 pm: || |
Every time I visit Detroit I return to my old neighborhood of Franklin park and I also find one neighborhood in the city to get to know. This last time I picked the neighborhoods east of City Airport some of the worst as far as blight. I visited a BBQ place, I walked around near the airport, and I spoke with some locals about the area. I was never hassled, never felt threatened, and I enjoyed every minute just as I have had in visits to Brightmoor, Grandale, Highland Park and anywhere else in Detroit.
If you feel uneasy then go in the morning and you will not have any trouble, this I'm sure of. There is a lot to enjoy in old neighborhoods and I always get my money's worth.
Post Number: 380
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 8:35 pm: || |
I agree with Mortgageking. Wear a vest, pack some heat (recommend a high caliber handgun), and be extremely cautious of any car that might drive too close to you (even at stop lights). Our crackheads are like pigeons so you might want to purchase a few bags of crack rocks to throw at them if they approach you. Be safe and remember, shoot first, floor the gas pedal and get the hell out of dodge!
P.S.: Or you could just send me a modest protection payment of $10k and I will make sure no one bothers you. I can even personally escort you through some of more war torn areas. The Shiitecrips and the Sunnibloods ain't no joke!
Post Number: 523
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 8:53 pm: || |
The areas that you speak of are dangerous if you are looking for it. Just driving through or around the neighborhood will not get you shot. All of the people in this city are not what the media would have you believe. Lombaowski makes a valid point, too. Go during daylight hours and you should be just fine.
I go to a lot of the neighborhoods around the city, and, unless you are looking for trouble, it doesn't seem to be a problem.
Do you drive around inviting people to hassle you, or was that insightful comment one that you might be able to convince us has some merit, like a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE or something? Unless you were being facetious, that comment only indicates what you don't know about this city.
On the other hand, C_P's suggestion will work as well.
Post Number: 2120
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:06 pm: || |
Plymouthres, just like C_p, I think Mortgageking was obviously joking :-/
Post Number: 382
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:11 pm: || |
Who says I was joking?
Post Number: 1218
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:14 pm: || |
As a standard practice for personal safety, I suggest going to your old stomping grounds early in the morning.
just saying ...
Post Number: 2356
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:17 pm: || |
Thanks C_p damn eastsiders and their RPG's cant even watch the game in peace in these parts.
Post Number: 12817
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:37 pm: || |
Most of the worst parts of the city, you'll surprise more people then threaten them.
You will likely be depressed, you truly cannot go home again.
A simple smile and hello works every time with me, and I'm usually on my bicycle.
You will be as surprised as most you encounter with that approach, and might even find someone who remembers the hood from around your time there...never underestimate what the universe can deliver if you have an open heart.
On the other hand, if you go creeping around in total fear, the universe is pretty good at fulfilling that internal prophecy as well...
Post Number: 2052
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:43 pm: || |
I drive that area frequently, I like going up Second from Temple past WSU, up through HP and roundabout to Seven Mile and go up Livernois to get home. No problems. I even had my convertible top down the other day and got some friendly comments from folks out enjoying the beautiful weather.
Post Number: 80
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:54 pm: || |
Don't freak out when you go through Highland Park. It is a whole lot different from when you and I grew up there. Nothing much looks the same from the old days.A drive down Woodward from Cortland to six mile will blow your mind away. The only thing left is the old Ford plant ,and half of that is gone. No more Sears,Penny's Kresge's,Sanders,Cunningham's, Fromm's, Good Housekeeping shop, Tom's Market, the Highland Park Theater,The Krim theater, the RKO theater, Uptown Music,Highland Park General Hospital,Osteopathic Hospital,most of any of the stores and business's on Hamilton, all these are gone or closed up or in ruins. Macgregor Library,the police station, the city hall,all boarded up and in shambles. Chrysler on Oakland, completly gone. Other buildings in its place.
Ferris School probably will look different to you .The old High School is no longer the High School. It has been cleaned up and looks better than it did when I went there. Not sure what it is now??Has wrought iron fencing around it. There is a new High School on Woodward at Ford Field. Doesn't have any windows. Looks like some prison.
Remember the city signs when you got to the city limits from Detroit?? They use to say "Welcome to Highland Park, "City of Trees"."Stop and Shop"
Well that doesn't exist anymore either. Funny thing is that you might see several pheasants while driving down any of the streets east of Woodward. They seem to have taken a liking to our old town. No hunters , I guess.
I'll be curious to your impression, the first time you re-visit your town. It will surely make you sad. I know it breaks my heart to see what has happened to it. Once rated as one of the best cities in the United States to live in??? My Father moved there 110 years ago, when it was considered "living out in the sticks" and in the spring you couldn't go past 6 mile ,on Woodward, due to the water that would flood the area. You would have to go west to Livernois and then go across on Ridge road to 9 or 10 mile. Over on Cortland and Highland ,it was the highest elevation along Woodward, hence the name, Highland Ave. there even used to be creeks in Highland Park that hooked up to Conner Creek on the eastside. People used to fish in them.The Ford plant property used to be a horse race track and hotel. Used to be pretty fancy at one time.
Post Number: 518
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 9:59 pm: || |
Swede, I bike through that area a couple times a week year round. I've never had any issues. YMMV.
Post Number: 81
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:08 pm: || |
Swede 1934, I take it ,1934 is you birth year? Did you graduate from Highland Park High? I am a couple years younger than you. Graduated in 1962.
Damm Streetcars is what I miss the most.
Post Number: 1256
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:20 pm: || |
drove through Highland Park a couple of years ago and had to push my jaw back up into my head. A shame and a waste.
What is it that people don't get? I just don't know.
Post Number: 225
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:43 pm: || |
My parents grew up in Highland Park..born in 1916 and 1919..both graduated Highland Park High School. They both have told stories about how great it was living in the area. As a youth, Dad worked at all the great theaters as an usher. He has so many great memories. Mom is gone now, but she used to talk about the area all the time. My great uncle lived in the family home on North Avenue until about 1975.
Post Number: 82
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:52 pm: || |
No one can say anything bad about the old Highland Park. It was all good memories. Now, no one can say anything good about it. What was great, no longer even exists.
If one thinks about how many families were drawn to that little town, because of the Ford Plant and how many people immigrated from all corners of the world to work at that plant and live in the area. Its amazing to think of what that place started and where the people have gone to and what they have accomplished. Blows your mind.
Post Number: 11717
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 10:57 pm: || |
Now, no one can say anything good about it.
I take it that you have polled all the citizens fo Highland Park.
Post Number: 11718
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:06 pm: || |
PS - Here is a list of some block Clubs that you may want to e-mail to tell then there is nothing good that can be said about HP. They should know that there is nothing good that can be said about their community.
Post Number: 83
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:09 pm: || |
Well it just seems that everyone badmouths the town for all its downfalls??? Only the people who live there or have lived there can appreciate what the town was. Younger people just see it as a run down old place. Older people remember Highland Park for what it use to be and the memories that it brings up.
Last week I was watching a program on ch. 56. They had Lily Tomlin on, and she was relating her good times while living in Highland Park on Louise Street. She also was saddened to see what had happened to the town.
Post Number: 84
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:19 pm: || |
I think the block clubs have done a great job considering that the city had lost so many of its services including the police department and fire department. Outside of the city, there doesn't seem to be much help coming in to encourage the comeback of the town. Only the block clubs seem to care.
Losing companies like Chrysler, led to the lack of tax base which ,in turn allowed the city to get run down. Plus that tornado back a few years ago didn't help matters much. It beat up alot of nice homes that people were unable to afford to fix back up. Roofs and chimneys cost a lot of money now adays.
Post Number: 11719
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:20 pm: || |
Jgavrile - Probably not fair to jump on you but it is frustrating to think of the good people in HP that are fighting an uphill battle everyday to improve their community are ignored in such a flippant matter.
Post Number: 13
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:39 pm: || |
Yeah, I agree with Jt1. Every city has a few bad people, but don't let those few people cloud your view and describe a city as a whole.
This site is an example of good people. Yes, the city of Detroit has some rotten people [insert name here], but as a whole, Detroit is a great place. The members of this site are prime examples.
Post Number: 87
|Posted on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:41 pm: || |
I think without the block clubs there would be total wipeout in Highland Park. they are what has kept the town together. I read the forums and the articles on different websites and I know what these people are going through ,just to keep it together. My bitch is with a company like Chrysler who said they weren't going to leave and got money from the state to supposedly upgrade everything there on Oakland and then they just decide to pick up and leave, go to Auburn Hills and wipe the city out of any tax base that they were collecting. You can't run a city on milking poor people for taxes, expecting them to make up what has been lost from a company as big as Chrysler. Ford pulled the same crap too years ago. although they at least still use the building to store documents and things. It sure aint what it was once. Basically the building don't contribute much to the well being of people in Highland Park any longer. I know that some of the new companies along Oakland have helped to keep whatever tax base there was once at least partly coming in to pay for services. In a way it was too bad that Bing Steel couldn't been a little further North on Oakland , so he would have been in Highland Park too. He has a pretty good business and seems to be growing.
Post Number: 529
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 12:50 pm: || |
RPG's? Incoming!! When you hear "round out", then it's time to start ducking!
Chrysler is barely staying alive, and at this point they face imminent bankrupcy until they provide more viable vehicles and better cost control strategies. What were they supposed to do, keep the building in HP open and close their other facilities? Kind of like biting your nose off to spite your face.
As for Ford, they did not pull the same crap as they never "abandoned" the structures and they indeed still store material there.
Is there any blame that you can find in the cities not developing their OWN methods for attracting other businesses to supplant the ones that were leaving? I'm not slamming HP for this, rather saying that a lot of Michigan cities failed to react to the obvious decline of the auto industry. To lay the blame for a failure to react to the changing conditions in that city is not entirely correct, IMO.
Perhaps as he expands, Bing will realize the tremendous opportunity he could have in HP and start another factory there?
The people that are forced to stay should also begin a grass roots campaign to take back the blighted areas, just as the block clubs are doing now. After checking out their sites, there is hope again for HP, again, IMO.
Thanks for the website link, Jt1. It is good info for all of us and very encouraging!
Welcome to the forum!
Post Number: 6648
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 1:11 pm: || |
I'm not a Detroit resident but like all large cities there is a huge difference between walking or driving in certain areas in the daytime vs. after dark - it's like night and day.
Post Number: 558
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 1:22 pm: || |
Swede1934....I don't know what Thomas Wolfe was thinking; you CAN go home again - and should do so frequently.
I applaud your plans to visit Detroit!
Post Number: 218
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 1:45 pm: || |
Yeah, Wow, Ummm...Hmmm.
Post Number: 88
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 3:01 pm: || |
I was a little disappointed to see the new homes built up on Stevens and those streets already abandoned and half destroyed?? Can't understand that situation. I know Lindsay Porter has been trying to keep it all together and along with the block clubs, There is some success.
As to the original question by Swede 1934, I never feel threatened when I am in Highland Park.?? Maybe its because my eyes still see the place I grew up in and what still remains is familiar and safe to me. I never have had anyone threaten me or try to cause me any harm ,so it is still my home, even though I don't live there any more. Like I said, there are parts of those streets , I know every inch of, having lived there all my pre-adult life. I get pretty angry when others make remarks or criticize the city. I feel I have the right to applaud it and also the right to point out its bad things. I know that when I was growing up there ,Going to school in Highland Park as compared to going to school in Detroit was like night and day. We had the best schools you could get. We were taught stuff that kids in Detroit schools only dreamed of. It was mandatory to learn how to swim, starting in the 4th grade. Every school had a swimming pool.It was mandatory for boys to learn wood shop, and for the girls to learn home economics, cooking, sewing.We had the best boarder city basketball team in the state.There were several players from Highland Park that were players on the Detroit Pistons. Also we had Bobby Joe Hill from my class that was so good playing basketball, they made a movie about him last year, "The Glory Road" Along with that we had one of the finest singers there ever was that was one of the first popular rythym and blues singer in the country, Jackie Wilson. His voice could melt anyone's heart. There should be a plaque erected in his honor in Highland Park. His popularity contributed to the success of Motown later on. Berry Gordy used to be one of his song writers. Supposedly , Bill Haley of "Bill Haley and the Comets" also grew up in Highland Park.
Yea ,these things along with the fact that 2 of the worlds largest companies were once headquartered in Highland Park and basically started there, and had there success there, is alot to be proud of from such a small little city surrounded by Detroit.
Post Number: 92
|Posted on Wednesday, May 14, 2008 - 7:35 pm: || |
to revert back to the original question if I dare :-) you just don't want to do a Chevy Chase, when he drove his family through St. Louis in "Family Vacation". So, the worst thing could happen is your car breaks down, get a flat tire, engine overheats, etc. Anyone, from anywhere, can easily traverse the pitted fields, rotting neighborhoods, and even the local party stores so long as you always have THE BACK-UP. To wit:
1) have a very, very good sense of humour. should you find yourself in a dangerous situation, as Reader's Digest magazine says, "the best remedy is laughter"
2) ALways have a fresh pack of smokes in your vehicle, and if you are OUT of your vehicle - on your person. Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Del Ray... having a KOOL menthol will more times than not diffuse an escalating situation.
Pretty simple. Enjoy your back-trekking.
Oh, and last but not least...
watch them chuckholes, they're horrific!
Post Number: 389
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 1:31 pm: || |
What's the concrete bldg on Woodward across from Cortland?
Post Number: 649
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 1:53 pm: || |
On Woodward across from Cortland is the McGregor Public Library, which is not concrete. There's a Detroit Edison substation on the SW corner of Woodward and Cortland--is that the building you mean?
Post Number: 84
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 2:18 pm: || |
Don't worry, Swede. They're too busy killing each other to bother with a mere outsider. Plus, they'll be more afraid of you than you are of them.
Post Number: 89
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 3:41 pm: || |
Some web sites on McGregor library
http://www.hpfolks.com/discus/ messages/29/117.html?109794832 2
Post Number: 390
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 3:53 pm: || |
OK, thanks. It's a library. Thats a well built building! It reminds me of the Central Fire Alarm Building.
Post Number: 391
|Posted on Thursday, May 15, 2008 - 3:56 pm: || |
Is that limestone?
Post Number: 87
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 2:29 am: || |
Don't put yourself in danger unnecessarily! Our last trip back to Detroit was the LAST time! I've never been as scared as I was driving through the old neighborhood, and other areas that were my old stomping grounds. I ran a lot of stop signs because the locals spotted my husband and I, and since we didn't blend in, they decided to harass us and approach our car in a threatening manner, making all kinds of comments, and one even pulled a gun.
Post Number: 2367
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 3:10 am: || |
Were you buying blow? Did you just rob a stash house? Or are you just lying your ass off?
And please lady don't run the stop signs in our neighborhoods because you may very well injure or kill one of my fellow natives and we don't want that do we?
(Message edited by Mayor_sekou on May 16, 2008)
Post Number: 547
|Posted on Friday, May 16, 2008 - 6:52 am: || |
Is Cleo/Snowflake back again?
You're right, stay away and please, don't ever come back.
Post Number: 95
|Posted on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 2:44 am: || |
Mayor...NONE of the above! I worked downtown and also out on Bethune for many years and was not overly concerned for my safety, but after that experience on our trip back to Detroit, NEVER again! I love Detroit, or what it used to be. I say "more power to you" to those who choose to live there now. I'm sure there are pockets of Detroit that are reasonably safe, and hopefully there will be more as time goes by. Just so you know, the area where we had the most problems was hear 6-Gratiot. And I DO NOT lie! Anything I've ever posted on these boards has been the truth.
Post Number: 17
|Posted on Sunday, May 25, 2008 - 10:46 pm: || |
It doesnt matter where you go..
If you act in a threatening manner, people will get defensive and want to lash out.
Act in an assertive manner without being aggressive, and you should be fine...
Acting in a manner that draws attention to yourself (running stop signs, racing from one sign to the next, etc.) will cause ill will towards you, especially if there are kids playing.
Use common sense and you should be fine. Act stupid and you should be warned.
Thank you. I see that both the sarcastic and the informed members of this site are posting to this thread.
Post Number: 143
|Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 1:03 pm: || |
last year helped fix up the playground at a school at courtland and 2nd. We repaired some picnic tables and the basketball benches/hoop.
They had some interesting 'underpass' cross walks it appeared crossing under the 2 streets. But they were sealed shut.
Post Number: 4813
|Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 1:49 pm: || |
Swede, where you lived was just across Woodward from where I lived on Colorado from 72 to 2000. I drive back through there all the time. There is nothing to worry about except the zig-zags of streets if you cross Woodward. Even if there was, you need to remember that nobody knows you are coming, so nobody is waiting. In fact you will be more likely astonished by the absence of people compared to your days.
Also, don't be afraid to strike up a conversation, particularly if you come across an oldster who can tell you what ever you may be curious about. Highland Park people are friendly and will return more of whatever good will you bring across to them.
The area is greatly depopulated, the grand apartments of Highland are all abandoned or demolished, Ferris is long closed, and the magnificent McGregor library boarded up. So be prepared for some sadness. Like Detroit, Highland Park has been de facto abandoned by the state yet stuck caring for almost all the metro's poor and disabled.