I recently had a great opportunity. I traveled in time to the future. It was suddenly 2065 and what lay before me was a city, a city that was sapped dry, a city that was gutted of life and like the Phoenix, is rising from its ashes.
The glory of yesterday was evident. From its beautiful art deco buildings to its controversial art history to support Diego Rivera, the socialist Mexican muralist during the height of the automotive era. Detroit, the epitome of industrialization is its legacy and so much more that came from the zenith of capitalistic example. Detroit still shows the majesty of what it attained.
The image of achievement is merely a shell of what it was, like the gutted buildings scattered like chess pieces across the city squares. The city is now hollow inside. It is Detroit, the city that was emptied from within.
Then we see it. Tender green leaves of spring reaching through the rubble for golden rays of sunshine, of life. They are the start of something new. They are the green leaves of change. Urban gardens sprouting in make-shift greenhouses that bring people together, brave young people coming from afar or returning home to plant the seed of a new economy.
Walking, biking, and renewed streets with public transit. People going places: school, small shops… Art and more art to lift the spirit of its creators and its viewers, those who are survivors, those who saw the decline and watch without wonderment. They wait to see with their eyes, without emotion. Their heart holds still.
New islands of life sprout scattered throughout the city. The future begins to take form.
It is a new day and the sun is rising in Detroit.