Hello hello to everyone reading!
I made the mistake of only blogging on a separate site, and so why don’t we take a stroll down memory lane together?
July 6, 2018
This article does two things really well: Showcasing the atrocities of the disinvestment in Delray, and painting an unfair picture of those who choose to live there.
The first one is easy to do. Delray used to be a cultural hub of Hungarian immigrants, and had everything from its own hospital and movie theater to its own banks and auto dealerships. The article talks about the buzzing avenues, and beer gardens and house boats, as well as its peak population of 24,000 people.
This contrasts sharply with the current perception of Delray as the ‘bowels’ of Detroit. Delray has garnered this name for housing the largest water waste treatment plant in the United States. It has also gotten this name because of its terrible increased risk of cancer and asthma for its residents due to all the industry and trucks lining residential areas. And it doesn’t help either that it takes the police three hours to show up on its streets.
The article starts off following a family that lives directly inland of the infamous Zug Island. Fran, the sister of the family unit keeps a ‘muddy lawn with two chickens, three dogs, and six cats’ and has her pet opossum hang from her arm. Fran lives next to her two brothers with houses that are more run down than her own.
The article doesn’t talk enough about the houses that have had tens of thousands of dollars invested in them within the last five years, or about how local mason workers have installed their own sidewalks along one of the streets. The article does follow more families throughout the text, but there is never a real respect for Delray residents and their decision to stay.
The Detroit Free Press does a fine job of highlighting the environmental and societal effect of this disinvestment, but I can’t help but shudder when I think about the effects of this article if it had been my first–and maybe only–glimpse into the Delray community.