I'm from Detroit. Except I'm not.
(Cue a line of regional humor: You know you live in Michigan when: half the people you know grew up in Detroit, but you don't know anyone who currently lives in Detroit.)
You see, I've never resided in (and only occasionally set foot in) the City of Detroit. But for most of my life, I've lived in the suburban cities that surround the City of Detroit.
It's an odd dichotomy. All that time, I've lived in areas that are generally violence-free. Crime is known to happen, but not in significant amounts. The local schools are respectable. Local Police usually respond in good time, and rarely see things more heinous than property theft and DUI cases.
Three miles away from my current abode, across the political barrier between City and Suburb, is an area where crime is common, the school system is broken, and violence seems to be part of the background noise in the neighborhood. Murder is shockingly common.
Detroit was by turns a river fort, a trade center, Underground Railroad terminus, industrial city, Arsenal of Democracy, and one of the wealthiest cities in the U.S. Eventually, it became a notoriously crime-ridden city, a place of racial tension, a City whose primary businesses struggled against rising overseas competition...
And now, an example of the potential financial collapse of city governments that make promises that can't be kept.
I never knew the glory days of Detroit. I don't know what will arise from the ashes.
Indeed, I don't even know if the self-immolation of the City is complete. It is sad, and strange. So far, the suburbs have managed to not share in the ruin of the CIty. I don't know if that will be the case in the future...