Blackness in the New Detroit” [Periphery Magazine]

“You don’t remember how you got here. The last time you walked into one of the new, trendy bars with your black friends, you drank. Now, the “new Detroit” or the “one Detroit” asks if you had ever drank there in the first place. So now you go to these bars and count the people that look like you, because now your blackness is coming into question among white people who think it doesn’t exist because they didn’t see it there on opening night. And you can’t enjoy your drink.” By Aaron Foley

Industrial Rust Belt Technology Used To Make Art [West Virginia Public Broadcasting]

“West Virginia University Art Professor, Dylan Collins has been dedicated to an older technology as of late: Iron Casting.  It takes quite a crew to get a coke-filled furnace up to temperature to melt iron, but once it reaches 2,000 degrees, these artists work for hours filling sand molds with beautiful, orange-glowing, molten iron.”

Why Are There So Many Dead Malls? The Middle Class Is Dying, Too [Consumerist]

“The New York Times has a sad take on the dead mall trend, now that the holidays are over and malls are emptier than they were a few weeks ago. We’re referring to the malls when saying, “What will take their place,” but could easily be referring to the American middle class instead.”

Why The Media Don’t Get Detroit–And Why It Matters [Columbia Journalism Review] [with a nod to us!]

“the idea of renewal has begun to drive more of the media storyline. Such rosy analyses typically lack historical or geographical context, focusing on one neighborhood or one segment of the population at a time. Micro-developers may have bought up a handful of vacant homes, and new businesses may be sprouting in downtown areas. But such developments are happening amid a large, diverse metro area; their impact is easily overstated. “Trend pieces and roundup pieces about revitalization or startups or cool hipster breweries are very popular to write,” said Anne Trubek, founder of the Cleveland-based Belt Magazine, which publishes level-headed longform on the Rust Belt. “And then there’s the ruins, though people are less interested in the ruins nowadays. Both these things are happening and both these things are true. But we try to integrate both into the same story as opposed to bouncing between poles.”

How Suburbs Could Go From Rot to Rad [Grist] [with another nod to Belt]

“Belt argues that these older suburbs are already attracting the kind of infill development that characterizes Bethesda, while 1950s-era suburbs like Ferguson are in a predicament similar to what shopping malls face: They’re too much an artifact of a specific era to easily adapt to the one that we live in now. They’ll look more and more like the images that we’re used to seeing of under-populated neighborhoods in Detroit, where maybe one house per block is still maintained and standing.”