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  1. #11
    bobwysiwyg's Avatar
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    Like many large, industrial cities, Detroit has its problems. It also has its +'s. Unfortunately, right now, the media chooses to focus on the problems. The major problems facing the city now are a declining population, a declining budget for city services, yet the city encompasses 140+ square miles!

    I live in Ann Arbor, but commuted to Detroit, for work, for 19 years before being transferred to a smaller building of ours in New Hudson. I enjoyed the downtown area, but the commute was becoming pretty expensive and put lots of miles on a car in a hurry.
    WYSIWYG - At least that's my goal.

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  2. #12
    CGW
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    I'm tiring of the Detroit "tour of the ruins" books and photoblogs--as if "Recession Porn" could have no other subjects or focus. Not sure if it's "I'm alright, Jack" myopia or simple aversion to its ubiquity and variations that makes the recession(not to mention long-term industrial decline) limited to Detroit. I'm 90 minutes away from Buffalo here in Toronto and see decay there at least as profound, especially in its profound architectural legacy. Don't see much photojournalistic coverage of the other recession ground zeroes like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Perhaps it looks too much like home compared to Detroit's wreckage.

  3. #13
    chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CGW View Post
    I'm tiring of the Detroit "tour of the ruins" books and photoblogs--as if "Recession Porn" could have no other subjects or focus. Not sure if it's "I'm alright, Jack" myopia or simple aversion to its ubiquity and variations that makes the recession(not to mention long-term industrial decline) limited to Detroit. I'm 90 minutes away from Buffalo here in Toronto and see decay there at least as profound, especially in its profound architectural legacy. Don't see much photojournalistic coverage of the other recession ground zeroes like Phoenix or Las Vegas. Perhaps it looks too much like home compared to Detroit's wreckage.
    I never heard of Phoenix or Vegas being 'ground zero' for the recession. Check out Elkhart, Indiana with its nearly 40% unemployment rate (the real unemployment, not the lie the govt. issues) The recession has been far worse on manufacturing cities like Detroit and Elkhart.
    Chris Crawford
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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    I never heard of Phoenix or Vegas being 'ground zero' for the recession. Check out Elkhart, Indiana with its nearly 40% unemployment rate (the real unemployment, not the lie the govt. issues) The recession has been far worse on manufacturing cities like Detroit and Elkhart.
    Vegas unemployment isn't that high, but 70% of Vegas homeowners have mortgages that are underwater, after housing prices dropped 50% or more in just a couple of years. That's the worst in the nation, as is their foreclosure rate. For this recession, I would consider Las Vegas to be ground zero.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    I never heard of Phoenix or Vegas being 'ground zero' for the recession.
    Vegas and Phoenix were, along with Miami, the epicenters of the housing/credit bubble in the US. There was massive speculative overbuilding. Instead of closed auto plants they have unfinished and uninhabited housing developments. The problems of Detroit and Buffalo have been building for a long time.

    I recall seeing a while back an interesting photo tour of some of the abandoned and foreclosed developments in the Vegas area, but I can't now find the link.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moopheus View Post
    Vegas and Phoenix were, along with Miami, the epicenters of the housing/credit bubble in the US. There was massive speculative overbuilding. Instead of closed auto plants they have unfinished and uninhabited housing developments.
    ...which are less naturally photogenic than the ruins of grand public spaces. The aesthetics of those abandoned buildings in Detroit are kind of low-hanging fruit---past glories still visible through the advance of decay and all that---whereas it's harder to turn a modern subdivision that happens to be empty into a compelling visual "storyline".

    There's an unfinished development just up the hill from me---not an abandoned suburban wasteland (the parts that were built seem to be reasonably fully inhabited), but the developer ran out of money before finishing the project. The graded and platted sections, with surveyors' stakes waiting around for their surveyors and neatly laid-out lots slowly getting overgrown with chaparral flora, have a certain unsettling desolation about them, but I've never been able to capture it on film. It's probably a good thing to keep working on.

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    Last edited by ntenny; 01-31-2011 at 12:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: oops, flora, not fauna!
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  7. #17
    Ken N's Avatar
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    Industries come and industries go. Detroit was built primarily on one type of industry and failed to diversify to any large degree. Same with places like Elkhart, Indiana.

    But the question is: Who is responsible?

    A follow up question is: How can we prevent it in the future?

    An empty Packard plant really doesn't mean anything because those weren't diversified jobs, just one more factory of the same thing.
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken N View Post
    But the question is: Who is responsible?
    Why would you assume someone is responsible? Situations like this have happened for thousands of years, due to geography, natural resources, and market forces. "Diversifying" is a nice concept, but it's a very difficult thing for a city or state to pull off.

  9. #19
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose10101 View Post
    Why would you assume someone is responsible?
    So we know who to blame and who to sue.


    And, um, what does "porn" have to do with this?

  10. #20
    CGW
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscrawfordphoto View Post
    I never heard of Phoenix or Vegas being 'ground zero' for the recession. Check out Elkhart, Indiana with its nearly 40% unemployment rate (the real unemployment, not the lie the govt. issues) The recession has been far worse on manufacturing cities like Detroit and Elkhart.
    I dunno, Chris. The Rust Belt's suffering isn't qualitatively different than the Sun Belt's--both stem from economic collapse and crushed dreams. I grew up in LA and Phoenix and know their aspirational drive and how it fed the mortgage meltdown. Repo houses have just as much finality as decayed factories. If anything, the spotless sunshine of Phoenix makes the suburban wastes even scarier, especially when you consider what drove people away. Mortgage crashes were truly a pandemic affecting both 'burbs and a gated enclaves. This little video from the excellent "California is a Place" series shows the suburban ruins as well as anything.

    http://californiaisaplace.com/cali/c...ll/#cannonball

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