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Detroit: A city in foreclosure

A BOAT LIES on its side in an empty lot. Abandoned in a neighborhood miles from the water, a neighborhood where no one can afford boats, let alone the truck and the trailer that would haul the boat there. But there lies the boat. Now multiply that boat by fifty or even a hundred, tossed over the years in lots all over the city. It isn’t a metaphor. They come from the suburbs, dumped in Detroit because that seems to be the easiest and cheapest way to dispose of such a thing. They dump other things too, none of it legal, and it all becomes a part of a neighborhood.

There are other stories that are harder to see. An empty, boarded-up house might represent someone who has moved on, a symbol of the abandonment this city has seen as thousands of people have, over time, moved out beyond the city limits.

But that emptiness might indicate another history.

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