Category Archives: Blog

Detroit Street Lights

Detroit May Shut Off Half Of It’s Street Lights To Save Money

The city of Detroit has 88,000 street lights, of which around 40% are broken. The decision to trim down it’s street lights to 46k units isn’t final yet, but Mayor Bing says it could save the city up to $10 Million a year in maintenance costs alone. The savings would come by using contractors to maintain the lights instead of salaried employees of the city. However, this plan is contingent upon borrowing $160 Million to upgrade the current street lights as well. How bad are the lights? Check out this picture I took on Michigan Ave back in 2009:

Detroit street lights

The city has made it clear that it does not want to light up distressed areas. Some neighborhoods are only 10-15% occupied, and therefore are not economically viable to provide the same level of services that more populated areas receive.

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ghettopoly board

Ghetto Games

Although this isn’t really Detroit related, but Flint is close enough. Does anyone remember the game “Dort Highway Hos”? I recall playing this game online about 10 years ago. I don’t know why I thought of it this afternoon, but curiosity finally got the best of me and I decided to look it up and post it here. It’s nothing special, but mildly entertaining to anyone who has ever been to Flint, or “little Detroit”.

Basically, you’re a pimp on Dort Highway, and you start out with $200. The whole game is pretty much what you see in the screenshot below. My favorite item is the “STD B Gone”, lol.

Dort Highway Hos

dort highway hoes

Another funny game I remember hearing about was called Ghettopoly. It’s Monopoly, but based in the hood. Again, this was around 10 years ago. The 4 railroads were replaced with liquor stores, and the game pieces included a 40oz’er, machine gun, pimp, ho, basketball, crack rock, and marijuana leaf. It wasn’t long before people started complaining about it being racist, and it ultimately got pulled off the shelves. The owner continued to market it himself until he got sued for copying Monopoly. It now sells on Amazon for around $90 due to it’s rarity.

ghettopoly board

And finally, there’s a game called “Ghetto Getaway”, in which you are in the hood trying to outrun the police in your car.

Ghetto Getaway

Ghetto Getaway

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Detroit’s Packard Plant Set To Be Demolished

Taken from the Detroit News:

The purported owner of the Packard Plant says he is days away from starting to barricade and fence off the 3.5-million-square-foot eyesore as a part of his plan to demolish one of the city’s most iconic ruins.

Dominic Cristini said Thursday he has hired a demolition firm and plans on applying for permits in the next several days to secure the sprawling, dilapidated plant on East Grand Boulevard near Concord. Cristini, who claims he’s the sole owner through his company, Bioresource, said he wants to start the demolition process within a month.

“I am going to demolish the building,” Cristini said. “It’s unsafe, and it’s got to come down. I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I am just trying to do the right and responsible thing.”

He estimates it will cost $6 million to raze the Albert Kahn-designed plant built by the luxury automaker that went out of business in 1958, adding that recovered scrap metal will offset the cost.

A small crew from AVC Services based in Harrison Township was onsite Thursday, assessing ways to cut it off from the constant stream of scavengers, homeless and artists who have made it a popular underground site for years.

“We are going to see if it is possible to secure it,” Antonio Carlomusto of AVC said Thursday.

Cristini said they may try to save portions of the plant for historical value but isn’t sure whether that is possible.

Detroit officials said Thursday the plant has already gone through demolition hearings and was ordered down in April 2011.

packard plant ruins

“We have always been willing to work with the property owners to bring their property into compliance,” said Karla Henderson, Mayor Dave Bing’s Group Executive of Planning and Facilities. “We support their efforts.”

The facility is one of Detroit’s most well-known ruins and for nearly 15 years went through an often-bizarre legal battle over ownership between the city and Bioresource. About four years ago, the Michigan Supreme Court put the property back in Bioresource’s hands. Records have showed real estate investor Romel Casab as the company president, but Cristini said Thursday he is the only owner.

Cristini, who was released from federal prison in 2010 after serving a four-year drug sentence, said he has been working with city officials to pave the way for the demolition.

The city has a tax lien on the property for at least $300,000. Many of the parcels showed tens of thousands are owed in unpaid property taxes as of earlier this year. Some parcelsare facing foreclosure this fall.

The sprawling plant has been ravaged by time, the elements and scavengers, but it continues to attract admirers.

“In a sick way, it’s incredibly beautiful,” freelance photographer Casey Carlton said Thursday as she explored the edges of Packard.

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Good Detroit Ghetto Video

I watched a good video about Detroit today and wanted to post it up here for all to see. The creator of the video put some commentary over the video, giving lots of good facts and statistics about the city.

Facts and statements about Detroit,taken from the author’s youtube video description:

1. Detroit is the 3rd most dangerous city to live in in the united states and flint a near by city is the 4th most dangerous criminal city in the usa.

2. 7 out of 10 murders go unsolved in the motor city.

3. There are 95,000 abandon homes in Detroit and 85,000 abandon businesses in Detroit.

4. Census has calculated that since 2000 to 2010 that 250,000 people have left Detroit.

5. Since 1950 half of Detroit’s population has left the motor city.

6. Unemployment is up to estimated 50% in the city of Detroit.

7. Graduation rates in the D are 25%! Kids are more likely to end up in prison than finishing high school.

8. More people live in poverty than cars on the street.

9. Abandon homes in Detroit have turned into drug houses and meth labs.

10. On devils night kids go out and burn abandon buildings about 200 last year were burned down.

11. At the MacDonald’s they had bullet proof windows like at a bank and you had to pass your money through a machine.

12. Michigan is the 3rd most unemployed state in the usa.

13. Obama bailed out GM and helped create 75,000 jobs but the jobs were out sourced and the people of Detroit never got to see any of those jobs.

14. Detroit looks like hurricane Katrina hit it

15. Detroit is the only place in America that you can walk around and see 30 story sky scrapers everywhere that are abandoned. This is not common in other cities.

16. Its like something you would see out of I am legend it looks like a abandoned historical city left in ruins

17. Detroit used to be one of the most high class wealthy cities in America.

18. Real state is at record lows because of the high amounts of abandon homes that lower housing cost. The Detroit news said that hundreds of houses are up for sale in Detroit for only a dollar $1

19. Wild animals are moving back into the city… pheasants, coyotes, even beavers

20. Criminals are moving to nearby cities like the capitol city of Michigan which is Lansing Mi and places like flint which has caused city crimes to rise in these near by cities.

21. Mayor Dave Bing has pledged to knock down 10,000 structures in his first term as part of a plan to size down Detroit, so the city can reflect its shrinking population

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