Hamtramck Water Woes

Also published in the Hamtramck Review One thing that unites all Hamtramck residents is our distress over our water bills. Bills seem to get higher and higher every year, even as we confront challenges to the quality of our water. This year, Hamtramck has simultaneously shifted toward automated water meter while reducing our ability to […]

Check-Save-Buy

Previously published in the Free Press with minor unapproved edits. Original below: It started with a Facebook post “77-year old women needs help immediately!” The woman was a renter of a tax foreclosed home, and a stream of well-meaning friends offered their advice about what she should do. There was fear that she would face eviction, […]

Beneath The Steam

Originally published in Hour Detroit An iconic image of winter in Detroit is the columns of smoke spewing from sidewalks. Steaming streets are part of the landscape, but few know the answers that lie beneath this mystery in plain sight. Below our sidewalks, there’s a vast infrastructure that includes electricity, water, sewer, and fiber optics. […]

Government Can Stop Government Foreclosure

Originally published in the Detroit Free Press If you’re anything like me, you feel a little sick when you hear that yet another 36,000 Detroit properties are facing tax foreclosure this year. Tax foreclosure is an autoimmune disorder through which our own local government has become the agent of its own destruction. The city, the […]

Reparations 313

[Originally published by ModelD. All photos depict homes that were occupied when they were acquired by Detroit Land Bank Authority but are now vacant.] Detroit’s greatest paradox is its abundance of space and its scarcity of quality housing. The massive stock of single family homes once sustained double the current population. Yet each year, more […]

A Patriot is Born- Hamtramck, USA

  As a multigenerational caucasian-American, I have lived my life in a position of privilege relative to many other Americans. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, most of mine have been met, and I enjoy the luxury of being able to quibble and complain about relatively minor offenses. It’s always been hard for me to […]

Goodbye Goodwell’s

The following is a conversation that my friend Margo Dalal and I had about the closing of Goodwell’s Market.  Michele: “Pocket sandwich with avocado and cheese.” For an indecisive person, figuring out lunch can be a difficult prospect. What I loved about Goodwell’s is that I always knew what to order and, when lunchtime rolled around, I always […]

Silent Auction

Detroit’s Largest Missed Opportunity (originally published in a similar form by Occupy.com) Last month, the ACLU filed suit against the Wayne County Treasurer (WCT) for foreclosing on owner-occupied homes. The lawsuit has been anticipated for years, and could dramatically affect the fate of thousands if it successful halts the auction sale of those properties, but, even […]

New York Is

New York is a line at the airport taxi-stand, 50 people long, filled with strangers each going somewhere but incapable of considering the prospect of coordinating destinations with the somebodies around them. New York is a special machine for fixing traffic lights, making its way down 7th Ave. New York is two homeless people cuddling between a […]