I think that the events we’ve been going to and How to Kill a City tie into each other very nicely. Both have enhanced my knowledge of the history of the city. The book has definitely made me think about my place in the city as an outsider moving into midtown and working at my placement. First and foremost, I don’t think that I would have been able to work at my placement ethically without knowing what I have learned about gentrification. There’s a reason why some people have all the power in the city. You need to understand why some problems exist in order to begin to try to alleviate them. Reading the book has made me more conscious about where I spend money, trying to support local businesses. It’s made me a little more wary of any new development, knowing that there’s a large chance that it comes from two developers.
It’s also something to come to terms with knowing that I am a part of the gentrification process without meaning to be. It’s especially interesting considering that I am looking for a place to live next year at the moment. One of the potential roommates I’m talking to is pretty dead set on living in midtown, but it is clear he doesn’t have much experience with the city as he has sent me listings that are not in midtown. However, judging him for this is extremely hypocritical of me, considering that most of the knowledge I have of Detroit is relatively new and I am still an outsider. Navigating this kind of situation with the knowledge I have gained from reading this book is interesting and I’m still not entirely sure how to do it.