I’ve lived in Detroit for about 5 months now, and I am proud to say that I’m obsessed with this city. Everything about it amazes me. The art, the cultures, the food, the people….there is something new and different to experience every single day. This city has opened, not only my eyes, but my heart to more that I could’ve ever imagined. But enough about me and my love story…this one is about my family and their love affair with the city.
My dad graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy’s Dental School back in the late 80’s. So you could say his experience in Detroit was much different than the one I am having now. But none the less, he has always enjoyed the city and the things it had to offer him back in his younger days. He loves to tell me stories of places he used to go that are still around today and also how much things have changed since he lived down here. You could say convincing him to fall back in love with the city has been a pretty easy task considering he never really fell out of it.
My mom lived a very different life over in the suburbs but when she met my dad, she had to visit Detroit by default. She had some different experiences with the city and probably had some great times but never got the feeling that she could ever make it her home. Getting her to trust the city and feel safe with me living in it has been difficult but I’m starting to break down her wall. I’ve even heard her defend the city to people that might not have the best opinions of it. Go Mom!
My brothers’ interactions with the city have also been very limited to the occasional sporting event or bar night. But the more I tell them about all the cool things I get to do, the more impressed they become with it. I think they’re well on their way to creating their own unique relationship with Detroit.
My grandparents….oh dear….my grandparents. It is safe to say that they will never love this city nor will they come visit me in this city. Part of me understands where these feelings come from and the other part of me just wishes they would open their minds to the great changes happening in Detroit. With that being said, every chance I get to brag about the city, I take it. Hopefully, they will be able to at least understand how much I care about Detroit.
In just dealing with my family’s reactions to the city I have learned a very valuable lesson in understanding people and also in doing things that might not always be so popular with those around you. At the end of the day I know my family loves and supports me and any decision I choose to make is one they know I have made on my own. My goal is to keep breaking down these walls for my family members, friends, and strangers so that they too can fall in love with a city that is so worthy of it.