Detroit struck me as a city of culture and taste. Strolling through Midtown, I was surprised to find such variety of architecture on one single street. There were Gothic chapels, residential houses that reminded me of the Renaissance, and so much more that gave me déja vu’s. Having visited the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum, I was further convinced that Detroit is gravely underrated. Self-portrait of Van Gogh, pop art of Andy Warhol, even Greek vases and Egyptian mummies filled the eyes of visitors with wonder. The collection that the DIA boosts reminded me of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Now that I remembered New York, it appeared to me that Detroit used to be a city like New York. The skyscrapers in downtown testify to its past glories. They are time stamps reminding us of how great Detroit once was and also what it could again become. The spirit of love Detroiters have for their city is unparalleled. In the short few days here, I have met so many entrepreneurs aiming to help their community, whose energy and tireless minds fuel the rebirth of Detroit. I have walked on multiple streets and seen people wearing apparels featuring the Detroit “D,” showcasing their pride for their city.
At the same time, though, I noticed that every so often, there would be an awkward gap between buildings whose sides were curiously smooth. It turned out that the gaps were once filled by buildings much like those that were still standing. These demolitions are common in Detroit, as space is needed for redevelopment and old buildings fall beyond repair after decades of neglect. The empty space simultaneously signifies the deathbed of the old and birthplace of the new. People, of course, are needed to facilitate both processes of destruction and creation. I am here to create. During my brief stay in Detroit, I hope to best utilize my time at Build Institute to ease the process for local entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. I want to help create a bridge for the aspiring people of Detroit to their desired destination. I hope that by the end of the summer, I would have helped alleviate the challenges entrepreneurs still face in starting and maintaining their business and constructed a framework for a powerful Build Institute alumni network that will benefit the experienced and the new alike. I sincerely want to make a positive change in this community that I am quickly getting attached to.