I cannot use one word to conclude what I have seen for these days. Probably the word Character can narrowly describe my feeling. “Detroit got its own characters” I said to myself all the time. For the second day we arrived, we visited Heidelberg Project in Detroit, we were shocked by how large amount of “wired” art forms there that symbolize crime. And the Scavenger Hunt then in downtown area made me think I was in NYC. Of course, it is different from NYC. Detroit gets its character. We saw skyscrapers, people in suit and people walking fast, even fancy boutique stores, but I can definitely tell they have Detroit in their essence. During the scavenger hunt, we were amazed by how friendly and interesting local people are. They would smile and say hi to you on the street and help you debug every spot we need to go.
For our working space Green Garage, it is a green incubator rebuilt from an automobile factory. The engineer owner Tom and his wife turned it into a spacious center for local startups to grow their business. They designed the building with a green recycling system. They weigh their wastes everyday and keep leftovers for free for people to eat. All companies inside have to reach the golden 3 deadlines that Tom came up: People, Profit, Planet. So all the startups follow the rule and work well together.
Eastern Market is another gift Detroit surprises me. It is located in the corner of north eastern. How can you image the “abandoned” city has such a vibrant and busy market for everything, from flowers to vegetables, from fish to pies. People from all over the city come on Saturday to sell and buy fresh groceries. I walk between all these colorful sites and got dizzy. A city cannot “die” if it still has such a busy market. People can live in a city without advanced finance center, without a convenient subway system, but they cannot live in a city without a market since food is the very basic need for everyone. After shopping for groceries, I sat down on a bench and a lady came to me and asked me whether she can share the bench with me. She started talking about her life in Detroit. She lost her husband and son last year. After one year immersed herself in sadness, she decided to have her life back and started eating more fresh and healthy food instead of junk food. She said she lived in Detroit for her life and she loved people here. “You can always smile to people and say hi to them! Hey! This is Detroit girl; glad you are here!” I smiled to her and realized， at that moment，Detroit is closer to me.
During the first week, I got so many great pictures in Detroit. Photography are my own way to record my life. Any detail and flashing moment can be caught by camera. Here are some good ones for you. I will keep using it as my pen to know Detroit better. (Instagram:carolinelai619)