Moving to DETROIT!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2011 3:46 PM GMT
    Hi friends and strangers! I just landed my first job out of school at a great design firm in the Detroit area and I'll be moving at the end of August.

    I'm excited to start my career and get to know a new city, but I'm a little nervous; Detroit can be a little intimidating, and I won't know anyone in the area. Any tips on mastering the Motor City? Advice on places/areas to live and insight into the gay community would be especially helpful at this point. Thanks guys,

    t
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    Jul 24, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    i just saw a through a presentation on how detroits population has steadily declined over the past decades and how much of the city is reverting back to its original state- essentially farmland. must be an interesting place to work in the design field. i hear housing is incredibly cheap.
    sorry couldnt offer you any advice on its gay life or anything else, but good luck.
  • Timbales

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    Jul 24, 2011 8:09 PM GMT
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    Jul 24, 2011 8:20 PM GMT
    The gay community is small...most of the bars are scattered throughout neighborhoods that most people don't prefer to be in, and...there isn't much "gay life" going on. As for where to live, what school are you attending? If you're going to be within the Detroit city limits, you'll want to choose where to live wisely...or just stick to the suburbs. Public Transportation sucks, so unless you're living close to school you'll need a car.
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    Jul 24, 2011 9:24 PM GMT
    detroit is really cool right now. it feels like bushwick or other early-stage gentrified parts of brooklyn. there's a really cool community feeling right now, with lots of galleries and art projects and new restaurants popping up. plus, rent downtown is cheap as hell for amazing spaces.
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    Jul 24, 2011 9:30 PM GMT
    try and live in the Royal Oak or Ferndale areas! Its a very nice area and lots of gays live there
  • SomeSiciliano...

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    Jul 24, 2011 10:30 PM GMT
    GVJoe90 saidtry and live in the Royal Oak or Ferndale areas! Its a very nice area and lots of gays live there


    And Ann Arbor aka A2. I was based there for two years...no, it aint Chicago..but its not Weeblesburg, ND either.
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    Jul 24, 2011 10:42 PM GMT
    The Woodward corridor of southern Oakland county is the place to be- Royal Oak (where I live), Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, or Birmingham. Sounds like a lot of cities, but it is really the same area. They are all small in area and are all within about six miles along Woodward Avenue. Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, and the south half of Royal Oak are the gayest area of metro Detroit. You must have a car in the Detroit area, even if you live in the city close to your work as there is no major grocery stores or much other kinds of shopping within the Detroit city limits and it is a pain to use the bus getting out to suburban shopping. Otherwise you would have to get your groceries at liquor stores.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferndale,_Michigan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Oak,_Michigan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birmingham,_Michigan
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    Jul 24, 2011 10:48 PM GMT
    BiItalianBro said
    GVJoe90 saidtry and live in the Royal Oak or Ferndale areas! Its a very nice area and lots of gays live there


    And Ann Arbor aka A2. I was based there for two years...no, it aint Chicago..but its not Weeblesburg, ND either.


    I've lived in a few places in Michigan including Ann Arbor and would agree it is one of the best places Michigan has to offer. But the OP is working in Detroit and I wouldn't recommend that daily long freeway drive to anyone. I did it for a while and grew very tired of it pretty quickly.
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    Jul 24, 2011 11:06 PM GMT
    I think the gay area is called Ferndale and it is going thru a revival. You still can buy a house for like 10K that is in pretty good shape. The bad news they have lost one million residents in this decade. The good news, the ones that are staying are pretty sturdy. I have a lot of family there and they keep moving away from Detroit towards the suburbs closer to Ann Arbor but it's pretty sterile out there.


    Good luck
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2011 11:24 PM GMT
    First of all, congratulations!

    I have lived in the Detroit area my whole life. It’s taken its lumps and everybody seems to have an opinion about it. But the area is very culturally and historically rich and hopefully you will enjoy living and working here.

    You don’t say if you are a city or suburban guy. I agree with Iceblink about Ferndale, Royal Oak and Birmingham (I live in Birmingham myself). Those suburban communities each are very high density and each has a nice downtown with a lot of activity. I also agree that (unfortunately) having a car here is very important.

    If you are up for an authentic city experience there seems to be a lot of momentum building in Detroit proper especially in the area known as Midtown. There are also a lot of interesting places to live including high rises, brownstones, lofts, and an apartment/condo community designed by Mies van der Rohe. Living the the city does come with issues though including crime, city services, and a lack of everyday amenities (For instance I believe the city is without a major grocery store.)

    While it’s not Chicago, there is a decent gay community here. You will find some old school bars in the city, but the gay community is mostly anchored in Ferndale (see above)

    The online Pride Source directory is our source for GLBT friendly businesses and organizations. You might find that helpful.

    http://www.pridesource.com/directory.html

    If you need more info, feel free to message me.
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Jul 24, 2011 11:45 PM GMT
    Hey I grew up in Detroit and was recently back for a few years post-college. I worked with urban planning initiatives so I'm fairly versed in the state of Detroit neighorhoods. Live in suburbs if you don't mind the pretentiousness. Birmingham and Royal Oak tend to be moreso than Ferndale. There's not much to do in Ferndale anyway. I would suggest checking out the Midtown area. A lot of young singles and young families have been moving there. There is a lot of activity and it's been very stable during the City's decline. It's close to downtown, the Cass Corridor, Comerica Park (Tigers stadium), and the museums.

    Depending on your income and desired lifestyle, you can also check out University District, Palmer Woods, and Sherwood Forest. Those are residential areas on the North-West side, right on the border of Ferndale. Those tend to be pretty big houses, some are akin to mansions. Living there gives you easy access to Woodward Ave, making the drive to Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham pretty easy. But there's not much there in terms of nightlife.

    Where there isn't a huge gay nightlife in the area for young people--sorry to fans but Pronto's sucks--there are lgbt and gay-friendly sports leagues. There's a RJer on here with a picture of a blue jersey playing soccer, name starts with a 'c'. He's involved in several and he's always looking for new members. New environments can always seem intimidating, especially when you hear so much bad stuff about them. Once you get there, you'll find Detroitors are some of the nicest, welcoming people you'll meet in a large city. They take pride in their city and the culture that it represents. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. Good luck and congrats on the job!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    HisAlterEgo saidHey I grew up in Detroit and was recently back for a few years post-college. I worked with urban planning initiatives so I'm fairly versed in the state of Detroit neighorhoods. Live in suburbs if you don't mind the pretentiousness. Birmingham and Royal Oak tend to be moreso than Ferndale. There's not much to do in Ferndale anyway. I would suggest checking out the Midtown area. A lot of young singles and young families have been moving there. There is a lot of activity and it's been very stable during the City's decline. It's close to downtown, the Cass Corridor, Comerica Park (Tigers stadium), and the museums.

    Depending on your income and desired lifestyle, you can also check out University District, Palmer Woods, and Sherwood Forest. Those are residential areas on the North-West side, right on the border of Ferndale. Those tend to be pretty big houses, some are akin to mansions. Living there gives you easy access to Woodward Ave, making the drive to Ferndale, Royal Oak, and Birmingham pretty easy. But there's not much there in terms of nightlife.

    Where there isn't a huge gay nightlife there--sorry to fans but Pronto's sucks--there are lgbt and gay-friendly sports leagues. There's a RJer on here with a picture of a blue jersey playing soccer, name starts with a 'c'. He's involved in several and he's always looking for new members. New environments can always seem intimidating, especially when you hear so much bad stuff about them. Once you get there, you'll find Detroitors are some of the nicest, welcoming people you'll meet in a large city. They take pride in their city and the culture that it represents. Feel free to email me if you have any specific questions. Good luck and congrats on the job!


    LOL! I love that you mentioned Pronto. It does suck...but it just happens to suck less then everywhere else in the city!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2011 11:47 PM GMT
    My dad is from Detroit and I still have a lot of family in Michigan... when I swing by there I'd surely come and visit though icon_smile.gif
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Jul 25, 2011 12:21 AM GMT
    patientboy saiddetroit is really cool right now. it feels like bushwick or other early-stage gentrified parts of brooklyn. there's a really cool community feeling right now, with lots of galleries and art projects and new restaurants popping up. plus, rent downtown is cheap as hell for amazing spaces.


    I mostly agree with you. I'd just qualify the statement a bit. Just like you picked out a particular neighborhood in a borough of NYC, the same should be done for Detroit. It's a big city with many neighborhoods having their own flavor. I think Corktown and Midtown are befitting the Bushwich analogy. And I would add that New Center is like downtown Brooklyn.

    Oh, and off-topic from the quote: The crime-ridden neighborhoods are mostly on the east side of the city, not in downtown and certainly not in the reprised neighborhoods I mentioned. Crime is a reality anywhere you go. Don't let media sensationalism and dire-warnings-of-old deter you from experiencing something great.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2011 12:22 AM GMT
    Make sure to see the ruins, and the urban prairie.
  • MarvelClimber

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    Jul 25, 2011 12:24 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidMake sure to see the ruins, and the urban prairie.


    Do you have any suggestions for new projects, developments, or community initatives? I'm just saying, navigating ruins doesn't exactly give you a positive feeling icon_smile.gif
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    Jul 25, 2011 12:27 AM GMT
    HisAlterEgo said
    JackNWNJ saidMake sure to see the ruins, and the urban prairie.


    Do you have any suggestions for new projects, developments, or community initatives? I'm just saying, navigating ruins doesn't exactly give you a positive feeling icon_smile.gif


    No. The place is hopeless.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2011 12:33 AM GMT
    velovert2 saidHi friends and strangers! I just landed my first job out of school at a great design firm in the Detroit area and I'll be moving at the end of August.



    I just noticed you don't actually say the design firm is in Detroit but in the Detroit area. Many of these suggestions being made could be poor choices for you as the Detroit suburbs are very extensive- Detroit has just over 700,000 people but the metro area population is nearly 5 million. Without choosing the correct area, you could be quite a distance from your job. In what city is the design firm?
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Jul 25, 2011 12:33 AM GMT
    velovert2 saidHi friends and strangers! I just landed my first job out of school at a great design firm in the Detroit area and I'll be moving at the end of August.

    I'm excited to start my career and get to know a new city, but I'm a little nervous; Detroit can be a little intimidating, and I won't know anyone in the area. Any tips on mastering the Motor City? Advice on places/areas to live and insight into the gay community would be especially helpful at this point. Thanks guys,

    t
    well congrats on the new job. its sucks you are moving to detroit though
  • MarvelClimber

    Posts: 511

    Jul 25, 2011 12:34 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    HisAlterEgo said
    JackNWNJ saidMake sure to see the ruins, and the urban prairie.


    Do you have any suggestions for new projects, developments, or community initatives? I'm just saying, navigating ruins doesn't exactly give you a positive feeling icon_smile.gif


    No. The place is hopeless.


    Obviously I disagree, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. The OP asked for helpful information. He can see all the ruin porn via various media outlets. Even if he is interested in touring them, he should know that most you can't get into legally and they can be very dangerous. Seeing as he doesn't know anyone there, maybe some advice on nice places to meet people would be more constructive.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2011 12:36 AM GMT
    HisAlterEgo said
    JackNWNJ said
    HisAlterEgo said
    JackNWNJ saidMake sure to see the ruins, and the urban prairie.


    Do you have any suggestions for new projects, developments, or community initatives? I'm just saying, navigating ruins doesn't exactly give you a positive feeling icon_smile.gif


    No. The place is hopeless.


    Obviously I disagree, but everyone is entitled to their opinions. The OP asked for helpful information. He can see all the ruin porn via various media outlets. Even if he is interested in touring them, he should know that most you can't get into legally and they can be very dangerous. Seeing as he doesn't know anyone there, maybe some advice on nice places to meet people would be more constructive.


    I agree, every city has it's positives and negatives. It's all about what you make of the situation.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 25, 2011 12:37 AM GMT
    hmm its hopeless because too many bigots still live there. That city could have been a boom epicenter. It is the home base city manufacturer of Chrysler god dammit. If the city government of Detroit stop favoring corruption and start pumping money back into public programs, the city would have grown and show a growing profit margin. I believe that Detroit can become the next big city but its up to American investors to realize this before foreign investors from the middle east or Europe figure out that theres money to be made in Detroit.
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    Jul 25, 2011 11:56 AM GMT
    Wow, thanks guys!

    My job will be in Southfield, so living in the suburbs you've mentioned will probably be the most convenient (been looking in Royal Oak, Ferndale, etc...). That being said, I've lived in the Columbus suburbs for a few years now and something a little more urban would be refreshing, if that makes any sense. Can anyone comment on the traffic/rush hour/ commute situation from downtown and the adjacent areas? I have a car and like to drive, and I'm assuming commuting from the city into the suburbs will be against the grain of normal traffic flow, but daily hours of gridlock would make that a little less desirable.

    Also, great suggestion on the gay sports leagues, businesses and organizations from Pocket_Pal and HisAlterEgo, something I will definitely be checking out. I found a website for the local gay and lesbian softball league, anyone play in it on here?

    I'm starting to get a much better feeling about the city now... and everyone DOES seem to have a strong opinion so I'm going into it with an open mind (like fuzzywuzzy said, it's all about what you make of it). I like what I'm hearing about comparisons to the boroughs of NYC too. Sounds like there's a bit of a renaissance going on!

    Thanks for all the great tips, look forward to hearing more from you guys and seeing more in person for myself... see you in a month!

    t


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 27, 2011 12:58 AM GMT
    If you were living in Downtown Detroit and commuting out to Southfield you will be going the opposite way of traffic. The Lodge freeway goes directly to Southfield from Downtown. There are some nice apartments on the riverfront and the midtown/cultural center area. You said you had considered Ferndale or Birmingham but was thinking about something more urban, but Ferndale and Royal Oak are not your traditional suburbs of curving cul de sacs, malls, and look-a-like homes. The houses are nice, older and close together (so close that in Ferndale you might not even get a driveway), lofts, and both cities have real neighborhoods and proper downtowns (not the fake ones some newer suburbs have tried to create). You only live in Colubus so you should just make a drive and check it out. Glad you do have a car because in Detroit everyone has a car. If you don't have one, we just assume you got a drunk driving.