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That’s it for us from the Motor City. We heard a lot of opinions about Detroit’s bankruptcy and the city’s future. We talked with people in their backyards, at the bus stop, and around the breakfast table. Listen to Weekend Edition Sunday over the next couple weeks to hear the stories we collected while we were here.
In the meantime, we leave you with this image. The iconic sculpture of Joe Louis’s fist. Says a whole lot about the spirit of this place.

That’s it for us from the Motor City. We heard a lot of opinions about Detroit’s bankruptcy and the city’s future. We talked with people in their backyards, at the bus stop, and around the breakfast table. Listen to Weekend Edition Sunday over the next couple weeks to hear the stories we collected while we were here.

In the meantime, we leave you with this image. The iconic sculpture of Joe Louis’s fist. Says a whole lot about the spirit of this place.

“My name is Ella. My name is not Ford, or Chrysler or GM. I’m talking about being able to buy food and provide rent and heat. I’m not talking about furnishing an office. Or making more or having a larger profit margin. I’m talking about sustaining my life.”

— Retiree Ella Johnson worked for the city of Detroit for 33 years. She faces a 34% cut to her pension check under Detroit’s bankruptcy proposal.

We talked to Esteban Castro, who lives in one of the neighborhoods where Reclaim Detroit has taken down homes. His home still has lots of its original finishings. He bought it from a Hungarian family that had owned it for generations, and his mom used to drive by and admire it when he was a kid. He’s committed to growing old in this neighborhood, even though the house next door has been vacant for a year and a half.

Spoiler alert: there’s gonna be a lot of lumbr on this tumblr. We visited an organization that tears down abandoned Detroit buildings and turns the wood into cool furniture. Check out all the rings on this piece. This is really old wood - a rare thing to find in new construction. 

Spoiler alert: there’s gonna be a lot of lumbr on this tumblr. We visited an organization that tears down abandoned Detroit buildings and turns the wood into cool furniture. Check out all the rings on this piece. This is really old wood - a rare thing to find in new construction. 

We found the winter weather that was missing from the Sochi Olympics - it’s in Detroit. Unfortunately, there’s no way this bankrupt city could have shelled out the money it takes to build up Olympic Games infrastructure to welcome the world. Detroit is struggling to pay its bills and take care of its own.
I’m in Detroit this week with Weekend Edition producer Connor Donevan and our editor Jordana Hochman, just days after the city’s leadership announced its plan to move the city through bankruptcy. It’s a massive undertaking as the city attempts to negotiate its way out of $18 billion dollars in debt - the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history.
We’re here to try to find out how that plan is going to affect the some remaining 700,000 people who still live here. Over the next few days we’re going to talk with a lot of different people with sometimes competing perspectives, including a couple regional officials, one a former Detroit councilwoman, another from a nearby suburb, who have different ideas about how much the areas surrounding Detroit should pay to help re-build it. We’ll also talk with a group of pensioners trying to figure out how to take care of themselves and their families in a time of real financial instability. And we’ll trace the city’s evolution through a piece of wood. The remains of abandoned homes are being salvaged, refurbished and crafted into furniture purchased by a new generation of Detroit residents intent on making a go of it in this city.
So with that - we’re putting on our down parkas and ski mittens and we’re heading out to find out what’s going on. More to come. 

We found the winter weather that was missing from the Sochi Olympics - it’s in Detroit. Unfortunately, there’s no way this bankrupt city could have shelled out the money it takes to build up Olympic Games infrastructure to welcome the world. Detroit is struggling to pay its bills and take care of its own.

I’m in Detroit this week with Weekend Edition producer Connor Donevan and our editor Jordana Hochman, just days after the city’s leadership announced its plan to move the city through bankruptcy. It’s a massive undertaking as the city attempts to negotiate its way out of $18 billion dollars in debt - the largest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history.

We’re here to try to find out how that plan is going to affect the some remaining 700,000 people who still live here. Over the next few days we’re going to talk with a lot of different people with sometimes competing perspectives, including a couple regional officials, one a former Detroit councilwoman, another from a nearby suburb, who have different ideas about how much the areas surrounding Detroit should pay to help re-build it. We’ll also talk with a group of pensioners trying to figure out how to take care of themselves and their families in a time of real financial instability. And we’ll trace the city’s evolution through a piece of wood. The remains of abandoned homes are being salvaged, refurbished and crafted into furniture purchased by a new generation of Detroit residents intent on making a go of it in this city.

So with that - we’re putting on our down parkas and ski mittens and we’re heading out to find out what’s going on. More to come.