Dirty Old Town: Addendum

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Photo by @AlexForOffice

When I wrote the post Dirty Old Town, it was a struggle to figure out how to express what I wanted to say, but I was pretty pleased with the end result. Now, two years later, I wanted to add a little something to further clarify my feelings.

To me, the term “Dirty Old Town” is simultaneously one of endearment and contempt, of nostalgia and nausea. Looking at the city for one moment, you see a filthy, broken-down place that seems beyond repair and isn’t even worth the attempt. But at other times, you see a place with charm and life. It isn’t broken-down but broken-in, like an old pair of blue jeans that have long since passed their throw-away date. The bottoms of the legs that have been dragged across the ground underneath the heels of your sneakers are all frayed, there are holes in the knees, and the zipper gets stuck sometimes, but their feel is unmatched and there’s no part of you that would even consider throwing them away. They just fit in a way no other pair can.

Detroit may never be whole again, but it’s still worth hanging onto, even if there are those who can’t understand why. For us, it’s something we’ll hold onto forever.

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