detroit houses

It’s hard to stop returning to thinking about Detroit.

That’s a good and powerfully convoluted way of saying that Detroit and all those vacant buildings have captured my imagination.


What’s up with that?

I was driving around (one of the central themes of my life and job) yesterday, and I started thinking about homesteading…and the history of homesteading in this country…and some of the hardships the homesteaders faced…and how it must have felt to carve a niche for yourself out of a hostile land…and…

I started thinking about Detroit again.

Now, it’s kind of naïve and presumptuous and obnoxious to suppose that anybody busting a move up in Detroit like, “Look!  Here we are!  We’re going to SAVE THIS CITY! YOUR PROBLEMS ARE OVER NOW THAT WE’VE ARRIVED!! NOW…GIVE US SOME FREE LAND/HOMES!” would be received with open arms.

That would be pretty irritating to the long time residents.  It would get me mad if I’d been trying to make it in an area that was really going downhill and some over educated dude showed up to stake his claim in the middle of blight town.

But look at all those vacant houses.  Blocks and blocks of vacant houses.  That’s crazy.

Blocks and blocks of vacant land and houses…left to the occasional gang and the roving packs of feral pit bulls.

Who wouldn’t see the opportunity in a situation like that?

You think about the homesteading of Detroit and it seems like it could be a win/win situation for both the city and the homesteaders.

You get a bunch of naïve people with enough money to pay the taxes and refurbish some of these derelict properties.  They pay the taxes, fix up the area, revitalize some…stick around for a period of years…and then they get the land…and then they own the houses.


No Sweat.

I don’t really know how bad it is up there.

In all the old Cowboy and Indian movies, the settlers had a heck of a time.  Those Indians gave them fits when the settlers blew through to steal their land.

The Indians didn’t like that.

But the settlers were the heroes in all those old movies.  They were the ones who came off looking good when they blew an Indian off his horse with a well placed bullet from their lever-action Winchesters.

Maybe that’s what we need up in Detroit?  A bunch of WHITE GUYS with lever-action Winchesters?!


That wasn’t funny.

Too many guns in the hands of too many people.  You don’t use a gun to rebuild a city…unless it’s a Paslode…or a Senco.

I think that most of the folks up in Detroit are good people who just want their city back.  Nobody wants to live somewhere where things are falling in around them.

Life should be nicer than that.

So…homestead the heck out of Detroit.  Give these houses away…give those blocks away…plant some gardens, fix some houses, convert some factories into studios and housing and youth centers and….

Who knows?

When you’ve stopped caring about these places…and the city’s bankrupt…and everything is just going to pot…why not just give it away in return for revitalizing some of the bad situations?

What do you have to lose?

You can’t subtract nothing from nothing.

It’s cheaper than having the bulldozers come back around, right?

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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