Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Detroit and Pittsburgh have bond
There has been much said about the similarities between Pittsburgh and Detroit, as both are one-industry towns in need of jobs. Detroit’s economy bottomed out with the decline of the American auto industry, as did Pittsburgh’s when its steel mills were idled for good.
But, I have argued that Pittsburgh was better off because it is home to world-renowned schools, such as Carnegie Mellon University, and hospitals that include UMPC and Allegheny General.
One thing Eastern Michigan does share with Southwestern Pennsylvania is a direct pipeline of illegal drugs that leave the Motor City, destined for small cities around Pittsburgh with police departments that lack the resources to fight drugs.
The Pittsburgh region already has more old houses than what are needed with its declining population. And many become crack houses where the Detroit drug dealers conduct their business, including the once-stately house, above, in Washington, Pa. The photo was taken by Celeste Van Kirk for a series in the Observer-Reporter on Detroit drug dealers and how they have contributed to the decline of a neighborhood.
Detroit has a serious blight problem, too, as evidenced by the photograph, below, that depicts how one former auto executive’s houses look today in the city’s Brush Park section. It was taken by a photographer known as 51 eggs and posted on the popular photo-sharing Web site, Flickr.
These kinds of neighborhoods just may be the most striking bond between the two big cities.