My View For Awhile: Urban Devastation Edition

I’m heading home after a truly enjoyable stay at the great Assumption Grotto parish.

Still, every time we left the parish, what I saw was alarming. Block after block of houses, abandoned, boarded up, burned, falling to ruin, businesses and large buildings shuttered and windows broken. It’s like a war zone.

The downtown area was cleaned up and looking good and people were out and about. That’s a hopeful sign.

Anyway, here’s a view of the Detroit airport, which I often connect through, that I rarely see.

And here’s one that I often see.

Happily, this will be a short flight, then a short drive.


I have a little hobby when I travel by air: I try to record the tail number of the aircrafts. Sometimes I get repeats – which is alarming.

Today, however, I filled in a gap. Today I’m on N987AT. I’ve been on N986AT and N988AT.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. iPadre says:

    Very sad destruction.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    If you want to see what a previously-seen tail number is doing today:

  3. JonPatrick says:

    Although many cities have experienced decline, Detroit is somewhat of a special case being dependent on the auto industry. Initially it was very prosperous which attracted immigrants and especially African Americans who migrated from the South to escape Jim Crow laws and to find better job opportunities. The prosperity of the industry resulted in many highly paid white collar jobs as well as many well paid unionized assembly line workers who were able to move out from the central core and buy single family homes, thus resulting in a more spread out population more like LA than a typical Northeastern city. Also the predominance of the auto resulted in a de-emphasis of public transit and the building of many freeways cutting through the city center, which by this time was mostly African American as they had less ability to participate in the move to suburbia party due to de facto segregation in housing and bank loans. After WW2 the auto industry started to decentralize and move to the South then to Mexico and Canada partly as a reaction to the power of the labor unions and to obtain cheaper labor, which hastened the decline as jobs left the area.

  4. Julia_Augusta says:

    Is that the Reader’s Guide to Augustine’s City of God by Gerard O’Daly?

    Is it worth buying if one is going to read City of God?

    [It is helpful!]



  5. millercr2 says:

    I travel 115K+ miles per year on United Airlines and while I don’t record tail numbers, I was told by an industry insider to glance at the serial number that can be found inside the entry door jam. If you’re in an aircraft with serial number one (of a make/model), maybe consider taking another aircraft!

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