One of the images I will always carry of Detroit:  piles of trash.

When we arrived in 1998 I was amazed at the trash along the curb, in the street, in yards of homes both occupied and abandoned.  In a city with many places that seemed still and empty, trash appeared, to be carted off by garbage trucks.

One morning Mr. Clay reported that someone had dumped tires on our lot.  About 60 tires had been left during the night.  Even as we arranged to have them removed a city inspector appeared with a ticket for having a mess of unsightly tires on our property.  We ended up paying two ways.

Driving along Chicago Boulevard to the corps building on Dexter I watched the bricks on a two story house disappear.  First, all bricks on the south side.  Then in a day or two, every brick gone.  The house stood naked.

Men pushing shopping carts filled with plumbing fixtures, screens, window frames from houses nearby.  Headed to buyers in the underground economy of a city where factories, jobs and hope have disappeared.  The city shivers naked.

This “short, opinionated” documentary of Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (“Jesus Camp”) was featured a couple days ago in the New York Times.  It’s a little over five minutes of material from Ewing and Grady’s full-length documentary DETROPIA which will be featured at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. 

Take a look at the life of a city taking itself apart.

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