Detroit is Still the Paris of the Midwest – Intern Alley

Alise Irvine Lunch in the park, a stroll along the river, a fancy coffee at an outdoor café – the typical lunch break at Quicken Loans in Detroit. Wait, what?

While the scene I set sounds like the perfect afternoon in Paris rather than Detroit, in reality, the city is becoming the newest destination for the young and trendy. Now, I shop at Urban Outfitters and enjoy a little art now and then, and I love Detroit. I went to college here, I work in the city, and I hope to soon live here.

I originally chose to attend Wayne State University because of its proximity to my house, but soon learned that WSU had a lot more to offer than a convenient location. It exposed me to so much that I had never experienced growing up in suburban Macomb County. Flash forward six years, I am fresh out of graduate school, wide-eyed and ready to take on the world. However, with my newfound love for the city and all the hidden gems it has to offer, I didn’t want to head too far off to make my mark on the world.

When I heard that there was an opening at Quicken Loans, a company that I knew had a strong reputation for helping to revitalize the city I’m so invested in, I jumped at the chance for an internship!

So here I am, two-and-half months into my public relations internship with Quicken Loans, and a major part of what I do is explore everything happening in Detroit. One of the coolest things I get to do is help with Destination 313, Quicken Loans’ radio show with WJR’s Paul W. Smith, where I get to meet Detroit movers and shakers – how perfect is that?

I always look forward to checking out new restaurants and bars, attending events, and catching a Tigers game after work and on the weekend, so I can’t wait to move here. Detroit is working to regain its title of “the Paris of the Midwest,” and by working at Quicken Loans I have the amazing opportunity to see the transformation firsthand.

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2 Responses to Detroit is Still the Paris of the Midwest – Intern Alley

  1. Ian July 19, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    That is a very nice perspective and one that I had when I went to Wayne State and worked downtown also. The care free days of lunching with friends, drinks after work, clubbing to the morning hours and then a Tigers game and a game of chance at one of the Casinos. The “Salad Days” as me and my friends use to refer to them. Then I got married, had children and realized that “Wait, there are no schools I can send my kids too, barely any grocery shopping and what can be found costs a lot more than outside the city due to “shrinkage”. Maybe 2 or 3 movie theaters in the city, a couple bakeries a few dry cleaners. All of them more expensive than elsewhere.
    I know that it is a negative perspective and blah,blah,blah, but I see more families moving out than moving in. I see the same couple areas like Midtown, Downtown, and Hamtramack as areas that younger people move into, and I see the same thing I saw 25 years ago. They grow up get married have kids and move out. You are just the newest wave of “Bright Eyed” young people who love living in the city. Sorry I have heard these puff pieces before and until the city makes real change and address some of the real issues it faces it will never be the Paris of the Midwest again. More like MotorCity Mogadishu.

  2. Shawn Elletson October 4, 2011 at 10:59 pm #

    While I may agree with Ian about what has happened in the past, focusing on it won’t change the future. I too grew up in Macomb County, joined the Air Force, and am about to retire and return. I have always viewed the suburban counties as an integral part of Detroit as an essential component of the city. A symbiotic relationship one could say. What must change in this country is attitude. The prevailing attitude is to shun manual labor, your children must obtain a college education and work in some high rise office building. Manual labor has been demonized. So, we have turned into a service oriented nation. The problem is, service only survives to serve producers. The production might, capacity, and domination this nation once had has been taken from us. We have to take it back. Producing physical products that has value to the rest of the world only brings us wealth, and that wealth is shared. It is that loss of production, and subsequently wealth that corresponds directly with the loss of the middle class. The renaissance of production, and by extension the renaissance of this nation, should begin in Detroit. When I return to Michigan that is the big picture I will have in mind, and hopefully I will be able to do something about. A producing occupation is the most vital and is one that can lead to a successful, honest living. Detroit has done it, and can do it again. She only has to embrace it and lead the way, lead the nation as she always has.

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