A letter to Detroit

Dear Detroit:

Congratulations on your depiction in Chrysler’s ongoing series of commercials that highlight the longtime contributions of the Motor City. Heck, the debut ad during the Super Bowl even made me tear up! And on another note? Best use of an Eminem song EVER.

But I’ve got a little problem with your most current ad in which your fair city is identified as the Paris of the Midwest. See, here in Kansas City, we’ve long been called the Paris of the Plains thanks to our abundance of scenic boulevards, our hundreds of fountains and a rich jazz history that permeates the core of Kansas City’s roots.

Now, don’t worry. I’m not one to step on a soapbox without doing a little research first. And I see that your booming industries in the 1920s prompted publicists to coin your European-inspired moniker. It’s a connection that makes perfect sense when tied to your recent ad campaign that strives to portray Detroit not as a desolate, struggling, industrial wasteland, but instead as a city that again teeters on the brink of massive change and inspiring redevelopment.

For now, I’ll refrain from making snarky comments when the aforementioned commercial airs. Because I also live in a city that’s been fighting to overcome decades of damage and isolation. And I can appreciate an all-consuming sense of regional pride that was likely poured into this advertising campaign.

Paris, je t’aime. And Detroit? You’re not so bad yourself.

Photo: Flickr.com/mk_b

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