Detroit is uninterrupted prairie as much as NYC is uninterrupted Wall Street. We are not your symbol or your counterpoint.
Quality of life issues are very real (I write about them here often), and yes there are also neighborhoods where gentrification is happening, but the entire city does not fit into either/both of those boxes.
My block has at least 4 or 5 languages spoken on it, probably more. I live in one of the most densely populated areas of the entire state of Michigan. I am a short walk from a variety of grocery stores, my favorite of which is a produce market that’s open every day til midnight. The Bengali food (traditional and PIZZA) near my house cannot be beat. I had my birthday/graduation party at a bar (my fav) near my house and the 70 year old woman who runs the place gave me a kiss on the head as a thanks and congratulations.
Also, one of the savviest organizers I’ve ever met lives at the heart of an urban prairie (and oh my gosh we had so much fun last time we hung out).
When you try to make places one-dimensional, you miss a lot of wonderful things.