At 23 Drew Philip prevailed an auction, unknowingly stepped into their home communities, learned to look out for his neighbours and met Detroit as a reflect of America
I was just finishing what was likely the final mowing of my lawn, just before the winter came. As I seemed up, I saw my neighbor was sitting in his truck across the road, watching me as he inhaled a cigarette.
Just a few years earlier, at age 23, I had bought an vacated house in Detroit from a live auction for $500, less than the price of a respectable video. It had been empty for more than a decade and was still a shell, its bones disclosed, anything of value plagiarized long ago.
The structure was fitted with trash and had lived a hard life: two odious floors of no doorways or openings, plumbing, or electricity nothing. The backyard was a literal jungle, the foyer needed to be ripped off and done again, the front yard was like it wanted to be cut with a scythe.
When I bought it in 2009, a grey boy in Detroit was strange. Most beings, white and black, were moving out. By this time Id been working on the house for five years.
Id removed the trash nearly ten thousand pounds of it contributed openings and energy and all the other accoutrements, and had begun to carefully set myself into the chorus of Detroit among my neighbors. Both my home, and the neighborhood, were starting to feel like residence. But during those eight years Id lived in the city, a massive change had begun, Detroit was growing, altering, molting. Old resentments clashed with ideas and nowhere was Americas fight for its being a little clearer than in what was the Motor City.
During that time some people had begun to speak of Detroit as a blank canvas, a playground for young white girls like myself. I detected uncomfortable about this.
What Id learned from those eight years was that there were still 700,000 people living in Detroit, with their own intuitions about what it should become. There was a community already there , not a grotesque one that needed changing as I had been told, but a powerful and innovative one I wanted to assimilate into.
I had inadvertently stepped into a real community, one tied together with memory and relationships, record, shared suffer and relationships, and it was facing a new threat, one arguably greater than all the fervours and misdemeanour of the past decades: the auction I had acquired my house in still passed each year , now live via the internet, and it wasnt just abandoned houses they were selling.