When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

May 21, 2004

Raising Rugrats

Bravo Romeo Delta

Over on the Totten blog, there's a discussion, carried on from post on Asymmetrical Information and Matthew Yglesias on the merits of raising children in the city versus suburbs.

All of these folks, in various formats, don't seem to be ultra thrilled about the prospect of bringing one's hatchlings to maturity in suburbia. Some of their commenters disagree.

These are kind of interesting posts, in so far as all three of these folks, Michael Totten, Jane Galt, and Matthew Yglesias are all of a relatively similar age, and don't have a lot of first hand recollection of the urban decay that was spreading across American cities during the middle twentieth century.

For many folks the age of these blogger's parents the decision that the city was a bad place to raise kids may have stemmed, in some part, from imagery such as the Watts Riots (in which 34 were killed, 1,100 injured, 4,000 arrested, and $100 million in damages) and the like which were popping up all over the country at the time.

Those scenes of violence, and the collapse of domestic heavy industry also strongly prompted white flight from the cities and fostered urban decay in many places. Urban decay is something that a lot of folks may have little experience (particularly historical perspective) with.

Fortunately, the Detroit News did a five-part series on the decay of a city block in Detroit. The entire thing is well worth reading - I know it's long, but it is a classic anatomy of the death of a this bit of America.

Failing that, I give you the following: a comparison of the 1900 block of Elmhurst Avenue in Detroit in 1953 versus the same block in 2001.

The neighborhood in 1953 versus less than half a century later in 2001.

Or, for another view - the evolution into urban prairie ...

The view looking east from atop the abandoned apartments at 1977 Elmhurst in Detroit shows the block after five decades of white flight, abandonment, crime, absentee landlords and lax bureaucracy.

Launched by Bravo Romeo Delta at May 21, 2004 02:14 AM

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