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tv   Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown  CNN  December 25, 2014 2:00pm-3:01pm PST

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a real war on drugs. war on drugs implies us versus them. all over this part of america, people are learning there is no them. there is only us. we're going to have to figure this out together. did detroit is the city of champions. the whole world knows detroit is the city who's products revolutionized our way of living. only in michigan will you find the men and women who's talent made us the arsenal of democracy in wartime and economic pace setter in peacetime.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ it's where nearly everything american and great came from, the things the whole world wanted made here.
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the heart, soul, beat of an industrial cultural super power, a magnet for everyone with a dream of a kbr future from eastern europe to the deep south. american dream, you came here. >> the big building completely empty. >> unbelievable. >> the white one is being rehad. there's money coming in. the one next to it on the right is completely empty. the great pyramid with conspire on top sold $5 million. >> you can't buy a garage for the hamptons for weather. >> $5 a million. >> it's post a pock lip tick. it's like a science fiction film. what the hell happened here. >> it is post a pock lip tick here. there's 700,000 living here. >> detroit, 2013. charlie is a writer, journalist, television reporter who grew up here. >> it used to be 2 million people. that was rubber.
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that guy was steel. that guy was a doctor. this is what made america. the road started here. the automobile, frozen peas started here. credit on a mass scale started here. >> what was it like 20 years before? >> it was insane. there were twice as many people here. this is a consequence because whites went, took their money and factories. black middle class maintained for a while. then it got too rough for them. there's hippies, couple black folks and white folks. this is 140 square miles. you're going to get tall grass. it's back to the wild. >> it's one of the most beautiful cities in america. it speaks of those industrial dreams of an endlessly glorious future. people that built these structures were thinking big. >> they were. >> they were looking at a new
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rome. they built it actually. it's awesome here.
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maybe the word started to turn here. the automotive plant opened in 1903 considered the most advanced of its kind anywhere in the world. huge, epically proportioned, 3.5 million square feet. now, one man lives here, al hill. >> my name is allen hill. welcome to my home. this room here is the former packer motor car company. i started living here seven years ago. i was somewhat apprehensive about the place and goings on. it's feasible as the north woods. not having a credit card or mortgage payment or car payment is a real blessing. there's nails here. what's happened here in detroit is unfortunate. we find out not only does it take a village to raise an individual, it takes an entire
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world to support one city. when a community is suffering, the entire world should pitch in and help elevate instead of sit and stare at it. people have lost their faith in a lot of things. probably has to do with detroit. it was once the industrial might of the entire world. >> it's enormous. >> yeah, it is. it's about a mile long, quarter mile wide. got a good view from up here. >> how many worked here at its peak? >> during the war there were like 33,000 working here. it went out of business in '56. they brought stood baker in as a partner and it brought it down. >> this has been abandoned since the 50s? >> in 1956 they rented out to various entrepreneurs. there was a shoe warehouse, trucking company, guys resoring
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cars. >> how long has it been like this. >> five years. >> within the last five years? >> yeah. chie ma had an olympia effort. scrap metal went to a high price. people went scrapping. they took the windows out, destroyed everything. >> the place is pretty much open to anybody that wants to come in? >> sure. urban explorers, music videos, taking pictures. often times you see a wedding party come use this as a background. they take pictures and videos for the wedding. >> wow. you want to take pictures here. the place invites it. sifting through the remains of i did troit's ongoing tragedy, photographing and posing in front of them is something of irresistible imuls. all of us wallowing in ruined porn. >> where are we standing?
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>> this here is where the assembly line was. this is where they'd spray paint the cars. they have the big wash away for over spray. it aimed 35 to 40 feet here. there's bridges here between the main buildings. you're looking at possibility of assembly line of three quarters of a mile long. >> hundreds of thousands of people working on the process. this is sort of -- not a perfect model but a perfect model when pay big factory goes down. that's not just 33,000 people. that's 33,000 families going to be eating dinner outless. >> you've got a point on that. most people i would guess have no idea what a packer was. we're talking one of the great luxury cars in the world, yes? >> it was a kind of car everybody would love to have.
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kings, queens, every president wanted to ride in one. popes and indian chiefs. a luxury car maker went out of business. little did they realize it was a trend that started here in detroit and what affected detroit affected the entire world. it followed everybody home. it might have been 50 to 60 years later. it started here. in another 20 years, this place won't be here. people won't have the idea of what went on here. >> it's hard to look away from the ruin, to not find beauty in the decay. comparisons to ancient rome are inevitab inevitable. magnificent structures representing the dead left to rot. people still live here. we forget that.
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you tell people you go to detroit, and chances are somebody from the home team says be sure to get a coney. i never understood that. i'm 30 minutes from a place called coney island where presumably they know about freaking hot dogs right? maybe the early greeks or mass done yans that experience had the golden land by the shore took what they saw with them to florida, michigan and beyond. maybe they knew something. they've been doing coneys here for over 90 years, almost as long as the hot dog has been around. i can't tell you how deep this tradition runs. deep dish in chicago, philly cheese stake. >> if i were from detroit, would i eat with my hands or fork? >> probably your hands. >> all right. i'll do my best. >> logistical problems.
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that's delicious. this is the best of my only three coney experiences. you're open 24 hours? >> yes, sir, 24/7. >> i would like to watch seriously drunk people eat this. is it a skill you watch over time? >> it takes practice. >> it's like kung fu. practice and practice. >> exactly. practice makes perfect. >> that was good. i think i better have another of these. >> you should. one coney up, everything. >> it seems simple. hot dog, chilly, raw onions, mustard, steamed bun. the delicate interplay between ingredients when done right is similar phonic.
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detroit's problems are well documented. a lot of attention is paid to spectacular mismanagement and corruption. detroit is hardly alone in this. in new york, we forget too soon was a pit of mob and corruption. boston, machine politics, they wrote the book. detroit differs in the scandal seems so comically moved,
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realistically squalled. the last mayor kill patrick is currently serving time for his less hilariously bent behaviors. through all of it, one man seems to have known what was going on. adolf mongo. he's seen it all. >> i know what i'm having. i'd love a beer. >> man, i thought you drank. you drinking beer? >> what you drinking? >> i'm drinking vodka. >> i'll fold under pressure. then i'll think about a burger. you got something to eat? i'll hold back. i will stick with this. thank you. i have to ask. you were born and raised in detroit area? >> right. >> academic star, marine corps,
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journalism. why didn't you run for office? >> you got to be crazy. they don't want straight forward politicians. they don't last. you got to be cold blooded to be an elected official. it's like working for the drug cartel. you can't give anybody any mercy. >> seems whatever might be in your heart and however pure you might be, when you finally arrived in office, somebody brings you a big one and says mr. mayor this is the real situation. this is time to start making serious accommodations. >> yes. >> so pepper, what went wrong there? >> greedy. i didn't support him in the beginning. i was one of his biggest critics. when he got in trouble -- look, he called me. i should have listened to my
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wife. she said don't be messing with them. >> are there good guys out there? >> there's a lot of guys, yes, but they don't wanted to run. there's a lot of people. >> why? >> because you've got to take the bad that comes along with it. you've got to take the garbage. >> why should a bright, young guy fresh out of law school start thinking about running anything in the city of detroit? >> sooner or later, it's going to be all right. it's a tough time. >> is detroit going to turn things around? i could lie and tell you yes, but you know what, this city is screwed. only place i've ever been that looks like like detroit does now churnoble. i'm not being funny. that's the truth. you have to admire the bold, proud, ferociously enterprise survivors that decided to hang on, hang in and figure out a way to not only survive but do
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something extraordinary. there's the project delightful looney outdoor art project that now attracting 35,000 visitors per year from around the world. >> i love detroit. >> they've got this last summer in the neighborhood. they lit it on fire. >> another block, more decay. a liquor store. for this neighborhood, the only store for miles. >> just be right back. >> how you doing? >> god bless you. how are you? >> see you later.
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cheers. >> yep. you want one? >> that's benefit of college education right there. >> people seem to like you in this town. who hates you? >> politicians. >> i'm guessing there are a number of politicians and public employees not too happy with you? >> i don't know. yeah. >> let's face it. there's a lot of people out there that a would be perfectly happy with letting detroit go. >> it already went. look at this. see those lilies there. i call those ghost gardens. they're all over the houses that used to be. the gardens still come up.
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off the main drag, a backyard. >> thanks for coming. i never had such a good time. >> a well tended home surrounded by many neglected ones, an example of detroit style entrepreneur ship. greedy gregs, a do it yourself barbecue joint started by these two, roschell and greg. on the grill, absolutely
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delicious ribs and rib tips. the good stuff is inside. suburb pork loaded collards and mac and cheese. >> this is perfect. it's good. >> i'm going to use this spoon here. unbelievably good. the greens are incredible. >> those are good. >> the greens, is that smoked ham hock? >> i can't tell you my secret. >> those are some of the best i've had. >> this dude has been everywhere. >> i've been all over the south. i've had a lot of greens. they're not just delicious, they're luxurious. big hunks of you won't tell me what in there. >> i can't tell my secret. >> will this entrepreneur ship lead detroit out of its sinkhole? probably not. i can't believe there's not a
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there are approximately 80,000 abandoned buildings in detroit city limits. what that translates to unfortunately is 14 acts of arson a day. nearly 5,000 a year. that's just arson. that doesn't include the thousands of other types of fires and medical emergencies the detroit fire department responds to everyday. with an ever lower valued housing market where you can buy a home for as little as $500, many houses are burned down for insurance. many because angry neighbors wanting to hang on see structures taken over by drug gangs. they resort to burning them out. they won't say it, i will. the detroit fire department is underfunded, underequipped, often badly led and what seems like a never ending war, a city
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on fire. their safety equipment, boots clothes are often moldering and sham bollic. they fight on. this is the second time they've been do this house. if it happens to be arson, chances are no one will know for sure. given the ever shrinking resources given to the department, most fires can't even be investigated. this fire is out within an hour. after the fire, dinner. the cliche is that firemen are great cooks. in this case, the cliche is true. mike and the boys of squad three are cooking up a family meal. >> is every firefighter expected to cook well? >> if they don't, they catch hell. >> really? it's almost a perfect society. everybody should be able to feed themselves and friends or family
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at least reasonably well. if they're not able to do that, they should be shunned and demonized. >> it's true. most firemen are known for cooking. we've learned to shop with less to feed more. you better bring food back for the boys. >> firefighters in my experience are a lot like the marines i've met over the years. no matter how badly led, ridiculously underequipped, no matter how doomed their mission, they take pride at doing it better than anybody else and in style. they do it for themselves. it's not a job, it's a calling. >> this is where the guys store gear. as you can see, gear is very is weathered. >> how old? >> this is only a couple years old. >> it gets beat up quick? >> yeah. one new coat hanging in there. a lucky guy has a new coat.
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that gear has seen a lot of action. >> where's the fire pole? >> they took them in the late 90s. >> every little boy my age was all about the pole. >> i used to love sliding the pole. headquarters was three stories. when you were sliding that thing, you had to hold on. you were really going for a ride. >> the old running board we put up here, this is how many companies we used to have. >> what percentage of that is active now? >> less than half and fighting a lot more fires. >> i've got to say the kitchen is looking pretty good. >> that's one of the best in the city. >> tonight's meal is cooked by paul. he's squad three's best they say. >> he's reading the can.
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that's a good start. tonight's menu is crab cakes with mix of actual crab and this stuff, sea leg. maybe you know from beloved items as california roll. firefighters can't afford jumbo lump crab meat. this is a miracle fish. you can make beef like substance out of this stuff. it should be pointed out every meal is paid for by the crew on duty. they pull their money and shop as a unit. >> what's the fire house favorite by consensus? >> steaks. if i were the open cook here, the fire house would be in rebellion. i would be making soups. it's cheap. they're delicious. i would be trying out stripe and guts. you'd be eating italian peasants every day.
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you'd have a bowl of stew with a hunk of bread. i'd be pocketing the difference. yeah. >> lam chops se s sooereded in pan and then a salad. >> you ever attempted to say we had frock with trufles -- >> all the time. >> lobster again? i keep at thing the guys no more [ bleep ] lobster. i can't take it. >> yeah. >> we're free to eat? >> yes. >> nice job on crab cakes. >> yeah. full of meat. >> very tasty. >> if it's not good, you're not diplomatic about it? >> not at all. we tell them nice try. >> a lot of cooks look at that
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kitchen. there's a lot of room and a lot of spices. you can make anything in there. it's a good place to be a cook. >> nice job there paul. >> well done sir. >> generally speaking, you eat fast because you never know. in all likelihood you're not going to get to finish that meal. >> obviously tony is not doing dishes. >> i'll do all the dishes. >> hell no. no way, no way. >> wouldn't be the first time, won't be the last. happy. in love. and saving so much money on their car insurance by switching to geico... well, just look at this setting. do you have the ring? oh, helzberg diamonds. another beautiful setting. i'm not crying. i've just got a bit of sand in my eyes, that's all. geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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at this point you may be asking, what about the cool stuff i hear about detroit? the vibrant, do it yourself culture of renaissance, artists transforming the city one block at a time. where's that? >> well that is happening. young, idealistic, true believing, young hardworking people are indeed doing their best to bring life, hope, beauty to this great of cities. you've got to start with the absolute belief detroit is indeed a great city and worth saving. as utterly screwed as detroit may be, you have to be a twisted, unpatriotic freak to not believe that. >> behold the future.
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>> like cooking in a back alley? >> yes. >> all right. chef craig likefield has done what many call a very unwise thing. after working a gotham grill in manhattan, instead of staying where the money arguably was, he returned to detroit. he's been working to get a brick and mortgager establishment going tucked under an underpass in detroit. >> you have a weird attitude toward food in general. >> yeah. >> what's that? >> we're going to eat well. charlie may have a surprise. his appreciation of fine food and dining is shall we say, lacking.
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simply put, he's a philly. warm egg yolk with warm eggs on top? egg with eggs? yes. good, right? how's that going to play out? will there be political leadership in place to manage that fairly sm. >> it will be fine. everybody likes a nice thing in an egg shell with caviar on top. everybody. it's all about keeping cool. >> it won't be fine dude. it will not be fine if there's not political leadership. >> sometimes political leadership grows up out of what's happening. we don't have political leadership. this is happening. >> are you an optimist? >> i'm an optimist. i'm here in this garage with you. >> soup with melon, to tomato broth. >> we picked these from detroit.
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>> thank you. >> it's good isn't it? >> i would describe that. may i chef? a light, airy. >> delicious. the opportunity to make a melon. >> put gin in it. it's delicious as a soup. let's try it as a drink. >> when i was chef, if you poured gin in my soup, i would have stabbed you. i'm dying inside. you're a worst case scenario customer. next off brussels lightly steam in white wine, butter, served with honey. quite delicious. baby greek salad with beets, tomato and feta all sourced
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locally. >> guess what. the headaches are less. you appreciate it here. >> no. this is -- this would be considered a full hearty venture in the chef world. >> guess what? we like good food too. we're not space aliens. people often say thank you. we lived in chicago last six years. lived in la six years. thank you is what we wanted. >> what you've done is counterintuitive. there's a conventional career path for chefs. instead you decide to go to detroit. >> hell yeah. i want to come back home. people think i'm crazy coming back to detroit. >> another issue in detroit. the killbosa in white wine finished with fondue and burnt butter pine nuts followed by
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locally sourced lam cooked perfectly topped with sour cherries, mulberry, pistachios, core yander and yogurt sauce. >> in what way does opening a restaurant in detroit benefitting detroiters? >> how is sitting back nothing nothing making it better? how is only buying products from farmers in detroit not helping? i'm supplying detroit, hiring people in detroit. everybody here lives in detroit. >> if i were asked the same kwerks i would say i don't know. i'm doing what i do well in a place i love. i'm demonstrating that. another person believes it enough to be here. >> you're 100% right. i never thought about it until you asked that question. to me it's just obviously. >> what will the detroit of the future look like? >> whatever you may think it should look like, it will
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probably taste like this.
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somewhere in this unassuming neighborhood one can sit down for an excellent meal. you won't find this on yelp. unfortunately i cannot tell you where it is exactly. why not, you ask? it's not exactly a restaurant. it's not strictly speaking legal. >> what is this place? >> like a puposa thing.
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>> it's something they put a ring over and come. this is about as traditional as it gets here. >> this is what's called a papusa house, literally a house. once a living room, now the main dining area. the woman running it, we can't show her face. she's been here ten years serving mostly sal va doer clientele looking for a taste of home. first up, a staple done differently than the norm. tamales wrapped in banana leaf and steamed. next the dish. tortillas stuffed with ground pork. >> in nick rag ra or grat mal la. some reason in sal va doer they get the most respect. general consensus they're the best. >> i agree. >> greg is our detroit fixer. he's been coming here with his
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friend joe for years. >> this makes it here. this. >> it's a pickled slaw. >> salsa. i'll do this. i don't know if you're up for this. what do you say is this i don't know if you can hang. >> is this a manly thing? >> it's turning into it. >> mexican spice. >> that's true. they don't do it that spicy. >> wow. >> this is porky goodness for sure. >> fried pork browned with peppers, onions, tomato. simple. >> take advantage of ordering detroit beverages we've overlooked so far. it's a cross between ginger ale and beer. it's my favorite. >> i needed this to enhance my street credit in detroit to be welcomed back. >> then a shrimp in garlic
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butter. >> butter, garlic, simple, delicious. >> it's low fat butter. >> that's good. it's like a big hug. >> how did you find your way here? >> all word of mouth. >> you have annoying food websites right? >> they're not coming here. >> they're not coming here? >> no. >> there are thousands of foodies with ironic sun glasses and pedoras waiting to get in here. >> i get mad when he brings people here. >> you'd be mad at a line of people waiting? >> it's not about the money. it's keeping the tradition alive. >> what happens when a city goes bankrupt? when it's at the point it's actually considering selling what's left of itself in chunks? in detroit, city services are
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reduced or cut out completely. few ar -- fewer buses, cops, firefighters. they detroit has a reputation as a tough town. but that toughness is about resilience too. the insistence on sticking with it no matter what. on not giving up in the face of the utter failure of leadership year after year. if the city abandons its parks and leaves them to become overgrown, eaten, like so much of the rest of the city by tall grass and weeds, then somebody has got to do something, right? meet the mower gang. started by this guy, tom nordone, with a simple mission of doing what they can to keep detroit's abandoned parks maintained. who are you guys and what are you doing here? >> we are the detroit mower gang. and we clean up the abandoned parks and playgrounds in this town. >> why would you do that?
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>> kids need a place to play. i don't care who you are. if you're under 10 years old, i think you deserve some justice in this world, don't you think? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> how did this thing start? >> i guess i started it. i bought a lawn tractor when the city announced they were closing 72 parks. what's the difference between open and closed? do they stop maintaining it? >> that's it. >> or physically shut it up? >> they don't physically shut it up. take the trash barrels away and stop mowing. >> crazy. >> it's -- a strange place, detroit. when we're done here, it will not look like a nice park. >> but still, a playable park. >> yeah. and a visible park. so if you had kids you could see what they're doing in this park. it's safer. >> all right. well, let's cut some grass. >> yeah, come on, you'll like it, it's fun. ♪
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in detroit, approximately 40 square miles have been reverted to basically unused green space. in many cities so-called urban farming may be looked upon by cynics like me as an affectation. here in detroit, it's not. with nature taking back the landscape block by block, the urban farm is really the last line of defense. d-town sits on the western border of detroit. >> where are we when the largest park in the city which is called rouge park. >> did you just come in and start digging or did you have permission to come in? >> we have permission. >> was that difficult? >> very difficult. we negotiated with the city for two years. part of the difficulty is they didn't know what hook to hang our request on. they're used to developers saying, i want to build a strip mall, i want to build a parking structure. they're not used to people
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saying, we want land to build a model organic farm. >> malik started the farm with a goal of providing greater access to fresh produce in areas that grocery stores have completely abandoned. that's basically all of detroit's inner city. >> other than whole foods, who just came in -- >> yes. >> not a single national food chain. >> no. no, in 2007, farmer jack closed its last stores in detroit. and that was kind of the end of the big chains in detroit. >> this is subsistence farming, not cash crop. you're not going to be selling -- anticipating selling outside of detroit? >> there's greater demand in detroit than all of the farmers locally can supply. first we're going to supply that local demand in the city of detroit. >> to what degree do you think that this model can be replicated in and around the city? >> clearly we think urban agriculture has great potential. and one of the things that we have in detroit is access to huge amounts of land.
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if we're able to produce even a small percentage of the food which is consumed in detroit and circulate the revenues from that food within our community, then we're able to create a more vibrant, healthy, economically strong community. so we think it has tremendous potential. ♪ >> who will live in the detroit of the future? there's no question, is there, that detroit will come back? in one form or another, a city this magnificent, this storied, this american -- cannot, will not ever disappear into the weeds. there are too few places this beautiful for it to be allowed to crumble like angkor or rome. someone will live in a smaller, tighter, no doubt hipper, much contracted, new detroit. but who will that be?
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will it be the people who stuck it out here? who fought block by block to keep their city from burning? who struggle to defend their homes, keep up appearances, as all around them their neighborhoods emptied? what will detroit look like in 20 years? or 50? that's not just a detroit question. that's an america question. that's an america question. can clear -- captions by vitac --
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♪ since i was 14 years old, i always wore cowboy boots. maybe because my little boy role models were always the men in the black hats. richard boone in "have gun will travel," robert vaughn in "the magnificent seven." silent killers. men with pasts. men from somewhere else who found themselves in the great american west. a place where reinvention, a new life was always possible. as long as you were willing to kill for it.


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