It’s that time of year when ‘Resolutions’ are on everyone’s mind. We make them. People tell us theirs. We share ours. All this buzz about New Year’s resolutions got me thinking about the word resolution itself and what it means…especially with regard to the city and life in Downtown Detroit.
So I hit up the old Oxford English Dictionary, and the first meaning of ‘resolution’ which resonated with me was in relation to music. “The alteration of a discord, or relatively dissonant harmony, so as to form a concord, or relatively more consonant harmony.”
In many ways, this describes daily life when you live Downtown. Every day you encounter people with paths different than your own. Your neighbors are Artists, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, and Engineers (the relatively dissonant harmony of different professions), yet you all share the same desire to be in Detroit and to be a part of our city’s growth (the more consonant harmony).
The next OED entry that summed it up for me was in relation to math. “The analysis of a force or other vector quantity into two or more components, acting in different directions, which together have the same effect as the original vector.”
This too speaks to Detroit and living Downtown. It’s a place where people are all interested in doing something (activity as energy and power, or force), whether that be cultivating community (from Detroit Soup to Social Sushi Detroit) or taking part in the culture of the city (at the DIA, the Fox Theatre, or the Detroit Opera House). And since, again, living Downtown you discover that your neighbors have interests different than your own, you find yourself discovering new activities (acting in different directions) that enhance your life (the original vector).
And companies, from established corporations to enlivening start-ups, and their employees are invested in the community: from Quicken Loans to Bedrock Real Estate Services; from Ernst & Young (EY) to General Motors; from Rocket Fiber (who also provide me and my Detroit Loft neighbors with high speed connectivity) to Bamboo Detroit (a coworking community that provides a collaborative office for Tech Startups, Designers, Nonprofits, Freelancers and Detroit-based Businesses in a historic building). Along with meeting new people who can broaden your horizons, when you live in Downtown Detroit you find that the vector determining your future is unlimited: businesses here are interested in vectors of only one direction—up—for both their employees and the city, Detroit, they call home.
And if you’re looking for new directions in your recreational time, you can explore any ‘number’ of new restaurants with different cuisines and new dining experiences that result in the same effect—satisfaction! Navigate and nosh your way from Bobcat Bonnie’s to Central Kitchen + Bar to Parks & Rec Diner to Pho Lucky of Detroit to Rubbed to Standby to Townhouse Detroit to Vertical Detroit…all of which are in walking or Ubering distance and offer incredible edibles!
If you hadn’t already guessed from my immediate resort to the OED, books are my thing. So I already knew the meaning of ‘resolution’ when applied to literature: “The climax or denouement of a play, novel, or other narrative work, in which plot elements are brought to a conclusion.”
Living Downtown is a continuous stream of ‘narrative’ and stories: the back-story of the beautiful architecture in Detroit and the history of the city itself (which includes a city plan in which “Detroit’s monumental avenues and traffic circles fan out in radial fashion from Campus Martius Park…like spokes in a wheel”—which besides suggesting vectors, makes me think of Fountain Bistro and Detroit Bike City’s Slow Roll Detroit), the introduction of new characters as businesses move into the city, the Downtown Parks and the Detroit Riverfront that set the scene, and the individual desires and stories of the people who live Downtown that form the plot elements.
Ironically, this was the one definition of resolution which I couldn’t fully align with life Downtown and Detroit. It’s that denouement or ‘conclusion’ part that gives me trouble making a perfect fit. Because, you see, one thing you become very aware of living in Detroit, caring about and being a part of the city’s growth, is that the story of this city is just beginning.
There isn’t an ending in sight for a city where dissonance resolves itself into the harmony of hope, where the energy of the culture and the cultural institutions continually allow us to redirect our individual and communal paths as we move into the future, and where the widely different settings of city streets and flower-filled parks continue to entice more and more new characters onto the scene, bringing people into contact with one another and allowing for new ‘plot twists’ to emerge daily.
All of which is why I choose to live in The Lofts of Merchants Row, which—like the city whose growth it is invested in—is actually expanding and growing with new units available for residents who want to be a part of the building the future of Detroit!
So, what better way to celebrate the ‘new’ in ‘New Year’ than to celebrate being a part of the “determination; firmness or steadfastness of purpose”…the definition of resolution that perhaps best describes Detroit.