(Tommy Alexander / MJ)
(Chris Zadorozny / MJ)


“In an unexpected way, Detroit in its decline has become the land of opportunity. You can do all sorts of things here, that you can’t do elsewhere.”

That is one of the opening lines to 313: Life in the Motor City, a book about the crooks, crannies, niches, and people in the city of Detroit, written by John Carlisle.

Carlisle, otherwise known as “Detroitblogger John,” writes a biweekly column for the Metro Times Entertainment Guide, and is also a journalist for a local paper on the east side.

Many of the stories he writes about in this book feature regular people in Detroit. His blog first began by taking photographs of abandoned buildings in Detroit, many of which being in the downtown sector. That’s what he put on his original blog website, www.detroitblog.org.

When he ran out of abandoned buildings, he started looking into the neighborhoods of Detroit for stories. That’s where he found the odd parts of Detroit.

One of the stories he wrote about was a guy who cleaned headlights, just trying to make a living. His name was Mr. Bowtie, who would be stationed at 7 Mile and Greenfield on the side of the road.
It’s hard to imagine that just a normal guy, who lost his job cleaning cars, is barely scraping by, cleaning headlights.

The stories aren’t all bad though. Carlisle looks to highlight unique individuals in Detroit, even if they seem to be down about their own life.

Carlisle is a unique journalist, looking for and writing about many odd stories in Detroit that might not be covered otherwise. If you would like to purchase the book, it is for sale at the UM-D Bookstore, or on Amazon.com for around $20.

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