This essay appears in the forthcoming Detroit Neighborhood Guidebook from Belt Publishing, and is excerpted here with permission.
The first month I lived in Minock Park, my new neighbors would stop while I tackled the endless yard work to introduce themselves, and always had the same reaction. I’d watch as a look of surprise and maybe mild amusement would cross their faces. They would then shrug and smile and give a warm introduction. The interaction would always end the same way—with phone numbers exchanged and a serious, heartfelt promise: “We look out for each other here.”