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美丽的城市:底特律

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发表于 2016-7-9 23:22:42 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

          Since its 1950s heyday(全盛期)when Detroit was home to more than 2 million
residents, the city has suffered some hard times. The city has been considered a
national symbol of urban decay, the center of the so-called Rust Belt; its
population has slipped to around a million.
          But thanks to the car industry boom of the mid-1990s, Detroit is now
staging a steady comeback(恢复). It's not a Chicago or even a Cleveland, but the
Motor City is culturally rich. Detroit's population is 80% black, making it a
national center for African American culture. One of the most famous attractions
is the city's Motown Museum(摩城博物馆)where Stevie Wonder first played, and it's
worth your while to spend an evening at one of the many music clubs scattered
throughout the city.
          Detroit is situated in the flat plains of southeast Michigan, located
strategically on the Detroit River immediately north of Windsor, Canada - one of
very few places where a Canadian city is south of its US neighbor. Not
surprisingly, Detroit serves as a major gateway(通路)to the Great White North. It
also holds the distinction of being the largest metro area on any international
border in the world.
          Detroit's downtown is dominated by the Renaissance Center (文艺复兴中心), seven
huge circular glass towers along the Detroit River. The RenCen is surrounded by
revitalized historic neighborhoods such as Greektown, all connected via an
elevated train(轻轨)called the People Mover. Woodward Ave, the city's lifeline,
runs north and south and was the first paved concrete highway in the
country.
          Lots of people know that Cadillacs(卡迪拉克,通用汽车公司生 产的一款汽车)come from Detroit.
But what they probably don't know is that Detroit came from a
Cadillac(卡迪拉克,北美州法国总督、底特律
          市的创立人). Enterprising French trader and explorer Antoine de la Mothe
Cadillac stumbled upon what is now Detroit in 1701, figuring it would make a
good base from which to send furs to Canada. Cadillac named his new find Ville
d'Etroit (City of the Strait) because the Detroit River connects Lake St Clair
with Lake Erie, and from that point on the town grew steadily, using its river
as an economic channel to the world.
          Detroit might have remained little more than a stomping(践踏)ground for
trader types had it not been for an ambitious industrialist named Henry Ford.
Born on a farm in nearby Dearborn(迪尔伯恩
          ,美国一城市), Ford left for Detroit to establish the Ford Motor Company in 1903.
Within five years he was mass producing cars and perfecting the assembly
line(装配线). The assembly line inspired another Detroit innovation known as the
United Auto Workers (UAW), who kicked off the industrial union movement from the
'Motor City.' Driven by the automobile's success, Detroit was the first city to
have a paved concrete road (in 1909), the first to install a traffic light (in
1915) and the USA's first to have an urban freeway(高速公路)(in 1942).
          Pre-car, Detroit was an important station along the Underground Railroad, a
network of escape routes used by abolitionists and African-American slaves who
traveled from America's southern states, through the US north and into Canada.
Said to have been in place as early as the colonial period, the height of
Underground Railroad activity was between 1830 and 1865. Detroit was a major
escape route because of its proximity(接近)to the Canadian border. The new
arrivals brought with them the beginnings of jazz and blues music. From the late
1800s on, African-American musicians played an important role in Detroit's
entertainment scene, and the city was the first to have an integrated musicians'
union. Mississippi transplant John Lee Hooker recorded his first blues hits here
in the 1940s. Hooker and his peers paved the way for Motown - the biggest
American music phenomenon of this century and African-American Detroit's ticket
to the big leagues.
          But Detroit's prominence on the world music stage didn't prevent the city
from imploding(爆聚). While everyone was dancing in the streets, businesses -
following Ford's earlier lead - started fleeing for the suburbs, and
middle-class whites followed in painful numbers. Detroit lost nearly a million
residents between the 1950s and 1980s and, as the auto industry downturned,
hyper unemployment(过度失业)set in, disproportionately affecting African-American
men. Along the way(此后), bloody race riots(种族暴乱)in 1967 and a cruel
recession(不景气)during the 1970s were just a few of the nails in the coffin.
Today, downtown is quiet, boarded up, desolate in some areas and economically
segregated, leaving Detroit with one of the worst reputations for violence,
crime and decay. Not all of Detroit is depressing, though, and currently the
local economy is on an upswing(高涨)and unemployment is down. The city's rich
history, riverfront locale and considerable dedication to rejuvenation will
really take hold of you, if given the chance.
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