After more than seven years of living in Detroit, showing visitors around the city remains one of my favorite pastimes. Detroit is an endlessly nuanced and multi-layered place; in a sense, everyone who spends a significant amount of time here has their own version of the city. But no matter how short a given visit, I typically insist on taking my visitors on what I refer to as the city’s “only ride” — the much-maligned, much-belittled elevated tram that trundles in an endless 2.9-mile loop around the city center, aka the People Mover.
It’s the subject of the recently published Looping Detroit: A People Mover Travelogue, by writer and photographer Nick Tobier, a professor at the Stamps School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan. The written and visual examination of Detroit’s notorious transportation initiative features the reflections of more than a dozen local artists and writers.