Ypsi doesn’t look nearly as terrifying from a few hundred feet up

I know I should be looking for my house and other landmarks of personal importance, but all I can think when watching this arial footage of Ypsilanti is how laughably ridiculous people are who leave comments on the website of the Ann Arbor News about how terrifying this city of ours is. I know this video is likely a bit misleading, given that it was shot from a few hundred feet up, and, as such, you can’t really see the piles of used condoms and pools of freshly-spilled blood, but it really makes Ypsilanti look like something out of a god damn Norman Rockwell painting…

This, my friends, is the kind of thing that leads to gentrification. Mark my words.

[note: I just coined the phrase “tourism by drone.”]

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  1. Pytlyct
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    No worries, Mark.

    Ypsi “gentrified” well more than 100 years ago. Today, we’re just “revitalizing” that gentrification. Reclaiming old territories (e.g., Water Street) and breathing new life into parcels once won then lost. We’re simply reclaiming our gentry.

    To coin another phrase, “Ypsi is regentrifying.”

    In the initial gentrification, we displaced people and replaced them with our people. It’ll require some effort, but in the regentrification, we can do it again.

    I thought the regentrification would be attributed to things like the Co-op, Shadow Art Fair, Elvis Fest, railroads, hipsters, hippies, bloggers and gays … but, I, for one, am glad to know we can live here, and watch our property values rise, because of robots in the skies.

    And not because we don’t want a dollar store. Yes … the flying robots are spawning the gentry.

  2. Burt Reynolds
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it still seriously looks like shit.

  3. XXX
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    What specifically looks like shit, Burt? Aside from some roads that need repaving, I think it looks really good. There are even guys playing soccer in the park.

  4. Dan
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    will this video be updated to highlight the new Family Dollar and section 8 apartments? ’cause those, my friends, aren’t the kind of things that lead to gentrification

  5. anonymous
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    We could camouflage them the way we did buildings during WW II.


  6. Lynne
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    I certainly think that Ypsilanti is a beautiful place. That is partly why I live here. :)

  7. Aaron Fown
    Posted July 3, 2014 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Hey Mark! Thanks for sharing my video. One of my friends (who reads your blog to keep up on Ypsi news) called this to my attention, and I love your flattering comments. A few things of note: these shots were mostly from around 150 feet up. I had a spotter on site for the trip over the river to keep everything within view, and I don’t think I tripped over any piles of used condoms that day, but my eyes were mostly on the sky. Further, Ypsilanti really -is- something out of a Normal Rockwell painting. I mean, he wasn’t really known for depicting the nose-upturned lives of upwardly mobile bigots in his art.

    And, sadly, I’m gonna have to rain on your parade. Traveling by drone is practically a movement at this point. Check out this site:


    Anyhow, if anyone has ideas for places that need some aerial attention, I would be happy to provide it.

  8. Posted July 3, 2014 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Since when is anyone on this blog worried about gentrification, which usually implies the economic displacement of very poor households.

    If anything, Mark and his readership are the gentrifiers and this blog along with efforts like the Shadow Art Fair are the tools of gentrification.

    For the record, before I get flames, I am of the view that the issue of gentrification is complex and there are costs (in displacement) and benefits (in employment opportunities and improved public services).

  9. PrincessTinyMeat
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Keep Ypsi ghetto.

  10. michelle
    Posted March 15, 2015 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    I’ve been warning you for years to RUN THE GENTRIFICATION IS COMING!!!!!
    (i care)

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    It’s a beautiful city. I’ve been walking a friend’s dog in Ypsi 3 mornings a week. I am only finding more to love each day. But it’s beauty is to a large degree due to great cuty planning and considerable wealth in the first half of the 20th century. So re-gentrification seems apt. I think it’s going to be a while before displacement begins. There’s lots of buildanle land still. Section 8 housing will help prevent dislacement as well. Water Street is a tremendous opportunity– A large empty parcel of land downtown with a river running through it and adjacent development parcels that link to an interstate highway. And it is situated between a major university and a large city. (And it has it’s own university and loads of landmark buildings). Gentrification is inevitable. The question is how does the city direct it– what does it choose to retain. Ypsi still has a shot at planning for inclusion. To do that though you all need to stop worrying about what Ann Arbor thinks and recognize your own value. Ypsi could get right what A2 got wrong.

  12. kjc
    Posted March 16, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I think the beauty is the people more so. and the vibe. But yes, there is aesthetic appeal due to historic buildings/homes, city planning and natural resources. I’m sure more gentrification would have already happened if the city were only historic buildings and the river, without those pesky people of Ypsilanti that gentrifiers most want to avoid.

    Only a particular subset of Ypsilantians are concerned with what Ann Arbor thinks. It’s not an abiding concern of most people.

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