Dan Barry of The New York Times, who "takes readers behind news articles and into obscure and well-known corners of the United States," writes about Flint residents finding hope amid the ruins:
Read the entire article here. Go here for the slideshow.
Harry Ryan, 59, the child of auto workers, traveled for years as a rhythm and blues musician before returning to follow his parents into the auto plants. He got laid off, found other employment, and is now retired, with gray in his moustache and a stoop to his walk.
In 2005 he went to the land bank — he is on its advisory board — and received permission to plant a garden on a lot it owns a few yards from the broken side window of an abandoned house. He and some neighbors cleaned brush, removed the remnant pieces of concrete of demolished houses, and planted hardy turnips and greens.But the garden could not contain their growing sense of pride in their community. Soon they were mowing front lawns all along East Piper Avenue — for free, and without seeking permission. “We just cut everybody’s property, even if they were sitting on the porch,” he says. “Sometimes they wouldn’t say anything, and that would get us mad.”