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Forget "Rock City" and "Motor City;" It's "Art City" Now

For locals, the news that Detroit is arty, is not that newsy (or new) at all. But an article in the November issue of W magazine just arrived to break the news to the cosmopolitan kitten-heel-and-cashmere sect of the population. Will they be drawn away from the new fall fashion lines for long enough to take note? More importantly, which locals get to add a "W" nod to the resume? Will this be a repeat of Times and Metropolis coverage?

Our host does not hold back, calling Detroit a "consternating, spellbinding, tragic town—the most fascinating city in the country."Let's skip over the trip to train station and get to the goods. There's a trip to MOCAD and a complaint about the lack of air conditioning (can an ArtPlace grant fix that?) and some chit chat with artists which eventually becomes a laundry list of name dropping with some hob nobbing on the side.

All in all, we give our host some cred for not sticking entirely to the beaten path. The train station and Heidelberg project get major starring roles in this piece but there are mentions of the more obscure, like the African Bead Museum. She's gone out of her way to avoid a ruin-porn round up and does not even drop a Slows reference. This is a new leaf, people!

As for real estate affairs, we're sucked in by a trip to artists Hernan Bas's home in Indian Village which reveals the tireless work of owning an art-filled mansion. (There's a Warhol!) “The upkeep can be exhausting,” Bas joked. “It takes at least an hour just to dust the art.” As it turns out, Bas was the person that bought the two-story former spice-company building in Eastern Market. He paid $40,000 a year ago (score!).

Bottom line: Detroit's got excellent architecture for cheap and artists you can befriend. W Magazine manages to tap into the Detroit appeal without just interviewing the same six people that everyone else does; we saw a few names we didn't already know! Thank goodness, because we were beginning to worry that the population had gotten even smaller. And while it is amusing to be reading this while fighting with Gucci pop-up ads, we'll take what we can get.

· Art Motors On [W Magazine]