Abstract

Terry Metter is a lifelong Detroit Shoreway resident. He grew up and continues to live south of Madison Avenue in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Living in a section of the neighborhood that receives less attention has informed his views regarding community engagement, relationships with the local CDC, urban verses suburban living, and accessibility to community services.

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Interviewee

Metter, Terry (interviewee)

Interviewer

Nemeth, Sarah (interviewer)

Transcript

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:00] Hi, my name is Sarah Nemeth. I'm here today with Terry Metter. Today is August 7, 2017. We're at the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization offices, and this is for the Cleveland Regional Oral History Project. Could you please state your name for the record?

Terry Metter [00:00:17] My name is Terry Metter.

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:18] Metter, sorry, my fault.

Terry Metter [00:00:20] That's okay.

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:21] And where and when were you born?

Terry Metter [00:00:25] I was born in Cleveland at Metro Hospital, April 19th, 1988.

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:33] Okay. And where did you grow up? What side of town.

Terry Metter [00:00:36] I grew up on the west side in what would probably be called Detroit Shoreway, just in an area that probably doesn't necessarily get identified as Detroit Shoreway, kind of on the border of Detroit Shoreway and Cudell.

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:51] Okay, and what area? So you're like south of Madison.

Terry Metter [00:00:56] Exactly, yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:00:57] Okay. What was your neighborhood like growing up?

Terry Metter [00:01:01] Very diverse. Well, at least in terms of of race. In terms of class. Working class, you know. The housing crisis in 2008 obviously had a major effect on the neighborhood, but prior to that it wasn't necessarily a great neighborhood, you know. I lived near West Tech High School and in the time of me growing up it was, you know, closed and then it was abandoned and then after a long time it was converted into apartments. So the whole area was kind of generally neglected. You know, a lot of working people or just bad landlords who maybe don't have enough money to take care of their properties. Decent amount of crime. The area kind of, not exactly where I grew up, but maybe a couple streets over, was called the Crack Triangle in the '90s, so, kind of the rougher side of Detroit Shoreway.

Sarah Nemeth [00:02:09] What do you do for fun? Did you hang out with friends? Were you allowed to go far?

Terry Metter [00:02:13] No. No. Yeah, I was I was not allowed to really roam very far at all. There was a vacant lot next to our house and maybe one or two kids that I would, you know, run around the lot with. But yeah, that was pretty common. I think a lot of kids growing up in the neighborhood would just basically play in vacant lots where, you know, a house had burned down or something like that. There, even to this day, there isn't really a lot of park or structured play area for a kid to go. So, growing up, I went to the library a lot. I lived one street over from the Lorain Branch of the public library, so I would go there a lot and I was kind of naturally introverted, you know, unathletic sort of kid. So that probably would've been the case regardless. But yeah, not a lot of roaming the streets, probably because my parents were very protective.

Sarah Nemeth [00:03:08] Can you describe the library, what it looked like? How did you feel when you went there?

Terry Metter [00:03:13] So the library is... Now it's one, mostly one large room. You can enter from Lorain Avenue or West 83rd. If you enter from Lorain, the circulation desk is on the left. The children's area is on the right, and then if you go straight ahead you're hitting the computer area and the adult reading area and audiovisual stuff. That's, when I was growing up anyways, it was all painted white inside. Now it's kind of a periwinkle. It had these like very fluffy kind of '80s-ish couches. But it was a, you know, a great place. I work for the library and I'm a librarian at the Main Library. So I probably wouldn't even have my profession now if it hadn't gone there as much just because I went there so much and got to know everybody working there, and then eventually when I was old enough, they said, you should work here because you're here.

Sarah Nemeth [00:04:17] Hey, that works!

Terry Metter [00:04:21] Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:04:23] Where did you go to elementary school?

Terry Metter [00:04:26] Went to elementary school at St. Ignatius of Antioch, which is on West Boulevard and Lorain Avenue. It's still there. While I was there, it was kind of odd, you know, when I was there, it was kind of in the middle of the Catholic Church pedophilia controversy, so I think a lot of people were anxious about Catholic school in general. They know I never had any problems, you know. But in fifth grade, I had a large group of friends and seemingly all of them, except for me, went over to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, so just down the street from where we're at right now. So they didn't move too far, but that kind of caused me to lose touch with most of that group. But it was a fine grade school, I guess. You know, when you're a kid, you don't have much to compare it to. But I went to Catholic school from kindergarten through college, so.

Sarah Nemeth [00:05:22] Okay.

Terry Metter [00:05:23] Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:05:23] Where did you go to high school? Did you stay at St. Ignatius?

Terry Metter [00:05:27] Yeah. So St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Ignatius High School is commonly conflated, but they're different. But yeah, I went to St. Ignatius High school. And that was interesting because at my grade school, most of the kids that go there obviously are from the neighborhood, and you have a lot in common with them in terms of, you know, shared experiences of growing up, you know, class distinctions that you don't really think of until you start to get older. But then in high school the vast majority, probably 90 percent of the kids that go to Ignatius are kids from the suburbs, and those differences begin to stand out and you begin to as a teenager, you're just naturally self-conscious, right? But you kind of get to notice like, oh, those kids have like ski passes and, like, golf clothes and, like, I've never done either of those. And I still to this day have never done either of those things just by virtue of where I'm from, you know? But I really enjoyed St. Ignatius High School.

Sarah Nemeth [00:06:30] What are some of the other differences you noticed? I mean, you just pick up... As a teenager I know you just pick things up, like, oh, I'm different because x, y, and z...

Terry Metter [00:06:41] Yeah. I mean, nothing that made me feel less than, you know, I realized that you don't get to choose where you're born and you don't get to choose who your parents are and all that stuff. And you know, I'm extremely happy and grateful and proud of where I'm from. But, yeah. Noticing kids and had like North Face jackets and, you know, it's... You have to wear a uniform, but you know, to this day I like to shop at thrift stores, so it's not like that was a major thing, but I would wear like, you know, thrift store clothes, whereas other kids would wear like, you know, they had the Polo man and, you know, they would have their dad's hand-me-down Acura or whatever, you know, and I didn't have a car till I was 21 because I had to pay for it myself. You know, so stuff like that, you know, minor things. Kind of stemming from my parents being very protective, probably for my own safety, but also maybe a little bit out there, I wasn't allowed to get in the car of anybody who was under 18. So if the driver was under 18, I was not allowed so naturally, like, if you go to high school where nobody lives around you, you don't tend to socialize a lot with them. So I didn't tend to have a lot of social interaction during high school, just because I was kind of isolated geographically from everybody. So that was kind of tough, but I didn't feel like an outcast, you know, I was able to make friends at school. I started working when I was like 16 anyway. So.

Sarah Nemeth [00:08:16] Where'd you work at?

Terry Metter [00:08:17] The library. Yeah. So I just I've only ever worked for the library. Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:08:20] That's cool.

Terry Metter [00:08:21] Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:08:22] Did you have... What were people doing? I'm sure, going home, you observed maybe the kids in your neighborhood that were your age. What were they doing?

Terry Metter [00:08:34] I don't know. You know, I... I've... When I was a kid, I was much more introverted than I am now. So I didn't observe a lot of kids, you know, doing much there. There's not much for kids to do in the immediate area where I live. You know, like Zone Rec is down the street, but it's like 20 blocks away and then Cudell is another 20 blocks in the other direction. So there's not a lot of activity for kids aside from the library and then, like, vacant lots. So there would be, like, pickup baseball games and football games and stuff like that in vacant lots, which are not a great place to play because people dump tires and break glass and stuff like that. Yeah. So I feel like I was not a part of the... definitely not a part of the kids and teens group in my immediate area growing up, like, I even felt like I saw the other kids as like bad kids because, like, you know, they might walk... There's an alley that runs behind our house, and they'd, like, walk through and break glass and stuff. And I would see stuff like that, and I'm kind of a conscientious person, so I would see that and get mad. And, like, I remember, I have a very long fuse, you know, I'm very slow to anger. But I remember one time I just saw this kid breaking glass and I just started screaming at him, like swearing at him. And I'm not a violent person, but, you know, threatening him and basically and I was probably like 15, which is like a weird thing for a teenager to do to another teenager, like kids are usually on the other side of that property destruction sort of thing.

Sarah Nemeth [00:10:23] Did you take pride in where you were? Like they were threatening your space?

Terry Metter [00:10:25] Yeah. I mean, right, yeah. I think that's kind of the natural inclination is, you know, you don't want people to disrespect you. Yeah, and I think it's also like having a sense that, you know, this is not the nicest part of town and, like, why would you want to actively make it any worse? Just didn't... It doesn't make sense to me.

Sarah Nemeth [00:10:51] When you told people where you were from or where you lived, what did you tell them? What did you call this place?

Terry Metter [00:10:56] Well, I guess I was less conscious of, you know, the CDC service areas and the neighborhood branding and stuff like that. So I would just say, like the West Side or, you know, Detroit Shoreway or Cudell, because I literally, like, my side of the street is Detroit Shoreway. The other side of the street is Cudell. So I'm literally on the line, so it's hard to distinguish that. But in high school and also in college and even now, when you tell people, like, you grew up on the west side, you get, oh, like Bay Village, Rocky River, or whatever. So now I just say Detroit Shoreway because I think it makes sense to everybody.

Sarah Nemeth [00:11:43] Yeah.

Terry Metter [00:11:44] People know it.

Sarah Nemeth [00:11:44] The branding has been definitely....

Terry Metter [00:11:47] Yeah. Yeah. I think people have a sense of place when you say Detroit Shoreway, even though, like, their vision of Detroit Shoreway is, like, maybe Battery Park and the Happy Dog and, like, stuff that doesn't look a whole lot like where I'm from necessarily, but...

Sarah Nemeth [00:12:02] Yeah.

Terry Metter [00:12:04] Close enough.

Sarah Nemeth [00:12:06] Yeah, definitely. There's different sections of Detroit Shoreway, within the neighborhood.

Terry Metter [00:12:06] Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:12:10] What was the first book that really got you--you know, people will pick up maybe The Hobbit or something like that--that really got you excited?

Terry Metter [00:12:20] Gosh, I don't know. When I was a kid, I liked like Marvin Redpost and it was, like, paperback chapter books about this kid who was just, like, kind of a goofy kid and, like, Boogers was in the title of one of the books. You know, I think that those were just fun and goofy books that I liked. So probably like that and like Goosebumps, you know? Yeah. Those were big growing up.

Sarah Nemeth [00:12:51] Yeah, definitely. So where did you go after you graduated from high school?

Terry Metter [00:12:59] I was at John Carroll University and I was a commuter there. So it's not totally uncommon to be a commuter, but most people kind of stay on or close to campus and it's all the way on the other side of town in University Heights. So the first couple of years, since I still didn't have a car and I was still saving up, I took RTA, which meant a long commute like hour, hour and a half, right? So I was also dumb enough and you know, my mother, my parents went to college so they didn't warn me against this. Like I had an 8:00 a.m. class my first semester freshman year.

Sarah Nemeth [00:13:33] Yeah, I did it too. Oops!

Terry Metter [00:13:35] Yep. And so that meant like waiting for a train at like 6:00 a.m. to go to college, which is lots of fun, yeah. And then, like, you know, walking a mile from the train station to the campus, because most... Like when I was taking the train to school, I never saw any other students. It was it just not something people did to get there. So, yeah, suffice to say, it didn't take me long to really save for a car. It took me like a year and a half. And then I was like, I'm done. I'm driving to school. Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:14:14] Did you ever go downtown? I mean, you're in the '90s. That's when it was kind on a decline, wasn't it...

Terry Metter [00:14:21] No. Yeah. Not... Even now downtown is more built for the 9 to 5 crowd and the tourists. It's not really built for residential enjoyment. So maybe went to a few baseball games as a kid, but yeah, don't really have many memories of downtown. Even like Tower City, you know, and that has mostly come and gone in that time span. But yeah, despite working down there every day now, I don't have a lot of older associations with it.

Sarah Nemeth [00:14:58] Did you ever go to the Galleria?

Terry Metter [00:14:58] Maybe once or twice. So, kind of important to say is I have two older and they're half sisters, but they're my sisters, that are 17 and 18 years older than me. So my parents are real home bodies. They don't really like to go around too much. But my sisters, by virtue of them being that much older than me, like, took me around all the time when I was a kid. I was very spoiled by them and by my parents to them, you know, very lucky, but they took me all over. So if I went anywhere as a kid, it was probably with them. Like I think I remember going to the Galleria with them and, like, going to Westgate Mall and, yeah, stuff like that. I was totally spoiled by my sisters, growing up. I was like their practice kid and they... and like, you know, being them being that much older than me, I know all the time when they would take me places, people would be like, oh, your kid's so cute, you know. And they'd have to say, No, it's my brother.

Sarah Nemeth [00:16:01] Did they usually take you outside of Cleveland? Or did they go more to the urban core?

Terry Metter [00:16:10] I think all around, really. Like they took me to the Health Museum when that was still around and the Science Center and the History Museum and Art Museum. But, you know, also to like the mall and stuff like that. Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:16:27] Do you remember what the Health Museum looked like inside?

Terry Metter [00:16:30] Not vividly, but yeah, I remember, the thing I remember most was there was this giant tooth that you could... It was probably like, and when you're a kid everything's distorted, but it was probably like 20 or 30 feet tall, and there were steps on one side of it, and you could take these steps up into the tooth. And there was a room inside the tooth that was maybe a molar, I'm not a dentist, I don't know, but you would go in and you would just like learn about teeth in this room that was inside the tooth. And there was like a videogame that you could play where you would like shoot germs off of the teeth. So that was pretty cool. And that's what I remember the most. Yeah, yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:17:12] That's cool. Demographic... You said your neighborhood was diverse.

Terry Metter [00:17:20] Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:17:21] But what you say, kind of demographically, who was there?

Terry Metter [00:17:25] Growing up, there were Vietnamese families, Puerto Rican families, African American, white. But pretty much everything you could think of. I had a lot of Vietnamese friends as a kid. I think we were kind of an area for a lot of immigration and resettlement. But then over the years, that has kind of gone away and it's more African American, Puerto Rican, and white. I couldn't give you ratios, but it's pretty well mixed. It's not, it's definitely not distinctively one or the other. Yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:18:09] What was a landmark maybe in your community? Where did people... You saw a whole bunch of of people maybe standing out of this place?

Terry Metter [00:18:18] Probably the closest thing like an identifying descriptor for people in the immediate area would be the corner store. So there's a corner store on Tompkins and West 85th, which is right across the street from my house. So that is just an immensely trafficked... Just foot traffic all day, every day. People buying their beer, their junk food, lotto tickets, cigarettes. So I think that is probably a thing that people within the neighborhood would identify. But then from outside of the neighborhood, there's not really much, you know, there's like Villa y Zapata restaurant on 85th and Madison that's painted like a Mexican flag. But people may or may not know about that. So there's just... There's not like one thing that everybody could identify, I think. But probably the corner store, and it's still there. Just hundreds of people every day go there. And, you know, if you talk to people at Detroit Shoreway here, they'll tell you that I'm like a litter... litter person. And I think my hatred for litter stems from, like, living by the corner store and picking up, like when I had to cut the grass for my parents, like, picking up chip bags and [Little] Debbie cake wrappers and stuff like...

Sarah Nemeth [00:19:42] When you graduated from John Carroll, where did you go to?

Terry Metter [00:19:45] So I worked all through college and so I had a job. I was still part-time at the library, so, just to create a timeline there. When I was 16, from 16 to like 18, I was a page, so I shelved books. And then from 18 to about 21, I was a clerk, so I was a checkout person. And then from 21 to about 25, I was a library assistant, so I helped people on computers. And then from 25 to 27, I worked at Main Library and I taught computer classes, and then from 27ish to now, I'm a librarian in the History Department. So after John Carroll, I took a year off school just because I wanted to relax, and then I went to Kent State University for Library Science to get a master's degree. Luckily, that was all online, so I stayed home and it was super flexible. Through half of that time, I was working full time so it was really nice to just be able to log in and take my class and not have to drive to Kent because that would have been really tough. So. Yeah, I what I did right after school.

Sarah Nemeth [00:21:02] So you're like in your 20s at that point. Now you're more conscious, maybe aware of your surroundings. Has anything changed since when you were a little kid? Are people still breaking glass at the [corner store]?

Terry Metter [00:21:16] Yes. So last night before our interview today, I was watching TV. I was watching John Oliver, and somebody threw a brick through my dining room window. We just got new windows, so that's kind of frustrating. That's the second time this year that somebody's throwing a rock through my window. So, yeah, bummer. So I would say, you know, I've definitely noticed changes in terms of, like, people in my generation now want to live here and like buy houses and stuff like that. Like when I was in high school, they're like... I had a friend who, basically, he told his dad that I lived in West Park, which is a neighborhood pretty removed. He told his dad that I lived in West Park just so he would be able to hang out with me and, like, come pick me up, like after I turned 18 because he knew his dad wouldn't let him hang out with me and like drive into the neighborhood, basically, if he really knew where I lived. And I doubt that's as big of a concern for people now. But I think the change is definitely unevenly distributed. You know, like most of the change is from Detroit and northward. And, you know, on the other side of Detroit and, you know, south of the train tracks south of Madison, I don't think you've seen a whole lot of change. Still lots of crime, you know, drug use, prostitution, breaking and entering. You know, right now there are probably four or five houses that I could walk to that are burnt out, you know, and need to be torn down. So I think, you know, the housing crisis hit Cleveland pretty hard, and Detroit Shoreway as well. But like in the immediate area where, that's closest to me, like, you know, the West 80s and Lawn and Guthrie and Colgate and Madison and Lorain really have not bounced back. And there are still a lot of challenges for longtime residents and and for people moving in that would make it tough to grow up, tough to raise a family, and, you know, a tough place to live for a lot of people.

Sarah Nemeth [00:23:46] Today, have you seen any beautification projects that are going on in your neighborhood? Is that what the... Do you still live in the same place?

Terry Metter [00:23:58] Yeah, so to elaborate a bit or to get more specific, I grew up on West 85th, and when I was about 20 the house next door to me, which had been lived in by a woman for decades and decades. You know, she raised her family there. She lived alone and she passed away. Her house came up for sale and her kids who lived in Columbus didn't really want it. So they sold it, and my family and I bought it. So, you know, it's a fixer upper. So I've been kind of, at my own very slow pace, fixing it up. But I've been living in that house since 2009 or so. So I live right next to my parents. In terms of beautification change, I haven't really seen a whole lot. You know, the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation worked on, like, a strategic plan for the area a couple summers ago. So there are plans and you know, who knows what it'll look like in five years or ten years? But in the immediate short term, I haven't seen anything. And you may or may not be aware of, like there's current kind of neighborhood controversy. There is a longtime slumlord, Neil Cluff, who is the brother of the mayor of Westlake, so not like he doesn't have any connections or understanding of the system. But longtime slumlord all around, who knows what, owns at least a dozen properties on Colgate, Guthrie, etc. Then you know the neighborhood that has, you know, been the most challenged for a very long time. And, you know, didn't take care of his properties, so much so that, you know, he was taken to court and his properties declared a nuisance and Detroit Shoreway kind of took receivership of those properties. And, you know, they've been given over to a developer who by all accounts seems like a good guy who works with refugees and houses refugees. But that's kind of been a neighborhood controversy because there are fears of gentrification in the long term, but then also,, in the short term concerns about the way things have been handled for these families who are now basically homeless, you know, these folks who are living in the slumlord's house don't necessarily have the funds or capacity or even time to find a house with very short notice. And, you know, have saved up first last month's rent and a security deposit and like enough for a moving truck and all this stuff. So people are concerned about that. But in some ways, it's kind of a necessary, necessary evil, but people are more concerned about the specific way that all has come about, you know, like, nobody should have to live in a house that's basically falling in like a few of these houses are condemned and will be demolished because they're in such bad shape. Nobody should be living in those types of conditions. But then again, you know, we also, as a neighborhood and as a society, have to make sure that these folks can find somewhere that is safe and dignified. And I as much as I want the neighborhood to get better, I don't want it to get better at the expense of working-class people who, you know, look a lot more like my family being pushed out. You know, I don't want that and I, you know, maybe I'm not as extremist as anybody else about it, but I definitely share some of that concern.

Sarah Nemeth [00:27:48] Did you have a fear of the pressure of gentrification pressure in your neighborhood, as all of this is starting to get developed? Eco-Village is kind of like pushing up against you.

Terry Metter [00:28:03] You know, I don't know. It's one of those things where, if you keep an eye out for it, everything looks like gentrification. But if you don't, then it happens and you're like, where, how did that happen so quick? Right? So I do have a concern. I haven't noticed anything. I feel like this, you know, doesn't property seizure, you know, could go one way. It could go another way. Like if the developer is it is really, you know, cracked up to his, everything he says he is or I think everybody else says he is, I've only met him once a few years ago, and he seems like a good guy. You know, if he is committed to affordable housing and, you know, Detroit Shoreway has vetted them properly and is going to hold him to those principles, I think that's great. But if not, then you know that could make some major changes. But I think if you talk to anybody on Colgate, you know, those streets we've been talking about, they would say it's probably a good thing that we need to... Attention needs to be paid to the neighborhood. And, you know, a very small few of the people who were moved out were criminals and were bad people. The majority were good people. And we need to find a way to make sure that it's a safe place for good people and a place where bad people don't want to be. So, gotta stick together as neighbors more than anything.

Sarah Nemeth [00:29:33] Do you have a block club?

Terry Metter [00:29:34] No. Yeah, so that's another thing in this area we've been talking about. There are no black clubs. There's no kind of formal structure. And, you know, in the areas where there has been a lot of change in Detroit Shoreway, like those are areas that are serviced by block clubs, you know, and, you know, say what you will about block clubs. They tend to be property owners concerned about their property values. But they also, you know, help neighborhoods be safer and, you know, help neighbors get to know each other and kind of create a safer and better community. But there there is no block club on my street. You know, neighbors... I think there's kind of a mentality of hunkering down, minding your own business and staying out of it. Right? So like neighbors don't tend to know each other. You know, you might know the people immediately next to you, but it's not like Franklin, where everybody knows everybody down the whole street. Like even I know everybody down the whole street because it's like, you know, there tends to be activists or at least just active in the community type people. But on my block, it's kind of like, you know, just stay out of it. It's their problem. I don't want to be involved. But like, for example, last night I met two neighbors for the first time who, like, have lived, you know, I'm on 85th. There's an alley behind my house and there's 83th. They've lived on 83rd for a really long time. Like, you know, two houses away, three houses away. But they came out to keep an eye out because they said they heard the noise of, right, my window being broken. And, you know, one of them was had a gun on his hip and was like ready to, you know, really get into it to help me out if he needed to. But it's like somebody I had never met. So I... Having a block club has been on my to-do list for a long time, but then it's also just kind of an overwhelming thing. You know, feeling like you're the only person that might have an interest in it.

Sarah Nemeth [00:31:43] That's understandable. Is your neighborhood more transient or is it homeowners?

Terry Metter [00:31:50] I would say it's pretty transient. Like I said, you know, that the foreclosure crisis really did affect things. But I also think a lot... There are a lot of longtime, I don't know if you'd call them slumlords, but longtime landlords who rent out and, you know, there's a very high turnover for a number of reasons, but it's, you know, it's ikind of mixed. There are people that own their homes and there are people who have been there for a very long time and don't plan to go anywhere. You know, my parents have owned their house for 30 years, and I know a few people down the street who have owned for a very long time and who, you know, back when I was growing up were involved and in, you know, like block club type efforts. But I think there is also that tendency when you, when you're involved in that type of stuff and you feel like you're just rolling that rock up the hill and then watching it go back down, to just unplug and disengage and say, well, I tried, but this isn't going anywhere. So I think there's a lot of disillusionment from longtime residents with city government and with the CDC. And I think that those are justifiable and understandable sentiments. But I think it's it's also something that we need to get over, get around in order to to make the neighborhood better just because there are resources if, you know, if you really are able to to use them and work with them.

Sarah Nemeth [00:33:27] Would you say that some of the people that maybe, if you met someone on the street from your neighborhood, would they know about some of the resources that are available to them? Has there been communication and outreach to educate on what's available?

Terry Metter [00:33:43] You know, I don't know. That's hard to say. I don't get a sense that there's maybe one way or the other of, like, on Detroit Shoreway's engagement with them. But I do think that people kind of, in my area, hear Detroit Shoreway and don't think that that's them, you know, because we're we're pretty removed from it. So I can't necessarily accuse Detroit Shoreway of not trying, but I don't know, if they have, that it's gotten through.

Sarah Nemeth [00:34:21] [inaudible] ... your neighborhood also come... Do they come here? Do they come and knock on the door and ask a question?

Terry Metter [00:34:27] Yeah, I don't know. I really don't know. Like I said, I you know, like you asked about people being transient. I think if you're a renter, it's like you don't you might not know where you're going to live in the next month, so why bother being involved in that when you may have, you probably have more important concerns. So, yeah, I don't necessarily think people have been very engaged with Detroit Shoreway.

Sarah Nemeth [00:34:53] Okay. Where's the nearest grocery store?

Terry Metter [00:34:58] The nearest grocery store, depending on how you define it, for a lot of people, it's the corner store. You know, if you live on chips and pop, but if you want to buy like something green and something that, you know, isn't filled with a lot of artificial chemicals, there is a Giant Eagle on 117th, which is forty blocks away. There is a Save A Lot over here on, like, what's that, 64th-ish fand Detroit. There's a Dave's. The nearest Dave's is like on Ridge Road and 73rd. So there's not really a grocery store that you would walk to, and I think that's a major problem for a lot of people. I tend to like everywhere I have my helmet with me now, you know, I biked here, and I would really like to not have to drive to get groceries, but it's just basically a fact of life. Like I'm not going to walk fifty blocks to then walk back. And I'm you know, I'm lucky enough to be able to have a car, so I can't take the bus to get groceries, but that's what a lot of people have to do or, you know, live on whatever is available at the corner store.

Sarah Nemeth [00:36:07] Do many of the people in your neighborhood have cars?

Terry Metter [00:36:11] I think so. Yeah, I think, I think a lot of a lot of people do. They may not be in very good shape. But yeah, there are cars at least in the driveways and, you know, parked on the street. And, you know, an interesting phenomenon I've noticed recently is there are so many vacant lots that they've kind of become de facto parking lots like, on one on 83rd, there is like a boat, somebody just parked a boat, and I don't think it was dumped, it's like someone's boat that they have. So that's kind of interesting.

Sarah Nemeth [00:36:47] Okay, I did hear some... like the public transportation there. The line stops. Was that the 20...

Terry Metter [00:36:58] The 22 serves Lorain. Yeah. So I take the 22 if I like take the bus into work or downtown or anywhere, yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:37:05] Okay, but that doesn't... It used to be...

Terry Metter [00:37:08] And there used to be a line. I forgot the number. There used to be a line on Madison too. But then if you if you say you want to take the train, you know, we're really kind of in the middle right. Like there is in terms of rec centers, in terms of grocery stores, in terms of all that you want to take the train, you would either go to West Boulevard, which is like thirty blocks, forty blocks away, or you'd go to 65th, which is like twenty blocks away. Buses. Yeah. Lorain Avenue and then you'd have to go to Detroit, which is a bit of a hike if you want to take that line.

Sarah Nemeth [00:37:45] Do you or do others that, you know, look to they come down to Detroit and do they frequent the restaurants and bars and what have you on this little strip period that's been developed?

Terry Metter [00:37:59] I doubt it. You know, I don't... I don't see a whole lot of people that look like my neighbors in these businesses. So I would say no.

Sarah Nemeth [00:38:12] Okay.

Terry Metter [00:38:13] I think for a lot of people, the cost at the bars and restaurants is a lot for what their income is. So if I'm making minimum wage, I'm probably not going to go down and buy a six or seven dollar beer. I'll probably, you know, have a six pack at home or something. You know, it's not necessarily approachable for a lot of my immediate neighbors, yeah.

Sarah Nemeth [00:38:42] Are there places around that are approachable. Is there anyone that serves that clientele?

Terry Metter [00:38:49] Well, there's stuff like, you know, there's still McDonald's there, still like Georgio's and Burger King and Happy's pizza and, you know, stuff like that. So as much as I think that that's all pretty much garbage food and is bad for people, I'd much rather see people eating that than starving, right? Like, it serves a purpose despite being very unhealthy. So there are things like that and, you know, Save A Lot's over there. There is like... There's a bar on Lorain that it seems like people go to but it's very creepy, so it's nuts. Like I'm from the neighborhood and I feel like I have a good sense of, you know, what's safe and what's not safe and what I should rightfully be sketched out by, and that place is sketchy to me, so I don't go over there.

Sarah Nemeth [00:39:44] All right. Well, in closing I would like to ask you just maybe what are your hopes for your immediate neighborhood and then Detroit Shoreway as a whole?

Terry Metter [00:39:53] My hopes would be that people that want to live here can continue to live here and that, you know, we talk about diversity, and I hope that isn't just racial diversity. I hope it's also class diversity.

Terry Metter [00:40:10] You know, I worry about gentrification as much as anybody, but I think we're better served by rich and poor living next to each other than poor living in the city and rich living out in the suburbs. So my hopes for my immediate area would just be more of a connection between neighbors and people getting to know each other and help each other out and, you know, feeling involved and connected to their community as opposed to isolated and kind of entrenched. And then for Detroit Shoreway, just, you know, a commitment to equality and equal opportunity for everybody and making sure that we're not only making room for, you know, upper middle-class and middle-class people, but also making space for people who the housing market might not have an incentive to provide for. And I'd also love to see a grocery store that I could walk to. That would be pretty cool. You know, typical things that anybody would like, you know. Safer streets. Maybe some bike lanes would be nice. You know, more investment in public facilities, rec centers, libraries, stuff like that would be nice.

Sarah Nemeth [00:41:28] Okay. Well thank you so much for meeting with me today.

Terry Metter [00:41:31] Thank you.

Project

Detroit Shoreway

Date

8-7-2017

Document Type

Oral History

Duration

42 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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