Don’t Call It a Comeback

by Sid

Before I explain the reason behind the LL Cool J reference, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Sid Nutulapati, and I have the privilege to be living and working in 760 Virginia Park with the Castle crew this summer. More specifically, I’ll be working under Scott to help build the app that Castle provides. I like to think of myself as an Apprentice, although the job description says Squire. That’s not to say that I won’t be working with Max and Tim; I’ll just be spending the majority of time with Scott, given that I’m a computer science major.

All the stories I’ve heard about Detroit are about its declining manufacturing industry, the dilapidated state of its buildings, rampant crime, and the inability of the Lions to win a football game in 2008. It’s not the stereotypical place for a college kid to spend a summer. In fact, when I tell my friends about my summer plans, I’m usually met with quizzical stares. “Why would you go to Detroit? There’s nothing there! You’re going to get stabbed or something!”

Image of abandoned house
What my friends picture when I say I’m living in a house in Detroit.

But you see, I don’t think it’s as terrible a place as the “ruin porn” suggests. Detroit is on the upswing—businesses are growing, people are making more money, and for the first time since the recession of ‘08, the housing market is up. The Motor City has been injected with hope.

I believe in the tenacity of this city. At the risk of sounding too much like Clint Eastwood, all Detroit needs is grit, guts, and a fuel tank full of American ingenuity. I believe that the crime, the poverty, the dismal state of municipal finances—nearly all of the issues that plague Detroit today—can be solved by smart, hardworking indiviuals implementing novel ideas for the betterment of the community.

Castle embodies that mindset. That’s why I’m incredibly exited to be working here this summer. To work at a place where everyone around me has the mental horsepower to bring their vision to reality and drive each other to perform better? How crazy awesome is that?!

So why the LL Cool J? Detroit’s not out. It may be down, but I wouldn’t underestimate the resilience of its people. Don’t call it a comeback.