Hello, Where is Detroit?

Yes, the US auto industry has seen better days but is it really justified to leave the entire city of Detroit off a map?

I am not much of a mail person, with one exception: I tend to mark my travels around the world with a single postcard sent to my maternal grandmother. Most of them make it to her house in Southeastern Hungary, with the exception of one from New Orleans which I mailed off on the afternoon of September 10, 2001. That one got lost.

After our Woodward Dream Cruise team returned to New York City from Detroit in our garish yellow Camaro, it was time for another postcard. I picked one of those stichable maps which come with a needle and a length of thread for sewing in your itinerary.

It was only after I’d left the store that I discovered the complete absence of Detroit. As you can see on the scanned postcard, this cannot be explained by either typography or layout. And even though the population of Detroit has fallen precariously from its 1950s peak of over 2 million to its current 900,000, the designer of the map has found space for such metropolises as Glasgow, Montana (population: 3,253) or Tonopah, Nevada (population: 2,627).

Do these people hate America or what?

I did what any red-blooded Euro boy with space aplenty in his heart for America would do: I took a Sharpie to the card. Just so my grandmother won’t be misled. It’s rather indecent to do that to a nice old lady.