New book teaches newbies ‘How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass’

How to live in detroit

Detroit’s decades-long image as a post-industrial wasteland is giving rise to a comeback narrative that is attracting thousands of new residents a year to the city.

Long-abandoned buildings have been transformed into trendy lofts, restaurants and retailers. Empty downtown skyscrapers are getting new life. And a Red Wings arena under construction is expected to spur massive development.

Aaron Foley, via Facebok. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.
Aaron Foley, via Facebook. Photo by Jacob Lewkow.

Enter Aaron Foley, a lifelong Detroiter and journalist who has chronicled the influx of new residents and the tone-deaf attitudes that often come with them. Now the first-time author is preparing for the launch of his cultural guidebook, “How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass.”

“My idea was to create a book that would serve as a handy-dandy guide to living in the city for new Detroiters—or give longtime Detroiters a refresher course,” Foley wrote in Blac Detroit. “Too often do Detroiters—especially newer residents—romanticize Detroit’s past and disregard the decades in between the industrial age and today.”

Foley, who is known for his witty insights of the Motor City, offers “advice on everything from buying and rehabbing a house to not sounding like a completely uninformed racist when you talk to a black person.”

The 31-year-old will be speaking at a pre-book release event at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Marble Bar at 1501 Holden in Detroit. A $10 admission fee includes food and your first drink. The event is sponsored by the Detroit Press Club, SPJ in Detroit and the Online News Association and is open to the public.

The book is being published by Rust Belt Chic and Belt Magazine, based in Cleveland.

“Aaron Foley’s book is great reading for those who love Detroit. But it’s really essential reading for anyone who cares about America’s cities and the racial and demographic differences that divide us,” said NPR host Celeste Headlee. “Foley delivers truths with humor and honesty. “

A book launch party is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 17.

The book is expected to be available on Dec. 1.

Here are the table of contents:

Seven Rules for Living in Detroit: Or How Not To Be A Dumbass The Moment You Get Here
The Quick and Dirty Tour
Difficult Questions About Detroit With Simple Answers
How Not To Offend People When Talking About Detroit
How You Should Be Talking About Detroit
How To Be White In Detroit
How To Make Peace With The Suburbs
How To Drive In Detroit
How To Party Like A Detroiter
How To Deal With The Men In This Town
How To Raise A Detroit Kid
How To Do Business In Detroit
How To House-Hunt In Detroit
How To Renovate A Detroit House Without Being A Jackass
How Not To Be A Jealous Jackass
How To Take In Detroit Media
How To Be Gay In Detroit
How To Be A Detroit Hipster
How To Be Black In Detroit

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.