On assignment for Michigan Radio, December 2015.

The life that keeps beating in Michigan's oldest and biggest and most complicated city.

 Darryl X. Walker sells produce and newspapers at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Southfield Road.

Darryl X. Walker sells produce and newspapers at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Southfield Road.

 Detroit Achievement Academy students attend a morning community meeting on the city's west side.

Detroit Achievement Academy students attend a morning community meeting on the city's west side.

 A West Village family shares a bite to eat at Rose’s Fine Foods.

A West Village family shares a bite to eat at Rose’s Fine Foods.

 Shannon Taliaferro left Detroit at age 10. He returned to the city years later. “Detroit's got a lot to offer, it’s coming back, coming back.”

Shannon Taliaferro left Detroit at age 10. He returned to the city years later. “Detroit's got a lot to offer, it’s coming back, coming back.”

 Shaniah, Natialya, Ariya, and Martiese Brown receive donated gifts for Christmas at Peace Lutheran Church in the Morningside neighborhood.

Shaniah, Natialya, Ariya, and Martiese Brown receive donated gifts for Christmas at Peace Lutheran Church in the Morningside neighborhood.

 Police officer Steve Shank, a Detroit native, stops at Ham Shop Cafe, one of his favorite places in Greektown.

Police officer Steve Shank, a Detroit native, stops at Ham Shop Cafe, one of his favorite places in Greektown.

 A group of Bangladeshi men play Carrom board at Bismillah Grocery, in Hamtramck.

A group of Bangladeshi men play Carrom board at Bismillah Grocery, in Hamtramck.

 Ashley Boyc, 20, has been working on Shinola’s movement assembly line for three months.

Ashley Boyc, 20, has been working on Shinola’s movement assembly line for three months.

 Jerry Klipscomb has been delivering mail in Detroit for 29 years. “There used to be houses on every lot.” (Alexandrine and Elmwood streets)

Jerry Klipscomb has been delivering mail in Detroit for 29 years. “There used to be houses on every lot.” (Alexandrine and Elmwood streets)

 Cecilia Juarez works at Tacos Morelotes located on W. Vernor Highway in Mexicantown.

Cecilia Juarez works at Tacos Morelotes located on W. Vernor Highway in Mexicantown.

 Hamza Haider, Nasa Alsaiadi, and Walid Saker, servers at American Coney Island, downtown Detroit.

Hamza Haider, Nasa Alsaiadi, and Walid Saker, servers at American Coney Island, downtown Detroit.

 A homeless man sleeps in the Cass Corridor.

A homeless man sleeps in the Cass Corridor.

 A group of friends shares an after-game drink at Nemo’s in Corktown.

A group of friends shares an after-game drink at Nemo’s in Corktown.

 Andrew D’Ascenzo, a performer for Bacchanal Promotions, throws fire at Campus Martius Park.

Andrew D’Ascenzo, a performer for Bacchanal Promotions, throws fire at Campus Martius Park.

 A young man takes a break from stocking produce at an International grocery store in Hamtramck.

A young man takes a break from stocking produce at an International grocery store in Hamtramck.