Originally Posted by Chicago103
Hamtramck seems like a cool place, it is basically an old school midwestern urban neighborhood that was preserved mostly because it was a separate municipality from albeit surrounded by the city of Detroit. Aside from downtown Detroit I think Hamtramck is just about the only other place in the greater Detroit area I could even contemplate living in but for a region of this size that is rather pathetically limiting for an urbanist.
Honestly, Hamtramck is kind of decayed, and not that great. It isn't dangerous, or ghetto, but it's kind of (very) slowly pointing in that direction. The south end, in particular, isn't too hot. It's still packed with people and new immigrants, though.
You're right that there's nothing remotely similar to Downtown Chicago/Near North Side anywhere in Metro Detroit, but there are healthy and walkable semi-urban and streetcar suburban enclaves. Because the city has done such an awful job of attracting young and prosperous people craving urbanity, a number of suburbs have stepped in and kind of "done the job" for them.
In particular, Birmimgham, Royal Oak and Ferndale have been extremely successful in turning their towns into mini yuppie/urbanist enclaves.
Birmingham is so successful it's frighteningly expensive (you don't get much for under a million) and Royal Oak is also successful, though more middle class and vaguely fratty. Ferndale is very hipster and gay-friendly.
And because Metro Detroit was developed before most metros, there's lots of old-school, semi-walkable suburbia in pretty good shape. Dearborn, Wyandotte, Berkley, Clawson, and the Grosse Pointes are examples of almost 100% walkable suburbs (ok, except for that awful suburban area in Mid-Dearborn where they built on Ford Motor property).