Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Detroit

My Detroit
(the Way I See It)

Maybe I look through rose-colored
(uh...make that lime green) glasses,
perhaps I just wane in nostalgia

But, I find beauty in Detroit,
and not just in the usual places
(like the natural loveliness of Belle Isle)

The old, graceful architecture
draws me to them,
time and again
and make me wonder,
who designed them,
what influenced them

Somewhere in time,
someone has enjoyed these places before
And, by the grace of God and mankind,
these structures stand before me

And I am allowed to enjoy
its brilliant beauty once again

Even those lacking
in architectural uniqueness,
their durability, their history,
their striking, bright colors
scream for equal recognition

Demure in stature,
standing side-by-side
and in close proximity
to overwhelming behemoths,
they both bear equal weight
in time and history

The thought and agonizing detail
put into minutia,
such as a doorway
showcase their history,
their love of art,
their love for the City

Interspersed with the aging,
historical architecture of Detroit
are the modern wonders,
equally pleasing and wonderful;
there is room for appreciation for both

But, I am continually drawn
by my first love,
my intrigue;
they captivate and enthrall me

I dream about them;
are they still inhabited?
Do people still enjoy the interior beauty?
I saw a guard standing inside
their ugly fenced gates
and noticed the barbed wires
on their upper platforms

All the great attractions are here
in the Museum District;
the Detroit Science Center,
the African-American Museum,
the Detroit Public (Main) Library,
the Detroit Historical Library,
the Detroit Institute of Arts,
the Medical Center,
Wayne State University,
and so much more!

The buildings morph,
like WSU's Old Main,
remain in its stead
the usage changes
as the circumstances warrant

There must be a need
in this busy district
that a convenience store
thought it necessary
to operate 24 hours

Some commercial vendors have
operated their businesses here
for awhile and their patrons
show their appreciation,
returning time and again

Some 'special' touches I love
are the comfy benches
at the bus stop whilst waiting
under a shade tree

I love the variety of
entertainment offered here

Meanwhile, there's a revival going on
in downtown Detroit
In the wee morning hours
on an obscure weekend
I notice cars parked
alongside Washington Boulevard

At night, the Fox Theatre's marquee
sparkles and draws in a crowd

I even see beauty
in the simple and obscure,
things that others may deem 'ugly'

General Motors has made great strides
in beautifying the Renaissance Center;
they've torn down the urgly (yes, urgly) berm
and have made it seem
much more part of the community

Yes, there still a some scary-looking parts of Detroit;
but, these places have been reclaimed by developers
looking to convert many old, abandoned buildings
into liveable lofts in the Downtown & Midtown areas

These buildings have been boarded up
and put to sleep for years;
But their architectural beauty remains
timelessly unabated,
waiting for their time
to return...is it time now?

I return home,
full of hope for Detroit's future;
Detroit - my hometown

But for now,
this will have to do
- adieu!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Bloomies Hit the 313

Bloomies Hit the 313

Here's a little photo journal of my recent trip to the 313 (e.g., Detroit, for all you non-Detroiters). The above billboard is a perfect depiction of what many people might think Detroit is all about. That is, second rate, unkempt, abandoned (insert other derogatory remarks here ____).

However, that is not the case. Any Detroit lover will know that the city holds within its heart some of the most beautiful architecture around. Thank God, as Detroit was abandoned during the 70's to 90's, that they (whomever 'they' are) did not tear down the incredible buildings. 'They' simply boarded them up and put them to sleep.

And, whilst the old buildings were sleeping, they built modern marvels! The Detroit African American Museum is world-class and is a destination in and of itself.

The Detroit Science Center has gone about a revival and offers educational fun for the little kiddies!

Here's another view of the modern structure and colorful sign of the Detroit Science Center, which sits next to the Detroit African American Museum.

One of Detroit's old landmarks, the Chin Tiki, sits vacant on Cass Avenue. Detroit's Chin Tiki was one of the sites featured in Eminem's movie, Eight Mile. Marvin Chin, the owner, passed away recently.

People are moving back to Detroit and renovating the great old homes. This one is located in the Midtown district. Many of the streets in the Midtown and Downtown districts are being resurfaced or rebuilt, as well.

The GAR building, one of my favorites, still stand boarded up. I await the day that they take those ugly boards off and start renovating.

Many old buildings are being converted to lofts or offered for conversion to lofts, such as the one above (across from Harper Hospital).

Many of the old homes are in the process of being renovated (such as the one above) and stand next to newly constructed neighborhoods.

The renovations are interspered with buildings, such as the one above, which should probably just be torn down.

So, with the Detroit casinos, Comerica Park, Compuware, Mike Ilitch, and others pouring money into downtown, where is Detroit going with all this? I think it's absolutely fantastic! Detroit is looking really good! I saw people walking around Downtown and Midtown last night, hanging out at coffee houses wired with WiFi, sitting on the corner and enjoying the fountains in front of the DIA, and just milling around and having a jolly good time! It's wonderful that the DIA is offering weekend entertainment, that helps bring in the crowds. But, what's even more wonderful is that Detroit's throwing a party and people are coming! Join the party! C'mon down to Detroit and have a good time...it's changing for the better! I think you'll be surprised!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Belle Isle Revisited

Belle Isle Revisited

My revisit to Belle Isle on June 10th yielded these pictures...enjoy!

The sign greeting you at the entry way at the bridge on Jefferson & East Grand Boulevard.

The water was turned off at the Scott Fountain today. It may be because it was only 60 degrees Farenheit today, and with the breeze on the riverfront, that's fairly cold.

The Casino, ever so lovely!

Another view of the Casino.

At the Conservatory, the flowers were in bloom and the grounds were well landscaped.

The Aquarium, next to the Conservatory had brown paper covering its windows.

This was a colorful concession stand that was boarded up and had graffiti painted over it.

A beautiful canal scene, a soft breeze blowing little ripples in the stream while the weeping willow tree was gently swaying.

Some affair was happening at the Boat Club tonight as many cars were in the parking lot.

Father geese was getting pissed at me and let me know I was getting too close as the moon began to peak over the trees.

I just couldn't hold the camera steady enough to take this shot of the Ren Cen and night was descending quickly.

I got a nice picture of the Fox Theatre as I was cruising down Woodward on my way home.

I simply HAD to stop a take this picture in Midtown...I love this sign!

Alright, so I got a little bored...I-75 was closed for repairs (so what's new) and shiny lights distract me!

Well, my only explanation is it was a full moon and I found this scene creepy!

Another creepy view...and with that...I bid you adieu!