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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Somebody left a light on

There's a saying that's been around since the '70s: "Would the last person to leave Detroit, turn out the lights."

abandoned Detroit house DSCF3717pmp

I grew up in the square mile that was 6 Mile (McNichols) on the North, 5 Mile (Fenkell) on the South, Southfield Fwy on the West, and Greenfield Rd on the East. It got a bit larger as I got older with Cerveny Jr. High and Cooley High School going East. The Henry Chaney branch of the Detroit Public Library on Grand River Ave, across the street from St. Mary's going South and North Rosedale Park on the other side of the Southfield Fwy.

White flight hit that neighborhood in the early '70s, only a few years after the riots, and it's still trying to recover, over 40 years later. I go back there occasionally to look around.

This abandoned house sits close to where I live now. It's in a small neighborhood far worse than any I've seen, though I imagine there are equals elsewhere in the city. It's boundaries are Puritan (north), 5 Mile (south), Telegraph (west), Lahser Rd (east). There are entire blocks of abandoned, boarded up, burned-out houses.

But take a close look at the photo. In the lower right corner, that round circle of white... that's a light shining on the side of a house on the next block. People still live around there and somebody left a light on.

I don't have any hope that Detroit will someday come back. I don't think it ever will, at least not the way it was. Detroiters will have to reinvent themselves and the city we all still love.

Right now I drive around Detroit taking photos and like the graffiti and street art I photograph, Detroit is a blank canvas waiting for its residents to paint their future.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Woodward Ave on Christmas Day

I drove to downtown Detroit on Christmas day because I knew it would be pretty much deserted of people and traffic.

Woodward Ave looking North.
Woodward Ave looking North DSCF3657pmp

Woodward Ave looking South.
Woodward Ave looking South DSCF3669HDR3

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Marathon's Detroit Refinery

On Christmas day, I was driving to downtown by way of Fort St. and I ran across Marathon's Detroit Refinery at 1300 S. Fort St, Detroit, MI 48217. I thought it would make some good HDR photos and it did. The first two are from the Fort Street side.

Marathon's Detroit Refinery

Marathon's Detroit Refinery

This last photo is from the parking lot side.

Marathon's Detroit Refinery

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Detroit's little flatiron building

On Christmas day I made my way downtown and got this photo of Detroit's little flatiron building, also called the Reid building, at 130 Cadillac Square and Randolph St., Detroit, MI 48226. I could find no other information or history of this building.

Detroit's little flatiron building DSCF3639pmp

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Even the memories are gone

I've been reworking some of my photos. This one is from the Most Dangerous Neighborhood post and I got to thinking at how sad some of these houses are. Seems no one has lived in them for so long that even the memories are gone.

a Detroit house where even the memories are gone DSCF3219x3

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A grey day

I drove around today looking for some good subjects to photo but it was such a grey day, nothing really looked good. I needed some sun and some high-contrasty scenes but there was no sun and everything was a dull grey.

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DSCF3420HDR-1 photo DSCF3420HDR-1_zpse610b449.jpg

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Most Dangerous Neighborhood in the US for 2013

I found this article about the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in the US from the Huffington Post, written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz (Associate Editor for Huffpost Detroit). The opening paragraph:

In the most dangerous neighborhood in America, you have a one-in-seven chance of being the victim of a violent crime every year. Same goes for the second-most dangerous. You'll fare slightly better in the third-most dangerous, where your chances are one-in-eight. All three of those neighborhoods are located in the city of Detroit.

Most Dangerous Neighborhood in US 2013, Detroit MI 48204

Since the most dangerous neighborhood in the US is close to where I live, I decided to take a look for myself.








Though even in the worst sections of Detroit, amidst the burned-out and abandoned houses, you'll still find well-cared-for homes.




And this home would be a standout in most any neighborhood in Detroit.




Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Street art at The Untitled Bottega

Untitled Bottega, Detroit MI 48202 from the railroad tracks
So I'm out and about the other day and I'm looking around and taking pics on some train tracks which are about 30 feet above street level and I see some hollowed-out abandoned buildings with tagging and artwork on the inside walls so I drive around and this is what I found:

314 E. Baltimore
Detroit, MI 48202

The Untitled Bottega is a community arts space and open gallery located in Detroit, built by and for creators. The Bottega is just the first of many performance and installation spaces which will make up the Untitled Campus, a community based on giving new and upcoming local creators a place to learn, build, and exhibit.




















These are only a few of the photos. If you'd like to see all of them, go to my set for the Untitled Bottega on Flickr.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tagging and street art in Detroit 48202 - Part 2

Here's some more of the photos I took after a morning at the VA Hospital in Detroit.














I went up to the train tracks to have a better look around. They are about 30 or so feet above street level.


So I walk across the tracks and see this (next two pics)... a couple hollowed out buildings with some brightly-colored street art on the inside.



And I had to get back across the tracks before this rolling train cut me off from my car.


My next couple posts will be what I saw in the hollowed-out buildings on the other side of the train tracks.

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