While I continue to grind through a longer, more involved article, I’ve found some respectable filler material, now from a place I haven’t visited in quite some time: the modest burg of Detroit. By this point, the average person in the United States has at least a passing awareness of the mammoth economic gulf between
In many American cities, the most prominent murals emerge on the blank sidewalls of old buildings, often through months (if not years) of well-calibrated civic collaboration. Philadelphia, the national—and perhaps the global—leader in this art form has its own long-established Mural Arts Program, a well-staffed organization that not only vets the content and creators of
Imagine a major city where owner-occupied, single-family housing dominates the landscape, more than anywhere else in the country. Complete with garages, chimneys, front yards, back yards, one-and-a-half baths (minimum), and more than a few basements. Virtually all the houses sit on lots of equal size, with nearly identical space between them and the exact same
A recycling station housed in an old factory building might not seem like a novel concept, particularly in a city with a plethora of underutilized or vacant industrial space. Like Detroit. And even the appearance of it—a pastiche of industrial chic, street artistry, found objects, and, yes, even a pretty extensive panoply of bins of
In a city as replete with illicitly painted buildings as Detroit, it isn’t hard to find graffiti in which the subject matter both polarizes and fully illustrates the ongoing debate between two parties. In some parts of the country, these polemics rarely stray outside of the stalls of men’s restrooms. They’re low-key and almost private.
While the interplay between the built and natural environments occupies the bulk of my ruminations, every now and then I can’t help but indulge myself. And I step fully into the world of pure imagination. The aisles of a Meijer discount hypermarket store might not be exactly what Roald Dahl had in mind through his
Seven months after the announcement, it still seems like the largest municipal bankruptcy filing (at least up to this point) is the stuff of legend—the culminating event, after successive blunders. The apex. Or the nadir. No doubt those of us living here are guilty of a degree of chauvinism as we experience how it plays
Scattered throughout various locations throughout the City of Detroit, one is likely to run into this unusual sign. It may be unusual in almost any other urban area, but not the Motor City. In due time, the city could end up removing this traffic light at the intersection of Peterboro Street and Second Avenue altogether.
While traveling one of the main thoroughfares in metro Detroit, I came along this modest little billboard. I call it modest because the one behind it and above it—of Detroit’s omnipresent powerhouse litigator Joumana Kayrouz—is a little bit bigger. In fact, from a moderate distance, Ms. Kayrouz not only dwarfs the Target Corporation, but the
My latest appeared at Huffington Post a few days ago, but thanks to persistent wifi problems, only today have I been able to link it. Sorry about that. It focuses on the Dequindre Cut, a high-profile rail-trail conversion in Detroit, whose Phase I (extending about 1.2 miles, from Gratiot Avenue to the Riverfront) has been