Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Favorite Photo feature

I've decided to begin a regular feature on this blog:  The Friday Favorite Photo.  On Friday's I'll post one of my favorite photos and write a little something about it. Here's the first one:

This picture of me with my twin sons was taken in 1987, though I can't take credit for it because that's my son, Justin, behind the camera. I was divorced at the time this photo was taken, a single parent, but hopeful, and sure I was going - - somewhere. I was a "non-traditional" college student at the time and the boys were in first grade. (They're tall, but not that tall - I'm leaning over.)

This is one of my all time favorite photos for a lot of reasons, but mostly because of the way it captures our lives in that time and place. We're looking into the mirror in my bedroom, just the three of us, fooling around together. I had borrowed this camera and loaded it with black and white film with the idea of taking some "artsy" shots.

I don't remember what led to Justin being the one with the camera, but it's one of the elements that makes this shot special to me. I also like the way Jerry is looking so serioulsy into the mirror, my arm around him, and the way our three heads make a triangle.

Oh, but if I could return to that time and know what I know now. Isn't that the way it goes?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Some things I've seen in "The D" recently

Woodward Avenue, downtown Detroit on a spring afternoon:

"Hitsville U.S.A." - The Motown Museum. This is the place where all those great Motown hits of the 1960s came from:

The famous "Studio A." A converted garage attached to the white house in the photo above. It amazes me how small this space is, and what a lot of great music came out of it.

The first Beaver dam found on the Detroit river in 80 years! This is an old power plant water inlet at the north end of the Detroit River. Nature is making a comeback. This beaver dam made international news.

The Woodward fountain in Campus Martius Park Downtown :

The Ambasador Bridge to Canada:
The aquarium on Belle Isle. Opened in 1904, it was the first aquarium in the United States, but has been closed for many years.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


I finally rented and watched Happy-Go-Lucky last night. I was really looking forward to finally seeing this 2008 Golden Globe and Academy Award nominated movie, but it was a disappointment.

Maybe I was expecting too much, or maybe I wasn't in the right mood, but it just didn't engage me and I found the main character, Poppy, to be more anoying than charming. Happy-Go-Lucky has been called a "joyous feel-good film" but it didn't make me feel happy or lucky. It had it's moments, but not enough of them. For much of this movie I was simply bored.

There are several threads in this overrated film that go nowhere. I kept waiting for the plot to develop, but it never really did. She met a guy, her driving instructor is nuts - that's about it. I usually don't mind a movie without a lot of plot. I love character studies. But this was a character I just didn't care about.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Over the river & thru the woods

Here's a video I shot from my car yesterday while crossing the bridge on my way off the island. Crossing this bridge has been a routine part of our lives for over a year now.

The music is from my radio, tuned to CBC Radio 2, of-course:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Radio 2

One advantage of living in Detroit is the quantity and quality of radio stations. I can get three NPR's, classical, jazz, smooth jazz, R&B, and more than enough classic rock and oldies. But the best of it all is CBC Radio 2. This is the national radio network of Canada and I've been listening to it quite a bit during the last few months.

Radio 2 features classical music in the morning with a wonderful host who always has interesting things to say about the music, and then there's a show called Radio 2 Drive from 3:00 - 6:00 that always seems to be playing something great that I've never heard before. Later there's a show called Tonic with jazz and R&B.

Who knew the Canadians were so hip?

Saturday, May 16, 2009


I finally went to Heidelberg Street in Detroit last week to see the Heidelberg Project. This is a block of abandonded houses and vacant lots that have been turned into an outdoor art installation.

Started in 1986 by Tyree Guyton, a resident of the street, The Heidelberg Project began as a creative response to the ongoing blight and decay in the neighborhood. Twice demolished by the city of Detroit, the project is now somewhat of a local tourist destination, and a non-profit community organization.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Star Trek

So, we went to see Star Trek, and it was pretty good. Even though the action blockbuster genre doesn't usually appeal to me, I have to say it was fun to see the well-known Star Trek characters as their younger selves, meeting each other for the first time.

The movie had a lot of humor, and the development of the relationship between Kirk and Spock was interesting, but it was mostly a movie about fighting. From bar brawls to battling space ships there was plenty of action, including a hideous monster chasing Kirk on an ice planet, and hand to hand combat on a giant drill that is creating a black hole.

The plot involves time travel and an alternative reality that left me a tad confused - in the end the alternative reality seems to be the actual reality and old Spock is left living in the past. But most importantly, of-course, is that good prevails over evil.

I understand that plenty of people enjoy the kind of action that this Star Trek movie has, but I'm not one of them. During scenes of battles or fighting or chasing I tend to get bored. These kind of scenes do not engage me. My mind wanders. I become aware that I'm sitting in a theater watching a movie. I am definitly not an action movie fan, but for a movie with a lot of action this one isn't too bad.

Friday, May 8, 2009

what's inside?

Aside from the frustration and tremendous amount of time it eats up, something I enjoy about house hunting is the opportunity to walk around in other people's homes when they're not there.

I'm pretty nosy by nature, so I especially enjoy looking into closets and cupboards. This is necessary, of-course, to determine if the closet and cupboard space are adequate to my needs. But I must admit that I enjoy this license to take note of what's kept and how it's arranged. I can't say what it is about this that intrests me so much, but it does.

I've always been a bit of a snoop. I'm the kind of person who will probably open your medicine cabinet when I'm a guest in your bathroom. I know I shouldn't, but I usually can't resist just a quick little peek. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this tendency. Don't we all do this, to one degree or another, at least sometimes?
I think it's this enjoyment of peeking into other lives that explains the current popularity of memoirs, blogs, reality TV, YouTube, Facebook, and, unfortunately, gossip magazines. Is it a trend, or just a natural inclination that has - um - come out of the closet?

Friday, May 1, 2009

A new house?

I found a couple of great houses in Ferndale today, which filled me with conflict! I don't want to stay where we are, but I'm not sure I'm ready to settle on Ferndale, or even the idea of buying a house right now.

I really don't want to continue living Downriver, but living Downriver is what gives me my edge. Where would I be without Downriver to photograph, write about, and complain about?

Plus: buying a house would mean that we're really here. To stay. At least for a while. Here. In Metro Detroit. Of all the places...