January 2011: I am preparing for my first real visit to Detroit, the city of my birth. I am a Californian, where I have been since age one when my parents packed me into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a "native" Californian, I answer, "No, I was born in Detroit." It seems time to investigate what that means. So I have come "home" on my birthday to photograph Detroit.

This blog is part of an accompanying journal about the project.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


In preparation for my quick Labor Day visit, finally I am going through the May/Spring photos that I have not had time to review in the press of my solo show and other deadlines this summer. So Detroit's deadline is now.

And now in review as I try to document the new, as I hope to preserve the dignity and spirit that I can see is there and that will be the primary factor for Detroit's revival ... I am stopped. Stopped by the visions that I forgot and that I captured. Stopped by the ruin of St. Agnes Church and School. Historic - that of Rosa Parks but now abandoned. Books on the floor. Left.

If I, a visitor only, am left so breathless and shocked how can those in this city live everyday with this? Visually so appealing, I can understand the photographers who want to capture this always for, so do I. A photographer's dream and a city's nightmare. A writer's nightmare as well and that is also what I am.

I know I'll snap out of this and luckily, it is Detroit this coming weekend that will pull me back from this abyss for, in Detroit, I will also see life. I will see the people. I will see new growth. I will understand how things can change. But here alone in the night, with these images, I can only see the despair.

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