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.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I am rethinking the project.

Planning to return to Detroit in October for the Fall, for the leaves, I am not ready. The time of non-focused exploration is at end. I have learned a lot, met inspiring individuals, entered into amazing buildings and made friends. It is time to figure out what Detroit means to me, how it is defining me, how to photograph it and by so doing, how I wish to define Detroit. This to do before I return.

Yesterday at my Italian study, the word arose: "ruminate" ("ruminare?" or "meditare?"). It is time to chew the cud, gather in the stories others have told me, dive into my own photographs and emotions. And yes, I would love to run in for a day or so to photograph my infant home with the leaves around it, the home becoming an iconic image for the project, but there is more to DETROIT: DEFINITION, far more than I anticipated before last January's first visit, and before I return again, perhaps still in fall to meet my seasonal goals, that is what I need to discover.

And for what I will miss, there is already a wonderful truth about the city for there are events - social, art and music-filled, symposia, design-oriented, neighborhood - always happening in Detroit. There are residents and a population always eager to rebuild the city all the while enjoying and working in it as it is now. I regret not returning so quickly for each time I am there, I am filled with hope.

In the interim, within even the devastated Eastside filled with orphaned or abandoned animals that can no longer be afforded good homes, there remains community, even if among the dogs themselves.

And then, when the dogs need more than just community, there is also help...

Detroit Dog Rescue http://www.detroitdogrescue.com/


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