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, November 23, 2011

Los Angeles/Detroit

Wilshire Theater, Santa Monica November 2011

It is the end of November and I have not been able to make it back to Detroit yet. Too little money for a major trip at present. Too much to think about before I return. Thankfully, so many images to continue to review and print. I am doing that now.

While working on the photographs and putting them into a context for at least Issues Two and Three of the magcloud musings and thinking of some crowd-source funding, still a photographer, I drive around Los Angeles. And because I keep the ever-present little Leica D-Lux5 in the car for the occasional addition to the GRIDLOCK series, I see and I shoot.

After three trips to Detroit, finding the energy and rebirth but unable to filter out the empty storefronts and boarded up houses, Detroit resonates with me wherever I drive in LA. Even in the more affluent sections, I cannot help but note the changes that our American economy has wrought even upon this most magical and strangest of cities, my home. Permanency has never been LA's strong point - earthquakes and a culture of the new has taken care of that - but with a now better educated eye, the vacancies and cultural changes - perhaps movie theatres are now a thing of the past as industries change - I see portentous
signs that it would pay us to notice.

Thus out here it behooves us to also be interested and involved in what is truly happening in Detroit for, even with the still bad economic woes, there is attention being paid to the people, what is being saved and what is being regenerated for the good. Let those lessons be absorbed and applied even out at the beach.

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