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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Year-end Impressions, Day TWO

Detroit is an old city which means that, notwithstanding the failed industry and abandonment, it is simply old and the infrastructure, without care, cannot last. Detroit is not alone in its deterioration.

Here in Los Angeles, the streets are increasingly rutted, the bridges and tunnels need re-examination and repair. A recent visit to the local Post Office revealed scraps piled on the floor, doors of the trash cubicles pushed off by the mounds of trash not collected.

The signs of decay are increasing, revealing the cracks not just in our streets but in our system.

The good side of the recent focus on Detroit is that it has encouraged many within the city to pay more attention to its buildings and infrastructure, although it would be a mistake to assume that there were not already many who have been working hard for years, if not decades, to preserve this city. That said, the influx of young entrepreneurs, artists mixing with other young residents as well as those already there is exciting. The mix is leading to not only new ways of preservation but also innovative ideas of how to go ahead.

Renovation at the Park Avenue House, Spring 2011

Theatre & Shops On Woodward Downtown

UPDATE: Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Thanks to Facebook, I am accumulating a "six degrees of.... " connection list/"friendship" that recently spanned back over decades, including the fine artist Michele Zalopany, whose artwork I purchased in the early '80s days of NYC's lower Eastside art boom, and former art director/design director/ now photographer Lloyd Ziff, orignally knwon from my music days. They are both from Detroit as well and their renewed interest in their birth city matches mine.

When they post on FB something about Detroit, I go there, as I hope they and others do with my notations. Thus today, thanks to Michele, I have found Historic Detroit.org, a site concerned with the landmark structures of the city, their appearance then and now and what is going on with them. Presently on the site is their 17 December 2011 Year in Review and it illustrates well what I've been writing about this past evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment