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, December 4, 2012

Parking: Detroit

Yesterday I had to drive over the canyons in the rain to West Hills in, of course, the western region of Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley.  As it is getting on till christmas and out there on an errand but delighted that for once traffic was light on this rainy day, I stopped in at one of the Valley's ubiquitous malls to pick up a small item.

Driving through the acres of  concrete that consist of flat outside parking lots and then multi-level structures that accompany them and provide shoppers with as little foot traffic as possible so that all they can do is purchase is always an interesting experience, one necessitating certain social skills - who is that waiting an interminable amount of time for the one parking spot as close to the mall entrance as possible? - and time, while waiting to go around that one person, to engage in mind-numbing rumination of parking as a state of existence, at least in California.  

So it is with great curiosity and a bit of - wtf? - that I discovered, on Model D this morning, the website Michigan Needs More Parking, one of the oddest proposals for Detroit, and elsewhere that I've seen.

I started to lose it when I discovered their suggestion to turn beautiful Belle Isle into one large parking lot...

Below and posted before: my pic of the Michigan State Theatre, now turned into (turned back?) into a parking lot as well as one across from the historic Annis Furs Building of the parking lot where before existed Hudson's...


I have to admit I marvelled at the Facebook page's description of traffic in Detroit.

As a Californian who has to leave the beach two hours before a scheduled something in LA downtown, driving to appointments down Woodward, Detroit's historic first paved highway, or on the freeways even in the greatest rush hour seems like a Sunday drive.   In a city ripe for redevelopment, providing space to bring more cars into the city seems like the wrong direction in which to move.

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