Archive for the 'art' Category

Updated map of Detroit photo locations

I’ve added some small church locations to my Google Map. Unfortunately, the Huggins Community African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the whole row has since burned.

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View Detroit Photos in a larger map

Fear over downsizing

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Some people can’t help themselves, some can’t accept the help of others, and some will never be happy. The latter category is apparently the camp some Detroiters fit into. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, a lot of residents fear what downsizing…I mean “right sizing” will mean for them and their neighborhoods. Because as things stand now, a plan to actually do something is more scary than the present plan, which is to allow the city to continue its long decline towards oblivion.

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Yes, some may have to move from the home they love. And no, the gestapo will not drag you from your house. But once the city consolidates services, your one house neighborhood may be, by all intents and purposes, abandoned (like it isn’t already?).  “Of course you don’t have to evict people to force them to move…” That statement is true of course. At some point some residents may have to move. Like it or not, the road ahead is going long and rough. Many will not be happy, but is anybody happy with the present circumstances?

100 Abandoned Houses got Digged (Dugg?), and trashed…

100 Abandoned Houses on Digg

100 Abandoned houses on Neatorama (ouch! A poser? Harsh)

Snow White and the Six(?) Dwarves

Only in Detroit? Maybe not, but certainly symbolic of the state of the Metro Detroit area.

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53 Places to go in 2008?

No this one is for real. I’m not making it up, and there’s been no Photoshop manipulation here. The New York Times says that Detroit’s one of the top places to visit in 2008.

Detroit’s a better place to visit in 2008 then San Diego, Australia, London, and New York! Wow, I guess my cynicism got in the way of realizing what a gem Detroit is! Yea, right… Who paid who, to get this listing? I agree that the new hotels are really nice, but if it’s about new hotels, why does Vegas rank lower? Hmm…perhaps the Times was trying to come up with some places that were a little out of the ordinary? Well, Detroit seems to be the only one out of the ordinary. Maybe one of us can’t see the forest for the trees…

I also do think the DIA is great, and the renovation is great. There’s more space, and it shows off the collections better. To bad the DIA doesn’t seem to be able to do for Detroit what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao, Spain.

I like to visit Detroit, but that’s because I like to take photos of abandoned and decaying spaces. What city could be better? That said here’s a few new photos:

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Someone actually read a post!

Woo hoo! I thought I was the only one to read this blog, and today I got a comment from Alberto Cottica, member and founder of the band Fiamma Fumana, which is a band that I’ve really enjoyed since first seeing them in Detroit in 2001. They were so good at the Detroit Festival of the Arts, that we went back to see them a second time a day or two later at the same festival. I also ran many blocks in the humid summer heat to get money from an ATM to buy the first album on the spot!

Pretty cool to get a comment from my favorite economics accordionist! I hope they come back to Detroit again soon.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think I’m too up on Detroit today. There’s mixed reports out on Detroit. The good one is the report that the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership has “helped 45 companies either expand or locate in the Detroit region, generating investments totaling $66 million and adding 644 new jobs during the year ended June 30.”

The bad new, of course, starts with the area’s foreclosure rate, which is second worst in the nation, just behind Stockton, California (yuck) and just ahead of Las Vegas, Nevada (again, yuck). What a great group to be in: Stockton the overpriced, overly bland bedroom community of Northern California’s Central Valley, and Las Vegas, overly bland stucco tract housing in the dessert surrounding Sin City, were only the worst of society enjoys a stay.

The second bit of bad news contradicts the first bit (o.k., only bit of good news) of the Detroit Regional Economic Partnership report about business expansion and creation. According to the Detroit News, the state’s economy is stalled, and that business growth in the area fell dramatically in the last twelve months.

When Detroit bottoms out it may become a good investment. Question is when will that be? We’ve got much needed water (if it doesn’t all drain out…), and cheap land. Unfortunately, I think we’re still on the way down…but one day, it’ll head back up (I hope).

Detroit’s art scene sucks even more now than it did before…

Yes, I know. It’s hard to believe. Could Detroit’s art’s scene ever become worse than it already was? Apparently so, says the Detroit News.

There was a debate on this very topic, here, back in June. Funny how people see what they want to see. I’m always told about someone who makes a living from their art. Of course there’s a few here. Unfortunately, we need more than a few successful artists in the area. Just like we need more than a few jobs in the area. Being able to point out one or two successful artists in the area doesn’t cut it. This may seem like a pessimistic view point, and maybe I should see the glass as half full, not half empty.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the local art scene, the glass isn’t half full, or half empty, it’s just plain empty. And that’s not pessimism, it’s realism.