Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Drive Downtown

Last month, during a spate of unrelenting heat and sunshine, I decided to take a drive to downtown Detroit. Let’s go!

A typical scene of Michigan's highways

We begin our journey on one of Michigan’s scenic rural byways. These may be found throughout the state, leading towards its spiritual capital: Detroit.


A criminally underfunded EMS ambulance scurries past the large-scale flora that is the area’s calling card (and partially hidden by an obnoxious weed).

This shot is a two-for-one: I was trying to take a picture of Detroit’s flora (unhelpfully hidden by two large weeds growing in front of it), when lo! one of the city’s criminally underfunded EMS ambulances scurried into view.


Our first glimpse of the Renaissance Center, aka “The RenCen”, aka “General Motors’ (aka GM) World Headquarters”, aka “Gleaming Middle Finger of Corporate America”, that sits upon Detroit’s waterfront. Despite occupancy issues, it still manages to have giant, GM-related screens on all four sides. These broadcast messages of car-hope and car-salvation to the grateful people of Detroit.

trip-4a-2-smaller trip-4b-smaller

Some more of Detroit’s large-scale art, although in this case it has gone feral.



Another landmark, the world-famous Michigan Street Train Station. That light through the window-holes is so intense because the building is, with the exception of some recent small steps, entirely vacant and windowless.


More flora. In nearly two years of living in Michigan, I have yet to find out why exploded tire remnants are so common along the highways. It’s just in Michigan: trips to Ontario, Ohio, the Northeast, don’t show the same overgrowth one sees in Michigan. Michigan kudzu.



When did they put this bridge up? Lookin’ good!


And this windmill? Wind-power, right in Detroit!


The road to downtown Detroit sometimes feels like it just stretches out forever. Here’s an example of the long road, the blue skies, the beautiful weather.


No matter how bad your commute may be, however, there are gentle reminders along the way that it could be worse.


Detroit, as it undergoes a reimagining, has new names for its old neighborhoods. One example is “Corktown Shores”—where there is no shore. I believe this area is called the Detroit Bluffs.


Hey, it’s that bridge again! What gives?



Oh, my mistake, it’s not the same bridge. That’s a picture of Boston. I accidentally drove a bit past downtown, I guess. Since I’m here, I might as well stay. Please forward my mail.

Thanks for coming along with me on my trip!

PS: Yes, I really live in Boston now.